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Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 9:23 pm
by Pokemon
UVA2B wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Pokemon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i'm jealous, shit. Wish I had that many savings and could bail.


Honestly, if one good thing came from this job it was my learning to be extremely vigilant financially. I know most people try to just pay off their loans and hold an emergency fund, but I tried to order my finances in a way that made sense and felt good at the same time. I knew the minute I started that I didn't think I was cut out for this job, so I knew having liquidity was important. I've kept my rent below $1,500 a month the entire time I've been in NYC and I tend to not spend money on anything except food and vacations (YOLO). After I paid off half my loans (started with about $250,000), I decided to just try and save as much as possible and minimize my debt payments (I now save $5,000 a month). This helped me get there relatively quickly and still invest about $12K/year into my 401K just so I can use that compound interest/investments.

If you are in biglaw, you can do it to. Just try to get the debt down to a number you are more comfortable with and then save aggressively. My debt still isn't where I want it, but after starting at $250,000, it feels a lot better than it did three years ago and I now have "considerable" assets to go along with it.

Jesus Christ, you paid 130k plus interest in 2 and a half year, plus saved 90k and 50k in 401k?? Does not add up.


I've been in biglaw 2.5 years but I worked for a year in a different role that was much lower paying where I was able to get some savings. That allowed me to take in like $15,00 in savings and $5,000 in 401K, but my debt payments were minimums (meaning, I started with $250,000 and after a year I was at $249,800). So basically since being in biglaw (about 2.5 years), I've saved about $75,000, put in another $40,000 into 401K and paid off about $130,000 in debt. Third year bonus helped a lot (extra $30,000 in the bank). I'm a total outlier among people I know, but I also don't spend money on clothes and shit and don't go out that often.


Even still, that's some crazy ass math to get to that level of savings, 401k, debt payments, while living in NYC. Pretax income from 2.5 years NYC Biglaw is like ~$600k. After city, state, and federal taxes, that should be drawn down by about a third (absolute mental napkin math here, so I could be off somewhat). So you're saying you lived in/near NYC on ~$400k for 2.5 years while collecting $235k in other accounts? I mean, I guess it's possible, but damn.


2.5 years should not even be close to 600k. Like even if op started as a 2nd year, he should not be at 600k income until end of his third year in biglaw. op must be hiding something... drug money, securities fraud, who knows

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 9:27 pm
by UVA2B
Pokemon wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Pokemon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i'm jealous, shit. Wish I had that many savings and could bail.


Honestly, if one good thing came from this job it was my learning to be extremely vigilant financially. I know most people try to just pay off their loans and hold an emergency fund, but I tried to order my finances in a way that made sense and felt good at the same time. I knew the minute I started that I didn't think I was cut out for this job, so I knew having liquidity was important. I've kept my rent below $1,500 a month the entire time I've been in NYC and I tend to not spend money on anything except food and vacations (YOLO). After I paid off half my loans (started with about $250,000), I decided to just try and save as much as possible and minimize my debt payments (I now save $5,000 a month). This helped me get there relatively quickly and still invest about $12K/year into my 401K just so I can use that compound interest/investments.

If you are in biglaw, you can do it to. Just try to get the debt down to a number you are more comfortable with and then save aggressively. My debt still isn't where I want it, but after starting at $250,000, it feels a lot better than it did three years ago and I now have "considerable" assets to go along with it.

Jesus Christ, you paid 130k plus interest in 2 and a half year, plus saved 90k and 50k in 401k?? Does not add up.


I've been in biglaw 2.5 years but I worked for a year in a different role that was much lower paying where I was able to get some savings. That allowed me to take in like $15,00 in savings and $5,000 in 401K, but my debt payments were minimums (meaning, I started with $250,000 and after a year I was at $249,800). So basically since being in biglaw (about 2.5 years), I've saved about $75,000, put in another $40,000 into 401K and paid off about $130,000 in debt. Third year bonus helped a lot (extra $30,000 in the bank). I'm a total outlier among people I know, but I also don't spend money on clothes and shit and don't go out that often.


