I'm wondering if I should pursue a law school and Big Law/inhouse down the road from a purely financial/time-investment perspective. Here's a quick run-down of my profile:
* Recently graduated (< 1 year) from a top non-Ivy school with a quantitative, non-engineering major and decent grades.
* Currently working at a non-management consulting firm making roughly 60k a year including bonuses (a little on the low end for this field), while still working pretty long hours (50-60 hours). Job and industry has excellent stability, but upward mobility within the company seems very slow (people need 3-4 years to move up to the next level). The actual pay scale for associates is a mystery at this point, but I estimate it would take around 4 years to move up to the 80k range, and probably 6-8 years to move up to the 100k range. This field probably caps out at around 250k if you make senior consultant after 10+ years or service.
* LSAC GPA of 3.5, LSAT of 170: probably could grab one of MVP or below, and if I do well on my next retake, could reach up to CCN.
So, if you were in my situation, which of the following two paths would you choose? Please take a medium to long term time-horizon approach to this (i.e. what is the best choice five, 10, 15 years down the road?)
Path A: Stay at current job and try to move up.
* Don't need to spend 200K and lose 3 years of income/WE on Law School.
* Job stability, no need to gamble with the legal employment field.
* Can definitely live off this pay.
* Job is boring.
* Pay is not commensurate with the long hours, and pay bumps/promotions are few and far in between.
Path B: Law School then Big Law/In house
* Pay is significantly better almost any way you cut it as long as you get employed.
* In house exit opps pay well with reasonable hours after the grind of Big Law.
* Job will probably still suck.
* Probably more time spent at the office.
* Possible unemployment
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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- Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:23 pm
Unless you have a good reason to think you would enjoy law more than your current field, I'd recommend keeping your current job. Best case scenario you spend 3 years in law school, 3-5 years working crazy hours in biglaw to pay down your debt, before moving in house to make ~low 100k/yr and then move up from there (total 6-8 years out). It seems you could hit that level in the same amount of time in your current job, while meanwhile saving money, having a bit of a life, and avoiding the downside risk that comes with going to law school. I also wouldn't assume that whatever most people do post biglaw requires less than 50-60 hours a week on average (but other people could comment on that better than I could). Going to a T13 probably has a bit more upside, but I don't think it outweighs the risk/opportunity cost. That's just my opinion though.
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