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View Diary: A political issue -- teacher pay (255 comments)

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  •  Response (none)
    I am not sure why you are getting combative here.

    That is great that you work ten months a year, but the fact remains that teachers get their summers off, which is more than what most professions get.

    You ask why an experienced teacher shouldn't make as much as a first year associate lawyer.  A few thoughts.  

    First, that first-year lawyer went through three three years of law school after graduation while you can teach with an undergraduate education.

    Second, New York City attorneys are paid higher than anywhere else in the country and should not be used as a representative sample (they also work the hardest on average).  In small or medium-sized cities, first-year attorneys in private practice make around $50,000 - 60,000 a year, which is much closer to teacher salaries.

    Third, that first-year New York associate is working much harder than the experienced teacher.  That is plain fact.  Many first-year associates are working 80+ hour weeks.  Worse, they have zero control over their working hours.  Try coming to work every day and not knowing when you will be able to come home that night.  Some nights, you will be able to leave early at 8 pm.  Other nights, you will be getting home around 3 or 4 am.  Want to plan a weekend?  Forget about it; you are expected to make yourself available as the work demands.

    Fourth, there is a big difference in sense of purpose.  When you teach, you are helping to shape a young mind.  At a big law firm, you are helping to make wealthy people become even wealthier.  I'll let you guess which is more rewarding.

    I don't want to turn this into a pissing contest but feel I needed to respons after your post.

    •  Cry me a River (4.00)
      Try some time as a nonprofit lawyer having to live in squalid illegal conditions busting their ass just as hard as you claim.  Then I might feel sympathy.

      I've been a lawyer in all these conditions.  Premier firm, boutique firm, nonprofit firm and now solo practitioner.  I find it offensive that you would even remotely equate the voluntary choice of working a double shift for the purposes of getting wealthy to being underpaid in a normal work shift at a normal wage.  Deeply so.  

      All lawyers work hard.  None of us get the luxury of a 40 hour week, particularly if we're doing litigation.  None of us.  But we know that when we get into this business.  On the other hand, as professions go, we are handsomely paid for our work.  And certainly, corporate law practice contributes nowhere near as much value to society as the average teacher of children does.  

      Sheesh.

      My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

      by shanikka on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 09:24:06 AM PDT

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    •  You can't teach with.. (none)
      ...an undergrad education in MA. A masters is required. And I don't think MA is alone.

      "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

      by ChurchofBruce on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 10:00:18 AM PDT

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    •  Lawyers get paid vacation, right? (none)
      Lawyers I know started at three weeks' paid vacation and get up to six weeks at the partner level.

      Teachers don't get paid vacation.

      That's just for starters re your comparisons. . . .

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 10:38:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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