Even still, that's some crazy ass math to get to that level of savings, 401k, debt payments, while living in NYC. Pretax income from 2.5 years NYC Biglaw is like ~$600k. After city, state, and federal taxes, that should be drawn down by about a third (absolute mental napkin math here, so I could be off somewhat). So you're saying you lived in/near NYC on ~$400k for 2.5 years while collecting $235k in other accounts? I mean, I guess it's possible, but damn.


2.5 years should not even be close to 600k. Like even if op started as a 2nd year, he should not be at 600k income until end of his third year in biglaw. op must be hiding something... drug money, securities fraud, who knows


You're right, it's more like ~$500k including bonuses. I messed up and originally calculated as a full 3 years originally. Correct for that, I figured it was something like...

Year 1: $160k+20k bonus
Year 2: $180k+30k bonus
Year 3 (to date): $100k

Someone can absolutely correct me if I'm way off on these estimates, but still, you're right. Something is off here.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 9:49 pm
by Anonymous User
UVA2B wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Pokemon wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:i'm jealous, shit. Wish I had that many savings and could bail.


Honestly, if one good thing came from this job it was my learning to be extremely vigilant financially. I know most people try to just pay off their loans and hold an emergency fund, but I tried to order my finances in a way that made sense and felt good at the same time. I knew the minute I started that I didn't think I was cut out for this job, so I knew having liquidity was important. I've kept my rent below $1,500 a month the entire time I've been in NYC and I tend to not spend money on anything except food and vacations (YOLO). After I paid off half my loans (started with about $250,000), I decided to just try and save as much as possible and minimize my debt payments (I now save $5,000 a month). This helped me get there relatively quickly and still invest about $12K/year into my 401K just so I can use that compound interest/investments.

If you are in biglaw, you can do it to. Just try to get the debt down to a number you are more comfortable with and then save aggressively. My debt still isn't where I want it, but after starting at $250,000, it feels a lot better than it did three years ago and I now have "considerable" assets to go along with it.

Jesus Christ, you paid 130k plus interest in 2 and a half year, plus saved 90k and 50k in 401k?? Does not add up.


I've been in biglaw 2.5 years but I worked for a year in a different role that was much lower paying where I was able to get some savings. That allowed me to take in like $15,00 in savings and $5,000 in 401K, but my debt payments were minimums (meaning, I started with $250,000 and after a year I was at $249,800). So basically since being in biglaw (about 2.5 years), I've saved about $75,000, put in another $40,000 into 401K and paid off about $130,000 in debt. Third year bonus helped a lot (extra $30,000 in the bank). I'm a total outlier among people I know, but I also don't spend money on clothes and shit and don't go out that often.


Even still, that's some crazy ass math to get to that level of savings, 401k, debt payments, while living in NYC. Pretax income from 2.5 years NYC Biglaw is like ~$600k. After city, state, and federal taxes, that should be drawn down by about a third (absolute mental napkin math here, so I could be off somewhat). So you're saying you lived in/near NYC on ~$400k for 2.5 years while collecting $235k in other accounts? I mean, I guess it's possible, but damn.

ETA: Forgot to include that 401k could come with matching to bring that effective dollar amount smaller, but still, NYC is expensive as hell.


Yea, I mean those are the numbers in my accounts, so I guess Damn is right. To people wondering how, It helped lateraling and getting guaranteed bonuses, budgeting like a mofo to the point my girlfriend hates alentire wardrobe and being super vigilant about my money (actively managing 401K and throwing money into savings automatically in huge numbers to make me not spend money in my checking account). Again, third year bonus is $50,000 which helps a lot.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Mon May 01, 2017 10:24 pm
by Anonymous User
I mean OP spent 2.5 years in biglaw but sounds like he is a class of 2013, which means he has had around 4 years of earnings. Either way, he has that much money in his bank acc and it is what is.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 9:59 am
by gaddockteeg
What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:10 am
by UVA2B
gaddockteeg wrote:What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?


