To law school or not to law school

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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withoutapaddle
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To law school or not to law school

Postby withoutapaddle » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:43 pm

I've always wanted to be a lawyer. I'm interested in private equity and securities law. I know law school isn't the best investment right now (depending on where you go), but I'm keeping my options open.

About me:

Age:26 (I'd be 30 at graduation if I enroll for Sept 2016)
Work experience: 1 year as a Sr. Financial Analyst - Capital Markets at a top US Bank. 2 years as an Operations Analyst for US investment bank.
Undergad: State School U
GPA:2.86
Current Salary: 64K
Pratice LSAT has been in the 168-173 range.

I was getting advice on WallStreetOasis, but this site is much better when it comes to law school advice. I'm wondering if my work experience would give me a huge boost during OCI. Also, what is the lowest ranked school that you guys think someone should consider?

My goals are to work in big law in corporate law pratice.
Any advice would be great.

Pratice LSAT has been in the 168-173 range.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:47 pm

where do you live? are there any promotions in your future?

edit - need to know a lot of these things. how many hours you work a week? how many you hope to work a week? vacation? family? goals (be rich or well off)? do you enjoy your work?

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withoutapaddle
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby withoutapaddle » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:35 pm

I work 40-45 hours a week. I work in charlote. I want to be well off. I'm willing to work 60-70 hours a week. I'd like big law in the south. I could become a VP or go to business school and get a consulting job at deloitte or something along those lines

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ymmv
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby ymmv » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:57 pm

withoutapaddle wrote:I work 40-45 hours a week. I work in charlote. I want to be well off. I'm willing to work 60-70 hours a week. I'd like big law in the south. I could become a VP or go to business school and get a consulting job at deloitte or something along those lines


40-45 hours and you make 65k? Holy shit, don't quit, dude, you're basically on permanent paid vacation.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:03 pm

Theres just a lot less biglaw to go aruond int he south is the problem. Even if NYC biglaw is doable, Charlotte is a lot harder as is Atlanta. If I were you I would probably leverage your work experience and an MBA into more pay if I was going to go that route. I probably wouldnt be content for 65k forever, so if you have no way to get up to 85-100k in the next 5 years, I can understand not wanting to continue that career.
Your situation right now is > NYC biglaw, imo.

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withoutapaddle
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby withoutapaddle » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:23 pm

I just always had an ambition to be an attorney. The MBA is probably my best option or a European master of finance (less debt). With my GPA, which is shit, I only have a chance at three top schools in the T14. I'd probably be paying sticker as well

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ymmv
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby ymmv » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:24 pm

withoutapaddle wrote: With my GPA, which is shit, I only have a chance at three top schools in the T14. I'd probably be paying sticker as well


Yeah don't do this. Do literally anything else.

BigZuck
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:33 pm

Your current job sounds solid, I'd just roll with that.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:35 pm

always wanting to be an attorney is a really dumb reason that ignores all practicality of the situation. being an attorney sucks. its not cool as almost every attorney will tell you. your current salary and your gpa eliminate any value of law school. this always wanting to be an attorney is just an ambition of looking at a profession with rose colored glasses.

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schmelling
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Post removed.

Postby schmelling » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:51 pm

Post removed.
Last edited by schmelling on Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ymmv
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby ymmv » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:53 pm

schmelling wrote:So many people on this site shit on the legal profession. I know many young biglaw attorneys at various levels of associate from first year to senior level and all are on the whole happy. They don't love every aspect of their jobs but they all feel the money keeps them happy. This is in NYC as well.


They lie.

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fats provolone
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby fats provolone » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:55 pm

how do you explain the many young biglaw attys on this site then.

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utahraptor
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby utahraptor » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:55 pm

stay in your job and consider the MBA later; seems like it would be a better option

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twenty
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby twenty » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:56 pm

65k/year in Charlotte is fucking bank. I bet you can work your way up to 80k+ a year over the next 3-4 years.

