Law School or Sales Job

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Kevin Arnold
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:03 pm

Law School or Sales Job

Postby Kevin Arnold » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:05 am

I currently work for a Fortune 500 company in a salaried sales position. I make 40K. The work is tolerable but nothing spectacular. I have been there since graduating college last year (started in July 2012). However, I got into Cornell Law. Thanks to savings and other income, all said and done Cornell would cost me about 125K. Would you do it? I think I would like being a lawyer but I don't want to be a starving lawyer. My current job promises room for advancement but the salary seems to grow very slowly. What should I do?

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manofjustice
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Re: Law School or Sales Job

Postby manofjustice » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:06 am

You wanna be a lawyer?

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cinephile
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Re: Law School or Sales Job

Postby cinephile » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:07 am

You've been at your current job for less than a year? Then give it some time. Work for a couple years first to really determine what you want out of a career. Your LSAC account will still be there and you can always apply again later.

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bluepenguin
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Re: Law School or Sales Job

Postby bluepenguin » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:22 am

Depends on 1) whether you actually want to do law and (2) how you performed this cycle relative to your potential (i.e. how you might do with a retake and/or work experience).

Also, look at cost as well as debt. $125k out of Cornell isn't horrible (not great, either), but if you pay $225k+ between savings and debt that's a huge amount to lay out for law school if you could retake or have a shot at Northwestern with WE or other T14s for negotiating purposes.

Kevin Arnold
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Law School or Sales Job

Postby Kevin Arnold » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:56 am

I think I want to be a lawyer. I worked for a lawyer at a summer job and enjoyed that it seemed more intellectual than a job like sales. But it is pretty hard to say that I know for sure I want to be a lawyer. I have never been one so I can't say I know what it would be like on a daily basis.

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Lincoln
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Re: Law School or Sales Job

Postby Lincoln » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:11 pm

No one can really make this decision for you, but feel free to PM me for Cornell-specific questions. 3L here, gave up good job to go to law school and don't regret it.

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skw
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Re: Law School or Sales Job

Postby skw » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:21 pm

Kevin Arnold wrote:I currently work for a Fortune 500 company in a salaried sales position. I make 40K. The work is tolerable but nothing spectacular. I have been there since graduating college last year (started in July 2012). However, I got into Cornell Law. Thanks to savings and other income, all said and done Cornell would cost me about 125K. Would you do it? I think I would like being a lawyer but I don't want to be a starving lawyer. My current job promises room for advancement but the salary seems to grow very slowly. What should I do?


You should decide whether you ultimately want to be a sales professional or a lawyer. If you are good at sales, you can make as much or more than a lawyer. I spent 12 years in sales. It was lucrative; however, it did not fit my personality and I did not enjoy it (despite being quite good at it) so I am now in law school and enjoying it very much. Part of my enjoyment is probably attributable to the fact that my sales career has enabled me to write checks for my tuition and have no need for loans.

As to advancement in your sales career, it is extremely common to move companies to get your salary bumped faster and also to consider an industry switch to get your commission rate increased. For example, you can move from telecom sales (base salary between $40-$60k and commission rates 2-8%) and assuming you have a history of making your number, get a job in software sales (base salary $60-$110k and commission rates 6-12%). Software has a better margin and thus pays higher commissions. Most software reps have changed companies at least 4 times over a 12 year period. Another highly paid sales option is medical devices, but you need creditable medical knowledge here (think prior med student or RN). In any case, if you like sales, enjoy being fully in control of your time, and would like to work from home, you may be suited to a sales career. If you find sales merely "ok" you should find something else you will enjoy. As they pay you more in sales (base and comp), the pressure goes up. WAY up -- as in if you don't "make" the customer sign that deal by midnight, we're going to miss our number and our stock is going to fall. Some people thrive on this. Others hate it.

To make good money in any career, you will have to "pay to play." For lawyers, that seems to translate into longer hours. For sales reps making bank, it is EXTREME pressure to perform. Feel free to PM me if you have other, specific questions about sales as a career.

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manofjustice
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Re: Law School or Sales Job

Postby manofjustice » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:47 pm

Kevin Arnold wrote:I think I want to be a lawyer. I worked for a lawyer at a summer job and enjoyed that it seemed more intellectual than a job like sales. But it is pretty hard to say that I know for sure I want to be a lawyer. I have never been one so I can't say I know what it would be like on a daily basis.


I would say to a) expose yourself to as much information about the practice of law as you can and b) to follow your subconscious. Studies show that when making decisions requiring the weighing of many factors, our subconscious, usually manifested in our first or gut reaction, is the most accurate.

But, OP, take this to heart: whatever you do, staying in a non-commissioned sales job is not what you should do. If you are good at sales, you need to get a commissioned gig. You can pull down a lot of dough that way. But non-commissioned sales? That's a no-mans land. Get out.

Kevin Arnold
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Law School or Sales Job

Postby Kevin Arnold » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:39 pm

manofjustice wrote:
Kevin Arnold wrote:I think I want to be a lawyer. I worked for a lawyer at a summer job and enjoyed that it seemed more intellectual than a job like sales. But it is pretty hard to say that I know for sure I want to be a lawyer. I have never been one so I can't say I know what it would be like on a daily basis.


I would say to a) expose yourself to as much information about the practice of law as you can and b) to follow your subconscious. Studies show that when making decisions requiring the weighing of many factors, our subconscious, usually manifested in our first or gut reaction, is the most accurate.

But, OP, take this to heart: whatever you do, staying in a non-commissioned sales job is not what you should do. If you are good at sales, you need to get a commissioned gig. You can pull down a lot of dough that way. But non-commissioned sales? That's a no-mans land. Get out.


It's not completely non-commissioned. Just really, really low commissions lol.




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