# From Law to STEM: A lawyer’s journey from ground zero (part 3)

**This is a series about a lawyer navigating her way through math / maths / mathematics / quantitative analysis.**

One of the great things about being a lawyer is that you learn to think critically about an argument. Algebra is similar, in that it forces you to think logically — balancing all of the variables or factors. **A good attorney uses different facts, factors, and issues to solve legal problems.**

Another way to use maths is in thinking about the attorney work week. For instance, is the 80 hour work week worth it — for $80,000 per year? What about $160,000 for 80 hours? 80 hours is common in the legal field (hence, the high rate of burnout).

**Using maths, we see that 80 weeks for $80,000 is less than $20 per hour. For $160,000, that breaks down to less than $40.00.**

We can create a function to calculate the hourly breakdown.h * w = s

Where…* h= weekly hours* w= weeks in year / period* s= salary

**Below, we will solve for “h” (hourly rate):***(a) For $80k salary: (80h) * 52 = 80000*

<a1> (h)(80 * 52) = 80000

<a2> (h)(80 * 52) ÷ (80 * 52) = 80000 ÷ (80 * 52)

<a3> (h) = 80000 ÷ (80 * 52)

<a3> (h) = 80000 ÷ (4160)

<a4> (h) ≈ **$19.23**

*(b) For $160k salary: (80h) * 52 = 160000*

<b1> 2(h) = **$38.46**

*Thus, as a lawyer, you can earn less per hour than a salesperson, a painter, or a preschool teacher.* (https://www.indeed.com/q-Entry-Level-$30-jobs.html). So for good measure, we’ll look at someone working for **$50k per year, at just 40 hours per week (lucky, lol)**. That breaks down to about **$24.04** per hour. [$50000/(40*52) ≈ $24]

… Law school does not teach you numerical maths!

**Today, we are going to discuss the following topics using the lawyer method of critical thinking:**

* SOLVE AN EQUATION USING SUBTRACTION

* SOLVE AN EQUATION USING ADDITION

Think of these topics as mental tools to solve math problems.

**SOLVE AN EQUATION USING SUBTRACTION****- Issue:** How do we use subtraction to ensure the variable (literal factor / letter) is the same as the number on the other side of the equal sign?**- Rules:** Get the variable alone. Subtract both sides in the equation by the same number. Subtract the side with the variable and the number on the other side of the equation.**- Application: **

* D + 13 = 36

* D + 13 (-13) = 36 (-13)

* D = 23**- Conclusion:**

* D = 23** * Validate / Check:**

* (23) + 13 ≟ 36

* 36 = 36

* Validated because 23 plus 13 is 36.

**SOLVE AN EQUATION USING ADDITION****- Issue:** How do we use addition to ensure the variable (literal factor / letter) is the same as the number on the other side of the equal sign?**- Rules:** Get the variable alone. Add both sides in the equation by the same number. Add the side with the variable and the number on the other side of the equation.**- Application: **

* D — 12 = 36

* D — 12 (+12) = 36 (+12)

* D = 48**- Conclusion:**

* D = 48** * Validate / Check:**

* (48) — 12 ≟ 36

* 36 = 36

* Validated because 48 minus 12 is 36.