Government Law? What am I missing?

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JohnnyLaw
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Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby JohnnyLaw » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:42 am

Ok, so there is a sector where I get holidays (paid, oh also vacations are paid) and weekends off. I work a steady, but easily flexible schedule. I get health, dental, and tax benefits. Of course, we have yet to factor in the slow (but reliable and unequivocal) pay increases, though most government attorneys will eventually make six figures. These pay increases occur regardless of my work ethic, ability, or 'earning potential'. Oh, also, it's nearly impossible to fire me.

Tell me again how is this less desirable than an 80 hour, boot-kissing, coffee grabbing suckfest at a big firm?

Bitches, enlighten me.

rad lulz
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:46 am

That's all fine and dandy, but;

Federal govt hiring freeze, many states are hiring barely anyone bc they are broke, job security and pension isn't there like it used to be due to perstent budget crises. Also, if you are at a good school, not only are big firm jobs are easier to get, but big firms hire 2Ls while govt hiring (what little is left) is 3L focused.

Edit: also it's generally easier to get jobs with the Feds after you've worked at a large firm
Last edited by rad lulz on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

JohnnyLaw
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby JohnnyLaw » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:54 am

Your cons are mostly 'hiring' based. Culture/ifestly wise, is a big private firm honestly better in the long run than gov't work?

rad lulz
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:59 am

JohnnyLaw wrote:Your cons are mostly 'hiring' based. Culture/ifestly wise, is a big private firm honestly better in the long run than gov't work?

Yeah dude the hiring con is a big fucking con. This thread is like you saying "why aren't more people buying lambos instead of pintos, dude, lambos are way better."

rad lulz
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:02 am

Also, if you want to do transactional work the govt doesn't really do a lot of that.

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Ludo!
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby Ludo! » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:03 am

Yeah, just do government law. Great thread bro

JohnnyLaw
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby JohnnyLaw » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:04 am

Nah dude not really. That analogy would only apply if it was harder to buy a pinto than a lambo. If that was the case there'd be a lot less lawyers, and this conversation would be moot. Also this conversation wouldn't exist, because TLS wouldn't exist, because anyone could drive your proverbial pinto. You've now failed twice.

Still waiting for a worthwhile response.

rad lulz
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:07 am

JohnnyLaw wrote:Nah dude not really. That analogy would only apply if it was harder to buy a pinto than a lambo. If that was the case there'd be a lot less lawyers, and this conversation would be moot. Also this conversation wouldn't exist, because TLS wouldn't exist, because anyone could drive your proverbial pinto. You've now failed twice.

Still waiting for a worthwhile response.

Go back and read it again.

JohnnyLaw
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby JohnnyLaw » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:07 am

If I'm wrong feel free to correct me. All you potential government employees that were turned down and were forced to accept a big firm offer, feel free to sound off

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atcushman
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby atcushman » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:34 am

JohnnyLaw wrote:If I'm wrong feel free to correct me. All you potential government employees that were turned down and were forced to accept a big firm offer, feel free to sound off


Wrong about what? that government gigs come with sweet benees and job security? Well this is true (not as much as it used to be) The point is the jobs are extremely rare and becoming more and more competitive and there are other considerations that lead people to law firms.

2L summer firms pay and biglaw pays big but most gov jobs do not so most people are going to choose the paying gig over the unpaid one. As long as you dont screw up a lot of 2L SA positions lead to an offer, so you have a post grad job lined up. Government firms do not extend offers after 2L summer internships and usually do not hire until the end of 3L year or in some cases after bar passage.

Are you going to turn down a job for what pretty much amounts to a crapshoot for a government position? One of many reasons a lot of people start off in firms and transition to gov...

Why do most people who graduate from law school even become lawyers when people who win the lottery become millionaires and dont have to work ever. The odds of getting a gov job straight out of law school are probably slightly higher than winning the loto, but probably not by much.

Myself
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.

