Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:05 am

As a NYC associate looking to lateral to SF...I'm forever screwed.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby elendinel » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:25 am

sublime wrote:
Nebby wrote:Harlem is the hidden gem of NY. The 2/3 @ 110, 116, and 125 are all 45ish minutes to anywhere south of 59th St


That comes with a lot of bullshit though.

Primarily, I wouldn't be able to deal with the noise as a full time associate.

May work if you found the right place, as I was in the upper 130s and was 30 minutes door to door to the office in Midtown West.


I think the noise depends a lot on what block you're on.

Harlem's not as cheap as people think, either. Obviously a lot cheaper than Midtown/FiDi, but it's been gentrified a lot in the past few years, as people are getting pushed out of the more popular neighborhoods.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Mon Sep 26, 2016 12:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:The whole "everyone else makes more money for less work" canard is such garbage. Most professionals do not make $200k their first year. Doctors spend years working hours that make biglaw look like a vacation, for pennies, and have worse debt than lawyers. Not to mention: you probably weren't gonna get into med school! Nor were you going to be an investment banker. 90% of biglaw associates are liberal arts grads with no skills from unexceptional colleges. The idea they were ever going to make this much money doing anything else is laughable.

NYC is expensive, but anyone who spent time in NYC working an actual entry level job for an actual entry level salary should appreciate biglaw money.


Explain how (the better than average trajectory of) $180, $200k, $220k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k.... in a shrinking procession where 4/10 people fail is better than $70k, $70K, $70K $70K, $70K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K... in a profession where there are insane levels of job security. Money is a bad argument here, and what you make for a nanosecond for a few years right after school means nothing over a 50 year career. I limited my "likely could have been a doctor" to HYS law students (though your thinking about college students works too). Book smart people who can superstudy their way into 4.0s and 99th percentile LSATs (regardless of undergrad) could have superstudied their way through a few weeder classes and the (much more learnable) MCAT. I stand by that most HYS grads could have been US MDs (though maybe not from top schools and residencies). I think a good percentage of the entire T14 grads could have. Getting down that path is more about planning and grinding than any innate intelligence, and this subset of people, especially the ones that go biglaw, are good at planning and grinding. Not turning this into a law/medicine debate (there should be no debate), but in my first year or so, before I met my wife, I dated a resident when I was a biglaw junior. She worked a lot, but far less than I did. She had 2-3 weekends off per month. I averaged maybe 1 or 2. When she was off, she was off. I was always an email away from needing to go back in. She worked 60 hour weeks (residency hours are capped at 80 hours a week, though some programs ignore that). I would go months without getting under that number. She had 3 weeks off per year. I took 2 weeks off, one of which I worked the entire time in Europe. My [immediate family member] is in his third year of residency now. His life is a gumdrop compared to mine in BIGLAW, and BIGLAW has become much worse since I was a third year. The docs realistically working BIGLAW hours are the surgeons and a few niche subspecialties, and those people actually love their jobs. Truly love going in. It's tough to explain to BIGLAWYERS, where nearly everyone hates it.

Same holds true for banking and consulting. I was a banker for a bulge bracket analyst program. I went all 3 years and (dumb!) decided on law school over business school. The analysts and associates work about as hard as intense biglaw practices (much less actual work, but much more face time), though they go to sleep when they give the lawyers the documents to "turn overnight". VPs and up work less than BIGLAW, but have more travel. They make far more money with much less debt. This isn't as much a numbers game as med school, and this obviously depends more on what undergrad and major you're coming out of, but again people who can get a 4.0 and 99.9% LSAT could have superstudied their way in. Maybe not to GS, JPM or MS, but to something that would pay more than BIGLAW with fewer hours. I did it, and wasn't all that smart.

In the 3-4 months the top (HYS) tier of law people spend doing the LSAT, they could have become very good at the basic accounting and modeling that gets asked about in banking interviews. They could have become very good at case studies for management interviews. They could have superstudied their way into the low 30s of the MCAT (worst case they'd need to do 18 more months of undergrad courses).

