Is it BIGLAW or bust?

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somethingsome
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Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby somethingsome » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:37 pm

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby KibblesAndVick » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:47 pm

Image

There are three main things that can happen. 1) You get biglaw and make 160k or slightly less if you're not in a major market 2) You get another job that requires a JD and you start in the ballpark of 40k 3) You can't find anything and you're unemployed.

If you go to dozo option 1 isn't going to happen. If you do well you might get option 2. There's a huge chance you end up with option 3.

You have a shot at 1 if you go to BU or Cornell. You could also end up with 2 or 3. But, if you pay for law school with loans option 1 basically becomes the only option. You need to make that kind of money in order to service your loans.

somethingsome
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby somethingsome » Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:08 pm

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mrtoren
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby mrtoren » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:09 pm

These boards are notorious for their BigLaw or bust mentality. Personally, I think it was created by a festering combination of type A personalities feeding off of each other. Is BigLaw where the real money is at? Yes. Will you be unemployed and miserable if you do anything else? No. Personally, I think BigLaw is a hellish, soul-sucking career option. I'm looking to go into criminal prosecution at either the state or federal level. Many offices in the bigger cities start their ASA/ADA/prosecutors at around $50k. You get the additional benefit of the public service loan forgiveness program that keeps your loan payments to a fixed percentage of your income for ten years and then abolishes the remaining balance. Private practice attorneys need the salary to compensate for that and pay off their loans on their own.

MidLaw in bigger cities can pay very well too. There are options outside of BigLaw, but you need to weigh them carefully. NYC is a tough city to break into because of sheer number of law schools. Pick a different market or know that there's a very good chance that other grads will snag the lucrative PP jobs before you're even considered.

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Grizz
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby Grizz » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:24 pm

mrtoren wrote:Is BigLaw where the real money is at? Yes.

The big money is in plaintiffs litigation.

Curious1
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby Curious1 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:25 pm

Grizz wrote:
mrtoren wrote:Is BigLaw where the real money is at? Yes.

The big money is in plaintiffs litigation.


Only if you're a partner.

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okinawa
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby okinawa » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:28 pm

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ahnhub
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby ahnhub » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:05 pm

I have no first-hand evidence of anything--I'm just another prospective applicant, who gets depressed reading about what a horrible mistake he might be making.

I still don't completely subscribe to the "it's either BIGLAW or you're screwed" mindset. How I figure it:

Take a school like Michigan. If you equate NLJ 250 to Biglaw, then 43% of Michigan grads got Biglaw in 2010, post ITE. 56% of Michigan grads got it in 2007, at the absolute height of the market (I'm gonna guess the figure was lower, around 50%, in a non-bubble, non-ITE economy). Say it's a reasonable assumption that 20% of a class self-selects out of Biglaw in any year, for PI, clerkships, gov't, other equally appealing opportunities, whatever.

That would mean that 25% of Michigan grads were "completely screwed" when the economy was good, and 37% are "screwed" now. It's just hard to believe that one in every four grads from Michigan turned out to be a miserable failure, when the legal market was at its absolute peak. Who would take those odds? Wouldn't those hordes of unemployed, dead-end, doc-review T-14 grads have made us aware of the scam long before this?

At a school like Brooklyn Law, where maybe 15% got Biglaw pre-ITE and maybe 5-10% get it now, that would mean about 80-90% of every single class that ever moved through its doors was screwed. That is quite the scam.

I could be wrong. Maybe ITE destroyed all non-Biglaw options as well (although no one has suggested this).

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vamedic03
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:11 pm

mrtoren wrote:These boards are notorious for their BigLaw or bust mentality. Personally, I think it was created by a festering combination of type A personalities feeding off of each other. Is BigLaw where the real money is at? Yes. Will you be unemployed and miserable if you do anything else? No. Personally, I think BigLaw is a hellish, soul-sucking career option. I'm looking to go into criminal prosecution at either the state or federal level. Many offices in the bigger cities start their ASA/ADA/prosecutors at around $50k. You get the additional benefit of the public service loan forgiveness program that keeps your loan payments to a fixed percentage of your income for ten years and then abolishes the remaining balance. Private practice attorneys need the salary to compensate for that and pay off their loans on their own.

MidLaw in bigger cities can pay very well too. There are options outside of BigLaw, but you need to weigh them carefully. NYC is a tough city to break into because of sheer number of law schools. Pick a different market or know that there's a very good chance that other grads will snag the lucrative PP jobs before you're even considered.


There are no entry level federal prosecutor positions (absent an improved economy + AIII clerkship) and big city DA recruiting is incredibly intense (i.e., those competing for Manhattan DA's office are likely turning down V10 positions).

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Sherwood2014
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby Sherwood2014 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:41 pm

There is a thread hosted by a law firm recruiter claiming that his firm is recruiting more this year than last. Whether or not this holds true in the future, hard to predict.

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ThomasMN
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby ThomasMN » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:57 pm

One of the benefits to going to a T-14 school is that most of them have excellent loan forgiveness programs for public service or government work. One of the reasons I chose UVA was due to the new loan forgiveness program they have. If you make less than $55,000 a year they will pay your loan payments and you get forgiveness in ten years. From $55,000 to $75,000 they will assist you in loan repayment and you receive loan forgiveness in ten years. This way my options are not just "big law or bust." However, most of the lower ranked schools don't offer these kinds of programs. Just another reason to shoot for the top.

jarofsoup
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby jarofsoup » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:08 pm

If it was big law or bust there would be a lot of bust.

