IOWA 2012

Share Your Experiences, Read About Other Experiences. Please keep posts organized by school and expected year of graduation.
legallybrandt
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby legallybrandt » Thu May 17, 2012 12:58 pm

jg1 wrote:I was wait-listed for Iowa and have not heard anything back yet. I sent in a letter of intent, but am still waiting to hear news. Has anyone gotten in off the wait-list yet?


I spoke with Admissions yesterday. They're not even looking at the waitlist until second deposit (June 1st). They're very over-enrolled. So we get to sit tight.

northerniowan
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby northerniowan » Fri May 18, 2012 5:57 pm

legallybrandt wrote:
jg1 wrote:I was wait-listed for Iowa and have not heard anything back yet. I sent in a letter of intent, but am still waiting to hear news. Has anyone gotten in off the wait-list yet?


I spoke with Admissions yesterday. They're not even looking at the waitlist until second deposit (June 1st). They're very over-enrolled. So we get to sit tight.


That doesn't sound good for us at all.

nfohey
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby nfohey » Wed May 23, 2012 9:01 am

northerniowan wrote:
legallybrandt wrote:
jg1 wrote:I was wait-listed for Iowa and have not heard anything back yet. I sent in a letter of intent, but am still waiting to hear news. Has anyone gotten in off the wait-list yet?


I spoke with Admissions yesterday. They're not even looking at the waitlist until second deposit (June 1st). They're very over-enrolled. So we get to sit tight.


That doesn't sound good for us at all.


Don't lose faith. As higher ranked schools go to their waitlists, spots may open up.

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chrisbru
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby chrisbru » Wed May 23, 2012 4:33 pm

nfohey wrote:
Don't lose faith. As higher ranked schools go to their waitlists, spots may open up.


This. We had people accepted off the waitlist as late as 3 days before orientation, I believe.

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typ3
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby typ3 » Fri May 25, 2012 2:09 pm

legallybrandt wrote:
jg1 wrote:I was wait-listed for Iowa and have not heard anything back yet. I sent in a letter of intent, but am still waiting to hear news. Has anyone gotten in off the wait-list yet?


I spoke with Admissions yesterday. They're not even looking at the waitlist until second deposit (June 1st). They're very over-enrolled. So we get to sit tight.


They are not over enrolled.. they've cut the class size by 40 students over the last 5 years. I'm sure more than anything that the size of their class is going to be dictated by employment statistics. However, I will say that unless you are really passionate about law and really want to practice I would pick something else to maximize your ROI as the average salary for lawyers will only decrease over the next half century irregardless of recovery of the economy.

See this survey by the Alabama Bar Association.
--LinkRemoved--

Note that, "the dollar figures in these reports: they are nominal dollars rather than inflation-adjusted. Between 1985 and 2009 the CPI doubled, while between 1997 and 2009 it increased by 33.7%. So, for example, when the survey measures how many Alabama attorneys were making $100,000 or more in 1985, that's equivalent to asking how many Alabama attorneys were making $200,000 or more in 2009, in real dollars. (The answer, by the way, is that 17% of Alabama attorneys were making $200K+ in 1985 in 2009 dollars, while 8.7% of Alabama attorneys were making $200K+ in 2009.)

More fun facts:

54% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $100,000 per year in 1985 in 2009 dollars, as compared to 28% in 2009.

23% of Alabama attorneys were making less than $25,000 in 2009.

37% were making less than $50,000. (The median level of years in the profession of respondents was 11 to 20).

In 1997 76% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $67,000 per year in 2009 dollars. In 2009 approximately 49% were making at least $67,000.

In 1997, 40% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $134,000 per year in 2009 dollars. In 2009 20% of Alabama attorneys were making at least that much.


This is representative of the state I will be heading too as well.

The top rainmaker(s) in my state netted 2.63 million in 1970 (I adjusted the numbers for CPI inflation), 1980 it was 1.78 million. 1990 1.57 million. 2000 1.24 million 2010 745k.

Calculating the average STARTING pay for private practice attorneys the 1984 graduating class in my state and adjusting the dollars to 2012 and comparing them to the AVERAGE INDUSTRY salary for private practice attorneys, the starting pay in 1984 was 2k less than the current average salary for the profession. In full disclosure, I don't live in Michigan and my state has grown both in population and in economy size since 1970.

