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

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 03, 2017 3:09 pm

Npret wrote:
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.


I could see how corporate associates would feel this way, but just to add another perspective. I'm a 2nd year litigation associate. Although most days the job isn't fun, I see myself building towards a career that I'll ultimately enjoy. I've already tried a case and arbitration, taken and defended depositions, and argued a few motions. All that stuff is fun to me. I hope that eventually this stuff will be the majority rather than the extreme minority of my practice.

I couldn't do any of those things in other professions. I really enjoy representing clients and being in Court. When I'm done with biglaw, I'll have some money saved and loans hopefully paid, or at least on my way there. Can't really complain about my choice to enter the profession.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 03, 2017 3:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP, so what are your plans? Have you quit yet?


Nah, still trucking along. Waiting on a firm I interviewed at in a smaller market to get back to me and hoping it works out. Pay cut would be significant, but I think QOL change would be worth it to free up time, get rid of stress and after a few years really figure out what I want to do if I don't want to stay. If it doesn't work out, I'll probably start looking around at government and in house positions. Trying to stick it out and not just quit, but we'll see

User avatar
njdevils2626

Bronze
Posts: 495
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:53 pm

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

Postby njdevils2626 » Wed May 03, 2017 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Npret wrote:
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.


I could see how corporate associates would feel this way, but just to add another perspective. I'm a 2nd year litigation associate. Although most days the job isn't fun, I see myself building towards a career that I'll ultimately enjoy. I've already tried a case and arbitration, taken and defended depositions, and argued a few motions. All that stuff is fun to me. I hope that eventually this stuff will be the majority rather than the extreme minority of my practice.

I couldn't do any of those things in other professions. I really enjoy representing clients and being in Court. When I'm done with biglaw, I'll have some money saved and loans hopefully paid, or at least on my way there. Can't really complain about my choice to enter the profession.


Congrats, buddy. I don't think this thread was seeking input from other associates about how much they like their jobs though...

Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 03, 2017 4:56 pm

njdevils2626 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Npret wrote:
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.


I could see how corporate associates would feel this way, but just to add another perspective. I'm a 2nd year litigation associate. Although most days the job isn't fun, I see myself building towards a career that I'll ultimately enjoy. I've already tried a case and arbitration, taken and defended depositions, and argued a few motions. All that stuff is fun to me. I hope that eventually this stuff will be the majority rather than the extreme minority of my practice.

I couldn't do any of those things in other professions. I really enjoy representing clients and being in Court. When I'm done with biglaw, I'll have some money saved and loans hopefully paid, or at least on my way there. Can't really complain about my choice to enter the profession.


Congrats, buddy. I don't think this thread was seeking input from other associates about how much they like their jobs though...


I didn't say I liked it. Quite frankly, I don't really like it that much. I'll I'm saying is that it's bearable, at times fun, and may lead to a rewarding career later on. I know it's not specific to OP, but these threads are never just about the OP. They always devolve into biglaw in general and varying prospective on it. But I'll just keep my comments to myself. I'm sure all of the comments over the courts of this thread have been way more useful.

ballouttacontrol

Silver
Posts: 678
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:00 pm

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

Postby ballouttacontrol » Wed May 03, 2017 5:44 pm

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?



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 guys at firms that allow in-service withdrawals so you can transfer your 401k to IRAs while still employed? I thought this was pretty rare...

gaddockteeg

Bronze
Posts: 373
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:33 pm

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

Postby gaddockteeg » Wed May 03, 2017 5:51 pm

ballouttacontrol wrote:
Are you guys at firms that allow in-service withdrawals so you can transfer your 401k to IRAs while still employed? I thought this was pretty rare...


Not me. My understanding is that I dont get to convert until I leave the firm.

arklaw13

Gold
Posts: 1862
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

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

Postby arklaw13 » Wed May 03, 2017 5:53 pm

gaddockteeg wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
Are you guys at firms that allow in-service withdrawals so you can transfer your 401k to IRAs while still employed? I thought this was pretty rare...


Not me. My understanding is that I dont get to convert until I leave the firm.


But you still get the ability to do non-Roth after tax contributions in addition to Pre-Tax and Roth?

