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KingLouis

Are You Happy With Your Income?

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I like nice things too. I wish everybody could have nice things. But all things being equal, I would rather my family get nice things before other people. And I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting more for you and yours.

But as a fun for instance, I'm a junior associate at a decent firm outside the GTA and I have a house, a car (albeit a pretty shitty one), am the sole breadwinner, and my wife and I are seriously considering buying a (modest) boat a couple years from now all while chipping away at student debt. I feel like for a dude in my twenties I'm pretty much set and I don't see how the things @shawniebear wants are in any way unattainable for most lawyers today, particularly those some years into practice. 

I mean, if living in Toronto is preventing you from having the life you want then...I don't know maybe move? Moving for better opportunities is pretty much the whole history of this country.

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14 minutes ago, setto said:

I’m wondering if it’s even possible to start a conversation around here without the same group of people bringing up privilege. I used to come to this board and enjoy the information and discussion. Maybe I need a break because it turns out every thread I’m interested in devolves into a discussion of privilege. 

What part of this topic were you interested in discussing? Because if it was the original topic, that one hasn't resulted in a discussion of privilege partly because @KingLouis seems self-aware enough to realize that having the chance to pursue a meaningful career while making buckets of money and helping people is a form of privilege. 

If you want to make a post whining about how having more than the vast majority of people isn't enough, then yeah, you'll probably get called out. And honestly, you probably should. 

 

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Discussions around privilege are refreshing from my point of view. Its great to be able to keep things in perspective. Otherwise these discussions generally feel really off-putting. 

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2 hours ago, shawniebear said:

After reading all these comments I am amazed at what you people consider privileged.

By definition, privilege is relative in that you have what others don't, hence all of the comments about the median income. But I get where you're coming from, and from the law student's perspective, tuition costs have risen so much that it's increasingly difficult to maintain reasonable expectations. I also don't think median income is a fair measure given that lawyers are more educated than most; doctors, accountants, and other professionals generally do not compare themselves to the median income.

Edited by Trew
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I am happy with my income. I think the secret is being happy with one’s fixed expenses. So long as you keep those under control and have more to play around with, it’s hard not to be happy. I have a friend who makes 50x what I do, talking 8 figures, and he’s not happy with his income. 

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1 hour ago, setto said:

I’m wondering if it’s even possible to start a conversation around here without the same group of people bringing up privilege. I used to come to this board and enjoy the information and discussion. Maybe I need a break because it turns out every thread I’m interested in devolves into a discussion of privilege. 

Over time you just realize that lawyers are like they are stereotyped: largely white, from wealthy families, etc. 

I'm on this forum alot rn as I'm done school and just waiting for 1L but I actively avoid any forums about money or politics or other off-topic discussion.

Not because of the users. Most of them are great, even surprisingly so. But it's the few people that have little perspective that come in these topics and derails them to no avail. 

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20 minutes ago, Trew said:

doctors, accountants, and other professionals generally do not compare themselves to the median income.

They may not do it often, but it's important to do it once in a while to maintain some perspective.

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Just a few observations from reading this thread:

I'm a little surprised that privilege keeps coming up and it sometimes comes across as some posters feel that you should feel ashamed of being privileged.  Ultimately every one of us on these forums has some sort of privilege compared to others in that we all have post secondary education and just by virtue of posting on this website, we all have either a computer or smartphone. 

So why do we keep arguing over privilege?  I think it's absolutely important to remember that there are many people who are in much worse situations than we are, but it shouldn't stop you from wanting the best for yourself nor should you feel ashamed of it.  Maybe @shawniebear's tone pissed some people off (and I do find it hard to defend him while his display picture is the Leafs logo) but I don't think there's anything wrong in setting goals for yourself and not being happy with 75k a year even though tons of people would be.  

Money seems to be another sensitive topic that many on these forums skirt around and while it's certainly not everything, I'd wager most of us wouldn't have spent 7 years in university and incurred a potential 6 figure debt if we were told that as a lawyer we'd only ever make 40 thousand a year or whatever the median income is these days.  There's nothing wrong with that.

Understand that there will always be people less privileged than you, but go ahead and swing for the fences and try to be as successful as you can be.  

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There's nothing wrong with swinging for the fences. Just don't be a **** about it and say a much higher than median sole income is "nothing". Tone is what this all arose from. I'm happy it did because I think the thread is valuable for that.