I've talked to a handful of attorneys recently who have cut down on their support staff to either none or simply a secretary (and they used to leverage 3/4 staff.) 1.) Because work is spread around to a ton more lawyers these days and there will be nearly double the number of law graduates for legal jobs created as projected by the bureau of labor statistics. 2.) Lawyers can leverage technology and do more work than they could before which means the billable hour is going out the window for a lot of big firms. 3.) Consumers can leverage technology and not hire a lawyer. What used to be a quick form and clipable $1,000 for a business formation can now be done for $79 on legal zoom. For run of the mill questions lawyers would bill for consumers can just google and get an answer. 4.) Because there is less work per lawyer firms are competing with each other to reduce their billable rate / cost of services that is creating a race to the bottom in a lot of markets.

Will there always be a need for skilled, competent, lawyers? Yes absolutely. The profession won't go away. Are there easier ways to make six figures that require less work, offer more reasonable hours, and won't saddle you with 100k in debt? Yep.

I mean think of this, in some cities (and I know that it depends on the COL) you can graduate with a 2 year associates degree as a medical technologist and make as much as a starting attorney with 7 years of schooling and professional degree.

Health care is a bubble, if you want to make money follow where the wealth is flowing and that's a gravy train for years to come. I would suggest to people who don't have a certain direction as to a type of law and do not have an engineering or hard science background as required for patent law to look at elder and health law. Even if you don't make it into a firm at graduation you can sell yourself to insurance companies, hospitals, healthcare providers for management and administrative positions with your law degree that will start you at six figures.
Last edited by typ3 on Fri May 25, 2012 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

legallybrandt
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby legallybrandt » Fri May 25, 2012 2:42 pm

typ3 wrote:
legallybrandt wrote:
jg1 wrote:I was wait-listed for Iowa and have not heard anything back yet. I sent in a letter of intent, but am still waiting to hear news. Has anyone gotten in off the wait-list yet?


I spoke with Admissions yesterday. They're not even looking at the waitlist until second deposit (June 1st). They're very over-enrolled. So we get to sit tight.


They are not over enrolled.. they've cut the class size by 40 students over the last 5 years. I'm sure more than anything that the size of their class is going to be dictated by employment statistics. However, I will say that unless you are really passionate about law and really want to practice I would pick something else to maximize your ROI as the average salary for lawyers will only decrease over the next half century irregardless of recovery of the economy.

See this survey by the Alabama Bar Association.
--LinkRemoved--

Note that, "the dollar figures in these reports: they are nominal dollars rather than inflation-adjusted. Between 1985 and 2009 the CPI doubled, while between 1997 and 2009 it increased by 33.7%. So, for example, when the survey measures how many Alabama attorneys were making $100,000 or more in 1985, that's equivalent to asking how many Alabama attorneys were making $200,000 or more in 2009, in real dollars. (The answer, by the way, is that 17% of Alabama attorneys were making $200K+ in 1985 in 2009 dollars, while 8.7% of Alabama attorneys were making $200K+ in 2009.)

More fun facts:

54% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $100,000 per year in 1985 in 2009 dollars, as compared to 28% in 2009.

23% of Alabama attorneys were making less than $25,000 in 2009.

37% were making less than $50,000. (The median level of years in the profession of respondents was 11 to 20).

In 1997 76% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $67,000 per year in 2009 dollars. In 2009 approximately 49% were making at least $67,000.

In 1997, 40% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $134,000 per year in 2009 dollars. In 2009 20% of Alabama attorneys were making at least that much.


This is representative of the state I will be heading too as well.

The top rainmaker(s) in my state netted 2.63 million in 1970 (I adjusted the numbers for CPI inflation), 1980 it was 1.78 million. 1990 1.57 million. 2000 1.24 million 2010 745k.

Calculating the average STARTING pay for private practice attorneys the 1984 graduating class in my state and adjusting the dollars to 2012 and comparing them to the AVERAGE INDUSTRY salary for private practice attorneys, the starting pay in 1984 was 2k less than the current average salary for the profession. In full disclosure, I don't live in Michigan and my state has grown both in population and in economy size since 1970.

I've talked to a handful of attorneys recently who have cut down on their support staff to either none or simply a secretary (and they used to leverage 3/4 staff.) 1.) Because work is spread around to a ton more lawyers these days and there will be nearly double the number of law graduates for legal jobs created as projected by the bureau of labor statistics. 2.) Lawyers can leverage technology and do more work than they could before which means the billable hour is going out the window for a lot of big firms. 3.) Consumers can leverage technology and not hire a lawyer. What used to be a quick form and clipable $1,000 for a business formation can now be done for $79 on legal zoom. For run of the mill questions lawyers would bill for consumers can just google and get an answer. 4.) Because there is less work per lawyer firms are competing with each other to reduce their billable rate / cost of services that is creating a race to the bottom in a lot of markets.

