Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

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Better gig?

160k/2000 billables
62
65%
90k/1600 billable req.
34
35%
 
Total votes: 96

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lacrossebrother
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Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby lacrossebrother » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:02 pm

Will make a series of these I think. Assume standard 175k in debt leaving school. All else is equal.

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OklahomasOK
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby OklahomasOK » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:09 pm

Voted before I saw your debt comment. I voted 90K/1600 because it's close to what I'm doing now. I *only* have $67K in debt, however. My req is a soft 1800 (not strictly enforced). Hoping to get close to 1900. If you're single, go for the 160K/2000.

In at 8:30, out by 6:30-7pm everyday. Sometimes later if upcoming litigation. Some people are better workhorses than I am but I'd have an awful tough time balancing client development/ billing/ family/ etc with a minimum 2000 requirement.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:15 pm

OklahomasOK wrote:Voted before I saw your debt comment. I voted 90K/1600 because it's close to what I'm doing now. I *only* have $67K in debt, however. My req is a soft 1800 (not strictly enforced). Hoping to get close to 1900. If you're single, go for the 160K/2000.

In at 8:30, out by 6:30-7pm everyday. Sometimes later if upcoming litigation. Some people are better workhorses than I am but I'd have an awful tough time balancing client development/ billing/ family/ etc with a minimum 2000 requirement.

What am I missing here? You're very happy with your comfortable life and still expect to bill 1900, but wouldn't take 70k in exchange for an extra 100-200 hours?

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:20 pm

tbf, i wouldnt take another 70k for 200 more hours at 2000. 2000 vs 2200 is massive. its not a 70k difference either though because of taxes. and with paye and all that good stuff, every extra biglaw dollar earned has a 50% effectual tax rate at least.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:27 pm

like i just dont get the biglaw shit. its a power trip to me and nothing more. you can live comfortably on 100k a year. no money problems ever and do really whatever you want in life. have 4 kids if you want. go to europe every summer if you want. have a life with your family.
the partners here are rich and this is the difference in their lives - they have a second vacation home. they drink hundred or thousand dollar bottles of wine. they have expensive pointless hobbies.
with that also comes - divorced spouses, kids that are overwhlemingly gigantic failures given their draw in life (probably because they cant live up to the expectations of daddy), always wanting more.

maybe if were talking nyc, i would pick the 160k because its necessary, but in any other city fuck that. also, 100k at 1600 hour law firm in grand rapids has you living better than 200k in nyc, prolly even 250k in nyc.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:28 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:like i just dont get the biglaw shit. its a power trip to me and nothing more. you can live comfortably on 100k a year. no money problems ever and do really whatever you want in life. have 4 kids if you want. go to europe every summer if you want. have a life with your family.
the partners here are rich and this is the difference in their lives - they have a second vacation home. they drink hundred or thousand dollar bottles of wine. they have expensive pointless hobbies.
with that also comes - divorced spouses, kids that are overwhlemingly gigantic failures given their draw in life (probably because they cant live up to the expectations of daddy), always wanting more.

maybe if were talking nyc, i would pick the 160k because its necessary, but in any other city fuck that. also, 100k at 1600 hour law firm in grand rapids has you living better than 200k in nyc, prolly even 250k in nyc.

You do realize this poll is hypothetical right? And that for most of us it's a lot harder to find a cushy 90k job rather than a 160k one, right?

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:30 pm

i mean i understand finding the 90k job doesnt exist. which is why here i am in biglaw. but a man can dream.
edit - im also just gonna be pissy about biglaw because my next 9 or 10 weeks is gonna suck. if i was on vacation enjoying that extra 70k my answer may be diff. but since the new year im averaging under 6 hours of sleep a night so yeah fuck this place.

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romothesavior
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:38 pm

I have an 1800 requirement and make a comparable salary to what you listed. I prefer this lifestyle quite a bit. In by 8:30 or 9, out by 6-6:30 (sometimes earlier if I have stuff going on), and the people I work with are very low key compared to most people in big law. I'm always busy enough but not slammed, and perhaps most importantly, I get to do really interesting work with substantial responsibility (write entire MSJs, taking my first deposition soon, client contact, etc.)

But with that debt, I would go big law for two or three years and then try to lateral to a firm with a lower billable requirement and more responsibility. I would get the resume line and try to aggressively pay that debt down.

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wiz
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby wiz » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:57 pm

I think 160k/2000 for me right now because I'm young and single. If I had a family and cared more about having a life, I might feel differently.

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kalvano
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby kalvano » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:26 pm

Once you have kids, an extra 100 hours is totally not worth it. I would a thousand times rather be home with him for less money than trying to bill an extra few hours.

Julius
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby Julius » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:29 pm

90k, especially if this is a mid-to-low cost of living area.

That extra 500 hours or so in the office stings. The 70k is heavily taxed and the relative utility of money at that range is pretty low. Loan payments would be rough the first couple years but salary would be in the 100s pretty quick.

People in offices with 1600 hr billables also tend to be more pleasant. Which also means you might stick around longer and settle into a career at your first firm. If you're single, you can date people who are willing to tolerate your schedule. If you're not, you can see your family.

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LeDique
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby LeDique » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:32 pm

wiz wrote:I think 160k/2000 for me right now because I'm young and single. If I had a family and cared more about having a life, I might feel differently.

This is completely backwards. I'd want 90/1600 precisely because I'm young and single and can actually enjoy my life. Once I have a family, I'll be happy to never have to see them because I'm chained to my desk.

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wiz
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby wiz » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:41 pm

LeDique wrote:
wiz wrote:I think 160k/2000 for me right now because I'm young and single. If I had a family and cared more about having a life, I might feel differently.

