rondemarino wrote:You see why our expectations are different, right? We haven't proven a damn thing. We have no idea if we'll be good lawyers. With every other profession, there's more security in knowing that you have demonstrated the ability to succeed in the professional world. Also, we have no idea if merit will out in the professional world either. So we hedge against failure by making insanely higher financial demands at the outset (EDIT: you'll notice that the same logic dominates our thinking when we hear someone thinking about going to a lower ranked school with the intention of transferring).
In other professions, this is what's called "wagging the dog." You can demand whatever salary you want, but you're not going to get it. It has more to do with the market value for your services rather than what your demands are. I think the service I give my company right now warrants a salary increase of 100%. Guess what? I'm not going to get it, because there's other people that would do my job for what I make now (although not as well, of course
). Only in law is there this notion that people are entitled to print cash before even accomplishing anything real, and it's because the maket is artificially skewed in that corporate clients seem to be willing to truck in cash simply for people with a degree from certain schools, regardless of what they have accomplished. From the rest of the world's perspective, you went to a 3 year professional school after majoring in the humanities, and now you expect a salary four times that of graduates of other graduate programs of similar length? Law school is a lot of tedious work, but it's also not rocket science. $60k after three years of grad school should be considered great, and is considered great by most of the rest of the world.
Just manage your finances, and you'll be fine (in a normal economy) as long as you don't go to a T3 or T4 and graduate in the bottom half of your class. Don't take out massive living expenses loans to live in a huge, new apartment, save some money before your first year, see if your parents or grandma will give you some living expense money (even $100 extra per month can go a long way on a shoestring budget), go in-state if you can, go somewhere that offers you a scholarship in the area you want to practice, don't go out on drunken escapades every weekend and buy everyone shots, get rid of your car if you can, don't pay to study abroad, and live like most poor college students by shopping at Aldi and drinking PBR from the can. And if forced to find a job outside of OCI, don't approach law firms and interviews as if you are disappointed and have to settle for them only because you struck out at OCI. Every job that pays you anything north of $40k per year these days either completely sucks or there is tons of competition. Be lucky that, worst case scenario, you're looking at $50-60K right now, and if you didn't pay sticker and take out living expense loans for $20K/year, that's plenty of money to pay off your debts unless you have to live in New York, San Francisco, or DC. You're not going to be filthy rich straight out of school, but then again, no one gets that opportunity. Work hard anyways, and if you happen to graduate top 10%, may you be pleasantly surprised.