Rock v. Hard Place

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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Re: Rock v. Hard Place

Postby LaBarrister » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:16 pm

ImNoScar wrote:
Samara wrote:
LaBarrister wrote:The average is much, much higher that 60-80k for lawyers, at least according to this:, which says that the median in 2010 was $112,000.00. Yes, you are right. The average is misleading because the data is skewed, but the median is not. And given that this was just after the market crash, I don't think that the median would be down to 60-80k in 2012, much less the average, but I could be wrong.

Or do you have some data to support your claim?

You must be new.

Here's a chart showing salaries for entry-level jobs for c/o 2011:

As you can see, nearly all jobs are in the 40-60k range or the 150-160k range. The median entry-level salary for full-time legal jobs was 60k for 2011, a 17% drop since 2009.

And that's nationwide. The smaller the market, the lower the median starting salary. In Maine, that median is less than 50k. One student (1.1% of ~95 students) from UMaine c/o 2011 got a job in a firm of 101+ lawyers, the typical indicator of an above median salary. The school does not release salary data, probably because that student was the only one to receive a salary above 80k.

And that's only counting people who managed to find full-time legal jobs. Over half of law school grads for 2011 failed to find such employment.

Also LeBarrister, consider that the BlS average is age agnostic. That means that it is the verge salary of all practicing lawyers, not entry level lawyers. Also the average obviously does not include all graduates, just lawyers. These two categories are vastly different. Many students do not becomes lawyers and get screwed by debt.

For my personal use, could I ask you to share the location of this information with regard to IP-specific fields of law? The data for those fields would be different, I assume, namely those with engineering/science degree prerequisites.

Edit: Sorry, OP. I'm not meaning to deter others from helping you. Perhaps I should have PM'd this question.

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Re: Rock v. Hard Place

Postby InRemington » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:01 pm

Go or don't go, retake or don't, but whatever you do, don't commute 2.5 hours during 1L.

I'm old (30), married and much like you wifey is banking and we have other commitments locally so we couldn't pack up and go to any school. I decided between 1.5 hour commute to a 30-50 school and a 15 minute drive to a crap school. I chose the crap school and while I don't fully regret it I'm now printing transfer apps. I did not enroll planning on transferring but did well and other circumstances made it viable. (full disclosure: things also changed with wife's job, though not dramatically it's enough for us to consider options like moving or even a 1.5 commute).

I'm top 3% and can say without a doubt I could not have done it had I been commuting hours each day. I have WE, and have experienced some challenging careers but law school is different. It's not hard per se, but it's hard to know how to do it - reading "getting to maybe" and the great threads on TLS is a start but some people "get it" first semester 1L and some don't. Some "get it" in September and some "get it" in November a day before finals.

I couldn't have commuted and still been successful 1L.

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Re: Rock v. Hard Place

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:10 pm

choose the rock, it could be a soft rock

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Re: Rock v. Hard Place

Postby bre.kidman » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:19 pm

I'm going to Maine with a 2.8 and 166, OP. Goes against traditional TLS wisdom, but in-state tuition dropped down to less-than-half after all my scholarship negotiation was done and that's about as low as tuition will get anywhere without a full ride (which is almost never given at Maine and unlikely most places with my GPA). Obviously there are fewer jobs to go around and those jobs won't pay you like it's Boston or NYC... but my perception is that the work/life balance will be better (which has CERTAINLY been the case in places I've worked since I left Boston) and the networking access from Maine will be pretty substantial. I love living in Portland and Forbes seems to think jobs will be picking up here in the months to come, so I'm running with it. Volunteer, make connections, get to know the legal community. Or, if you can hold out another cycle, retake and shoot higher/for more money. I (as a 0L who would be thrilled making ~$45k in public interest or immigration after graduation, take me with a block of salt) think there are worse fates than MaineLaw, if you're planning to stay in Portland. Your mileage may vary... but good luck :)

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Re: Rock v. Hard Place

Postby UntraditionalMainer » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:41 pm

Bre, I'll see you there. Committed last week.

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