Supplementing Income as an Attorney

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Voyager

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Re: Supplementing Income as an Attorney

Postby Voyager » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:18 pm

acr wrote:
Voyager wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Voyager wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Unless you actually want to work as a lawyer, of course.


Oh absolutely. If you know you LOVE THE LAW before law school and are SURE that you will handle a life as lawyer so much better than all those wusses currently practicing who have substance abuse issues and broken marriages, then OF COURSE you should go to law school.

Note: "love the law" can be changed out for "always enjoyed arguing" depending on the person...

Sure, a lot of people have no clue what it's actually going to be like, but there are happy lawyers who like their jobs - like my whole office - and I get frustrated with the idea that the only measure of whether someone should go to law school is the maximization of income, rather than job satisfaction. (Admittedly lawyers have a lot of problems with the latter, too, but your previous answer was all about making money.)


I just took it for granted that most lawyers are utterly miserable and that one should expect to hate the work and lifestyle leaving money as the only justification...


so what do you do when you don't have satisfaction or money then?


As far as I can gather? Cultivate a serious substance abuse habit, mistreat your subordinates and go through multiple divorces. Oh, also: suffer from depression.

For example: http://www.thelawinsider.com/insider-tips/depression-suicide-and-lawyers/

Outside of internships/SA gigs I have never worked in a legal setting and I have never practiced as an attorney. My law degree serves as amusing fodder for parties and that's it.

But I have loads of former classmates that have explained to me what life is like...

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ilovesf

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Re: Supplementing Income as an Attorney

Postby ilovesf » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:26 pm

acr wrote:
so what do you do when you don't have satisfaction or money then?

Apply for a new job? I was very unhappy before and not paid well for what I put up with. I eventually found something new and I'm MUCH happier (and slightly better paid)

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zot1

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Re: Supplementing Income as an Attorney

Postby zot1 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:40 pm

Voyager wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Voyager wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Unless you actually want to work as a lawyer, of course.


Oh absolutely. If you know you LOVE THE LAW before law school and are SURE that you will handle a life as lawyer so much better than all those wusses currently practicing who have substance abuse issues and broken marriages, then OF COURSE you should go to law school.

Note: "love the law" can be changed out for "always enjoyed arguing" depending on the person...

Sure, a lot of people have no clue what it's actually going to be like, but there are happy lawyers who like their jobs - like my whole office - and I get frustrated with the idea that the only measure of whether someone should go to law school is the maximization of income, rather than job satisfaction. (Admittedly lawyers have a lot of problems with the latter, too, but your previous answer was all about making money.)


I just took it for granted that most lawyers are utterly miserable and that one should expect to hate the work and lifestyle leaving money as the only justification...


Yeah my job isn't perfect (had a month ish problem that made me miserable) but I would still rate myself happy with my career overall. I have a good work-life balance, and I'm generally satisfied/rewarded by the work I do. I definitely do not make bank, but live comfortably.

As to the money argument (forgoing time working and getting into debt), I think that only applies sometimes. Some people legitimately want to be attorneys (I was in that boat... Now I go back and forth, but I'm also not in a hurry to leave) and it's hard to do that without law school and debt. But also, one thing I really enjoy about being an attorney is the status component to it. Yes, I probably could have gotten a 40k/year job after college, gotten raises, etc. instead of going into debt. But those jobs may have not afforded me the same kind of privileges I currently as an attorney. For starters, I have a nice office, have a great deal of control over my hours and work, I get to do complex stuff, my opinion carries weight with higher level people, etc. So I'm not sure I would trade my current position with, I don't know, some marketing position I could have gotten out of college.

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BottomOfTotem

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Re: Supplementing Income as an Attorney

Postby BottomOfTotem » Sat Nov 05, 2016 12:22 am

Voyager wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Voyager wrote:
JD_Unit wrote:Hi everyone --

I'm a second year associate making a decent living at my firm (roughly $90k per year -- not biglaw numbers, but not starving either). In an effort to pay down my remaining loan balance as quickly as possible, I'd like to supplement my income if at all possible. I realize moonlighting/taking on legal matters outside my firm is probably a bad idea and likely out of the question. With that constraint, what are some other ways to supplement my income as an attorney? Has anyone had any relevant experience? Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!


Depressing. OP landed a pretty good post law school gig for sure. Probably performed well in law school. Certainly landed a better gig than most new law school grads

Even so, still having difficulty with law school loans

Man, law school is such a horrible idea...

I suggest tutoring LSAT if you have the LSAT score to justify doing so. Super flexible hours for a pretty good hourly rate ($30-$50/hour... can get up to $100+ if in Manhattan with top credentials/at top tutoring shop like Manhattan LSAT)


This is dumb logic. Sure, for a lot of reasons law school sucks. But the guy is making 90k doing law and just wants to pay his loans quicker than the 10-year plan requires. His situation does not sound depressing at all. Clearly, he has enough time/energy to do moonlighting, so he is not working big law hours. And if he is not moonlighting, that means he is making 90k a year and has free time at nights where he 'could' be moonlighting.


