Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: john4040 on January 17, 2010, 10:36:27 AM

Title: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: john4040 on January 17, 2010, 10:36:27 AM
An excellent post on the subject can be found here:

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3301274

Edit (11/1/2010):  Looks like they're charging to view the forums now.  Cache is still up - not sure for how much longer.  http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:9nXi4XV8mPMJ:forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php%3Fthreadid%3D3301274+something+awful+lawyer&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: nealric on January 20, 2010, 09:05:37 AM
Wow- that's a book worthy post. Definitely worth a read.

I'm making this a sticky.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Thane Messinger on February 10, 2010, 12:47:39 PM
Aloha, John, nealric, and All -

Yes, this is excellent.  When markets correct, those who happen to be in the entry-level rungs feel the pain first and hardest.  That was true when I graduated, and while I doubt I would have listened, it would have been good to have at least considered what's in the link.

Since nealric mentioned book-worthiness, last year I was handed a manuscript by a new author, and while I was initially appalled (its title is "Slacker's Guide to Law School"), I came to see it in much the same way.  I mention this because it has probably the best section on "Should I go?" of any pre-law book out there, including mine.  (I did address this in a somewhat different way, as my assumption is that most readers are GOING to go.  The real question is where.  So, part of what I advise is to think about the options, such as an MBA, PhD, or the like.  In short, as corny as it sounds, take some time to figure out what you REALLY want, and strive towards that.  If it's action and capital, the MBA or *possibly* MBA/JD is a good bet.  If it's cerebral, a PhD or PhD/JD combo might be better.)  Another major factor is the cost associated with any of these programs.  Defraying these costs is possible, but should also be viewed with a wary eye.

In sum, be very, very careful of going to law school with stars in your eyes.  The actual world of law practice is far, far different from our collective imagination.  That's not to write that it's not attractive.  It is.  But those stars need to be aligned--which for most means, among other things, being exceptionally careful before even embarking on the LSAT--before the stratospheric salaries and fame (and happiness) follow.

In any event, a great link.  And to all, this sticky is very much worth the viewing.

Thane.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on March 21, 2010, 05:38:30 PM
The article was decent to start, but then gets ridiculous the whole food stamps and getting rid of all tier 3 and tier 4 schools is where it goes to far. Then the fact that it just seems to talk about how awful law school is goes to far and it does not shock me that nobody wants to hire these people. If someone says I hate law school and everything about it I don't think an employer is really going to want to hire them. Therefore, it should not be a shock that jackasses that write how unfair everything is and how much they hate law school and the law don't get hired as lawyers.

Honestly, I don't doubt some law school graduates are not doing to well and I know two Hastings grads that didn't pass the bar who are not doing well financially. It doesn't matter that they went to a tier 1 school so to say all t-3 and tier 4's should be unaccredited is a little far.  The ABA does not just hand out accreditation as the case of Western State and La Verne proves. Realistically, a tier 2 school can become a tier 4 school in one year based on the idiotic formula U.S. news uses.

Education is a risk no matter what you do do. I am positive if you look at people going for bachelor's degrees  you will find even worse results. Realistically, right out of high school you could go work as a bank teller and in four years be up to some bank management position instead of going to college paying tuition and living expenses and coming out in debt and gaining little practical experience in four years. At 22 the guy who went to work right out of high school will be doing way better financially than the person who went to college, but education is a LONG TERM investment not short term. For the guy with the B.A. it will probably take years to get ahead and there is no guarantee he will ever catch up. That is why education is an investment not a guarantee. However, you hope that the college kid majored in something he truly enjoyed and is doing a career that interests him if that is the case then the money won't matter.

Same logic applies to law school if you are doing it, because you don't know what else to do it is probably not a good idea to go 100k in debt for something you are not passionate about or care little about. Your career is something you will be doing for a LONG time and if you want to be a lawyer it will be worth it, but going simply to make money is not a good reason.

Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: CJScalia on April 01, 2010, 07:34:31 PM
An excellent post on the subject can be found here:

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3203215

I'm confused; they want me to pay $10 just to be able to read a post on their forum? ???
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on April 01, 2010, 08:06:42 PM
That block was not there before, but it is for the best. The article was beyond idiotic, basically the article consisted of someone  saying that law school was difficult and that they were shocked that they had to lift a finger to find a job. It was just retarded that is only word to really explain the article, consider yourself blessed for not having to read it.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: TheCause on April 05, 2010, 02:27:32 PM
That block was not there before, but it is for the best. The article was beyond idiotic, basically the article consisted of someone  saying that law school was difficult and that they were shocked that they had to lift a finger to find a job. It was just retarded that is only word to really explain the article, consider yourself blessed for not having to read it.

Bigs:
Your posts on this website kind of blow my mind.  You are like the T3-T4 defender.  I've read your responses in other forums, and I think you can be pretty reasonable.

The decision to go to law school has to be based on something.  I find statistics to be particularly helpful.   I know of one school, ranked in the 60's, where only 53% of the class of 2009 had a job lined up at graduation.  The career services office estimates that the class of 2010 would be lucky to get half of that percentage.  The percentages at graduation are particularly helpful because they don't include as many "back-up to my back-up" jobs.  

Many applicants who are considering a T3 or T4 school will probably base their decision on data for the class of 2008.  It is highly unlikely that the class of 2013 will see job placement rates anywhere in the neighborhood of the class of 2008.  
So I think posters on this board want to express a few major points:

1: The placement rates in US News and other sources will probably be 50-75% smaller when you graduate.
2: The alumni salaries posted on school websites and other sources will probably be substantially smaller for the class of 2013.
3: Somewhere around 30-60% of students in law school believe they can be in the top 10%.  Only 10% actually reach that level.
4: Law school is not designed to educate you in the law, and it is not designed to prepare you to pass the bar.  It is basically a right of passage.  You should try to get as much out of it as possible, but level of prestige trumps level of education in the eyes of most employers.
5: The legal market is flooded, and you might have opportunities now that make more financial sense than going to law school.
6: Most people don't love studying law, even if they thought they would.

So there are 6 factors that might stand in the way of a cooley grad in 2013 that maybe weren't deal-killers in 2008 or 2009.  It makes good sense for current students to discourage potential students from going to law school in order to balance out the horribly inaccurate information that is available.
5:  

Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: lsatbeard on April 06, 2010, 08:18:05 AM
According to their forum, I'm supposed to read the question before the stimulus. Is this solid advice, or is this the mistake that the OP made before getting dropped into a TTT?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on April 06, 2010, 11:50:31 AM
To the Cause I am just trying to defend them, because I read this board before going to law school and it terrified me and a lot of other internet posts scared me as well and I almost made a terrible decision going to a higher ranked school. I know a lot of people read stuff on the web and that is how they get their info and I am just speaking from real experience. I read things like GGU kicks out 25% of their class, nobody finds a job, professors are on drugs, all kinds of crazy B.S. that is absolutely 100% not true. When I was working in law firms a lot of the lawyers told me don't worry about the rankings they are pointless, but I wouldn't listen to them, they went to law school years ago they didn't know the current state of affairs. That is what I told myself, but they were absolutely right. The ranking doesn't matter that much it has some merit, but it is not the end all be all.  

Then in February I got a ton of summer job offers and I was actually shocked by it originally considering I go to a tier 4 after all, but a lot of people didn't seem to care, because they interviewed me and offered me jobs. Did some people turn me down, because I went to GGU maybe I don't really know. So in February, I became curiuos how U.S. news did their rankings I always assumed it was some complex formula, but the formula is an almost completely  B.S.formula made up by an independent agency that neither the ABA or LSAC approves.