Probably the part where you're paying $1500/month for rent in NYC. Not saying you absolutely can't find that, but it's pretty rare/really far commute from NYC.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:15 am
by spyke123
Take out 1200-1500 or so for food, entertainment etc. and now youre looking at 1800-1500 per month in savings, which is not much given our salary

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:16 am
by Npret
UVA2B wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?


Probably the part where you're paying $1500/month for rent in NYC. Not saying you absolutely can't find that, but it's pretty rare/really far commute from NYC.


Also the never going out or buying clothes part.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:24 am
by nunumaster
Npret wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?


Probably the part where you're paying $1500/month for rent in NYC. Not saying you absolutely can't find that, but it's pretty rare/really far commute from NYC.


Also the never going out or buying clothes part.


It's definitely possible to pay $1500/month for a roommate situation in NYC without living in the boondocks.

And OP is not alone. Just check out r/financialindependence. Good for you OP.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:49 am
by Npret
nunumaster wrote:
Npret wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?


Probably the part where you're paying $1500/month for rent in NYC. Not saying you absolutely can't find that, but it's pretty rare/really far commute from NYC.


Also the never going out or buying clothes part.


It's definitely possible to pay $1500/month for a roommate situation in NYC without living in the boondocks.

And OP is not alone. Just check out r/financialindependence. Good for you OP.

Eh my financial independence came from having zero law school debt so I probably can't relate.

Good luck with your choices OP. Don't stay in a job you hate.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:56 am
by gaddockteeg
spyke123 wrote:Take out 1200-1500 or so for food, entertainment etc. and now youre looking at 1800-1500 per month in savings, which is not much given our salary


That's exactly what I do.

Annual 401k: 18k
Annual backdoor megaroth: 30k
HSA/Roth: 8k

1.5k/month x 12 = 18k

75k savings per year in a mix of posttax/pre tax dollars.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:57 am
by gaddockteeg
Npret wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?


Probably the part where you're paying $1500/month for rent in NYC. Not saying you absolutely can't find that, but it's pretty rare/really far commute from NYC.


Also the never going out or buying clothes part.


Even if you blew the extra 3k/month I mentioned on clothes and going out. Maxing 401k megaroth and regular 401k gets you 55k a year in savings.

nunumaster wrote:
Npret wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?


Probably the part where you're paying $1500/month for rent in NYC. Not saying you absolutely can't find that, but it's pretty rare/really far commute from NYC.


Also the never going out or buying clothes part.


It's definitely possible to pay $1500/month for a roommate situation in NYC without living in the boondocks.

And OP is not alone. Just check out r/financialindependence. Good for you OP.


r/financialindependence is awesome.

Npret wrote:Eh my financial independence came from having zero law school debt so I probably can't relate.

Good luck with your choices OP. Don't stay in a job you hate.


just fyi, financial independence, as its used in r/financialindependence, means having enough money to quit working. basically accumulating enough assets to live solely of the income they generate.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 10:59 am
by elendinel
UVA2B wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?


Probably the part where you're paying $1500/month for rent in NYC. Not saying you absolutely can't find that, but it's pretty rare/really far commute from NYC.


False.

It will be rare in Chelsea, UES, and Battery Park, but that doesn't mean it's rare everywhere else.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 11:30 am
by Npret
My point which I guess I didn't state plainly enough is that OP borrowing massive debt for law school is the fundamental problem here. The question isn't whether he can live frugally with a roommate in NYC on a 6 figure salary. He isn't complaining about his life style, he hates his biglaw job that he mortgaged his future to have.
Now, what is he going to do?

I wish more 0Ls would grasp this point instead of making their biglaw budgets.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 11:30 am
by nunumaster
elendinel wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?


Probably the part where you're paying $1500/month for rent in NYC. Not saying you absolutely can't find that, but it's pretty rare/really far commute from NYC.


False.

It will be rare in Chelsea, UES, and Battery Park, but that doesn't mean it's rare everywhere else.


