delete

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
User avatar
MTal
Posts: 854
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby MTal » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:05 pm

Don't go to law school for the money. Most biglaw associates burn out and quit after their 2/3rd year. They made a decent salary during that time, but they're still stuck with their student loans and their future career prospects are uncertain.

User avatar
TheLuckyOne
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby TheLuckyOne » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:05 pm

Hmmm, this is weird. I remember I've heard that if a person wanted say 50 under w2, s/he would need like up to 5 bucks on top of it under 1099. Could be wrong, though. :?

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby r6_philly » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:13 pm

This is NOT the FICA tax. You will have to make SE tax, then FICA tax.

if you make 10000 net self employment income
you may
$1560 for SE tax

you can deduct $780 from your AGI, lets forget about the AGI, deduct from your SE income instead

so now you have to pay FICA on 9220. So whatever marginal tax you are, you have to pay that.

Then you pay the 1560 at the end.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby r6_philly » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:15 pm

cardnal124 wrote:
r6_philly wrote:SE tax goes on line 56 which is AFTER exemptions and deductions. You WILL have to calculate the face amount of the SE tax in what you owe.

Deduction != credit.


Yes, you will have to calculate it. Then deduct from it the tax savings. Which is the same thing.

No a deduction <> a credit. Thats why you have to take 7.35% * (1-t) rather than just ignoring the 7.35%



Sorry - misread.

User avatar
cardnal124
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:31 am

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby cardnal124 » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:21 pm

r6_philly wrote:This is NOT the FICA tax. You will have to make SE tax, then FICA tax.

if you make 10000 net self employment income
you may
$1560 for SE tax

you can deduct $780 from your AGI, lets forget about the AGI, deduct from your SE income instead

so now you have to pay FICA on 9220. So whatever marginal tax you are, you have to pay that.

Then you pay the 1560 at the end.


No you don't.

10k income

1560 SE tax

deduct 780 FOR AGI, not FROM AGI (above the line not below it)

You don't pay FICA on top of that, its included in the SE tax (7.35% for both employer and employee portion)

Thus, your tax for SE will be a stated 1560. However since you get to deduct 780, you pay less in income taxes. This amount is calculated: 780*(1-t) where t is your tax rate.

So yes you pay 1560, but you get a portion back in terms of less income taxes owed.

Your income tax rate would apply to either self-employment income or employee income, so it is irrelevant

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby r6_philly » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:26 pm

dammit, I meant income tax not FICA. I fail many times, I should stop. (Don't talk tax when watching hockey).

But you get what I am saying, you will pay between 8-9% to 14% of your SE income to SE tax. thats a lot if you are on pure 1099. 100k after business deductions will probably end up 80k and you will pay more than 10k.

whodatis
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:02 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby whodatis » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:55 pm

Thanks for the input guys, and of course the standard tls shit-talk........

i just wanted to get other perspectives on the matter...my mom is in IT, and can guide me through it, but she's concerned that i may regret my choice

and to some of the posters, i'm more prepared to deal with having to learn new stuff all the time etc...than be in a position where i hate big law, or i don't make partner.

plus law school would mean that i won't earn anything until 3yrs from now, while i feel that i could be working/interning by the end of this year and 3yrs down the road i could possibly be at 75/80k which doesn't seem so bad.

User avatar
cardnal124
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:31 am

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby cardnal124 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:10 am

whodatis wrote:Thanks for the input guys, and of course the standard tls shit-talk........

i just wanted to get other perspectives on the matter...my mom is in IT, and can guide me through it, but she's concerned that i may regret my choice

and to some of the posters, i'm more prepared to deal with having to learn new stuff all the time etc...than be in a position where i hate big law, or i don't make partner.

plus law school would mean that i won't earn anything until 3yrs from now, while i feel that i could be working/interning by the end of this year and 3yrs down the road i could possibly be at 75/80k which doesn't seem so bad.


