People who like 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.
User avatar
cdotson2

Silver
Posts: 853
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:06 am

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby cdotson2 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:11 am

smokeylarue wrote:You literally just have to read: "Sure 80k a year is plenty for a single person"

Which you said in defense to your original comment, about 2mil being the minimum needed to survive. But, you then went on to say a family of two would not be comfortable, and that a family of three would be even worse off. It is a straw-man for us to say you meant you would be on the edge of death if you made 80k, but it is pretty obvious you have a warped view of how much money people generally need to live comfortably.

User avatar
smokeylarue

Silver
Posts: 583
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby smokeylarue » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:29 am

Dude you just went from me saying 80k per person is barely surviving (which you totally made up as I clearly said the opposite) to 80k for a family of 3 as not being that comfortable (which I did write). You could not have done a worse job reading comprehension-wise.

lagamemnon

New
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:13 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby lagamemnon » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:44 am

smokeylarue wrote:Dude you just went from me saying 80k per person is barely surviving (which you totally made up as I clearly said the opposite) to 80k for a family of 3 as not being that comfortable (which I did write). You could not have done a worse job reading comprehension-wise.


Whatever our differences, I think we can all agree that this guy sucks.

User avatar
cdotson2

Silver
Posts: 853
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:06 am

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby cdotson2 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:02 am

smokeylarue wrote:Dude you just went from me saying 80k per person is barely surviving (which you totally made up as I clearly said the opposite) to 80k for a family of 3 as not being that comfortable (which I did write). You could not have done a worse job reading comprehension-wise.

it's kinda like how you went from claiming that 2 mil is the minimum needed to survive, and then completely backtracked. Except, my point is still valid and yours isn't. It's funny how being charitable and admitting you weren't responding to exactly what someone else said is viewed as a weakness. I fully comprehend your position from the statements you made, and if you want to claim I lack reading comprehension it is not worse than any of the other posters who also commented on how obviously out of touch you are.

oblig.lawl.ref

Bronze
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:28 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:04 am

Uhhh, damn. Apparently I'm also a terrible person because there's probably very few scenarios where I'd be truly content raising a family on $80k. Not many places I'd really want to live that are that affordable. (And I don't think that makes one a bad person.)

ghostoftraynor

Bronze
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:43 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby ghostoftraynor » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:02 am

Can we go back to defining fuck you money? Pretty clear most people on this forum have a warped sense of what it takes to survive, but at the same time most people on this forum don't want to live on normal salaries--if we did we probably wouldn't have become lawyers (lol don't troll me PI lawyers).
Last edited by ghostoftraynor on Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cavalier1138

Gold
Posts: 4954
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:16 am

ITT: rich kids debate just how rich they have to be in order to be the richest kid on the block.

Hikikomorist

Platinum
Posts: 7792
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:05 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Hikikomorist » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:32 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:you're not getting trolled. it is objectively ridiculous to think that 80k a year is barely surviving. My family, in which I am 1 of 4 kids, lived on a single income of around 40,000 pretty comfortably. Admittedly it is a low cost of living area, but still, if you think you can't survive on 80k a year you are living in an extreme bubble.


LOL you cannot be serious. 40k for a family of 6 is close to poverty level. Honestly I have no clue where you lived that it provided a comfortable life, but most people here have no desire to live in North fuckin dakota.


This is the second time in this thread you’ve badly missed the point and sprinted headfirst into exactly what people are criticizing your position for.

A guy tells you that he was perfectly comfortable with far less than the objectively massive amount (percentile-wise) of money you characterized as meager, and you immediately tried to shit on “North fuckin dakota” (where hundreds of thousands of people manage to be happy) and basically imply you’d only be happy in eight cities, and, again, treated this like a badge of honor instead of the debilitating personal failure that it is.

I feel sad whenever I see people like that in the office, responding to Bidder NDA comments at 1 AM like they’ve been doing for 19 years because having $2M at 45 wasn’t enough, desperately hoping that happiness and fulfillment finally comes from the next swanky Tribeca apartment, or some stylish coat, or some new iPhone. They could have 99.9% of what the world has to offer, but the one thing they’ll never be able to buy is enough. But hey, at least you don’t have to have a lower-stress job, meaningful interpersonal relationships, and time to enjoy and cultivate hobbies like the rubes in Fargo. Enjoy your Dom, you desperate soul; you’re gonna need it when they tell you to work at your son’s graduation.