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ThomasMN
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby ThomasMN » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:12 pm

jarofsoup wrote:If it was big law or bust there would be a lot of bust.


There is a lot of bust :(

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MTal
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby MTal » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:22 pm

mrtoren wrote:These boards are notorious for their BigLaw or bust mentality. Personally, I think it was created by a festering combination of type A personalities feeding off of each other. Is BigLaw where the real money is at? Yes. Will you be unemployed and miserable if you do anything else? No. Personally, I think BigLaw is a hellish, soul-sucking career option. I'm looking to go into criminal prosecution at either the state or federal level. Many offices in the bigger cities start their ASA/ADA/prosecutors at around $50k. You get the additional benefit of the public service loan forgiveness program that keeps your loan payments to a fixed percentage of your income for ten years and then abolishes the remaining balance. Private practice attorneys need the salary to compensate for that and pay off their loans on their own.

MidLaw in bigger cities can pay very well too. There are options outside of BigLaw, but you need to weigh them carefully. NYC is a tough city to break into because of sheer number of law schools. Pick a different market or know that there's a very good chance that other grads will snag the lucrative PP jobs before you're even considered.


State and local governments are on a hiring freeze due to austerity. The feds are not hiring. Even competition for PD positions in Minot North Dakota is incredibly intense.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:36 pm

Yeah, but busting is kind of fun... at least on the front end ;)

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mrtoren
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby mrtoren » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:47 am

Bigger city prosecutor's offices are almost always hiring. The turn-over in the field is probably worse than BigLaw. Many people will do the prosecution gig for a handful of years to gain trial experience and then transition into more lucrative defense work. So competition is fierce, but if you apply to enough offices, you will most likely find a job. The office I'm interning for now routinely hires Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois law grads and they recently hired a Cooley grad. I only know of one prosecutor at our office that came from a T-14 school and he's in the area because of his wife. He could have found a much better job elsewhere.

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rayiner
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:49 am

mrtoren wrote:I'm looking to go into criminal prosecution at either the state or federal level. Many offices in the bigger cities start their ASA/ADA/prosecutors at around $50k.


These jobs are harder to get than big law. States and even the federal government are broke. The DOJ has slashed hiring by half this year. T14 folks with good grades are gunning for PD jobs. The very thing that makes these jobs not so bad (eligibility for 10-year loan forgiveness, eligibility for generous school LRAPs) makes them incredibly attractive for T14 students with good qualifications who don't want to go into big law.

MidLaw in bigger cities can pay very well too. There are options outside of BigLaw, but you need to weigh them carefully. NYC is a tough city to break into because of sheer number of law schools. Pick a different market or know that there's a very good chance that other grads will snag the lucrative PP jobs before you're even considered.


NYC is quite easy to get into. My friends who targeted NYC did much better than ones that targeted other cities. Mid law in bigger cities can pay well, but those jobs are very hard to get. These firms might not be very grade selective, but when they take just a few summer associates each year, they can be extremely competitive in other dimensions.

somethingsome
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby somethingsome » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:11 am

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jarofsoup
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby jarofsoup » Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:52 pm

Eh. I imagine if you get along with the people it is ok. Small law can suck if you work with an ass. Actually all law can suck because of asses.

This is a field of rather difficult personalities.

rgndvo
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby rgndvo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:38 pm

I just want to be comfortable, not rich. The hours of big law sound overwhelming, and I imagine the job is a family-killer. As I want to spend more time with fiancee and start a family, I doubt BigLaw is right for me.

MrAnon
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby MrAnon » Sun Oct 09, 2011 12:43 pm

Law is a difficult field with long or unpredictable hours no matter where you work. The personalities are difficult on your team and on the opposing team. Plus you have a lot of debt from school. Biglaw is the only place in the field where the pay is commensurate with what you have to endure in the field.

rgndvo
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby rgndvo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:00 pm

Sadly, I don't know much about employment opportunities after graduation. How much does Midlaw pay compared to Biglaw?

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Grizz
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby Grizz » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:40 pm

ThomasMN wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:If it was big law or bust there would be a lot of bust.


There is a lot of bust :(

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=28585

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rayiner
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby rayiner » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:08 pm

rgndvo wrote:Sadly, I don't know much about employment opportunities after graduation. How much does Midlaw pay compared to Biglaw?


"Mid law" is a nebulous beast. People use it to refer to everything from NLJ250 firms in secondary markets to medium-size NYC firms paying $80k. The former is really regional big law (eg. $115k is market in Milwaukee). The latter is exceedingly difficult to get.

Law jobs don't follow a normal distribution like other jobs. In computer science for example, most jobs start around $60k, but there are a few places like Facebook and Google that pay ~$100k. Private practice law is not like that. Because of heavy consolidation in the industry and the fact that small outfits can't afford to hire inexperienced graduates, most entry-level jobs start at six figures, depending on the market. If you look at firms to apply to in Chicago, for example, you'll find that the vast majority of the ones that take entry-level associates are big law firms paying $135-$160k.

kahechsof
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Re: Is it BIGLAW or bust?

Postby kahechsof » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:43 pm

V5 or bust baby




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