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Have you ever thought about going to law school and becoming a lawyer?

I think great sales people have what it takes to be great lawyers.


My close friend just graduated from Berkeley law and is starting a job in NYC at 190k salary at 27 years old. They give him a 15k raise every year. I have a lot of respect for him because he grew up low-income with a single mother in Chicago.


I'm 24 and I want to make big money too. I'm the #1 SDR at my company but I only make 75k a year. I'll be promoted soon to an SMB AE and then will be around 100k a year. I just graduated from a top undergrad program and want to earn as much as I can in good faith. A lot of us are in sales for money, but I'm wondering if there may be even better financial upside as a lawyer.


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8
MMMGood
Celebrated Contributor
+10
Senior Account Executive
I've never considered it...however, I always make a point to schedule time occasionally with the General Counsel at my company to brush up on components of our MSA and other legal points that tend to get push back. The more I can address those at the front, the faster the legal negotiations tend to go once you actually start getting legit red-lines that need the Legal Team's input.ย 
RandyMoss
Opinionated
+3
Sales Executive
My younger sister actually just graduated from law school and passed the bar this year! The whole time she was going through classes, exams, internships, etc. she would always tell me and my parents that she thought we could easily do what she was doing. Not to say that it wasn't hard work, but nothing that any of us couldn't do. I have toyed with the idea myself, and you make some very good points yourself! I think there are a lot or parallels between great lawyers and great salesmen. At the end of the day, lawyers have to sell either cases to a jury or their services to potential clients. While it is very intriguing, the idea of quitting a job that consistently pays my bills to go back to being a student, putting myself even further into debt, and making no money is a scary one. And personally for me, the idea of opening a textbook, studying, and taking exams again sounds AWFUL.
However, you are young enough where you can still pivot and make a a career change if you really want to! My only advice to you would be to think long and hard about whether this is something that you are truly passionate about, or is it strictly a monetary decision, because law students spend MANY long nights pouring over notes as a clerk, writing theses and studying for exams with lots of open-ended questions if they want to graduate. And then you have to study for the bar! My sister literally did not have a life while she was studying for the bar, and it took her months to prepare for it. When she was not working, she was studying and she did that 6 days a week.
I am not saying this to try to persuade you either way, I just want to make sure you know what you are getting yourself into if this is something that you are seriously considering.
Good luck no matter what you do! It sounds like you've got a great thing going as a future AE, and I think we can both agree you would more than likely make an excellent lawyer too ;)
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Thank you for your response!ย 

I miss learning, intellectual discourse and being surrounded by bright and motivated students. I would also want to go somewhere with a strong triathlon program because that's something that was very important to me during my time in college.ย 

Not sure what I'll do yet, but I'm definitely asking questions and giving it some thought.ย 
BillyHoyle
Tycoon
+10
Senior Account Executive
I personally feel like the MBA may be the better route.
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
I agree. It's something I am going to look into too.ย 
funcoupons
WR Officer
+11
Kahluapons
I feel like your friend is in the minority of new lawyers...in my experience, the big bucks don't come until you have many years of experience under your belt and have made Partner/go into business for yourself. A lot of new lawyers spend years working 70 hours for 80k...

Sales skills can transfer to lawyer skills, for sure. But I think a lot of people forget that most time spent as a lawyer is not arguing in court...there is a ton of research and paperwork involved. A lot of monotony and "boring" cases as well, most lawyers aren't in high profile, exciting cases you see in the media. A lot of them spend their days writing up wills and estate documents or trying to resolve marital spats.

I've never considered it. Don't want to be a student again, don't want the debt, and practicing law is way more involved than practicing sales. I might make a bit less as a good salesperson than I would as a good lawyer, but that doesn't bother me.ย 
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
I think the salary my friend has is typical of someone coming from a top 10 law school.ย 

His work is probably boring, but so is mine. I get bored having the same conversations over and over again. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think most professional work is boring.ย 

