IRS Recruits at Top Law Schools

The Wall Street Journal today writes about graduates of top law schools who turned down fancy private firms to go work for the IRS at half the starting salary ($65,000 - $70,000 for first-year IRS lawyers). The upside of working for the IRS, according to its chief recruiter: "Work a 40-hour week (more or less). Get into a courtroom within the first month. Choose the city where you work." Deborah Egurrola, a 28-year-old who just graduated from Yale Law School, adds: "The IRS really throws you right into the thick of things. At a lot of law firms, you have to start with more behind-the-scenes work. Here you start interacting with attorneys from outside." As the Wall Street Journal points out, however, the reason she could afford to take the job is "because her parents have agreed to help her pay back her $75,000 in student loans."

Contrast her situation to Nina Kang's, a 26-year-old 3L at USC Law School, who turned down an offer from the IRS. She had enjoyed her summer clerking there -- "I didn't think it was worth it to suffer for two years at a private firm and never see the light of day" -- but she has $140,000 in student loans to pay back.