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

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.

Better gig?

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

User avatar
lacrossebrother
Top 17 consensus poster
Posts: 6850
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:15 pm

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

Postby lacrossebrother » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:33 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
LeDique wrote:Can someone tell me what salary best maximizes dat PAYE then? When does my extra salary ≠ more $$ for me?


I mean it always equals extra money. But the discount factor is kinda dependent on loan balance etc. Pretty safe to always do a 10% adjustment based on the PAYE mechanics. Biglaw people are also probably more likely to refinance and actually pay the whole debt balance off. Then it becomes a really tricky computation because you're looking at the person making the 90k salary maybe not paying off their loan in its entirety and getting in effect an increased salary through a windfall.

I clearly don't have the time to run the numbers, but just in my head with taxes and PAYE I think averaging out a lot of circumstances you should probably discount each biglaw dollar by about 55%. This also doesn't even include the increased time one has and will budget etc. I waste so much money on takeout food and having my groceries delivered, which I would prefer not to do, but just don't have time to do.

Does this food expenditure not get offset by seamless and frequent firm events? Or do you pay for lunch/dinner pretty regularly?

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

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

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:40 pm

Good point. Lots of free lunch as well at big firms (if you tried to game free lunches you could basically get free lunch 10 days every month pretty easily, but a lot of these dumb events I don't go to because I'd rather get out of the office for a little bit). I forgot small law firms don't have these. I usually don't get the dinner food expense because I would rather buy my $20 dinner myself and work from home to bill the last 2 hours than work in the office until 9 to get a cab ride/dinner.

But, yes, in theory this could be a big benefit.

User avatar
XxSpyKEx
Posts: 1741
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:48 am

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

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:18 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 here. I struck out at OCI and managed to land the 90k/1600 job described here. For the longest time I've been so stressed out about it, hoping some big law opportunity will open up. Is this 90k/1600 firm really a rarity? i've been bummed since OCI because everyone else landed big law and i didn't. should i not be bummed then?


If this is non-NYC and not insurance defense, you have a much better situation then them. They will be looking for exit options after 1 year and their 2k requirement is really more like 2400 of doc review/make sure appropriate comma placement and spacing. You will gain actual lawyer skills and be in a place with sustainable growth. Wouldn't surprise me if people that start in these gigs end up having higher career earnings than the average lawyer starting in NYC biglaw because your partnership odds are 5-10x greater right off the bat.
But this depends on the firm. But in terms of generally and playing the norm, I think you are in the better situation.
If it's insurance defense, they will try to sweatshop you, so you have to set boundaries and basically refuse to let your pace get much over the 1600 amount because if you give an inch they'll take it.


Not to mention 1600 hours in insurance defense is really more like 2000 hours billed, since insurance companies are a bunch of chislers who will scrutinize every hour and fight aggressively to have their legal bills cut.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

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

Postby kalvano » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:31 pm

This thread makes me love my job.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15467
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

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

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:53 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:All else is equal.

People ITT have really struggled with this part of the OP.

User avatar
Desert Fox
Progressively loosing literacy
Posts: 14397
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:34 pm

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

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:03 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
lacrossebrother wrote:All else is equal.

People ITT have really struggled with this part of the OP.


fish going to swim
lawyers going to fight the hypo

Anonymous User
Posts: 273145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:07 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 here. I struck out at OCI and managed to land the 90k/1600 job described here. For the longest time I've been so stressed out about it, hoping some big law opportunity will open up. Is this 90k/1600 firm really a rarity? i've been bummed since OCI because everyone else landed big law and i didn't. should i not be bummed then?


unless your T14 is yale, "everyone else" did not land a big law job. but as far as your comparative employment is concerned, tell yourself what you'd like, you'll probably be happier than some of your peers -- although if you're still in law school, how do you know it will be 1600 hours? Lots of lower paying jobs are still very demanding.


it's 1600 minimum, bonuses based on how much you go over. so, i would get more if i worked >1600.

to people asking if it's NYC or insurance related, answer is no to both.

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

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

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 here. I struck out at OCI and managed to land the 90k/1600 job described here. For the longest time I've been so stressed out about it, hoping some big law opportunity will open up. Is this 90k/1600 firm really a rarity? i've been bummed since OCI because everyone else landed big law and i didn't. should i not be bummed then?


unless your T14 is yale, "everyone else" did not land a big law job. but as far as your comparative employment is concerned, tell yourself what you'd like, you'll probably be happier than some of your peers -- although if you're still in law school, how do you know it will be 1600 hours? Lots of lower paying jobs are still very demanding.


it's 1600 minimum, bonuses based on how much you go over. so, i would get more if i worked >1600.

to people asking if it's NYC or insurance related, answer is no to both.


