They took on six figures of (non-dischargeable) debt to go to law school, and now they hang their laundry in the street.

Most installments of Lawyerly Lairs, our inside look at the nests of legal eagles, involve residences (and occasionally offices) of utter fabulosity. Just look at our latest Lairs: a $5.9 million apartment on Park Avenue, a $4.6 million prewar coop on the Upper East Side, and a $1.7 million penthouse on the Upper West Side.

We realize that most Americans, or even most lawyers, don’t live in such luxury. And we’re interested in learning about how the other half lives. If you’d like to have your home featured in Lawyerly Lairs, even if it isn’t a million-dollar mansion, feel free to email us, subject line “Lawyerly Lairs.” (If you’re trying to sell your home, send us the listing; exposure to Above the Law’s large audience could be beneficial.)

We’ll get the 99 percent ball rolling with a look at two current law students who braved the brutal renters’ market here in New York. What school do they attend, and how did their hunt turn out?

Mangesh Kulkarni (left) and Michael Igyarto (right)

Meet Michael Igyarto and Mangesh Kulkarni. They’re third-year law students at NYU Law School, and their search for off-campus housing was recently chronicled in the New York Times, in Joyce Cohen’s weekly column, The Hunt (one of my favorite features of the Sunday NYT).

Igyarto and Kulkarni lived together in the dorms in their first and second years of law school. It’s a good thing that they got along, because NYU frowns upon roommate switches:

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM ASSIGNED WITH AN APARTMENTMATE I DON’T LIKE?

You or your friends may have experienced undergraduate apartment-mate conflicts far more frequently than you will ever experience them at this stage of your life. You and your classmates have decided to dedicate the next years of your life to the study of law and to achieving a law degree. Each of you is focused and committed. Our experience shows us that this level of commitment and maturity results in remarkably few situations of apartmentmate incompatibility. However, when apartmentmates have finally concluded that their living situation is detrimental, the Office of Residential Life will make every effort to move a willing apartmentmate to an available space.

Translation: suck it up and deal. The law is a jealous mistress, so if you hate your 1L roommate, just avoid him or her.

Back to Messrs. Igyarto and Kulkarni. In terms of what they were looking for in a place, they wanted two bedrooms (obviously); a good-sized living room, suitable for entertaining; an elevator building, if possible; and a location somewhat convenient to NYU (i.e., downtown rather than uptown). Their budget: $2,800 a month if they had to pay a broker, and $3,200 without a broker.

Did they find what they were looking for, within the parameters of their budget?


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