Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

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mzade

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Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby mzade » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:18 pm

Do lawyers really make that much money? For instance, many lawyers work 50-60 hour weeks. The average law salary is about 130,000 a year. That comes to about 60 dollars per hour, which is nice, but not alot of money. Thoughts? Comments?

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Nebby » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:19 pm

Starting pay at a biglaw firm is $180k

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sayan

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby sayan » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:20 pm

What's the point of this thread? Either you're in law school already and it doesn't matter whether it's a lot or not, or you're considering law school and only you can determine whether that's a "lot of money". And if your biggest motivation for going to law school is because other people are telling you it's a "lot of money" then you've set yourself up for failure.

Hakki

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Hakki » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:27 pm

I make $180,000 per year, but I've probably averaged 75 hour weeks. And that's with half of those weeks being 100, and half being 50. There are people at my firm working harder than me.

It's not about counting the money per hour, though, because you can never make plans without the threat of everything getting cancelled lurking in the background. I've had weekends where I worked only an hour or two, but was forced to stay at home all day because some email might come in at any moment and I needed to ready to work off that quickly.

You can think hard about becoming a lawyer, but if you want both money and time to spend that money, I don't know if you'll find the balance you're looking for.

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zot1

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby zot1 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:31 pm

Everyone knows lawyer = rich.

dabigchina

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby dabigchina » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:33 pm

sayan wrote:What's the point of this thread? Either you're in law school already and it doesn't matter whether it's a lot or not, or you're considering law school and only you can determine whether that's a "lot of money". And if your biggest motivation for going to law school is because other people are telling you it's a "lot of money" then you've set yourself up for failure.

also, yada yada 0L's can't post in Legal Employment, etc etc.

Moneytrees

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Moneytrees » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:05 am

Don't go to law school if you want to make the big bucks.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:10 am

OP, "a lot" is two words. Damnit.

Bluem_11

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Bluem_11 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:11 am

I haven't heard of many entry-level 6 figure jobs in any profession where you go 9-5.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:13 am

I dont know about you OP, but for me, calculating down hours worked with salary to determine the exact hourly wage isn't of much importance to me. If you're going to choose your career solely based off what will yield you the best "per hour" money, then you'll probably be miserable in the end. I chose law school because it's the only field I ever wanted to work in; the money is not the real motivator. Sure, 100k + is nice, but you shouldn't be that focused on the money in determining your career.

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Rahviveh

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:I dont know about you OP, but for me, calculating down hours worked with salary to determine the exact hourly wage isn't of much importance to me. If you're going to choose your career solely based off what will yield you the best "per hour" money, then you'll probably be miserable in the end. I chose law school because it's the only field I ever wanted to work in; the money is not the real motivator. Sure, 100k + is nice, but you shouldn't be that focused on the money in determining your career.


Senior partner rubbing his hands together reading this post

foregetaboutdre

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:25 am

Moneytrees wrote:Don't go to law school if you want to make the big bucks.


I sort of disagree with this and sort of agree. K-JD - there's virtually no job where you can make 180k at 25 (barring starting a company, being a doctor, getting lucky as a (comp engineer, CS/EE major, wall st, consultant) etc...

However as time goes on the few that will make biglaw partner will compare well to CFOs/senior execs in business. Those who go in-house will either be a GC or kind of get stuck in a random in-house position that will have less clout than a senior biz exec/senior engineer etc...

If you don't have a lot of debt, save early. It will reward you in the future.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:49 am

foregetaboutdre wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:Don't go to law school if you want to make the big bucks.


I sort of disagree with this and sort of agree. K-JD - there's virtually no job where you can make 180k at 25 (barring starting a company, being a doctor, getting lucky as a (comp engineer, CS/EE major, wall st, consultant) etc...

However as time goes on the few that will make biglaw partner will compare well to CFOs/senior execs in business. Those who go in-house will either be a GC or kind of get stuck in a random in-house position that will have less clout than a senior biz exec/senior engineer etc...

If you don't have a lot of debt, save early. It will reward you in the future.


You can't make 180k at 25 as a doctor. At 21-22, you graduate undergrad. At 25-26, you graduate medical school. Then, from 25-26 to 29-30, you're in a residency that is paying ~$50-$70k a year. For some of the more complex medical specialties, you could be in residency until 32. After that, you might still need to do a 1-2yr fellowship. You could potentially not get to start your career until 31-34. Then, when you start, you've got 4 years of medical debt (versus 3 years at law school), and you aren't making the median doctor salaries. You start much lower and build up. For lawyers, you can start at $180k at BL and build to $1M if you make the lucky and tough climb from 1st year associate to partner. You can make some big bucks being in some of the high-demand and hard to get into specialties too, however, if you're one of the family doctors or psychiatrists that get to start practicing on the earlier end of the spectrum (30-31), you may start making $150k and end your career making $240k many years later. I would never become a doctor if you want to (1) start making great money in your 20s (2) avoid debt or (3) have a very high salary no matter what field of medicine you practice. A partner starting off in tax can make the same as a partner starting of in M&A, but the same can rarely if ever be said about pediatricians (non-surgical) and orthopedic surgeons.

dabigchina

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby dabigchina » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:52 am

RedPurpleBlue wrote:
foregetaboutdre wrote:
Moneytrees wrote:Don't go to law school if you want to make the big bucks.


