100K

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Nova12
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:34 am

100K

Postby Nova12 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:45 am

I just graduated from undergrad, and I am starting law school apps over the summer. One of the schools I am really interested in is ranked in the 40's (substantially lower than the other schools I am considering), but they claim that the median starting salary for private sector is 100K. I know that there is absolutely no guarantee of getting a job like that, but my question is:
what types of jobs would pay 100K the first year out? Would this be more of a mid-size firm, or a less good biglaw firm, and what types of law would you be more likely to be practicing?
The only salary iniformation I can really find is on biglaw (which I am fairly sure I would not get from this school) or public interest type work.
Any help would be appreciated!

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Dr. Review
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Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:51 am

Re: 100K

Postby Dr. Review » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:58 am

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There's not much in the way of salary data there, but it is employment related. Take a look, hopefully you find something useful.

rad lulz
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: 100K

Postby rad lulz » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:07 am

Google the bimodal salary distribution curve. Generally the only firms that are paying that amt. or more to start are large law firms (100+ attys.) or well-regarded boutiques (don't hire many grads). Generally large firms in a market pay the same or about the same. This is called "market." In NYC, DC, and some others, that number is $160k. Some markets with 100k market I can think of are Tampa/Orlando.

Also that number is almost certainly inflated by low response rates or clever reporting. See law school transparency.

Nova12
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:34 am

Re: 100K

Postby Nova12 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:15 am

I just checked the bimodal and it basically confirmed what I thought about there being some really high-paying jobs and a bunch of low-paying jobs, but not much in the middle. But some middle jobs (around 90 to 100k) clearly exist, I'm just trying to figure out what they are.
Thanks for the help though!

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: 100K

Postby rad lulz » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:17 am

Nova12 wrote:I just checked the bimodal and it basically confirmed what I thought about there being some really high-paying jobs and a bunch of low-paying jobs, but not much in the middle. But some middle jobs (around 90 to 100k) clearly exist, I'm just trying to figure out what they are.
Thanks for the help though!

I'm guessing (though I can't say for sure that it tends to be big firms in smaller markets. There are barely any, like, NYC "midlaw" firms that hire new grads and pay 100k, for example.

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rinkrat19
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Re: 100K

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:23 am

The "median salary for grads in private practice" has two major holes in it.
1. It only counts students who responded to the school's survey 9 months after graduation.
2. Of those people, it only counts respondents who actually are in private practice.

The problem with #1 is that generally, people with the best results are the most willing to report back. The unemployed or the ones scraping by doing doc review or working at Starbucks are frequently not responding. To be safe, assume everyone who didn't respond had a shitty outcome.
The problem with #2 is that it doesn't count people who did report back, but aren't working in firms.

So the median is being calculated from an extremely unrepresentative sample at most schools. Yes, the median salary is 100k or whatever the school reports, IF you are lucky enough to be in a subset of a subset of the graduating class. At some schools this is as few as 5 people. At a school in the 40s, say Wake Forest, it's maybe 1/3 of the class (or even more like 20% like at UC-Boulder). The other 2/3 (or 80%) of the class does NOT have a median salary of anywhere near 100k.

ETA: It actually has three major holes. Others have described the bimodal distribution to you already.

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2014
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Re: 100K

Postby 2014 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:41 am

A lot of people going on the typical TLS spiel about fudging salary stats but OP has indicated he gets that.

TBH I've wondered the same thing. We are all led to believe that all starting salaries are sub 60k or 115-160k depending on major or lesser market biglaw, but there are a number of schools claiming medians of 90-110k, so wtf is that one person in the middle of whatever trivially low amount that reported doing?

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rinkrat19
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Re: 100K

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:46 am

2014 wrote:A lot of people going on the typical TLS spiel about fudging salary stats but OP has indicated he gets that.

TBH I've wondered the same thing. We are all led to believe that all starting salaries are sub 60k or 115-160k depending on major or lesser market biglaw, but there are a number of schools claiming medians of 90-110k, so wtf is that one person in the middle of whatever trivially low amount that reported doing?

Secondary markets.

Portland "biglaw" is 100-115k.

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top30man
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Re: 100K

Postby top30man » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:05 am

rinkrat19 wrote:
2014 wrote:A lot of people going on the typical TLS spiel about fudging salary stats but OP has indicated he gets that.

TBH I've wondered the same thing. We are all led to believe that all starting salaries are sub 60k or 115-160k depending on major or lesser market biglaw, but there are a number of schools claiming medians of 90-110k, so wtf is that one person in the middle of whatever trivially low amount that reported doing?

Secondary markets.

Portland "biglaw" is 100-115k.

Yeah this. In Pittsburgh the four nlj250s in town pay 120k or more. The midlaw types pay 100k or 80k. However they have less than 10 sa slots between them so it's a bit difficult to buy Pitts number about the average salary being 90k.

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Dr. Review
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Re: 100K

Postby Dr. Review » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:05 am

Eckert Seamans pays somewhere in the 80-90k range in Pittsburgh (at least they did at one point).

sources:
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