How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

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scifiguy
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How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:22 pm

I was looking at the salaries for jobs like public defender and juvenile justice and saw salaries as low as $33K in NYC (a high cost of living area). It seems a lot of these jobs are good in the sense that they provide a much needed societal service. But I'm wondering - from a practical point of view - how people survive on the wages of these types of jobs?

Do they normally take on second jobs? Or do they utilize food stamps or pubilc housing to help make ends meet?

I'm really asking as a practical question and not hoping to offend anyone at all. I can see how these jobs are important for society, but just worried about their pay.
Last edited by scifiguy on Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:25 pm

scifiguy wrote:I was looking at the salaries for jobs like public defender and juvenile justice and saw salaries as low as $33K in NYC (a high cost of living area). It seems a lot of these jobs are good in the sense that they provide a much needed societal service. But, I'm wondering how people survive on the low wages of these type of lawyer jobs?

Do they have to take on second jobs? Or do you normally end up getting food stamp or public housing benefits as a result of your wages?


They commute from cheaper places.

Or more accurately, their dad pays rent.

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bk1
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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby bk1 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:25 pm

Moved to the appropriate forum.

Reminder: the Legal Employment forum is not for 0Ls.

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IAFG
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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby IAFG » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:28 pm

Are you really asking if someone making $33-60k qualifies for food stamps?

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scifiguy
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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:34 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
scifiguy wrote:I was looking at the salaries for jobs like public defender and juvenile justice and saw salaries as low as $33K in NYC (a high cost of living area). It seems a lot of these jobs are good in the sense that they provide a much needed societal service. But, I'm wondering how people survive on the low wages of these type of lawyer jobs?

Do they have to take on second jobs? Or do you normally end up getting food stamp or public housing benefits as a result of your wages?


They commute from cheaper places.

Or more accurately, their dad pays rent.



That's the thing. Assuming I want to start a family and get married..stuff like that. I wouldn't want my parents paying for my bills after law school. I'm just trying to calculate how lawyers make ends meet in these positions.

I was thinking that if a medical doctor graduated with $130,000 in school loan debt and was asked to work for $35K that it would seem really tough to survive w/o help from others.

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bk1
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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby bk1 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:35 pm

scifiguy wrote:That's the thing. Assuming I want to start a family and get married..stuff like that. I wouldn't want my parents paying for my bills after law school. I'm just trying to calculate how lawyers make ends meet in these positions.

I was thinking that if a medical doctor graduated with $130,000 in school loan debt and was asked to work for $35K that it would seem really tough to survive w/o help from others.


http://www.top-law-schools.com/tls-guide-to-lrap.html

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby dudders » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:36 pm

scifiguy wrote:I was looking at the salaries for jobs like public defender and juvenile justice and saw salaries as low as $33K in NYC (a high cost of living area).

do they utilize food stamps or pubilc housing to help make ends meet?


I'd put money on $33k being way to high for food stamps or housing benefits pretty much anywhere in the country. (And it is in New York, I just checked.)

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:38 pm




It says, "And according to the NALP, the median salary for an entry-level attorney at a public interest organization in 2008 was $41,000."

That was similar to salaries I saw in juvenile justice work in NYC.

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IAFG
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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby IAFG » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:44 pm

scifiguy wrote:



It says, "And according to the NALP, the median salary for an entry-level attorney at a public interest organization in 2008 was $41,000."

That was similar to salaries I saw in juvenile justice work in NYC.

His point was, no loans to pay back.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby rayiner » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:48 pm

scifiguy wrote:



It says, "And according to the NALP, the median salary for an entry-level attorney at a public interest organization in 2008 was $41,000."

That was similar to salaries I saw in juvenile defense work in NYC.


Take home monthly pay in NYC on $41,000 is $2,500 per month. Your monthly IBR payment on $150k of federal loans would be $300/month, and in reality your LRAP would pay much of that. Say $150/month. So say you have $2,350 to work with. With that amount, you live like every other fresh grad in NYC. You get a crappy 2BR in Astoria for $2,100/month that you share with 3 people. You pay $700/month in rent, $100/month for your share of utilities, $100/month for your MTA pass, etc. You pay $500/month for eating out and entertainment, and maybe $250/month for groceries. You don't live it up, but most people in NYC can't afford to anyway.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:50 pm

IAFG wrote:
scifiguy wrote:



It says, "And according to the NALP, the median salary for an entry-level attorney at a public interest organization in 2008 was $41,000."

