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Re: Lawyer Unemployment
Old 09-07-2006, 03:48 PM   #21
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment

Hey Ed you sound as fed up as me?
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment
Old 09-07-2006, 06:03 PM   #22
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment

The hours are a killer,my sons just paying his dues now,his fiance is a cpa and also works crazy hours.but they are just starting out,have an incredible income for 2 kids fresh out of school and im sooooooooo happy but jealous ha ha ha.
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment
Old 09-07-2006, 09:32 PM   #23
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment

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Originally Posted by mathjak107
The hours are a killer,my sons just paying his dues now,his fiance is a cpa and also works crazy hours.but they are just starting out,have an incredible income for 2 kids fresh out of school and im sooooooooo happy but jealous ha ha ha.
I wonder id they have any time to do fun stuff. I know a couple who spends a ton of hours at work. Both are making over $160K. Both have an office at home so that they can do more work. They have a time share but are too busy to use it. Once in a while, they let us use their time share unit.
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment
Old 09-07-2006, 09:54 PM   #24
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment

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Originally Posted by justin
When I graduated from a top 25 lawschool 2 years ago, I had MANY classmates facing employment situations paying $40k or less. Public defenders, state attorney's office, district attorneys, small practice/solo practitioners, legal aid, etc. The most that anyone was going to make with a somewhat normal work life (50 hrs/wk +-) was around $65000. Plenty of folks took the $100k/yr jobs where you sell your soul (or $135k/yr in big cities) and work dawn till dusk 6-7 days/wk.

I chose not to practice law and work as an engineer instead. My after tax earnings, on an hourly basis, are probably pretty close to what my counterparts are making in law. I can say that I had an offer to work for a small law firm of 10 attorneys in a small/midsize town in Virginia for ~50 hrs/wk for $45000/yr (a little less than what I started at with 0 yrs experience at an engineering firm). Let's just say I didn't need a spreadsheet to figure out that I needed to decline that job offer!

But slaving away for a big firm for $100k+/yr and banking most of it for a few years would be a great way to kick start a FIRE plan (if you can put your life on pause for that time period).
That's good. We all should choose work of interest. I used to do competitive product analysis for a medical device company. Part of the responsibilities was to support the legal department to see if a competitor violates any of the company's patent. I noticed a typical patent lawyer with only one to two years of experience received a salary comparable to that of an enginering director based on pay grade level. A patent lawyer has the grade level as that of a director. A patent lawyer also has the size of office as a director. I thought about becoming one also but could not imagining myself going through all those boring patents and searching for evidence to accuse or defend a company. I found the entire patent process as unncessary. Why can't we share our innovation/inventions/ideas without monetary rewards? Why do we need protection? Are we saying that no one will spend time to invent if there is no patent?
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment
Old 09-08-2006, 02:33 AM   #25
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment

regarding the big lawyer earners, personally i do not think that any amount of money is worth trading your life for, that sort of pressure/stress will have an effect on health in the end, IMHO their working life span at that level is short.

I have a friend of a friend who works in one of those positions, he has recently had a stroke, (he is is only early 40's) i was amazed to hear that he returned to work in the same position with the same stresses and strains etc. But he does have a wife (with expensive tastes) and 3 kids to support

There is more to life - but then you all know that because that is why we are all here
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment
Old 09-08-2006, 07:50 AM   #26
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment

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Originally Posted by justin
k.

I chose not to practice law and work as an engineer instead.
Combining the two interests can be very lucrative. DW stumbled into the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) out of law school. Not a top paying job and a pretty obscure mission. Turned out she liked the mechanisms of the gas industry. After a couple of years at FERC she was able to switch to the private sector and get a big law salary in a boutique specialty. A fair number of her peers are engineers who worked in the gas industry and then picked up a law degree when they saw where the money was.

A lot of those public defenders, prosecutors, and other gov agency lawyers do the same thing. Learn a specialty in the gov and then cash in on the other side of the fence. Like any job, however, finding a specialty you will really like is not easy.
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment
Old 09-08-2006, 09:42 AM   #27
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment

I did 25 years as a defense litigator. I did some product liability defense for the auto industry, defended railroads for crossing accidents and then for the last twelve years did primarily medical defense. I bailed at the time of my peak earning. Many years, I managed only one week off, worked lots of weekends, had trouble sleeping because I was worried that some mistake I might make could cost my client millions, and during trials, was engaged 24/7 (you dream about the case). Many of the individuals that I encountered may have been decent folk after hours but were agressive and predatory in the practice. My nature is more congenial which, I think, helped me before juries. I was very good at it (won over 90% of the cases that I took to trial). When I realized that reasonable saving could supply me with a nest egg sufficient to shift gears, I made the decision to get out. Like many jobs, a person who has not done it has no clue as to the demands. Same difference for my wife who taught first grade. The specialites within the practice and the tiers of complexity and financial exposure in the litigation realm mean that the profession is actually many distinct professions that defy generalization. As I may have posted here before, I am now happily earing 8k a year as a grad teaching assistant in an MFA in Creative Writing program.
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment
Old 09-08-2006, 02:21 PM   #28
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Re: Lawyer Unemployment

Windsurf:
Great trade off. I left the pressure after I made my coin as a mining lawyer/excutive. I now enjoy writing off my trips to attend board meetings at mining plays I own a % in in eastern Europe, Africa and South America. Its great, I go to cities I once visited when I 'worked' and had no time to kick back and relax, such as Cape Town and Novisibirsk, and now I go to spend a day or so checking on progress and then spend three weeks doing the tourist stuff. The cost of work is as much the lost oppurtunity to waunder and discover when one has so many third party commitments. Personal time is the only real wealth one has (along with health!). 8)
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