Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

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SemiReverseSplinter

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Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby SemiReverseSplinter » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:36 am

Anyone else have this sentiment? I'm curious if firms/partners you know practice this mentality. Obviously, most do not.

The insane billing, the bottom line, it all seems so backwards from how things are supposed to operate. Lawyers shouldn't be millionaires.

I don't even really have a specific question. Please don't take this as rants of a fading associate or a self-righteous blurb. I just want to know if people actually practice with this mindset.

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t-14orbust

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby t-14orbust » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:42 am

Who is supposed to be rich?

bk1

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:58 am

Not that I fully disagree with the sentiment, but how much should you pay people who can obtain millions of dollars for you or prevent others from doing that to you?

Npret

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby Npret » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:17 am

Law school isn't supposed to cost so much. Spend your concern and moral outrage there.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:27 am

Do you mean not "supposed" to be rich like LeBron isn't "supposed" to make $30M for throwing a ball through a ring?

Clients believe that lawyers add value, and they pay for even some of the most deliberately inefficient things we do.

If you think it's crazy, you can call up all the clients of every millionaire lawyer and offer to do all their work at half the rate, and see what kind of answers you get.

Hikikomorist

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby Hikikomorist » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:35 am

This is disturbing. Besides, the vast majority of lawyers, even at large law firms, aren't actually rich.
Last edited by Hikikomorist on Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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deepseapartners

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby deepseapartners » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:54 am

SemiReverseSplinter wrote:The insane billing, the bottom line, it all seems so backwards from how things are supposed to operate.

I would be legitimately curious to hear how you think things should operate.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:59 am

deepseapartners wrote:
SemiReverseSplinter wrote:The insane billing, the bottom line, it all seems so backwards from how things are supposed to operate.

I would be legitimately curious to hear how you think things should operate.


lawyers should work for free, duh.

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:03 am

Hikikomorist wrote:This is disturbing. Besides, the cast majority of lawyers, even at large law firms, aren't actually rich.


This. It will take the average biglaw associate 7 years to make 300k base and a whole lot of billable hours, stress, and missed vacation and family time.

That amount of money is made as a bonus by some 23 year old on Wall Street.

The only sure way to wealth is to become the captain of your own ship. Can't do this by being an employee (or having an employee mindset).

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los blancos

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby los blancos » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:04 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Clients believe that lawyers add value, and they pay for even some of the most deliberately inefficient things we do.


Nah. Most of the time it's CYA. Most biglaw partners aren't worth 1/3 of their billing rates.

Clients routinely throw money in the garbage.

FSK

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby FSK » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:05 am

Private practice is overpayed, PI is underpayed, government is kinda mixed, and society as a whole incorrectly values the work we expend. #UBI
Last edited by FSK on Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zot1

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby zot1 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:06 am

But I wanna...

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buckiguy_sucks

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby buckiguy_sucks » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:07 am

Hikikomorist wrote:This is disturbing. Besides, the cast majority of lawyers, even at large law firms, aren't actually rich.


Lawyer median income is like twice the median household income duder

Don't have to have fuck you money to be rich

(although income doesn't necessarily correlate with financial well being)

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:08 am

los blancos wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Clients believe that lawyers add value, and they pay for even some of the most deliberately inefficient things we do.


Nah. Most of the time it's CYA. Most biglaw partners aren't worth 1/3 of their billing rates.

Clients routinely throw money in the garbage.


This.

A business model that will soon change. Technology is the future, folks.

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los blancos

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby los blancos » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
los blancos wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Clients believe that lawyers add value, and they pay for even some of the most deliberately inefficient things we do.


Nah. Most of the time it's CYA. Most biglaw partners aren't worth 1/3 of their billing rates.

Clients routinely throw money in the garbage.


This.

A business model that will soon change. Technology is the future, folks.


We've had these discussions before but I don't see technology changing it all that much, particularly in the near term.

RaceJudicata

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby RaceJudicata » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:29 am

Anonymous User wrote:
los blancos wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Clients believe that lawyers add value, and they pay for even some of the most deliberately inefficient things we do.


Nah. Most of the time it's CYA. Most biglaw partners aren't worth 1/3 of their billing rates.

Clients routinely throw money in the garbage.


This.

A business model that will soon change. Technology is the future, folks.


Let's please not go down this road again. . .

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:36 am

los blancos wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Clients believe that lawyers add value, and they pay for even some of the most deliberately inefficient things we do.


Nah. Most of the time it's CYA. Most biglaw partners aren't worth 1/3 of their billing rates.

Clients routinely throw money in the garbage.


Companies frequently pay millions and billions for the sole purpose of reducing risk. CYA *is* value. And to preempt the automation/changing business model discussion, it will be value until whenever clients decide that it isn't.

