Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: lawguy09 on June 09, 2009, 09:32:17 AM

Title: 0L Question
Post by: lawguy09 on June 09, 2009, 09:32:17 AM
Since deciding to go to law school, people have been asking me what type of law I'd like to practice. I tell them, "It's too early to decide, I hope to find something I like."

Now, I'd like to say I'm going to law school to make the world a better place, but mostly I'm going to find a good job and make good money.

I know criminal law isn't the money maker...so, what type of law is?
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: Advocate on June 09, 2009, 09:57:43 AM
Lawyers at the top of any field make lots of money -- even in criminal law (remember OJ's lawyers).

You want a more specific answer though. I've been told Patent law is very profitable. Although, you can only take the patent bar if you have an undergrad degree in Science or Engineering).  You could still do copyright law, but I'm not sure if that is equally profitable.
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: Matthies on June 09, 2009, 09:58:06 AM
Since deciding to go to law school, people have been asking me what type of law I'd like to practice. I tell them, "It's too early to decide, I hope to find something I like."

Now, I'd like to say I'm going to law school to make the world a better place, but mostly I'm going to find a good job and make good money.

I know criminal law isn't the money maker...so, what type of law is?

Criminal defense is a big money maker, its just done mostly by small firms and solos so no real salery data. My classmate started her own pratice right out of law school (she was a criminal defese paralgegal and knows a bunch of crimnal defense lawyer who feed her work) and has been averaging 12k a month since she got lic last Aug. Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do right now, most don't even know by 3L and most folks will end up doing whatvere the firm that hires them has open. Very few people know what kind of law they want to do before law school, but a few do.
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: CTL on June 09, 2009, 09:58:55 AM
Personal injury.  You have to live in a bad city like Utica, NY though.
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: I am the Lorax on June 09, 2009, 10:40:25 AM
Hauling people into court is not the way to make the world a better place.  If that's as clear as you can get with why you want to go to law school, you should take some time off before you invest $100,000.00 in something you may not want in the end.
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: CTL on June 09, 2009, 10:52:55 AM
Hauling people into court is not the way to make the world a better place.  If that's as clear as you can get with why you want to go to law school, you should take some time off before you invest $100,000.00 in something you may not want in the end.

That's not necessarily true.  When a court rewards damages to a plaintiff, it is because they are wronged.  Doesn't the restitution of a wrong go toward 'making the world a better place'?
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: EdinTally on June 09, 2009, 10:58:06 AM
Hauling people into court is not the way to make the world a better place.  If that's as clear as you can get with why you want to go to law school, you should take some time off before you invest $100,000.00 in something you may not want in the end.

That's not necessarily true.  When a court rewards damages to a plaintiff, it is because they are wronged.  Doesn't the restitution of a wrong go toward 'making the world a better place'?
Aren't damages meant to make "someone" whole again?  If so, the answer is no.

But given that "making the world a better place" is like urinating in the ocean, then hauling people into court seems as good a way as any. :)
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: RobWreck on June 09, 2009, 06:35:34 PM
Now, I'd like to say I'm going to law school to make the world a better place, but mostly I'm going to find a good job and make good money.

Dude... you're so heading into the wrong field. Depending on your grades & LSAT score, if you get into a top school (T-14), then you'll do fine... but if you're outside the top 50 schools, you've got less than a 50/50 chance of 'making good money' in comparison to the debt you'll incur. You want to make the world a better place and make good money with a good job? Go to phramacy school... average starting salary of over $100k and no stupid Shakespearean quotes about 'killing all the pharmacists'...
Rob
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: nealric on June 09, 2009, 07:04:00 PM
Quote

Criminal defense is a big money maker, its just done mostly by small firms and solos so no real salery data.

From everything I've observed, I get the impression that criminal law (like many practice areas dominated by small firms) can be all over the place money wise. There are public defenders making $30k a year and there are big shots making $1M+.
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: CTL on June 10, 2009, 05:57:58 AM
Hauling people into court is not the way to make the world a better place.  If that's as clear as you can get with why you want to go to law school, you should take some time off before you invest $100,000.00 in something you may not want in the end.

That's not necessarily true.  When a court rewards damages to a plaintiff, it is because they are wronged.  Doesn't the restitution of a wrong go toward 'making the world a better place'?
Aren't damages meant to make "someone" whole again?  If so, the answer is no.

But given that "making the world a better place" is like urinating in the ocean, then hauling people into court seems as good a way as any. :)

The process of making someone whole seems wholly positive, hence 'making the world a better place'.  I think that phrase, 'making the world a better place', is a little vague and wishy-washy anyway.
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: EdinTally on June 10, 2009, 06:42:47 AM
Hauling people into court is not the way to make the world a better place.  If that's as clear as you can get with why you want to go to law school, you should take some time off before you invest $100,000.00 in something you may not want in the end.

