Friday, September 08, 2006

The Cold Hard Truth re: SALARIES

Had lunch with an old friend today. Topic of salaries came up. My friend opted not to go to law school. In fact, he made a smart decision. In college, the guy was a genuis. As a computer science major, he could help all of us out in a jiffy anytime we had a computer problem.

So after college, instead of taking the LSAT like myself and my delusional friends, he took an IT job that paid 45K/year. He's now interviewing for jobs in the IT sector and while I was busy sweating my balls off on stupid Torts hypothetical bullshit, he was out there making $$...

So his salary requirements for jobs he's interviewing for? $85-100K. Oh and he only works aroubd 45 hours a week. Not bad huh?

Yeah, heres a newsflash. Most ID firms would laugh at attorneys who asked for $85-100K out of law school. The dark brutal truth is that most of you are going to barely scrape by. Here is a nice little summary of what the salary is really like:

Assuming you are NOT a graduate of a top tier law school and:

(1) top 20% of your class,

(2) on Law Review/Journal/Moot Court, and/or

(3) has a connection to a decent job via a 2L/3L employment/clini experience or a friend,

Your actual salary will most likely be anywhere from $30,000/year to $60,000/year. Actually 60K is pushing it because most firms don't want to fork over that much for someone who doesn't know jack shit.

Now these numbers are based on someone who is:

1. between the age of 24 and 30 at the time of LS graduation

2. awaiting admission to the bar or recently admitted

3. has 1 year or less of work experience between college and law school (and in a useless area like "paralegal at Pillsbury Winthrop)

Going back briefly to the JDJIVE board, I encourage you all to read a thread called "TOILET Law Firms..." which is quite insightful.

And if you were wondering about salaries for government positions:

NY County District Attorney: $46,000-54,000/year
Brklyn County DA: $40-50,000/year
Queens County: $40-50K/year
Bronx County: $40-50K/year
Staten Island (Richmond): $38-45K/year
Nassau County: $40-50K/year

Nassau County Attorneys Office: $55-65,000/year
Westchester County Atty Office: $55-65K/year

NYC Department of Buildings (Investigation): $45K/year

So there you have it.

More reasons for not going to law school.


At Monday, September 25, 2006 2:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I interviewed there last year, I don't think Nassau or Suffolk started as high as $55K. I thought Nassau was around $48K and Suffolk $50K.

At Saturday, November 15, 2008 10:43:00 AM, Blogger gudnuff said...

Funny. I'm an IT person. I make low 6 figures. I work less than 40 hours a week. I get days off, like frickin' Veterans Day in the middle of the week. All this because I have a union job. It rocks. BUT...where can I go? If a sense of ambition makes my butt itch, how can I possibly scratch it? In law, there are so many lateral opportunities, at least. I'm at a point where to go "up" would require lots and lots of travel, and working at 3am (because we can't take the system down in the middle of the work day) in equipment rooms, often alone. Wooooo. Sounds so glamorous, doesn't it? I'm not a gear-head. I couldn't care less about technology. I'm just smart enough to stay one step ahead of the people I'm paid to help. I guess it comes down to: what do you want your sweat and tears to count toward? Is there a chance (like pro bono work) to do something that you give a crap about? In IT, if you don't really like doing tech work, then "pro bono" work is just more of the same. I'm tired, basically, of sitting and waiting for some update to download. I play with other people's tools (aka Microsoft, Cisco). But in law, aren't there a ton of ways to expand your basic skill set, to apply it in a way that speaks to your passions? Isn't there? Please tell me yes, there is.

At Saturday, November 19, 2011 6:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps I am the exception, but I used (and use) the skills acquired in law school to spot value and opportunity all the time. Whether its buying distressed real estate, buying judgments at a discount on real estate pending to close, levying judgments on unclaimed property held by the state, buying mortgages from banks at a big discount and foreclosing them, managing real estate, fighting with the cities, counties or State when red tape gets in my way and always keeping non attorney competitors and firms on a more favorable ground to settle disputes as they fear a fight with a lawyer operated business, your JD is your 2nd best asset. Your 1st is your creativity. You just have to spot inefficiencies in your niche and find a way to capitalize on them. Practicing law may suck, but your not limited to doing that if you can find a niche. I just read about a lawyer in AZ that represents homeowners on foreclosure issues. He charges a flat fee of $1200. He had 1000 people walk into his office last year. He probably spent 1 hr on each file giving the owners the best advice possible: "do a short sale or file bk or sell or walk away" blah blah. Lawyers are exempt from most regulations licensed people must have (real estate license, mtg orgination licnese, etc). Your JD is a free pass to go hustle and make money. For god's sake, go use it!

At Saturday, November 19, 2011 6:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fact: Ill even throw you out another bone on top of the above: goto your county. Get a foreclosure list. Send a letter to every person on that list stating your office charges $1000 flat fee to analyze homeowners best options. Then hook up with a firm that does short sales and send them all over there. Charge the short sale firm $250.00 per file to review their purchase agreements. That's your lawful kick back. You will have 10 clients a week w/o a problem. I'm done now. Just hate to see kids with JD's discouraged. My JD was the best thing I ever did. Not working at a big firm was the 2nd best thing.

At Friday, September 28, 2012 1:29:00 AM, Anonymous Solicitors for employment law said...

Most naiive law students still think that, even outside of a magic circle firm, you earn big money and have a safe career - wrong !


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