From a financial standpoint, a law degree is probably a poor decision for anyone paying sticker unless they: a) had no opportunities to make money before law school, b) make it in BigLaw (whether they make partner there or in a smaller law firm), or c) get lucky and win a case with a ridiculous amount of punitive damages.

If you go to law school paying sticker and have 180k debt out of it, even if you do well and get a 160k/year job you stay at for 2 years and then go to a corporate gig at 100k/year, you're probably better off staying at your day job. Figure 90k/year for 2 years to go to debt, so you're left with 70k/year (the same salary you project without law school) for 2 years, then at 100k/year afterwards (which you would be at with promotions and raises doing IT).

Financially, you are probably better off making money now and getting promotions, since the 160k/year job is probably a pipe dream ITE unless you are top 1/3 of T10.

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby Fark-o-vision » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:21 am

Decent insurance for 2k? TLS is skewed really young, right? My employer provided insurance (reportedly) costs about 12k and isn't the shit. It isn't bad, but it isn't the shit. Even if I could find something roughly equivalent on the free market for 1/6th the cost (doubtful), you have to get approved first. I enjoy cigars and scotch, imported beers and long nights out. None of that is conducive to getting approved for a plan. Aside from that, say you're perfect, but you get married and your wife has type 1 diabetes, or a congenital heart defect. You're boned. I can't say what would happen in the case of children, but I imagine it's much the same. You and your wife are in great shape, but have a son or daughter with an issue. Really, it's too stressful once you have others depending on you.

I know millions do it, take the risk and it pays out. Then again, the shop teacher at my high school had to abandon a fairly profitable private contracting firm because he needed the insurance teaching could provide. This was, roughly, ten years ago in Southern California. Teaching jobs were readily available for any college grad unwilling to make good money.

User avatar
dextermorgan
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:37 am

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby dextermorgan » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:04 am

whodatis wrote:So I've been accepted into some law schools(T10) but have yet to accept any offers. I wanted to become a lawyer for the money, 160k seemed badass....aside from being a history and literature buff, i don't really care about law that much.

So ruminating over my future career over and over I find the life and job of a lawyer something that i don't want to do (80+hrs, cuthroat atmosphere...a lot of douchebags)

The way it looks to me now, lawyers don't really have a skill and in a bad economy a laid off lawyer is helpless comparatively. The high salary of big law seems to come from the amount of work, not necessarily the ability or skill of a lawyer, while a doctor gets paid a lot for his/her skill. So a lawyer's skill seems to be based more on intangible social skills, and relies on those to find success one entrenched in their career.

I would much prefer to be in a situation where I have a marketable skill, where i can control my employment situation better....and where my job success is based more on quantifiable skills than ability to persuade, schmooze etc

so i'm now thinking about becomming a programmer. I don't have much experience with programming, but math/logic was always my strong point, and its nothing beyond me.....my only problem will be not having a bs

I'd prefer to start at 50k, working normal hours with the upside to develop the skills of getting a higher salary or starting my own company and maybe gettin a jd part time just so that i don't waste my lsat score

Obviously i don't expect TLSers to know much about programming jobs, and I'm not trying to belittle the legal profession, just stating that it doesn't seem suited to my strengths

so would i be a fool to do this???????


Do you live in India?

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:21 am

whodatis wrote:Thanks for the input guys, and of course the standard tls shit-talk........

i just wanted to get other perspectives on the matter...my mom is in IT, and can guide me through it, but she's concerned that i may regret my choice

and to some of the posters, i'm more prepared to deal with having to learn new stuff all the time etc...than be in a position where i hate big law, or i don't make partner.

plus law school would mean that i won't earn anything until 3yrs from now, while i feel that i could be working/interning by the end of this year and 3yrs down the road i could possibly be at 75/80k which doesn't seem so bad.


IT is not programming. Make sure you know what programming is about. If I need to qualify my comments, I have been a programmer for abou 15 years on and off. From big corp to small biz to start ups.