Subjective Rankings from an independent agency are pretty much B.S. in anything.  Can you believe it when I was sophomore in high school I was rated by maxpreps as a top 100 basketball player before the season started. Keep in mind this a PRESEASON ranking I had not done anything in a varsity game yet. Just like a guy going to Harvard or Cooley has not actually accomplished anything in the law, when they are in law school. The U.S. News ranking are PRE-LEGAL CAREER opinions on student's potential nothing more.  Anyways, my MaxPrep rank got me some attention I was a 6' 9 240 lb 15 year old which is rare and some big time schools came to scout me, but I stopped growing and stayed 6'9 and there are plenty of other good 6'9 guys out there some that were better than me.  When it came to signing day and I was a senior I got got offers from some low level division one and two schools. Nobody really cared what I was ranked as a sophomore by some independent rating agency, I had not performed over the next two years well enough to get me a scholarship to Duke or Kansas. Same thing applies to law school, you can go to Harvard and people will take notice of you just like they did when I was ranked, but if you don't live up to the hype nobody is going to care. If you perform people will take notice, if anyone paid attention to the NCAA tournament Butler made it to the finals, getting through some big time schools.  Kansas #1 in country was out in the second round to Northern Iowa the ranking didn't matter. So is here is Legal World Hypo for you.

Client retains a Harvard Grad to represent him in a million dollar breach of contract case.
Client loses his case and gets 0 dollars.

Client Retains a Cooley Grad on a similar breach of contract claim.
Cooley grad gets him the full million dollars.

Who is the client more impressed with? Answer should be obvious. He cares what his lawyer did for him not what school he went to.  If you are working for a firm they will like you if you make money for them. If you don't make money for them they will get rid of you simple as that.

Here was your list of things that you are saying should discourage people.

1: The placement rates in US News and other sources will probably be 50-75% smaller when you graduate. (It very well might be and that is probably the case for most professions, America is in a recession this does not apply only to law school. Jobs have been hard to find throughout time, nobody hands them out.  

2: The alumni salaries posted on school websites and other sources will probably be substantially smaller for the class of 2013.
Again highly likely, a lot of salaries were highly inflated as were property values in homes. Just basically in everything we were doing, that is why teh recession started.

3: Somewhere around 30-60% of students in law school believe they can be in the top 10%.  Only 10% actually reach that level.
I was not a math major, but only 10% of the class can be in the top 10% kind of how it works. I would say more like 100% of people on the first day, think they will be in the top 10%, but that is why it is a competition. Just like when I played basketball, I thought I would be the best player on any team I went to, but competition figures that out for you and that again happens no matter what you do.

4: Law school is not designed to educate you in the law, and it is not designed to prepare you to pass the bar.  It is basically a right of passage.  You should try to get as much out of it as possible, but level of prestige trumps level of education in the eyes of most employers.
Prestige absolutely helps, no question about it, but it is not everything.  A prestigious school opens doors, but you will still need to walk down the hallway of life. In practice you don't just say hey man I went to Harvard so just settle for a million dollars. Or file your client's claim after the statute of limitations passes and go to the clerk and say hey I went to Harvard so I am special right, that Statute of limitations only applies to people that went to T-14's. I would love to the look at the clerk's face if you said that.

5: The legal market is flooded, and you might have opportunities now that make more financial sense than going to law school.
Everything is flooded, not just the legal market. America is a competitive country, can you believe there are millions of people getting their bachelor's degrees as I am typing this. Each one of them wants a job doing something, if you get an M.B.A., M.D., B.S., B.A. whatever it may be in whatever skill it is there are going to be people competing for jobs.

6: Most people don't love studying law, even if they thought they would.
Again very true, there is no real way to know if you will like the law until you get into it. Just like there is no real way to know if you will like being a doctor until you get into it. Or being a teacher until you get into it. The list goes and on.

So bottom line is life is hard and education is a risk and you make the decision. The school can't guarantee your happiness and that doesn't just apply to law school. There are people that went to medical school that aren't happy with their decision, there are people that got M.B.A.'s that are not happy. There are people with teaching credentials and on and on.  I really think people have this expectation that getting a J.D. makes you immune to life or somebody owes you something for going to law school and that is just not the case.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on April 06, 2010, 11:41:48 PM
Your right if you have shown no talent for the law in 3 years of law school you won't get a chance.  If you have talent people will find out no matter what you do it comes out. In whatever profession it may be if you are good people find out.

The real reason I am not in the NBA is because I was not good enough. I did not score enough points or win enough games when I was in college.  It was not my coach's fault, it was not my teammate's fault, I was just literally not being good enough to be at the next level. I was out there I had a chance to show my talent, but I don't have it what else can be said. I'm not big enough, not fast enough, not strong enough.  

Same thing in law you have three years to show something you get to make numerous writing samples, interact with professors who at any ABA school have at least some connections, get experience in clinics and show something and get an internship somewhere.

If over three years you have sh*t writing samples, not one professor knows your name, you did not get one internship somewhere, and you had bad grades. You probably don't have what it takes to be a good lawyer, just the cold hard reality of it. It is not the schools fault you didn't do anything and probalby don't have what it takes to a lawyer. I have mentioned my friend that went to Hastings she had a 168 LSAT 3.8 from UCLA in undergrad she did terrible in law school, didn't get one job over three years, hated school, told me she freaked out anytime she got called on (which literally baffles me that people scared about that) and she didn't pass the bar, she has no job, she just did terrible in law school. All that goes to show she probably doesn't have the talent to be a good lawyer and reality is I would not want her to be my lawyer, despite Hastings being a really damn good school that does produce a lot of good attorneys, she herself does not have what it takes.  
 
 On the same token if someone goes to Cooley and has kick-ass writing samples, straight A's, all your professors love you, maybe had some work experience pre-law school, and you did a lot of clinical work or internships in school and did a good job at them someone somewhere will give you a chance when you graduate. Because, you displayed some talent you probably won't get a Big Law offer even if you do all that at Cooley, but you will get a chance somewhere, then you will have a chance to show it.  If you have talent it will show, if you don't it won't.  

Same thing if you go to Harvard, Georgetown, Yale if you can't do it you can't do it. That's it just like me being ranked a top 100 player didn't f'ing matter, I didn't have it. Or I remember when I was coming out Neil Fingelton this 7'5 dude was a top ranked player he got a scholarship to North Carolina everybody thought he wsa going to be great he did terrible, nobody cared about his high school ranking status he didn't have the talent and got cut from the team. He didn't have it end of story.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: TheCause on April 07, 2010, 08:23:37 AM
You should choose a law school in this order.

1: Top 14 (this is flexible) Yes, go to Yale if you get in.
2: Debt Free Options.
3: Highest Ranked School with in-state tuition
4: Highest Ranked School in your geographic region  (Unless the price is Way more than 5, 6, 7, 8. )
5: Highest Ranked School in the city you want to work.
6: Cheapest School in the City you want to work in.
7: Cheapest School in the Geographic region you want to work.
8: Cheapest School in the City you want to work in.
9: A T3-T4 if you have tons of money or have a job lined up at a family firm.
10: Go get a job somewhere and save up 50,000 before you go to law school.

Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on April 07, 2010, 10:33:23 AM
All of that is completely right except number 9. If you really want to be a lawyer, then go to law school if you put the work in you will get something, but there is a chance it might not work out.  Everybody should realize education is a somewhat of a risk and  100k for law school is a lot of money no matter where you go. Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown none of those schools have 100% bar passage rates or employment rates so it didn't work out for somebody there.  Obviously that vast majority it does, but not for everybody.  