Will there always be a need for lawyers? Yes absolutely. The profession won't go away. Are there easier ways to make six figures that require less work, offer more reasonable hours, and won't saddle you with 100k in debt? Yep.

I mean think of this, in some cities (and I know that it depends on the COL) you can graduate with a 2 year associates degree as a medical technologist and make as much as a starting attorney with 7 years of schooling and professional degree.



I'm very confused. Why are discussing Alabama stats...were you unable to find Iowa stats?

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typ3
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby typ3 » Fri May 25, 2012 2:44 pm

legallybrandt wrote:
typ3 wrote:
legallybrandt wrote:
jg1 wrote:I was wait-listed for Iowa and have not heard anything back yet. I sent in a letter of intent, but am still waiting to hear news. Has anyone gotten in off the wait-list yet?


I spoke with Admissions yesterday. They're not even looking at the waitlist until second deposit (June 1st). They're very over-enrolled. So we get to sit tight.


They are not over enrolled.. they've cut the class size by 40 students over the last 5 years. I'm sure more than anything that the size of their class is going to be dictated by employment statistics. However, I will say that unless you are really passionate about law and really want to practice I would pick something else to maximize your ROI as the average salary for lawyers will only decrease over the next half century irregardless of recovery of the economy.

See this survey by the Alabama Bar Association.
--LinkRemoved--

Note that, "the dollar figures in these reports: they are nominal dollars rather than inflation-adjusted. Between 1985 and 2009 the CPI doubled, while between 1997 and 2009 it increased by 33.7%. So, for example, when the survey measures how many Alabama attorneys were making $100,000 or more in 1985, that's equivalent to asking how many Alabama attorneys were making $200,000 or more in 2009, in real dollars. (The answer, by the way, is that 17% of Alabama attorneys were making $200K+ in 1985 in 2009 dollars, while 8.7% of Alabama attorneys were making $200K+ in 2009.)

More fun facts:

54% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $100,000 per year in 1985 in 2009 dollars, as compared to 28% in 2009.

23% of Alabama attorneys were making less than $25,000 in 2009.

37% were making less than $50,000. (The median level of years in the profession of respondents was 11 to 20).

In 1997 76% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $67,000 per year in 2009 dollars. In 2009 approximately 49% were making at least $67,000.

In 1997, 40% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $134,000 per year in 2009 dollars. In 2009 20% of Alabama attorneys were making at least that much.


This is representative of the state I will be heading too as well.

The top rainmaker(s) in my state netted 2.63 million in 1970 (I adjusted the numbers for CPI inflation), 1980 it was 1.78 million. 1990 1.57 million. 2000 1.24 million 2010 745k.

Calculating the average STARTING pay for private practice attorneys the 1984 graduating class in my state and adjusting the dollars to 2012 and comparing them to the AVERAGE INDUSTRY salary for private practice attorneys, the starting pay in 1984 was 2k less than the current average salary for the profession. In full disclosure, I don't live in Michigan and my state has grown both in population and in economy size since 1970.

I've talked to a handful of attorneys recently who have cut down on their support staff to either none or simply a secretary (and they used to leverage 3/4 staff.) 1.) Because work is spread around to a ton more lawyers these days and there will be nearly double the number of law graduates for legal jobs created as projected by the bureau of labor statistics. 2.) Lawyers can leverage technology and do more work than they could before which means the billable hour is going out the window for a lot of big firms. 3.) Consumers can leverage technology and not hire a lawyer. What used to be a quick form and clipable $1,000 for a business formation can now be done for $79 on legal zoom. For run of the mill questions lawyers would bill for consumers can just google and get an answer. 4.) Because there is less work per lawyer firms are competing with each other to reduce their billable rate / cost of services that is creating a race to the bottom in a lot of markets.

Will there always be a need for lawyers? Yes absolutely. The profession won't go away. Are there easier ways to make six figures that require less work, offer more reasonable hours, and won't saddle you with 100k in debt? Yep.

I mean think of this, in some cities (and I know that it depends on the COL) you can graduate with a 2 year associates degree as a medical technologist and make as much as a starting attorney with 7 years of schooling and professional degree.



I'm very confused. Why are discussing Alabama stats...were you unable to find Iowa stats?


The Alabama stats are used as a representation for the legal market as a whole. Hence I analogized it with what happened / is happening in my state. The trend in the legal economy is the same for nearly every market except for those going into patent law. As far as I know of there is no similar survey for Iowa or other states.

I'll just throw some more out there..

"Yesterday, I was driving to Court and saw a billboard advertising a bankruptcy attorney's services, starting at $599. To give you some perspective, when I started practicing law in 1986, the typical Chapter 7 fee was $2,000, which in real dollars today is close to $4,000. Essentially, lawyers were making more money 25 years ago than today. I blame the oversaturation of this profession and the proliferation of law schools that are awarding JDs like candy at Rolls Royce prices.

