Average Salary coming out of Law School

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Miami781
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Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby Miami781 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:25 pm

What is the average salary coming out of law school, obviously this will vary based on certain things, however I am just curious what is a reasonable expectation.

I have read 160k , I have read 60k

My college gives out a pamphlet on the admission process and what to expect post law school, and the first sentence in it is "your days are long and your salary is very low"- confused why it would be low? I don't see how anyone can afford 4 years of undergrad at 45k then 3 years of Law at 60+k

I don't want to be a lawyer for the money, it is something I truly want to do, however money is always a factor in life, curious what grads made coming out and anyone else's opinion in general

Thanks!

DeweyDell
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby DeweyDell » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:30 pm

The average starting salary coming out of a j.d. program is $160,000, plus bonus. It will increase by an average of $15,000 each year thereafter. This is why law school tuition is so high; it's simply too easy to pay off your loans with this kind of starting salary. Plan your finances accordingly.

Best,
Dewey Dell, Esq.

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RMstratosphere
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby RMstratosphere » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:45 pm

DeweyDell wrote:The average starting salary coming out of a j.d. program is $160,000, plus bonus. It will increase by an average of $15,000 each year thereafter. This is why law school tuition is so high; it's simply too easy to pay off your loans with this kind of starting salary. Plan your finances accordingly.

Best,
Dewey Dell, Esq.


The average salary is a misleading figure. Salaries in the legal profession are bimodal. A small percentage of practitioners earn six figures and even as much as 160,000. A much, much larger percentage earn $45,000-$65,000 and a substantial percentage earn less than that. The reason that law school tuition is so high has nearly nothing to do with the starting salary of a person at Cravath.

Search TLS for "bimodal" and you should find a much more thorough discussion of this topic.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:46 pm

Honestly, no one knows. Not the Federal Government and not the ABA. The former because it simply doesn't keep track of it and the latter because only about 1/2 of the graduates report their salaries (See bimodal salary distribution graph footnote).

Ultimately, the true average and/or median for all graduates is probably around $40,000 +/- $5,000.

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DCDuck
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby DCDuck » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:47 pm

I cannot give you an average starting salary based on all law jobs. Most schools will report average starting salary from the last graduating class, but be very weary of these numbers (see gajillion threads on this). I can guarantee you that the average starting salary of a law grad is MUCH lower than 160,000, which is about as high a salary as first year associates can make.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:48 pm

Read it and weep.

Image

This graph probably overstates the average salary. It is likely quite a bit lower.

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kwais
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby kwais » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:49 pm

DeweyDell wrote:The average starting salary coming out of a j.d. program is $160,000, plus bonus. It will increase by an average of $15,000 each year thereafter. This is why law school tuition is so high; it's simply too easy to pay off your loans with this kind of starting salary. Plan your finances accordingly.

Best,
Dewey Dell, Esq.


What is with the influx lately of idiots giving bad advice and then following it up with a goofy signature?

shoeshine
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby shoeshine » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:15 pm

kwais wrote:
DeweyDell wrote:The average starting salary coming out of a j.d. program is $160,000, plus bonus. It will increase by an average of $15,000 each year thereafter. This is why law school tuition is so high; it's simply too easy to pay off your loans with this kind of starting salary. Plan your finances accordingly.

Best,
Dewey Dell, Esq.


What is with the influx lately of idiots giving bad advice and then following it up with a goofy signature?


Signatures inspire trust.

Sincerely,
Shoeshine, Esq.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:46 pm

kwais wrote:
DeweyDell wrote:The average starting salary coming out of a j.d. program is $160,000, plus bonus. It will increase by an average of $15,000 each year thereafter. This is why law school tuition is so high; it's simply too easy to pay off your loans with this kind of starting salary. Plan your finances accordingly.

Best,
Dewey Dell, Esq.


What is with the influx lately of idiots giving bad advice and then following it up with a goofy signature?


I'm sure that guy is a troll. It is so wrong that I refuse to believe there is a rational human being out there that actually holds that belief (but I guess I've seen worse...).

As most have said, bimodal structure. Also, wasn't there a study recently that showed, a year out from graduating, only ~50% of all recent law graduates are even PRACTICING law? Most can't even find a legal job (i.e. graduating from most TTTs), so I don't even think they are factored into the mean/median bimodal calculation. Plan your finances accordingly indeed.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:54 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
kwais wrote:
DeweyDell wrote:The average starting salary coming out of a j.d. program is $160,000, plus bonus. It will increase by an average of $15,000 each year thereafter. This is why law school tuition is so high; it's simply too easy to pay off your loans with this kind of starting salary. Plan your finances accordingly.

