First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

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Objection
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:46 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
Oddly enough, my actual experience wasn't all that bad, but only because I drew lines in the sand that I wouldn't budge on because I knew I was done (e.g. being asked to work on super bowl sunday, and refusing to do so).


This is easily the funniest line in the thread. I still remember it from a few pages ago.


Some people take the sabbath. Some people take Hanukkah. Some people take Ramadan.

I take Super Bowl Sunday. It is one day a year where my whole family and family friends get together. As long as I have a family willing to get together, I will not miss it.

The point is less about the objective merits of what is important to you, and more about not compromising those things that are important to you. If you have a standing dungeons and dragons game that you haven't missed for ten years, don't start missing it now. Not my cup of tea, or other people's cups of tea, but it's yours, and that's what's relevant.

I get that you bought into big law, French Prince, and I am happy for you. I didn't, and I advise those who find meaning and joy in life in things unrelated to work not to buy in either.
Last edited by Objection on Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Old Gregg
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:52 pm

Some people take the sabbath. Some people take Hanukkah. Some people take Ramadan.

I take Super Bowl Sunday.


One of those things is not like the other...

1) Despite the silliness of this whole argument, I've actually had Super Bowl Sunday respected (even though I don't even watch it). But, things can go haywire, which leads me to my second point...

2) You having to miss Super Bowl Sunday is not unique to Big Law. It's typical for any profession that's client-oriented (and, just to be clear, law is). When you're doing that dream job of trial work, and you have a trial starting the Monday after Super Bowl or a client calls with an emergency on a Sunday, you're not going to say "no, sorry, have to watch the Super Bowl."

Granted, it's not guaranteed that you will lose that day. But neither is it so in Big Law. I guess if you really want Super Bowl Sundays guaranteed for the rest of your life, go in house (but even then...)?

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Old Gregg
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:54 pm

I get that you bought into big law, French Prince, and I am happy for you. I didn't, and I advise those who find meaning and joy in life in things unrelated to work not to buy in either.


This is idiotic. Just a few pages ago I was bemoaning how ridiculous being a big law lawyer is.

I haven't "bought" into big law. And the fact that I'm functioning in big law doesn't mean I don't have meaning or joy in my life in things unrelated to work. I think it's stupid and insulting for you to imply otherwise, and I'm sorry but I really don't think that spending just 6 months on the job entitles you to such an all-encompassing opinion, especially since your reasons for leaving were that you didn't get your name on a signature block (before you were admitted to practice) and because you refused to work on Super Bowl Sunday.

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Objection
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:57 pm

If I lose my Super Bowl Sunday because of my own mismanagement, inefficiency, or poor timing, that's one thing.

That's rarely what happens as a young big law associate. You are at the mercy of senior associates -- those who have lost perspective on what's important beyond work, and those who have lost perspective of time. You are at the mercy of what's important to them.

When you value life beyond work, there are few things worse than working under those who do not.

Edit: perhaps it's best you stay as a low level big law associate though. Your reading comprehension and your ability to actually counter the arguments being made needs lots of practice.

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Old Gregg
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:59 pm

If I lose my Super Bowl Sunday because of my own mismanagement, inefficiency, or poor timing, that's one thing.

That's rarely what happens as a young big law associate. You are at the mercy of senior associates -- those who have lost perspective on what's important beyond work, and those who have lost perspective of time. You are at the mercy of what's important to them.


OK, and as a lawyer in any other organization but a client, you are at the mercy of the client. Some of your clients might be going through emergencies and, rightfully so, don't think your Super Bowl Sundays are important to them.

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Old Gregg
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:00 pm

Edit: perhaps it's best you stay as a low level big law associate though. Your reading comprehension and your ability to actually counter the arguments being made needs lots of practice.


Dude, back off. I thought we were friends. If you want to go this route, I'm happy to take it. But I don't recommend it.

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Objection
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Objection » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:06 pm

OK, and as a lawyer in any other organization but a client, you are at the mercy of the client. Some of your clients might be going through emergencies and, rightfully so, don't think your Super Bowl Sundays are important to them.


Which is largely irrelevant, as this is not what happened in the example I gave.

Nonetheless, as a litigator, the odds of a client coming to a lawyer with a problem completely out of left field on Saturday that is so urgent that it requires a full day of work Sunday seem low enough that I doubt I will encounter it.

That's the beauty of knowing most deadlines reasonably in advance and a court system full of employees who value their holidays as much as I do.