Lawyers are working longer hours and harder for less pay. Kids are still fooled by the law school's golden bait of the $160K a year jobs. Even the kids that go on to earn that money, are not raking it in if they live in NYC where the cost of living has outpaced these kind of earnings. Add the burdensome student loan debt servicing and you are living an unhealthy live in squalor.

In spite of all this, kids continue to fall for the hook, line and sinker of a JD being the ticket to the high middle class life. This is an outright lie."

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typ3
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby typ3 » Wed May 30, 2012 10:19 pm

This is an article that echoes Chris and I's earlier discussion about sales and the legal profession.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/26/living/re ... index.html

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chrisbru
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby chrisbru » Thu May 31, 2012 9:37 am

typ3 wrote:This is an article that echoes Chris and I's earlier discussion about sales and the legal profession.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/26/living/re ... index.html


Only one I disagree with is that a law degree isn't useful. A law degree IS useful, but you really have to practice law for a while before you can do anything else. The law firm --> In house counsel --> executive track is possible, but far from likely.

Definitely agree with one - You gotta be able to sell yourself to get a job and be successful.

sebastian0622
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby sebastian0622 » Thu May 31, 2012 10:13 pm

The Iowa Bar Association's latest newsletter/magazine thing has a survey of Iowa lawyers in it. The Bar Assoc. apparently sends this survey out every few years. Short story is that Iowa statistics are similar to the Arkansas stats, especially when considering the survey had a very low response rate / assuming that sampling bias is in favor of slightly more successful attorneys (you really think that many personal injury lawyers who hate their lives want to slog through this survey reminding themselves that they made $34,000 last year?).

http://digital.turn-page.com/i/64154

Half of respondent lawyers who reported income made under $100k despite the median practice time of respondents looking like it falls in the 10-20 year range. Only 14.4% report that they hire law grads and pay new grads over $60k per year, about the same percentage that report they pay law grads under $45k per year. Have fun out there, boys and girls!

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chrisbru
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby chrisbru » Thu May 31, 2012 11:32 pm

[quote="sebastian0622"]The Iowa Bar Association's latest newsletter/magazine thing has a survey of Iowa lawyers in it. The Bar Assoc. apparently sends this survey out every few years. Short story is that Iowa statistics are similar to the Arkansas stats, especially when considering the survey had a very low response rate / assuming that sampling bias is in favor of slightly more successful attorneys (you really think that many personal injury lawyers who hate their lives want to slog through this survey reminding themselves that they made $34,000 last year?).

http://digital.turn-page.com/i/64154

Half of respondent lawyers who reported income made under $100k despite the median practice time of respondents looking like it falls in the 10-20 year range. Only 14.4% report that they hire law grads and pay new grads over $60k per year, about the same percentage that report they pay law grads under $45k per year. Have fun out there, boys and girls![/quote]

Thanks! I'm sure having fun so far.

sebastian0622
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby sebastian0622 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:13 am

chrisbru wrote:
sebastian0622 wrote:The Iowa Bar Association's latest newsletter/magazine thing has a survey of Iowa lawyers in it. The Bar Assoc. apparently sends this survey out every few years. Short story is that Iowa statistics are similar to the Arkansas stats, especially when considering the survey had a very low response rate / assuming that sampling bias is in favor of slightly more successful attorneys (you really think that many personal injury lawyers who hate their lives want to slog through this survey reminding themselves that they made $34,000 last year?).

http://digital.turn-page.com/i/64154

Half of respondent lawyers who reported income made under $100k despite the median practice time of respondents looking like it falls in the 10-20 year range. Only 14.4% report that they hire law grads and pay new grads over $60k per year, about the same percentage that report they pay law grads under $45k per year. Have fun out there, boys and girls![/quote]

Thanks! I'm sure having fun so far.


Me too, but that appears to be atypical.

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typ3
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby typ3 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:36 am

sebastian0622 wrote:
chrisbru wrote:
sebastian0622 wrote:The Iowa Bar Association's latest newsletter/magazine thing has a survey of Iowa lawyers in it. The Bar Assoc. apparently sends this survey out every few years. Short story is that Iowa statistics are similar to the Arkansas stats, especially when considering the survey had a very low response rate / assuming that sampling bias is in favor of slightly more successful attorneys (you really think that many personal injury lawyers who hate their lives want to slog through this survey reminding themselves that they made $34,000 last year?).

http://digital.turn-page.com/i/64154

Half of respondent lawyers who reported income made under $100k despite the median practice time of respondents looking like it falls in the 10-20 year range. Only 14.4% report that they hire law grads and pay new grads over $60k per year, about the same percentage that report they pay law grads under $45k per year. Have fun out there, boys and girls![/quote]

Thanks! I'm sure having fun so far.


