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 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:44 pm

star fox wrote:
iowa_john12 wrote:Just to clarify, is your question why people like me, who have to make monthly payments of $3-4k for 10 years, think we're not "living the life" financially with an employer who has a roughly 80% attrition rate by year 5?

I could literally lease a Ferrari for the amount of my monthly payments. Instead I have a roommate in a shitty walkup. You're asking why I don't feel like I'm living the life financially? If I play my cards right, my net worth will be zero in 8-10 years of working 60-80 hour weeks. Is that what you're getting at?

You're like under 30 probably. Who cares about your net worth. Your cash flow is quite high. Your life may suck but get some perspective on your financial situation.


Not the guy you responded to, but this is such a dumb way to look at the situation. Average law grad is what? 28? He's mid-30s before net worth is 0. Long pushed out of big law, a "good" exit is a mind-numbing cubicle in house job reviewing contracts for low $1xx.

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

Postby lavarman84 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:48 pm

iowa_john12 wrote:Just to clarify, is your question why people like me, who have to make monthly payments of $3-4k for 10 years, think we're not "living the life" financially with an employer who has a roughly 80% attrition rate by year 5?

I could literally lease a Ferrari for the amount of my monthly payments. Instead I have a roommate in a shitty walkup. You're asking why I don't feel like I'm living the life financially? If I play my cards right, my net worth will be zero in 8-10 years of working 60-80 hour weeks. Is that what you're getting at?


Shouldn't have taken on so much debt.

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

Postby dabigchina » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dabigchina wrote:People like to compare up, not down.

Biglaw associates will not compare themselves to big4 accountants (who work just as much for 1/3 of the pay). They will compare themselves to investment bankers and conclude that their lives suck.

Investment bankers will compare themselves to PE/HF guys and conclude that their lives suck.

I have no idea who PE/HF guys compare themselves to because I can't even imagine having that much money.

Also crippling debt. Don't pay sticker kids.


Not really relevant to the thread, but in case any auditors considering law school read this, former big 4 auditor turned biglawyer here. Big 4 audit was better than corporate biglaw in every way except pay (or maybe prestige for any fuckers dumb enough to buy into that). Obviously pay matters, but I include exit options when I say big 4 audit is better. I didn't realize how shitty corporate big law exit options are relative to the business world until I was already in big law.


Pay's a big deal when you're making maybe 60k in NYC/SF working a shitload.

Exit ops are only legit after you make manager. Nowadays if you exit as a 1st year senior you can basically expect to make 90 doing internal audit. You might get lucky and snag something at a hot startup or get raises by jumping around every couple of years but that's easier said than done.

In either case, I'm not interested in getting into a dick measuring contest re: whether accounting or law sucks more. They both suck in their own unique ways.

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

Postby iowa_john12 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:28 pm

You guys seem to be having a different discussion than OP. The question is not (*at all*) about the wisdom of what we've done. Nor is it to get advice. It's a very specific question about why big lawyers do not perceive themselves to be "living the life" financially. If you thought I wanted your advice, you came to the wrong thread. Sorry.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:40 pm

dabigchina wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dabigchina wrote:People like to compare up, not down.

Biglaw associates will not compare themselves to big4 accountants (who work just as much for 1/3 of the pay). They will compare themselves to investment bankers and conclude that their lives suck.

Investment bankers will compare themselves to PE/HF guys and conclude that their lives suck.

I have no idea who PE/HF guys compare themselves to because I can't even imagine having that much money.

Also crippling debt. Don't pay sticker kids.


Not really relevant to the thread, but in case any auditors considering law school read this, former big 4 auditor turned biglawyer here. Big 4 audit was better than corporate biglaw in every way except pay (or maybe prestige for any fuckers dumb enough to buy into that). Obviously pay matters, but I include exit options when I say big 4 audit is better. I didn't realize how shitty corporate big law exit options are relative to the business world until I was already in big law.


Pay's a big deal when you're making maybe 60k in NYC/SF working a shitload.

Exit ops are only legit after you make manager. Nowadays if you exit as a 1st year senior you can basically expect to make 90 doing internal audit. You might get lucky and snag something at a hot startup or get raises by jumping around every couple of years but that's easier said than done.

In either case, I'm not interested in getting into a dick measuring contest re: whether accounting or law sucks more. They both suck in their own unique ways.