Dude, back off. I thought we were friends. If you want to go this route, I'm happy to take it. But I don't recommend it.


Then quit making strawmen arguments and distracting from the overall point. I give examples for clarity, not as the sole instances of the points I making. I know you're smart enough to know that from our other interactions.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby stratocophic » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:09 pm

This might be the most legitimately entertaining thread of 2013. Anyway biglaw doods keep telling me how much life's gonna suck in 6 months, my optimism could probably use some Roundup

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Old Gregg
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:12 pm

Edited. Ain't worth it,

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Jessep » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:07 pm

Objection wrote:Nonetheless, as a litigator, the odds of a client coming to a lawyer with a problem completely out of left field on Saturday that is so urgent that it requires a full day of work Sunday seem low enough that I doubt I will encounter it.

That's the beauty of knowing most deadlines reasonably in advance and a court system full of employees who value their holidays as much as I do.

You make some decent points throughout your posts, but your lack of experience as a lawyer is really, really evident... especially exemplified by this quotation. You clearly never got the level where you were in the loop... clients have these types of emergencies all the time. Once you hit your second year (and hopefully at the latest by your third or you are in trouble), you would have gotten more insight into why these late night or weekend emergencies that partners asked you to attend to were important. Partners bust their asses too and are subject to the whims and emergencies of their clients.

Yes, sometimes senior associates or partners sit on assignments/tasks and then ruin your weekend needlessly. I'm willing to bet that more often than not there was no avoiding it if they wanted to keep their client happy. I do not know a single partner in a big law firm that does not work his or her ass off, save senior partners who have one foot in the door to retirement.

Big law is a rough lifestyle, no doubt. But plenty of people genuinely enjoy the work, there is meaning to be had/found in the work, and not all of the personalities are awful. I may disagree with the life priorities of the partners with whom I work, but most of them are pretty decent human beings.

I have serious doubts that I will go all the way to partnership (even if available), but I am getting excellent experience and training along the way. I take it one day at a time. A lot of the people who get shit experience/work, get that type of work because they aren't willing to take one for the team and work a Super Bowl if need be. If, as your supervisor, I cannot count on you when shit hits the fan, why the hell would I invest time in training you? This goes for any job. My ass is on the line with the client or maybe partner to perform... if I cannot count on you to pitch in then I do not want to work with you because it means I will risk looking bad and/or having to kill myself to pickup your slack.

This is not to say that there isn't arbitrary politics that can sway favor, but the "good" associates (at least at my firm) are given excellent training and get to do cool stuff if you show initiative, are reasonably intelligent and are willing to work hard... of course, if your firm is low on billable work then you simply do not have the opportunity to do much.

Would I recommend big law as a lifestyle? No. I am unconvinced that you can be a good parent and be a partner at a big law firm nowadays in a primary market. Do I think it is an excellent start to many attorney's careers? Resoundingly, yes.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:09 pm

After reading threads like this, I'm reminded of why it's a terrible idea to marry a biglawyer. Who the fuck could deal with this kind of nitpicking, asinine bickering every day, 24/7 for an entire lifetime? I would literally kill myself.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Green Marbles » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:14 pm

Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:21 pm

Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?


Sounds reasonable but you're forgetting two things that will surely sap your cash.....

--ImageRemoved--
Image

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Green Marbles » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:26 pm

unc0mm0n1 wrote:Sounds reasonable but you're forgetting two things that will surely sap your cash.....


I thought only ibankers did models and bottles?

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby 20160810 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:27 pm

Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?

1.) Let's not assume it's $120,000 after taxes. Let's assume it's more like $95,000-100,000. Depending on your city, you're going to want to flush another $24,000 down the toilet for housing (maybe more if we're talking NYC/DC/SF - be spartan all you want, but you don't want to come home to 3 roommates playing beer pong after 16 hours at work). I think that $50,000 a year is a really optimistic maximum. There are probably some who've done more, but I doubt it.

2.) That (bolded) word... I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Green Marbles » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:32 pm

SBL wrote:
Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?

1.) Let's not assume it's $120,000 after taxes. Let's assume it's more like $95,000-100,000. Depending on your city, you're going to want to flush another $24,000 down the toilet for housing (maybe more if we're talking NYC/DC/SF - be spartan all you want, but you don't want to come home to 3 roommates playing beer pong after 16 hours at work). I think that $50,000 a year is a really optimistic maximum. There are probably some who've done more, but I doubt it.