Me too, but that appears to be atypical.


Law is very feast or famine these days. It's eat what you kill. This is the reason why there are a couple attorneys in my market (160k city 220k metro population size) who are fabulous salesmen and have been in the game for 25-30 years who make 7 figures. A handful who make between 150-400k. Regular partners at the larger firms make 100-150k and then a slough of lawyers make 35-40k.. which is sad considering that the rich lawyers get richer while the poor lawyers get poorer. The rich can throw more money on/at advertising to keep bringing in new clients.

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chrisbru
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby chrisbru » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:38 am

typ3 wrote:
Law is very feast or famine these days. It's eat what you kill. This is the reason why there are a couple attorneys in my market (160k city 220k metro population size) who are fabulous salesmen and have been in the game for 25-30 years who make 7 figures. A handful who make between 150-400k. Regular partners at the larger firms make 100-150k and then a slough of lawyers make 35-40k.. which is sad considering that the rich lawyers get richer while the poor lawyers get poorer. The rich can throw more money on/at advertising to keep bringing in new clients.


That's why you have to be a "gunner" in real life (networking, summer jobs, etc) rather than in the classroom. Knowing the intracacies of the dorman commerce clause or pontificating in class about the Federalist Papers won't make you successful.

I mean, unless you crush it on your grades because of it - But doing well on tests has nothing to do with how much you speak in class.

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typ3
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby typ3 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:41 pm

^ hahaha

A lawyer I talked to this week referred to Iowa Law School as a book club. For all it is worth, there is something to be said for lower ranked schools- they teach more practical skills.

sebastian0622
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby sebastian0622 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:05 pm

chrisbru wrote:
typ3 wrote:
Law is very feast or famine these days. It's eat what you kill. This is the reason why there are a couple attorneys in my market (160k city 220k metro population size) who are fabulous salesmen and have been in the game for 25-30 years who make 7 figures. A handful who make between 150-400k. Regular partners at the larger firms make 100-150k and then a slough of lawyers make 35-40k.. which is sad considering that the rich lawyers get richer while the poor lawyers get poorer. The rich can throw more money on/at advertising to keep bringing in new clients.


That's why you have to be a "gunner" in real life (networking, summer jobs, etc) rather than in the classroom. Knowing the intracacies of the dorman commerce clause or pontificating in class about the Federalist Papers won't make you successful.

I mean, unless you crush it on your grades because of it - But doing well on tests has nothing to do with how much you speak in class.


Both of these posts are so very true when it comes to practicing in Iowa or throughout the Midwest. There's basically a top tier of attorneys--the "haves"--who work at the big firms (in Iowa, that's 15-25+ attorneys) or who work at a very select group of small firms who have their respective markets cornered. Everyone else fights for the shit that falls through the cracks: personal injury (the <$30k claims the good firms don't even want to write a demand letter for), divorces, DUI defense, custody modifications, court-appointed criminal defense, etc. Hell, court-appointed crim defense for these people at $80 an hour is the fucking jackpot, whereas the good firm attorneys only take those cases to help round out a few hours on their schedule, get them out of the office, and network with atty's and judges (usually to attain a future career as a judge).

For examples of that: I've worked for two small (< 10 atty) firms in Iowa now: one was the only legit general practice law firm across a four-county area and had basically a monopoly on the civil suits, government (county/city) counseling, large agricultural probate, banking clients, corporate formation, etc. and first refusal on the good malpractice/personal injury and whatnot.

The second firm was the biggest practice in a mid-sized city and owned all the significantly profitable work there, without question. These two firms recruit at OCI for paid summer positions, pay associates well, pay you your associate salary plus your fees for Barbri and the bar if you accept an offer, have partner tracks that move quickly and well into the six figures, output a lot of judges in their areas, etc.

Meanwhile, there are a LOT of other law "firms" (mostly solo practitioners, along with a few 2-6 atty shops) in those areas, maybe 30 of these shops total consisting of 60 other attorneys across these two areas. They mostly fight for the scraps left by the respective top firm in their area. A couple of the solos might have a few go-to clients who are close friends or relatives and enable them to move up a little. By "move up," I mean make $60k as a lawyer with 10 years of experience practice instead of the $35k - $50k that all the other solos and small shop folks make. Anyway, all of these folks, in general, are the "have-nots."

