Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

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PeanutsNJam
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Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:39 am

Why/why not?

A lot of the misery on TLS is about crippling debt combined with poor job market. How are those of you who went to law school on a full ride and got biglaw doing? Are you happy? Does life suck?

The title refers to debt-free upon graduation, but people who have paid off their debts can respond too. Did your life improve 99999x after your last payment? Or does life still suck because being a lawyer is the worst possible job in the world?

What about those with <100k debt? Do you also have to drink yourself to sleep at night?

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starry eyed
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby starry eyed » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:59 am

I would also like to ask, are non- NYC/DC debt-free biglawyers miserable?

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Ron Paul 08
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby Ron Paul 08 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:02 am

I didn't graduate debt-free, but I only had around $50k in debt and paid it off during my first year in biglaw. Being debt-free makes the job a lot more tolerable--I'm not as worried about making a mistake or whether I should sacrifice my weekend plans to please someone, because I won't be thrown in debtor's prison if I get fired.

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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:57 am

taggert

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:12 am

Be honest. How many of you purchased a brand new S-class.

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starry eyed
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby starry eyed » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:21 am

yea this whole i make 200k a year and eat ramen sentiment is getting old... no dude you had a good outcome

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DELG
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby DELG » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:26 am

I am trying to think if I know anyone who truly had no debt (so COL paid) who got biglaw and also is still there. Can't think of anyone.

Cogburn87
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby Cogburn87 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:45 am

I had almost no debt entering biglaw. It was still awful because the practice of law is miserable.


starry eyed wrote:yea this whole i make 200k a year and eat ramen sentiment is getting old... no dude you had a good outcome

Not even bothering to read what the thread is about before posting inane shit? Solid posting strategy.

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c'est charmant
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby c'est charmant » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:48 am

my friends doing BL in ATL seem to have it worlds better than the NYC/DC people, but they still hate themselves idk.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:57 am

Cogburn87 wrote:I had almost no debt entering biglaw. It was still awful because the practice of law is miserable.


So you still hate your work, but how is your day-to-day life? Do you think you're adequately compensated? Or does life in general suck. Is it a "I don't have time to spend my money" thing or "I don't even want to spend money" thing? Surely it'd be nice to afford a better apartment, comfortable furniture, a steak dinner twice a week... Do you get to buy nicer clothes? Get expensive haircuts? Own a bathtub?

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c'est charmant
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby c'est charmant » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:59 am

just because you own a bathtub with jets doesn't mean you have the time to pleasure yourself with said jets

Cogburn87
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby Cogburn87 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:11 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:
Cogburn87 wrote:I had almost no debt entering biglaw. It was still awful because the practice of law is miserable.


So you still hate your work, but how is your day-to-day life? Do you think you're adequately compensated? Or does life in general suck. Is it a "I don't have time to spend my money" thing or "I don't even want to spend money" thing? Surely it'd be nice to afford a better apartment, comfortable furniture, a steak dinner twice a week... Do you get to buy nicer clothes? Get expensive haircuts? Own a bathtub?


I left biglaw and I'm in the process of leaving law altogether.

Money can't buy back a life wasted practicing law, so no amount of compensation could be adequate.

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Rowinguy2009
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:12 am

I took a full ride over other, higher ranked options. My parents helped me a bit with COL, so I graduated with about 24K in debt, which I paid off almost instantly after graduation by depleting my then-existing savings. After graduation I went to a firm with about 150 attorneys, where I have been for almost two years.

Has my life ever been miserable? Absolutely not. That said, mid/big law is inherently stressful regardless of your debt load. I will be leaving my firm in a couple months to do a federal district clerkship - things are a lot better now both because (1) as a second year I am more competent and less easily stressed and (2) I am soon going to be out the door and into the clerkship.

While I don't make 160K, my salary is still great for a single 27 year old guy with no loans. I have put quite a bit into my IRA and mutual funds over the past year and a half. At the same time, I certainly don't live like a pauper (I eat out a couple times a week, bought a very nice, albeit used car, etc.).

Still throwing around ideas as to what I am going to do after my clerkship, but that is something I am honestly not too stressed about. All-in-all I am quite pleased with taking the debt-free path (although I acknowledge that going to a lower-ranked school was, in itself, somewhat of a risk).

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KD35
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby KD35 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:19 am

c'est charmant wrote:my friends doing BL in ATL seem to have it worlds better than the NYC/DC people, but they still hate themselves idk.


Taking this slightly off track, I never understood why people said DC biglaw is comparable to NYC but not LA.

Also, I have a friend who is debt-free (and started with maybe 15k in loans) at a V5 and he is already thinking about escaping to something else as a second year. He seems to enjoy it but likes the option to be able to leave whenever he will want.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby PeanutsNJam » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:16 am

Rowinguy2009 wrote:I took a full ride over other, higher ranked options. My parents helped me a bit with COL, so I graduated with about 24K in debt, which I paid off almost instantly after graduation by depleting my then-existing savings. After graduation I went to a firm with about 150 attorneys, where I have been for almost two years.