I'm not sure why you keep using characterizations that give more weight to the average income in China/India than to the U.S. average. Global percentiles for income/wealth almost never matter. Also, the vast majority aren't living anything remotely close to a comfortable life.

You don't have to be a miserable, prestige-obsessed consumerist to feel deeply uncomfortable living off of $80k per year, even as a single person. You're still just a couple unfortunate events away from being completely destitute, no matter how geograhically strategic you've been about living expenses. $80k isn't poverty as a single person, and I've lived on far less, but it's also far from comfortable.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29316
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:56 am

(hikko post about money)

jd20132013

Silver
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:33 am

Uncomfortable. Lol.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324816
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:15 am

Hikikomorist wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:you're not getting trolled. it is objectively ridiculous to think that 80k a year is barely surviving. My family, in which I am 1 of 4 kids, lived on a single income of around 40,000 pretty comfortably. Admittedly it is a low cost of living area, but still, if you think you can't survive on 80k a year you are living in an extreme bubble.


LOL you cannot be serious. 40k for a family of 6 is close to poverty level. Honestly I have no clue where you lived that it provided a comfortable life, but most people here have no desire to live in North fuckin dakota.


This is the second time in this thread you’ve badly missed the point and sprinted headfirst into exactly what people are criticizing your position for.

A guy tells you that he was perfectly comfortable with far less than the objectively massive amount (percentile-wise) of money you characterized as meager, and you immediately tried to shit on “North fuckin dakota” (where hundreds of thousands of people manage to be happy) and basically imply you’d only be happy in eight cities, and, again, treated this like a badge of honor instead of the debilitating personal failure that it is.

I feel sad whenever I see people like that in the office, responding to Bidder NDA comments at 1 AM like they’ve been doing for 19 years because having $2M at 45 wasn’t enough, desperately hoping that happiness and fulfillment finally comes from the next swanky Tribeca apartment, or some stylish coat, or some new iPhone. They could have 99.9% of what the world has to offer, but the one thing they’ll never be able to buy is enough. But hey, at least you don’t have to have a lower-stress job, meaningful interpersonal relationships, and time to enjoy and cultivate hobbies like the rubes in Fargo. Enjoy your Dom, you desperate soul; you’re gonna need it when they tell you to work at your son’s graduation.

I'm not sure why you keep using characterizations that give more weight to the average income in China/India than to the U.S. average. Global percentiles for income/wealth almost never matter. Also, the vast majority aren't living anything remotely close to a comfortable life.

You don't have to be a miserable, prestige-obsessed consumerist to feel deeply uncomfortable living off of $80k per year, even as a single person. You're still just a couple unfortunate events away from being completely destitute, no matter how geograhically strategic you've been about living expenses. $80k isn't poverty as a single person, and I've lived on far less, but it's also far from comfortable.
\

I live in NYC and if we're talking 80k, after taxes, in a situation where you aren't too concerned with saving like crazy to build up a nest-egg, especially as a single person. I can't imagine that not being enough. I spend way less than that, and I feel like I constantly blow my money on stupid shit like taking unnecessary cabs, overpriced brunches, etc.

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 2884
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby nealric » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:23 am

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:Fuck you money is having enough saved where you can live off the safe withdrawl rate from your investments without needing a job (I.e. Where the principal balance does not decrease). Some people say the rate is 4% (plus inflation). So I'd need 2million, though that amount varies for other people.


Dude that is not FU money. That is more like minimum needed to survive.


A 4% return—which is conservative—is $80k a year, with no supplemental income from something you might actually like, without ever touching the principal.

If you “need” $80k a year to “survive” despite having no job-related constraints on where to live, you’re the kind of person who’s bound to keep working in the vain hope that the next financial milestone will finally lift you from your misery. But it never will. So congrats on making service partner.


Slightly off-topic, but the 4% safe withdrawal rate for retirement investments is generally used for people retiring at 60-65. A 30-year old withdrawing $80k a year inflation adjusted from a $2M portfolio runs a decent chance of running out of money. The big risk is sequence of returns. If you retire and the market crashes soon after, $80k/yr could drain the portfolio quickly. A good resource for those thinking of early retirement:

https://www.firecalc.com/

It runs monte-carlo simulations of retirement draw downs based on historical market performance. Long story short, having $2M is a fantastic financial cushion, but it's probably not really enough to walk away from gainful employment unless you plan on living frugally in a low cost of living locale.