Edited by pzabbythesecond
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People need to get over this obsession with “privilege.” Just by default for living in Canada, one of the richest countries in the world which upholds a high standard of basic human and democratic rights and has an abundance of natural resources such as fresh water, makes us more privileged than 90% of the world. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use any and all of the means at our disposal to be financially successful. 

 

In case you missed it, the communist project failed. We live in a capitalist society, which is based on the priciples of supply and demand and free and fair competition. Have a friend who makes more money than you? That’s awesome good for them. Don’t dwell on what you don’t have, ask yourself how you can do better. Start a second business, save for investments, keep your eye out for a new job, and move on. 

Life isn’t “fair.” That’s a childish ambition. It’s a tough world and I’m not saying you have to be a dick to survive, but certainly dwelling on why “it’s not fair that I’m not Making x” isn’t going to take you anywhere. Sit down, make a plan, see what options are available and make a strategy and move on. 

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I'm a 1L and this virtue signalling nonsense has so far been the biggest source of annoyance in law school. In "undergrad" (yes, I know law school is also technically undergrad) there was none of this nonsense. Every time I try to start a conversation with my peers in school about future plans I'm immediately faced with platitudes and cliches. Yes, I know, money isn't everything. I've already been told that by your other clone. The group-think is unreal. 

And on this forum it's the same. The average Canadian making an average salary has nothing to do with what @shawniebear is saying. People in Vancouver and Toronto struggle, we all know that. Just because others are struggling it doesn't mean we should aspire to struggle as well!!! 

If this group think was at least somewhat sincere I wouldn't mind it, but it's all virtue signalling. Completely fake. 

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1 hour ago, Abii said:

I'm a 1L and this virtue signalling nonsense has so far been the biggest source of annoyance in law school. In "undergrad" (yes, I know law school is also technically undergrad) there was none of this nonsense. Every time I try to start a conversation with my peers in school about future plans I'm immediately faced with platitudes and cliches. Yes, I know, money isn't everything. I've already been told that by your other clone. The group-think is unreal. 

And on this forum it's the same. The average Canadian making an average salary has nothing to do with what @shawniebear is saying. People in Vancouver and Toronto struggle, we all know that. Just because others are struggling it doesn't mean we should aspire to struggle as well!!! 

If this group think was at least somewhat sincere I wouldn't mind it, but it's all virtue signalling. Completely fake. 

And has this Holden Caulfield approach to other people and their opinions been serving you well? 

Law school was dominated by the elite for a very long time, and to a certain extent still is. There's nothing wrong with people starting to realize (and, gasp, even openly stating) that a career in law doesn't have to be all about prestige and cash. It's all a valid part of the discussion around whether people are happy with their income and financial position, which is what this thread started out as being about. 

Edited by ericontario
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Just now, ericontario said:

And has this Holden Caulfield approach to other people and their opinions been serving you well? 

Law school was dominated by the elite for a very long time, and to a certain extent still is. There's nothing wrong with people starting to realize (and, gasp, even openly stating) that a career in law doesn't have to be all about prestige and cash. It's all a valid part of the discussion around whether people are happy with their income and financial position, which is what this thread started out as being about. 

No idea who that is. As far as the rest of your post goes, I don't care. If you care about saving the world, that's very good. Good on you. Why do I have to hear about it every 5 minutes? Your first sentence is proof that this is all fake group-think. Your immediate response is to attack and say how is this serving you (i.e. you better get in line if you want to survive in this thing of ours). 

 

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22 minutes ago, Abii said:

No idea who that is. As far as the rest of your post goes, I don't care. If you care about saving the world, that's very good. Good on you. Why do I have to hear about it every 5 minutes? Your first sentence is proof that this is all fake group-think. Your immediate response is to attack and say how is this serving you (i.e. you better get in line if you want to survive in this thing of ours). 

 

Had to google who that was too. He’s a character from The Catcher in the Rye. That book we were also forced to read in high school many moons ago. A more modern reference probably would have driven that person’s point home better. 

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If you don't know who Holden Caufield is, I think you're a phony. 

Also, pick up a damn book people. 

[I could address the substance of these posts, but I think I'm going to sit here and laugh at the idea that I, of all people, am being accused of virtue signaling.]

