Paul L. Caron

Friday, January 10, 2020

WSJ: Making It As A Young Lawyer In Boston On $50,000/Year

Wall Street Journal, Starting Out: Boston on $50K a Year:

FalveyHow far does a $50K salary go when you’re starting out? ... Here is the story of Catherine Falvey ...
Salary: $52,000
Occupation: Research director for the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy, Massachusetts House of Representatives

Where do you live? How much do you pay for rent?
I live in a two-bedroom apartment in South Boston, colloquially known as Southie. I always wanted to come back to Boston after going to college [at Elon University in North Carolina], having grown up around the city. I came back in 2015 to go to Suffolk University Law School.

My parents own an apartment here, so my roommate and I contribute half of the mortgage each month. We pay about $500 each, which is incredibly low compared to rent in the area. I have friends who each pay $1,400 in a $2,800 two-bedroom apartment, and pay $3,600 for a three-bedroom. Living in a property my parents own is the only way I can afford where I live. ...

strong>Did you find it difficult to find a job after law school?
My first job after law school was at a small real-estate law firm. It wasn’t my first choice and it wasn’t the area of law I was interested in, but I took it because I was afraid of not having an income. I worked there for 11 months before I got my current job in cannabis law.

I didn’t expect to make six figures right off the bat, but I thought that [my law degree] would bump my pay grade up a little bit, to maybe $60,000 or $70,000. The idea that a law-school grad is immediately going to have a massively successful job is unrealistic, at least in this city. ...

Do you have student loans?
>I am lucky enough not to have student loans. I got a scholarship for law school, which paid for about half of my total tuition. My parents paid my tuition for undergrad and the rest of my law school tuition.

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Geese, a lot of 8aters here, who apparently didn't read the underlying story.
She's not whining, she seems very grateful for the help her parents have provided. "They’ve already given me so much already."
Also, for commentators with fat expense accounts: note $1,000 bar exam fee, another $1,000 for bar dues.
Finally: $3500 insurance on a hand-me-down car? I think she'd be better off using Uber.

Posted by: tuphat | Jan 12, 2020 3:56:49 PM

The Democrats priced us into a closet and all we got was this spoiled apparatchik :(

Posted by: Anand Desai | Jan 11, 2020 6:33:30 PM

She could have gone to welding school right out of high school and started a job making almost that same amount of money. And by now, she'd have 7 years of experience under her belt, 7 years of personal savings and parents with tens of thousands of dollars that they didn't spend on college degrees but could now give her for a down payment on a house.

Posted by: Anna D | Jan 11, 2020 12:28:51 PM

Much criticism here, at least somewhat deserved: the young lady is definitely privileged, a winner in the birth lottery. A question, however: aren't there people by the tens of thousands who think they made it on their own, equally oblivious to the head starts they got?

Posted by: Gerald Scorse | Jan 11, 2020 12:15:12 PM

Oh, for God's sake, she went to Suffolk Law, a Beacon Hill night school. No one expects a Suffolk degree to do much more than get you a grade pay bump if you work for the state and damn little else if you work anywhere else. And, hey, look, she works for the state.

Posted by: Vern Simms | Jan 11, 2020 9:18:26 AM

50K goes a lot further when Mum and Dad pay all your bills

Posted by: Bandit | Jan 11, 2020 8:23:47 AM

Whine, Whine, Whine! For God's Sake, why should we pity someone who is making TWICE what many beginning workers make?
The waitress who serves her lunch.
The cleaners who handle her building.
The clerks in her law practice.
MOST of them without any sort of benefits.

Suck it up, buttercup. You're incredibly privileged, and yet you whine "It's so HARD to make it on what I make!"

Posted by: Linda Fox | Jan 11, 2020 7:16:06 AM

Helps to have parents with money, I guess, and who don't mind spending it on their grown daughter. Many people don't have that luxury.

Posted by: Esteban | Jan 11, 2020 7:13:54 AM

What this all means is that without financial assistance living on $50k there in impossible.

Posted by: matt Taylor | Jan 11, 2020 5:24:55 AM

So... lives in a family-owned income property and has no student loans. That's how it's possible. Remember kids, try your very best to be born into favorable circumstances!

"The idea that a law-school grad is immediately going to have a massively successful job is unrealistic, at least in this city."

As about 1 in 3 households in the city of Boston possess at least one advanced degree, this is true: merely having a law degree doesn't really mean anything, make you special or unique, or afford much (if any) of a salary premium.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jan 10, 2020 11:02:42 AM

$50,000? You’re not a lawyer. You’re just a paralegal with a J.D.

Posted by: Anon | Jan 10, 2020 4:40:32 AM