And even if your firm doesn't allow in-service withdrawals, they may allow in-service conversions to a Roth 401k (so the gains while you work there are tax-free instead of tax-deferred).

ballouttacontrol

Silver
Posts: 678
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:00 pm

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

Postby ballouttacontrol » Wed May 03, 2017 6:02 pm

gaddockteeg wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
Are you guys at firms that allow in-service withdrawals so you can transfer your 401k to IRAs while still employed? I thought this was pretty rare...


Not me. My understanding is that I dont get to convert until I leave the firm.


so is your assumption that you'll be leaving the firm relatively soon? b/c you pay tax on the earnings when you convert the after-tax contributions to the Roth IRA right.

arklaw13

Gold
Posts: 1862
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

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

Postby arklaw13 » Wed May 03, 2017 8:45 pm

ballouttacontrol wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
Are you guys at firms that allow in-service withdrawals so you can transfer your 401k to IRAs while still employed? I thought this was pretty rare...


Not me. My understanding is that I dont get to convert until I leave the firm.


so is your assumption that you'll be leaving the firm relatively soon? b/c you pay tax on the earnings when you convert the after-tax contributions to the Roth IRA right.


He could also divert the earnings to a traditional IRA while converting the contributions to the Roth.

ballouttacontrol

Silver
Posts: 678
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:00 pm

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

Postby ballouttacontrol » Wed May 03, 2017 10:02 pm

arklaw13 wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
Are you guys at firms that allow in-service withdrawals so you can transfer your 401k to IRAs while still employed? I thought this was pretty rare...


Not me. My understanding is that I dont get to convert until I leave the firm.


so is your assumption that you'll be leaving the firm relatively soon? b/c you pay tax on the earnings when you convert the after-tax contributions to the Roth IRA right.


He could also divert the earnings to a traditional IRA while converting the contributions to the Roth.


you're right, that's how it's supposed to be done.

so, if I'm thinking clearly, there would be no advantage to making an in-service conversion versus rolling over 10 or 20 years later then regardless, right?

User avatar
nunumaster

Silver
Posts: 915
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:11 am

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

Postby nunumaster » Wed May 03, 2017 10:45 pm

ballouttacontrol wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
Are you guys at firms that allow in-service withdrawals so you can transfer your 401k to IRAs while still employed? I thought this was pretty rare...


Not me. My understanding is that I dont get to convert until I leave the firm.


so is your assumption that you'll be leaving the firm relatively soon? b/c you pay tax on the earnings when you convert the after-tax contributions to the Roth IRA right.


He could also divert the earnings to a traditional IRA while converting the contributions to the Roth.


you're right, that's how it's supposed to be done.

so, if I'm thinking clearly, there would be no advantage to making an in-service conversion versus rolling over 10 or 20 years later then regardless, right?


Well I thought you could only convert 5500 of it per year into the roth, even when done backdoor? Also, there's a benefit of having your earnings grow tax free from earlier on. If you roll over 10/20 years later, you'll pay tax on the entire amount you convert at that time (the earnings +the pre-tax princiapls contributed). I could be wrong.

ballouttacontrol

Silver
Posts: 678
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:00 pm

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

Postby ballouttacontrol » Wed May 03, 2017 11:10 pm

nunumaster wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
Are you guys at firms that allow in-service withdrawals so you can transfer your 401k to IRAs while still employed? I thought this was pretty rare...


Not me. My understanding is that I dont get to convert until I leave the firm.


so is your assumption that you'll be leaving the firm relatively soon? b/c you pay tax on the earnings when you convert the after-tax contributions to the Roth IRA right.


He could also divert the earnings to a traditional IRA while converting the contributions to the Roth.


you're right, that's how it's supposed to be done.

so, if I'm thinking clearly, there would be no advantage to making an in-service conversion versus rolling over 10 or 20 years later then regardless, right?


Well I thought you could only convert 5500 of it per year into the roth, even when done backdoor? Also, there's a benefit of having your earnings grow tax free from earlier on. If you roll over 10/20 years later, you'll pay tax on the entire amount you convert at that time (the earnings +the pre-tax princiapls contributed). I could be wrong.


yea that's not right. you can convert the entire thing. you convert the earnings to a tIRA and contributions to roth IRA. See: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-54.pdf

So, the contribution has already been taxed, and the earnings are taxed as income when you finally sell in retirement.