So you should realize if you to a tier 3, tier 4 or just law school in general expecting to get rich then don't go  There are a lot better ways to make money than law school. Your profession is something you will be doing for a long time so make sure it is something you want to do.  Realize that no degree guarantees you a million dollar paycheck when you graduate.  School is not the real world and you need to prove yourself in the working world, because what you did in school is irrelevant to your boss once you start working.

Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: CJScalia on April 07, 2010, 01:25:41 PM
Client retains a Harvard Grad to represent him in a million dollar breach of contract case.
Client loses his case and gets 0 dollars.

Client Retains a Cooley Grad on a similar breach of contract claim.
Cooley grad gets him the full million dollars.

You're assuming both graduates have the same chances at getting the job in the first place. The client doesn't know who is a good lawyer and who isn't before he signs the retainer, thus law firms prefer having prestige names on their webpage.

I'm guessing we'll see this change of the next year or three, since the faults of the Cravath model are glaringly obvious right now, but nobody really knows for sure.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: john4040 on April 07, 2010, 03:02:39 PM
bigs5068:  I see that you are about to finish your 1L year and have a 1L summer gig lined up.  Although you may be correct that GGU students are able to find legal positions after graduation, please refrain from speculating on the hiring of first year associates from third and fourth tier schools when you clearly have no experience in that area.

The fact that you were able to land a 1L summer gig from GGU has little to no bearing upon the issue of whether you will actually be hired as a first year associate at a law firm.  Just ask all of those students who summered with a firm only to be deferred and then no-offered or simply no-offered from the get go. I believe the most recent NALP data on non-V50 firms speaks for itself in those regards.


Moreover, your anecdote concerning the Harvard grad vs. Cooley grad is extremely telling as to your knowledge of the actual practice of law:  

(1) Cases are rarely, if ever, decided by a single misstep which may cause a client to win or lose.  Instead, cases are typically drawn out and the real battles are fought in the trenches via discovery and motions.  Therefore, your hypothetical attorney would have to seriously botch things in order to lose (assuming that he had the facts necessary to win in the first place).

(2) How would the client know which attorney could get them a better result?  Clients pay for the "safe bet" (e.g., consistency and decent results).  The "safe bet" in your scenario is undoubtedly the Harvard grad.

(3) Assuming that your scenario deals with a seasoned attorney (as no junior associate is staffed on a million dollar breach of contract claim by himself), it is more likely than not that (a) the Harvard grad has a support group of like-minded peers that he can bounce ideas off of in order to successfully litigate the case, and (b) the Harvard grad has had the benefit of more rigorous/complex legal training.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on April 07, 2010, 05:17:04 PM
John400 I agree I am in my first year of law school and I have a long way to go.  As of now I have done nothing of substance in the legal field other than doing well in my first semester of law school and that's it. I could fail all my exams this time around for all I know. I could get fired from my job on the first day or I could a great job and the fail bar. I have no guarantees of anything and nobody does. Except of course Federal Judges.

You are also absolutely right regarding Big Law and rankings. You have almost no shot of going into Big Law from a tier 4. I know that, but I have no desire to work in Big Law.  I worked at O'Melveny & Myers, which is a pretty big firm and I hated every minute of it and I have no desire to be around that lifestyle at all. Not everybody wants to be in Big Law though, people have different expectations and desires.  I am happy with what my tier 4 has provided me and that is what matters.  

As to the legal hypothetical it was not relation to real life.


(1) Cases are rarely, if ever, decided by a single misstep which may cause a client to win or lose.  Instead, cases are typically drawn out and the real battles are fought in the trenches via discovery and motions.  Therefore, your hypothetical attorney would have to seriously botch things in order to lose (assuming that he had the facts necessary to win in the first place).  


Yea 100% right I never said they were decided by a single mistep. The case hinges on discovery, motions, etc.  Your ability to properly do those things are what make you a good attorney and help you win the case.  

(2) How would the client know which attorney could get them a better result?  Clients pay for the "safe bet" (e.g., consistency and decent results).  The "safe bet" in your scenario is undoubtedly the Harvard grad.  

Obviously, the Harvard Grad will get the first look. Just like when I was ranked people watched me over others. However, your results in doing discovery, motions, etc will tell the tale. If you make all kinds of crazy discovery demands and get sanctioned and lose the case for your client, he is not coming back to you and he is going to tell others to avoid you. Even if you went to Harvard.  

You are 100% right The Harvard guy gets the first look no question about it and 9 out 10 times if you were accepted into Harvard you are pretty damn smart and yes Harvard is a great school. So Harvard trains you better than Cooley does and the Harvard Grad is probably smarter than someone that went to Cooley 99% of the time.  However, no matter what your pedigree is you to prove yourself. The name of the school on the degree doesn't mean that much if you screw up, from my limited paralegal experience that is the way it seemed to me.

Your obviously the Federal Clerk so you can answer the question how much an attorney's law school comes up when they are in trial. When I had to watch them it never came up, but my experience was limited.

As a federal Clerk do you know where half the attorneys went that are arguing in front of you and even if you do how much does it really matter?  You are obviously in a better position than me to answer that so I am just curious to know.



(3) Assuming that your scenario deals with a seasoned attorney (as no junior associate is staffed on a million dollar breach of contract claim by himself), it is more likely than not that (a) the Harvard grad has a support group of like-minded peers that he can bounce ideas off of in order to successfully litigate the case, and (b) the Harvard grad has had the benefit of more rigorous/complex legal training.


Yea absolutely, I never once denied that Harvard is a good school and they will have benefits that someone from GGU does not. No question about it.

Maybe people misunderstand my statements if you want a big law career or to sit on the Supreme Court and nothing else will satisfy you DO NOT go to a tier 4, because there is somewhat of a glass ceiling. However, people paint tier 4's like every one is doing lines of Coke with professors in class and the welfare line is full of tier 4 grads and that is far from the truth. You can get jobs, if you expect that when you graduate from Cooley that someone is going to name you partner and hand you a sweet corner office when you walk off the stage Good Luck that is all I can say to that.

However, if you want to be a lawyer and well be happy in some small or mid-size firm, or maybe even go solo, or work as in-house counsel, or for a City Law Department.  Then go to law school you will probably get a decent job and if you like the law you will be happy. If you went to a Tier 4 expecting to be millionaire by the time you were 30 you won't be and that probably goes for the majority of law schools out there.

Then in regards to the basketball comment I actually see so many similarities to what I went through in Basketball to what happens in Law School.  There are irrelevant rankings, people making money off naive people, cocky attitudes about irrelevant things, and people disappointed when they realize they are not special and they have to do the same things as everybody else.

Also it is not easy to find the potential of an athlete that is why there are so many Horrendous #1 Draft Picks and people like Tom Brady go in the 6th round of the draft, nobody thought he would be good, but he might the best QB of all time. Then horrilbe players like Jamarcus Russell, Michael Olowakandi, Kwame Brown etc get picked #1 are atrocious and people get fired the decisions.  
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Thane Messinger on April 07, 2010, 11:59:23 PM
* * *

You are 100% right The Harvard guy gets the first look no question about it and 9 out 10 times if you were accepted into Harvard you are pretty damn smart and yes Harvard is a great school. So Harvard trains you better than Cooley does and the Harvard Grad is probably smarter than someone that went to Cooley 99% of the time.  However, no matter what your pedigree is you to prove yourself. The name of the school on the degree doesn't mean that much if you screw up, from my limited paralegal experience that is the way it seemed to me.