Yea tons of options depending where your office is. I.e. you can live in LES if you're downtown. Harlem if you're in midtown, etc.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 11:32 am
by nunumaster
Npret wrote:My point which I guess I didn't state plainly enough is that OP borrowing massive debt for law school is the fundamental problem here. The question isn't whether he can live frugally with a roommate in NYC on a 6 figure salary. He isn't complaining about his life style, he hates his biglaw job that he mortgaged his future to have.
Now, what is he going to do?

I wish more 0Ls would grasp this point instead of making their biglaw budgets.


That's true. I'd never go to law school incurring 6 figure debt, especially if it was just to work in big law. Also, I missed the part where OP still has said debt outstanding.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:05 pm
by Anonymous User
Npret wrote:My point which I guess I didn't state plainly enough is that OP borrowing massive debt for law school is the fundamental problem here. The question isn't whether he can live frugally with a roommate in NYC on a 6 figure salary. He isn't complaining about his life style, he hates his biglaw job that he mortgaged his future to have.
Now, what is he going to do?

I wish more 0Ls would grasp this point instead of making their biglaw budgets.


OP Here - DING DING DING - Law school ended up being the biggest mistake of my entire life. I wasn't even interested in law school until I took the LSAT on a whim and did well because every single job I interviewed for ended up puling the position (ugrad GPA was not great so I had no scholarships to good schools). I figured big law would be bad, but that I could hack it for five years, pay off the debt and have a nice savings account to figure out next steps, but that was a TERRIBLE idea. People don't understand just how bad big law can be and how stress just completely wears you down. After 4 years of stressing out about the debt, I've decided worrying isn't worth it and the debt is just a number and I can't let it define my future. I went to law school to work in corporate law at a top firm. I worked at a V10 firm, which to most in law school is "winning", and within 6 months was like "holy shit, what have I done".

This is all my fault. I didn't trust my gut when I got close to school starting and I got nervous thinking maybe i was making a mistake and took the "easy" way instead of networking and hustling for a job. I listened to friends and family saying that I made it to an amazing school, I'll be fine and the debt is "good debt". Newsflash to 0Ls, student debt is horrible debt because you have no collateral backing it. You can't just sell an asset and be done with it, or ruin your credit temporarily and be done via bankruptcy.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:12 pm
by arklaw13
gaddockteeg wrote:
spyke123 wrote:Take out 1200-1500 or so for food, entertainment etc. and now youre looking at 1800-1500 per month in savings, which is not much given our salary


That's exactly what I do.

Annual 401k: 18k
Annual backdoor megaroth: 30k
HSA/Roth: 8k

1.5k/month x 12 = 18k

75k savings per year in a mix of posttax/pre tax dollars.


Are you at a firm that allows after-tax contributions, or in-house? Mine only allows pre-tax and roth. I figured it would be uncommon for firms to allow it because of complications with discrimination testing.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:16 pm
by Pokemon
gaddockteeg wrote:What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?


What year are you on. I had 6.5 post tax after maxing my 401k first year; cannot imagine how much lower it would with the other savings accounts.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:18 pm
by Anonymous User
gaddockteeg wrote:
spyke123 wrote:Take out 1200-1500 or so for food, entertainment etc. and now youre looking at 1800-1500 per month in savings, which is not much given our salary


That's exactly what I do.

Annual 401k: 18k
Annual backdoor megaroth: 30k
HSA/Roth: 8k

1.5k/month x 12 = 18k

75k savings per year in a mix of posttax/pre tax dollars.


What is an annual backdoor megaroth?

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:19 pm
by gaddockteeg
arklaw13 wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:
spyke123 wrote:Take out 1200-1500 or so for food, entertainment etc. and now youre looking at 1800-1500 per month in savings, which is not much given our salary


That's exactly what I do.

Annual 401k: 18k
Annual backdoor megaroth: 30k
HSA/Roth: 8k

1.5k/month x 12 = 18k

75k savings per year in a mix of posttax/pre tax dollars.


Are you at a firm that allows after-tax contributions, or in-house? Mine only allows pre-tax and roth. I figured it would be uncommon for firms to allow it because of complications with discrimination testing.