That's not necessarily true.  When a court rewards damages to a plaintiff, it is because they are wronged.  Doesn't the restitution of a wrong go toward 'making the world a better place'?
Aren't damages meant to make "someone" whole again?  If so, the answer is no.

But given that "making the world a better place" is like urinating in the ocean, then hauling people into court seems as good a way as any. :)

The process of making someone whole seems wholly positive, hence 'making the world a better place'.  I think that phrase, 'making the world a better place', is a little vague and wishy-washy anyway.
I disagree counselor.  :)

While I certainly understand that making someone whole again can be viewed as a positive act, the net aggregate affect is a maintenance of the status quo e.g. you lost a dollar and are being given a dollar back.  To argue that the world is a better place from the starting point of the lost dollar is not a good argument at least in terms of the spirit of "the world is a better place".

Punitive damages, on the other hand, seems like a much better argument.
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: CTL on June 10, 2009, 07:02:39 AM
Hauling people into court is not the way to make the world a better place.  If that's as clear as you can get with why you want to go to law school, you should take some time off before you invest $100,000.00 in something you may not want in the end.

That's not necessarily true.  When a court rewards damages to a plaintiff, it is because they are wronged.  Doesn't the restitution of a wrong go toward 'making the world a better place'?
Aren't damages meant to make "someone" whole again?  If so, the answer is no.

But given that "making the world a better place" is like urinating in the ocean, then hauling people into court seems as good a way as any. :)

The process of making someone whole seems wholly positive, hence 'making the world a better place'.  I think that phrase, 'making the world a better place', is a little vague and wishy-washy anyway.
I disagree counselor.  :)

While I certainly understand that making someone whole again can be viewed as a positive act, the net aggregate affect is a maintenance of the status quo e.g. you lost a dollar and are being given a dollar back.  To argue that the world is a better place from the starting point of the lost dollar is not a good argument at least in terms of the spirit of "the world is a better place".

Punitive damages, on the other hand, seems like a much better argument.

But surely, eventually, someone will be wronged.  Without recourse to civil litigation, the world (at least for that party) will surely be a worse place.  Through such recourse, however, the world would be a better place (at least for that individual, but I would argue for us all).
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: EdinTally on June 10, 2009, 09:23:28 AM
But surely, eventually, someone will be wronged.  Without recourse to civil litigation, the world (at least for that party) will surely be a worse place.  Through such recourse, however, the world would be a better place (at least for that individual, but I would argue for us all).
Even allowing for the hypothetical, "Without recourse to" i.e. the absence of, the addition of the same would only serve to bring the "world" back to a certain equilibrium.  Granted, that is a highly theoretical/ideological position.

In the absence of punitive damages, I'm having a hard time coming up with a scenario that would allow for the world being a better place.

I'm open to examples.
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: CTL on June 10, 2009, 09:53:47 AM
T0                                              T1                                                                   T2

|                                               |                                                                     |

Patient going in for vasectomy                  Due to medical negligence (doctor severes nerve bundle), patient      Patient successfully brings suit - is awarded
has otherwise fully functional genitals.        is left with uncorrectable ED.                                        damages.
[World is at 'balance']                         [World now is worse]                                                  [World is now better than it was at T1]
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: EdinTally on June 10, 2009, 12:26:40 PM
0 - 1 + 1 = 0
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: CTL on June 10, 2009, 12:36:34 PM
0 - 1 + 1 = 0

But you failed to consider time.  Maybe in totality your calculation is correct, but what's essential is putting yourself in a temporal perspective.  If you're at 0, then get -1, you're worse off.  If you're at -1 and then get +1, you're better off. 
Title: Re: 0L Question
Post by: themanwithnoname on June 10, 2009, 03:47:03 PM
Since deciding to go to law school, people have been asking me what type of law I'd like to practice. I tell them, "It's too early to decide, I hope to find something I like."

Now, I'd like to say I'm going to law school to make the world a better place, but mostly I'm going to find a good job and make good money.

I know criminal law isn't the money maker...so, what type of law is?

Criminal defense is a big money maker, its just done mostly by small firms and solos so no real salery data. My classmate started her own pratice right out of law school (she was a criminal defese paralgegal and knows a bunch of crimnal defense lawyer who feed her work) and has been averaging 12k a month since she got lic last Aug. Don't worry if you don't know what you want to do right now, most don't even know by 3L and most folks will end up doing whatvere the firm that hires them has open. Very few people know what kind of law they want to do before law school, but a few do.

White collar, which is probably the most lucrative criminal law, is typically done in big firms (though not exclusively).