This is the no bullshit truth of practicing law in Iowa. Do the math: 15 attorneys combined in two different shops make a good living (I know 13 of those 15 make over $100k), and the 60 other attorneys fight for their scraps and consider it a REALLY good year to pull in an annual salary that starts with "fifty," even as mid- or late-career attorneys. The point is that most of the people going to law school, most of the people reading this, will be "have nots." There is a good amount of room in the "haves" for new folks, but it's simply a numbers game, and the numbers don't lie. There are a lot of talented, hard-working lawyers who are have-nots out there. And from what I gather from other attorneys and students, it's just as bad in NYC, Chicago, etc. Maybe worse, because there is a cadre of attorneys making $45k in NYC, which doesn't get you crap in that city.

The bar survey suggests my experience and observations are typical and accurate. And if you think good grades are what get you into the "haves," you are sadly mistaken. Maybe top half, but once you're there, don't think top 20% gives you a huge boost over top 40%. Can you talk to clients and earn their trust? Can you talk to other attorneys? Can you manage assistants and PRODUCE? Can you learn and successfully practice in 3, 4, 5 primary areas of law instead of just one? Can you learn on the fly? Can you go to happy hour at the local bar or country club and have the personality to bring in business? Can you talk to judges and establish credibility with them? Can you get along with everyone and maintain a good reputation in the firm and community?

This is Business 101, Sales 101, Social Interaction 101, not Property I and Contracts I.

Nobody cares what your law school grades were if your clients, other attorneys, and judges think you're a douchebag. Or merely uninteresting and average. You have to be special and bring something to the table that the firm can't get from everyone else in law school right now.

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typ3
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby typ3 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:13 pm

sebastian0622 wrote:
chrisbru wrote:
typ3 wrote:
Law is very feast or famine these days. It's eat what you kill. This is the reason why there are a couple attorneys in my market (160k city 220k metro population size) who are fabulous salesmen and have been in the game for 25-30 years who make 7 figures. A handful who make between 150-400k. Regular partners at the larger firms make 100-150k and then a slough of lawyers make 35-40k.. which is sad considering that the rich lawyers get richer while the poor lawyers get poorer. The rich can throw more money on/at advertising to keep bringing in new clients.


That's why you have to be a "gunner" in real life (networking, summer jobs, etc) rather than in the classroom. Knowing the intracacies of the dorman commerce clause or pontificating in class about the Federalist Papers won't make you successful.

I mean, unless you crush it on your grades because of it - But doing well on tests has nothing to do with how much you speak in class.


Both of these posts are so very true when it comes to practicing in Iowa or throughout the Midwest. There's basically a top tier of attorneys--the "haves"--who work at the big firms (in Iowa, that's 15-25+ attorneys) or who work at a very select group of small firms who have their respective markets cornered. Everyone else fights for the shit that falls through the cracks: personal injury (the <$30k claims the good firms don't even want to write a demand letter for), divorces, DUI defense, custody modifications, court-appointed criminal defense, etc. Hell, court-appointed crim defense for these people at $80 an hour is the fucking jackpot, whereas the good firm attorneys only take those cases to help round out a few hours on their schedule, get them out of the office, and network with atty's and judges (usually to attain a future career as a judge).

For examples of that: I've worked for two small (< 10 atty) firms in Iowa now: one was the only legit general practice law firm across a four-county area and had basically a monopoly on the civil suits, government (county/city) counseling, large agricultural probate, banking clients, corporate formation, etc. and first refusal on the good malpractice/personal injury and whatnot.

The second firm was the biggest practice in a mid-sized city and owned all the significantly profitable work there, without question. These two firms recruit at OCI for paid summer positions, pay associates well, pay you your associate salary plus your fees for Barbri and the bar if you accept an offer, have partner tracks that move quickly and well into the six figures, output a lot of judges in their areas, etc.

Meanwhile, there are a LOT of other law "firms" (mostly solo practitioners, along with a few 2-6 atty shops) in those areas, maybe 30 of these shops total consisting of 60 other attorneys across these two areas. They mostly fight for the scraps left by the respective top firm in their area. A couple of the solos might have a few go-to clients who are close friends or relatives and enable them to move up a little. By "move up," I mean make $60k as a lawyer with 10 years of experience practice instead of the $35k - $50k that all the other solos and small shop folks make. Anyway, all of these folks, in general, are the "have-nots."