That was similar to salaries I saw in juvenile justice work in NYC.

His point was, no loans to pay back.



I'm reading the page now. Thanks.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:52 pm

rayiner wrote:
scifiguy wrote:It says, "And according to the NALP, the median salary for an entry-level attorney at a public interest organization in 2008 was $41,000."

That was similar to salaries I saw in juvenile defense work in NYC.


Take home monthly pay in NYC on $41,000 is $2,500 per month. Your monthly IBR payment on $150k of federal loans would be $300/month, and in reality your LRAP would pay much of that. Say $150/month. So say you have $2,350 to work with. With that amount, you live like every other fresh grad in NYC. You get a crappy 2BR in Astoria for $2,100/month that you share with 3 people. You pay $700/month in rent, $100/month for your share of utilities, $100/month for your MTA pass, etc. You pay $500/month for eating out and entertainment, and maybe $250/month for groceries. You don't live it up, but most people in NYC can't afford to anyway.



But in order to get that assistance, the page says you have to get a job that qualified for it, which is like a government or non-profit sort of job. So, if I venture out into business and work for $50,000, then I wouldn't get that LRAP help even if I make the same as I did as a public defender.

Does that force a lot of people to stay in those jobs if taht's the case?

EDIT
"Eligible Jobs
Eligible positions are full-time, paid positions in government or with a nonprofit agency. The position must prefer or require the use of a J.D. "

That's from the Georgetown Law link.
Last edited by scifiguy on Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby rayiner » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:53 pm

scifiguy wrote:But in order to get that assistance, the page says you have to get a job that qualified for it, which is like a government or non-profit sort of job. So, if I venture out into business and work for $50,000, then I wouldn't get that LRAP help even if I make the same as I did as a public defender.

Does that force a lot of people to stay in those jobs if taht's the case?


That's the whole point of LRAP/IBR--to get people to stay in those public service jobs for 10 years.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:36 pm

scifiguy wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
scifiguy wrote:I was looking at the salaries for jobs like public defender and juvenile justice and saw salaries as low as $33K in NYC (a high cost of living area). It seems a lot of these jobs are good in the sense that they provide a much needed societal service. But, I'm wondering how people survive on the low wages of these type of lawyer jobs?

Do they have to take on second jobs? Or do you normally end up getting food stamp or public housing benefits as a result of your wages?


They commute from cheaper places.

Or more accurately, their dad pays rent.



That's the thing. Assuming I want to start a family and get married..stuff like that. I wouldn't want my parents paying for my bills after law school. I'm just trying to calculate how lawyers make ends meet in these positions.

I was thinking that if a medical doctor graduated with $130,000 in school loan debt and was asked to work for $35K that it would seem really tough to survive w/o help from others.


Then don't work in public service. It's a field for rich people or poor people. No middle class.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby IAFG » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:41 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Then don't work in public service. It's a field for rich people or poor people. No middle class.

Or, top law school -> biglawsecure wife -> public interest with wifey paying the rent

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:45 pm

IAFG wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Then don't work in public service. It's a field for rich people or poor people. No middle class.

Or, top law school -> biglawsecure wife -> public interest with wifey paying the rent



---> Cuck'd by tyrone

/xoxohth

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby IAFG » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:46 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Then don't work in public service. It's a field for rich people or poor people. No middle class.

Or, top law school -> biglawsecure wife -> public interest with wifey paying the rent



---> Cuck'd by tyrone

/xoxohth

Is your rent still getting paid?

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:47 pm

IAFG wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Then don't work in public service. It's a field for rich people or poor people. No middle class.

Or, top law school -> biglawsecure wife -> public interest with wifey paying the rent



---> Cuck'd by tyrone

/xoxohth

Is your rent still getting paid?