I sort of disagree with this and sort of agree. K-JD - there's virtually no job where you can make 180k at 25 (barring starting a company, being a doctor, getting lucky as a (comp engineer, CS/EE major, wall st, consultant) etc...

However as time goes on the few that will make biglaw partner will compare well to CFOs/senior execs in business. Those who go in-house will either be a GC or kind of get stuck in a random in-house position that will have less clout than a senior biz exec/senior engineer etc...

If you don't have a lot of debt, save early. It will reward you in the future.


You can't make 180k at 25 as a doctor. At 21-22, you graduate undergrad. At 25-26, you graduate medical school. Then, from 25-26 to 29-30, you're in a residency that is paying ~$50-$70k a year. For some of the more complex medical specialties, you could be in residency until 32. After that, you might still need to do a 1-2yr fellowship. You could potentially not get to start your career until 31-34. Then, when you start, you've got 4 years of medical debt (versus 3 years at law school), and you aren't making the median doctor salaries. You start much lower and build up. For lawyers, you can start at $180k at BL and build to $1M if you make the lucky and tough climb from 1st year associate to partner. You can make some big bucks being in some of the high-demand and hard to get into specialties too, however, if you're one of the family doctors or psychiatrists that get to start practicing on the earlier end of the spectrum (30-31), you may start making $150k and end your career making $240k many years later. I would never become a doctor if you want to (1) start making great money in your 20s (2) avoid debt or (3) have a very high salary no matter what field of medicine you practice. A partner starting off in tax can make the same as a partner starting of in M&A, but the same can rarely if ever be said about pediatricians (non-surgical) and orthopedic surgeons.

ROAD to riches.

But yeah, doctors got it bad too.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:06 am

Just pointing out that you don't make 180k as a first year associate. You make 180k + bonus. Total comp for a first year associate at most firms was 195k last year. Biglaw is a notoriously unhappy profession, but the money nice.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:31 am

some do most dont

hangtime813

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby hangtime813 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:22 am

Anonymous User wrote:some do most dont


most definitely don't

redtalun

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby redtalun » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:49 am

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/highest-paying.htm

shoulda been a judge - or an air traffic controller #poorlifechoices

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Toni V

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Toni V » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:34 am

If you’re employed at a V50 firm, your income usually puts you in the top ten of your community’s breadwinners. In a couple years, factoring in bigger bonuses and lockstep salary increases, figure top 5%, or better. If you make partner after 6-8 years, you’ll have to scrape by on $100k a month.

Moneytrees

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Moneytrees » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:54 am

Toni V wrote:If you’re employed at a V50 firm, your income usually puts you in the top ten of your community’s breadwinners. In a couple years, factoring in bigger bonuses and lockstep salary increases, figure top 5%, or better. If you make partner after 6-8 years, you’ll have to scrape by on $100k a month.


Lol. Even if you win the Biglaw lottery, you are likely graduating law school with six figure debt. Sure, 180k is nice, but it's not as nice when you are paying over 3 grand a month to the government. Also, associates usually only last 3 or 4 years in Biglaw; after that, they are taking huge pay cuts. Many attorneys have a 0 net worth going into their 30s...

Don't go into this field for the money. Some attorneys make it big, and perhaps most lead comfortable/decent lives, but overall it's not the quickest or best way to make lots of cash.

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TLSModBot

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby TLSModBot » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:18 am

Lawyer salary figures are bimodal, so the average doesn't help much. There is a small contingent (~1/4) that gets that sweet 180K or close around it, and then the majority average around 70K. So if you're not Biglaw bound you're looking at substantially under 130k

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:19 am

Did anyone ever say that lawyers make a lot of money?

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kalvano

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby kalvano » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:18 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Did anyone ever say that lawyers make a lot of money?


TV and movies.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Civilservant » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:20 pm

If you are not impressed by a big law salary, then don't become a lawyer, because most of us make significantly less than that. Also, with the attrition in big law, most make big money for a few years and then take a pay cut for the sake of their sanity.

It would be best if you figured out how to make the hyperloop work, or start a wildly popular video game streaming channel, so you can make real money.

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zot1

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby zot1 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:21 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Did anyone ever say that lawyers make a lot of money?


If we didn't make a lot of money, then why would we become lawyers?



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