FascinatedWanderer wrote:The other thing people in this thread don't seem to realize is that banking pays WAY more than biglaw. First year analysts at bulge brackets out of undergrad are clearing 120-130 minimum. By the time you're three years out of undergrad easily making 200k+ if you stuck around, and that's without the opportunity cost of 3 years of law school. If you exit to private equity your comp blows big law comp out of the water.
This is laughably false. First year analysts are not "clearing 120-130 minimum." Base pay for mid tier bulge bracket (not Goldman or JP) is 75-85k with bonus ranging from 10-20k.
Depends on where you are and what you're doing. For real bulge bracket in the mid-bucket bonus tier, a brand new college grad (full year) would be around $130-145K+ all in. Top performers can do better. Outlier low performers can do worse. This is completely Googleable if you don't believe me.
But: Comp moves somewhat randomly outside of the true bulge bracket (even at places where it's hard to get in). Some smaller shops will have as big or bigger bonuses than GS juniors. Some brand name banks occasionally go outlier low (CS, Deutsche, Jefferies in recent years), and in some cases even go --no bonus--, though they usually protect their analysts and associates from that. It also really matters *what* you're doing. You'd be surprised how many analysts/associates/VPs who you think (and who lead you to believe they) are in the investment banking division are actually in some related role. In most cases, comp is lower for them. Even traders at places like GS make less at junior level.
That's all a sideshow to the real point. It doesn't matter if it's $120 or $160K. It's higher than -$80K, and they can use it as a stepping stone to get desirable jobs (strategy, private equity, venture funds, bus. dev).
Biglaw alumni by contrast cannot step into anything but more law at less pay (and would kill for the exits bankers have).
That's the difference. Working hard to go somewhere vs. working hard to move backwards.
**Also back for a limited engagement as I wait for my seamless at my desk. Need to a turn an issues list overnight after it comes in this evening. Ask any questions.