Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:16 pm

mzade wrote:That comes to about 60 dollars per hour, which is nice, but not alot of money. Thoughts? Comments?


I think that anybody who balks at 60/hour is either really naive or really spoiled. Sure, it's not "retire at 30" money, but it's about 2.5x what the average family makes.

I have to scratch my head at people who think that, as a K-JD, they're worth a $400k starting salary.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby BernieTrump » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:59 pm

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Last edited by BernieTrump on Thu May 11, 2017 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Hikikomorist » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:03 pm

BernieTrump wrote:
totesTheGoat wrote:
mzade wrote:That comes to about 60 dollars per hour, which is nice, but not alot of money. Thoughts? Comments?


I think that anybody who balks at 60/hour is either really naive or really spoiled. Sure, it's not "retire at 30" money, but it's about 2.5x what the average family makes.

I have to scratch my head at people who think that, as a K-JD, they're worth a $400k starting salary.


Now correct for 50% marginal taxes and $2200 per month in loan service (none of which is tax deductible). Back out the huge insurance premiums most firms pass on to associates, which is an artificial inflation of top line salary. Unlike most corporations, in biglaw you can be paying $500 or more per month for mediocre coverage for a single healthy person. Back out the huge rents most associates end up paying in biglaw cities. Normalize for the fact the average biglaw tenure is about 2-3 years and most people take a huge paycut after that and for the rest of their careers (why do your calculations based on the numbers that are valid for less than 10% of an overall career arc?) Then get back to us. The Cravath partner's public statement that the raise was because associates were no longer able to afford apartments near their office, and they wanted to cut down on people with huge commutes (so they could bill more), is telling.

I also really don't understand the model of comparing biglaw to the worst of the most menial jobs in the worst locations. I worked [edited for privacy] in my very early 20s and investment banking in my mid 20s. Biglaw is worse than both. Biglaw may very well be better than landscaping in Texas in the summer for $12/hour, but that's not the bucket of people we're dealing with.

People of biglaw caliber generally work themselves into middle management. They'll get seven figures a year in their 40s. It's more stable. Biglaw people, who can never have a stable life, waste their 20s in misery so to fight back to zero net worth, then take a job that on average pays $110K, which will have fewer hours but the same fundamental drawback (as everyone here knows, but nobody admits, law is terrible, and pushes people to alcohol abuse, suicide and depression at multiples of the next highest profession).

Law school apps out of ivy and ivy-equivalent undergraduates have cratered over the past 10 years. If this was a good or decent way to make "a lot" of money, some smart kids with options would go to law school. Almost none do now. What does that tell you?

This is depressing but seems accurate from being the overwhelming consensus opinion.

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nunumaster

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby nunumaster » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:09 pm

What would you do instead of going into big law then if you had no debt and a t14 law degree in your late 20s.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby zot1 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:46 pm

nunumaster wrote:What would you do instead of going into big law then if you had no debt and a t14 law degree in your late 20s.


Go the government route :lol:

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby nunumaster » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:09 am

zot1 wrote:
Go the government route :lol:


Gov't pays shit though if you live in a high COL place. Might as well as not have gone to law school in the first place.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby zot1 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:18 am

nunumaster wrote:
zot1 wrote:
Go the government route :lol:


Gov't pays shit though if you live in a high COL place. Might as well as not have gone to law school in the first place.


Oh I forgot the theme of the thread. Marry rich.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Npret » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:48 pm

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.

Where are people making partner after 6-8 years?
Also junior partners are working more than senior associates and not making more if you consider the partnership buyin. I'm curious where your information comes from. I would like to see it.
Last edited by Npret on Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Npret » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:52 pm

mzade wrote: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?

Some lawyers make a lot of money. The great majority don't. Law school costs have skyrocketed over the past 15 years so you can't really compare with current partners.

You also need to know that there is no reliable salary data for biglaw associates who leave biglaw. Biglaw salaries are only known because they are published and are lockstep. Many lawyers take large paycuts when they leave biglaw and end up with their highest salary at the beginning of their career.

Maybe NALP has some data locked behind a paywall somewhere but I've never seen it.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Npret » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:59 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:
mzade wrote:That comes to about 60 dollars per hour, which is nice, but not alot of money. Thoughts? Comments?


I think that anybody who balks at 60/hour is either really naive or really spoiled. Sure, it's not "retire at 30" money, but it's about 2.5x what the average family makes.

