March 05, 2004


When I was in medical school, it seemed that the big choices students had to make were rarely made on the basis of money. More than that, it seemed as though money wasn't a front-and-center issue. The big decisions about which specialty to go into depended upon time commitment and upon enthusiasm for the job.

In law school, things sometimes seem different. Decisions that students make about where to work seem quite frequently to be made on the basis of money. Sure, the other considerations of quality-of-life and enthusiasm for the work are also huge, but compared with the decision-making in medical school, money seems to be a bigger factor.

Perhaps one reason is the dramatic discrepancies in pay between entry-level legal jobs. Take summer jobs, for example. The difference between "volunteer" positions (which often equate to 'pay-to-play' positions because the student is not even compensated for room and board) and paid jobs at law firms is HUGE. You can make $1700 every week as a 1L at a firm. Or, you can pay for an apartment somewhere and work for free. The work you do as a 1L summer will probably not be that different in terms of its nature or of its quantity.

What follows? I'm sure something does, but I've got to run along to class now. Maybe more will follow...

Posted by Carey at March 5, 2004 09:57 AM


I agree completely.

But you already know that, as we've already had this conversation.

Posted by: Heidi at March 5, 2004 11:46 AM

Happy Birthday

Posted by: Dante at March 6, 2004 01:04 PM

If you're only making $1700 per week at your summer job, you're getting robbed.

Posted by: TJ Cloutier at March 6, 2004 09:41 PM

stupid spam. anyway, love the post. all of my friends from med school are wrapping up third year and tentatively deciding on what specialty to apply. they are all struggling with the decision of a really fulfilling career that takes all of their free time versus a good career that gives them personal time with friends and family.

it is interesting because it rare that i hear anyone make the decision based on money. which is strange considering med students graduate with the highest debt load (not surprising considering it is an additional year compared with law school). if you are interested there is a great article in jama detailing the shift in med students deicison making with regards to specialty. it is all about lifestyle. i will try and find it, but you could always do a pubmed search. i beleive it was from last spetemeber sometime, they did a theme issue on medical education.

Posted by: japhy at May 14, 2004 10:53 AM