Certainly money counts, and in a vacuum big law pays so much more that it's worth it over audit if you ignore exits. But now that I'm looking at in house exit opps, wow, what a different world. After a few jumps and a paid for part time MBA my former audit friends are at mid $1xx in a low COL secondary as Finance Managers or the equivalent. These were all easy laterals, and that's where law is so different. Finding something that pays the same as an in house lawyer takes forever. I can't believe how much more difficult it is. And this is for mind-numbing paper pushing in a cubicle, not Finance Manager jobs that involve corporate strategy and actual contributions to the business. I'm thinking about hitting reset on this entire law fuck up and going back to it now that my debt isn't an issue. Again, not trying to derail, but I know there are other big 4 auditors out there and maybe they'll come across this thread with search.

But it is relevant. As someone with time at multiple big law firms, it's the loans and how shitty the job is that results in the attitude brought up in the OP.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:44 pm

iowa_john12 wrote:You guys seem to be having a different discussion than OP. The question is not (*at all*) about the wisdom of what we've done. Nor is it to get advice. It's a very specific question about why big lawyers do not perceive themselves to be "living the life" financially. If you thought I wanted your advice, you came to the wrong thread. Sorry.


Sorry princess, the question was answered and the thread went off on a tangent. Welcome to the fucking internet. Biglawyers don't feel like they're "living the life" because after taxes, loans, and the COL in cities with biglaw jobs it's simply not much. This is exacerbated by how absolutely miserable the job is, which is pretty well documented here and everywhere else people discuss the law.

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

Postby notgreat » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:46 pm

This thread has gotten predictably retarded.

And, OP, are you really so ignorant about biglaw that you can't answer this on your own? If so, maybe try searching through archived posts. The answer to your question has been talked about in probably dozens of threads over the years.

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

Postby lawlorbust » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
iowa_john12 wrote:You guys seem to be having a different discussion than OP. The question is not (*at all*) about the wisdom of what we've done. Nor is it to get advice. It's a very specific question about why big lawyers do not perceive themselves to be "living the life" financially. If you thought I wanted your advice, you came to the wrong thread. Sorry.


Sorry princess, the question was answered and the thread went off on a tangent. Welcome to the fucking internet. Biglawyers don't feel like they're "living the life" because after taxes, loans, and the COL in cities with biglaw jobs it's simply not much. This is exacerbated by how absolutely miserable the job is, which is pretty well documented here and everywhere else people discuss the law.


This. And go sit in a corner and think about the debt you took out.

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

Postby iowa_john12 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:56 pm

Let's be perfectly clear: I didn't take out any debt.

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

Postby texanslimjim » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:37 pm

...you didn't take on any debt, yet you have a 10 year obligation making monthly payments of the amount for which you could rent a ferrari?

Did you forget to switch accounts?

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

Postby star fox » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:39 pm

So what are you making $3500 monthly payments towards?

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

Postby iowa_john12 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:42 pm

really lolling at the number of assumptions baked into your comments. Aren't you guys supposed to be legally trained?

I have a 10 year lease on a penthouse in vegas.

What makes you think I took out debt?

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

Postby texanslimjim » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:46 pm

So your penthouse in Vegas is a shitty walkup with a roommate?

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

Postby star fox » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:46 pm

iowa_john12 wrote:really lolling at the number of assumptions baked into your comments. Aren't you guys supposed to be legally trained?

I have a 10 year lease on a penthouse in vegas.

What makes you think I took out debt?

Probably cuz you mentioned your net worth getting back to 0, which usually means you currently have a negative net worth, in the form of debt.

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

Postby lawlorbust » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:48 pm

star fox wrote:
iowa_john12 wrote:really lolling at the number of assumptions baked into your comments. Aren't you guys supposed to be legally trained?

I have a 10 year lease on a penthouse in vegas.

What makes you think I took out debt?

Probably cuz you mentioned your net worth getting back to 0, which usually means you currently have a negative net worth, in the form of debt.


Maybe when he said he could literally lease a Ferrari, he meant he was literally leasing a Ferrari.

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

Postby iowa_john12 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:51 pm

If I get 3 more false assumptions, I'm going to start compiling a list.

I never said my walkup was in vegas. My penthouse is in vegas. Keep up. My walkup is in (where else?) New York.

My net worth will be zero when I am done frittering away my inheritance.

Let's see how many more gratuitous assumptions we can pile into the responses to this. Please don't disappoint.

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

Postby texanslimjim » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:53 pm

I'm not sure "no you idiots, i'm throwing my money away in even stupider ways than taking on $300k in debt to attend law school" is grounds for smugness.