Those are only the "preset" career paths. 99% of jobs don't fall into that, and people who are that hard working can often succeed in many things. Again, not to belabor the point, but the proof is easily visible in real life. There's a reason why applications from the Ivy League undergrads are down 50-65% in actual numbers over the last decade. Matriculants are down even more. Law, especially BIGLAW, is a terrible path that most people with any drive can do better than now. People are wising up. Maybe this cuts in favor of your "HYS people couldn't have done anything" argument, as fewer top people choose law, but in my day a decade ago you had a lot of people in my HLS class that could have done almost anything.

People don't feel rich when they've made the worst possible decision on how to use their time and talent.

HIT WRONG BUTTON THIS IS BERNIE


This post is spot on. I know lots of hard working, middling intelligence types who are now doctors. It's not rocket science - just memorize your way to med school, people.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:00 pm

If I could have a true career do over, I wouldn't have gone to graduate school period, unless it were a fully funded hard STEM or economics PhD. It's just not worth it.

My time in biglaw has made me realize the value of youth, time and a stress free job. Youth and time cannot be replaced. Making lots of money is overrated if you can only enjoy it when you are a middle aged or old fart. If you are living life in constant stress, like many professionals are (including lawyers, doctors and i-bankers), then it's not worth it.

If I could be 18 again, I'd just major in CS and become a programmer straight out or perhaps accounting and become a CPA. My friends who did that have decent lives - many make six figures and had no student loan debt. They could enjoy their youth, especially after putting 2-3 years at a Big 4, which btw, has better exit options than biglaw on average.

Enjoy your youth people - you're never going to get it back, and life is pretty much over at 50 anyway....can you even imagine "enjoying" your money at 50? What a fucking joke.

Also, as full disclosure, I am considering a complete career boot at the age of around 30 after a few years in biglaw. Practicing law is just mindnumbingly boring and stressful at the same time - I can't imagine wasting the rest of my life on this bullshit. My spouse and I have already made the decision to forgo having children, so this is doable. I just wish I knew at 18 what I know at 30.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby EncyclopediaOrange » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:14 pm

whysoseriousbiglaw wrote:Enjoy your youth people - you're never going to get it back, and life is pretty much over at 50 anyway....can you even imagine "enjoying" your money at 50? What a fucking joke.


Lol, well at least you have 20 years left man. Make 'em count!

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby star fox » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:50 pm

Can you clarify why life is over at 50?

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:51 pm

It's not over, but slaving during you youth so you can boom a litter harder is stupid IMO.
Last edited by Desert Fox on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby deepseapartners » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:55 pm

whysoseriousbiglaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:The whole "everyone else makes more money for less work" canard is such garbage. Most professionals do not make $200k their first year. Doctors spend years working hours that make biglaw look like a vacation, for pennies, and have worse debt than lawyers. Not to mention: you probably weren't gonna get into med school! Nor were you going to be an investment banker. 90% of biglaw associates are liberal arts grads with no skills from unexceptional colleges. The idea they were ever going to make this much money doing anything else is laughable.

NYC is expensive, but anyone who spent time in NYC working an actual entry level job for an actual entry level salary should appreciate biglaw money.


