If money was not a factor

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.

what would you do if money was not a factor..

State Clerkship
2
4%
State Govt
3
6%
Fed Govt
22
42%
Business/Industry (FT LT JD req or pref.)
4
8%
PI
2
4%
I would not become a lawyer if money was not a factor.
8
15%
Small firm
4
8%
big firm
8
15%
 
Total votes: 53

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paranoia4ya
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If money was not a factor

Postby paranoia4ya » Sun May 12, 2013 1:16 pm

What would you do with your JD? I want something jd preferred or required lt, but I am not too worried about getting the highest paying job. The hours are not that great, and I could probably work two jobs in the same amount of time I would spend working in biglaw (not that I would want to).

Things I care about in order:
Stability
Hours/Growth potential (intellectual or career wise)
Helping People
..money
Last edited by paranoia4ya on Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

wisdom
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby wisdom » Mon May 13, 2013 10:24 am

Federal government or state government has got to be the clear winner here.

Stability -- unlike a big law firm, the federal government does not fire you for failing to bill 2k hours a year. Although jobs at DOJ/SEC/USAOs tend to be transient (3-5 year gigs) rather than long-term employment, this is mostly a product of self-selection rather than being pushed out the door aggressively. People who work a few years in government can often find more lucrative opportunities in the private sector. People who are good lawyers can stay in the government for a long time. (Obviously this doesn't apply to appointed positions, but that's not what we're talking about, right?)

Hours/Growth Potential -- hours are reasonable relative to big firm life, and it's the most stimulating work in that you get to go to court often and argue cases, because the government won't just settle everything or churn doc review. As for advancement potential, there is some ability to move up the ranks, although the true top-level jobs are either very hard to obtain or are by appointment.

Helping People -- depends on your perspective on big government and/or prosecution, but at least in my book it's a big net positive for society.

Money -- not even bad money, career attorneys in government make six figures.

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Sun May 19, 2013 11:03 pm

wisdom wrote:Federal government or state government has got to be the clear winner here.

Stability -- unlike a big law firm, the federal government does not fire you for failing to bill 2k hours a year. Although jobs at DOJ/SEC/USAOs tend to be transient (3-5 year gigs) rather than long-term employment, this is mostly a product of self-selection rather than being pushed out the door aggressively. People who work a few years in government can often find more lucrative opportunities in the private sector. People who are good lawyers can stay in the government for a long time. (Obviously this doesn't apply to appointed positions, but that's not what we're talking about, right?)

Hours/Growth Potential -- hours are reasonable relative to big firm life, and it's the most stimulating work in that you get to go to court often and argue cases, because the government won't just settle everything or churn doc review. As for advancement potential, there is some ability to move up the ranks, although the true top-level jobs are either very hard to obtain or are by appointment.

Helping People -- depends on your perspective on big government and/or prosecution, but at least in my book it's a big net positive for society.

Money -- not even bad money, career attorneys in government make six figures.


Could make good arguments for PI or JAG (if you're into that sort of thing) as well, but the pay is disgustingly low for the debt required to get there.

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Bronte
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby Bronte » Mon May 20, 2013 9:27 pm

It's odd that you did not put big law on the poll. Obviously people make it out to be a terrible, slave-labor job that no one would actually want but for the money. But you should know that that's hyperbole.

A significant number of people go to law school actually desiring to practice business law, just like a lot of people get MBAs planning to work at investment banks. A major part of the general unhappiness in big law is born of the fact that so many people in big law went to law school planning to become international human rights lawyers. But this isn't everyone.

If I won the lottery, I would still do big law.

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quakeroats
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby quakeroats » Mon May 20, 2013 10:14 pm

Bronte wrote:A significant number of people go to law school actually desiring to practice business law, just like a lot of people get MBAs planning to work at investment banks. A major part of the general unhappiness in big law is born of the fact that so many people in big law went to law school planning to become international human rights lawyers. But this isn't everyone.

If I won the lottery, I would still do big law.


Agreed.

utlaw2007
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue May 28, 2013 5:52 pm

I am doing what excites me. It couldn't get any better even if money were not a factor. I am a trial lawyer and owner of a law firm.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue May 28, 2013 7:09 pm

How about solo practice? If I weren't worried about money I'd love to work for myself.

utlaw2007
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue May 28, 2013 7:29 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:How about solo practice? If I weren't worried about money I'd love to work for myself.


Working for yourself is awesome. And if you have any degree is sufficient business acumen, the financial rewards are unmatched if you are a plaintiffs lawyer.

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thelawyler
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby thelawyler » Tue May 28, 2013 7:30 pm

I love how big/small firms is not an option here.

utlaw2007
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby utlaw2007 » Tue May 28, 2013 7:45 pm

thelawyler wrote:I love how big/small firms is not an option here.

