Law School Discussion

Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer

Ghost

Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer
« on: April 05, 2008, 07:48:22 AM »
Assuming little to no debt, is it wise to go through law school and get your JD if you really don't want to practice?

I hear advice both ways - that a JD is one of the last professional degrees that can help in many contexts, that it is a flexible degree, and that the skills taught in law school are applicable to many fields. I also hear that you lose the motivation to succeed in law school if you don't have a goal, or aren't sure about being there.

That said, would you do it? What do you think?

nealric

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Re: Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2008, 08:26:41 AM »
Conventional wisdom is that it's a very bad idea.

Re: Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2008, 08:35:01 AM »
It very much depends on what you want to go into. My roommate will be going to NYU Law and she does not wish to practice, but she wants to go into politics and the law degree will be very useful for her.

El_Che

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Re: Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2008, 09:00:27 AM »
I've heard from many alumni that the degree isn't as flexible as pre-law students and advisors like to believe. If you're going into law school with the idea of not practicing 100%, it might be a risky idea.

juliemccoy

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Re: Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2008, 09:05:54 AM »
If you want a flexible professional degree, get an MBA.

If you want to be a medical doctor, go to med school.

If you want to be a dentist, go to dental school

If you want to be a lawyer, go to law school.

I'm not really certain how flexible the skills one learns in law school will be to another field because the skills you learn in law school are designed to mold you into a lawyer ... Wouldn't it just make more sense to master that other field instead?

If you're not sure what you want to be when you grow up, STOP. Do not go to grad school or professional school. Instead, take your college degree and start earning a paycheck. Figure out what you do and don't like.

But hey, it's your time and your money. Do what you want.

Ghost

Re: Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2008, 09:16:53 AM »
I ask because these are attorneys (mostly older) and even a few admissions directors that have told me this (upon asked).

Their idea is that a JD is considered "rigorous" enough to carry over in most non-specialized professions, if desired, but especially in business or government.


Ghost

Re: Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2008, 09:17:48 AM »
If you want a flexible professional degree, get an MBA.

If you want to be a medical doctor, go to med school.

If you want to be a dentist, go to dental school

If you want to be a lawyer, go to law school.

I'm not really certain how flexible the skills one learns in law school will be to another field because the skills you learn in law school are designed to mold you into a lawyer ... Wouldn't it just make more sense to master that other field instead?

If you're not sure what you want to be when you grow up, STOP. Do not go to grad school or professional school. Instead, take your college degree and start earning a paycheck. Figure out what you do and don't like.

But hey, it's your time and your money. Do what you want.

Lol. How old are you, 23?

Sergio

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Re: Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2008, 10:28:02 AM »
Law school curriculums include a lot of business courses that I would think would help in that arena.  I'm also interested in politics and that is a reason many go also, but I basically agree with julie.  You have to have being a lawyer as your goal.

mbw

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Re: Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2008, 11:10:41 AM »
If you want a flexible professional degree, get an MBA.

If you want to be a medical doctor, go to med school.

If you want to be a dentist, go to dental school

If you want to be a lawyer, go to law school.

I'm not really certain how flexible the skills one learns in law school will be to another field because the skills you learn in law school are designed to mold you into a lawyer ... Wouldn't it just make more sense to master that other field instead?

If you're not sure what you want to be when you grow up, STOP. Do not go to grad school or professional school. Instead, take your college degree and start earning a paycheck. Figure out what you do and don't like.

But hey, it's your time and your money. Do what you want.

Sorry, Jules, but I find this kind of funny.  I'm 43 and still not sure of what "I want to be when I grow up."  Since I've already been a lot of things, that could in fact continue to change even after going to law school.  However, I do know what I want to learn, and at this time, that is law.  Thus, I probably won't break the bank in my pursuit of such knowledge, but I do want to go where I feel I'll get the best legal education. 

Re: Going to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2008, 11:14:03 AM »
depends on what you mean by "if you don't want to be a lawyer".  If you want to use your law degree, but not in a firm environment, then there may be some opportunities in government/companies.

But if you simply don't want to be a lawyer or work in anything that requires a law degree, the whole issue seems moot?  It's like asking is artificial insemination worth it if you don't want children.

Remember, lawyers really don't create jobs.. they take money from those who do.  If you're looking for career opportunities, a MBA or a specialization is the better route.