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question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 21:37
I am a corporate lawyer in Manhattan and am considering getting a MBA (as if I haven't spent enough time in school.) Lawyers are an overpaid, materialistic lot and I am no different. As such, my main concern is money.

Assuming I attend a top-tier school and end up in finance or consulting, what will I earn 3-4 yrs out?
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 21:57
no shame in being honest. its hard to judge finance careers because they vary a lot, whether its ib, vc, or pe. assuming mc or ib, im going to pull a number out of my arse and say in an average career track, 200k for mc, and 300 for banking.
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2008, 22:23
boredlawyer wrote:
I am a corporate lawyer in Manhattan and am considering getting a MBA (as if I haven't spent enough time in school.) Lawyers are an overpaid, materialistic lot and I am no different. As such, my main concern is money.

Assuming I attend a top-tier school and end up in finance or consulting, what will I earn 3-4 yrs out?


You might expect 300-500 K in corpfin department of an investment bank, more - in private equity fund. Btw, I have been in your shoes in Moscow, i.e. in corporate/M&A position :)
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2008, 12:26
Nick_Sun:

Do you believe your legal background was viewed as an asset by admission committees and employers?
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2008, 12:52
boredlawyer wrote:
Nick_Sun:

Do you believe your legal background was viewed as an asset by admission committees and employers?

you should talk to pelihu. he has a jd from michigan and is at darden now and interning at a bb bank this summer.
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2008, 13:12
boredlawyer wrote:
I am a corporate lawyer in Manhattan and am considering getting a MBA (as if I haven't spent enough time in school.) Lawyers are an overpaid, materialistic lot and I am no different. As such, my main concern is money.

Assuming I attend a top-tier school and end up in finance or consulting, what will I earn 3-4 yrs out?


If you go into Investment Banking, you can expect to be a VP in 3 years earning $550-750K.

Similar track for PE/VC, probably more.

Management Consulting - count on the $225-300K range 3-4 years out.
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2008, 04:49
boredlawyer wrote:
Nick_Sun:

Do you believe your legal background was viewed as an asset by admission committees and employers?


Legal background is, for sure, viewed as an asset both for adcoms and potential post-MBA employers. In short, we know the technique of how to do this or that, when and why it is dangerous to do this or that and, probably, how to negotiate this or that, and that is very valuable for them. :P
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2008, 13:26
I think short term you are better off in law if you went to a top law school and work at a big name firm. Your return on investment is going to be much longer than people making 45k and not loaded down with grad school loans already. Your income immediately after school probably wont be much more than what a corporate lawyer will make, if at all since you will be at the bottom vs another few years at your firm. However, in 20 years if you gut it out in IB you may make significantly more than a partner at a top law firm.
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 02:58
Just to make you even more hungry :P See pelihu's chart - p403317#p403317

And yes, the sky is the limit - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd_Blankfein
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 06:23
riverripper wrote:
I think short term you are better off in law if you went to a top law school and work at a big name firm. Your return on investment is going to be much longer than people making 45k and not loaded down with grad school loans already. Your income immediately after school probably wont be much more than what a corporate lawyer will make, if at all since you will be at the bottom vs another few years at your firm. However, in 20 years if you gut it out in IB you may make significantly more than a partner at a top law firm.


This is untrue. 1st year associates at BB IBs make approximately 2x what a 1st year associate at a big law firm makes. The gap continues to widen every year thereafter. You are correct that any other career path after B-School will make around what a big law associate would, but IB is the exception.
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 08:23
terp06 wrote:
riverripper wrote:
I think short term you are better off in law if you went to a top law school and work at a big name firm. Your return on investment is going to be much longer than people making 45k and not loaded down with grad school loans already. Your income immediately after school probably wont be much more than what a corporate lawyer will make, if at all since you will be at the bottom vs another few years at your firm. However, in 20 years if you gut it out in IB you may make significantly more than a partner at a top law firm.


This is untrue. 1st year associates at BB IBs make approximately 2x what a 1st year associate at a big law firm makes. The gap continues to widen every year thereafter. You are correct that any other career path after B-School will make around what a big law associate would, but IB is the exception.

standard biglaw salary is $165k base, and around $30k bonus. are you saying bb ibs make $400k first year?
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 08:45
dabots wrote:
terp06 wrote:
riverripper wrote:
I think short term you are better off in law if you went to a top law school and work at a big name firm. Your return on investment is going to be much longer than people making 45k and not loaded down with grad school loans already. Your income immediately after school probably wont be much more than what a corporate lawyer will make, if at all since you will be at the bottom vs another few years at your firm. However, in 20 years if you gut it out in IB you may make significantly more than a partner at a top law firm.


This is untrue. 1st year associates at BB IBs make approximately 2x what a 1st year associate at a big law firm makes. The gap continues to widen every year thereafter. You are correct that any other career path after B-School will make around what a big law associate would, but IB is the exception.

standard biglaw salary is $165k base, and around $30k bonus. are you saying bb ibs make $400k first year?


From what I know, 275 bonus + 95 base + 40 signing/relocation = $410k is about what many BB IBs were paying first year associates in '07. This will obviously change radically with market fluctuations, but I think it's safe to say that you can count on somewhere between 350-400 all-in in a good market for your first full year (not stub year). Big Law compensation probably does not fluctuate as widely with market conditions.

This was from '06:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12112006/photos/biz037a.jpg
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 09:05
terp06 wrote:
From what I know, 275 bonus + 95 base + 40 signing/relocation = $410k is about what many BB IBs were paying first year associates in '07. This will obviously change radically with market fluctuations, but I think it's safe to say that you can count on somewhere between 350-400 all-in in a good market for your first full year (not stub year). Big Law compensation probably does not fluctuate as widely with market conditions.

