WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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hoos89
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby hoos89 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:36 pm

JCougar wrote:Just as the NLJ's "top 100 firms" is overly restrictive when defining Biglaw, firms of 100+ is probably overbroad. There's a lot of firms in that range that really aren't Biglaw at all. Even just outside the top 100, there's national plaintiff mills and insurance defense firms that pay way less than market, but have the same hours and retention rates of Biglaw.

Not that these firms can't be good learning experiences with near-zero debt, but you're going to be really pressed for money paying rent on the coasts, plus paying what will likely be less than a full interest payment on your student loans.


Maybe, but it's probably closer to an accurate picture of "good" outcomes than the NLJ 100 is. Even if you think that's overbroad, it's probably balanced out by the people who got the jobs they wanted that aren't covered in that (government, PI, boutiques, etc.). And again: the % of people who actually start at Wash U who get these jobs is higher than the % who graduate because of the effect of transfers in/out.

(And I'm not sure how many people at 100+ attorney firms aren't making enough to afford rent + interest. And I also doubt you need near-zero debt to afford that.)
Last edited by hoos89 on Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:43 pm

Yeah, the top 5% cutoff really isn't accurate because many of the top 5% leave for HYS (like it was 5 H and 1 S last year, and top 5% of ~270 is only 13-14). I know some people currently in 5% who have no desire to go to Chi or LA and want to go to a secondary market (one is Denver or bust, another wants to stay in Stl), so while those markets only take ~5% of WUSTL, that's certainly not the top 5%. Lastly, some top 5% go to selective NYC/DC firms like S&C.

Jay2716
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Jay2716 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:57 pm

JCougar wrote:Just as the NLJ's "top 100 firms" is overly restrictive when defining Biglaw, firms of 100+ is probably overbroad. There's a lot of firms in that range that really aren't Biglaw at all. Even just outside the top 100, there's national plaintiff mills and insurance defense firms that pay way less than market, but have the same hours and retention rates of Biglaw.

Not that these firms can't be good learning experiences with near-zero debt, but you're going to be really pressed for money paying rent on the coasts, plus paying what will likely be less than a full interest payment on your student loans.



It's still a decent proxy. Just as 100+ is overbroad, it's also under inclusive. There are crappy jobs in the over 100, and there are 6-figure jobs in the below 100 categories.

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ek5dn
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby ek5dn » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:34 pm

I'm finally getting back on track with this job prep stuff (creating a bidlist for the off-campus programs, contacting alumni for lunch, etc.) and I just realized that I missed the deadline for the St. Louis diversity job fair...how big of a deal is that? Did I miss something spectacular here? TIA

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Jmart082
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Jmart082 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:47 pm

ek5dn wrote:I'm finally getting back on track with this job prep stuff (creating a bidlist for the off-campus programs, contacting alumni for lunch, etc.) and I just realized that I missed the deadline for the St. Louis diversity job fair...how big of a deal is that? Did I miss something spectacular here? TIA

If you're not from St. Louis, no, you didn't miss anything.

konar
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby konar » Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:52 pm

JCougar wrote:Just as the NLJ's "top 100 firms" is overly restrictive when defining Biglaw, firms of 100+ is probably overbroad. There's a lot of firms in that range that really aren't Biglaw at all. Even just outside the top 100, there's national plaintiff mills and insurance defense firms that pay way less than market, but have the same hours and retention rates of Biglaw.

Not that these firms can't be good learning experiences with near-zero debt, but you're going to be really pressed for money paying rent on the coasts, plus paying what will likely be less than a full interest payment on your student loans.


The point is Wash U is sending many people to the "larger than 100 lawyers, smaller than top 100, and paying six figures" firms and very few to the national plaintiff mills you describe.

chingwoo
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby chingwoo » Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:59 pm

Jmart082 wrote:
ek5dn wrote:I'm finally getting back on track with this job prep stuff (creating a bidlist for the off-campus programs, contacting alumni for lunch, etc.) and I just realized that I missed the deadline for the St. Louis diversity job fair...how big of a deal is that? Did I miss something spectacular here? TIA

If you're not from St. Louis, no, you didn't miss anything.

Mass mail your application anyways and ask them for an extension. I got a bunch of screeners there that I didn't get from washu. Also you get cbs there earlier than wustl eiw cbs.

chingwoo
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby chingwoo » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:21 pm

JCougar wrote:Just as the NLJ's "top 100 firms" is overly restrictive when defining Biglaw, firms of 100+ is probably overbroad. There's a lot of firms in that range that really aren't Biglaw at all. Even just outside the top 100, there's national plaintiff mills and insurance defense firms that pay way less than market, but have the same hours and retention rates of Biglaw.