Explain how (the better than average trajectory of) $180, $200k, $220k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k.... in a shrinking procession where 4/10 people fail is better than $70k, $70K, $70K $70K, $70K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K... in a profession where there are insane levels of job security. Money is a bad argument here, and what you make for a nanosecond for a few years right after school means nothing over a 50 year career. I limited my "likely could have been a doctor" to HYS law students (though your thinking about college students works too). Book smart people who can superstudy their way into 4.0s and 99th percentile LSATs (regardless of undergrad) could have superstudied their way through a few weeder classes and the (much more learnable) MCAT. I stand by that most HYS grads could have been US MDs (though maybe not from top schools and residencies). I think a good percentage of the entire T14 grads could have. Getting down that path is more about planning and grinding than any innate intelligence, and this subset of people, especially the ones that go biglaw, are good at planning and grinding. Not turning this into a law/medicine debate (there should be no debate), but in my first year or so, before I met my wife, I dated a resident when I was a biglaw junior. She worked a lot, but far less than I did. She had 2-3 weekends off per month. I averaged maybe 1 or 2. When she was off, she was off. I was always an email away from needing to go back in. She worked 60 hour weeks (residency hours are capped at 80 hours a week, though some programs ignore that). I would go months without getting under that number. She had 3 weeks off per year. I took 2 weeks off, one of which I worked the entire time in Europe. My [immediate family member] is in his third year of residency now. His life is a gumdrop compared to mine in BIGLAW, and BIGLAW has become much worse since I was a third year. The docs realistically working BIGLAW hours are the surgeons and a few niche subspecialties, and those people actually love their jobs. Truly love going in. It's tough to explain to BIGLAWYERS, where nearly everyone hates it.

Same holds true for banking and consulting. I was a banker for a bulge bracket analyst program. I went all 3 years and (dumb!) decided on law school over business school. The analysts and associates work about as hard as intense biglaw practices (much less actual work, but much more face time), though they go to sleep when they give the lawyers the documents to "turn overnight". VPs and up work less than BIGLAW, but have more travel. They make far more money with much less debt. This isn't as much a numbers game as med school, and this obviously depends more on what undergrad and major you're coming out of, but again people who can get a 4.0 and 99.9% LSAT could have superstudied their way in. Maybe not to GS, JPM or MS, but to something that would pay more than BIGLAW with fewer hours. I did it, and wasn't all that smart.

In the 3-4 months the top (HYS) tier of law people spend doing the LSAT, they could have become very good at the basic accounting and modeling that gets asked about in banking interviews. They could have become very good at case studies for management interviews. They could have superstudied their way into the low 30s of the MCAT (worst case they'd need to do 18 more months of undergrad courses).

Those are only the "preset" career paths. 99% of jobs don't fall into that, and people who are that hard working can often succeed in many things. Again, not to belabor the point, but the proof is easily visible in real life. There's a reason why applications from the Ivy League undergrads are down 50-65% in actual numbers over the last decade. Matriculants are down even more. Law, especially BIGLAW, is a terrible path that most people with any drive can do better than now. People are wising up. Maybe this cuts in favor of your "HYS people couldn't have done anything" argument, as fewer top people choose law, but in my day a decade ago you had a lot of people in my HLS class that could have done almost anything.

People don't feel rich when they've made the worst possible decision on how to use their time and talent.

HIT WRONG BUTTON THIS IS BERNIE


This post is spot on. I know lots of hard working, middling intelligence types who are now doctors. It's not rocket science - just memorize your way to med school, people.

I think these responses show a very flawed understanding of premed programs at top undergrads (which mostly of the student body at T14s come from). These programs don't just have one or two weeder classes, every single class is a weeder class. Professors either don't speak English, or view their role as gatekeepers of the holy grail of American medical school, or both. Otherwise straight-A students will end up with a 2.9 GPA and at least one actual mental breakdown. Then, you have to get into med school, which isn't just a gameable exam (like the LSAT), it's an incredibly comprehensive and rigorous exam, followed by an application process that makes TTT OCI look like a cakewalk. Also, unless you score in the 99th percentile of the MCAT, you have to take time off between undergrad and med school and demonstrate a desire to enter health care, which generally means taking a low-paying, shitty lab tech job, followed by public health volunteering nights and weekends. People choose law school because they came from relatively less rigorous undergrad majors and got good grades. BernieTrumps' aside, who had a different career path in ibanking/consulting after attending an Ivy undergrad, most people who went to top law schools didn't really have a different option to enter a high income-earning field at graduation.