Edited by BlockedQuebecois
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30 minutes ago, Abii said:

No idea who that is. As far as the rest of your post goes, I don't care. If you care about saving the world, that's very good. Good on you. Why do I have to hear about it every 5 minutes? Your first sentence is proof that this is all fake group-think. Your immediate response is to attack and say how is this serving you (i.e. you better get in line if you want to survive in this thing of ours). 

 

Oh for God's sake. Bullshit. Bull-fucking-shit. And Holden Caulfield is the protagonist from Catcher in the Rye, not some kind of secret socialist signal-point. There's nothing wrong with an intelligent reference now and again to remind us that the law relies upon intelligence and breadth of knowledge as well as ambition and greed to drive it.

There are complaints all the time about the culture in law school, and they come from all sides. Certainly there are plenty of students who are turned off by an excessive focus on "business law" as the only path into legal practice that's ever really discussed. I was one of those students. And it isn't because I hate money. It's just because I wanted to do something else. If you think my entire life is a monument to virtue-signaling that I've deployed only to bother you, I suppose you're free to hold that view. But truly. I don't care about you that much.

The only people I hear complaining that their ambitions to wealth, power, and even more privilege than they started with are not appropriately validated in legal culture - those people want a "greed is good" philosophy and nothing less will do for them. And it's almost always students, not lawyers, who have this ridiculous need. Lawyers with at least some exposure to the real world learn nuance. Even the ones I still disagree with deploy more reasonable arguments. It's only the students who seem to want to hear "we all know that law school is to make the most money possible, and nothing else, and anyone who pretends otherwise is lying to make you feel uncomfortable."

There IS more to life than money. If it bothers you to hear that, I'm sorry. Hearing what you believe in doesn't make me angry or uncomfortable. It just makes me sad. If it bothers you to hear what I believe in, that's something to consider in that quiet time, which could honestly be improved by picking up a book now and again.

Law school is a confusing time for many people. Despite the fact that everyone comes into law school in their early-mid 20s, and some much later than that, we're all still at a formative stage and trying to figure out what we're doing with our lives. I understand that it can be frustrating if the ideas you came in with aren't what you're hearing about in the hallways and the classrooms. It can even be terrifying. You've taken this huge and expensive leap into the unknown, and anything that makes you wonder if you make the right decision or not ... that's huge.

The way to deal with this, however, is to learn more and to at least be open to the discussion. Not to have your mind changed, necessarily (though openness needs to include that possibility) but just so you understand what's out there. Legal culture is complex and multi-layered. And it's absolutely true that nearly everyone has strong opinions. Do you want to understand the profession you're joining and the other people in it? I know I want to understand it, and I'm still learning more about it, years later.

Dismissing people who say things that bother you as being fake and insincere is a cheap way to avoid even grappling with what they are saying. And it exposes more about you than it does about them, that even people holding an opinion you disagree with somehow threatens you so much that you need to believe the opinion itself isn't real. Why? I'm sorry for the pop psychology, but that's just extreme.

Learn more about legal culture and make an informed decision, either way. But 1L isn't a time for anyone to be sure they know everything and to tell off everyone who disagrees with them. It's a time to learn.

Edited by Diplock
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Ambition and humility are not mutually exclusive.

Even just a little humility would have prevented some of the more asinine statements in this thread from ever having been typed.

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haha look at this fake melodrama. Keep patting yourselves on the back for being such good humans. 

 

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This thread confirms to me what I already believed. Everyone should be required to work food service jobs or retail at least once in their life. 

Jesus Christ. I mean, I don't have cheap interests at all (I ski, I golf, I love watches). And I'm pretty sure on 75k a year I could manage to fulfill all those things. 

I had a realization a few months ago, that after tuition/books/rent/groceries/etc. My cost of living in lawschool has ended up at about 33k a year. I live in a nice apartment, eat and drink pretty much whatever I want, I don't sweat buying stuff I want very often. Sure, there are certain things I want and can't afford right now, but expecting that to not be the case would be insane at this stage in my life. I'm pretty happy on a very small cost basis. 

If you're smart with your money, invest early and often, etc. There's simply no reason you can't live a pretty high quality of life filled with the things you want, especially on 75k. In fact, I know multiple people older than myself who have done just that.

Edited by whoknows
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