Yeah man congrats. Id put that outcome tied for #1 with fed govt work.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9635
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

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

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 here. I struck out at OCI and managed to land the 90k/1600 job described here. For the longest time I've been so stressed out about it, hoping some big law opportunity will open up. Is this 90k/1600 firm really a rarity? i've been bummed since OCI because everyone else landed big law and i didn't. should i not be bummed then?


unless your T14 is yale, "everyone else" did not land a big law job. but as far as your comparative employment is concerned, tell yourself what you'd like, you'll probably be happier than some of your peers -- although if you're still in law school, how do you know it will be 1600 hours? Lots of lower paying jobs are still very demanding.


it's 1600 minimum, bonuses based on how much you go over. so, i would get more if i worked >1600.

to people asking if it's NYC or insurance related, answer is no to both.


Yea that's pretty damn good!

AReasonableMan
Posts: 1504
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:32 pm

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

Postby AReasonableMan » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:37 pm

the more money not even close. 1600 isn't part time so might as well go all in.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273145
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:53 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 here. I struck out at OCI and managed to land the 90k/1600 job described here. For the longest time I've been so stressed out about it, hoping some big law opportunity will open up. Is this 90k/1600 firm really a rarity? i've been bummed since OCI because everyone else landed big law and i didn't. should i not be bummed then?


unless your T14 is yale, "everyone else" did not land a big law job. but as far as your comparative employment is concerned, tell yourself what you'd like, you'll probably be happier than some of your peers -- although if you're still in law school, how do you know it will be 1600 hours? Lots of lower paying jobs are still very demanding.


it's 1600 minimum, bonuses based on how much you go over. so, i would get more if i worked >1600.

to people asking if it's NYC or insurance related, answer is no to both.


Yea that's pretty damn good!


what i'm concerned about is paying off this crippling debt...

User avatar
mmelittlechicken
Posts: 4680
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:34 am

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

Postby mmelittlechicken » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:55 pm

Money.

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

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

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
what i'm concerned about is paying off this crippling debt...


PAYE

User avatar
UnicornHunter
Posts: 13494
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 9:16 pm

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

Postby UnicornHunter » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:27 pm

Time


User avatar
XxSpyKEx
Posts: 1741
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:48 am

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

Postby XxSpyKEx » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:27 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:T14 here. I struck out at OCI and managed to land the 90k/1600 job described here. For the longest time I've been so stressed out about it, hoping some big law opportunity will open up. Is this 90k/1600 firm really a rarity? i've been bummed since OCI because everyone else landed big law and i didn't. should i not be bummed then?


unless your T14 is yale, "everyone else" did not land a big law job. but as far as your comparative employment is concerned, tell yourself what you'd like, you'll probably be happier than some of your peers -- although if you're still in law school, how do you know it will be 1600 hours? Lots of lower paying jobs are still very demanding.


it's 1600 minimum, bonuses based on how much you go over. so, i would get more if i worked >1600.

to people asking if it's NYC or insurance related, answer is no to both.


Yeah man congrats. Id put that outcome tied for #1 with fed govt work.


But fed govt work gets PSLF, law firm doesn't. Imagine having $175k + 10 years of interest at 7.9% forgiven tax-free would be a lot more beneficial than the 1600 minimum billable hour firm. Also, he's probably wind up working less hours in federal government (unlikely he'll get away with working 9-5:30pm most days at the firm, whereas at fed govt, 9-5:30 most days is realistic).

JohannDeMann wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
what i'm concerned about is paying off this crippling debt...


PAYE


20 years of that shit + tax bomb.

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

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

Postby JohannDeMann » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:43 pm

my reason for ranking that type of law firm life tied for govt is you can still make better money as partner and live in more family friendly cities instead of just major metro areas. id have aspirations of being a partner if i was at a regional big firm with 1600 requirements.

User avatar
XxSpyKEx
Posts: 1741
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:48 am

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

Postby XxSpyKEx » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:36 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:my reason for ranking that type of law firm life tied for govt is you can still make better money as partner and live in more family friendly cities instead of just major metro areas.


Ah, that makes sense re: partnership. Although, for what it's worth, a lot of the federal agencies aren't actually located in DC (i.e. a lot of them are in the suburbs, if that's what you mean by more family friendly cities). Also, the top of some federal agency payscales are probably close to what a partner at a smaller or midsize firm makes (e.g. FDIC, Federal Reserve Board, SEC, etc.). (I'm assuming the 90k option here is a midsize or smaller firm, since I doubt you could get away with only billing 1600 hours at a national biglaw office in a secondary market---at least I've never heard of it). But at this point, it's really just a matter of personal preference (i.e. whether you'd rather be at a firm long-term or working for the federal government long-term).




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.