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los blancos

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby los blancos » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:42 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
los blancos wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Clients believe that lawyers add value, and they pay for even some of the most deliberately inefficient things we do.


Nah. Most of the time it's CYA. Most biglaw partners aren't worth 1/3 of their billing rates.

Clients routinely throw money in the garbage.


Companies frequently pay millions and billions for the sole purpose of reducing risk. CYA *is* value. And to preempt the automation/changing business model discussion, it will be value until whenever clients decide that it isn't.


(Assumes clients have any meaningful idea what "risk" is)

And just lol @ "I hired a $1200/hr guy, don't blame me if shit hits the fan!" having *value*.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:56 am

los blancos wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
los blancos wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Clients believe that lawyers add value, and they pay for even some of the most deliberately inefficient things we do.


Nah. Most of the time it's CYA. Most biglaw partners aren't worth 1/3 of their billing rates.

Clients routinely throw money in the garbage.


Companies frequently pay millions and billions for the sole purpose of reducing risk. CYA *is* value. And to preempt the automation/changing business model discussion, it will be value until whenever clients decide that it isn't.


(Assumes clients have any meaningful idea what "risk" is)

And just lol @ "I hired a $1200/hr guy, don't blame me if shit hits the fan!" having *value*.


The fact that clients suffer from (a) principal/agent issues and (b) idiocy is not our problem. We sell, they buy. Sometimes it's legit, sometimes it's just milking a name.

Who cares? Law schools scam lawyers, lawyers scam corporations, and corporations, with the help of lawyers, scam everyone. Just be happy that the economy is structured in a way that moving commas counts as a "skill."

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nealric

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby nealric » Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:The only sure way to wealth is to become the captain of your own ship. Can't do this by being an employee (or having an employee mindset).


That's not a sure way to wealth either. Your business can fail. There is no sure way to wealth, period. However, the most reliable is probably the "millionaire next-door" strategy. Have a steady income, live below your means, invest. You won't ever be a zillionaire, but $5 million (2017 dollars) is very doable by the time you retire with a modestly successful legal career.

1styearlateral

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby 1styearlateral » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:01 am

The percentage of attorneys that are wealthy and megawealthy is very small. And I would be interested to see the numbers of those megawealthy attorneys that didn't come from money or already have money.

Anyone who says otherwise watches too much TV.

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kellyfrost

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby kellyfrost » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:08 am

I became an attorney thinking I would become rich. Instead, I should have been a farmer. Farmers make way more bank than attorneys do.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nealric

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby nealric » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:09 am

1styearlateral wrote:The percentage of attorneys that are wealthy and megawealthy is very small. And I would be interested to see the numbers of those megawealthy attorneys that didn't come from money or already have money.

Anyone who says otherwise watches too much TV.


So much of this depends on your personal definition of wealthy and "mega wealthy. If "wealthy" means financially independent, most retired lawyers probably fit the definition. If "mega wealthy" means billionaire, keep in mind there's only about 2,000 billionaires in the entire world- many of whom come from dynasties of of one sort or another.

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby Hikikomorist » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:11 am

Have lawyer salaries been keeping up with those of other white-collar professionals.

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Re: Lawyers aren't supposed to be rich

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:11 am

los blancos wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
los blancos wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
Clients believe that lawyers add value, and they pay for even some of the most deliberately inefficient things we do.


Nah. Most of the time it's CYA. Most biglaw partners aren't worth 1/3 of their billing rates.

Clients routinely throw money in the garbage.


Companies frequently pay millions and billions for the sole purpose of reducing risk. CYA *is* value. And to preempt the automation/changing business model discussion, it will be value until whenever clients decide that it isn't.


(Assumes clients have any meaningful idea what "risk" is)

And just lol @ "I hired a $1200/hr guy, don't blame me if shit hits the fan!" having *value*.


Well, at least in transactional practice, the whole system of law firms giving companies an opinion does a couple things, namely providing a type of "insurance" in case the law firm really effed up and missed/misstated/misguaged some risk(s), and helps assuage the company/management that the transaction is on the up-and-up (lawyers signed off, and they would say no if it was not, so it must be okay). It's CYA bc the GC can tell management that "prestigious" outside counsel is okay with the deal, management can tell board that GC/outside counsel are okay with it, and everyone has a finger to point, and the opinion is the piece of paper that let's the firm gets sued when they screw up.

And to be fair, on a lot of deals where lawyers are billing at over $1000, legal fees are sometimes rounding errors because of the deal sizes. These types of company are not typically price-sensitive and don't care as much if they spend a mill or two on a deal that nets the company several hundred million (or more).



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