User avatar
84651846190

Gold
Posts: 2198
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby 84651846190 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:30 am

idk
Last edited by 84651846190 on Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
Posts: 324816
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:32 am

nealric wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:
Yugihoe wrote:Fuck you money is having enough saved where you can live off the safe withdrawl rate from your investments without needing a job (I.e. Where the principal balance does not decrease). Some people say the rate is 4% (plus inflation). So I'd need 2million, though that amount varies for other people.


Dude that is not FU money. That is more like minimum needed to survive.


A 4% return—which is conservative—is $80k a year, with no supplemental income from something you might actually like, without ever touching the principal.

If you “need” $80k a year to “survive” despite having no job-related constraints on where to live, you’re the kind of person who’s bound to keep working in the vain hope that the next financial milestone will finally lift you from your misery. But it never will. So congrats on making service partner.


Slightly off-topic, but the 4% safe withdrawal rate for retirement investments is generally used for people retiring at 60-65. A 30-year old withdrawing $80k a year inflation adjusted from a $2M portfolio runs a decent chance of running out of money. The big risk is sequence of returns. If you retire and the market crashes soon after, $80k/yr could drain the portfolio quickly. A good resource for those thinking of early retirement:

https://www.firecalc.com/

It runs monte-carlo simulations of retirement draw downs based on historical market performance. Long story short, having $2M is a fantastic financial cushion, but it's probably not really enough to walk away from gainful employment unless you plan on living frugally in a low cost of living locale.



I would imagine that it would suck to retire at 30 and literally do nothing. (Also 30 is way too ambitious, a K-JD won't get out of law school until 26...doubtful any of us could hit 2 million by 30).

Anyways, the draw for me would be being able to have enough saved earlier in life would be only needing a paycheck that lets me break even while my savings appreciate. It makes taking that 30k/40k public interest job, or whatever, much more palatable. 40k if you can spend everything and not worry because your savings are generating more savings seems pretty nice. 40k when you need to be saving towards retirement would be rough. Single/no kids, though. This also presupposes that such jobs are easy to get, which isn't really the case.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Monochromatic Oeuvre

Gold
Posts: 2020
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:54 am

Hikikomorist wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:This is the second time in this thread you’ve badly missed the point and sprinted headfirst into exactly what people are criticizing your position for.

A guy tells you that he was perfectly comfortable with far less than the objectively massive amount (percentile-wise) of money you characterized as meager, and you immediately tried to shit on “North fuckin dakota” (where hundreds of thousands of people manage to be happy) and basically imply you’d only be happy in eight cities, and, again, treated this like a badge of honor instead of the debilitating personal failure that it is.

I feel sad whenever I see people like that in the office, responding to Bidder NDA comments at 1 AM like they’ve been doing for 19 years because having $2M at 45 wasn’t enough, desperately hoping that happiness and fulfillment finally comes from the next swanky Tribeca apartment, or some stylish coat, or some new iPhone. They could have 99.9% of what the world has to offer, but the one thing they’ll never be able to buy is enough. But hey, at least you don’t have to have a lower-stress job, meaningful interpersonal relationships, and time to enjoy and cultivate hobbies like the rubes in Fargo. Enjoy your Dom, you desperate soul; you’re gonna need it when they tell you to work at your son’s graduation.

I'm not sure why you keep using characterizations that give more weight to the average income in China/India than to the U.S. average. Global percentiles for income/wealth almost never matter. Also, the vast majority aren't living anything remotely close to a comfortable life.

You don't have to be a miserable, prestige-obsessed consumerist to feel deeply uncomfortable living off of $80k per year, even as a single person. You're still just a couple unfortunate events away from being completely destitute, no matter how geograhically strategic you've been about living expenses. $80k isn't poverty as a single person, and I've lived on far less, but it's also far from comfortable.


I use global percentiles to show that people at far, far lower income/wealth levels than people here would even consider possible nonetheless manage to live happy, fulfilling lives, and to pretend it would be impossible to do so is bogus. But you can restrict a discussion of $2MM to the U.S. and you're still in the 94th percentile. And I suspect you could cut out all the people in "North fuckin dakota" and say it's not really fair to compare lifestyles there either, and then you could say Queens isn't really the same, and so on, until finally, your group of "peers" is limited to a few guys on Park Avenue wherein, yes, you'll feel like $2MM isn't enough.