Best,
Dewey Dell, Esq.

What is with the influx lately of idiots giving bad advice and then following it up with a goofy signature?

I'm sure that guy is a troll. It is so wrong that I refuse to believe there is a rational human being out there that actually holds that belief (but I guess I've seen worse...).

Well, now he has a warning and a microscope turned on him, so if he's a troll, he won't be a troll for long.

FYI: In some states, signing your name with "Esq." when you're not a licensed attorney can violate the state bar's rules of ethics. It's considered misrepresenting your status as a practicing lawyer. It's probably unwise to do, even on web forums where you think you're anonymous.

Miami781
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby Miami781 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:06 pm

I honestly don't know if I want to go to law school if I am going to be making 45k a year....

I feel like I could work at McDonald's 8 hours a day and make 30k a year...

It is not worth being a lawyer financially unless it is at least 70k coming out of law school to pay off massive loans between undergrad and J.D.

kahechsof
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby kahechsof » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:09 pm

Miami781 wrote:I honestly don't know if I want to go to law school if I am going to be making 45k a year....

I feel like I could work at McDonald's 8 hours a day and make 30k a year...

It is not worth being a lawyer financially unless it is at least 70k coming out of law school to pay off massive loans between undergrad and J.D.


Ask MTal.

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Grizz
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby Grizz » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:09 pm

Miami781 wrote:I honestly don't know if I want to go to law school if I am going to be making 45k a year....

I feel like I could work at McDonald's 8 hours a day and make 30k a year...

It is not worth being a lawyer financially unless it is at least 70k coming out of law school to pay off massive loans between undergrad and J.D.

Yeah but then you can tell chicks you are a lawyer.

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SA1928
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby SA1928 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:19 pm

I'm not sure if people agree, but I would imagine, the average starting salary of all graduates from law school is going to be lower than say all graduates from the T14.

While you did ask for the average salary of all graduates, I think in order to make a decision of whether or not going to law school will be a good investment for your future/be able to pay your debt back/be able to make the 70K out of law school that you hope for, it might help to research how graduates from your school or your group of target schools are doing when it comes to finding employment and their starting salaries. Although the data can skewed coming from the schools, it can help you determine whether or not it is worth it to go to law school. I think most people heading to law school are probably expecting to also make more than 70K a year, but the school you graduate from will probably play a major role in whether or not that is possible.

I guess I am trying to say, if your dream is law school, check out what schools you might be competitive at with your grades and lsat score. Then I would research some of those schools that you are in range for to determine if the cost of law school + the opportunity cost of not working for three years is going to be worth it. I wouldn't quickly write off law school just because the overall average starting salary of a lawyer might be lower than you hoped, although, even from one of the best schools still a real possibility.

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MTal
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby MTal » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:21 pm

Miami781 wrote:I honestly don't know if I want to go to law school if I am going to be making 45k a year....

I feel like I could work at McDonald's 8 hours a day and make 30k a year...

It is not worth being a lawyer financially unless it is at least 70k coming out of law school to pay off massive loans between undergrad and J.D.


For the vast majority of TLS'ers and law students in general, law school is UNQUESTIONABLY a losing financial proposition. You are much better off getting a job (ANY job) and getting work experience, which is much much more valued than any degree.

071816
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby 071816 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:22 pm

MTal wrote:
Miami781 wrote:I honestly don't know if I want to go to law school if I am going to be making 45k a year....

I feel like I could work at McDonald's 8 hours a day and make 30k a year...

It is not worth being a lawyer financially unless it is at least 70k coming out of law school to pay off massive loans between undergrad and J.D.


For the vast majority of TLS'ers and law students in general, law school is UNQUESTIONABLY a losing financial proposition. You are much better off getting a job (ANY job) and getting work experience, which is much much more valued than any degree.


Here we go...

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MTal
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby MTal » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:23 pm

Grizz wrote:
Miami781 wrote:I honestly don't know if I want to go to law school if I am going to be making 45k a year....

I feel like I could work at McDonald's 8 hours a day and make 30k a year...

It is not worth being a lawyer financially unless it is at least 70k coming out of law school to pay off massive loans between undergrad and J.D.

Yeah but then you can tell chicks you are a lawyer.


I could tell chicks I'm a stock broker, but I don't. Usually if they ask, I tell them I work at a box factory, which always draws a laugh. If you have to fall back on your occupation to impress the opposite sex, it shows that you are a tool that lacks any game to begin with.

kaiser
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby kaiser » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:23 pm

SA1928 wrote:I'm not sure if people agree, but I would imagine, the average starting salary of all graduates from law school is going to be lower than say all graduates from the T14.