So, unless there's something I'm missing, i don't see any advantage in converting earlier rather than later.

edit: nvm. I'm dumb - got it straightened out in my head. The sooner the better. The whole time pre-conversion your after-tax principal is growing, those earnings will need to go tIRA which will be taxed, versus, if you had converted immediately, all of the earnings would be post-tax and not be taxed as income upon distribution

arklaw13

Gold
Posts: 1862
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

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

Postby arklaw13 » Thu May 04, 2017 9:39 am

ballouttacontrol wrote:
nunumaster wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
gaddockteeg wrote:
ballouttacontrol wrote:
Are you guys at firms that allow in-service withdrawals so you can transfer your 401k to IRAs while still employed? I thought this was pretty rare...


Not me. My understanding is that I dont get to convert until I leave the firm.


so is your assumption that you'll be leaving the firm relatively soon? b/c you pay tax on the earnings when you convert the after-tax contributions to the Roth IRA right.


He could also divert the earnings to a traditional IRA while converting the contributions to the Roth.


you're right, that's how it's supposed to be done.

so, if I'm thinking clearly, there would be no advantage to making an in-service conversion versus rolling over 10 or 20 years later then regardless, right?


Well I thought you could only convert 5500 of it per year into the roth, even when done backdoor? Also, there's a benefit of having your earnings grow tax free from earlier on. If you roll over 10/20 years later, you'll pay tax on the entire amount you convert at that time (the earnings +the pre-tax princiapls contributed). I could be wrong.


yea that's not right. you can convert the entire thing. you convert the earnings to a tIRA and contributions to roth IRA. See: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-54.pdf

So, the contribution has already been taxed, and the earnings are taxed as income when you finally sell in retirement.

So, unless there's something I'm missing, i don't see any advantage in converting earlier rather than later.

edit: nvm. I'm dumb - got it straightened out in my head. The sooner the better. The whole time pre-conversion your after-tax principal is growing, those earnings will need to go tIRA which will be taxed, versus, if you had converted immediately, all of the earnings would be post-tax and not be taxed as income upon distribution


Yeah in service is always going to be better if it's available. I don't even have the ability to make after-tax contributions so it's a non-issue for me (as it is with most people, I imagine).

User avatar
nunumaster

Silver
Posts: 915
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:11 am

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

Postby nunumaster » Thu May 04, 2017 10:23 am

So based on the above, what's the point of waiting and doing a mega back door conversion then? You're only allowed to fund your tIRA with $5500 a year, so it would make sense to backdoor that into the roth each year right?

so each year, the hierarchy of contributions should be:
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
X to your HSA/other tax defered accounts
Balance to your taxable brokerage account

arklaw13

Gold
Posts: 1862
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

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

Postby arklaw13 » Thu May 04, 2017 10:43 am

nunumaster wrote:So based on the above, what's the point of waiting and doing a mega back door conversion then? You're only allowed to fund your tIRA with $5500 a year, so it would make sense to backdoor that into the roth each year right?

so each year, the hierarchy of contributions should be:
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
X to your HSA/other tax defered accounts
Balance to your taxable brokerage account


The point is that, depending on your plan limits, you could put an extra 36k per year into a roth IRA. My heirarchy would be:

Max to your HSA, if applicable
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
36k (or likely a lower limit defined by your plan) as non-Roth after tax 401k contributions, which you either (1) do an in-service conversion to a Roth IRA of possible; or (2) convert the contributions to Roth IRA when you leave and convert the earnings to a tIRA.
other tax defered accounts?
Balance to your taxable brokerage account

User avatar
nunumaster

Silver
Posts: 915
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:11 am

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

Postby nunumaster » Thu May 04, 2017 11:47 am

arklaw13 wrote:
nunumaster wrote:So based on the above, what's the point of waiting and doing a mega back door conversion then? You're only allowed to fund your tIRA with $5500 a year, so it would make sense to backdoor that into the roth each year right?