I'm not defending going to law school as the right choice, but the answer that "I should have just been a doctor" is the ultimate hybrid of grass-is-greener syndrome with an overestimation of your personal intelligence.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Man from Nantucket » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:11 pm

deepseapartners wrote:
whysoseriousbiglaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:The whole "everyone else makes more money for less work" canard is such garbage. Most professionals do not make $200k their first year. Doctors spend years working hours that make biglaw look like a vacation, for pennies, and have worse debt than lawyers. Not to mention: you probably weren't gonna get into med school! Nor were you going to be an investment banker. 90% of biglaw associates are liberal arts grads with no skills from unexceptional colleges. The idea they were ever going to make this much money doing anything else is laughable.

NYC is expensive, but anyone who spent time in NYC working an actual entry level job for an actual entry level salary should appreciate biglaw money.


Explain how (the better than average trajectory of) $180, $200k, $220k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k.... in a shrinking procession where 4/10 people fail is better than $70k, $70K, $70K $70K, $70K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K... in a profession where there are insane levels of job security. Money is a bad argument here, and what you make for a nanosecond for a few years right after school means nothing over a 50 year career. I limited my "likely could have been a doctor" to HYS law students (though your thinking about college students works too). Book smart people who can superstudy their way into 4.0s and 99th percentile LSATs (regardless of undergrad) could have superstudied their way through a few weeder classes and the (much more learnable) MCAT. I stand by that most HYS grads could have been US MDs (though maybe not from top schools and residencies). I think a good percentage of the entire T14 grads could have. Getting down that path is more about planning and grinding than any innate intelligence, and this subset of people, especially the ones that go biglaw, are good at planning and grinding. Not turning this into a law/medicine debate (there should be no debate), but in my first year or so, before I met my wife, I dated a resident when I was a biglaw junior. She worked a lot, but far less than I did. She had 2-3 weekends off per month. I averaged maybe 1 or 2. When she was off, she was off. I was always an email away from needing to go back in. She worked 60 hour weeks (residency hours are capped at 80 hours a week, though some programs ignore that). I would go months without getting under that number. She had 3 weeks off per year. I took 2 weeks off, one of which I worked the entire time in Europe. My [immediate family member] is in his third year of residency now. His life is a gumdrop compared to mine in BIGLAW, and BIGLAW has become much worse since I was a third year. The docs realistically working BIGLAW hours are the surgeons and a few niche subspecialties, and those people actually love their jobs. Truly love going in. It's tough to explain to BIGLAWYERS, where nearly everyone hates it.

Same holds true for banking and consulting. I was a banker for a bulge bracket analyst program. I went all 3 years and (dumb!) decided on law school over business school. The analysts and associates work about as hard as intense biglaw practices (much less actual work, but much more face time), though they go to sleep when they give the lawyers the documents to "turn overnight". VPs and up work less than BIGLAW, but have more travel. They make far more money with much less debt. This isn't as much a numbers game as med school, and this obviously depends more on what undergrad and major you're coming out of, but again people who can get a 4.0 and 99.9% LSAT could have superstudied their way in. Maybe not to GS, JPM or MS, but to something that would pay more than BIGLAW with fewer hours. I did it, and wasn't all that smart.

In the 3-4 months the top (HYS) tier of law people spend doing the LSAT, they could have become very good at the basic accounting and modeling that gets asked about in banking interviews. They could have become very good at case studies for management interviews. They could have superstudied their way into the low 30s of the MCAT (worst case they'd need to do 18 more months of undergrad courses).

Those are only the "preset" career paths. 99% of jobs don't fall into that, and people who are that hard working can often succeed in many things. Again, not to belabor the point, but the proof is easily visible in real life. There's a reason why applications from the Ivy League undergrads are down 50-65% in actual numbers over the last decade. Matriculants are down even more. Law, especially BIGLAW, is a terrible path that most people with any drive can do better than now. People are wising up. Maybe this cuts in favor of your "HYS people couldn't have done anything" argument, as fewer top people choose law, but in my day a decade ago you had a lot of people in my HLS class that could have done almost anything.

