thompsa2 wrote: NYstate wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Someone with tenure in a job that provides housing in NYC has already won the lottery, academically speaking.
I only know about Columbia and NYU. I think other schools may do the same, but I don't know. Housing isn't free but it is heavily discounted. They don't pay salaries that allow professors to pay market housing costs.
I have seldom heard of tenured jobs that provide any money for housing - though some schools in NYC may have such perks due to the high cost of living. The only two professors I know who worked at colleges in NYC both left because the cost of living was so high, and their pay so low. Most of us can't afford summers or winters in Aspen or Europe. The actual pay for professors (unless you are at a top research school or you are a professor in an area like business or medicine), is surprisingly low. We, too, have been hit by the recession, thus salaries are stagnant. In terms of a competitive job market, academic jobs are also hard to come by these days. Yes, I know the reaction may be something along the lines of "then why give up a tenured position?" Unfortunately, when you are tenured at one school, this does not mean that if move to another school you will retain your tenure - this rarely happens. Just as you can find yourself in a bad working environment at one law firm, you can also find yourself in a bad working environment at a given college or university. The odd thing about academia is that because of the tenure system, you are likely to be working with the same folks for 20 or 30 years. This is great if you are lucky enough to land a job in a place where you like to live, and at a school where faculty, colleagues, and administrators have a good working relationship. However, as those working in higher education know, many colleges/universities are characterized by entrenched tensions and organizational dysfunction. Also, trying to move to another college/university job almost always requires uprooting your life. I know many professors who have changed jobs several times over their careers, known of whom were able to do so without moving to an entirely new state. It is clear based on various responses on this forum that working in law is no picnic and highly competitive, but academia is also no paradise.
NYU and Columbia have faculty housing that is rented to professors for much much less than market. The professors I know have gone to Aspen where there is a physics institute in the summer and to places like CERN and research institutions. I think most of the cost is paid by grants. But this might also be something that boomers have ruined. Not sure how the young faculty fares, my feeling is that they do pretty well. Maybe science has more money for grants than sociology does?
I didn't mean to imply academia was a paradise. I just feel pretty strongly that you might be throwing away a job with security and end up in a worse position. The pro bono work I've done with indigent clients is exceedingly frustrating because of governmental incompetence and bureaucracy. And we only get pre- screened cases, the day to day grind of that work might be even more difficult than academics.
I know you aren't looking to make money. If you do go to law school, keep the cost in mind. Even a full scholarship can mean debt for cost of living. And the jobs you are looking for are so competitive- you should look at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia and NYU.
But to get into those schools you will have to find time to study hard for the LSAT.
Good luck in whatever you decide.