User avatar
vlsorbust
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:24 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby vlsorbust » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:40 am

I was wondering when someone was going to mention India (thanks Dex). I think the thread got derailed by tax calculations. :)

Anyway, OP: yes, the IT field can be great for some and allow certain experienced and highly-skilled people to pull down $$$ -- BUT if you're talking entry-level (or even above entry-level) programming, forget it. Nearly all of those jobs are being farmed out to India and beyond (or they come here on H1B). Not hating on India or Indians, just stating a fact. Current job prospects for lawyers may not be the best, but with all the off-shoring going on, it seems like law is at least a slightly more secure career path than IT.

User avatar
Panther7
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:34 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby Panther7 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:52 am

become a programmer if you're interested in sitting in a cubicle in a basement hacking away at a computer creating something that someone else designed for you while having zero social life.


i learned this around my 2/3 year of comp engineering, and skidaddled away as quickly as possible. For some, it's perfect, for me, it left something to be desired.

User avatar
TheLuckyOne
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby TheLuckyOne » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:01 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:Decent insurance for 2k? TLS is skewed really young, right? My employer provided insurance (reportedly) costs about 12k and isn't the shit. It isn't bad, but it isn't the shit. Even if I could find something roughly equivalent on the free market for 1/6th the cost (doubtful), you have to get approved first. I enjoy cigars and scotch, imported beers and long nights out. None of that is conducive to getting approved for a plan. Aside from that, say you're perfect, but you get married and your wife has type 1 diabetes, or a congenital heart defect. You're boned. I can't say what would happen in the case of children, but I imagine it's much the same. You and your wife are in great shape, but have a son or daughter with an issue. Really, it's too stressful once you have others depending on you.

I know millions do it, take the risk and it pays out. Then again, the shop teacher at my high school had to abandon a fairly profitable private contracting firm because he needed the insurance teaching could provide. This was, roughly, ten years ago in Southern California. Teaching jobs were readily available for any college grad unwilling to make good money.


I said individual insurance for $2K/year, which would be 6K/year if it's 3 of you. I'm not gonna argue here since I know this stuff exists, and it's your problem if you want to accept it or not.

User avatar
GATORTIM
Posts: 1214
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:51 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby GATORTIM » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:13 am

the title of this thread leads me to believe OP is going to LS for the wrong reasons and I would say he/she/shim should forget law school for the time being

User avatar
cardnal124
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:31 am

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby cardnal124 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:15 am

TheLuckyOne wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:Decent insurance for 2k? TLS is skewed really young, right? My employer provided insurance (reportedly) costs about 12k and isn't the shit. It isn't bad, but it isn't the shit. Even if I could find something roughly equivalent on the free market for 1/6th the cost (doubtful), you have to get approved first. I enjoy cigars and scotch, imported beers and long nights out. None of that is conducive to getting approved for a plan. Aside from that, say you're perfect, but you get married and your wife has type 1 diabetes, or a congenital heart defect. You're boned. I can't say what would happen in the case of children, but I imagine it's much the same. You and your wife are in great shape, but have a son or daughter with an issue. Really, it's too stressful once you have others depending on you.

I know millions do it, take the risk and it pays out. Then again, the shop teacher at my high school had to abandon a fairly profitable private contracting firm because he needed the insurance teaching could provide. This was, roughly, ten years ago in Southern California. Teaching jobs were readily available for any college grad unwilling to make good money.


I said individual insurance for $2K/year, which would be 6K/year if it's 3 of you. I'm not gonna argue here since I know this stuff exists, and it's your problem if you want to accept it or not.


You don't know how health insurance works, do you? First of all, most health insurance plans have individual rates and family rates, which don't change based on the number of people in the family. Second of all, the cheapest real health care plan I have found for an individual is around 270/month (~3k/year), with the cheapest for a family around 590/month (~7k/year) and that's with a company's health care. Rates are higher for self-employed individuals, since there is only one of them (or only one family), so the risk isn't spread out.