2.) That (bolded) word... I do not think it means what you think it means.


1) Yikes. Thanks for the info

2) LOL, yeah, that was retarded

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:32 pm

Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?


OP here (stuff got busy; thread seems to have charged on regardless) - I'm on track to put $45,000 to $50,000 into loan payments/savings over my first 12 months at the firm. Definitely doable, but not everyone does.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby rad lulz » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:34 pm

Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?

If you are in NYC (reasonable outcome for medianbro at Cornell or whatever) $160k after tax is like $96k dood. Then enjoy NYC CoL.

Also considering that T14s are like $250k+ at sticker, $150k debt would be one BALLIN scholarship. Even with like a $60k scholarship to Cornell, you're gonna probably hit $200k in debt.

So reconsider your hypo

edit: also about $130k of that $200k will be GradPLUS at a hilarious 7.9% interest rate

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Green Marbles » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?


OP here (stuff got busy; thread seems to have charged on regardless) - I'm on track to put $45,000 to $50,000 into loan payments/savings over my first 12 months at the firm. Definitely doable, but not everyone does.


Cool thanks for the info!

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Green Marbles » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:44 pm

rad lulz wrote:
Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?

If you are in NYC (reasonable outcome for medianbro at Cornell or whatever) $160k after tax is like $96k dood. Then enjoy NYC CoL.

Also considering that T14s are like $250k+ at sticker, $150k debt would be one BALLIN scholarship. Even with like a $60k scholarship to Cornell, you're gonna probably hit $200k in debt.

So reconsider your hypo

edit: also about $130k of that $200k will be GradPLUS at a hilarious 7.9% interest rate


Seems the consensus is 95-100k after tax in nyc.

I have a scholarship from a T6 (normally 80k x 3 = 240k) that brings it down to 180k. I put 150k assuming 30k from 2L SA.

Concerning the interest rate, that is why I am asking about how quickly it could get paid off.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Old Gregg » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:50 pm

Green Marbles wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?

If you are in NYC (reasonable outcome for medianbro at Cornell or whatever) $160k after tax is like $96k dood. Then enjoy NYC CoL.

Also considering that T14s are like $250k+ at sticker, $150k debt would be one BALLIN scholarship. Even with like a $60k scholarship to Cornell, you're gonna probably hit $200k in debt.

So reconsider your hypo

edit: also about $130k of that $200k will be GradPLUS at a hilarious 7.9% interest rate


Seems the consensus is 95-100k after tax in nyc.

I have a scholarship from a T6 (normally 80k x 3 = 240k) that brings it down to 180k. I put 150k assuming 30k from 2L SA.

Concerning the interest rate, that is why I am asking about how quickly it could get paid off.


You can't be that retarded. You're not getting the entire $30k from your SA (assuming you get one).

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:51 pm

Green Marbles wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?

If you are in NYC (reasonable outcome for medianbro at Cornell or whatever) $160k after tax is like $96k dood. Then enjoy NYC CoL.

Also considering that T14s are like $250k+ at sticker, $150k debt would be one BALLIN scholarship. Even with like a $60k scholarship to Cornell, you're gonna probably hit $200k in debt.

So reconsider your hypo

edit: also about $130k of that $200k will be GradPLUS at a hilarious 7.9% interest rate


Seems the consensus is 95-100k after tax in nyc.

I have a scholarship from a T6 (normally 80k x 3 = 240k) that brings it down to 180k. I put 150k assuming 30k from 2L SA.

Concerning the interest rate, that is why I am asking about how quickly it could get paid off.


You will be closer to at least $170k to $180k. Interest accumulates while you are in school and you aren't likely to SAVE 30k from your summer associate gig. If you are completely "spartan," you are looking at about 4-5 years.

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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby TatNurner » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
ph5354a wrote:Thanks to all of the associates contributing here. The conversations here have definitely made me think twice about what my other options will be if big law doesn't work out, and how I will be able to handle my loan payments if i have to use one of those other options. I apologize if any of these have been addressed already:

1) When people say they work 10 or 12 hour days 7 days a week, does that mean on average in a week, or that they have to be in the office 7 days/week regardless? i.e. if I wanted to work 12-14 hour days Monday-Saturday in order to have Sunday off, would that fly as long as nothing new came up?

