Name Your Price

  • Law

On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver offered Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a $1 million a year until either one dies (and a one time $2.4 million motor coach) if Thomas will resign from the Court. It got us thinking, what would it take you to walk away from the law right now? Would you do it for far less than $1 million a year? If you had such an offer, what would you do to pass your newly acquired free time?

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Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 10:35 am

Considering I make less than $1 mil a year, yes, I would agree to no longer work in law for less than a milly a year. $150k a year and I’m gone. Figure I can get another gig doing something else and enjoy more time in the gym and on the golf course.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 10:41 am
Reply to  Anonymous

I would do it. But my number is $350k/yr. My lump sum would be $3.0M.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 11:35 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Would love to know what area you are practicing in. You are either pretty successful or pretty happy for $350K a year to be your number, which doesn’t make sense if your lump is only $3M, unless you are close to death or have an amazing investment opportunity. Please share if the latter.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 11:58 am
Reply to  Anonymous

I have had a solid run of 25 years and I am a general practice solo and I made about about $425k last year, which is typical. . .

60% commercial Lit
20% BK (both sides)
10% PI
10% family law

I have loved it and hated it. I would take my first check and do what I should’ve done in the first place . . . get my MBA (that is to say I should’ve done a joint JD/MBA) and then turn it loose for the last few years that I want to work. Nobody said I would have to retire from anything but the daily practice of law.

anonymous
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anonymous
February 21, 2024 11:48 am
Reply to  Anonymous

$500k up front and $150k per year, indexed to inflation.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 10:38 am

$5M lump sum and I would walk away.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 10:43 am

$50k/year. Would make up most of the difference in lowered therapy bills alone.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 10:45 am

$1.5 M. Pays off the mortgage. Gives money and time sufficient to train oneself for the next phase in life pretty easily.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 11:12 am

I’d leave this profession in a heartbeat. A law degree isn’t as flexible as we were told when we applied to law school. No one wants to hire me with a degree that’s higher than theirs. I’d be more employable with a bachelors alone.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 11:46 am
Reply to  Anonymous

This is an excellent point. One of the things that I often tell young people inquiring as to whether they should go to law school. This is not a degree that helps get into other fields and in fact can be considered a hindrance. Law Schools criminally oversell the versatility of the degree. I recommend to go work at a law firm or intern at an agency to learn what being a lawyer is about prior to going to school and thinking you have a panoply of job options.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 12:00 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Except the fact that 50% of law school grads never practice law.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 12:17 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

I would suspect that a large amount is because they don’t like practicing law and just take it on the chin with having this useless degree. I would wager a large amount of this 50% aren’t in a field or job they needed that degree in. I could certainly be wrong, but i remember law schools really selling the flexibility of the degree that i just don’t see.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 12:19 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

12:17 is correct. Especially for those who graduated during and immediately after the Great Recession.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 12:33 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Tuition for my law school is now $60k a year so you would start your career over $200k in the hole. Not certain it is worth it.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 2:03 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

The high cost of law school and legal training is going to turn the profession over to paralegals and sites that fill out forms. It is like you don’t get to see a doctor anymore (MD or DO) but PA or if you are lucky a nurse practitioner. Getting a lawyer will only be a luxury for corporations, government and people of means. Of course now with this new fangled bar exam on the horizon, maybe you won’t even need a law degree to get a law license.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 11:47 am

Who are you, and what have you done with the real Law Dawg?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 11:53 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Who is the real law dawg?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 12:55 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Only the Shadow knows

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
February 21, 2024 11:51 am

I agree with hating the practice. I could do without having to constantly fight everyone from clients to opposing counsel. Thank God for whatever transactional work I can get my hands on. The $1 Million per year would be welcome.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 12:15 pm

I want to know how much @LawDawg would take to not have to deal with our shenanigans.

Real Thwack Guy
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Real Thwack Guy
February 21, 2024 1:16 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

$20 and a Venti Cafe Mocha from Starbucks and the deal is done.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
February 21, 2024 3:35 pm

I like my job a lot. I’d still rather not do it.

Give me $750k a year and I’ll fill my days with (mostly) healthy hobbies and some conservative real estate investment.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 3:46 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

You’ve answered the part of the question many people don’t think through. Once you’ve eliminated the pain of law from your life, what next? Do you keep working? Take up hobbies? Volunteer? People say “yes” to all of the above in generalities, but what specifically?

I’m not sure I know how to answer it. I would read more books and travel more. I’d get in better shape. But there would have to be more to it than that right? Commenters underestimate the existential consequences of taking this offer, regardless of the money. Eventually, the freshness of the relief of escape wears away, leaving the question, “Now what?”

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 22, 2024 1:08 am
Reply to  Anonymous

For me it’d be hiking and reading (maybe writing).

There is the vacation dilemma: no matter how healthy or conservative you try to be, you’re going to spend a lot more money when you don’t have work to fill your days.

But hey, I like my job and my life and nobody is offering me $750k to leave it anyway.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
February 21, 2024 5:15 pm

This is a really tough question for me with which I have grappled. Here is my dirty kinky secret: I love practicing law. It is what I always wanted to do. I like 42% of my clients but I love practicing law. I spoke with someone who baked cakes for a living who talked about the pain of the asshole people for whom she created these masterpieces and knowing that they were going to destroy it with impunity. Yet she kept doing it because she loved what it allowed her to express and to know that people were happy, even people who are a-holes.

I worked really hard to get into this profession and work (maybe too) hard to do it well. It is what I know and I feel like it is part of who I am. Ask someone who has had their ticket yanked what it was like. For some I am sure it was no big deal. I would be concerned to be one of those people who loses their spouse and dies shortly thereafter for failure to thrive because it was their existence.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
February 21, 2024 5:29 pm

28th year. Better at it now and make more money. But I have a lot less energy and passion than I did when I was in my first 10 years. I’m about 5 years from retirement. My retirement income won’t be $1m/year, but the house is paid off, no debt at all, and I should easily be able to draw down $10k/month from the 401k, plus $4k/month social security, plus another $2k/month on rentals. I can live fine on $16k a month without a house payment.

And by the way, Clarence Thomas makes a lot more than a million dollars a year just on the bribes he accepts. Dude has been a national embarrassment going on 35 years.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
February 21, 2024 10:21 pm

Family court attorneys are freaking out about the Falconi writs. The listserv has been hilarious.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
February 22, 2024 10:07 am
Reply to  Anonymous

I don’t practice family law at all, what is going on?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
February 22, 2024 12:05 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Family court’s sealing statutes got struck down as unconstitutional. No more secret tribunals. Judges and attorneys down there making money off people’s misery are now going to face scrutiny

anonymous
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anonymous
February 22, 2024 10:20 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.