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Should I pursue law? (1 Viewer)

RishBonjour

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Wow, I hope so too! Why do you think the turnover rate is so high? How has your experience been with one of the big4?

Because of career progression and monetary incentives to go elsewhere (The company I work for now, the GM was in PwC for a while then jumped to more chilled lifestyle + better pay). Not everyone will become a partner in 15-20 years. People change, sometimes to their clients, and become a long term client of that particular big 4 - so I don't think big 4s mind it either from what I've been told.

But the grads seem pretty chilled man (ran into one at stereo hahah) - can't wait to start this summer (pls join), so I think you would enjoy it (as much as anyone can enjoy office work)


Most importantly, keep going for med, you will get it one day!
 

chewy123

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Yeah, I'm somewhat unsure about it. As I mentioned before, I never really studied legal studies in high school and that this will be a new experience for me. I'll do law if it means getting into one of the big4 or having an array of opportunities (of course I'll need the grades also). But my passion will always lie in medicine/dentistry as it's something that I've been aspiring to get into since childhood.
Given the circumstance I probably shouldn't have questioned your choice, since you have already reached the point of no return. I suppose give law a try, but don't do yourself injustice, transfer next year if you think law doesn't suit you.

You don't necessarily have to study law to get into the big4, I worked with people who studied science, engineering, arts..etc.

Wow, I hope so too! Why do you think the turnover rate is so high? How has your experience been with one of the big4?
The general complaints are that the work is mind-numbing (unless you are in advisory, which has the least positions), the pay is relatively low, long hours, you get hated by your clients since most the work done by the big4 is non-value creating. Personally, I just didn't fit in culturally, the place is dominated by north shore upper-middle class selective/private school kids.
 

Safraaz

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The general complaints are that the work is mind-numbing (unless you are in advisory, which has the least positions), the pay is relatively low, long hours, you get hated by your clients since most the work done by the big4 is non-value creating. Personally, I just didn't fit in culturally, the place is dominated by north shore upper-middle class selective/private school kids.[QUOTE]

Generally, how much is the pay? From what I've been told, the candidates of E&Y graduate program begin with about 70k, and this can increase to around 120k after a couple of years (3-4 years). In terms of hours, how long did you have to work on an average business day? Isn't it just normal business hours for most companies? Sorry to hear about your adversity. What are you up to now, still in the cooperate sector? The sentence in italics doesn't sound too inviting :/
 
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wannaspoon

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Generally, how much is the pay? From what I've been told, the candidates of E&Y graduate program begin with about 70k, and this can increase to around 120k after a couple of years (3-4 years). In terms of hours, how long did you have to work? Isn't is just normal business hours for most companies? Sorry to hear about your adversity. What are you up to now, still in the cooperate sector?
you will be kicking shit as a junior no matter where you work... Apparently, any firm that hires juniors makes a loss on hiring those juniors (indemnity insurance, junior fucking up, junior being clueless; it all piles up)... With that said, firms are rather reluctant on hiring junior solicitors; or they pay them chicken feed (from what I'm aware of, juniors have their pay docked; for two hours of work they get paid for one hour); they will get you to do rather mundane work for the first 2 years or so... (you probably wont see anything beyond conveyancing)

After you get past the junior grind, you should find it a lot easier to find other jobs; you should be getting paid a lot more; and you should end up having the opportunities to stop doing mundane office duties...

If you are thinking, this is absolute bullshit and I want to talk to my union rep... Well, I hate to say this, but, the legal profession is the only profession that is not unionised...
 

Safraaz

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This is terrible.
But thank you for telling me these things now. It really has changed my insight about the big4.
I thought that working for these organisations would be a rewarding experience! But it doesn't appear to be.
 
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wannaspoon

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This is terrible.
But thank you for telling me these things now. It really has changed my insight.
it's not as bad as you think... its better certainly better than working as a PA or Law Clerk... (I did a short stint as a Law Clerk, when I was near the end of my last degree, THAT was terrible)

you get paid a pretty standard graduate wage to begin with, as a junior solicitor (about $54k) you will be really, really lucky to get over that...
 

Safraaz

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it's not as bad as you think... its better certainly better than working as a PA or Law Clerk... (I did a short stint as a Law Clerk, when I was near the end of my last degree, THAT was terrible)

you get paid a pretty standard graduate wage to begin with, as a junior solicitor (about $54k) you will be really, really lucky to get over that...
What's your current position? Are you in the law sector, or still at one of the big4?
 

wannaspoon

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What's your current position? Are you in the law sector, or still at one of the big4?
Final year law student, have a few mates that have graduated and they are now telling me stories... finally got the motivation to look for volunteer positions, however, I am approaching it with a hint of apathy...