He lost $240k or something UP FRONT between 3 years lost income and 3 years law school tuition for the privilege of working 60+ hour weeks while only earning $90k a year and now wants a 2nd job.

Sounds pretty dang depressing to me!

How many years does he need to work @$90k instead of the $50k-$60k job he could have had if not for law school to pay off the $240k he lost? A $50k-$60k job, by the way, that probably only required 40-50 hour work weeks...

See what I mean?

We are talking YEARS to pay off the up front cost. 7-8 years, actually. Sure, his legal career may progress and he may earn more money over time, but that would likely have been just as true with the non-law school career track AND that career would be 3 years more advanced because he would have been advancing it instead of spending 3 years in law school!

Never mind that at 40-50 hour work weeks he could no kidding take on a 2nd job bringing in an additional $20k a year and would likely end up at similar hours as what you work at a firm! Then the salary difference is rather small!

And sure, the OP may jump back in here and present additional facts that make his decision to go to law school a much more reasonable decision, but my point is: for most people, law school is a ridiculously bad idea.


Advancement in the field of law is drastically different than the large majority of fields that pay 50k. Look at The bonus structure, annual raises, benefits, etc. Yes, debt sucks, but so does being stuck around 50k for your entire career.

Comments like this always strike me as coming from someone who has no idea what life is like as an adult, before graduating law school. Life working with a bachelors, or without, is not enviable. It is hard work, and usually to get to 50k you aren't working 40 hours either.

With all of that said, there is a nugget for pre law schoolers (or any person about to make a big decision) to take from this post: get some life experience first. Get perspective. Don't just travel on your parent's dime, instead volunteer and get a look at what poverty really looks like.

Voyager

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Re: Supplementing Income as an Attorney

Postby Voyager » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:34 pm

BottomOfTotem wrote:
Voyager wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Voyager wrote:
JD_Unit wrote:Hi everyone --

I'm a second year associate making a decent living at my firm (roughly $90k per year -- not biglaw numbers, but not starving either). In an effort to pay down my remaining loan balance as quickly as possible, I'd like to supplement my income if at all possible. I realize moonlighting/taking on legal matters outside my firm is probably a bad idea and likely out of the question. With that constraint, what are some other ways to supplement my income as an attorney? Has anyone had any relevant experience? Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!


Depressing. OP landed a pretty good post law school gig for sure. Probably performed well in law school. Certainly landed a better gig than most new law school grads

Even so, still having difficulty with law school loans

Man, law school is such a horrible idea...

I suggest tutoring LSAT if you have the LSAT score to justify doing so. Super flexible hours for a pretty good hourly rate ($30-$50/hour... can get up to $100+ if in Manhattan with top credentials/at top tutoring shop like Manhattan LSAT)


This is dumb logic. Sure, for a lot of reasons law school sucks. But the guy is making 90k doing law and just wants to pay his loans quicker than the 10-year plan requires. His situation does not sound depressing at all. Clearly, he has enough time/energy to do moonlighting, so he is not working big law hours. And if he is not moonlighting, that means he is making 90k a year and has free time at nights where he 'could' be moonlighting.


He lost $240k or something UP FRONT between 3 years lost income and 3 years law school tuition for the privilege of working 60+ hour weeks while only earning $90k a year and now wants a 2nd job.

Sounds pretty dang depressing to me!

How many years does he need to work @$90k instead of the $50k-$60k job he could have had if not for law school to pay off the $240k he lost? A $50k-$60k job, by the way, that probably only required 40-50 hour work weeks...

See what I mean?

We are talking YEARS to pay off the up front cost. 7-8 years, actually. Sure, his legal career may progress and he may earn more money over time, but that would likely have been just as true with the non-law school career track AND that career would be 3 years more advanced because he would have been advancing it instead of spending 3 years in law school!

Never mind that at 40-50 hour work weeks he could no kidding take on a 2nd job bringing in an additional $20k a year and would likely end up at similar hours as what you work at a firm! Then the salary difference is rather small!

And sure, the OP may jump back in here and present additional facts that make his decision to go to law school a much more reasonable decision, but my point is: for most people, law school is a ridiculously bad idea.


Advancement in the field of law is drastically different than the large majority of fields that pay 50k. Look at The bonus structure, annual raises, benefits, etc. Yes, debt sucks, but so does being stuck around 50k for your entire career.

Comments like this always strike me as coming from someone who has no idea what life is like as an adult, before graduating law school. Life working with a bachelors, or without, is not enviable. It is hard work, and usually to get to 50k you aren't working 40 hours either.