Not that these firms can't be good learning experiences with near-zero debt, but you're going to be really pressed for money paying rent on the coasts, plus paying what will likely be less than a full interest payment on your student loans.



There is at least 85 people from the class of 2017 making 2k+ per week over the summer. Also if you are making 145+ on a coast and can't pay down loans, you are playing the blame game rather than making active attempts to dent your loans.

For example assume NY at 160. Thats 95k or so take home. Assume rent at 2500 a month (which tbh is quite high). You can get by at 50k a year for living expenses. (2500*12= 30k, assume 5k for health insurance (pretty high), 6k for food(also pretty high), 9k for random incidentals). 45k a year paying down loans is significant either way.

This doesn't include bonus or raises in other years. You definitely can live in NY for around 40-45k a year (and if you can't thats also on you).

konar
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby konar » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:29 pm

chingwoo wrote:
JCougar wrote:Just as the NLJ's "top 100 firms" is overly restrictive when defining Biglaw, firms of 100+ is probably overbroad. There's a lot of firms in that range that really aren't Biglaw at all. Even just outside the top 100, there's national plaintiff mills and insurance defense firms that pay way less than market, but have the same hours and retention rates of Biglaw.

Not that these firms can't be good learning experiences with near-zero debt, but you're going to be really pressed for money paying rent on the coasts, plus paying what will likely be less than a full interest payment on your student loans.



There is at least 85 people from the class of 2017 making 2k+ per week over the summer. Also if you are making 145+ on a coast and can't pay down loans, you are playing the blame game rather than making active attempts to dent your loans.

For example assume NY at 160. Thats 95k or so take home. Assume rent at 2500 a month (which tbh is quite high). You can get by at 50k a year for living expenses. (2500*12= 30k, assume 5k for health insurance (pretty high), 6k for food(also pretty high), 9k for random incidentals). 45k a year paying down loans is significant either way.

This doesn't include bonus or raises in other years. You definitely can live in NY for around 40-45k a year (and if you can't thats also on you).


While I agree overall with your sentiment, 6k for food for an east coast big law associate would likely be on the extreme low end.

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lososos
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby lososos » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:41 pm

chingwoo wrote:
Jmart082 wrote:
ek5dn wrote:I'm finally getting back on track with this job prep stuff (creating a bidlist for the off-campus programs, contacting alumni for lunch, etc.) and I just realized that I missed the deadline for the St. Louis diversity job fair...how big of a deal is that? Did I miss something spectacular here? TIA

If you're not from St. Louis, no, you didn't miss anything.

Mass mail your application anyways and ask them for an extension. I got a bunch of screeners there that I didn't get from washu. Also you get cbs there earlier than wustl eiw cbs.


Yeah, no idea if they'll actually accept it, but it's worth trying. I personally had way better results applying to diversity fairs than I did at OCI/EIW, even in places that I didn't have ties to

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:32 pm

chingwoo wrote:
JCougar wrote:Just as the NLJ's "top 100 firms" is overly restrictive when defining Biglaw, firms of 100+ is probably overbroad. There's a lot of firms in that range that really aren't Biglaw at all. Even just outside the top 100, there's national plaintiff mills and insurance defense firms that pay way less than market, but have the same hours and retention rates of Biglaw.

Not that these firms can't be good learning experiences with near-zero debt, but you're going to be really pressed for money paying rent on the coasts, plus paying what will likely be less than a full interest payment on your student loans.



There is at least 85 people from the class of 2017 making 2k+ per week over the summer. Also if you are making 145+ on a coast and can't pay down loans, you are playing the blame game rather than making active attempts to dent your loans.

For example assume NY at 160. Thats 95k or so take home. Assume rent at 2500 a month (which tbh is quite high). You can get by at 50k a year for living expenses. (2500*12= 30k, assume 5k for health insurance (pretty high), 6k for food(also pretty high), 9k for random incidentals). 45k a year paying down loans is significant either way.

This doesn't include bonus or raises in other years. You definitely can live in NY for around 40-45k a year (and if you can't thats also on you).


Things never go as smoothly as you think, though. You're leaving out transportation costs, which will be much higher if you have a car (car payment, gas, insurance). While it's possible to be car-free in NYC, it's a lot more difficult in SF or LA. If you don't have a car, you'll spend a bunch of money on cabs or Uber. You'll have dry cleaning, new clothes expenses, significant others wanting to go out on expensive dates or vacations, etc. And yeah, $6K for food is really, really low. You'll end up going out to dinner with friends or co-workers occasionally and spending $50 to $100 in one night. You'll have emergencies, expensive breakups where one person will move out before the lease is up, and even divorces, etc.

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sublime
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby sublime » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:33 pm

Not to mention a 401k/Roth IRA, etc.