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

Postby star fox » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:54 pm

iowa_john12 wrote:If I get 3 more false assumptions, I'm going to start compiling a list.

I never said my walkup was in vegas. My penthouse is in vegas. Keep up. My walkup is in (where else?) New York.

My net worth will be zero when I am done frittering away my inheritance.

Let's see how many more gratuitous assumptions we can pile into the responses to this. Please don't disappoint.

Thanks iowa_john12 for your contributions to this thread. Glad to have you around.

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

Postby stego » Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:57 pm

So you're complaining that you can't lease a Ferrari because instead you're leasing a penthouse and living in a shitty walkup with a roommate?
It doesn't sound like biglaw is your problem.

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

Postby iowa_john12 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:01 pm

To be clear, I *am* leasing a Ferrari. I'm just saying I could lease another (not every day is a red enzo day, y'know) if I didn't have my lease payment in vegas.

To be clear, this thread was taken off topic by others long ago. I'm merely engaging them in the safe place they've established far from anything relevant to OP.

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

Postby star fox » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:04 pm

Have you considered putting the inheritance you received into an Index Fund?

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

Postby iowa_john12 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:09 pm

Nah. Currently running a fairly conservative anti-martingale strategy at a few casinos around town.

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

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:16 pm

Accidental anon--this is texanslimjim.

See OP, this is why biglaw lawyers are not living the life. The high debt and high stress working environment leads to delusions and pure fantasy—ranging from believing you are leasing a Ferrari or a penthouse in Vegas, to believing that you are smarter than anonymous strangers on the internet.

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

Postby nealric » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dabigchina wrote:People like to compare up, not down.

Biglaw associates will not compare themselves to big4 accountants (who work just as much for 1/3 of the pay). They will compare themselves to investment bankers and conclude that their lives suck.

Investment bankers will compare themselves to PE/HF guys and conclude that their lives suck.

I have no idea who PE/HF guys compare themselves to because I can't even imagine having that much money.

Also crippling debt. Don't pay sticker kids.


Not really relevant to the thread, but in case any auditors considering law school read this, former big 4 auditor turned biglawyer here. Big 4 audit was better than corporate biglaw in every way except pay (or maybe prestige for any fuckers dumb enough to buy into that). Obviously pay matters, but I include exit options when I say big 4 audit is better. I didn't realize how shitty corporate big law exit options are relative to the business world until I was already in big law.


Pay's a big deal when you're making maybe 60k in NYC/SF working a shitload.

Exit ops are only legit after you make manager. Nowadays if you exit as a 1st year senior you can basically expect to make 90 doing internal audit. You might get lucky and snag something at a hot startup or get raises by jumping around every couple of years but that's easier said than done.

In either case, I'm not interested in getting into a dick measuring contest re: whether accounting or law sucks more. They both suck in their own unique ways.


Certainly money counts, and in a vacuum big law pays so much more that it's worth it over audit if you ignore exits. But now that I'm looking at in house exit opps, wow, what a different world. After a few jumps and a paid for part time MBA my former audit friends are at mid $1xx in a low COL secondary as Finance Managers or the equivalent. These were all easy laterals, and that's where law is so different. Finding something that pays the same as an in house lawyer takes forever. I can't believe how much more difficult it is. And this is for mind-numbing paper pushing in a cubicle, not Finance Manager jobs that involve corporate strategy and actual contributions to the business. I'm thinking about hitting reset on this entire law fuck up and going back to it now that my debt isn't an issue. Again, not trying to derail, but I know there are other big 4 auditors out there and maybe they'll come across this thread with search.

But it is relevant. As someone with time at multiple big law firms, it's the loans and how shitty the job is that results in the attitude brought up in the OP.


Maybe my in-house job is just way above average, but this doesn't ring remotely true. I have an office with a door, as does every lawyer in my company. Lawyers do participate in corporate strategy discussions. Grass is always greener and all that I suppose.

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

Postby lavarman84 » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:30 pm

iowa_john12 wrote:To be clear, I *am* leasing a Ferrari. I'm just saying I could lease another (not every day is a red enzo day, y'know) if I didn't have my lease payment in vegas.

To be clear, this thread was taken off topic by others long ago. I'm merely engaging them in the safe place they've established far from anything relevant to OP.


Yea and only owning my four vacation homes makes me glum when I realize I can't live in a different home every day of the week. Plus, I also get down when I realize that my career as the Dallas Cowboys starting QB will soon be over. And, all these models I'm dating are getting seriously clingy. It's a hard knock life for us.



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