* * *


A caveat to the bolded point above.  One reason the law school experience is challenging is that law schools are universal in following Harvard's lead (circa the ever-hip 1870s).  Fast-forward to the past several decades, and law professorships are so exceedingly difficult to get that the universal CV of a law prof is:  (1) Top 5 law school (and, to a large degree, Top 2 law school); (2) top clerkship; (3) possibly a year or two in a national firm.  That's it.

What this means is that the education one gets is surprisingly consistent, regardless of law school.  Clearly, one gets quite a few more offerings at a top (or large) law school.  But otherwise, nearly every law prof comes from a distinguished background.  This leaves the students--not faculty--as the major distinguishing factor.

Point 87:  There are top students at every law school.  The difference is that the top students (objectively measured) are a relative minority in T3-4 schools, and all-but 100% in the top schools.  This is yet another reason firms are so picky (even if falsely so) when it comes to recruiting.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on April 08, 2010, 03:39:59 PM
That was one of my main points earlier all law school teaches you same thing. I would imagine a Harvard professor is slightly better than one at GGU, but the books are the same.  The UCC, FRCP, elements of negligence, everything is exactly same at Harvard or Mission College of Law the law is the SAME. Then how you apply what you learn in the real world is what determines your career. 

Just like I said earlier if you go to a prestigious pre-school or some school in the heart of the ghetto 1 + 1 =2 and 5x5=25 and Hitler was Germany's leader in WWII. The same facts apply no matter where you learn them.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: CJScalia on April 16, 2010, 09:49:30 PM
Obviously, the Harvard Grad will get the first look. Just like when I was ranked people watched me over others. However, your results in doing discovery, motions, etc will tell the tale. If you make all kinds of crazy discovery demands and get sanctioned and lose the case for your client, he is not coming back to you and he is going to tell others to avoid you. Even if you went to Harvard.

Why use freakishly unrealistic examples to prove your point? The amount of lawyers you just described can be counted on a pretty disfigured hand.

Quote
You are 100% right The Harvard guy gets the first look no question about it and 9 out 10 times if you were accepted into Harvard you are pretty damn smart and yes Harvard is a great school. So Harvard trains you better than Cooley does and the Harvard Grad is probably smarter than someone that went to Cooley 99% of the time.  However, no matter what your pedigree is you to prove yourself. The name of the school on the degree doesn't mean that much if you screw up, from my limited paralegal experience that is the way it seemed to me.

Sure it does. The Cooley grad gets 1 strike, and then he's out. The Harvard grad gets 5 strikes before he's out.

Quote
Your obviously the Federal Clerk so you can answer the question how much an attorney's law school comes up when they are in trial. When I had to watch them it never came up, but my experience was limited.

As a federal Clerk do you know where half the attorneys went that are arguing in front of you and even if you do how much does it really matter?  You are obviously in a better position than me to answer that so I am just curious to know.

Why would it matter for the clerk (or the judge) where you went to law school? The people who care about this is your client. If you can't get clients willing to put you in a court room, it doesn't matter jack *&^% how good you would have done if you had gotten the case.

Quote
Maybe people misunderstand my statements if you want a big law career or to sit on the Supreme Court and nothing else will satisfy you DO NOT go to a tier 4, because there is somewhat of a glass ceiling. However, people paint tier 4's like every one is doing lines of Coke with professors in class and the welfare line is full of tier 4 grads and that is far from the truth. You can get jobs, if you expect that when you graduate from Cooley that someone is going to name you partner and hand you a sweet corner office when you walk off the stage Good Luck that is all I can say to that.

Well, the unemployment line right now is full of tier 4 grads. Mind you, it's also pretty stacked with tier 3, tier 2 and tier 1 grads. But point still stands. This is, of course, a worse time than any to graduate from a "poor" school.

Also, I did coke with a professor one. I doubt it will hurt my employment chances. (Pretty sure it would hurt his future employment chances if it got out though :p )

Quote
However, if you want to be a lawyer and well be happy in some small or mid-size firm, or maybe even go solo, or work as in-house counsel, or for a City Law Department.  Then go to law school you will probably get a decent job and if you like the law you will be happy. If you went to a Tier 4 expecting to be millionaire by the time you were 30 you won't be and that probably goes for the majority of law schools out there.

If you want to be a millionaire, you either go get a MBA and network yourself into a bank (yeah, they still make money), or start up your own company. Law school is for chickens who didn't dare gamble as an entrepreneur.

Quote
Also it is not easy to find the potential of an athlete that is why there are so many Horrendous #1 Draft Picks and people like Tom Brady go in the 6th round of the draft, nobody thought he would be good, but he might the best QB of all time. Then horrilbe players like Jamarcus Russell, Michael Olowakandi, Kwame Brown etc get picked #1 are atrocious and people get fired the decisions.

I really don't see how athletic ability is comparable to academic ability.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: observationalist on April 22, 2010, 08:00:35 AM
Question to all of you currently in law school:  how many of you think your schools might be willing to disclose full employment lists showing where everyone goes, assuming their peer programs did the same? I ask because that's basically what we're trying to do.  We're specifically wondering if individual Deans or other law school administrators have made comments that indicate they want to make sure prospectives are better informed coming into law school.  I know the Deans at Southwestern and NYLS have both made statements indicating they might want to talk with us, so we're off to a good start.  And the media coverage right now is hopefully getting our message out to people as well.

bigs, it sounds like GGU told you ahead of time not to expect them to get you a job, and instead suggested that if you network well you can find something straight out of law school.  That's a great disclaimer, but it's still not as legitimate as actually showing you statistics for the entire graduating class.  And if you have classmates who have tried the networking thing and still found themselves shut out of jobs (maybe because they didn't do as well at the law school game as they figured they would), then they may be of the opinion that the law school misrepresented the job prospects (even if it's better attributed to the market shrinking/disappearing for some law schools).

And I haven't been on here in awhile but this board was particularly useful back when I was deciding on where to go to school, and I like how the discussion centers around different programs.  Now that we're trying to build up a consensus among all ABA-approved law schools and improve the reporting standard, I wanted to check with those of you who are current students at other schools.  Let me know what you think about our project and what you think will be the eventual outcome (and whatever important things that outcome may hinge upon).

best, -obs
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: legalized on May 15, 2010, 04:24:11 PM
I see someone said something about gettinjavascript:void(0);g an MBA and becoming an entrepreneur if one wants to make millions.  MBA and start a business in what?  Question what if one wants to become an entrepreneur by opening a solo practice?  It does not take years under someone else's tutelage to handle, for example, immigration law and family law cases.  Especially if you've handled them already through personal experience or will handle them through pro bono law student clinics or externships.

Law is THE fastest way to working for yourself, if you plan it before you even get there and play your cards right.  Even if you work for someone else two years, four years, and then go on your own, if you made sure to get the fundamental business administration skills such as accounting, marketing, basic finance, and keep up with the trends in your field and develop some mentors and resources before you set up shop...it's a concrete plan.  Opening one's own business is very risky when you don't know exactly what you plan to do.  Technically one should be able to open one's own business with a business degree...but in what if you have no specific qualification and don't want to do something involving products to make or create?  My talent is inside my skull, I can't bottle it, sew it, or jar it and sell it.  An MBA is VERY EASILY a bull generic degree because it does not tell you exactly what you can do, and being able to become ANYthing is not such a blessing, that's like looking for one piece of information on Google using a general search phrase: the possibilities are too endless and the right answer for you personally could be so far down the list of options that you don't get to it in time to make use of it.