People don't feel rich when they've made the worst possible decision on how to use their time and talent.

HIT WRONG BUTTON THIS IS BERNIE


This post is spot on. I know lots of hard working, middling intelligence types who are now doctors. It's not rocket science - just memorize your way to med school, people.

I think these responses show a very flawed understanding of premed programs at top undergrads (which mostly of the student body at T14s come from). These programs don't just have one or two weeder classes, every single class is a weeder class. Professors either don't speak English, or view their role as gatekeepers of the holy grail of American medical school, or both. Otherwise straight-A students will end up with a 2.9 GPA and at least one actual mental breakdown. Then, you have to get into med school, which isn't just a gameable exam (like the LSAT), it's an incredibly comprehensive and rigorous exam, followed by an application process that makes TTT OCI look like a cakewalk. Also, unless you score in the 99th percentile of the MCAT, you have to take time off between undergrad and med school and demonstrate a desire to enter health care, which generally means taking a low-paying, shitty lab tech job, followed by public health volunteering nights and weekends. People choose law school because they came from relatively less rigorous undergrad majors and got good grades. BernieTrumps' aside, who had a different career path in ibanking/consulting after attending an Ivy undergrad, most people who went to top law schools didn't really have a different option to enter a high income-earning field at graduation.

I'm not defending going to law school as the right choice, but the answer that "I should have just been a doctor" is the ultimate hybrid of grass-is-greener syndrome with an overestimation of your personal intelligence.


Lol this is hilariously wrong wrt to premed and med school admissions.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:21 pm

Outside of Ochem and biochem, what exactly are these "weed" classes? LOL @ the idea that survey bio, chem, or physics classifies as a GATEKEEPER class.

I have taken every premed req and am now in law school - it's easier to pound your way through the tough prereqs than it is to finish at the top of a law school class, end stop.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:45 pm

All I know is I'm a shithead with a useless degree who never had a chance in hell at going to med school and now I make $200k a year because I was good at taking a standardized test. Biglaw is full of people like me.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:48 pm

Engineering > law or medicine

The hours/school debt in law and medicine are both awful. Simple as that.
Engineering is the sweet spot, especially with a masters. You get funded via a co-op or research gig during school so no debt. Starting salaries in the 80-100 range. Great work hours and insane demand, constant calls from headhunters waiting to poach you right off the bat. If you can math, then become an engineer.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:50 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:All I know is I'm a shithead with a useless degree who never had a chance in hell at going to med school and now I make $200k a year because I was good at taking a standardized test. Biglaw is full of people like me.


:) same

I graduated undergrad with a 3.2 and a bachelors in political science lol. Now I'm 26 and I make 120k, working 50 hours a week max. I dont understand alot of the complaints.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:52 pm

Is everyone aware that getting into ANY medschool is 100x harder than getting into a decent law school? After dealing with organic chem and the rest, you can crush the MCAT and still not get in. And be forced to work some shitty research job or do a masters for a year just so you can try again. The two aren't even close. Getting into law school is a joke. You can have a shitty GPA from a shitty school and you're fine with a decent LSAT.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:54 pm

If you think the path into medicine isn't so bad, you've never personally known someone that was in a residency program.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is everyone aware that getting into ANY medschool is 100x harder than getting into a decent law school? After dealing with organic chem and the rest, you can crush the MCAT and still not get in. And be forced to work some shitty research job or do a masters for a year just so you can try again. The two aren't even close. Getting into law school is a joke. You can have a shitty GPA from a shitty school and you're fine with a decent LSAT.


alright I've had enough of the snowball fight, and will not lose sleep in that I'm totally right here. FYI if you're willing to get a D.O. (a lot of smart people are) your analysis is even more wrong here.

