Lots of debt and no biglaw?

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ku1185
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Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby ku1185 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:01 pm

I was wondering what typically happens to those who take on a lot of debt but do not end up in biglaw. I hear people talking about how a biglaw job is essential to justify taking on a lot of debt, but what are one's options if biglaw doesn't work out?

I'd assume it varies quite a bit by school, but what sort of employment options is one looking at if they don't want/unable to get biglaw? How would one manage their debt in such a situation?

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Kohinoor
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Kohinoor » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:10 pm

ku1185 wrote:How would one manage their debt in such a situation?


--ImageRemoved--

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Cupidity
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Cupidity » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:15 pm

IBR helps if it is an option at your school. While it does mean you are condemned to a life of poverty for 10 years, presumably if you survive that, you can be in your early thirties with a JD and nearly no law school debt. It is possible to live on a lesser salary, especially in secondary markets.

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Cavalier
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Cavalier » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:17 pm

Image

ku1185
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby ku1185 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:20 pm

Cupidity wrote:IBR helps if it is an option at your school. While it does mean you are condemned to a life of poverty for 10 years, presumably if you survive that, you can be in your early thirties with a JD and nearly no law school debt. It is possible to live on a lesser salary, especially in secondary markets.


How would IBR rid my debt in 10 years? Perhaps you're thinking about public interest/gov't loan forgiveness...? That is a different matter altogether (PI is something I am interested in, but I'm not really committed to it yet). If anything, IBR may create even more problems if I stay in the private sector, since I could be paying less than the interest allowing my debt to balloon to an insane amount... and then after 25 years be hit with a couple hundred thousand dollars of tax due.

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Hannibal
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Hannibal » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:21 pm

FYI, you can use a debt calculator to figure out exactly how much spending money you'll have with each salary. Basically, it depends a lot on how long you're willing to stretch out loans, whether you're PI, your salary number (obviously), and what you're willing to live on. You can live comfortably for 30k a year even on somewhat high COL areas. Also, poverty is a real problem that people shouldn't use to exaggerate for self-pity.

Also, midlaw pays absolutely fine.

ku1185
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby ku1185 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:24 pm

Hannibal wrote:FYI, you can use a debt calculator to figure out exactly how much spending money you'll have with each salary. Basically, it depends a lot on how long you're willing to stretch out loans, whether you're PI, your salary number (obviously), and what you're willing to live on. You can live comfortably for 30k a year even on somewhat high COL areas. Also, poverty is a real problem that people shouldn't use to exaggerate for self-pity.

Also, midlaw pays absolutely fine.


I've checked out the calculators and while they give me an idea of what sort of finances I could expect for a given salary, I'm unsure as to the legal market outside of biglaw and the corresponding pay.

FWIW, I don't mind living on less. I've done it/doing it/will do it in law school/will do it after law school.

Tsispilos
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Tsispilos » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:26 pm

Image

ku1185
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby ku1185 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:44 pm

Tsispilos wrote:Image


You are silly for thinking I would be able to afford a suit, cardboard, and enough markers to write in boxed lettering.

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Grizz
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Grizz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:25 pm

--ImageRemoved--

blsingindisguise
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby blsingindisguise » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:59 pm

Hannibal wrote:FYI, you can use a debt calculator to figure out exactly how much spending money you'll have with each salary. Basically, it depends a lot on how long you're willing to stretch out loans, whether you're PI, your salary number (obviously), and what you're willing to live on. You can live comfortably for 30k a year even on somewhat high COL areas. Also, poverty is a real problem that people shouldn't use to exaggerate for self-pity.

Also, midlaw pays absolutely fine.


Almost no one gets "midlaw" out of school. There just aren't enough mid-sized firms that are willing to hire and train significant numbers of non-biglaw-qualified entry level graduates.

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Grizz
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Grizz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:34 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
Hannibal wrote:FYI, you can use a debt calculator to figure out exactly how much spending money you'll have with each salary. Basically, it depends a lot on how long you're willing to stretch out loans, whether you're PI, your salary number (obviously), and what you're willing to live on. You can live comfortably for 30k a year even on somewhat high COL areas. Also, poverty is a real problem that people shouldn't use to exaggerate for self-pity.

Also, midlaw pays absolutely fine.


Almost no one gets "midlaw" out of school. There just aren't enough mid-sized firms that are willing to hire and train significant numbers of non-biglaw-qualified entry level graduates.