so each year, the hierarchy of contributions should be:
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
X to your HSA/other tax defered accounts
Balance to your taxable brokerage account


The point is that, depending on your plan limits, you could put an extra 36k per year into a roth IRA. My heirarchy would be:

Max to your HSA, if applicable
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
36k (or likely a lower limit defined by your plan) as non-Roth after tax 401k contributions, which you either (1) do an in-service conversion to a Roth IRA of possible; or (2) convert the contributions to Roth IRA when you leave and convert the earnings to a tIRA.
other tax defered accounts?
Balance to your taxable brokerage account


Oh i didn't realize that was possible. Thanks, very informative!

arklaw13

Gold
Posts: 1862
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

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

Postby arklaw13 » Thu May 04, 2017 11:50 am

nunumaster wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:
nunumaster wrote:So based on the above, what's the point of waiting and doing a mega back door conversion then? You're only allowed to fund your tIRA with $5500 a year, so it would make sense to backdoor that into the roth each year right?

so each year, the hierarchy of contributions should be:
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
X to your HSA/other tax defered accounts
Balance to your taxable brokerage account


The point is that, depending on your plan limits, you could put an extra 36k per year into a roth IRA. My heirarchy would be:

Max to your HSA, if applicable
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
36k (or likely a lower limit defined by your plan) as non-Roth after tax 401k contributions, which you either (1) do an in-service conversion to a Roth IRA of possible; or (2) convert the contributions to Roth IRA when you leave and convert the earnings to a tIRA.
other tax defered accounts?
Balance to your taxable brokerage account


Oh i didn't realize that was possible. Thanks, very informative!


It's contingent on your 401k plan allowing non-Roth after-tax contributions. Almost none do, and those that do tend to place a limit on them because it can create problems in discrimination testing. And of the few that do allow those contributions, few will allow in-service withdrawals or Roth 401k conversions. So it's possible for maybe like 5% of people.

ballouttacontrol

Silver
Posts: 678
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:00 pm

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

Postby ballouttacontrol » Thu May 04, 2017 12:34 pm

arklaw13 wrote:
nunumaster wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:
nunumaster wrote:So based on the above, what's the point of waiting and doing a mega back door conversion then? You're only allowed to fund your tIRA with $5500 a year, so it would make sense to backdoor that into the roth each year right?

so each year, the hierarchy of contributions should be:
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
X to your HSA/other tax defered accounts
Balance to your taxable brokerage account


The point is that, depending on your plan limits, you could put an extra 36k per year into a roth IRA. My heirarchy would be:

Max to your HSA, if applicable
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
36k (or likely a lower limit defined by your plan) as non-Roth after tax 401k contributions, which you either (1) do an in-service conversion to a Roth IRA of possible; or (2) convert the contributions to Roth IRA when you leave and convert the earnings to a tIRA.
other tax defered accounts?
Balance to your taxable brokerage account


Oh i didn't realize that was possible. Thanks, very informative!


It's contingent on your 401k plan allowing non-Roth after-tax contributions. Almost none do, and those that do tend to place a limit on them because it can create problems in discrimination testing. And of the few that do allow those contributions, few will allow in-service withdrawals or Roth 401k conversions. So it's possible for maybe like 5% of people.


I read recently that btwn 40-50% of 401k plans offer after-tax contributions now. What is the problem with discrimination?

arklaw13

Gold
Posts: 1862
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:36 pm

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

Postby arklaw13 » Thu May 04, 2017 12:57 pm

ballouttacontrol wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:
nunumaster wrote:
arklaw13 wrote:
nunumaster wrote:So based on the above, what's the point of waiting and doing a mega back door conversion then? You're only allowed to fund your tIRA with $5500 a year, so it would make sense to backdoor that into the roth each year right?

so each year, the hierarchy of contributions should be:
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
X to your HSA/other tax defered accounts
Balance to your taxable brokerage account


The point is that, depending on your plan limits, you could put an extra 36k per year into a roth IRA. My heirarchy would be:

Max to your HSA, if applicable
18k to your 401k
5.5 to your tIRA (which you then convert right away to the roth)
36k (or likely a lower limit defined by your plan) as non-Roth after tax 401k contributions, which you either (1) do an in-service conversion to a Roth IRA of possible; or (2) convert the contributions to Roth IRA when you leave and convert the earnings to a tIRA.
other tax defered accounts?
Balance to your taxable brokerage account


Oh i didn't realize that was possible. Thanks, very informative!