W/ a 30 and no C's on your resume (79th percentile) meaning something like a 3.5-3.6, you've got a reasonable not great shot at getting into an MD program and will certainly land at a DO somewhere. Maybe med schools have gotten dramatically more selective in the last 4 years but that's the baseline as I understood it.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby lawlorbust » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:All I know is I'm a shithead with a useless degree who never had a chance in hell at going to med school and now I make $200k a year because I was good at taking a standardized test. Biglaw is full of people like me.


:) same

I graduated undergrad with a 3.2 and a bachelors in political science lol. Now I'm 26 and I make 120k, working 50 hours a week max. I dont understand alot of the complaints.


TBF, you don't work in biglaw. HTH.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby deepseapartners » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:17 pm

Man from Nantucket wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:
whysoseriousbiglaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:The whole "everyone else makes more money for less work" canard is such garbage. Most professionals do not make $200k their first year. Doctors spend years working hours that make biglaw look like a vacation, for pennies, and have worse debt than lawyers. Not to mention: you probably weren't gonna get into med school! Nor were you going to be an investment banker. 90% of biglaw associates are liberal arts grads with no skills from unexceptional colleges. The idea they were ever going to make this much money doing anything else is laughable.

NYC is expensive, but anyone who spent time in NYC working an actual entry level job for an actual entry level salary should appreciate biglaw money.


Explain how (the better than average trajectory of) $180, $200k, $220k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k, $110k.... in a shrinking procession where 4/10 people fail is better than $70k, $70K, $70K $70K, $70K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K, $325K... in a profession where there are insane levels of job security. Money is a bad argument here, and what you make for a nanosecond for a few years right after school means nothing over a 50 year career. I limited my "likely could have been a doctor" to HYS law students (though your thinking about college students works too). Book smart people who can superstudy their way into 4.0s and 99th percentile LSATs (regardless of undergrad) could have superstudied their way through a few weeder classes and the (much more learnable) MCAT. I stand by that most HYS grads could have been US MDs (though maybe not from top schools and residencies). I think a good percentage of the entire T14 grads could have. Getting down that path is more about planning and grinding than any innate intelligence, and this subset of people, especially the ones that go biglaw, are good at planning and grinding. Not turning this into a law/medicine debate (there should be no debate), but in my first year or so, before I met my wife, I dated a resident when I was a biglaw junior. She worked a lot, but far less than I did. She had 2-3 weekends off per month. I averaged maybe 1 or 2. When she was off, she was off. I was always an email away from needing to go back in. She worked 60 hour weeks (residency hours are capped at 80 hours a week, though some programs ignore that). I would go months without getting under that number. She had 3 weeks off per year. I took 2 weeks off, one of which I worked the entire time in Europe. My [immediate family member] is in his third year of residency now. His life is a gumdrop compared to mine in BIGLAW, and BIGLAW has become much worse since I was a third year. The docs realistically working BIGLAW hours are the surgeons and a few niche subspecialties, and those people actually love their jobs. Truly love going in. It's tough to explain to BIGLAWYERS, where nearly everyone hates it.

Same holds true for banking and consulting. I was a banker for a bulge bracket analyst program. I went all 3 years and (dumb!) decided on law school over business school. The analysts and associates work about as hard as intense biglaw practices (much less actual work, but much more face time), though they go to sleep when they give the lawyers the documents to "turn overnight". VPs and up work less than BIGLAW, but have more travel. They make far more money with much less debt. This isn't as much a numbers game as med school, and this obviously depends more on what undergrad and major you're coming out of, but again people who can get a 4.0 and 99.9% LSAT could have superstudied their way in. Maybe not to GS, JPM or MS, but to something that would pay more than BIGLAW with fewer hours. I did it, and wasn't all that smart.

In the 3-4 months the top (HYS) tier of law people spend doing the LSAT, they could have become very good at the basic accounting and modeling that gets asked about in banking interviews. They could have become very good at case studies for management interviews. They could have superstudied their way into the low 30s of the MCAT (worst case they'd need to do 18 more months of undergrad courses).