This is the no bullshit truth of practicing law in Iowa. Do the math: 15 attorneys combined in two different shops make a good living (I know 13 of those 15 make over $100k), and the 60 other attorneys fight for their scraps and consider it a REALLY good year to pull in an annual salary that starts with "fifty," even as mid- or late-career attorneys. The point is that most of the people going to law school, most of the people reading this, will be "have nots." There is a good amount of room in the "haves" for new folks, but it's simply a numbers game, and the numbers don't lie. There are a lot of talented, hard-working lawyers who are have-nots out there. And from what I gather from other attorneys and students, it's just as bad in NYC, Chicago, etc. Maybe worse, because there is a cadre of attorneys making $45k in NYC, which doesn't get you crap in that city.
:P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P
The bar survey suggests my experience and observations are typical and accurate. And if you think good grades are what get you into the "haves," you are sadly mistaken. Maybe top half, but once you're there, don't think top 20% gives you a huge boost over top 40%. Can you talk to clients and earn their trust? Can you talk to other attorneys? Can you manage assistants and PRODUCE? Can you learn and successfully practice in 3, 4, 5 primary areas of law instead of just one? Can you learn on the fly? Can you go to happy hour at the local bar or country club and have the personality to bring in business? Can you talk to judges and establish credibility with them? Can you get along with everyone and maintain a good reputation in the firm and community?

This is Business 101, Sales 101, Social Interaction 101, not Property I and Contracts I.

Nobody cares what your law school grades were if your clients, other attorneys, and judges think you're a douchebag. Or merely uninteresting and average. You have to be special and bring something to the table that the firm can't get from everyone else in law school right now.


^This

Although the big firms in my city make reliable solid money 100k+ there are a handful of solos that make more than the senior partners at the "big" firms. These solos are mainly plaintiff personal injury attorneys, civil litigators with a known reputation, successful trial lawyers, or those that do a highly repeatable volume work like bankruptcy, adoption, etc and have a complete corner on the market + active marketing campaign.

The solo I am working for spends over 100k just on marketing in a year, turns away well over 100k in fees for stuff he doesn't want to deal with and shows up to work at 10:30-11am every morning and leaves by 6pm. He has an army of paralegals doing the "legal work" and client contact after the first initial appointment is minimal. The first appointment, which is essentially a memorized sales pitch routine, is all he really does apart from delegate work. Sorry, no one can compete with this since telephone directory placement / advertisement placements etc are set in stone until the person advertising relinquishes the position. You can't even break into the market. The best you can do is try to land a "big firm" job and network and bring in clients like hell so you can make partner.

I think the problem with law students is that they assume they are special because they are in law school. However, being a lawyer doesn't mean anything these days, you're just a glorified white collar auto mechanic. Legal work is repeatable and can be done with software / paralegals. Your value to a firm is not how much work you can do but how much work you can bring in. 50 years ago the profession used to be a lot different and there were larger margins since there were no word processors nor internet. Firms these days resemble corporations more than anything. There are a lot of people on the bottom but there can only be one CEO / board of executives.

Law professors, their classes, and the culture for a lot of law school doesn't match the real world or the reality of the profession.

In my opinion, it is a joke of an education and the schools are doing little more than fleecing students.

To people reading this I'm sure I come off as someone who seems jaded or swindled into law school. Iowa is fronting my education with a scholarship without stipulations so I'll graduate without debt and I am one of the "haves" without doing anything to earn it just because I won the birth lottery (unfortunately the reality of our society is that it is not a meritocracy but people seem to think it is).

It is just a load of shit law schools lure students into the profession without being upfront about the realities of it. The least they could do is help students develop skills to actually be productive upon graduation instead of passing that responsibility onto firms to actually "train" law students. Just remember you're learning analytical skills that are absolutely necessary and will feed your kids.

Since you're going to have to be a salesman anyway and you likely are likely going to be paid a wage that is not worth the debt and opportunity cost when you graduate, law schools should really be encouraging potential students to start their own plumbing, electrician, carpentry, or lawn care businesses. People always need those services and you can at least work normal business hours and scale up to 6 - 7 figures depending on how good you are at serving customers, advertising, and managing employees. You would then also have something to sell and show for yourself at the end of the day. That work isn't glamorous, but neither is doing legal work and at least you wouldn't be sitting behind a desk all day.

brotoss
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby brotoss » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:09 am

Anyone have news on the WL?

northerniowan
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby northerniowan » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:15 am

brotoss wrote:Anyone have news on the WL?


Nope:-(

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chrisbru
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby chrisbru » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:09 pm

northerniowan wrote:
brotoss wrote:Anyone have news on the WL?


Nope:-(


Based on what I know - They aren't going to the waitlist unless some of the "committed" students get off waitlists at higher-ranked schools and drop Iowa. Class size is 164, and they have been authorized to go down to 160 before they go to the waitlist.