The underlying point of this isn't to castigate anyone for saying Income Level X is or isn't enough. The point is to highlight the ineludible truth that the more like you feel you "need" to live the lifestyle you consider appropriate, the longer you will feel compelled to work at this shitty job. Those who have the advantage of feeling content with less will be able to voluntarily leave earlier and will have to put up with less bullshit. Those who need more might up end always chasing the dragon until the day they croak.

User avatar
Monochromatic Oeuvre

Gold
Posts: 2020
Joined: Fri May 10, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:24 pm

nealric wrote:Slightly off-topic, but the 4% safe withdrawal rate for retirement investments is generally used for people retiring at 60-65. A 30-year old withdrawing $80k a year inflation adjusted from a $2M portfolio runs a decent chance of running out of money. The big risk is sequence of returns. If you retire and the market crashes soon after, $80k/yr could drain the portfolio quickly. A good resource for those thinking of early retirement:

https://www.firecalc.com/

It runs monte-carlo simulations of retirement draw downs based on historical market performance. Long story short, having $2M is a fantastic financial cushion, but it's probably not really enough to walk away from gainful employment unless you plan on living frugally in a low cost of living locale.


I put in $2M for 60 years and had to top $65k/yr in withdrawal before I wound up with any scenario that left an inheritance under $1.5M. If you can *spend* $65k/year, then even for a family of four, you have *at least* an upper-middle-class lifestyle in any part of the country except a handful of cities/posh suburbs (really anywhere in the world besides about 10 places). '

That is with no one in the house needing to work for the rest of their lives, in the worst-case scenario of market performance.

If you're telling me you can't even be CONTENT with that lifestyle (much less ecstatic), then yeah, I guess nothing I can say will ever convince you.

User avatar
SmokeytheBear

Silver
Posts: 923
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:40 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby SmokeytheBear » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:55 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:A 4% return—which is conservative—is $80k a year, with no supplemental income from something you might actually like, without ever touching the principal.

If you “need” $80k a year to “survive” despite having no job-related constraints on where to live, you’re the kind of person who’s bound to keep working in the vain hope that the next financial milestone will finally lift you from your misery. But it never will. So congrats on making service partner.


Life is not that linear man. Sure 80k a year is plenty for a single person (though I wouldn't say its FU money) on average. But there will be many years you may spend more than that. What if your wife doesn't work. 80k for two people isn't that comfortable. If you have kids, even worse for you. You're going to buy a house someday. You're going to buy some cars over your lifetime. You going to pay for your kids' colleges? Do you have any interest in leaving an inheritance? $2M at age 65 is plenty enough to retire. $2M at age 45? That can go fast.


Even WELL into the 99th percentile of global wealth, with no need to ever work, and with the freedom to live anywhere in the world, you can’t figure out how to have a house, car, a stay-at-home wife, and a couple kids with a decent education.

And you treat your struggle to accomplish these things that millions of others are able to do and nonetheless remain satisfied with their lives as a sign that you’re on some sort of higher echelon instead of the crippling handicap that it is.

Your utter inability to ask what satisfaction you might actually get after 40 years on the socioeconomic treadmill, with the threshold for “comfort” constantly rising and “true success” always barely out of reach like some fucked-up modern-day Tantalus, would be hilarious if it weren’t the actual thought process of the large majority of my firm’s partners and senior associates.


I think we could be buddies.

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 2884
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby nealric » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:56 pm

Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
nealric wrote:Slightly off-topic, but the 4% safe withdrawal rate for retirement investments is generally used for people retiring at 60-65. A 30-year old withdrawing $80k a year inflation adjusted from a $2M portfolio runs a decent chance of running out of money. The big risk is sequence of returns. If you retire and the market crashes soon after, $80k/yr could drain the portfolio quickly. A good resource for those thinking of early retirement:

https://www.firecalc.com/

It runs monte-carlo simulations of retirement draw downs based on historical market performance. Long story short, having $2M is a fantastic financial cushion, but it's probably not really enough to walk away from gainful employment unless you plan on living frugally in a low cost of living locale.


I put in $2M for 60 years and had to top $65k/yr in withdrawal before I wound up with any scenario that left an inheritance under $1.5M. If you can *spend* $65k/year, then even for a family of four, you have *at least* an upper-middle-class lifestyle in any part of the country except a handful of cities/posh suburbs (really anywhere in the world besides about 10 places). '

That is with no one in the house needing to work for the rest of their lives, in the worst-case scenario of market performance.