Postby Myself » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:34 am

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Last edited by Myself on Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:56 am

JohnnyLaw wrote:If I'm wrong feel free to correct me. All you potential government employees that were turned down and were forced to accept a big firm offer, feel free to sound off


Did multiple FedGov (because that's what you're actually talking about here; the pros you've listed aren't nec. true in the states) internships, including doing 2L summer SLIP.

Did not get picked up through Honors.

Was offered at Firm.

Chose clerkship to retain Honors eligibility.


Yes, there are a number of benefits to working in government. And that's not even the counting "enjoying what you do" benefits for people that actually enjoy government work. No, FedGov jobs are not easy to get. Certain not "easier" than BigLaw.

timbs4339
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:02 am

More people want to strive for the big payday. Some folks may also enjoy representing (rich) clients or doing complex work.

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presh
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby presh » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:05 am

I don't disagree with your larger point, cushman, but be careful with the generalizations. I work for a federal agency and we do extend offers after 2L summer gigs.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:14 am

1) Lots of people agree that a government gig is way more desirable than a firm, and work for the government.
2) Lots of other people agree that a government gig is way more desirable than a firm, but can't get a government gig, so work for a firm.
3) Lots of other people genuinely prefer to work for a firm, either because they like the money, the kind of work that firms tend to do, the setting, or the culture.

So your point in posting was....?

(Though one comment to someone above: lots of government offices do transactional work in the sense of not doing litigation. They're probably not going to do M&A or things like personal estate planning. But there are lots and lots and lots of non-litigating government lawyers.)

rad lulz
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby rad lulz » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:59 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Though one comment to someone above: lots of government offices do transactional work in the sense of not doing litigation. They're probably not going to do M&A or things like personal estate planning. But there are lots and lots and lots of non-litigating government lawyers.)


Yeah I meant it in the sense of like corporate transactions and wills and trusts, not in the sense of, say IRS dudes who write private letter rulings and regs.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:05 pm

JohnnyLaw wrote:If I'm wrong feel free to correct me. All you potential government employees that were turned down and were forced to accept a big firm offer, feel free to sound off

Big law jobs are way, way, way easier to come by. They're also a much safer option in the sense that you more or less know what's happening at the beginning of your 2L year, instead of waiting for whatever hail mary government job to come through your third year.

Also, to be this dense about it you must be a 0L.

anon168
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby anon168 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:34 pm

JohnnyLaw wrote:Ok, so there is a sector where I get holidays (paid, oh also vacations are paid) and weekends off. I work a steady, but easily flexible schedule. I get health, dental, and tax benefits. Of course, we have yet to factor in the slow (but reliable and unequivocal) pay increases, though most government attorneys will eventually make six figures. These pay increases occur regardless of my work ethic, ability, or 'earning potential'. Oh, also, it's nearly impossible to fire me.

Tell me again how is this less desirable than an 80 hour, boot-kissing, coffee grabbing suckfest at a big firm?

Bitches, enlighten me.


I'm just talking about federal government work, so bear with me.

What you're missing is that government jobs -- be it at an agency, the courts, DOJ/USAO, WH, etc. -- your pay is going to basically suck in real dollar terms (i.e. buying power) if you live in any of the major metro markets (e.g. NYC, SF, LA, etc.).

You can do it on a federal salary as a single professional, but unless you marry rich, it's almost impossible to raise a family on a federal salary, even if you are willing to live 50 miles away in the 'burbs somewhere. And, yes, eventually you'll make "six figures" but we're talking generally maxing out at 150k ... and that's typically after 10+ years of federal service. You don't hit the century mark, depending on what agency you are at, until generally after you've been out of law school for 10 years.

So what you are missing is the money issue.

It's why people who have exit options, exit.

And, it's why even federal judges, who have life tenure and lifetime pensions (based on their salary, as mediocre as it might be) leave the bench for private practice. Because even they get dollar-bill Schadenfreude. Wouldn't you? Esp. if you see not only your peers, but your fucking law clerks pay more in taxes than you make in gross pay.