If it helps... my mates (well, the ones that have actually found work) seem to be enjoying themselves...
 
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chewy123

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Generally, how much is the pay? From what I've been told, the candidates of E&Y graduate program begin with about 70k, and this can increase to around 120k after a couple of years (3-4 years). In terms of hours, how long did you have to work on an average business day? Isn't it just normal business hours for most companies? Sorry to hear about your adversity. What are you up to now, still in the cooperate sector? The sentence in italics doesn't sound too inviting :/
I didn't work for EY, but the numbers you got I am certain is BS. Audit graduate salary for the one I worked for is 55k all inclusive, so you get around 40k after tax and super. I don't think EY would be all that different. When you get to manager level (which takes around 7-10 years) you get around 100k, but progression ceases there and you could be stuck there for decades before becoming a senior manager, and then partner.

Workload fluctuates. During busy season it can hit 60hrs+/week, during non-busy period it would be standard office hour. If you work over certain hours those hours get added to your annual leave, but overall your $/hr is relatively low, hence the high turnover.

I certainly don't want to dampen your flare, and you may thrive in those environment. Since you just graduated from high school you have many years ahead of you to decide what you want to do. When I started uni I didn't even know what the big4 was. It's good that you are doing your research early. My advice however is that you shouldn't get drawn in by the false prestige of the big4, or anything else, do something that fulfils you.
 

Safraaz

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I didn't work for EY, but the numbers you got I am certain is BS. Audit graduate salary for the one I worked for is 55k all inclusive, so you get around 40k after tax and super. I don't think EY would be all that different. When you get to manager level (which takes around 7-10 years) you get around 100k, but progression ceases there and you could be stuck there for decades before becoming a senior manager, and then partner.

Workload fluctuates. During busy season it can hit 60hrs+/week, during non-busy period it would be standard office hour. If you work over certain hours those hours get added to your annual leave, but overall your $/hr is relatively low, hence the high turnover.

I certainly don't want to dampen your flare, and you may thrive in those environment. Since you just graduated from high school you have many years ahead of you to decide what you want to do. When I started uni I didn't even know what the big4 was. It's good that you are doing your research early. My advice however is that you shouldn't get drawn in by the false prestige of the big4, or anything else, do something that fulfils you.
Thanks once again for your detailed response. I appreciate it! :)
Wow, this is eye-opening! o_O
Now I will try even harder to get into med/dent. From what I read, things don't sound too pleasant and it's something that I didn't expect to hear! But I applaud your blunt honestly, and for sharing some interesting facts (salary, working hours etc...).
 
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Galapagos

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...corporate law isn't the ONLY law career out there: there are so many different, more rewarding things you could do like family law; criminal law; workers comp; you could work in Canberra, drafting legislation or advising parliament; prosecuting; and even judiciary, just to name a few...just mentioning this as it seems you are fixated on top tier law firm work, like no other legal careers exist :p
 

Safraaz

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...corporate law isn't the ONLY law career out there: there are so many different, more rewarding things you could do like family law; criminal law; workers comp; you could work in Canberra, drafting legislation or advising parliament; prosecuting; and even judiciary, just to name a few...just mentioning this as it seems you are fixated on top tier law firm work, like no other legal careers exist :p
True, I agree. At the moment, I'm not looking forward to litigation work as I feel I won't be able to handle the pressures of a courthouse setting! Perhaps my aptitude will change after trying Law, but I think I'll avoid any courthouse proceedings as a future lawyer. Hence why I'm interested in corporate law! What other branches of law doesn't involve any litigation work/courthouse presenting? From my research, I gather that most transactional attorney generals don't, and some solicitors never actually appear in court (they just do all the paperwork/research for barristers who represent their clients!). Law is something new to me, and I have no idea what I'm getting myself into! lol
 

wannaspoon

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I guarantee 99% of the cases you get will be settled out of court... those that are not, you will be briefing a barrister (you'll be briefing a barrister for a shit load of them regardless)... you will probably never even utter a word in court throughout your whole legal career (unless you make it to be a barrister or make it to being a silk) if you choose to go into the field of litigation...

the same goes for working with corporations... In criminal law, the only thing you will probably doing is bail applications in court, maybe a few other very simple tasks that take about two minutes in front of a magistrate (eg: adjournments, because you couldn't be bothered briefing a barrister :haha:)...