If you're telling me you can't even be CONTENT with that lifestyle (much less ecstatic), then yeah, I guess nothing I can say will ever convince you.


I'm certainly not telling you that you can't be content or even ecstatic with that lifestyle. Keep in mind that the calculator doesn't account for taxes, so this is not the same as spending $65k, though it's a bit better than earning $65k in a job as there are no payroll taxes to worry about. A serious concern not faced by your average family making $65k would be health insurance, as there is no telling what might be available 10 or 20 years down the road, and you have a long time before Medicare eligibility if you were to leave employment. Also, interestingly, one study in 2010 found income in excess of $75k to be the level where additional money won't make you any happier (probably around $80k in 2018 dollars).

One problem with simply discounting "posh suburbs and cities" is that those are precisely the places where one has the most potential to save up that kind of money at an early age (and where Biglaw has offices). While it's certainly possible to simply pack up and move to a place with a lower cost of living, that likely means abandoning friends and family. For many, proximity friends and family are far more important than money.

For me, the point of financial independence isn't really to literally retire, but to have the proverbial "FU money." While people have different definitions of that term, mine if I ever encountered a bad employment situation, I could tell them to "FU" and never worry about the money side of the equation- even if it meant I would never be able to work again. Very few people have that luxury. However, my number is higher than $2M because never working again with that amount saved would involve selling my house and dislocating my family- it's not really "FU" money if you are going to have to seriously upend your life over money.
Last edited by nealric on Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Yugihoe

Silver
Posts: 544
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:25 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Yugihoe » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:02 pm

This is a moot conversation. Some people are lavish spenders or want to send their kids to private school etc, so financial goals will differ. But people who say they can't live comfortably off of 80k are just out of touch with reality and need to just admit they enjoy the luxuries of life or want to get that $4k month 1 bed room apartment in Manhattan. I'm not saying you're wrong or passing judgement on your desires -- that is entirely your prerogative.

The reason I brought up the safe withdrawl rate is to say that I, personally, would never work big law if I had the 2m, which for me, is enough fu money to chill and pursue less gainful employment doing jobs/hobbies I enjoy that are not financially lucrative. In fact, I suspect I will leave big law long before I get close to that amount of accumulation, as will most of you.

Also to shift this conversation, the bigger barrier to exit is that it's almost a given now that jobs that pay reasonably well and are more enjoyable require the "golden badge of honor" that comes with having big law experience.

What I'm curious on is whether this is group think? The same way everyone just HAS to apply to be on journal or get on a secondary one, when in fact, it matters less than imagined. To draw an analogy, accounting students think they NEED to go to big 4 and grind it out for a few years so they can lateral to sweeter inhiuse finance positions at fortune 500s. But it's entirely possible to skip the bull shit and start inhouse at lower pay, and then job hop (while getting any other credentials to up your brand like getting a CPA license) and be readily making the same amount or more money as someone from big 4 in a few years.

From reading TLS it just always seems like the same is not true for big law given the prestige oriented nature of the industry and the fact that you're hired by other lawyers who jumped through the hoops. Is this true?

User avatar
SmokeytheBear

Silver
Posts: 923
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:40 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby SmokeytheBear » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:07 pm

Yugihoe wrote:This is a moot conversation. Some people are lavish spenders or want to send their kids to private school etc, so financial goals will differ. But people who say they can't live comfortably off of 80k are just out of touch with reality and need to just admit they enjoy the luxuries of life or want to get that $4k month 1 bed room apartment in Manhattan. I'm not saying you're wrong or passing judgement on your desires -- that is entirely your prerogative.

The reason I brought up the safe withdrawl rate is to say that I, personally, would never work big law if I had the 2m, which for me, is enough fu money to chill and pursue less gainful employment doing jobs/hobbies I enjoy that are not financially lucrative. In fact, I suspect I will leave big law long before I get close to that amount of accumulation, as will most of you.

Also to shift this conversation, the bigger barrier to exit is that it's almost a given now that jobs that pay reasonably well and are more enjoyable require the "golden badge of honor" that comes with having big law experience.

What I'm curious on is whether this is group think? The same way everyone just HAS to apply to be on journal or get on a secondary one, when in fact, it matters less than imagined. To draw an analogy, accounting students think they NEED to go to big 4 and grind it out for a few years so they can lateral to sweeter inhiuse finance positions at fortune 500s. But it's entirely possible to skip the bull shit and start inhouse at lower pay, and then job hop (while getting any other credentials to up your brand like getting a CPA license) and be readily making the same amount or more money as someone from big 4 in a few years.

