Robert.A.Jr. wrote: ↑
February 3rd, 2019, 8:28 am
Greg K wrote: ↑
February 3rd, 2019, 8:10 am
I generally agree with you that firms hire from local schools, in the same way that my firm hires from Fordham, Brooklyn, Cardozo, etc. But I think the overall point on law firms stands - it's become a far more haves and have nots profession as the last 50 years have evolved. Just look at the distribution of starting salaries - new graduates are either making top 50 associate money or they're making vastly less. That sort of distribution simply didn't exist before, when salaries were also bunched closer together, even though law schools assume everyone will be paid at that scale. It's also a much greater rat race. For all that we have our $1000 phones, we use them - 20 years ago when you were out of the office, you were not available. The last time I was genuinely not available to clients was when I went to Zimbabwe years ago. And clients expect that availability. The salaries are higher, the time commitments are greater, the opportunities for upward progression are less certain. Again, it's concentration at the top.
I will add, I find the notion that partners have it easy pretty ridiculous; most law firms are now run in ways that are somewhat similar to banks - lower performing partners get weeded out too. And relatively quickly. For whoever posted (not you Robert) that partners would rather fire all the 26 year olds than lower comp - that puts a ton of pressure on partners. And partners are more expensive, so are sometimes easier to get rid of than associates.
I cannot speak to starting salaries at smaller firms, but what are we talking about? Isn't that comp still generally quite decent? The public defender's office in Orlando starts at 60k. A young couple in their mid-20s pulling down 120k in Orlando ain't suffering. Any disparity between big law and regular law firms - and yes I'm sure that exists - isn't that prevalent in all professional services or business? The question for any new graduate is, do you really want to work those hours to make X, or are you willing to settle for less and have more life balance? When presented, it's a Faustian choice.
I’m not discussing salary discrepancies as Greg is very accurate. Just replying purely on what I quoted you on.
Dude. If you think 120k for two people with student loans is decent you don’t understand the strain many are under.
that couple right now is probably paying 3-4000 a month in student loan payments. They probably aren’t suffering, but they aren’t going out buying $50 bottles of wine for dinner. (Which is the whole crux of this) and aren’t amassing savings. They are probably living paycheck to paycheck, even in Florida with no state income tax.
I have friends in the early 30s making $140,000 a year, single, but can’t afford to buy a house in Los Angeles cause they are paying $2000 a month in student loans, $2000 a month in rent, a car payment, then utilities. They bank 10% to their 401k. Their take home is maybe 7k after state taxes, social security etc etc. 70% of their post tax paycheck goes just to those four things. That leaves them with maybe $2000 a month for everything else. So for food, clothing, misc costs, savings they have $2000 to spend.
My good friend worked four years at a Vault top 5 law firm after graduating in 2013. He made as good of money as you could make for any law student since his firm was on the cravath scale. His wife was a flight attendant. They bought a modest house 45 minutes away from Downtown Los Angeles in the outskirts of the city. He just went in house (paying good money but not cravath scale money) due to having two young kids at home. They just sold their house to help pay his student loans as it was getting too expensive to raise two young children with school costs and his massive student loans from a top 10 law school at nearly 7% interest. He is paying nearly 2750 a month to try and repay it back in ten years. And he’s in the minority of law school graduates that were able to secure Cravath scale salary.
We are talking about every single student that doesn’t have financial help from an outside source (vast majority) have this huge monthly debt burden. It is tough and it completely explains why high expense discretionary spending is dropping.
Student loans are a f*ck noose on the neck of anyone that has left graduate school since 2005 when the interest rate jumped and never came back down with the recession (kept going up). Then law school tuitions EXPLODED during the recession. https://data.lawschooltransparency.com/costs/tuition/
It sucks dude. It sucks hard. You take out that 2000-2500 a month student loan payment and reduce it even in half and people are living significantly easier.
Just sit down with some of your 2rd-4th year associates and ask them to really detail out their cost of living to you. I think it’ll be shocking.