That's funny, I'm at an AmLaw 100. HQ in the South.KyleC wrote: ↑February 1st, 2019, 6:14 pmSorry, I fundamentally disagree with your argument. Best case scenario, you go to state undergrad, get into competitive enough state law school, graduate top of your class (and I mean top of your class, not top 5%-10% if you're coming from mediocre school like UF), manage to land a job at a Cravath scale firm, grind your ass off billing at least 2200-2500 hours, try to pay off $100k in debt (because you're assuming all these generous full tuition scholarships which really don't exist), while living in a high CoL area, and hope at some point down the road you'll make it to an equity partner position.Robert.A.Jr. wrote: ↑February 1st, 2019, 1:17 pmNo doubt the middle-class gets the squeeze on college expenses, but I wonder the rest of what you say. Perhaps it depends on your geographic region, but not all regions recruit only from Ivy or top-tier state schools. Having lived and worked in some southern states - Florida and Georgia - and the state school grads have way better than mediocre opportunites. Heck, half of my associates are from FSU and UF, neither of which are top 25 law schools. At least in law, while school quality does indeed matter, your class ranking can make a huge difference. A top 5%-10% grad at FSU, a 47th ranked law school, will get a killer, high-paying job. That kid also likely qualified for Florida bright futures scholarships paid for by the lottery, giving him/her free tuition. Not saying its easier coming from the middle, but I do not agree with the mediocrity comment. Mediocrity is what you make of any opportunity. Winners will win regardless.Rob M wrote: ↑February 1st, 2019, 1:01 pm
If you are a middle-achieving student and your family is middle class, then you will have a tough time. You'll get into relatively mediocre schools and still end up paying $30K+/yr all in to attend. And your job opportunities will likely be mediocre as well, making it difficult to pay off the debt you probably took out.
The scenario I described is the only real hope for millennials who want upward economic mobility. You literally need to be in the 0.001% to achieve this path that you call "winners will win regardless". Now let's talk about what really needs to happen:
You're upper middle class, but you're really smart, and somehow you manage to land yourself in a top 25 undergrad school (despite all the legacies and prep school kids), of which 90% are private. You're average all in cost is roughly $60-80k/year. You might qualify for some financial aid, but not a ton, and you're going to graduate with at least $50k in debt, if not more. Next, you goto a top 25 law school, again of which the vast majority are private. Private law schools are $100k/year all-in these days, and even the few public schools like Boalt are over $80k/year now given budget cuts and law school's status as professional schools. You graduate holding $300k+ combined graduate/undergraduate debt that you need to pay down as you work 100 hour weeks in the desperate hope of making partner. So there's upward mobility here again, but it's much lower than it used to be when you graduated in 1992, and sure in this scenario, you don't need to be the top 0.01%, but you still have to be the top 1-2%, which is unrealistic for an entire generation of lawyers.
Let's be real, if you look at where Am Law 100 associates and recently promoted partners went to law school, the vast majority are coming from top 25 schools. The average prospect of the decent lawyer graduating today from a state school is bleak compared to the path of a lawyer graduating from the boomer generation. And to Rob M's point, the harsh prospects of what I described is for still one of the highest paying fields around where there is mobility. In Rob M's world, which is much more reflective of the 98%, there really is little hope.
Full disclosure, I'm not a lawyer (working for one during college was enough to ensure I didn't want to goto law school ), but plenty of my friends are attorneys, I unfortunately pay my attorneys way too much money, and if you ask lawyers graduating today, they'll agree what I described is par for the course.
Most law firms in the South, and perhaps other states, draw predominantly from local state schools, as the tendency of these local state school grads to stay with us is better than if we went hawking out-of-state Ivy league grads. Half of my associates are state school grads. The newest associate in our office is from FSU. The two partners just made in Orlando, one is Florida the other is Emory. Many of my partners are state school grads. I can say the exact same thing with my peer group and their associates at the Florida offices of Holland and Knight, Greenberg Traurig, et al. The generalized comments I am hearing here not accurate. Perhaps in the Norteast, with Ivy law grads galore, a state school grad has a more difficult track, but that's not the country as a whole. Incidentally, Sr DC Counsel Neal Mollen went to state school, and is a senior partner at an AmLaw 100, perhaps 50. Our websites are public, pretty easy to check out facts.
It's not bleak. It's not doom and gloom. It's what you make of it.
Sorry, just not buying into this tale of woe.
And I agree with Siun, the AmLaw 100 or partnership at any firm is just one track, but not the only track that this profession offers you. We just had an associate, who would have made partner next year, leave to go in-house with Universal Studios. Quite a cool gig. So many opportunities, and some far more balanced in life. I love what I do, and where I'm at, but I will be the first to say its a sacrifice, you need to love what you do, and you work stupid hours.