User avatar
TheLuckyOne
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby TheLuckyOne » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:40 am

cardnal124 wrote:
TheLuckyOne wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:Decent insurance for 2k? TLS is skewed really young, right? My employer provided insurance (reportedly) costs about 12k and isn't the shit. It isn't bad, but it isn't the shit. Even if I could find something roughly equivalent on the free market for 1/6th the cost (doubtful), you have to get approved first. I enjoy cigars and scotch, imported beers and long nights out. None of that is conducive to getting approved for a plan. Aside from that, say you're perfect, but you get married and your wife has type 1 diabetes, or a congenital heart defect. You're boned. I can't say what would happen in the case of children, but I imagine it's much the same. You and your wife are in great shape, but have a son or daughter with an issue. Really, it's too stressful once you have others depending on you.

I know millions do it, take the risk and it pays out. Then again, the shop teacher at my high school had to abandon a fairly profitable private contracting firm because he needed the insurance teaching could provide. This was, roughly, ten years ago in Southern California. Teaching jobs were readily available for any college grad unwilling to make good money.


I said individual insurance for $2K/year, which would be 6K/year if it's 3 of you. I'm not gonna argue here since I know this stuff exists, and it's your problem if you want to accept it or not.


You don't know how health insurance works, do you? First of all, most health insurance plans have individual rates and family rates, which don't change based on the number of people in the family. Second of all, the cheapest real health care plan I have found for an individual is around 270/month (~3k/year), with the cheapest for a family around 590/month (~7k/year) and that's with a company's health care. Rates are higher for self-employed individuals, since there is only one of them (or only one family), so the risk isn't spread out.


Guess what, smartass, I'm looking at an insurance plan right now that is $2k individual/$6K family consisting of 3 persons :roll:
And, no, I don't know much about insurance, but I believe what I see.

User avatar
cardnal124
Posts: 219
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:31 am

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby cardnal124 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:43 am

TheLuckyOne wrote:Guess what, smartass, I'm looking at an insurance plan right now that is $2k individual/$6K family consisting of 3 persons :roll:
And, no, I don't know much about insurance, but I believe what I see.


Ok. When you get to law school, please continue to believe everything you see, especially if it's on the internet with no binding consequences to the other party.

User avatar
TheLuckyOne
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby TheLuckyOne » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:46 am

cardnal124 wrote:
TheLuckyOne wrote:Guess what, smartass, I'm looking at an insurance plan right now that is $2k individual/$6K family consisting of 3 persons :roll:
And, no, I don't know much about insurance, but I believe what I see.


Ok. When you get to law school, please continue to believe everything you see, especially if it's on the internet with no binding consequences to the other party.


:roll:
It's not on the Internet, it's a Healthcare plan that employers may provide employees with at a discounted price (since it should be somewhat more expensive if an employee wants to get it separately)

User avatar
unknownscholar
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:22 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby unknownscholar » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:16 pm

What kind of programming are you interested in?

I'm a big fan of math/logic too. One of my undergrad majors was math, so I was required to take C and C++ (which I was terrible at..so terrible it's the only class that I had to drop and retake later on). In any case, fast forward a few years, and that's what I've been doing for the last 4 years of my life...in SAS language. Statistical programmers are in high demand in the social policy field. If you work for a for-profit organization, even with no experience in SAS/Stata, you could start around 42K-45K. One of my bosses left the company a couple of yrs ago to do statistical programming for a marketing firm in NYC to make much bigger dough, but he hated it, and wanted his work to matter for more reasons than his salary, so he's back.

Obviously, you can make a lot more money by learning and practicing more sophisticated languages.

Having done this for a few years, I can say that data analysis (which may not be anywhere close to your interests) is not where my heart is. I came to the company because I wanted my contributions to affect policy. But it's too removed. My first love has always been the law, but I had to put it off because I couldnt get out of the 30th percentile (pathetic I know) on the LSAT. Crossed that bridge and a few others, so I'm putting data analysis on the back burner to pursue law school at the ripe old age of 25. lol.

