Law School Discussion

Too Many Good Choices

Re: Too Many Good Choices
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 12:41:22 AM »
Well Jack having attended law school I am sure you encountered many people who said they never wanted to be lawyers. I think it is stupid to attend law school if you don't want to be a lawyer, but I am sure you encountered numerous people that said that I know at my school I did.

Furthermore, you know that many law school graduates do not pass the bar exam or even take it. That makes a substantial change in the percentage because as you know it is unauthorized practice of law to work as an attorney without a license.

I don't know what state you took the bar in, but California takes 4 months to release results and you don't get them until the week before thanksgiving when nobody is hiring. You essentially have to wait until January to start looking for work as a licensed attorney, which is 8 months after law school ends in California. The statistics require reporting 9 months after and law students really have a month to look for a job at that point.

When I was waiting for bar results I got numerous interviews and some clerk jobs, but nobody was going to hire me as an attorney until those results came in. I would be very curious to know what the numbers were 2-3 years after graduating from law school, because honestly everyone I went to school with that passed the bar has a job.

Further still money is not everything. I do not think law school is a great financial investment by any means it is far to expensive for what it is. However, being a lawyer lets you do things you cannot do otherwise. I love going to court and representing people, I get to get warrants for cops to bust crack houses,  I get resolve nuisance problems through litigation and do all kinds of awesome things I could not do without a law license, but I am not making insane amounts of money either, but I love being a lawyer.

If it was all about dollars and cents I would have worked for this clinical psychologist that loved me in undergrad. He was making bank and wanted to pay for a clinical psychology degree to work for him, but I have no desire to be a psychologist it does not interest me. I am happy with my choice to attend law school.

Now with that to any OL's if you are looking to make big money law school is NOT the place to go. It is very expensive and to expensive in my opinion for what it is, but if you really want to be a lawyer when you pass the bar you have the right to represent client's and do some great things, but what you do with your law license is up to you.

The end.


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Re: Too Many Good Choices
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2013, 08:13:07 AM »
Fair point, but lets say an OL wanted to do what you are doing.. you know, busting up crack houses.

I went to the best school in a particular metro region.   The biggest DA's office was hiring 7 clerks.  They conducted 35 interviews out of 200+ applications.   I got one of the clerkships.

Those odds aren't horrible.  I mean, you've got a 1/30 chance or so.   The clerkship was a great experience.  But that DA's office only added between 1-3 attorneys per year.  And those attorney spots were coveted by current clerks, former clerks, graduating law students and criminal attorneys in the area.  The DA told me they typically got 150 licensed applicants for every position, and they usually went to the best clerks from the past three years.

Of course there are other city offices and other counties you could apply to, but it was tough all over.   I can't give you the exact stats, but I'd be blown away if your chances to end up in a job like yours were better than 1/15 when you enter law school.  If someone goes to law school with that dream, but they end up doing commercial collections work or personal injury processing, they are going to be pretty pissed off.

So while I agree with what you are saying, I hope you recognize that you were fortunate.  In my opinion, the only job that is available to any licensed attorney is a spot as a solo practitioner.  If you have a passion to run your own little family law firm, then yeah, law school is going to get you there.

Re: Too Many Good Choices
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2013, 02:12:26 AM »
Certainly I was fortunate and in many of your other posts I agree with you that from a pure economic standpoint law school is not a good investment. I think many people attend law school thinking it is an easy way to get rich, but if money is the most important thing to a OL I would dissuade them from law school. Despite having never met you I think you would have preferred being an economist or MBA based on your posts and economic analysis of the situation.

However, there are many people who have some cause they believe in and want to be lawyers or just care more about going to court and being licensed to practice law. To those people I think law school can be a wonderful experience as it was for me, but I know many people at my school thought law school was a quick way to get rich and based solely on the financial aspect I don't think law school is a great investment. However, my belief is that there is a lot more to life than a few thousand more dollars in your bank account. For example had I not attended law school I might very well be making more money working for this clinical psychologist I worked for during undergrad who wanted to put me through graduate school and have me be a partner in his practice. I guarantee had I done that my bank account would have been bigger than it is now he had a money making machine, but I would have been bored out of my mind listening to rich white people  complain about how they don't feel loved. There are plenty of people that would love doing that it is just not me.

However, as a lawyer you have the ability to represent clients, go to court, and get judgements to resolve issues,  which you cannot do unless you go to law school. I love going to work everyday it is an exciting challenge, but if money was the number 1 or very high priority to me law school would not have been a good choice.

So again that goes to my overall point that each person's situation is unique. If you look purely at statistics and costs law school is not a great financial decision, but it can be a very rewarding career for the right person, but to anyone who thinks law school is a quick way to get rich do not go. If you really have some cause you want to fight for or find the idea of litigation exciting then it may be a good career choice.