Has my life ever been miserable? Absolutely not. That said, mid/big law is inherently stressful regardless of your debt load. I will be leaving my firm in a couple months to do a federal district clerkship - things are a lot better now both because (1) as a second year I am more competent and less easily stressed and (2) I am soon going to be out the door and into the clerkship.

While I don't make 160K, my salary is still great for a single 27 year old guy with no loans. I have put quite a bit into my IRA and mutual funds over the past year and a half. At the same time, I certainly don't live like a pauper (I eat out a couple times a week, bought a very nice, albeit used car, etc.).

Still throwing around ideas as to what I am going to do after my clerkship, but that is something I am honestly not too stressed about. All-in-all I am quite pleased with taking the debt-free path (although I acknowledge that going to a lower-ranked school was, in itself, somewhat of a risk).


Homeboi knows how to manage his money. Invest the S-class money into a fund now and buy a Bugatti 20 years later. I like it.

itascot1992
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby itascot1992 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:23 am

tag

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starry eyed
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby starry eyed » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:29 am

I always hear business owners are the happiest people. Are y'all miserable bc y'all are ultimately not in control of anything? Does doing busy work for rainmaker partners for a lot of money lead to a life of fulfillment? I don't think any amount of money could make me happy if i felt like a disposable pawn whose sole purpose is to make profits for someone else.

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DELG
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby DELG » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:33 am

PeanutsNJam wrote:
Rowinguy2009 wrote:I took a full ride over other, higher ranked options. My parents helped me a bit with COL, so I graduated with about 24K in debt, which I paid off almost instantly after graduation by depleting my then-existing savings. After graduation I went to a firm with about 150 attorneys, where I have been for almost two years.

Has my life ever been miserable? Absolutely not. That said, mid/big law is inherently stressful regardless of your debt load. I will be leaving my firm in a couple months to do a federal district clerkship - things are a lot better now both because (1) as a second year I am more competent and less easily stressed and (2) I am soon going to be out the door and into the clerkship.

While I don't make 160K, my salary is still great for a single 27 year old guy with no loans. I have put quite a bit into my IRA and mutual funds over the past year and a half. At the same time, I certainly don't live like a pauper (I eat out a couple times a week, bought a very nice, albeit used car, etc.).

Still throwing around ideas as to what I am going to do after my clerkship, but that is something I am honestly not too stressed about. All-in-all I am quite pleased with taking the debt-free path (although I acknowledge that going to a lower-ranked school was, in itself, somewhat of a risk).


Homeboi knows how to manage his money. Invest the S-class money into a fund now and buy a Bugatti 20 years later. I like it.

Are you completely retarded or a troll

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starry eyed
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby starry eyed » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:38 am

DELG wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:
Rowinguy2009 wrote:I took a full ride over other, higher ranked options. My parents helped me a bit with COL, so I graduated with about 24K in debt, which I paid off almost instantly after graduation by depleting my then-existing savings. After graduation I went to a firm with about 150 attorneys, where I have been for almost two years.

Has my life ever been miserable? Absolutely not. That said, mid/big law is inherently stressful regardless of your debt load. I will be leaving my firm in a couple months to do a federal district clerkship - things are a lot better now both because (1) as a second year I am more competent and less easily stressed and (2) I am soon going to be out the door and into the clerkship.

While I don't make 160K, my salary is still great for a single 27 year old guy with no loans. I have put quite a bit into my IRA and mutual funds over the past year and a half. At the same time, I certainly don't live like a pauper (I eat out a couple times a week, bought a very nice, albeit used car, etc.).

Still throwing around ideas as to what I am going to do after my clerkship, but that is something I am honestly not too stressed about. All-in-all I am quite pleased with taking the debt-free path (although I acknowledge that going to a lower-ranked school was, in itself, somewhat of a risk).


Homeboi knows how to manage his money. Invest the S-class money into a fund now and buy a Bugatti 20 years later. I like it.

Are you completely retarded or a troll


This had me laughing so hard i had to leave the school library lol. Quite a few people at my school speak like this... i'm guessing he's southern

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mickey0004
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby mickey0004 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:00 pm

I paid off my debt in 18 months and half-assed this biglaw thing thinking that I would leave right after I paid off my debt. Then I started looking for something decent and couldn't find anything I liked. So now my new plan is to make enough money and retire early. I was much happier the first 18 months than I am now. I am constantly wondering how long I can last in this environment.

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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby ub3r » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:02 pm

Rowinguy2009 wrote:I took a full ride over other, higher ranked options. My parents helped me a bit with COL, so I graduated with about 24K in debt, which I paid off almost instantly after graduation by depleting my then-existing savings. After graduation I went to a firm with about 150 attorneys, where I have been for almost two years.