2) Trivial matter: what do you feed yourself during these 14 hour marathon sessions? I'm assuming all eating takes place at your desk. Does anyone actually have their shit together enough to bring in food from home or are you surviving exclusively on take out?

3) OP mentioned trying to observe the interactions among associates/partners as much as possible during SA. Any other advice for how to use SA to determine if the firm is a good fit and/or how miserable you're going to be? I've heard that the workload during SA is sort of a joke.

4) How brutal is the holiday schedule? Should I expect to get emails on Christmas, New Year's Eve at 11:58, etc.? Similarly, how do people handle the occasional doctor's appointment, sick day, etc.?

Thanks again!

I work long hours, but I'm also cheap and lazy, so a very high percentage of my meals are eaten at my desk. I have cleared off a small shelf of vestigial West's reporters in my office and created what my coworkers (I assume lovingly) refer to as my "bomb shelter." Go on Amazon Prime (oh, by the way, if you're working at a firm or doing any other high-hours job, you're going to need to get Amazon Prime because free time is at a premium, and being able to do your shopping in 30 seconds from your computer will save you 2 hours of sweet, sweet free time. Prime is honestly the best $80 I've ever spent.) and get yourself a bunch of tuna, crackers, canned chicken (don't knock this until you try it with hot sauce on a cracker bro), and canned peaches (get the no sugar added kind, 'beetus is a bad look). I spend pretty much 0 prep time, maybe $2-3/day, and get all the brotein I can handle. I also recommend getting a 5-pound tub of whey powder and a few shaker cups to keep around the office. This will telegraph to the male associates that you are alpha (essential, since you're not generally allowed to wear tank tops to work unless you're at Quinn) and will awaken in the female associates (or, if you're lucky, partners) a primal desire, deeply seeded by evolution itself, to carry your seed.


LOL. Did not expect to be learning about canned chicken in this thread. The idea of pulling this out at work is hilarious. For those, like me, who were ignorant of this piece of innovation, I present to you canned chicken:

Image

Green Marbles
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Green Marbles » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Green Marbles wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?

If you are in NYC (reasonable outcome for medianbro at Cornell or whatever) $160k after tax is like $96k dood. Then enjoy NYC CoL.

Also considering that T14s are like $250k+ at sticker, $150k debt would be one BALLIN scholarship. Even with like a $60k scholarship to Cornell, you're gonna probably hit $200k in debt.

So reconsider your hypo

edit: also about $130k of that $200k will be GradPLUS at a hilarious 7.9% interest rate


Seems the consensus is 95-100k after tax in nyc.

I have a scholarship from a T6 (normally 80k x 3 = 240k) that brings it down to 180k. I put 150k assuming 30k from 2L SA.

Concerning the interest rate, that is why I am asking about how quickly it could get paid off.


You will be closer to at least $170k to $180k. Interest accumulates while you are in school and you aren't likely to SAVE 30k from your summer associate gig. If you are completely "spartan," you are looking at about 4-5 years.


Gotcha, thanks for making that clear.

Aside to other OLs: Just discovered a spreadsheet made by kappycaft1 that drives this point home:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub ... Q3c&gid=11

Green Marbles
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Re: First year at a big firm; brutal hours; like the job. AMA.

Postby Green Marbles » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:03 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
Green Marbles wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
Green Marbles wrote:Awesome thread, I really appreciate the hyper-busy associates coming here to school us.

I have a naive question. If you make 160k/yr (which let’s assume is 120/yr after taxes) and are living a Spartan lifestyle (simply because crazy hours), then it should only take a couple years to discharge a 150k debt?

If you are in NYC (reasonable outcome for medianbro at Cornell or whatever) $160k after tax is like $96k dood. Then enjoy NYC CoL.

Also considering that T14s are like $250k+ at sticker, $150k debt would be one BALLIN scholarship. Even with like a $60k scholarship to Cornell, you're gonna probably hit $200k in debt.

So reconsider your hypo

edit: also about $130k of that $200k will be GradPLUS at a hilarious 7.9% interest rate


Seems the consensus is 95-100k after tax in nyc.

I have a scholarship from a T6 (normally 80k x 3 = 240k) that brings it down to 180k. I put 150k assuming 30k from 2L SA.

Concerning the interest rate, that is why I am asking about how quickly it could get paid off.


You can't be that retarded. You're not getting the entire $30k from your SA (assuming you get one).


True, I shouldn't be as sloppy with the numbers




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