Depends on the market.

aliarrow
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby aliarrow » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:53 pm

ku1185 wrote:
Cupidity wrote:IBR helps if it is an option at your school. While it does mean you are condemned to a life of poverty for 10 years, presumably if you survive that, you can be in your early thirties with a JD and nearly no law school debt. It is possible to live on a lesser salary, especially in secondary markets.


How would IBR rid my debt in 10 years? Perhaps you're thinking about public interest/gov't loan forgiveness...? That is a different matter altogether (PI is something I am interested in, but I'm not really committed to it yet). If anything, IBR may create even more problems if I stay in the private sector, since I could be paying less than the interest allowing my debt to balloon to an insane amount... and then after 25 years be hit with a couple hundred thousand dollars of tax due.


IBR forgives debt after 10 years if you take any applicable job in the public sector, with a non-profit, or with legal aid.
The loan is forgiven completely and not taxed as income, unlike the 25 year private sector option. Also, the job doesn't have to be legal. You can be a teacher, janitor for a public school, elected official for a non-partisan position, peace corps, americorps, military, etc.
But the point is, if you don't get Biglaw and have a huge debt load, you pretty much have to scramble for a public sector job for the reason you mentioned.

ku1185
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby ku1185 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:04 pm

aliarrow wrote:
ku1185 wrote:
Cupidity wrote:IBR helps if it is an option at your school. While it does mean you are condemned to a life of poverty for 10 years, presumably if you survive that, you can be in your early thirties with a JD and nearly no law school debt. It is possible to live on a lesser salary, especially in secondary markets.


How would IBR rid my debt in 10 years? Perhaps you're thinking about public interest/gov't loan forgiveness...? That is a different matter altogether (PI is something I am interested in, but I'm not really committed to it yet). If anything, IBR may create even more problems if I stay in the private sector, since I could be paying less than the interest allowing my debt to balloon to an insane amount... and then after 25 years be hit with a couple hundred thousand dollars of tax due.


IBR forgives debt after 10 years if you take any applicable job in the public sector, with a non-profit, or with legal aid.
The loan is forgiven completely and not taxed as income, unlike the 25 year private sector option. Also, the job doesn't have to be legal. You can be a teacher, janitor for a public school, elected official for a non-partisan position, peace corps, americorps, military, etc.
But the point is, if you don't get Biglaw and have a huge debt load, you pretty much have to scramble for a public sector job for the reason you mentioned.


Yeah, that was my understanding too. I need to start figuring out how I'm going to finance janitorial school.

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Veyron
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Veyron » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:08 pm

Hannibal wrote:FYI, you can use a debt calculator to figure out exactly how much spending money you'll have with each salary. Basically, it depends a lot on how long you're willing to stretch out loans, whether you're PI, your salary number (obviously), and what you're willing to live on. You can live comfortably for 30k a year even on somewhat high COL areas. Also, poverty is a real problem that people shouldn't use to exaggerate for self-pity.

Also, midlaw pays absolutely fine.


Midlaw does pay fine. Too bad its just about as hard to get as biglaw, huh?

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Hannibal
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Hannibal » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:12 pm

Veyron wrote:
Hannibal wrote:FYI, you can use a debt calculator to figure out exactly how much spending money you'll have with each salary. Basically, it depends a lot on how long you're willing to stretch out loans, whether you're PI, your salary number (obviously), and what you're willing to live on. You can live comfortably for 30k a year even on somewhat high COL areas. Also, poverty is a real problem that people shouldn't use to exaggerate for self-pity.

Also, midlaw pays absolutely fine.


Midlaw does pay fine. Too bad its just about as hard to get as biglaw, huh?


It's harder right?

Just saying it's an additional option that still leaves you very comfortable.

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Grizz
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Grizz » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:25 pm

Hannibal wrote:It's harder right?


It depends what you mean by midlaw

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Veyron
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Veyron » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:43 pm

Hannibal wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Hannibal wrote:FYI, you can use a debt calculator to figure out exactly how much spending money you'll have with each salary. Basically, it depends a lot on how long you're willing to stretch out loans, whether you're PI, your salary number (obviously), and what you're willing to live on. You can live comfortably for 30k a year even on somewhat high COL areas. Also, poverty is a real problem that people shouldn't use to exaggerate for self-pity.

Also, midlaw pays absolutely fine.