I'm at firm. Firm is pre-tax and also offers roth401k which is post-tax contributions (sounds similar/same as you?). That's what I was referring to.

Anonymous User wrote:
What is an annual backdoor megaroth?


great use of anon.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:21 pm
by gaddockteeg
Pokemon wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:What do you all spend your money on?

Even after I max my HSA, 401k, backdoor roth, 401k megaroth, I still have like 6.5k/month post tax. 1.5k to rent, 2k to loans and thats still 3k/month.

What am I missing?


What year are you on. I had 6.5 post tax after maxing my 401k first year; cannot imagine how much lower it would with the other savings accounts.


I'm currently a second year. That's really bizarre to me. Without other contributions, my total post tax would be like almost 9k.

edit: i'm dumb. forgot market was only 160 until recently.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:33 pm
by Anonymous User
OP, so what are your plans? Have you quit yet?

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 12:37 pm
by arklaw13
gaddockteeg wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:
spyke123 wrote:Take out 1200-1500 or so for food, entertainment etc. and now youre looking at 1800-1500 per month in savings, which is not much given our salary


That's exactly what I do.

Annual 401k: 18k
Annual backdoor megaroth: 30k
HSA/Roth: 8k

1.5k/month x 12 = 18k

75k savings per year in a mix of posttax/pre tax dollars.


Are you at a firm that allows after-tax contributions, or in-house? Mine only allows pre-tax and roth. I figured it would be uncommon for firms to allow it because of complications with discrimination testing.


I'm at firm. Firm is pre-tax and also offers roth401k which is post-tax contributions (sounds similar/same as you?). That's what I was referring to.



Well you can't do a mega back door with Roth contributions. Has to be non-Roth aftertax, sometimes called voluntary non-deductible contributions. Roth contributions are subject to the same 18k limit as pre-tax.

Re: Anyone Ever Just Say "F*** It" To Biglaw?

Posted: Wed May 03, 2017 2:00 pm
by Npret
Anonymous User wrote:
Npret wrote:My point which I guess I didn't state plainly enough is that OP borrowing massive debt for law school is the fundamental problem here. The question isn't whether he can live frugally with a roommate in NYC on a 6 figure salary. He isn't complaining about his life style, he hates his biglaw job that he mortgaged his future to have.
Now, what is he going to do?

I wish more 0Ls would grasp this point instead of making their biglaw budgets.


OP Here - DING DING DING - Law school ended up being the biggest mistake of my entire life. I wasn't even interested in law school until I took the LSAT on a whim and did well because every single job I interviewed for ended up puling the position (ugrad GPA was not great so I had no scholarships to good schools). I figured big law would be bad, but that I could hack it for five years, pay off the debt and have a nice savings account to figure out next steps, but that was a TERRIBLE idea. People don't understand just how bad big law can be and how stress just completely wears you down. After 4 years of stressing out about the debt, I've decided worrying isn't worth it and the debt is just a number and I can't let it define my future. I went to law school to work in corporate law at a top firm. I worked at a V10 firm, which to most in law school is "winning", and within 6 months was like "holy shit, what have I done".

This is all my fault. I didn't trust my gut when I got close to school starting and I got nervous thinking maybe i was making a mistake and took the "easy" way instead of networking and hustling for a job. I listened to friends and family saying that I made it to an amazing school, I'll be fine and the debt is "good debt". Newsflash to 0Ls, student debt is horrible debt because you have no collateral backing it. You can't just sell an asset and be done with it, or ruin your credit temporarily and be done via bankruptcy.


OP you at least have some credentials and accomplished what you set out to do. You've also done a good job with the money you've earned so far. You could be in a much worse position.

I could honestly see leaving without a job if you at least have a plan or an outline of what you want to do next. You will be able to say that you pursued a goal and decided law isn't for you.

Luckily there are debt repayment plans so you can get the monthly payment down while you are unemployed.

You should look for advice from people who have experience with career transition. There are coaches and podcasts that you can find for advice. You need to narrow down what your next step will be towards.