Monday, July 26, 2010

The Salary Reality

Today B sent me this from Instapundit:

"LAW SCHOOL GRADUATES face a bimodal salary curve. We used to call this a “brassiere curve” back when i was in college, but that’s probably politically incorrect now. But you’ve got two humps — a lower one, where the salaries for most law school graduates cluster, and a much higher one, centered around what those who go to big firms make. The important thing, in calculating the risk/return ratio of time and money on law school, is figuring out which of the two you’re likely to end up in.

As Above The Law’s Elie Mystal notes, “A lot of wanna-be lawyers claim that they don’t even want to make $160K. Fine. But understand the curve. If you don’t make $160K, it’s not likely that you’ll make just a little bit less — say, $120K. It’s not likely that you’ll make the average; it’s not even likely that you’ll make the median. If you don’t win the $160K lottery, chances are you’ll be clumped into the left-hand side of the curve, earning somewhere between $30,000 and $60,000 a year. That’s the kind of pay that a lot of people can get without three years of post-graduate education and six figures of debt.”"

He then asked, "why didn't anyone tell me this before law school?" Ha. I think that's exactly the kind of information the law schools don't want you to know. And we didn't really even know anyone who was a practicing attorney that we could ask these kinds of questions of and hear what real life attorney life is like. We were pretty clueless four years ago when we started this venture, but we did know that B had a desire to pursue law and God was opening doors so that we could move forward. Maybe we should have done a bit more "research" (doesn't everyone research everything on the internet?).

It's a bit like this new venture. I don't know anything (really) about this job with the Attorney General. I don't know what to expect. But, again, I'm trusting that the Lord will take care of us through my husband and that He has been preparing the way and will guide us faithfully. Just as B needed to walk through the doors that were connected with his dream of being involved in government law, he now has new paths opened to him. We keep walking (and I have to trust a lot because I don't have time for much "research" these days).

Our house is officially on the market and we are starting to pack boxes. If the house sells and we can close by the end of August, we'll move with B. That's incredibly quick! If that crazy scenario doesn't play out, I will stay in Lynchburg with the kids until the house does sell. There are SO many houses on the market right now. We know many people who have had houses on the market for a year or more. That is definitely not what I want to think about. I know that the Lord is good, regardless. And He has been gracious with us as we are learning. Because of all we have lived through in the past four years, we are absolutely committed not to incur further debt and we value our family relationships as infinitely precious. Maybe the salary isn't what we hoped. Maybe this journey is going to involve more moves. Maybe we'll keep downsizing. Maybe we'll be separated.

When there is so much we don't know, I'm glad that we serve a God who isn't pulsed by a bimodal salary curve. He graciously continues His care for our family. We praise Him!

1 comment:

Richard said...


You've a superb blog. At this point the market has started to appear up and folks are starting up to get jobs. Yet, most of them are baffled whether they are obtaining the correct salary. They might validate this by examining their salaries through on-line tools. One such web page to compare salary mechanical engineers and other professionals is