The whole concept of doing law in university is not to teach you the law (that is something you learn over time and with many years under your belt)... What they are trying to do, is merely teach you the foundational things you will need to know (to not get sued) and prepare you to be able to "walk the walk," so to speak... The whole goal behind studying law, is to get you to understand: how to research, how to put forward a coherent argument, manage your time, be confident in your abilities, etc...

get prepared to have your family and friends expecting you to be the suppository of all legal wisdom... in the event where somebody, anybody asks for legal advice... I stress, do not, in fact, I repeat, do not offer any advice what so ever... You can get in a whole world of shit from the Legal Services Board (that's what they are called in Victoria)... You can lose your privilege to practice!!!

another thing, plagiarism and collusion is very frowned upon in the legal profession... If you are caught cheating or attempting to cheat while studying law; you may also lose your entitlement to practice as a solicitor/barrister...
 
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Safraaz

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I guarantee 99% of the cases you get will be settled out of court... those that are not, you will be briefing a barrister... you will probably never even utter a word in court throughout your whole legal career (unless you make it to be a barrister or make it to being a silk) if you choose to go into the field of litigation...

the same goes for working with corporations...

The whole concept of doing law in university is not to teach you the law (that is something you learn over time and with many years under your belt)... What they are trying to do, is merely teach you the foundational things you will need to know (to not get sued) and prepare you to be able to "walk the walk," so to speak... The whole goal behind studying law, is to get you to understand: how to research, how to put forward a coherent argument, manage your time, be confident in your abilities, etc...
Wow, I hope this is true!
Thanks heaps for your replies, it means a lot man :)
 

RishBonjour

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Safraaz,

To be quite frank, I think it's best not to look too far ahead. Most people on bos aren't experienced enough to comment on career progressions (although they give good insights).
The best that could be done now - is to focus on the present: Smash umat + Maintain GPA (I believe you can do both!). Don't worry about career paths too much (I admit it overwhelmed me just before UAC preferences - was thinking of engineering/comm as well because of maffs, but decided on comm/law).

Once university starts, you won't look back.
Also, many people go into comm/law thinking 'Law isn't my thing, will use it to get into IB/MBB/beat straight comm kids [not true] etc' but after a year or so, many actually think about a legal profession - which suggests to me it really isn't that bad.

Most 'reputable' professions require hard work - they aren't in demand because they are easy.
 

Galapagos

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True, I agree. At the moment, I'm not looking forward to litigation work as I feel I won't be able to handle the pressures of a courthouse setting! Perhaps my aptitude will change after trying Law, but I think I'll avoid any courthouse proceedings as a future lawyer. Hence why I'm interested in corporate law! What other branches of law doesn't involve any litigation work/courthouse presenting? From my research, I gather that most transactional attorney generals don't, and some solicitors never actually appear in court (they just do all the paperwork/research for barristers who represent their clients!). Law is something new to me, and I have no idea what I'm getting myself into! lol
I was recently personally involved in a workers comp case (the case is now sealed and closed so I can't give specific details). The solicitor briefed his chosen barrister, and they worked together for the last part (read: last 2 years) when it looked like things were heading to court; the barrister did all court-related stuff, the solicitor did everything else.

On a side note: no body likes court*. Usually you've spent years just getting to the point when you can go to court, and then as soon as your case is brought forward, your legal fees go up tremendously, your stress levels will go through the roof (judges and such can be very temperamental - the barrister said that it really depended on which way the wind was blowing as to how the judge would respond!), and the process is painfully slow. I believe this applies to all parties involved, except perhaps the judge :p

*Well, maybe a select masochistic few.
 

Spiritual Bean

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The industry is far from dead, and mostly, when you wanna make good money, you have to think outside of the box. Not every law graduate is working a billion hours. Some work pretty comfortable hours and make significantly more than those overworked lawyers in top tier firms.
 

Spiritual Bean

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...corporate law isn't the ONLY law career out there: there are so many different, more rewarding things you could do like family law; criminal law; workers comp; you could work in Canberra, drafting legislation or advising parliament; prosecuting; and even judiciary, just to name a few...just mentioning this as it seems you are fixated on top tier law firm work, like no other legal careers exist :p
because they're indoctrinated into thinking top tier firm = eventual success

oh dw brah I'll just b partner one day and rack in the big bucks
 

crazy_paki123

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LGHS actually got some pretty good results this year. We had a few girls get the 90s. I think our highest was 99.1, which for the area is pretty damn good. HAHHAHA. I'm pretty sure she got a scholarship for UNSW.
what do u mean from the area? is this solely Livo boys and girls or other schools too?
 

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