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:41 pm

I mean, it's sort of getting off topic, because WUSTL is not a problem when it comes to making people pay sticker. The problem has always been placement. There's a lot of people from my class that, three years later, are still basically destitute. I haven't payed a single dime on my student loans--I've never made enough money to be required to make a payment yet. Just three years of interest accruing. I've applied to over 500 jobs. I can't even get an interview. The CSO has done nothing for me.

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sublime
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby sublime » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:42 pm

JCougar wrote:I mean, it's sort of getting off topic, because WUSTL is not a problem when it comes to making people pay sticker. The problem has always been placement. There's a lot of people from my class that, three years later, are still basically destitute. I haven't payed a single dime on my student loans--I've never made enough money to be required to make a payment yet. Just three years of interest accruing. I've applied to over 500 jobs. I can't even get an interview. The CSO has done nothing for me.



I thought you copped fedgov?



(obviously lmk if you would like me to delete this and I am more than happy to)

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sublime
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby sublime » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:44 pm

Idk, with the right scholarship, I think it is a pretty good low risk, possibly high reward option.

I appreciate the work you do, jcougar, but it seems like shit has gotten better since you graduated. I'm certainly not suggesting going at sticker, but if you aren't BL or bust, and get a full or close to it, I think it is a solid option.

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:52 pm

sublime wrote:
JCougar wrote:I mean, it's sort of getting off topic, because WUSTL is not a problem when it comes to making people pay sticker. The problem has always been placement. There's a lot of people from my class that, three years later, are still basically destitute. I haven't payed a single dime on my student loans--I've never made enough money to be required to make a payment yet. Just three years of interest accruing. I've applied to over 500 jobs. I can't even get an interview. The CSO has done nothing for me.



I thought you copped fedgov?

(obviously lmk if you would like me to delete this and I am more than happy to)


It's complicated. I obviously did not. I was supposed to, but Congress fell through on funding. I volunteered for a little bit longer waiting out the next budget, but that fell through, too. People made me some fairly explicit promises, but they were unable to follow through through no fault of their own.

FedGov is still under a partial budget sequester despite our economic recovery. For no reason other than the House hates our President.

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sublime
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby sublime » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:53 pm

Fuck man. I am sincerely sorry to hear that. That's such bullshit.

I hope you will at least be considered when finds return.

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ek5dn
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby ek5dn » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:55 pm

I don't mean to derail the convo between sublime and jcougar, but I just wanted to follow up about people's advice to ask for an extension and mass-mail firms. I'm guessing people mean contacting the firms participating in the fair? Is there a way to get access to the list of firms attending if I haven't registered?

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sublime
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby sublime » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:58 pm

ek5dn wrote:I don't mean to derail the convo between sublime and jcougar, but I just wanted to follow up about people's advice to ask for an extension and mass-mail firms. I'm guessing people mean contacting the firms participating in the fair? Is there a way to get access to the list of firms attending if I haven't registered?



I think you can still access them in symplicity maybe???

If not, maybe either ask CSO (although with the changes, I don't have a rec for who) or ask a friend who is participating if you can grab a list.


Moving forward, CSO kinda does a shitty job of disseminating information, but for the next few months, read every. single. thing. they send you.

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:07 am

I'm now somewhat trying to start my own firm. I am friends with a solo through some extracurricular activities that is giving me office space and a very small salary in exchange for some work I do for him; meanwhile I get a huge cut of any fees I bring in myself. I've actually got some pretty decent referrals lately, and have some significant cases in my pipeline, but it takes a while for them to pay out. And you never know if they eventually will. A lot of potentially good clients turn out to be liars, etc. You'll get a case all researched and worked up, and then boom, they sent a discoverable e-mail completely contradicting their story. The good thing is that I've basically done impeccable work for the people I've worked with so far in private practice and in FedGov, and some of them are pretty well-connected people, and are willing to vouch for me.

My best friend from law school is currently unemployed and also has yet to make a single payment on his school loans. It's gotten to the point where the loan money is just an absolute joke. I'm actually thinking of just joining the Peace Corps and living on a remote island in the Pacific for two years. Peace Corps actually counts toward PSLF, and I'd be competing with a bunch of undergrad hippies for placement. All that could change, though, if one of my cases comes through.

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lososos
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby lososos » Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:50 am

ek5dn wrote:I don't mean to derail the convo between sublime and jcougar, but I just wanted to follow up about people's advice to ask for an extension and mass-mail firms. I'm guessing people mean contacting the firms participating in the fair? Is there a way to get access to the list of firms attending if I haven't registered?


Yes, you can try to get interviews by mass mailing the participating firms. You could also try to contact the administrators of the diversity fair and see if they'll take your applications through the program.