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paranoia4ya
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby paranoia4ya » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:27 am

thelawyler wrote:I love how big/small firms is not an option here.


Alright, i added large law firm, and small law firm to the list. And I added a vote for each tls person.

Don't get me wrong, If i had the opportunity to work in a biglaw firm, it would be great. The experience I would receive from working in one of these places would be invaluable to my future. however, I would not go to law school if this was the only way I could reach my goals. I am interested in hearing about some of the merits found in other legal arenas in case I do not find work in a firm, in order to gain a stronger understanding of what it is like to work in other fields.
Last edited by paranoia4ya on Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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paranoia4ya
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby paranoia4ya » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:42 am

utlaw2007 wrote:I am doing what excites me. It couldn't get any better even if money were not a factor. I am a trial lawyer and owner of a law firm.


What sort of cases do specialize in, if any? what area of your practice (by type of case) do you enjoy the most? I would love to own my own firm one day.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:09 am

quakeroats wrote:
Bronte wrote:A significant number of people go to law school actually desiring to practice business law, just like a lot of people get MBAs planning to work at investment banks. A major part of the general unhappiness in big law is born of the fact that so many people in big law went to law school planning to become international human rights lawyers. But this isn't everyone.

If I won the lottery, I would still do big law.


Agreed.


I don't get this. You're saying you prefer to work ~70 hours / week over working 40 hours / week for the same paycheck? You really prefer working on behalf of big corporations over small(er) businesses that much?

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quakeroats
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby quakeroats » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:51 am

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
Bronte wrote:A significant number of people go to law school actually desiring to practice business law, just like a lot of people get MBAs planning to work at investment banks. A major part of the general unhappiness in big law is born of the fact that so many people in big law went to law school planning to become international human rights lawyers. But this isn't everyone.

If I won the lottery, I would still do big law.


Agreed.


I don't get this. You're saying you prefer to work ~70 hours / week over working 40 hours / week for the same paycheck? You really prefer working on behalf of big corporations over small(er) businesses that much?


I'd prefer to spend most of my time doing interesting, demanding work. BigLaw fits that bill pretty well (at least in my area). If I were making the same widget day in and day out in 8 hour shifts I'd respond differently, but high-end work need not be like that. These same questions gets asked of inordinately wealthy people (Icahn, Buffett), and they often respond with something like, "what else would I do?" Complete financial security is enough for a lot of people to take the rest of life off or do what they really wanted to do in the first place. Lucky for me, what I'm doing is more interesting than 6 months in Monaco or something of the PI persuasion.

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Bronte
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby Bronte » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:28 am

TheFutureLawyer wrote:I don't get this. You're saying you prefer to work ~70 hours / week over working 40 hours / week for the same paycheck? You really prefer working on behalf of big corporations over small(er) businesses that much?


I studied finance in undergrad, and I'm a complete finance and business nerd. But I also prefer writing and argument to number crunching, so law made more sense than pure finance for me. Small businesses do not engage the financial markets at this level and are not involved in the kind of financial transactions that I'm interested in.

It may be foreign to you, but there are a lot of people that are interested in high finance and business law. Not everyone considers "big corporations" to be a force of evil or a source of endless boredom. For the most part, this type of work is not available at smaller firms. In any event, the smaller firms that do this kind of work generally hire people from big law, not from law school.

Like quakeroats said, I would love to do this kind of work on a 40-hour-a-week schedule. But that kind of work doesn't really exist. So big law makes good sense for me as a starting point for my career--and not just for the money.

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quakeroats
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby quakeroats » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:35 am

Bronte wrote:
TheFutureLawyer wrote:I don't get this. You're saying you prefer to work ~70 hours / week over working 40 hours / week for the same paycheck? You really prefer working on behalf of big corporations over small(er) businesses that much?


I studied finance in undergrad, and I'm a complete finance and business nerd. But I also prefer writing and argument to number crunching, so law made more sense than pure finance for me. Small businesses do not engage the financial markets at this level and are not involved in the kind of financial transactions that I'm interested in.

It may be foreign to you, but there are a lot of people that are interested in high finance and business law. Not everyone considers "big corporations" to be a force of evil or a source of endless boredom. For the most part, this type of work is not available at smaller firms. In any event, the smaller firms that do this kind of work generally hire people from big law, not from law school.

Like quakeroats said, I would love to do this kind of work on a 40-hour-a-week schedule. But that kind of work doesn't really exist. So big law makes good sense for me as a starting point for my career--and not just for the money.


Again, what he said.

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sinfiery
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby sinfiery » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:59 am

I would begin a crusade against for profit law schools. All those that join me in the journey to Cooley will get their LS debt forgiven.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: If money was not a factor

Postby holdencaulfield » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:01 pm

Solo, no doubt.




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