With all of that said, there is a nugget for pre law schoolers (or any person about to make a big decision) to take from this post: get some life experience first. Get perspective. Don't just travel on your parent's dime, instead volunteer and get a look at what poverty really looks like.


I worked for 10 years prior to law school. My first job paid ~$30k a year all in.

Statements like yours strike me as coming from someone who has no idea what life and career trajectory is like for most lawyers AND no idea what the alternatives are. I do.

I've been out of school now for over half a decade. I know what my classmates are up to. And their outcomes were top percentiles. I also know a thing or two about non-law career tracks...

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BottomOfTotem

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Re: Supplementing Income as an Attorney

Postby BottomOfTotem » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:50 am

Voyager wrote:
BottomOfTotem wrote:
Voyager wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Voyager wrote:
JD_Unit wrote:Hi everyone --

I'm a second year associate making a decent living at my firm (roughly $90k per year -- not biglaw numbers, but not starving either). In an effort to pay down my remaining loan balance as quickly as possible, I'd like to supplement my income if at all possible. I realize moonlighting/taking on legal matters outside my firm is probably a bad idea and likely out of the question. With that constraint, what are some other ways to supplement my income as an attorney? Has anyone had any relevant experience? Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!


Depressing. OP landed a pretty good post law school gig for sure. Probably performed well in law school. Certainly landed a better gig than most new law school grads

Even so, still having difficulty with law school loans

Man, law school is such a horrible idea...

I suggest tutoring LSAT if you have the LSAT score to justify doing so. Super flexible hours for a pretty good hourly rate ($30-$50/hour... can get up to $100+ if in Manhattan with top credentials/at top tutoring shop like Manhattan LSAT)


This is dumb logic. Sure, for a lot of reasons law school sucks. But the guy is making 90k doing law and just wants to pay his loans quicker than the 10-year plan requires. His situation does not sound depressing at all. Clearly, he has enough time/energy to do moonlighting, so he is not working big law hours. And if he is not moonlighting, that means he is making 90k a year and has free time at nights where he 'could' be moonlighting.


He lost $240k or something UP FRONT between 3 years lost income and 3 years law school tuition for the privilege of working 60+ hour weeks while only earning $90k a year and now wants a 2nd job.

Sounds pretty dang depressing to me!

How many years does he need to work @$90k instead of the $50k-$60k job he could have had if not for law school to pay off the $240k he lost? A $50k-$60k job, by the way, that probably only required 40-50 hour work weeks...

See what I mean?

We are talking YEARS to pay off the up front cost. 7-8 years, actually. Sure, his legal career may progress and he may earn more money over time, but that would likely have been just as true with the non-law school career track AND that career would be 3 years more advanced because he would have been advancing it instead of spending 3 years in law school!

Never mind that at 40-50 hour work weeks he could no kidding take on a 2nd job bringing in an additional $20k a year and would likely end up at similar hours as what you work at a firm! Then the salary difference is rather small!

And sure, the OP may jump back in here and present additional facts that make his decision to go to law school a much more reasonable decision, but my point is: for most people, law school is a ridiculously bad idea.


Advancement in the field of law is drastically different than the large majority of fields that pay 50k. Look at The bonus structure, annual raises, benefits, etc. Yes, debt sucks, but so does being stuck around 50k for your entire career.

Comments like this always strike me as coming from someone who has no idea what life is like as an adult, before graduating law school. Life working with a bachelors, or without, is not enviable. It is hard work, and usually to get to 50k you aren't working 40 hours either.

With all of that said, there is a nugget for pre law schoolers (or any person about to make a big decision) to take from this post: get some life experience first. Get perspective. Don't just travel on your parent's dime, instead volunteer and get a look at what poverty really looks like.


I worked for 10 years prior to law school. My first job paid ~$30k a year all in.

Statements like yours strike me as coming from someone who has no idea what life and career trajectory is like for most lawyers AND no idea what the alternatives are. I do.

I've been out of school now for over half a decade. I know what my classmates are up to. And their outcomes were top percentiles. I also know a thing or two about non-law career tracks...


Ok my apologies, I shouldn't have assumed to know you. Taking you at your word, you would have preferred to have not gone to law school and stuck with whatever job you had. That is your view and I respect that.

The rest of your post though I don't agree with. First, I certainly know what altenatives look like -- I worked for ten years prior to law school and I have a family of four to support. I also come from a blue collar background, where the vast majority of my cohort add anecdotal evidence to my view that a career in law offers more benefits than most non grad requiring jobs (or non undergrad). Pay structure, bonuses, benefits, retirement, non-physical nature, career advancement, resume building, and so on. I'm not saying it is perfect, I know many people who work their lives away, but I stand by my assertion that it is superior to many careers that can be obtained with no degree or a bachelors.

For what it is worth, I honestly hope whatever you're doing know brings you joy.



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