Now, if you live and practice in Podunk, it's very viable to live comfortably and raise a family on a federal salary. But then, you live and practice in Podunk.

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atcushman
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby atcushman » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:42 pm

presh wrote:I don't disagree with your larger point, cushman, but be careful with the generalizations. I work for a federal agency and we do extend offers after 2L summer gigs.


Credited. I should have said most agencies...I was speaking from experience with local agencies which have been in a hiring freeze for a few years and I have heard of a few people without jobs who stay on and "volunteer" for like the prosecutors office after graduation just to get experience and keep the door open in case a gig comes up.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:04 pm

anon168 wrote:
JohnnyLaw wrote:Ok, so there is a sector where I get holidays (paid, oh also vacations are paid) and weekends off. I work a steady, but easily flexible schedule. I get health, dental, and tax benefits. Of course, we have yet to factor in the slow (but reliable and unequivocal) pay increases, though most government attorneys will eventually make six figures. These pay increases occur regardless of my work ethic, ability, or 'earning potential'. Oh, also, it's nearly impossible to fire me.

Tell me again how is this less desirable than an 80 hour, boot-kissing, coffee grabbing suckfest at a big firm?

Bitches, enlighten me.


I'm just talking about federal government work, so bear with me.

What you're missing is that government jobs -- be it at an agency, the courts, DOJ/USAO, WH, etc. -- your pay is going to basically suck in real dollar terms (i.e. buying power) if you live in any of the major metro markets (e.g. NYC, SF, LA, etc.).

You can do it on a federal salary as a single professional, but unless you marry rich, it's almost impossible to raise a family on a federal salary, even if you are willing to live 50 miles away in the 'burbs somewhere. And, yes, eventually you'll make "six figures" but we're talking generally maxing out at 150k ... and that's typically after 10+ years of federal service. You don't hit the century mark, depending on what agency you are at, until generally after you've been out of law school for 10 years.

So what you are missing is the money issue.

It's why people who have exit options, exit.

And, it's why even federal judges, who have life tenure and lifetime pensions (based on their salary, as mediocre as it might be) leave the bench for private practice. Because even they get dollar-bill Schadenfreude. Wouldn't you? Esp. if you see not only your peers, but your fucking law clerks pay more in taxes than you make in gross pay.

Now, if you live and practice in Podunk, it's very viable to live comfortably and raise a family on a federal salary. But then, you live and practice in Podunk.

I dunno... no question you can make more in private practice, but $150,000, even in a major metro area, is hardly roughing it. Especially if you're in a two-income family. But I guess having friends who are high on the totem pole in biglaw could make it seem like peanuts. It's all relative but you should be able to live a pretty damn comfortable life on that money.

Anonymous User
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:16 pm

I dunno... no question you can make more in private practice, but $150,000, even in a major metro area, is hardly roughing it.


Yes and no. If you have 2+ kids, before they are in school, $150k can evaporate pretty quickly. For example, assume three kids:

Mortgage: $2.5k
Child care: $3.5k (we'll say that two are in preschool (at $1500 a pop), and one is in regular school but needs after school care (at $500 a pop). This goes up to $4.5k in the summer.
Student loans: $1k (assuming both spouses paid down their loans to manageable levels)
Medical: $500 ($300 premium contribution, plus there's always about $200 worth of out of pocket stuff with that many kids)
Car: $400 (assuming one car, not paid off, plus insurance)
Phone/internet/energy/cable/water: $300

That's just the major stuff, and we're already at $8,200 -- leaving probably around a grand to pay for food, entertainment, clothes, gas, etc. And nothing in the summer.

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Ludo!
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby Ludo! » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I dunno... no question you can make more in private practice, but $150,000, even in a major metro area, is hardly roughing it.