This was from '06:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12112006/photos/biz037a.jpg

i remember that article, and i still find the numbers very suspect
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 09:07
dabots wrote:
terp06 wrote:
From what I know, 275 bonus + 95 base + 40 signing/relocation = $410k is about what many BB IBs were paying first year associates in '07. This will obviously change radically with market fluctuations, but I think it's safe to say that you can count on somewhere between 350-400 all-in in a good market for your first full year (not stub year). Big Law compensation probably does not fluctuate as widely with market conditions.

This was from '06:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12112006/photos/biz037a.jpg

i remember that article, and i still find the numbers very suspect


I would believe the absolute lowest you can count on as a 1st year associate would be 300k all-in. Most 2nd/3rd year analysts at BBs earned in the 150-200 range in recent years.
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 09:18
terp06 wrote:
From what I know, 275 bonus + 95 base + 40 signing/relocation = $410k is about what many BB IBs were paying first year associates in '07. This will obviously change radically with market fluctuations, but I think it's safe to say that you can count on somewhere between 350-400 all-in in a good market for your first full year (not stub year). Big Law compensation probably does not fluctuate as widely with market conditions.

This was from '06:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12112006/photos/biz037a.jpg


The base and signing/relocation numbers both look spot on but the $275 bonus is what's throwing me off. Why isnt this number represented in any employemnt report. For example, Wharton reports signing bonuses and year end bonuses both at $40,000. Considering just about everyone got bonuses I dont see how the median can be $40,000 when GS hired 29, MS hired 25, LB hired 18, JP hired 14 and ML hired 13. Maybe a couple people got a $200+ bonus but that seems to be rare. To me it seems the average starting salary is about $200k with a little lower for the people on the low end and upwards to around $375 for the top performers.

Heck even the PE bonus median was only $86,500. Althought the base salary range reached as high as $392,000.
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 09:27
gixxer1000 wrote:
terp06 wrote:
From what I know, 275 bonus + 95 base + 40 signing/relocation = $410k is about what many BB IBs were paying first year associates in '07. This will obviously change radically with market fluctuations, but I think it's safe to say that you can count on somewhere between 350-400 all-in in a good market for your first full year (not stub year). Big Law compensation probably does not fluctuate as widely with market conditions.

This was from '06:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/12112006/photos/biz037a.jpg


The base and signing/relocation numbers both look spot on but the $275 bonus is what's throwing me off. Why isnt this number represented in any employemnt report. For example, Wharton reports signing bonuses and year end bonuses both at $40,000. Considering just about everyone got bonuses I dont see how the median can be $40,000 when GS hired 29, MS hired 25, LB hired 18, JP hired 14 and ML hired 13. Maybe a couple people got a $200+ bonus but that seems to be rare. To me it seems the average starting salary is about $200k with a little lower for the people on the low end and upwards to around $375 for the top performers.

Heck even the PE bonus median was only $86,500. Althought the base salary range reached as high as $392,000.


They only take into account guaranteed bonuses in those employment reports. Some banks and PE firms will guarantee you a bonus of $40,000 or $80,000 as an absolute minimum, but the real expectation on both parts is that the firm will outperform that and you will outperform that and earn more in the ballpark of 200-300.

PE firms and Hedge Funds tend to make larger guarantees than Banks do. Sometimes this is listed as "Other Guaranteed Compensation" in employment reports - with an emphasis on Guaranteed.
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 09:40
terp06 wrote:
They only take into account guaranteed bonuses in those employment reports. Some banks and PE firms will guarantee you a bonus of $40,000 or $80,000 as an absolute minimum, but the real expectation on both parts is that the firm will outperform that and you will outperform that and earn more in the ballpark of 200-300.

PE firms and Hedge Funds tend to make larger guarantees than Banks do. Sometimes this is listed as "Other Guaranteed Compensation" in employment reports - with an emphasis on Guaranteed.


Thanks for the clarification :!:
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 09:52
To elaborate on terp06's point, the first half year that MBA's work after graduation is called the "stub year". The way I understand it, fixed bonuses are paid for that period. The 250K-350K values that are shown in that chart (for 1st year associates) are representative of the first full year that they work. I imagine schools' employment reports only factor in this stub year bonus.
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 10:05
Here is what some prominent law firms pay to their associates in UK - http://rollonfriday.com/insideinfo_city.htm

The amounts are in pounds, so multiply them by two to get the dollar equivalents. For our comparison, look at "Salary 1 PQE".

According to my information, the partners are highly unlikely to get more than £1 mln/ year. To become a partner one needs to go through all circles of the hell. Is it worth it? In my opinion, it is better to be the lower form of life (i.e. i-banker) :lol:
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Re: question about $$$$$ [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2008, 10:42
nick_sun wrote:
Here is what some prominent law firms pay to their associates in UK - http://rollonfriday.com/insideinfo_city.htm

The amounts are in pounds, so multiply them by two to get the dollar equivalents. For our comparison, look at "Salary 1 PQE".

According to my information, the partners are highly unlikely to get more than £1 mln/ year. To become a partner one needs to go through all circles of the hell. Is it worth it? In my opinion, it is better to be the lower form of life (i.e. i-banker) :lol:


Same deal in the US. Average Big Law Partner will cap out at around $1M. There's lots of ex-lawyers in finance.
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Re: question about $$$$$   [#permalink] 28 Apr 2008, 10:42
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