However, same thing happened last year and I know at least a couple got off the waitlist in the few weeks preceeding orientation.

glabuz
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby glabuz » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:03 pm

when do the top schools usually start pulling kids off their waitlists. as it stands ill be attending wisconsin, but im still hoping for a chance to attend iowa. this wl stress is absolutely brutal because i can't fully commit to wisco.

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typ3
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby typ3 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:50 am

chrisbru wrote:
northerniowan wrote:
brotoss wrote:Anyone have news on the WL?


Nope:-(


Based on what I know - They aren't going to the waitlist unless some of the "committed" students get off waitlists at higher-ranked schools and drop Iowa. Class size is 164, and they have been authorized to go down to 160 before they go to the waitlist.

However, same thing happened last year and I know at least a couple got off the waitlist in the few weeks preceeding orientation.



164?!

In 2007 the entering class was over 220.. and 212 ended up graduating in 2010.. that's nuts.

This is the kicker..

median full time salaries of graduates reported via http://www.law.uiowa.edu/about/statistics.php

Overall:
2009: $65,000
2010: $58,000
2011: $52,000

Private Practice:
2009: $120,000
2010: $75,000
2011: $60,000

Average salary of an RN if you would've grabbed a 2 year degree and been in the healthcare industry after grabbing your associates.

$56,500. I assume if you can get into law school you likely would've been smart enough to get into community college with a scholarship.. So you would be + 201,864 on your earnings.

Average law school graduate debt load.. $100,584.

Difference.. $302,448 +4 years less in school...



This is what I hate about the cost of law school among other things. The cost of attendance in no way correlates with the economic demand of lawyers. There are too many lawyers as is and technology is quickly replacing the need for a great deal of lawyers.
Last edited by typ3 on Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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chrisbru
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby chrisbru » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:12 am

typ3 wrote:
164?!

In 2007 the entering class was over 220.. and 212 ended up graduating in 2010.. that's nuts.

This is the kicker..

median full time salaries of graduates reported via http://www.law.uiowa.edu/about/statistics.php

Overall:
2009: $65,000
2010: $58,000
2011: $52,000

Private Practice:
2009: $120,000
2010: $75,000
2011: $60,000

Average salary of an RN if you would've grabbed a 2 year degree and been in the healthcare industry after grabbing your associates.

$56,500. I assume if you can get into law school you likely would've been smart enough to get into community college with a scholarship.. So you would be + 201,864 on your earnings.

Average law school graduate debt load.. $100,584.

Difference.. $302,448 +4 years less in school.


Crazy right?

glabuz wrote:when do the top schools usually start pulling kids off their waitlists. as it stands ill be attending wisconsin, but im still hoping for a chance to attend iowa. this wl stress is absolutely brutal because i can't fully commit to wisco.



If you have any sort of scholarship, or are a resident of WI and not a resident of IA - just go to Wisco bro.

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typ3
Posts: 1362
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Re: IOWA 2012

Postby typ3 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:17 am

chrisbru wrote:
typ3 wrote:
164?!

In 2007 the entering class was over 220.. and 212 ended up graduating in 2010.. that's nuts.

This is the kicker..

median full time salaries of graduates reported via http://www.law.uiowa.edu/about/statistics.php

Overall:
2009: $65,000
2010: $58,000
2011: $52,000

Private Practice:
2009: $120,000
2010: $75,000
2011: $60,000

Average salary of an RN if you would've grabbed a 2 year degree and been in the healthcare industry after grabbing your associates.

$56,500. I assume if you can get into law school you likely would've been smart enough to get into community college with a scholarship.. So you would be + 201,864 on your earnings.

Average law school graduate debt load.. $100,584.

Difference.. $302,448 +4 years less in school.


Crazy right?

glabuz wrote:when do the top schools usually start pulling kids off their waitlists. as it stands ill be attending wisconsin, but im still hoping for a chance to attend iowa. this wl stress is absolutely brutal because i can't fully commit to wisco.



If you have any sort of scholarship, or are a resident of WI and not a resident of IA - just go to Wisco bro.


^This +1.

The legal market is only getting more competitive.. not less. Things in the legal economy won't improve markedly with an economic recovery.. the legal economy has been on the decline for decades. Automation software / cloud computing etc. have only added to the problems.

In case you missed it this week in the WSJ..

http://live.wsj.com/video/law-grads-fac ... A59A6.html

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typ3
Posts: 1362
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 am

Re: IOWA 2012

Postby typ3 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:28 am

Just dropping these here..

One features an Iowa Law Student..

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 92182.html

The second article echoes my earlier statements in the thread about technology replacing lawyers.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... f-law.html




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