Tuesday, June 1, 2010

SubprimeJD got a part time legal job

Giving everyone a personal update.

I have been practicing law for the last 2 weeks on a part time basis. Am working on a contract basis for $25 per hour. My hours range from 28-35 hours per week. Any cases I bring in are split 50/50 with my boss.

The work is great. So far I have drafted several complaints, answers, motions to dismiss, demurrers, propounded and responded to discoveries. Basically law and motion. I will also be assisting in trials as second chair and will be preparing trial briefs. I have also defended depositions and will be participating in a mediation very soon.

In reality I couldnt survive on my own on this type of wage. 35 hours per week = $875 per week, excluding taxes. As a 1099 employee i will be paying hefty taxes but as i will be starting my own legal corp ill get to write off as much as i can. In addition, my student loan payment of $845 per month is killer. Im still on a 10yr plan as i plan to pay it off within 6-8 years and dont want to go on the 25 yr plan. Here is the moral of the story for all you prospective tier 3, tier 4 law students: DO NOT ATTEND LAW SCHOOL IF YOU HAVE TO FULLY FINANCE IT OR IF YOUR FAMILY DOESNT HAVE THE MEANS TO SUPPORT YOU FOR THE FIRST FEW YEARS. I would be dead broke but for my parents assistance. I still live at home at the age of 27 and wont be moving out at least for another 12-18 months. When the cases that I have brought on 50/50 settle my situation will begin to improve dramatically but consider the assistance that I have:

(1) car and insurance paid for by parents
(2) living rent free
(3) parents paying the student loan
(4) receive an additional $500 per week in cash from the family estate (food, gas, entertainment)
(5) Misc. assistance (mom buys me suits, ties, pays for dry cleaning)

All of the above and i still live at home. Take away the listed subsidies and here is what im looking at on my current hours and wage:
(1) $500 per month
(2) $750 per month (assuming roomate)
(3) $845 per month
(4) no assistance, would have to depend on 1099 ($300 per month)
(5) lets put this at $250 per month
The grand total of the "family subsidy" comes out to $2,645 per month.
In addition to my $3496 before taxes 1099 i recieve an addition $2,645 from the fam.
Without my family's help i would be at this level:
$2622 after taxes. Rent, car, student loan ($2095) would leave me with $527 per month. After food, gas, clothing, cleaning, misc, i would be left with 0 additional monies left over. Mind you im married and my wife works as well and she brings home $2200 per month. Shes on $13 per hr working fulltime with some overtime while im on $25 working part time, sometimes near full time. She gets benefits, my parents pay my insurance.

This is the life of a 2009 tier 4 grad in California. Granted I am gratefull and very LUCKY to even have a shot at practicing real legal work in this environment. A tier 4 grad with average grades being given the chance to draft motions and attend trials is VERY RARE in California today. I wish the hours would be more than they are but that can change. I see the experience as being golden. Nevertheless, Im broke and would be in a even worse situation but for my parents help. With the current money i am making i am permitted to save some money for the future and will have the damn student loan paid off within the decade. Also, with my parents help i will be able to start my own practice after several years of paid training.

The question i ask those who are thinking of attending law school is: do you have this type of support to get you by for the first several years? Because if you dont your situation will be fucking nasty for a long long time.


  1. Congratulations on the new job, Subprime!

    Those loans are a frakking killer! I'm shelling out over $2K every month...and I'm only keeping up because I am doing sales, which is more lucrative than the law right now, as you well know.

    Keep on slogging away!

  2. Holy crap, I just stumbled upon your post; it's basically a mirror image of my living situation. I currently receive about $3,000 a month from my mom while working a shitty local government job that pays $29,850 per year. Yep, all that cash for a graduate with 1 Ivy MS and a T3 JD.

  3. HLPFL:
    I stumbled upon some cases through my dads restaurants, basically customers. I didnt feel confident taking the cases on by my own so I looked for someone that was willing to split the settlements but not give the cases away for a referral. So my brothers roomate from undergrad is a attorney, who introduced me to his litigator buddy. We split the cases, i brought some more work (basically employer claims and basic PI soft issue cases) and he hired me. But for my contacts with the restaurants i would have never gotten this job. But for my parents support (they are wealthy) my life would suck horribly.

  4. Subprime:

    Congrats on the job! Also, thank you for your honesty about your parents' help. So many people neglect to include that in their calculations. Your honesty was refreshing.

  5. This is good! You're ahead of a lot of people, but you don't rub it in. Thank you for providing the complete picture of a Tier 4 grad.

  6. I have gone through this blog. I found it very interesting and helpful. Nowadays I am completing my online degree course from home.
    So this blog really doing great for me.

    Part time jobs online


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