My advisor also mentioned to me that law firms might very interested in having lawyers with data experience on board. I haven't looked into this, though, but I plan to ask around when I get acquainted with career counselors at whatever school I'm attending.

Good Luck in your choice :-)

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:29 pm

unknownscholar wrote:
Having done this for a few years, I can say that data analysis (which may not be anywhere close to your interests) is not where my heart is. I came to the company because I wanted my contributions to affect policy. But it's too removed.


This is my reason for law as well. I didn't feel like what I could do with technology and software can contribute to the world the way I want to.

I was fortunate enough to have made nationally awarded software for teacher evaluations which was adapted at school disctricts and universities. But it was poorly used because of politics and legal issues. I determined, after 10 years that the best way to contribute is to affect policy because the policy makers are the ones making the difference. you can create whatever wonderful tools able to affect the way we live and improve our future, but if the policy makers are not willing, its all for nothing.

User avatar
englawyer
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby englawyer » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:51 pm

I would much prefer to be in a situation where I have a marketable skill, where i can control my employment situation better....and where my job success is based more on quantifiable skills than ability to persuade, schmooze etc


another thing i thought of to add was that this seems a little bit off target. first, programming is not a quantifiable skill. attempts to measure productivity by numerical methods like SLOC etc are doomed to fail. Thus programming raises/promotions can be more about politics than one would think. the only fields with "quantifiable" skills are sales (paid on commission) or trading (percentage of the trading profits). law is actually more quantifiable than CS, because at least an hour worked (billed) is an hour paid to the firm, and hours worked factors into your bonus level.

in programming, managers often expect last-minute unpaid marathons w/ lots of overtime and whatnot. these situations can be frustrating and even more-so when you realize it doesn't "count" for all that much in the way of promotions and raises.

furthermore, the programmers that get promoted are usually not the best coders. they are the best communicators and politicians, who can intermingle with the managers, explain their ideas and code well, and present a polished image to clients. thus, you are back to the exact schmoozing skills that you are afraid of competing on in law. the same thing applies to most fields; the way to get ahead is not to be the best X, but rather to be the best leader of X (X in this case is programming). you can move up the technical track, but that has a relatively low salary cap. if you have the politiking skills, you can become "engagement manager", "project director" and stuff like that which pay more.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:11 pm

englawyer wrote:
I would much prefer to be in a situation where I have a marketable skill, where i can control my employment situation better....and where my job success is based more on quantifiable skills than ability to persuade, schmooze etc


another thing i thought of to add was that this seems a little bit off target. first, programming is not a quantifiable skill. attempts to measure productivity by numerical methods like SLOC etc are doomed to fail. Thus programming raises/promotions can be more about politics than one would think. the only fields with "quantifiable" skills are sales (paid on commission) or trading (percentage of the trading profits). law is actually more quantifiable than CS, because at least an hour worked (billed) is an hour paid to the firm, and hours worked factors into your bonus level.

in programming, managers often expect last-minute unpaid marathons w/ lots of overtime and whatnot. these situations can be frustrating and even more-so when you realize it doesn't "count" for all that much in the way of promotions and raises.

furthermore, the programmers that get promoted are usually not the best coders. they are the best communicators and politicians, who can intermingle with the managers, explain their ideas and code well, and present a polished image to clients. thus, you are back to the exact schmoozing skills that you are afraid of competing on in law. the same thing applies to most fields; the way to get ahead is not to be the best X, but rather to be the best leader of X (X in this case is programming). you can move up the technical track, but that has a relatively low salary cap. if you have the politiking skills, you can become "engagement manager", "project director" and stuff like that which pay more.


I wish they would teach this in college and get through to kids. I tell them this all the time they laught at me thinking they are going to be different - by becoming the best coder. I think the lesson needs to be learned individually.

TigerBeer
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:00 am

Re: Forget law school....become a programmer?????

Postby TigerBeer » Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:07 pm

Forget law school....become a pro gamer?????

Some of those guys make six figures. The downside is that all the best paying positions are only in South Korea. Plus my micro isn't all that good.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests