Author Topic: Case Study - Weird career oh high salary for first 5 years  (Read 12044 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Case Study - Weird career oh high salary for first 5 years
« Reply #50 on: October 12, 2021, 12:17:27 PM »


Sounds like itís going to plan.  Hereís my big note: if you arenít making hours, then your firm or department is a disaster area, you arenít trying, or your superiors think your work sucks.  Let me suggest this, hound partners and more senior attorneys for more work. Let it be known to your colleagues youíd love to do more. That bonus is a huge loss in your annual income and you shouldnít ever accept a year where you donít get it when youíre deliberately grinding in the dumpster fire that is legal practice in New York.

It was actually the first one - practice group was a bit of a disaster. Thankfully I lateralled immediately after this post and received what would've been the missed bonus as a sign-on.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Case Study - Weird career oh high salary for first 5 years
« Reply #51 on: October 12, 2021, 12:24:06 PM »
Just about a year from this last update and it was fun to see the progress, so I thought I'd do another one.

We had our wedding and it was a great day. Also got a puppy which has been very fun for us. NW is up to about $725k largely due to housing appreciation, several large bonuses at work, and this bull market run. Invested assets is only about $400k of that (rest is home equity and cash). I have been at my new job for over a year now and it's been great - similar environment so still a lot of work, but nice people and a much more stable work flow. Could definitely see myself doing a few more years here unless one of these federal job applications manages to stick. Monthly spending has been pretty stable, maybe a hair higher now that going out for food and drinks is a bit more common than during the earlier portions of the pandemic.

Thought it would be fun to provide an update. Seems like things are generally on track for this plan I made 2+ years ago, which is fun to see.

I'm engaged (would be married but we pushed the wedding to 2021 bc of covid).

NW is about $350k when you include the equity in the house we bought on Long Island.

Still at the same biglaw firm, although I will almost certainly miss my bonus this year because of low hours. Applied to a federal gov job, but I don;t have particularly high hopes.

Been working from home since March, so I'm yet to do the commute, which should be about 1:10 each way via train and e-scooter.

Monthly spending is a bit higher with a mortgage, higher utilities, necessary car, etc. but not all that much due to reduced spending going out and cheaper food/drinks than the city. I'm typically at about $4k/mo now (6k total split 2/3 with fiance). Salary is at 220k, fiance is at about 67k. 

Hope you all are healthy & wealthy!

Topic Title: Case Study - I'm 25, new lawyer, my career is odd in that I'm starting (before tax) at $195k, which will end up at about $350k by my 5th year (large firm, lockstep pay). I don't see a world in which I can do these hours for more than 5 years, so at that point I'l likely switch to government or in house at likely around $100k until FI/RE or some part-time situation.

My question is if this weird path warrants any significant changes to the normal MMM plan of saving as much as possible and investing in a vanguard fund. Thanks!

Life Situation: IRS filing status - single with a long time SO, probably kids within 5 years, work/live in NYC but hoping to return to Long Island to raise a future family.

Gross Salary/Wages: 195k

Individual amounts of each Pre-tax deductions 401k (have to wait a bit longer bc of my job being new), HSA (still on dad's insurance until the end of 2018 - thanks Obama), IRA (make too much, but I put $15k from summer jobs in college in a Roth before I finished law school)

Taxes: Federal, state/local, and FICA.  These should be consistent with your AGI and Life Situation.  For non-U.S. posters, weíll have to take your word for these. Living in NYC I get about 5500/month taken out in taxes, netting me about $9100/mo

Current expenses (monthly):
Rent - $1490 (but puts me in a 15min commute)
Food - $100
Going out - $700 (restaurants, bars, events, etc)
Travel - $170 (subway metrocard + LIRR visiting family twice a month)
Dry cleaning - $30
Subscriptions - $15
Internet - $15
Utilities - $35
Phone - $65 (my portion of split family plan)
Gifts - $50
Clothes - $25
Other - $200

Total - $2900

Roth IRA - 15k
3-year CD - 15k
2-year CD - 2.5k
Savings Account - 14k
Checking account - 8k

Liabilities: $60k private family loan over 7 years of school (mostly taken care of via scholarships)

Specific Question(s): Should the sort of backwards expected income over 10 years change my plans compared to alot of the typical MMM advice? Thank you!


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Re: Case Study - Weird career oh high salary for first 5 years
« Reply #52 on: October 13, 2021, 02:57:19 AM »
Congrats! How are you liking LI vs. NYC? Are you in Suffolk or Nassau? We're out by the end of the Ronkonkoma LIRR line if you ever wanted to do a mini-MMM meetup.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Case Study - Weird career oh high salary for first 5 years
« Reply #53 on: October 14, 2021, 08:32:10 PM »
$725k in Oct 2021 from 350k in Sept 2021 is amazing progress!  At this point, you have serious options should the biglaw grind start to wear you down.  I've actually found that to be a key part of staying in biglaw longer: it's easier to handle the stress if you know that you could quit tomorrow and be fine.  And with ~$3000 in monthly expenses and a spouse making somewhere around $67k a year, you could indeed.