I have to scratch my head at people who think that, as a K-JD, they're worth a $400k starting salary.

Who thinks that? Most of the 0Ls here think that getting a shot at a $180,000 salary is worth mortgaging their future.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Thranduilon » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:07 pm

I have a question for you guys. In high school, my parents told me to either chose an unexpensive undergrad school and graduate debt free from law school or go to an expensive undergrad and take on 100-140 k law school debt to go to a top law school. After some contemplation, I am thinking of transferring to a more prestigious undergrad because it seems that getting a big law job from a top law school and paying off loans is pretty easy even in a high COL. I would have to take on 90 k worth of law school debt to do this. Is it true that it's easy to get a big law job from a top law school and paying loans back is easy?

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Alexandros » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:14 pm

Thranduilon wrote:I have a question for you guys. In high school, my parents told me to either chose an unexpensive undergrad school and graduate debt free from law school or go to an expensive undergrad and take on 100-140 k law school debt to go to a top law school. After some contemplation, I am thinking of transferring to a more prestigious undergrad because it seems that getting a big law job from a top law school and paying off loans is pretty easy even in a high COL. I would have to take on 90 k worth of law school debt to do this. Is it true that it's easy to get a big law job from a top law school and paying loans back is easy?

Not sure I understand. Your undergrad prestige matters very little in law school admissions. Definitely don't take on debt to go to an expensive UG to boost your application.

But yes, biglaw is the most common outcome from the t14. 90k debt could be payed down within a few years.
Last edited by Alexandros on Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:19 pm

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BlendedUnicorn

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:21 pm

Thranduilon wrote:I have a question for you guys. In high school, my parents told me to either chose an unexpensive undergrad school and graduate debt free from law school or go to an expensive undergrad and take on 100-140 k law school debt to go to a top law school. After some contemplation, I am thinking of transferring to a more prestigious undergrad because it seems that getting a big law job from a top law school and paying off loans is pretty easy even in a high COL. I would have to take on 90 k worth of law school debt to do this. Is it true that it's easy to get a big law job from a top law school and paying loans back is easy?


You'd need to give us a lot more information to really help but the short answer is that 90k is probably a manageable amount of debt from a top law school (read: t14).

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby Toni V » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:08 pm

Npret wrote:
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.

Where are people making partner after 6-8 years?
Also junior partners are working more than senior associates and not making more if you consider the partnership buyin. I'm curious where your information comes from. I would like to see it.


Purely anecdotal. From the get-go, the firm sets you up on their partner track. Check back in 2022 and I'll tell you how that worked out. I know of some who made partner inside of 6-8 years. Do not know percentages. Perhaps someone here does.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby heythatslife » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:37 pm

Toni V wrote:
Npret wrote:
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.

Where are people making partner after 6-8 years?
Also junior partners are working more than senior associates and not making more if you consider the partnership buyin. I'm curious where your information comes from. I would like to see it.


Purely anecdotal. From the get-go, the firm sets you up on their partner track. Check back in 2022 and I'll tell you how that worked out. I know of some who made partner inside of 6-8 years. Do not know percentages. Perhaps someone here does.

Partner in 6 years at a V50? Are you sure this isn't someone in the 1970s or 80s you're talking about? Or someone who got bumped up class years because they clerked or had experience as patent agent? I'm actually really curious which V50 in this day and age promotes someone up to partner in 6 years starting as first-year associate.

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Re: Do lawyers really earn alot of money?

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:30 pm

heythatslife wrote:
Toni V wrote:
Npret wrote:
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.

Where are people making partner after 6-8 years?
Also junior partners are working more than senior associates and not making more if you consider the partnership buyin. I'm curious where your information comes from. I would like to see it.


Purely anecdotal. From the get-go, the firm sets you up on their partner track. Check back in 2022 and I'll tell you how that worked out. I know of some who made partner inside of 6-8 years. Do not know percentages. Perhaps someone here does.

Partner in 6 years at a V50? Are you sure this isn't someone in the 1970s or 80s you're talking about? Or someone who got bumped up class years because they clerked or had experience as patent agent? I'm actually really curious which V50 in this day and age promotes someone up to partner in 6 years starting as first-year associate.


Kirkland and some other firms that have non-equity partners do but those people aren't really partners for all intents and purposes. 8 years is the standard but odds of getting there are...slim.



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