While you did ask for the average salary of all graduates, I think in order to make a decision of whether or not going to law school will be a good investment for your future/be able to pay your debt back/be able to make the 70K out of law school that you hope for, it might help to research how graduates from your school or your group of target schools are doing when it comes to finding employment and their starting salaries. Although the data can skewed coming from the schools, it can help you determine whether or not it is worth it to go to law school. I think most people heading to law school are probably expecting to also make more than 70K a year, but the school you graduate from will probably play a major role in whether or not that is possible.

I guess I am trying to say, if your dream is law school, check out what schools you might be competitive at with your grades and lsat score. Then I would research some of those schools that you are in range for to determine if the cost of law school + the opportunity cost of not working for three years is going to be worth it. I wouldn't quickly write off law school just because the overall average starting salary of a lawyer might be lower than you hoped, although, even from one of the best schools still a real possibility.



This is a very good point. It wouldn't make sense with someone with HYS numbers to say "Well, maybe law school isn't such a good idea, since 45K isn't all that much". A graduate of HYS will likely be making much more than 45K on average. On the flipside, it wouldn't make much sense for someone with a 150 LSAT to say "hey, 45K is awesome for me, so law school is a great idea", since the schools he will be looking at may very well leave him unemployed. It is all relative to the school you are looking it.

kahechsof
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby kahechsof » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:26 pm

MTal wrote:
Grizz wrote:
Miami781 wrote:I honestly don't know if I want to go to law school if I am going to be making 45k a year....

I feel like I could work at McDonald's 8 hours a day and make 30k a year...

It is not worth being a lawyer financially unless it is at least 70k coming out of law school to pay off massive loans between undergrad and J.D.

Yeah but then you can tell chicks you are a lawyer.


I could tell chicks I'm a stock broker, but I don't. Usually if they ask, I tell them I work at a box factory, which always draws a laugh. If you have to fall back on your occupation to impress the opposite sex, it shows that you are a tool that lacks any game to begin with.

Yeah, but wait till you see the chicks I'm tooling around with.

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SarahKerrigan
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby SarahKerrigan » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:36 pm

Miami781 wrote:I honestly don't know if I want to go to law school if I am going to be making 45k a year....

I feel like I could work at McDonald's 8 hours a day and make 30k a year...

It is not worth being a lawyer financially unless it is at least 70k coming out of law school to pay off massive loans between undergrad and J.D.


Start looking around the forums more, you will find a few things. 1. go to a school where you get a lot of money. (avoid schools that give you stipulations on that money.). I'm not exactly sure about how stipulations work, i'm still a noob. 2. go to a top school with a national rep (T14). People go to these schools tend to have good job prospects. 3. Local schools can sometimes be good depending on the school. for example, loyola los angeles isn't a top ranked school, but from what i have gathered it performs well in its area (los angeles). But don't go to a school like loyola and expect to find a job in new york. I'm sure some guys younger brothers boyfriends cousin has done it, but for the most part it seems like it doesn't work.

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minnbills
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby minnbills » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:42 pm

I think to ask "what pay does the average grad take home" is to miss the point. Starting salaries for law grads is really a tale of two different groups, as others have noted.

On one hand, you'll have people, almost entirely coming from T14s or the top of their class at T1s, either making barrels of cash or working in prestigious positions.

On the other hand, you have everyone else, who will either be lucky to find a 45k/yr job with little chance to do markedly better or will fall out of law altogether.

I think it's entirely appropriate to ask yourself: "what will the average person in whatever group I'll end up in take home?"

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kwais
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby kwais » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:44 pm

MTal wrote:
Grizz wrote:
Miami781 wrote:I honestly don't know if I want to go to law school if I am going to be making 45k a year....

I feel like I could work at McDonald's 8 hours a day and make 30k a year...

It is not worth being a lawyer financially unless it is at least 70k coming out of law school to pay off massive loans between undergrad and J.D.

Yeah but then you can tell chicks you are a lawyer.


I could tell chicks I'm a stock broker, but I don't. Usually if they ask, I tell them I work at a box factory, which always draws a laugh. If you have to fall back on your occupation to impress the opposite sex, it shows that you are a tool that lacks any game to begin with.


get 'em dawg

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:58 pm

ITT: MTal induces the lulz





At him, not with him

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MTal
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby MTal » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:02 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:ITT: MTal induces the lulz





At him, not with him


Enjoy your time in law school:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M98x-FLp7E

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Average Salary coming out of Law School

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:06 pm

MTal wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:ITT: MTal induces the lulz





At him, not with him


Enjoy your time in law school:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M98x-FLp7E

For further lulz




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