Some say the problem is getting clients to pay...that is easily an issue in any entrepreneurial endeavour unless you run a retail store where the payment has to be made right then and there.  Look at all the real estate investors who got screwed when the market tanked and houses couldn't close.  I see plenty of so-called poor immigrants, construction worker day laborer types, who FIND the hundreds or thousands they need for their immigration case to pay the lawyer.  And then people who don't have those kinds of obstacles who try to stiff their lawyer because they are sneaky bastards.  It's not always those who look like they don't have money that are going to be a problem client.  Sometimes they are the ones that don't have time to b.s. around because they are trying to get ahead in life versus people who feel they have already arrived and can treat people however.

I think there are plenty people out there who need a lawyer and can't afford one.  Plenty out there who should not be obligated to pay whatever is enough to cover one's student loan bill but instead a reasonable rate based on their income or a flat fee or such.  This of course means since going to a high priced law school forces you to need biglaw type of pay, if you really want to keep the option open to go solo out of law school, you have to be committed to go somewhere that pays for your schooling and strategizing ahead of time to graduate as close to zero additional debt as possible. That would actually skew in favor of going to the cheapest school you can find in an area in which you want to live and work (since you need to develop contacts in the legal world if you hope to have resources and contacts and your name already out there for that solo).

It takes research and planning but I think it can be done.  And if you position yourself right you give yourself the option of both the midlaw/smalllaw jobs AND to go solo straight out if you wish to or find the need to.  If you don't plan a strategy to make certain options open up for you and really plan it before you get to law school, as part of deciding what law schools to even apply to...you are going to have to follow the default path and try to outclimb everyone to the Biglaw exit.  Since biglaw is where all the blood and carnage is coming from, why aim for it if you are not in the very top schools?

Too many cooks trying to stir the biglaw pot.

Entrepreneurs can exist in law too.  If you going to be broke and unemployed and on food stamps you can use that time to get your practice off the ground and actually have a way out of the brokeness, unemployment, and welfare dependence.

And yes I'm an 0L.  I fully intend to ask BEFORE I start law school what I need to do to make sure the option of solo the day I pass the par is a viable and realistic option for me.  Of existing solos out there now.  Nobody is going to be able to fire me forever.  If anything I would even try and keep some of my financial aid aside towards investing in things such as malpractice insurance and access to westlaw/lexis-nexis and such...or to sublease access to an existing practice's law library of these materials.

I think people cannot think of these things when they are in the middle of the crisis and their student loans are upon them.  So clearly the time to think about all your options on the other end and how best one should get TO them is now, before one starts the journey.  How will you get where you are going if you don't know what it takes to arrive at any of the possible destinations?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: legalized on May 15, 2010, 04:32:46 PM
I see someone said something about gettinjavascript:void(0);g an MBA and becoming an entrepreneur if one wants to make millions.  MBA and start a business in what?  Question what if one wants to become an entrepreneur by opening a solo practice?  It does not take years under someone else's tutelage to handle, for example, immigration law and family law cases.  Especially if you've handled them already through personal experience or will handle them through pro bono law student clinics or externships.

Law is THE fastest way to working for yourself, if you plan it before you even get there and play your cards right.  There is no other graduate degree that you can get done in 3 years and be eligible to go out on your own the second you meet licensing requirements.  PharmD is 7 years including undergrad and you can't get a bachelor's in one thing and go back and get the PharmD, and you certainly can't go open your own pharmacy the way you can go open your own law practice.  Even if you work for someone else two years, four years, and then go on your own, if you made sure to get the fundamental business administration skills such as accounting, marketing, basic finance, and keep up with the trends in your field and develop some mentors and resources before you set up shop...it's a concrete plan.  Opening one's own business is very risky when you don't know exactly what you plan to do.  Technically one should be able to open one's own business with a business degree...but in what if you have no specific qualification and don't want to do something involving products to make or create?  My talent is inside my skull, I can't bottle it, sew it, or jar it and sell it.  An MBA is VERY EASILY a bull generic degree because it does not tell you exactly what you can do, and being able to become ANYthing is not such a blessing, that's like looking for one piece of information on Google using a general search phrase: the possibilities are too endless and the right answer for you personally could be so far down the list of options that you don't get to it in time to make use of it.

Some say the problem is getting clients to pay...that is easily an issue in any entrepreneurial endeavour unless you run a retail store where the payment has to be made right then and there.  Look at all the real estate investors who got screwed when the market tanked and houses couldn't close.  I see plenty of so-called poor immigrants, construction worker day laborer types, who FIND the hundreds or thousands they need for their immigration case to pay the lawyer.  And then people who don't have those kinds of obstacles who try to stiff their lawyer because they are sneaky bastards.  It's not always those who look like they don't have money that are going to be a problem client.  Sometimes they are the ones that don't have time to b.s. around because they are trying to get ahead in life versus people who feel they have already arrived and can treat people however.

I think there are plenty people out there who need a lawyer and can't afford one.  Plenty out there who should not be obligated to pay whatever is enough to cover one's student loan bill but instead a reasonable rate based on their income or a flat fee or such.  This of course means since going to a high priced law school forces you to need biglaw type of pay, if you really want to keep the option open to go solo out of law school, you have to be committed to go somewhere that pays for your schooling and strategizing ahead of time to graduate as close to zero additional debt as possible. That would actually skew in favor of going to the cheapest school you can find in an area in which you want to live and work (since you need to develop contacts in the legal world if you hope to have resources and contacts and your name already out there for that solo).

It takes research and planning but I think it can be done.  And if you position yourself right you give yourself the option of both the midlaw/smalllaw jobs AND to go solo straight out if you wish to or find the need to.  If you don't plan a strategy to make certain options open up for you and really plan it before you get to law school, as part of deciding what law schools to even apply to...you are going to have to follow the default path and try to outclimb everyone to the Biglaw exit.  Since biglaw is where all the blood and carnage is coming from, why aim for it if you are not in the very top schools?

Too many cooks trying to stir the biglaw pot.

Entrepreneurs can exist in law too.  If you going to be broke and unemployed and on food stamps you can use that time to get your practice off the ground and actually have a way out of the brokeness, unemployment, and welfare dependence.

And yes I'm an 0L.  I fully intend to ask BEFORE I start law school what I need to do to make sure the option of solo the day I pass the par is a viable and realistic option for me.  Of existing solos out there now.  Nobody is going to be able to fire me forever.  If anything I would even try and keep some of my financial aid aside towards investing in things such as malpractice insurance and access to westlaw/lexis-nexis and such...or to sublease access to an existing practice's law library of these materials.

I think people cannot think of these things when they are in the middle of the crisis and their student loans are upon them.  So clearly the time to think about all your options on the other end and how best one should get TO them is now, before one starts the journey.  How will you get where you are going if you don't know what it takes to arrive at any of the possible destinations?
Title: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this
Post by: taxguy on July 07, 2010, 11:40:55 AM
I know that many of your want to work in Big Law. You aspire to a top T14 school where you think you will have a great career and hopefully earn enough to pay for those law school debts. Let me share a recent story
that I heard yesterday.

I was sitting on the plane next to a gal who attended University of Taxas and worked for a large law firm in Texas. The law firm have had already two rounds of layoffs.
Most of those layed off were those that didn't meet the budgetary goals of 45 chargable hours per week. Be advised that to get 45 chargable hours, you really need to work at least 60 hours per week or more.

They were going to have another big round of layoffs when the staff voted en masse to allow a 20% pay cut if the firm would not lay anyone else off.Since the starting
salary for new lawyers was $160,000, they could still live on $128,000.

The partners thought about this and rejected the staff's proposal as being the result of "loser mentality." If you want to work in Big Law, you should at least know
what you are getting into for the rest of your life! Also, understand, my purpose for this post is NOT to talk you out of working for Big Law or even becoming a lawyer. That isn't my business. I just want everyone to be aware of the environment that they are getting into.

Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: nealric on July 07, 2010, 12:26:25 PM
I'm so glad that guy sat next to you so you could bequeath us with your boundless wisdom. We would all have made our live's folly if not for your warning!
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on July 07, 2010, 09:06:32 PM
So the legal profession is hard?  You mean you have to do actual work when you get out of law school! I thought you just sat around and talked about how badass you were for going to law school and people just paid you 100's of dollars an hour while you told them how smart you were. From what you are saying you need to generate revenue to keep your job! What a crazy industry that is nuts I need to  to get into one of those careers where they pay you a lot of money to sit around and do nothing. I know those are abundant.

The real world is tough and if you want to be a lawyer it is a lot of work.  That should not be news to anybody.
Title: Re: Before you really decide to work for BigLaw: Read this
Post by: the white rabbit on July 08, 2010, 03:19:09 AM
I know that many of your want to work in Big Law. You aspire to a top T14 school where you think you will have a great career and hopefully earn enough to pay for those law school debts. Let me share a recent story
that I heard yesterday.

I was sitting on the plane next to a gal who attended University of Taxas and worked for a large law firm in Texas. The law firm have had already two rounds of layoffs.
Most of those layed off were those that didn't meet the budgetary goals of 45 chargable hours per week. Be advised that to get 45 chargable hours, you really need to work at least 60 hours per week or more.

They were going to have another big round of layoffs when the staff voted en masse to allow a 20% pay cut if the firm would not lay anyone else off.Since the starting
salary for new lawyers was $160,000, they could still live on $128,000.

The partners thought about this and rejected the staff's proposal as being the result of "loser mentality." If you want to work in Big Law, you should at least know
what you are getting into for the rest of your life! Also, understand, my purpose for this post is NOT to talk you out of working for Big Law or even becoming a lawyer. That isn't my business. I just want everyone to be aware of the environment that they are getting into.

I'm trying to figure out what exactly was so negative about the environment.  You think the fact that the firm would rather have layoffs than pay cuts is a problem?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on July 08, 2010, 09:49:49 AM
I think that is kind of messed up to layoff people instead of reducing pay rates from 160,000-128,000 since that is what the associates wanted.  If the associates didn't want that then it would be fine, but it is their law firm and their business and they can do what they want. The bottom line is when you are being paid by someone to do something you need to make it worth there while and if you have people that are meeting the billable hour requirements and generating revenue you want to keep them around. If you have people that are not meeting the requirements that other people in the same situation are then you want them gone.  If you are seeking a job where you are being paid 160k or 128k you better be worth it. The more money you make people will have higher expectations. So if you go into BigLaw you better be willing to work an insane amount of hours and be productive.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Morten Lund on July 08, 2010, 12:16:22 PM
taxguy's warning should be well-heeded, within context.  This may surprise you, but there are in fact many new associates at BigLaw firms who really had no idea what they were in for.  And BigLaw firms are in fact (generally speaking) more mercenary and ruthless than most people might like their workplace to be. 

Many law students also drastically overestimate their future prospects at large firms, when BigLaw is in some ways like the NBA - few are drafted, and even for the lucky few the average career is only 4ish years long.  Going to law school with the expectation of a 40-year BigLaw career is very optimistic, no matter where you go to school.

That said, BigLaw is not monolithic.  There are drastic differences in culture, associate treatment, partnership prospects, workload, and income, all within the AmLaw 100 alone - the differences increase if you count the next batch of firms.  Learn your firm, for they are not all the same. 

But also be realistic about what you will be doing.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on July 08, 2010, 01:03:16 PM
I could not agree more with the NBA analogy Morten. When I played basketball everybody that got a scholarship to college thought they were going to the NBA, but most people did not. However, a lot of those did end up playing overseas or getting jobs as high school basketball or college basketball coaches. If you do actually make it to the NBA it is cutthroat and you better be f'ing good or else you will be booed and criticized because someone is paying you exorbitant amounts of money you are not performing.  See Jamarcus Russel #1 pick who is now unemployed and in jail apparently.

Just like law school most people think that they are guaranteed to get a 200k a year job when they get into a law school, but few will make that in their career and if they do actually get a really high paying job they better earn it or else they will be on the street. However, like the college scholarship players who dedicated 4 years of their life to basketball most of them got some kind of job in basketball just like people who spend 3 years in law school will generally find some kind of employment in the legal field. 
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: the white rabbit on July 10, 2010, 07:44:24 AM
I think that is kind of messed up to layoff people instead of reducing pay rates from 160,000-128,000 since that is what the associates wanted.

Why?  A pay cut would benefit most the associates most likely to be laid off, and it would probably harm the firm in terms of being able to recruit.

More to the point, it doesn't make the big firm especially bad compared to plenty of other employers in other industries.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on July 10, 2010, 05:04:35 PM
I didn't say it doesn't make sense. I just meant it was kind of messed up that the associates wanted to help their colleagues, but the higher ups did not respect it. However, the higher ups are running a business and it makes sense that they would want to pay one person 160,000 that was really productive and then keep 128,00 for themselves by laying off a guy that wasn't worth the money. It's business and why keep someone around that isn't pulling their weight and the answer is you shouldn't.

A lay off just means you are not worth keeping around. It is not like you did some horrible thing, but if you cost more to keep around than you are making you get laid off. So it makes perfect sense that this firm let people go that were not meeting the billable hour requirements.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: the white rabbit on July 11, 2010, 07:47:25 AM
I didn't say it doesn't make sense. I just meant it was kind of messed up that the associates wanted to help their colleagues, but the higher ups did not respect it. However, the higher ups are running a business and it makes sense that they would want to pay one person 160,000 that was really productive and then keep 128,00 for themselves by laying off a guy that wasn't worth the money. It's business and why keep someone around that isn't pulling their weight and the answer is you shouldn't.

A lay off just means you are not worth keeping around. It is not like you did some horrible thing, but if you cost more to keep around than you are making you get laid off. So it makes perfect sense that this firm let people go that were not meeting the billable hour requirements.

I see.  So what you mean is:

1. It makes sense from a business perspective, but
2. It's still kind of messed up.

So we're on the same page I guess.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: john4040 on August 13, 2010, 03:11:34 PM
Posted updated link.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: danny900 on August 21, 2010, 08:55:28 AM
The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation - A law and economics blog from the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance that gathers the latest news, opinion and research pertaining to corporate governance and financial .
http://www.glitzwedding.com/
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: REALITY on August 21, 2010, 11:08:15 AM
lawschool is always a good decision.

Anyone who cries about the debt is an idiot. Obama helped pass student loan reforms where it is now income based if you need it to be for repayment and after 20 years All of it it forgiven.

Caveat, even if you end up in a job that even an AAS could get, you still will have the education and not feel the weight of the debt any harder than someone who went to a more "prestigous" BA. Hell, you could be the biggest duesh on the planet and work at BK and still be ok with an LLM worth of loans over your head.


The only real excuse not to do it is now dead. So stop crying about "what if I fail" (cowards will fail in life in general so dont be a coward) and just apply, if you get in try your best to graduate, if you graduate get a job, if you fail out get a job, work for 20 years, be debt free either way, find a way to retire for another 20 years or so, then die. It's that easy. That's all.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: john4040 on August 21, 2010, 04:13:26 PM
lawschool is always a good decision.

Anyone who cries about the debt is an idiot. Obama helped pass student loan reforms where it is now income based if you need it to be for repayment and after 20 years All of it it forgiven.