This is completely backwards. I'd want 90/1600 precisely because I'm young and single and can actually enjoy my life. Once I have a family, I'll be happy to never have to see them because I'm chained to my desk.

I think the bigger problem for me would be timing. I have a pretty crazy sleep schedule and have friends who are also working hard as they start their careers/also keep late hours, so staying out late wouldn't be much of a problem, even if there's a smaller window for enjoying life. Assuming I like my kids (big assumption, I know), I'd want to be home by 7 or 8 so I could throw a baseball around with them or read to them before bed.

At least, that's the idealized version of myself. I'll probs end up being a horrible dad.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby XxSpyKEx » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:08 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:like i just dont get the biglaw shit. its a power trip to me and nothing more. you can live comfortably on 100k a year. no money problems ever and do really whatever you want in life. have 4 kids if you want. go to europe every summer if you want. have a life with your family.
the partners here are rich and this is the difference in their lives - they have a second vacation home. they drink hundred or thousand dollar bottles of wine. they have expensive pointless hobbies.
with that also comes - divorced spouses, kids that are overwhlemingly gigantic failures given their draw in life (probably because they cant live up to the expectations of daddy), always wanting more.

maybe if were talking nyc, i would pick the 160k because its necessary, but in any other city fuck that. also, 100k at 1600 hour law firm in grand rapids has you living better than 200k in nyc, prolly even 250k in nyc.


Amen

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2014
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby 2014 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:21 pm

To what extent do you assume you can just chill when you hit 1600 hours or otherwise control your schedule to only hit 1600 hours?

Like in NY if you have billable requirement is 2000 and hit that in October no one cares and if you try and tell someone in February "Oh I'm going to leave at 8 every day but don't worry I'll hit 2000" that would end poorly.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:29 pm

Is this 1600 billable, billed, or collected?

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romothesavior
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:31 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Is this 1600 billable, billed, or collected?

Great question. Huge difference.

kaiser
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby kaiser » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:34 pm

2014 wrote:To what extent do you assume you can just chill when you hit 1600 hours or otherwise control your schedule to only hit 1600 hours?

Like in NY if you have billable requirement is 2000 and hit that in October no one cares and if you try and tell someone in February "Oh I'm going to leave at 8 every day but don't worry I'll hit 2000" that would end poorly.


This is one of the things I hate the most. If I bill 250 hours January like I just did, I am well in my right to take a few days off in February to catch my breath a bit. Since I end up working so many nights and weekends, hitting 200 hours in a month is easy for me, and 167 is a joke given how much I have to do. Yet if I just want to chill one Friday and take the day off, it can never be with the disclaimer of "chill, I'm gonna hit and exceed my monthly hours target".

kaiser
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby kaiser » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:37 pm

As for the poll, the debt makes it a tougher choice. Also doesn't consider the location of the job. For example, if in NYC, one may need the higher pay just to offset the insane COL. But if its somewhere with reasonable COL, and if the debt load wasn't so high, I would choose 90K/1600 hrs in an instant. Compared to what I work now, it would seem like damn near a part time job. And the ability to see my wife and family on a regular basis would be invaluable (i.e. it would far offset any decrease in salary. plus we would still live entirely comfortably).

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jbagelboy
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:46 pm

Is the 90k gig also lockstep increasing, and does it come with a $15k bonus?

Major market law firm all in comp starts at $175,000 and goes up significantly each year. The "160 v 90" feels like a straw man for several reasons, the dearth in private sector jobs actually paying 90k to a fresh grad among them. But even so the "160" goes well over 200k in a couple years, whereas the 90 might be more stagnant.

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Cobretti
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby Cobretti » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:52 pm

i like how the anonymous poll results tell one story, then the somewhat less anonymous grandstanding in the comments tells another. most people here already have picked 160 in the real world, or would given an actual decision to make.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:02 pm

Cobretti wrote:i like how the anonymous poll results tell one story, then the somewhat less anonymous grandstanding in the comments tells another. most people here already have picked 160 in the real world, or would given an actual decision to make.


Where would the average T14 student find a $90,000/year legal position (assuming private sector) with fewer hours than biglaw and increasing pay? It seems like this is a far more difficult outcome to secure than doing OCI. Look at the scrimmage for DOJ/OLC honors positions. It's not a real choice we've had.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:06 pm

Cobretti wrote:i like how the anonymous poll results tell one story, then the somewhat less anonymous grandstanding in the comments tells another. most people here already have picked 160 in the real world, or would given an actual decision to make.


id leave any day if i had 90k 1600 billable, as would most all biglaw lawyers and as do most biglaw lawyer do in practice. problem is there aren't many of them presenting themself for new grads.

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Cobretti
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby Cobretti » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:18 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Cobretti wrote:i like how the anonymous poll results tell one story, then the somewhat less anonymous grandstanding in the comments tells another. most people here already have picked 160 in the real world, or would given an actual decision to make.


Where would the average T14 student find a $90,000/year legal position (assuming private sector) with fewer hours than biglaw and increasing pay? It seems like this is a far more difficult outcome to secure than doing OCI. Look at the scrimmage for DOJ/OLC honors positions. It's not a real choice we've had.

That's fair, but I think the decision was already made before most of us went to law school when we could have pursued other fields where this was a likely outcome. I suppose for K-JDs that might have made less informed decisions about attending law school this isn't as accurate, but I think most people still made a very similar decision.

ETA: if this poll is supposed to only be from the perspective of already practicing associates just ignore me, but the debt at graduation sounded like it was intended for students.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Pay vs. Billing tradeoff poll --160k/2000hrs vs. 90k/1600hrs

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:31 pm

noted - cobrettis opinion is only speaking to which salary he would prefer with the debt load.

As a law student, he doesn't know what the actual work behind 1600 and 2000 billables entails, so he left that part of his analysis.




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