I'm an intellectual, so of course.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby coldshoulder » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:48 pm

Live somewhere with a low COL and 40k is plenty.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby sunynp » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:05 pm

Also note that these jobs are in very high demand because of LRAP. And people are staying in these jobs once they do get them. So even with low salaries, these jobs are almost impossible to get. They are much harder to get than biglaw.

It does seem to be true that the people I know in these jobs have a spouse or a family member as a roommate. I don't know anyone on LRAP who is having their rent paid for them by someone who doesn't live with them. But often these family members aren't in biglaw either.

People who take these jobs and are supported by their family may not have much debt to begin with. The people with family member roommates that I'm talking about are the grads I know who are actually using our school's LRAP program.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:32 pm

sunynp wrote:Also note that these jobs are in very high demand because of LRAP. And people are staying in these jobs once they do get them. So even with low salaries, these jobs are almost impossible to get. They are much harder to get than biglaw.

It does seem to be true that the people I know in these jobs have a spouse or a family member as a roommate. I don't know anyone on LRAP who is having their rent paid for them by someone who doesn't live with them. But often these family members aren't in biglaw either.

People who take these jobs and are supported by their family may not have much debt to begin with. The people with family member roommates that I'm talking about are the grads I know who are actually using our school's LRAP program.


I don't think I'd be fortunate enough to have a family member pay for my school loans if I went to law school.

I'm not married and nowhere close right now, but would want to get married in the future. So, you're saying I'd need a relatively well-off spouse to be able to get married and start a family with one of these jobs? lol. :lol:

I'm actually not even a big spender. I mostly just exercise, read, watch movies...and do relatively "cheap" stuff for fun. Do you know of anyone doing these jobs like public defender who are the sole breadwinners for the family (where wife doesn't work and the parents aren't paying the bills either)?

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby IAFG » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:35 pm

scifiguy wrote:
sunynp wrote:Also note that these jobs are in very high demand because of LRAP. And people are staying in these jobs once they do get them. So even with low salaries, these jobs are almost impossible to get. They are much harder to get than biglaw.

It does seem to be true that the people I know in these jobs have a spouse or a family member as a roommate. I don't know anyone on LRAP who is having their rent paid for them by someone who doesn't live with them. But often these family members aren't in biglaw either.

People who take these jobs and are supported by their family may not have much debt to begin with. The people with family member roommates that I'm talking about are the grads I know who are actually using our school's LRAP program.


I don't think I'd be fortunate enough to have a family member pay for my school loans if I went to law school.

I'm not married and nowhere close right now, but would want to get married in the future. So, you're saying I'd need a relatively well-off spouse to be able to get married and start a family with one of these jobs? lol. :lol:

I'm actually not even a big spender. I mostly just exercise, read, watch movies...and do relatively "cheap" stuff for fun. Do you know of anyone doing these jobs like public defender who are the sole breadwinners for the family (where wife doesn't work and the parents aren't paying the bills either)?

SAHMs are a luxury. PI attorneys don't get luxuries. WTF are you thinking.

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scifiguy
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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby scifiguy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:42 pm

Also, if you have kids it might not make sense for your wife to go and get a job.

You have to do the math. I have family members and a few friends in this boat (one of them makes six-figures at a bank even). The husband works and they have kids. When I've talked to them they said the calculations didn't make sense for the wife to work. It would have to be a relatively high paying job.

Consider you'd need an extra car, a workplace wardrobe, car insurance and gas, possible training expenses, and the real big one was child care costs. They were talking about how it can be very high.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/16/pf/chil ... index.html
Child care exceeds rent in most states.

When you add in all the costs, then it can make it unworthwhile.
Last edited by scifiguy on Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby IAFG » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:44 pm

Yes, you're right (in the short term) but the conclusion I come to is, you can't afford kids, not, you can't afford for your wife to work.

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Re: How can people survive in $35-60K "service" jobs?

Postby FlanAl » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:50 pm

sunynp wrote:Also note that these jobs are in very high demand because of LRAP. And people are staying in these jobs once they do get them. So even with low salaries, these jobs are almost impossible to get. They are much harder to get than biglaw.


I thought that PLSF or whatever was new so I'm not sure if its creating the clog in people not leaving. Also at least PD offices actually start to pay you after your first few years.




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