Yes and no. If you have 2+ kids, before they are in school, $150k can evaporate pretty quickly. For example, assume three kids:

Mortgage: $2.5k
Child care: $3.5k (we'll say that two are in preschool (at $1500 a pop), and one is in regular school but needs after school care (at $500 a pop). This goes up to $4.5k in the summer.
Student loans: $1k (assuming both spouses paid down their loans to manageable levels)
Medical: $500 ($300 premium contribution, plus there's always about $200 worth of out of pocket stuff with that many kids)
Car: $400 (assuming one car, not paid off, plus insurance)
Phone/internet/energy/cable/water: $300

That's just the major stuff, and we're already at $8,200 -- leaving probably around a grand to pay for food, entertainment, clothes, gas, etc. And nothing in the summer.


Time to tell your wife to get a job bro

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Rocío
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby Rocío » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I dunno... no question you can make more in private practice, but $150,000, even in a major metro area, is hardly roughing it.


Yes and no. If you have 2+ kids, before they are in school, $150k can evaporate pretty quickly. For example, assume three kids:

Mortgage: $2.5k
Child care: $3.5k (we'll say that two are in preschool (at $1500 a pop), and one is in regular school but needs after school care (at $500 a pop). This goes up to $4.5k in the summer.
Student loans: $1k (assuming both spouses paid down their loans to manageable levels)
Medical: $500 ($300 premium contribution, plus there's always about $200 worth of out of pocket stuff with that many kids)Car: $400 (assuming one car, not paid off, plus insurance)
Phone/internet/energy/cable/water: $300

That's just the major stuff, and we're already at $8,200 -- leaving probably around a grand to pay for food, entertainment, clothes, gas, etc. And nothing in the summer.


That seems really high for a monthly premium contribution for a government employee, even if that employee has his/her spouse and two children listed as dependents on their health insurance. My work offers two insurance plans, and even under the more comprehensive family plan option, the monthly premium contribution is about $160 (the "low" family plan is only $75 a month). But then again this is just my work.

But yeah, kids are insanely expensive.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:30 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I dunno... no question you can make more in private practice, but $150,000, even in a major metro area, is hardly roughing it.


Yes and no. If you have 2+ kids, before they are in school, $150k can evaporate pretty quickly. For example, assume three kids:

Mortgage: $2.5k
Child care: $3.5k (we'll say that two are in preschool (at $1500 a pop), and one is in regular school but needs after school care (at $500 a pop). This goes up to $4.5k in the summer.
Student loans: $1k (assuming both spouses paid down their loans to manageable levels)
Medical: $500 ($300 premium contribution, plus there's always about $200 worth of out of pocket stuff with that many kids)
Car: $400 (assuming one car, not paid off, plus insurance)
Phone/internet/energy/cable/water: $300

That's just the major stuff, and we're already at $8,200 -- leaving probably around a grand to pay for food, entertainment, clothes, gas, etc. And nothing in the summer.


Time to tell your wife to get a job bro

This. Why would you assume that you're only making one income and that you have to pay $3,500 a month in child care? What's your spouse doing, hanging out at the spa? If you figure that your spouse is making even half of what you are, then that budget suddenly looks a whole lot more doable. And that's even without taking issue with any of the specific numbers here, because frankly, I won't claim to know what it costs to have a kid.

The point is, even in expensive metropolitan areas, this kind of money should let you live a solidly upper-middle class life. It's not so much money that you won't ever have any problems in life, but you should be able to do okay.

Anonymous User
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Re: Government Law? What am I missing?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:32 pm

That seems really high for a monthly premium contribution for a government employee, even if that employee has his/her spouse and two children listed as dependents on their health insurance. My work offers two insurance plans, and even under the more comprehensive family plan option, the monthly premium contribution is about $160 (the "low" family plan is only $75 a month). But then again this is just my work.


Maybe it's a little high, but you also have to think about dental (optional, but if you have crappy teeth like me, it's probably worth it), plus out-of-pocket. Seems like someone is always going to the doctor or the dentist in our family.

(Note: This gets a ton better when the kids are all in school. Though then it gets really bad again a decade later when they're off to college.)




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