The $35,000 salary?

Graduating from law school and passing the bar gives you very, very little real economic value. There are a few jobs that require ONLY a license to practice law and not much else - these include jobs like document review. That's $20-30$/hour, and that's basically what a law license is worth.

For the associates who make $160,000/year at a big firm - they are not worth anywhere near that amount. A lot of clients will literally tell firms NOT to put the least expensive associates on their cases because they would rather pay $600/hr for someone decent than $250/hr for some worthless recent law grad.

In other words, any legal job where you make more than $40,000/year or so is paying you that not because you are actually WORTH it, but for other reasons. Usually, it's an investment in you that they hope will pay off later. They also may pay so much simply as part of a law firm pissing competition. It's really crazy. But the point is, anyone who is paying a recent grad 6 figures is going to expect that person to pretty much do anything they say (work long hours, etc).

So do you aspire to be one of these highly paid recent grads? If so, then yes; prove you are smart with good grades and law review, give a strong interview that demonstrates a good personality, etc.

But there are NO guarantees of making good money at graduation. You simply are not worth that much. If you are good at playing the game, working the system, you might get selected for one of those jobs. Be prepared to serve a lot of time before you are really worth the money you make. And then you can do whatever you want.

Got to put the little guy down for nap - I'll finish more in a bit.

/r/LawFirm Thread Parent