Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Hate to Beat a Dead Horse, But....

The comments following Esq. Never's infamous cartoon made me crazy: 

jacobins3000 (12 hours ago) I can't understand this obsession law students have with "big law", heaven forbid they end up at a small firm with starting salary of a mere 80 fucking thousand. Law students are a bunch a of spoiled rich kids who have no idea what the average person makes in this country. They think they have a God given right to make 200K a year.

esqnever (4 hours ago) Yes, I made this video because I'm "only" going to make 80k a year.

Tell you what, if you find a small firm job anywhere that pays anything near that for an entry level position, post it here. If you do, I'm sure that firm's fax will literally melt due to the volume of responses.

Sorry, my friend, small firm jobs are going for around $35k these days. You're luck if you can get $50k. Not exactly worth three years of LS and six figures of debt.

ptothegizzo (1 hour ago) Um, I went to law school in Manhattan (and did average) and work at a small firm *in Manattan,* and I don't make nearly $80K. Since I'm neither spoiled nor rich and I support myself, in my first year of practice I had to couch surf because I couldn't afford the apartment I had lived in working part time and living off student loans. I have friends who did very well in school who, like myself, have to earn outside income to make ends meet because we're all in about $180K of debt. #realitycheck

Why are people so damn stupid????? I would jump for joy if I found a job paying 80K and I'm nearly a decade out. AND I was earning $100K+ before this "Great Recession". Why are people delusional?  Salaries are nowhere near what the movies tell you! 


  1. Angel, the stupid fool who calls himself jacobins3000 CLEARLY doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.

    He does not understand that most small law firms are paying around $30-40K for new associates. No benefits. No dental or vision. No holiday pay. Just long hours and low pay. But "law school is a great investment" - at least according to the industry itself. (Then again, this is akin to a cat promising that he will not chase after chickens or catch mice.)

    Lastly, the imbecile referenced above, i.e. jacobins3000, thinks that law school is filled with rich kids. The majority of my classmates came from humble circumstances. Idiot Boy needs to look at the percentage of law students who go into debt for law school: 80.6%, according to American Student Assistance:

  2. Excuse me - I meant to say that 88.6% go into debt for law school. EIGHTY-EIGHT POINT SIX PERCENT!!

  3. To Everyone:

    Instead of wasting away your life on this blog whining about the legal profession, why not spend your time looking for a job, any job. Forget about the past and move on with your life. You guys seem to take pleasure on dwelling on your past problems associated with the legal profession.

    "Forget, regret, or life is yours to miss. No day but today."


  4. To Anonymous above:

    Has it ever crossed your mind that we are trying to get the word out and PREVENT others from making the same poor decision?!?!

    In your case, I'll make an exception. Go to the MOST expensive, low-tier law school you can get into; take out massive student loans; spend money frivolously; and don't worry about the pay scale when you come out. Have fun.

    To anyone else: I give this advice solely to the Rent fan above. To everyone else, the general advice on my blog applies.

  5. Nando,

    I'll take your advice. I will score high on my LSAT and go to the most expensive private low-tier law school on a full ride scholarship.

    After I graduate I will not worry too much about the pay scale because everyone pays their dues when they initially start out. Besides, I am not in law just for the money, I will have a PASSION for it.

    To everyone: If you are going to law school because you think you will make big money then don't go. If you are going to go to law school because you have a PASSION for law then go. PASSION is what drive success, not greed.

  6. Do you think Christopher Columbus would have discovered a new world had he listened to all the negativity in his days?

    Do you think Steve Jobs would be where he is today had he listened to everyone that told him that consumers had no need for a personal computer?

    Do you think Tiger Woods would be where he is today (worlds #1 golfer) had he listened to all the negativity in his younger years?

    I think you guys get my point.

  7. Columbus didn't set sail for India because his mother wanted to brag about her explorer son. and he wasn't looking to discover a new world, anyway.

    Steve Jobs didn't borrow $200k with visions of being the next Victor Sifuentes.

    Tiger Woods understood that if his pro career went bust he could at least make decent money teaching golf or enjoy golf on the weekends away from some other job.

    All of these people understood the risks and realities of what they were doing. The average 0L is absolutely clueless.

  8. LOL, I don't know if Tiger would be the guy I'd be using in examples of "what to do" right now.

    Angel, while I hope you aren't still in doc review when these 0L's graduate, go easy on them if you find yourselves on the same project. Remember, we were all starry eyed pre-law lemmings at one point.

  9. 0Ls are absolutely clueless. Just like the ignorant bitch who keeps posting on Columbus, Steve Jobs, and Eldrick Woods.

    You haven't even taken the LSAT yet. You will also make law review, right? Are you also going to bang Halle Berry this weekend?

  10. "Do you think Christopher Columbus would have discovered a new world had he listened to all the negativity in his days?