I do feel like being a student again. I like learning new and different things. I like being surrounded by bright and motivated students. I'm going to sit on it, do more research and I will figure it out lol!ย 
funcoupons
WR Officer
+11
Kahluapons
Good luck with whatever direction you choose! If you feel strongly that something could be right for you, you owe it to yourself to explore that option. :)ย 
Show 1 more replies
braintank
Politicker
+6
Enterprise Account Executive
Do you like debt?
NeildeSaaSTyson
Good Citizen
+1
Senior Account Executive (MM)
And time to valueย 
Bittersweet0326
Politicker
+5
Digital Business Associate
I agree, but would look at it the other way. I think most lawyers could be great sales people. A lot of the salespeople I know are good, but could never make it through law school lol.
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Another thing is I would probably enjoy going back to school. I love to learn and I love to be around smart people.ย 
Bittersweet0326
Politicker
+5
Digital Business Associate
Yea I can totally relate.
WCK
Politicker
+8
Padre de Tequila
A friend of mine did this route actually! I think it's fantastic, although the prospect of paying for that is.... daunting, to say the least lol.
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
That's true! There are scholarships and if you're like my friend starting at 190k salary, I think paying your debt back is doable lol.ย 
saygrace
Valued Contributor
+5
Sales Executive
I did. My first career goal was to be a sports agent. But I wouldโ€™ve needed to go to Law School and wasnโ€™t down for that debt.
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Yeah, it's pricy but there's got to be some way to work around it. I got a great education from UC Berkeley and graduated debt-free from a combination of working every semester, scholarships and financial aid. I know undergrad is different from grad school but I have friends that have gone to grad school and have figured out a way to make it work financially.ย 
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
Don't do it. I'm a lawyer. Your friend would work everyday from 9am to 2am, including weekends, until he realizes he hates his life, quit his job and go into sales. If you stick with sales for 3 more years and make smart decisions about where you go, you can make 200kย 
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Can you help me make smart decisions about where to go? :-) @GambitPย 
rsamm
Opinionated
+2
BDR
I'm in sales because I didn't want to go to 7 years of school to make a similar income as someone whose job is to draft negotiating settlements all day.
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Never considered,yet๐Ÿคž
NeildeSaaSTyson
Good Citizen
+1
Senior Account Executive (MM)
@thegrinchย My thoughts formed from 8 years in the workforce as a salesperson...

Really depends on the kind of sale, the company, and ultimately what you like, because if you don't like what you do you won't be successful regardless (IMO).ย ย 

1. Finding a company with a great product and a great culture to support both that product and your sale is important to your success, and will ultimately make you happier.ย ย 

2. Compensation will (or should) come with that success, especially in a high-growth industry like SaaS or one with a very high ASP like Medical Devices or Data Warehousing.ย 

3. Worth consideration is work-life; $190k is great compensation no matter what, but how much does your friend have to work to get there? In sales, more often than not, you can determine your work schedule and reward yourself with time off when you hit your targets (or choose to keep grinding and get ahead).ย  I have a few friends that are high-billing lawyers and they are rarely afforded that privilege, same with friends in Finance.ย ย 

Truthfully, if you find the right mix in sales, you can make quite a bit more than $190k and live largely on your own terms.ย  I'm thirty and I exceeded that by a reasonable margin last year while rarely working more than a 40 hour week.

I think at the end of the day it comes down to what set of those tangibles/intangibles you prefer, and what you like your day-to-day to consist of, you can make a killing either way.ย ย 


Good luck, and congrats on your success as an SDR!ย ย 

JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
Yes! My brother in law and brother are both lawyers and they make so much money. They also have worked 80 hour weeks for 20 years already and never get a break. I'd rather be upper middle class with free time then lower upper class with no life.
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
I wanted to go to law school the summer before I entered undergrad. After syllabus week I realized I had no desire to go to grad school unless someone else was paying for it
Prizrak
Politicker
+6
Disruptor of worlds
I think if you asked any lawyer if it's worth it, they'd tell you no. I have never seen a more unhappy with their profession bunch. 200k seems like a lot now, but trust me, one day you'll look at that, and see what a lawyer has to do to become a lawyer, and what a lawyer has to deal with, and you won't be jealous.

That said, if you really wanna go help corporations skirt the law, and that's your main passion in life, then give er. But if you want money, stick to sales and go start a company using your sales talents.
OrangeOrange
Good Citizen
+1
Account Executive
Here I thought, you ended you to this conclusion after watching suits!

PS. When I was the #1 SDR in my previous company My base was 6.4K + 2.4k OTE.
Feds_Watchin
Politicker
+4
Account Executive
I was always planning on it until one too many successful lawyers told me not to do it. There are more law students that graduate each year than there are practicing attorneys in the US. Think about that for a sec
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Yeah but if we were lawyers, we wouldn't be some bum lawyers. We'd be top of classย 
Feds_Watchin
Politicker
+4
Account Executive
The bottom of most law classes usually make the most loot.
funsales22
Politicker
+4
SDR
Would love to have had a career in law however, I do not have the best memory so therefor do not think a career in law would be a good fit
thegrinch
Politicker
+5
SDR
Lol no limiting beliefs! I'm sure your memory is 2x better than mine
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