Midlaw does pay fine. Too bad its just about as hard to get as biglaw, huh?


It's harder right?

Just saying it's an additional option that still leaves you very comfortable.


So is winning the lottery or starring in your own reality television series.

But the point is, if you don't get Biglaw and have a huge debt load, you pretty much have to scramble for a public sector job for the reason you mentioned.


These are also difficult to land. Even historically well funded PI outfits are pretty hard up right now.

09042014
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby 09042014 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:48 pm

Veyron wrote:
Hannibal wrote:FYI, you can use a debt calculator to figure out exactly how much spending money you'll have with each salary. Basically, it depends a lot on how long you're willing to stretch out loans, whether you're PI, your salary number (obviously), and what you're willing to live on. You can live comfortably for 30k a year even on somewhat high COL areas. Also, poverty is a real problem that people shouldn't use to exaggerate for self-pity.

Also, midlaw pays absolutely fine.


Midlaw does pay fine. Too bad its just about as hard to get as biglaw, huh?


Midlaw is a myth. NU's salary data shows that for CO 2009, ZERO people made between 80K and 120K. Only 9 people made between 60K and 140K.

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Veyron
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Veyron » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:52 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Hannibal wrote:FYI, you can use a debt calculator to figure out exactly how much spending money you'll have with each salary. Basically, it depends a lot on how long you're willing to stretch out loans, whether you're PI, your salary number (obviously), and what you're willing to live on. You can live comfortably for 30k a year even on somewhat high COL areas. Also, poverty is a real problem that people shouldn't use to exaggerate for self-pity.

Also, midlaw pays absolutely fine.


Midlaw does pay fine. Too bad its just about as hard to get as biglaw, huh?


Midlaw is a myth. NU's salary data shows that for CO 2009, ZERO people made between 80K and 120K. Only 9 people made between 60K and 140K.


Depends greatly on the market. In some, the majority of the hiring occurs at firms that pay between those two figures. Obviously, we aren't talking about NYC.

FiveSermon
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby FiveSermon » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:55 pm

Suicide is TCR.

09042014
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby 09042014 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:55 pm

Veyron wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Hannibal wrote:FYI, you can use a debt calculator to figure out exactly how much spending money you'll have with each salary. Basically, it depends a lot on how long you're willing to stretch out loans, whether you're PI, your salary number (obviously), and what you're willing to live on. You can live comfortably for 30k a year even on somewhat high COL areas. Also, poverty is a real problem that people shouldn't use to exaggerate for self-pity.

Also, midlaw pays absolutely fine.


Midlaw does pay fine. Too bad its just about as hard to get as biglaw, huh?


Midlaw is a myth. NU's salary data shows that for CO 2009, ZERO people made between 80K and 120K. Only 9 people made between 60K and 140K.


Depends greatly on the market. In some, the majority of the hiring occurs at firms that pay between those two figures. Obviously, we aren't talking about NYC.


Yea but those are still big law. The market rate is just lower.

aliarrow
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby aliarrow » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:06 am

Veyron wrote:
But the point is, if you don't get Biglaw and have a huge debt load, you pretty much have to scramble for a public sector job for the reason you mentioned.



These are also difficult to land. Even historically well funded PI outfits are pretty hard up right now.


I know that, but it doesn't have to be a legal job for IBR forgiveness. Like I said, it can be military, public school janitor, peace corps, etc, which are a bit easier to land (though maybe not by much if the budget issues continue)

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Veyron
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby Veyron » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:12 am

[/quote]Midlaw does pay fine. Too bad its just about as hard to get as biglaw, huh?[/quote]

Midlaw is a myth. NU's salary data shows that for CO 2009, ZERO people made between 80K and 120K. Only 9 people made between 60K and 140K.[/quote]

Depends greatly on the market. In some, the majority of the hiring occurs at firms that pay between those two figures. Obviously, we aren't talking about NYC.[/quote]

Yea but those are still big law. The market rate is just lower.[/quote]

I consider the ones near the top to be biglaw but many are not V100s or NLJ 250s. The ones that pay 80 are midlaw by any definition.

aliarrow
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Re: Lots of debt and no biglaw?

Postby aliarrow » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:27 am

Being a public school teacher probably wouldnt too bad of a fallback actually. I think the starting pay for a JD is at least in the mid-50s, debt payments would be low and forgiven with IBR, and it still counts even though you only work 8-9 months a year.




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