Keep in mind that your biglaw take home won't start at 160k if you're in Charlotte, and will be severely decreased by your student loan payments. Furthermore, "biglaw in the south" is far from a guarantee, even from a T14. See Bruce Wayne's experiences at UVA.

Even if you were making 40k a year, you're still better off doing whatever it is you're doing than sticker at law school.

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schmelling
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Postby schmelling » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:58 pm

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JohannDeMann
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:58 pm

shut the fuck up. no one cares about your 5 acquantances. you arent living this shit day in and day. attorny is almost always the least happy job in polls and always in the bottom 5. all the lawyers posting here say their lives suck. go post in the "do you like law school" thread.

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fats provolone
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby fats provolone » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:59 pm

ok but we're not friends and family with your friends and family, therefore your data means nothing

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ymmv
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby ymmv » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:07 pm

schmelling wrote:
ymmv wrote:
schmelling wrote:So many people on this site shit on the legal profession. I know many young biglaw attorneys at various levels of associate from first year to senior level and all are on the whole happy. They don't love every aspect of their jobs but they all feel the money keeps them happy. This is in NYC as well.


They lie.


I think I'll take the word of my family and friends over yours.


Sorry to tell you your friends don't trust you enough to be honest about their unhappiness and regret.

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fats provolone
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby fats provolone » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:09 pm

my grandmother told me schmelling's friends are very honest so ur opinion is bullshit sorry

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schmelling
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Postby schmelling » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:10 pm

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utahraptor
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby utahraptor » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:10 pm

slow reveal is that his family is full of psychopaths who earnestly LOVE THE LAW

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withoutapaddle
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby withoutapaddle » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:12 pm

Keep in mind that your biglaw take home won't start at 160k if you're in Charlotte, and will be severely decreased by your student loan payments.


What are big law salaries like in Charlotte/South?

FlamingDragon
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby FlamingDragon » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:16 pm

A lot of the unhappy lawyers are the ones who shouldn't have gone to law school in the first place (i.e. went to a shitty school) or did but did poor and thus have a bad job to debt ration. That really brings you down.

I don't know why law school is somehow a profession that people just expect to be doing well even if they aren't bright. In medicine, the school admissions are limited to roughly match job supply with demand. That's not the case in law so if you're not competitive, you need to self-select out.

That said, the people who I know who go / went to T14s with zero or little debt and got big law jobs or used LRAP and got high-prestige public sector jobs are often very happy. Living in NYC by choice is in my calculation never a good idea - pay is the same or slightly higher depending on market but costs are exponentially larger and it's just a horrible place to live dayto day, for a number of reasons. If you make that choice then you reap the consequences - I don't get why people can't wrap their minds around that.

Go to a good school and get a biglaw or other job in a better market, or go zero debt in NYC, or don't go, because the debt-salary-cost of living spiral is deadly if you make bad choices.

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utahraptor
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby utahraptor » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:18 pm

that's impressively stupid for other reasons

FlamingDragon
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Re: To law school or not to law school

Postby FlamingDragon » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:19 pm

withoutapaddle wrote:
Keep in mind that your biglaw take home won't start at 160k if you're in Charlotte, and will be severely decreased by your student loan payments.


What are big law salaries like in Charlotte/South?


Biglaw salaries in Charlotte range. The high is NYC market rates, 160k starting plus 15k bonus for first years. Firms like Dechert, Mayor Brown, Cadwalader, and Winston Strawn pay this rate, with the first 3 at least paying competitive NYC bonuses.

The more typical big law salary range is 145k, with slower, non-NYC raise scales, at places like McGuire Woods, Moore Van Allen, etc. The next lower tier, still very respectable, is around 140k, like Parker Poe and Robinson Bradshaw. I'd say prestige roughly tracks with this tier scale, depending on the industry (with the highest paying guys concentrating on a few specific practice areas).

That said, 145k or even 135-140k in Charlotte puts you in excellent position to live an extremely comfortable life. extrapolate out for the associate positions that give you 175k.




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