It's contingent on your 401k plan allowing non-Roth after-tax contributions. Almost none do, and those that do tend to place a limit on them because it can create problems in discrimination testing. And of the few that do allow those contributions, few will allow in-service withdrawals or Roth 401k conversions. So it's possible for maybe like 5% of people.


I read recently that btwn 40-50% of 401k plans offer after-tax contributions now. What is the problem with discrimination?


I didn't realize that many had it. From what I understand it's very uncommon among law firms.

Re: discrimination testing:

Rules limit how much difference there can be between the contributions of highly compensated employees (120k or above income) vs. everyone else. After tax contributions allow for up to 36k in addition to the 18k. The people most likely to be able to max that out are going to be HCE's. So unless a plan has safe harbor provisions in place, it's not likely to allow after-tax contributions because it HCE's are going to take advantage of it, end up contributing a lot more than non-HCE's as a group, and cause the plan to fail discrimination testing.

That's probably simplifying it, but I don't understand the details of the rules in place well enough to give a better explanation.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:38 pm

OP Here - Wanted to update people that I have decided that I will be leaving big law and the law in general. I have also decided that finance/consulting/NYC professional life is not for me and I'll be foregoing that route as well. I haven't decided on when I am going to leave the firm (whether I get forced out or I quit after finding a less stressful job), but have decided that once firm life is done, I'll be going to community college to complete pre-reqs to a different career in the sciences. Good luck to everyone figuring out life and their careers, I've been thinking for months now about what to do and it feels great to figure out what your options are.

michaelscotch99

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:26 pm

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

Postby michaelscotch99 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP Here - Wanted to update people that I have decided that I will be leaving big law and the law in general. I have also decided that finance/consulting/NYC professional life is not for me and I'll be foregoing that route as well. I haven't decided on when I am going to leave the firm (whether I get forced out or I quit after finding a less stressful job), but have decided that once firm life is done, I'll be going to community college to complete pre-reqs to a different career in the sciences. Good luck to everyone figuring out life and their careers, I've been thinking for months now about what to do and it feels great to figure out what your options are.

Good for you. Its sunk cost

Ive been thinking about a career in programming but am too deep in the hole debt wise to leave law. Maybe sometime in the future.

I have a science background and i can tell you its also has its pros and cons. Hopefully its more in tune with what you like. Best of luck!

Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:37 pm

Congrats on your decision! I too have decided to leave law but I have too much debt to quit right at the moment.... just jealous of your position. Good luck!

User avatar
Mickfromgm

Bronze
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:40 pm

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

Postby Mickfromgm » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
grand inquisitor wrote:generally you would figure out what it is you want to do next before you say "fuck it" to biglaw. people do that for the same reason chimps don't let go of one branch until they have their hand firmly on another: you risk falling into the vale of darkness/unemployment.


Obviously you should try to have something lined up, but that isn't what the question is. Wondering if people have just bounced and tried to figure it out.


I am no statistician but I can assure you that millions and millions of BigLaw associates have done that. I knew a several who did it without having anything lined up - just got sick of it all. Most are homeless now. Okay, I don't know that. :)

If you don't have anything lined up, maybe you can get a 3-6 month "severance" if you dig, so you can figure out your next move in peace.

And in case you were implying this, don't you dare touch your tax-conditioned retirement plans, dude.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:48 pm

Good shit, OP. I am seriously considering leaving with no backup with less than a year in, but have no savings so I will probably hold on as long as I can. Might try to change firms after a year to see if it is marginally better, but lol at that working.

Good luck, dude. My guess is you will be happier, healthier and still able to provide adequately for yourself (although there may be some bumps in the short term).

Anonymous User
Posts: 324894
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:45 pm

Mid-level associate checking in while working on a beautiful June Saturday to say good luck we're all counting on you.



Return to “Legal Employment�

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.