Anonymous User wrote:This is probably weird, but I think the answer for me is actually the job I already have. Small firm specializing in a niche area of law I love with great coworkers and with a 1600 billable hour requirement and a bonus model that means that as long as I meet that requirement, I make more than major market biglaw total comp for my class year.
Similar job here. For me, it's a good deal of civil lit, municipal work, and a little criminal defense to complement a growing transactional practice. I didn't quite hit 1600 hours my first year as partner but pulled in NYC biglaw senior associate (including bonus) money in a low CoL area.
It was a leap of faith to take the job at associate pay out of law school (which is definitely NOT NYC pay), but that risk has paid off. Can't really imagine a better gig. Occasionally think about putting in a package for the bench, but that involves sitting through a much higher number of tedious trials than I currently do. Sometimes it sounds nice to be an Art. III judge, but if you've ever been in full chambers with a federal judge and various biglawyers arguing over yet another stupid pretrial motion like their ninth motion in limine or motion for Daubert hearing or whatever, it's borderline intolerable and I'd rather try to burn off my eyelashes with sparklers. And don't get me started on regulatory cases brought by the USAO where you sit through two weeks of testimony admitting financial documents...
Professorship means you put up with academic administrators and other professors, not to mention the share of students who are entitled and obnoxious.
All things considered, I think a balanced law practice where the lawyer is in charge of his caseload and overall rhythm of practice is probably the best job.