Has my life ever been miserable? Absolutely not. That said, mid/big law is inherently stressful regardless of your debt load. I will be leaving my firm in a couple months to do a federal district clerkship - things are a lot better now both because (1) as a second year I am more competent and less easily stressed and (2) I am soon going to be out the door and into the clerkship.

While I don't make 160K, my salary is still great for a single 27 year old guy with no loans. I have put quite a bit into my IRA and mutual funds over the past year and a half. At the same time, I certainly don't live like a pauper (I eat out a couple times a week, bought a very nice, albeit used car, etc.).

Still throwing around ideas as to what I am going to do after my clerkship, but that is something I am honestly not too stressed about. All-in-all I am quite pleased with taking the debt-free path (although I acknowledge that going to a lower-ranked school was, in itself, somewhat of a risk).

Thanks for the post.

Not that you necessarily know, but seeing as you admit that a lower ranked school was more of a risk, do you know of any/many classmates who are struggling somehow with regards to employment?

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CaptainJapan
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby CaptainJapan » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:29 pm

mickey0004 wrote:I paid off my debt in 18 months and half-assed this biglaw thing thinking that I would leave right after I paid off my debt. Then I started looking for something decent and couldn't find anything I liked. So now my new plan is to make enough money and retire early. I was much happier the first 18 months than I am now. I am constantly wondering how long I can last in this environment.



What changed after 18 months? Just physically drained?

kaiser
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby kaiser » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:33 pm

CaptainJapan wrote:
mickey0004 wrote:I paid off my debt in 18 months and half-assed this biglaw thing thinking that I would leave right after I paid off my debt. Then I started looking for something decent and couldn't find anything I liked. So now my new plan is to make enough money and retire early. I was much happier the first 18 months than I am now. I am constantly wondering how long I can last in this environment.



What changed after 18 months? Just physically drained?


Thats sort of the timeframe when the grind starts to get to you. Plus, by the 1.5 year mark, you sort of being to see and understand your long term goals, and how the biglaw environment and firm fits into those plans. And for the vast majority of people (nearly all), the biglaw firm isn't going to be a part of future plans. So its not uncommon for people at that point to at least start to think about the future.

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mickey0004
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby mickey0004 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:34 pm

CaptainJapan wrote:
mickey0004 wrote:I paid off my debt in 18 months and half-assed this biglaw thing thinking that I would leave right after I paid off my debt. Then I started looking for something decent and couldn't find anything I liked. So now my new plan is to make enough money and retire early. I was much happier the first 18 months than I am now. I am constantly wondering how long I can last in this environment.



What changed after 18 months? Just physically drained?


I was so focused on debt as being my escape pod. After accomplishing that, there was really no reason to stay in biglaw, but I just can't figure out what type of lawyering job would be fulfilling for me. I'm afraid that if I go to a smaller/mid-sized firm, I would work the same hours with the same type of stress but much much less pay. Now that is terrifying. So basically, inertia.

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Rowinguy2009
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Re: Debt-free grads: Are you miserable?

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:53 pm

ub3r wrote:
Rowinguy2009 wrote:I took a full ride over other, higher ranked options. My parents helped me a bit with COL, so I graduated with about 24K in debt, which I paid off almost instantly after graduation by depleting my then-existing savings. After graduation I went to a firm with about 150 attorneys, where I have been for almost two years.

Has my life ever been miserable? Absolutely not. That said, mid/big law is inherently stressful regardless of your debt load. I will be leaving my firm in a couple months to do a federal district clerkship - things are a lot better now both because (1) as a second year I am more competent and less easily stressed and (2) I am soon going to be out the door and into the clerkship.

While I don't make 160K, my salary is still great for a single 27 year old guy with no loans. I have put quite a bit into my IRA and mutual funds over the past year and a half. At the same time, I certainly don't live like a pauper (I eat out a couple times a week, bought a very nice, albeit used car, etc.).

Still throwing around ideas as to what I am going to do after my clerkship, but that is something I am honestly not too stressed about. All-in-all I am quite pleased with taking the debt-free path (although I acknowledge that going to a lower-ranked school was, in itself, somewhat of a risk).

Thanks for the post.

Not that you necessarily know, but seeing as you admit that a lower ranked school was more of a risk, do you know of any/many classmates who are struggling somehow with regards to employment?


As you acknowledged, its hard to answer this because people wound up all over the county, and I have only kept in touch with a handful. Most of my friends actually wound up in pretty desirable outcomes, even if there was some uncertainty for a few of them in between graduation and now. Judging from Facebook and LinkedIn there are some in my class that are now in incredibly desirable outcomes (COA clerkships, etc) and many others who are in mid/small law or state/local government. There are also some that appear to have never "gotten on their feet" so to speak. I couldn't possibly assign a percentage to this, but I would imagine the results look something like a bell curve: on one end awesome outcomes, on the other terrible, and a lot of people in the middle who wound up with something that is at least decent. (School is a T30).




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