From reading TLS it just always seems like the same is not true for big law given the prestige oriented nature of the industry and the fact that you're hired by other lawyers who jumped through the hoops. Is this true?


I know approximately 25 in house attorneys at PE funds, dot coms (not start ups), and F500s. I have come to know these people through various means--college, my law school, my best friend's law school, or just met them drinking. I don't know any of them from either of the law firms that I have worked at.

All of them but one (I had to strain to think of the one) did big law.

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 2884
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby nealric » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:15 pm

Yugihoe wrote:This is a moot conversation. Some people are lavish spenders or want to send their kids to private school etc, so financial goals will differ. But people who say they can't live comfortably off of 80k are just out of touch with reality and need to just admit they enjoy the luxuries of life or want to get that $4k month 1 bed room apartment in Manhattan. I'm not saying you're wrong or passing judgement on your desires -- that is entirely your prerogative.

The reason I brought up the safe withdrawl rate is to say that I, personally, would never work big law if I had the 2m, which for me, is enough fu money to chill and pursue less gainful employment doing jobs/hobbies I enjoy that are not financially lucrative. In fact, I suspect I will leave big law long before I get close to that amount of accumulation, as will most of you.

Also to shift this conversation, the bigger barrier to exit is that it's almost a given now that jobs that pay reasonably well and are more enjoyable require the "golden badge of honor" that comes with having big law experience.

What I'm curious on is whether this is group think? The same way everyone just HAS to apply to be on journal or get on a secondary one, when in fact, it matters less than imagined. To draw an analogy, accounting students think they NEED to go to big 4 and grind it out for a few years so they can lateral to sweeter inhiuse finance positions at fortune 500s. But it's entirely possible to skip the bull shit and start inhouse at lower pay, and then job hop (while getting any other credentials to up your brand like getting a CPA license) and be readily making the same amount or more money as someone from big 4 in a few years.

From reading TLS it just always seems like the same is not true for big law given the prestige oriented nature of the industry and the fact that you're hired by other lawyers who jumped through the hoops. Is this true?


As with accounting, it is certainly possible to get a less stressful but still remunerative position without jumping through the biglaw hoops. However, doing Biglaw greatly increases your odds of getting a good in-house position (for example) just as it's a lot easier to get a good industry job with Big4 experience. For reference, at my F500, I can only think of one accountant who did not spend time at one of the Big 4 or a predecessor equivalent (and I work with dozens). I can only think of one attorney in the legal group with no biglaw experience- and the legal department no longer hires new graduates (nor do any of the finance and accounting groups). Going in at a lower-level position and "moving up" often isn't an option.

While there are certainly bad biglaw situations where you don't learn, working in a good biglaw environment is a fantastic learning experience for many- I still draw from it even though I've been in-house now longer than I was in biglaw.

User avatar
smokeylarue

Silver
Posts: 583
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby smokeylarue » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:26 pm

nealric wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
nealric wrote:Slightly off-topic, but the 4% safe withdrawal rate for retirement investments is generally used for people retiring at 60-65. A 30-year old withdrawing $80k a year inflation adjusted from a $2M portfolio runs a decent chance of running out of money. The big risk is sequence of returns. If you retire and the market crashes soon after, $80k/yr could drain the portfolio quickly. A good resource for those thinking of early retirement:

https://www.firecalc.com/

It runs monte-carlo simulations of retirement draw downs based on historical market performance. Long story short, having $2M is a fantastic financial cushion, but it's probably not really enough to walk away from gainful employment unless you plan on living frugally in a low cost of living locale.


I put in $2M for 60 years and had to top $65k/yr in withdrawal before I wound up with any scenario that left an inheritance under $1.5M. If you can *spend* $65k/year, then even for a family of four, you have *at least* an upper-middle-class lifestyle in any part of the country except a handful of cities/posh suburbs (really anywhere in the world besides about 10 places). '

That is with no one in the house needing to work for the rest of their lives, in the worst-case scenario of market performance.

If you're telling me you can't even be CONTENT with that lifestyle (much less ecstatic), then yeah, I guess nothing I can say will ever convince you.