Those are only the "preset" career paths. 99% of jobs don't fall into that, and people who are that hard working can often succeed in many things. Again, not to belabor the point, but the proof is easily visible in real life. There's a reason why applications from the Ivy League undergrads are down 50-65% in actual numbers over the last decade. Matriculants are down even more. Law, especially BIGLAW, is a terrible path that most people with any drive can do better than now. People are wising up. Maybe this cuts in favor of your "HYS people couldn't have done anything" argument, as fewer top people choose law, but in my day a decade ago you had a lot of people in my HLS class that could have done almost anything.

People don't feel rich when they've made the worst possible decision on how to use their time and talent.

HIT WRONG BUTTON THIS IS BERNIE


This post is spot on. I know lots of hard working, middling intelligence types who are now doctors. It's not rocket science - just memorize your way to med school, people.

I think these responses show a very flawed understanding of premed programs at top undergrads (which mostly of the student body at T14s come from). These programs don't just have one or two weeder classes, every single class is a weeder class. Professors either don't speak English, or view their role as gatekeepers of the holy grail of American medical school, or both. Otherwise straight-A students will end up with a 2.9 GPA and at least one actual mental breakdown. Then, you have to get into med school, which isn't just a gameable exam (like the LSAT), it's an incredibly comprehensive and rigorous exam, followed by an application process that makes TTT OCI look like a cakewalk. Also, unless you score in the 99th percentile of the MCAT, you have to take time off between undergrad and med school and demonstrate a desire to enter health care, which generally means taking a low-paying, shitty lab tech job, followed by public health volunteering nights and weekends. People choose law school because they came from relatively less rigorous undergrad majors and got good grades. BernieTrumps' aside, who had a different career path in ibanking/consulting after attending an Ivy undergrad, most people who went to top law schools didn't really have a different option to enter a high income-earning field at graduation.

I'm not defending going to law school as the right choice, but the answer that "I should have just been a doctor" is the ultimate hybrid of grass-is-greener syndrome with an overestimation of your personal intelligence.


Lol this is hilariously wrong wrt to premed and med school admissions.

Where did I go wrong?

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:31 pm

deepseapartners wrote:Where did I go wrong?


Medical school is hard to get into, but it's not THAT hard.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby deepseapartners » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:38 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:Where did I go wrong?


Medical school is hard to get into, but it's not THAT hard.

It's not hard if you are a smart kid who took a full-ride scholarship to State University and killed it as a bio/chem major, if your final outcome is "any med school period." But if you were the smart kid who went to Harvard, Hopkins, Chicago, Dartmouth, Georgetown, etc., it is exactly that hard to get into med school, because your (hard) curve in each class isn't against a bunch of randos who need to fulfill a science requirement, it's against a bunch of other super bright people who also got into your top undergrad and who also want to become doctors.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:47 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:Where did I go wrong?


Medical school is hard to get into, but it's not THAT hard.


Correct - see below.
https://www.aei.org/publication/accepta ... nd-whites/

Image

Just get a 75th- 80th percentile MCAT and you have better odds of getting in than not with a middling GPA as a white/Asian. If you are URM you can get in with like a 50th percentile MCAT.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Outside of Ochem and biochem, what exactly are these "weed" classes? LOL @ the idea that survey bio, chem, or physics classifies as a GATEKEEPER class.

I have taken every premed req and am now in law school - it's easier to pound your way through the tough prereqs than it is to finish at the top of a law school class, end stop.


This - I did quant major in college. I know current residents who couldn't even understand basic calculus and got a 500 math SAT. These people are borderline stupid but can grind at memorizing stuff.

Med school is not that hard. We're not talking about getting into John Hopkins med - there are plenty of full blown borderline retards at lower ranked med schools.
Last edited by whysoseriousbiglaw on Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby nealric » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:52 pm

deepseapartners wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:Where did I go wrong?