As to how to find out what firms are participating, I agree with sublime. Also you can look in the Legal Employment forum, since there are threads about most of the fairs and they should list most of the firms at them. I don't know if there's one up for this year but you could also look at past years, since attendance doesn't seem to change too much year-to-year.

And second what sublime said about reading what CSO sends... It might feel like a million emails but just read them. For this process, my advice generally speaking is to obtain as much information as possible, from a broad range of sources (CSO, TLS, firm websites, diversity fair sites, friends, etc), as that'll help you make the best decisions about how to get a job based on your own stats.

chingwoo
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby chingwoo » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:15 am

JCougar wrote:
chingwoo wrote:
JCougar wrote:Just as the NLJ's "top 100 firms" is overly restrictive when defining Biglaw, firms of 100+ is probably overbroad. There's a lot of firms in that range that really aren't Biglaw at all. Even just outside the top 100, there's national plaintiff mills and insurance defense firms that pay way less than market, but have the same hours and retention rates of Biglaw.

Not that these firms can't be good learning experiences with near-zero debt, but you're going to be really pressed for money paying rent on the coasts, plus paying what will likely be less than a full interest payment on your student loans.



There is at least 85 people from the class of 2017 making 2k+ per week over the summer. Also if you are making 145+ on a coast and can't pay down loans, you are playing the blame game rather than making active attempts to dent your loans.

For example assume NY at 160. Thats 95k or so take home. Assume rent at 2500 a month (which tbh is quite high). You can get by at 50k a year for living expenses. (2500*12= 30k, assume 5k for health insurance (pretty high), 6k for food(also pretty high), 9k for random incidentals). 45k a year paying down loans is significant either way.

This doesn't include bonus or raises in other years. You definitely can live in NY for around 40-45k a year (and if you can't thats also on you).


Things never go as smoothly as you think, though. You're leaving out transportation costs, which will be much higher if you have a car (car payment, gas, insurance). While it's possible to be car-free in NYC, it's a lot more difficult in SF or LA. If you don't have a car, you'll spend a bunch of money on cabs or Uber. You'll have dry cleaning, new clothes expenses, significant others wanting to go out on expensive dates or vacations, etc. And yeah, $6K for food is really, really low. You'll end up going out to dinner with friends or co-workers occasionally and spending $50 to $100 in one night. You'll have emergencies, expensive breakups where one person will move out before the lease is up, and even divorces, etc.


Well that's why there's 9k or so for random incidentals. If the complaint is that you can't live on 50k take home a year, then the issue is spending choices you don't need to make rather than biglaw not paying enough.

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valen
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby valen » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:39 am

Sorry to interrupt this conversation, but does anyone know if journal decisions come out on Saturdays/Sundays? Or just weekdays? Thanks

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:57 am

JCougar wrote:I'm now somewhat trying to start my own firm. I am friends with a solo through some extracurricular activities that is giving me office space and a very small salary in exchange for some work I do for him; meanwhile I get a huge cut of any fees I bring in myself. I've actually got some pretty decent referrals lately, and have some significant cases in my pipeline, but it takes a while for them to pay out. And you never know if they eventually will. A lot of potentially good clients turn out to be liars, etc. You'll get a case all researched and worked up, and then boom, they sent a discoverable e-mail completely contradicting their story. The good thing is that I've basically done impeccable work for the people I've worked with so far in private practice and in FedGov, and some of them are pretty well-connected people, and are willing to vouch for me.

My best friend from law school is currently unemployed and also has yet to make a single payment on his school loans. It's gotten to the point where the loan money is just an absolute joke. I'm actually thinking of just joining the Peace Corps and living on a remote island in the Pacific for two years. Peace Corps actually counts toward PSLF, and I'd be competing with a bunch of undergrad hippies for placement. All that could change, though, if one of my cases comes through.


Can't wait until JCoug comes back ITT 5 years from now and he's rolling in multiple 7-figure verdicts. I'm not joking--plaintiff's work is where the money is in this profession. The richest lawyers in my tertiary market are pretty crappy lawyers but great businessmen.

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ek5dn
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Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby ek5dn » Fri Jun 17, 2016 11:21 am

Jmart082 wrote:
ek5dn wrote:I'm finally getting back on track with this job prep stuff (creating a bidlist for the off-campus programs, contacting alumni for lunch, etc.) and I just realized that I missed the deadline for the St. Louis diversity job fair...how big of a deal is that? Did I miss something spectacular here? TIA

If you're not from St. Louis, no, you didn't miss anything.


Is that because the firms participating are St. Louis firms/Midwest firms or because the firms participating are interested in students with ties to St. Louis?




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