Horrible advice.  Have you actually read the terms for IBR?  Would you like to live in abject poverty for 20 years before your loans are forgiven?  You also fail to consider the fact that private loans will not be forgiven.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on August 21, 2010, 05:40:57 PM
Yea you should be somewhat cautious about the loans. $100,000 or so in debt is not something you should take lightly and not to mention you will lose 3 years of substantial income if you go to law school. Even if you had some pencil pusher job making 30,000 or so a year that is 90,000 over 3 years in lost income and instead of keeping that income you go 100,000 in debt. At the same time if law school is something you really want to do then go for it, but don't just go because you saw an episode of law & order. It is a huge decision and 3 years plus 100k is not something you should just shrug off.

I do agree with the other guy that people have way to many excuses.  Honestly, no matter what you do there is going to be some risk and if you decide to go to law school then be accountable for your decision. Instead of blaming everybody and everything like some of those b.s. websites where the people bi**h and moan about everything.  They blame their school, their professors, the ABA, whatever they can point their finger at, but they never take one ounce of accountability.

Bottom line if you really want to be a lawyer then go to law school, but be cautious about your debt and as a general rule  go to a school in a location you want to live in.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: REALITY on August 21, 2010, 10:00:19 PM
Damn you must have failed economics.

If you make more, you pay more. No duh, but then you can afford it.

As for the poverty issue, if you are that pathetic to live in poverty with a JD, you'd be at least that bad off without it huh? Yeah, you would .


lawschool is always a good decision.

Anyone who cries about the debt is an idiot. Obama helped pass student loan reforms where it is now income based if you need it to be for repayment and after 20 years All of it it forgiven.

Horrible advice.  Have you actually read the terms for IBR?  Would you like to live in abject poverty for 20 years before your loans are forgiven?  You also fail to consider the fact that private loans will not be forgiven.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: the white rabbit on August 21, 2010, 11:21:48 PM
Damn you must have failed economics.

If you make more, you pay more. No duh, but then you can afford it.

As for the poverty issue, if you are that pathetic to live in poverty with a JD, you'd be at least that bad off without it huh? Yeah, you would .

A lot of noise in this post, but not much substance.  Basically, you assume that it's easy to make money.

I don't understand why anyone would think that carrying an enormous amount of debt is no big deal, especially when it's not backed by anything that can be exchanged for value.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: REALITY on August 21, 2010, 11:48:16 PM
Basicly not at all what I said, I said IF you make a lot then you don't have to worry about the debt since you'll have the money, but IF you end up making pennies then the income based payments and the 20 year forgivness step in and make it ok for you and if you suck bad with a JD you'd suck worse without it.

Thats why the "debt" is "no big deal" the "value" you get is a better job that allows you to pay it off, and if not then the debt hardly even applies, and to the near nill amount that it does, still gets you better off than a BA would. Even if you only a few grand more a year, thats what your income based payments would be(so financially worse case scenario you break even) but at least are more likely to be eligable to the more respected positions and respect of others along the way.

"but I was scared, so I work at a hotdog stand......" is less impressive with the ladies than "Yeah I got stuck as general manager at Kmart for awhile, but I have a JD".........who's sausage would you rather swallow? There you go.

Damn you must have failed economics.

If you make more, you pay more. No duh, but then you can afford it.

As for the poverty issue, if you are that pathetic to live in poverty with a JD, you'd be at least that bad off without it huh? Yeah, you would .

A lot of noise in this post, but not much substance.  Basically, you assume that it's easy to make money.

I don't understand why anyone would think that carrying an enormous amount of debt is no big deal, especially when it's not backed by anything that can be exchanged for value.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: the white rabbit on August 22, 2010, 12:20:26 AM
Basicly not at all what I said, I said IF you make a lot then you don't have to worry about the debt since you'll have the money, but IF you end up making pennies then the income based payments and the 20 year forgivness step in and make it ok for you and if you suck bad with a JD you'd suck worse without it.

Thats why the "debt" is "no big deal" the "value" you get is a better job that allows you to pay it off, and if not then the debt hardly even applies, and to the near nill amount that it does, still gets you better off than a BA would. Even if you only a few grand more a year, thats what your income based payments would be(so financially worse case scenario you break even) but at least are more likely to be eligable to the more respected positions and respect of others along the way.

"but I was scared, so I work at a hotdog stand......" is less impressive with the ladies than "Yeah I got stuck as general manager at Kmart for awhile, but I have a JD".........who's sausage would you rather swallow? There you go.

Damn you must have failed economics.

If you make more, you pay more. No duh, but then you can afford it.

As for the poverty issue, if you are that pathetic to live in poverty with a JD, you'd be at least that bad off without it huh? Yeah, you would .

A lot of noise in this post, but not much substance.  Basically, you assume that it's easy to make money.

I don't understand why anyone would think that carrying an enormous amount of debt is no big deal, especially when it's not backed by anything that can be exchanged for value.

Say you end up making the same amount of money you did without the JD, but now you need to pay a percentage for the next 20 years to pay off your debt.  Was law school still the right answer in that situation?

Your expected response: "That never happens because everybody knows that you make more money with a JD."  ::)

And if you think "...but I have a JD" is going to impress anybody, you may have bigger problems than I can help you with.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: REALITY on August 22, 2010, 12:26:24 AM
YES haveing a JD DOES impress people more than a BA.
It's like comparing a highscool grad vs a dropout, yeah its not "impressive" to have highschool, but you're a duesh if you don't. Thus, more respect.

PLUS, yeah if you can't make more with a JD than without it, then something is wrong with you as a person and you just need to get that fixed. Maybe open up to new options, maybe pull a stickoutofyourass, I don't know but definitely try something.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: the white rabbit on August 22, 2010, 12:56:25 AM
PLUS, yeah if you can't make more with a JD than without it, then something is wrong with you as a person and you just need to get that fixed.

Why do you think this?  I mean I know that conventional wisdom says that law degree equals higher income unless there's something else wrong with you, but do we know that this is actually true?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: REALITY on August 22, 2010, 12:58:08 AM
Seeing how as I know both grads and nongrads the answer to that is a quick and simple yes.

PLUS, yeah if you can't make more with a JD than without it, then something is wrong with you as a person and you just need to get that fixed.

Why do you think this?  I mean I know that conventional wisdom says that law degree equals higher income unless there's something else wrong with you, but do we know that this is actually true?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: the white rabbit on August 22, 2010, 05:59:26 AM
Seeing how as I know both grads and nongrads the answer to that is a quick and simple yes.

PLUS, yeah if you can't make more with a JD than without it, then something is wrong with you as a person and you just need to get that fixed.

Why do you think this?  I mean I know that conventional wisdom says that law degree equals higher income unless there's something else wrong with you, but do we know that this is actually true?

How do you know that it's not correlation rather than causation?  Or sampling error for that matter?  Can you really say that law school is always a good decision based on anecdotal data?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: john4040 on August 22, 2010, 06:07:56 AM
BWAHAHAHHAA... Thanks for the laughs REALITY.  Who knew that my J.D. could drop panties?!?!1111111
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: REALITY on August 22, 2010, 09:05:36 AM
view it in the reversal if it helps, take the girls that WOULD "drop their panties" for you right now. THEN say something along the lines of "Yeah I only lied about the JD, I really meant GED, but my Janitor pay is enough for a double wide sweetcheeks....." You'll still get panties, but only ones already stained with their stepdaddies Skoal,  :o

BWAHAHAHHAA... Thanks for the laughs REALITY.  Who knew that my J.D. could drop panties?!?!1111111
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: REALITY on August 22, 2010, 09:08:20 AM
In the end, who cares WHY it works out that way, as long as it does?
Regardless of the list of reasons someone tosses at me for NOT being the duesh living with half a dozen roommates and eating a steady diet of Ramean&maltomeal, then yeah I'm content. Screw it.

