My Guest Post on The Biglaw Investor Is Up!
This week, Josh over at The Biglaw Investor published a guest post of mine all about surviving a Biglaw deferral. I’ve been a big fan of Josh’s blog for a long time now, so I’m super psyched to have gotten to contribute a little bit to his site!
Many law firms have recently delayed the start dates of their incoming associate classes. Scheduled to start in the fall, many associates now find themselves starting this winter instead. In my post, “How to Survive a Biglaw Deferral”, I wrote about just that – what steps (mostly financial-related) new associates starting Biglaw jobs (or law students planning to start in Biglaw next year) can take to survive their deferral months.
As someone who was deferred for a year from my Biglaw job in 2009, I mostly wanted to give some hope to these classes affected by this year’s deferrals. While I know the situation with COVID is very different from the deferral I experienced in 2009 as a result of the economic crisis, I do think there are some similarities between the two situations. Not too sound too naïve, but from my experience (and that of my classmates), it’s all going to be ok. Biglaw will be around and they’re going to need associates just like they always have – it just might take a little bit of time before they want you all back.
The Biglaw Investor: My Favorite Posts
Now that I’ve mentioned The Biglaw Investor, it got me thinking about some of my favorite posts of his that I wanted to share on the blog. It’s hard to recommend just a couple, but I’ve tried to find my favorites, based on the topics that I’m most interested in (and what I would think you, if you’re reading this blog, are most interested in, too).
Whether you start with these posts or not, definitely check out the site. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s definitely a resource I wish had been around when I was a junior associate, trying to figure out what to do with my Biglaw income and big student loan debt!
1. General Finance Posts
These posts have tons of great financial advice, and they are chock full of information for everyone, not just Biglaw lawyers.
Don’t leave your cash (especially your Biglaw bonuses!) sitting in your checking account, collecting zero interest, like I did for years. Oops.
While I know that financial advisors can be helpful, I tend toward thinking people should run from them, always (in fact, the one time I didn’t run from one, and had someone help me with my 401(k) rollover, I regretted it). This post offers some more nuanced advice than that, though.
Lots of great recommendations here, from investment advice, to money mindset, to everything in between.
2. Tips for Junior Associates
I’ll say it again – I wish I had a resource like The Biglaw Investor when I was a junior associate. These are the top posts I would start with if I were beginning my Biglaw career all over again.
Start here! It’s never too early for those in law school (or even those thinking about law school) to get a handle on their finances.
If you have no idea where to start with a budget of your own, this is a great break-down of what a very reasonable first-year associate budget could be. Start here and tailor it to your own financial situation.
The little things definitely add up, and when you make a Biglaw salary, sometimes smaller reimbursable expenses get tossed to the side. Don’t make that mistake – every dollar counts! It’s just wasteful not to take advantage of all the things Biglaw has to offer, including reimbursements.
3. Choosing Another Path
When I was thinking about leaving Biglaw, I read everything I could about people who had left the law to pursue something else. If you can’t get enough of these stories, here is some practical advice about what else is out there that you can do with a law degree.
So many lawyers start Biglaw with the idea that they’ll stay at the job for a couple of years, pay off their student loans, and then leave. That’s a great idea in theory, but it doesn’t always work out if you don’t have a plan in place, which is where this post comes in.
I’ll let The Biglaw Investor’s own words speak for themselves for this one: “We all have dreams and goals we want to accomplish outside of the office. Don’t let the potential of future happiness spoil your ability to find happiness today.” (p.s. – I wrote about the Mexican fisherman parable, too, you can check it out here.)
If anyone hasn’t heard of The Biglaw Investor yet, I’m glad I got to share this valuable resource with you! Hopefully, some of his posts will resonate with you and get you on track to make the most of your Biglaw salaries. And for those of you who are starting out your Biglaw careers with a deferral, feel free to reach out with any questions! I’m always happy to chat with law students and junior associates, especially during such a confusing time for so many.