Medical school is hard to get into, but it's not THAT hard.

It's not hard if you are a smart kid who took a full-ride scholarship to State University and killed it as a bio/chem major, if your final outcome is "any med school period." But if you were the smart kid who went to Harvard, Hopkins, Chicago, Dartmouth, Georgetown, etc., it is exactly that hard to get into med school, because your (hard) curve in each class isn't against a bunch of randos who need to fulfill a science requirement, it's against a bunch of other super bright people who also got into your top undergrad and who also want to become doctors.


The average GPA at Harvard is around an A-. Schools like that don't weed out and don't curve like the big state schools do. Very few Harvard undergrads are going to be unable to get into a U.S. MD school.

Another important difference is that you can't just get into law school. You have to get into a top school- really a T6 (maybe a T14 when times are good) to have a solid expectation of biglaw. By contrast, any U.S. MD program will set you up for a good career path. I think it's fairly rare to find someone with the ability to get into a T6 who couldn't get into any U.S. MD program after doing a post bacc and some serious study.

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:54 pm

nealric wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:Where did I go wrong?


Medical school is hard to get into, but it's not THAT hard.

It's not hard if you are a smart kid who took a full-ride scholarship to State University and killed it as a bio/chem major, if your final outcome is "any med school period." But if you were the smart kid who went to Harvard, Hopkins, Chicago, Dartmouth, Georgetown, etc., it is exactly that hard to get into med school, because your (hard) curve in each class isn't against a bunch of randos who need to fulfill a science requirement, it's against a bunch of other super bright people who also got into your top undergrad and who also want to become doctors.


The average GPA at Harvard is around an A-. Schools like that don't weed out and don't curve like the big state schools do. Very few Harvard undergrads are going to be unable to get into a U.S. MD school.

Another important difference is that you can't just get into law school. You have to get into a top school- really a T6 (maybe a T14 when times are good) to have a solid expectation of biglaw. By contrast, any U.S. MD program will set you up for a good career path. I think it's fairly rare to find someone with the ability to get into a T6 who couldn't get into any U.S. MD program after doing a post bacc and some serious study.


I know a white guy who got like 169 LSAT and did law school at mid to lower T-14. He then applied to med school and got into 10 med schools - he owned the verbal portion of the MCAT with a perfect score.

People who think ANY med school is hard to get into is just stupid - plain and simple.

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Man from Nantucket

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Re: Why do a lot of biglaw lawyers say they're not "living the life" financially-wise?

Postby Man from Nantucket » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:54 pm

deepseapartners wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
deepseapartners wrote:Where did I go wrong?


Medical school is hard to get into, but it's not THAT hard.

It's not hard if you are a smart kid who took a full-ride scholarship to State University and killed it as a bio/chem major, if your final outcome is "any med school period." But if you were the smart kid who went to Harvard, Hopkins, Chicago, Dartmouth, Georgetown, etc., it is exactly that hard to get into med school, because your (hard) curve in each class isn't against a bunch of randos who need to fulfill a science requirement, it's against a bunch of other super bright people who also got into your top undergrad and who also want to become doctors.


Uhh.. As a former "premed" bio major, no, it's not. First off, med school isn't like going to law school, getting into "any med school period" is a good result, full stop. (This is to a lesser extent true with osteopathic schools, but even they're generally fine). Second, even granting that the curve might be hard (grade inflation is rampant at many top schools with Harvard being near the top of that list), you have to take, at most, seven (arguably) difficult pre reqs for med school: Bio 1/2, Gen Chem 1/2, Physics 1/2, Orgo 1. That's it, then you can take whatever you want. Finally, and I realize the MCAT has changed recently, but you generally needed ~30 to be competitive for allopathic schools on the old test, that was the 80th percentile.

Med school is difficult to get into, but it's definitely not that difficult.



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