I'm certainly not telling you that you can't be content or even ecstatic with that lifestyle. Keep in mind that the calculator doesn't account for taxes, so this is not the same as spending $65k, though it's a bit better than earning $65k in a job as there are no payroll taxes to worry about. A serious concern not faced by your average family making $65k would be health insurance, as there is no telling what might be available 10 or 20 years down the road, and you have a long time before Medicare eligibility if you were to leave employment. Also, interestingly, one study in 2010 found income in excess of $75k to be the level where additional money won't make you any happier (probably around $80k in 2018 dollars).

One problem with simply discounting "posh suburbs and cities" is that those are precisely the places where one has the most potential to save up that kind of money at an early age (and where Biglaw has offices). While it's certainly possible to simply pack up and move to a place with a lower cost of living, that likely means abandoning friends and family. For many, proximity friends and family are far more important than money.

For me, the point of financial independence isn't really to literally retire, but to have the proverbial "FU money." While people have different definitions of that term, mine if I ever encountered a bad employment situation, I could tell them to "FU" and never worry about the money side of the equation- even if it meant I would never be able to work again. Very few people have that luxury. However, my number is higher than $2M because never working again with that amount saved would involve selling my house and dislocating my family- it's not really "FU" money if you are going to have to seriously upend your life over money.


This guy gets it. Well said.

jd20132013

Silver
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby jd20132013 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:57 pm

Y guys ruined this thread

User avatar
njdevils2626

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

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby njdevils2626 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Hikikomorist wrote:
Monochromatic Oeuvre wrote:
smokeylarue wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:you're not getting trolled. it is objectively ridiculous to think that 80k a year is barely surviving. My family, in which I am 1 of 4 kids, lived on a single income of around 40,000 pretty comfortably. Admittedly it is a low cost of living area, but still, if you think you can't survive on 80k a year you are living in an extreme bubble.


LOL you cannot be serious. 40k for a family of 6 is close to poverty level. Honestly I have no clue where you lived that it provided a comfortable life, but most people here have no desire to live in North fuckin dakota.


This is the second time in this thread you’ve badly missed the point and sprinted headfirst into exactly what people are criticizing your position for.

A guy tells you that he was perfectly comfortable with far less than the objectively massive amount (percentile-wise) of money you characterized as meager, and you immediately tried to shit on “North fuckin dakota” (where hundreds of thousands of people manage to be happy) and basically imply you’d only be happy in eight cities, and, again, treated this like a badge of honor instead of the debilitating personal failure that it is.

I feel sad whenever I see people like that in the office, responding to Bidder NDA comments at 1 AM like they’ve been doing for 19 years because having $2M at 45 wasn’t enough, desperately hoping that happiness and fulfillment finally comes from the next swanky Tribeca apartment, or some stylish coat, or some new iPhone. They could have 99.9% of what the world has to offer, but the one thing they’ll never be able to buy is enough. But hey, at least you don’t have to have a lower-stress job, meaningful interpersonal relationships, and time to enjoy and cultivate hobbies like the rubes in Fargo. Enjoy your Dom, you desperate soul; you’re gonna need it when they tell you to work at your son’s graduation.

I'm not sure why you keep using characterizations that give more weight to the average income in China/India than to the U.S. average. Global percentiles for income/wealth almost never matter. Also, the vast majority aren't living anything remotely close to a comfortable life.

You don't have to be a miserable, prestige-obsessed consumerist to feel deeply uncomfortable living off of $80k per year, even as a single person. You're still just a couple unfortunate events away from being completely destitute, no matter how geograhically strategic you've been about living expenses. $80k isn't poverty as a single person, and I've lived on far less, but it's also far from comfortable.
\

I live in NYC and if we're talking 80k, after taxes, in a situation where you aren't too concerned with saving like crazy to build up a nest-egg, especially as a single person. I can't imagine that not being enough. I spend way less than that, and I feel like I constantly blow my money on stupid shit like taking unnecessary cabs, overpriced brunches, etc.


Sure, but what gives you the impression we're talking after taxes? It would be taxed at the capital gains rate, which is more generous, but we're definitely not talking 80k net here.

User avatar
Lacepiece23

Silver
Posts: 1047
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: People who like Biglaw

Postby Lacepiece23 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:37 pm

I thought this thread was about people liking Biglaw? For anyone who cares, I'm in a secondary market and it isn't that bad. I hated it at first. Now, I don't mind it; there are just jobs I'd likely prefer. The money is good though.



Return to “Legal Employment?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.