    Do you think Steve Jobs would be where he is today had he listened to everyone that told him that consumers had no need for a personal computer?

    Do you think Tiger Woods would be where he is today (worlds #1 golfer) had he listened to all the negativity in his younger years?

    I think you guys get my point."

    If your point is that almost nobody succeeds in endeavors where the odds of success are incredibly low, then I think we all get your point and agree with it.

    Pretty sure that none of the scambloggers has ever said that nobody makes decent money in law. Some do. The vast majority don't. Nearly all take on huge debt. QED.

  11. You are an idiot. Tiger woods was winning major golf tournaments by his 5th birthday. He was fucking five years old playing against 14 year olds and kicking their ass.

    When he was two years old he made his first television premier on the a very popular tv show with bob hope.

    Fucking idiot 0L's

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  13. Typo!

    Wow... this shit blew up. After my evening of having a life and STILL looking for a "real" job... I checked in on the blog to read this gibberish. I got to the word "PASSION" and laughed my ASS off. Most areas of the law are not extremely sexy and do not elicit passion from those involved. But quite funny.
    And for the record, I don't think Columbus would have sailed the ocean blue if Queen Isabella didn't PAY him. Love you guys!

  14. The reality is that a very tiny percentage of law students will go on to succesful careers. Just like a very tiny percentage of actors go on to successful careers.

    Most people understand that their chances of becoming the next Bruce Willis or Denzel Washington are slim to none. Yet, they think they have a pretty good chance of being the next Ally McBeal or Denny Crane.

    These people don't accept reality checks. They'll learn the truth once they graduate.

  15. I read once that law is like a mountain and a valley. There are a few people at the top of the mountain earning $125K+ and most are earning $40 to $50K. There are barely any jobs where attorneys are earning $80K. I think most people that go to law school are thinking that they will at least earn $80K because the alleged average salaries of graduates is $80K. But the truth is that you will either be lucky and sit on the mountain... or unlucky and be stuck in the valley. And when you're in the valley and you have a monthly loan repayment of $1K to $2K... you are basically starving to death. That's the simplest way I can put it.

  16. Nina,

    That's true to some extent, but once the "golden children" are thrown out of biglaw, the vast majority of them are cast down amonst the bottom feeders. So, there are two tiers, and many move from the first tier to the second, but very few move from the second to the first.

    Oh, and the debt payments remain no matter what.

  17. I have spent many hours reading online about how horrible student loans are (I have about 200k myself) but today is the first day I have read about law school itself being a sham.

    I was one of those people who actually went solo (I had no other real options) and did well until real estate started to fall apart around August of 2007. I lost everything. Last year was my suicide-watch year but I feel like I am coming out of it. I ditched law entirely (like many seem to do) and am studying for another job. As for the loans...After tons of research I think the only thing to do is leave the country and take the chance they find and sue you. At least you have a shot at laundering your non-dischargable student loans into a discharable civil judgment. As drastic as that seems, I can assure you it won't look as bad once you completely internalize how hopeless your situation actually is.

  18. Law School is the ultimate Ponzi Scheme. I'm sorry that you just found out about it and it seems too late. I know you probably love the U.S., but if moving is what you have to do then I don't blame you. Luckily for you, there are many countries that are beautiful to live in. I think that once many other people default as you are planning on doing, then something will be done to the bankruptcy code. I hope it will change soon--for your sake. Another reader suggested going to school indefinitely and deferring loans ... at a community college for example.

  19. That's exactly why I am at comm. college now...keeping loans on hold. I have an incredibly supportive family and girlfriend (with a good job in what else? ... healthcare) and so there is a reasonable possibility that I can pay even my massive loans off in five years or so paying 100% of my income to loans with their support. Even if that occurs I still plan on leaving the country. (within 2 to 3 years if all goes as planned)

    This whole debacle is a moral issue at its foundation. Requiring a young person to pay for a youthful mistake with the fruit of their entire working career is an abomination. You cannot take responsiblity for yourself and your family while also guaranteeing a banker's profits by being forced to turn over your entire future as collateral. Even if I can pay myself out of this huge hole I cannot see spending the rest of my life paying taxes to the treasury of this corrupt country in return for so little. Both Canada and Europe look like a much better deal comparing tax rates to benefits. And for the record tax rates here are just as bad as those other countries if you are self-employed like I was. All told I paid nearly 45% in taxes/fees/licenses in my best income the state, federal and local taxing agencies were happy to collect. But where are they now? It is even more galling to note that the changes to the bankrupty rules for private loans occured only in 2005, AFTER I had taken out my loans. Talk about having the rug yanked from under you.

    I am so deeply dissappointed and disgusted with this country. This whole experience has really changed me and there is no going back.

  20. Keep your head up! You are not alone. You should keep up with me and the other LS bloggers. Shoot me an email and we'll keep in touch. You're CERTAINLY not alone.



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