"but you didn't prove WHY....."  ???


Seeing how as I know both grads and nongrads the answer to that is a quick and simple yes.

PLUS, yeah if you can't make more with a JD than without it, then something is wrong with you as a person and you just need to get that fixed.

Why do you think this?  I mean I know that conventional wisdom says that law degree equals higher income unless there's something else wrong with you, but do we know that this is actually true?

How do you know that it's not correlation rather than causation?  Or sampling error for that matter?  Can you really say that law school is always a good decision based on anecdotal data?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: the white rabbit on August 22, 2010, 09:23:26 AM
In the end, who cares WHY it works out that way, as long as it does?

First off, let me point out that you didn't address my point on the anecdotal nature of the evidence.

With regard to the WHY, if there's an independent reason that's causing the correlation but you don't take that into account, then there's a good chance that things will no longer continue to work out that way.

Say, for example, that the people you know who are lawyers happen to be the people you know who are smart and motivated.  They would probably have made more money regardless of whether or not they became lawyers.  If, however, you say that the important thing is that they are lawyers and not that they are smart and motivated, and this leads people who are not smart or motivated to go to law school, then your observation that lawyers make more money will no longer hold true, at least not to the same degree.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on August 22, 2010, 10:47:40 AM
No if you go to law school everything works out and your life is excellent!  People just throw money at you when you have a J.D. and every girl drops their pants for you if you tell them you went to law school. Bottom line is if you go to law school then you will never have any problems ever. 
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Morten Lund on August 22, 2010, 12:30:06 PM
No if you go to law school everything works out and your life is excellent!  People just throw money at you when you have a J.D. and every girl drops their pants for you if you tell them you went to law school. Bottom line is if you go to law school then you will never have any problems ever.

Just in case bigs' sarcasm is too subtle for some law school hopefuls' Internet Sarcasm Detectors...   Much has been made in society and popular culture about how law school is the road to easy street - the big corner office, instant huge income, nice suits, nice cars, nice cigars - to the point where many/most pre-law types think that it is at least partially true.

Allow me to disabuse you, in no uncertain terms.  NONE of that is true.  Not even a little bit.  Most readers on this site have by now figured out the "bimodal distribution" of attorney earnings - most JD holders either make more than $200k or less than $75k (numbers chosen semi-randomly - feel free to insert your own).  There is little space in between.  Talks of “average” income of JDs is very misleading.  Do law school graduates "make more" than they would without the JD?  That depends on which measure of central tendency you prefer.  It certainly is not true for all law school graduates, and absolutely is not automatic for any particular person.

The "more than $200k" group is mostly in BigLaw.  Simple statistics will tell you that most law school graduates do not get hired by BigLaw.  If you don’t get hired by BigLaw, your chances of making it to the $200k club are drastically reduced.  And even if you do get hired by BigLaw, life ain't a bed of roses.

First off, the pre-partner attrition rate at big firms is north of 80% - north of 95% for many firms.  So your a priori chances of making partner (once you have been hired by BigLaw to begin with, that is) are somewhere between 1 in 5 and 1 in 20.  Otherwise, most likely, you are out on your butt.  Maybe working in-house, maybe working for the government, or maybe teaching history at the community college - but most likely out of the $200k club and back in the $75k club.

And that's just the money.  Because here's the thing - the job is HARD. 

First off, the hours are long - very long.  People will talk about firms requiring 2,000 billable hours each year, and some law students will declare that billing 2,000 hours is easy.  Silliness.   Anybody who says that billing 2,000 hours is easy has never done it.  Besides, billing 2,000 hours will get you fired at many firms, regardless of what their websites say.  For top Wall Street firms (and their equivalents across the country) 2,500 is a better target, and 2,500 hours is more than 25% more difficult than 2,000.

Second, it's not just about the hours.  The job is challenging, both emotionally and intellectually.  You will be given relatively little direction and be expected to figure it out yourself.  And do so while watching your colleagues seemingly figure it out easily - and then remembering those odds of making partner and wondering how you stack up.  You will be expected to be on call 24/7 to meet the demands of partners and clients, whether reasonable or unreasonable.  You will be given extraordinarily difficult tasks, with a clear understanding that failure is not acceptable.  Whenever you hear an associate say that their job is easy and they figured it out right away - chances are good that they will NOT be making partner, because they do not even understand their own plight.

Third, there is no gold watch.  Maybe there was a time when people made partner and then semi-retired while associates toiled to pay for their easy lifestyle.  Maybe.  But that certainly is not the case anymore.  The work never stops.  Partners work just as hard as associates, if not harder.  (Hint - I am posting this from my office.)   It is not unusual to see firms where the partners bill more hours than the associates, and at every firm the partners have significantly more non-billable responsibilities than the associates.  Partners are also not "safe" - partners get laid off and fired all the time, just like associates.  As a law partner, you have to justify your existence each and every day.  And, finally,  even if you have a successful career as a BigLaw partner, you will still probably not be rich.  You will make enough money to live well, but at the end of the day partners at most firms are still working stiffs.

There is no shortage of BigLaw horror stories out there.  My point is that in some respects, BigLaw success is not that different from those horror stories.  BigLaw may be many things, but "easy path to wealth" is not one of them.  It is a tough career that requires significant investment.  It takes a toll on health and family - divorce, depression, suicide, and drug use are all occupational hazards. 

And BigLaw is probably the surest path from a JD to a significant income.  Other options may or may not be as challenging, but generally less likely to lead to "the big bucks."  And, even though not as financially lucrative, non-BigLaw legal careers are not necessarily any easier.  At all.

So if anybody is telling you that if you just go to law school and you will be living the high life on easy street - don't believe them, not even a little bit.

(Some of you might be wondering, after reading this, why anybody would ever seek a career in BigLaw, or even law in general.  Topic for a different post - but rest assured that there are rewards.  Despite my occasional whining, I thoroughly enjoy my job and am thankful that life has taken me where I am.  It is a good career, just not an easy one.)
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: REALITY on August 22, 2010, 01:58:57 PM
No shitthats why I started it off with "who cares"

In the end, who cares WHY it works out that way, as long as it does?

First off, let me point out that you didn't address my point on the anecdotal nature of the evidence.

With regard to the WHY, if there's an independent reason that's causing the correlation but you don't take that into account, then there's a good chance that things will no longer continue to work out that way.

Say, for example, that the people you know who are lawyers happen to be the people you know who are smart and motivated.  They would probably have made more money regardless of whether or not they became lawyers.  If, however, you say that the important thing is that they are lawyers and not that they are smart and motivated, and this leads people who are not smart or motivated to go to law school, then your observation that lawyers make more money will no longer hold true, at least not to the same degree.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: the white rabbit on August 23, 2010, 09:30:58 PM
No shitthats why I started it off with "who cares"

People who want to be successful probably want to know what it is that leads to success.  Just a hunch.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on August 23, 2010, 11:14:54 PM
No!!! All it takes is to coast through college and get some multiple choice questions on a test about nothing.  Then you get admitted into a law school and all your worries drift away.  You become almost superhuman, you can't count the money in your bank account, and you become extremely motivated once you start. Don't you know that law school solves everyone's problems. 
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: REALITY on August 27, 2010, 04:20:08 PM
Lawschool has nothing to do with undergrad. We all know that now.
"but it might help latter"-FUCKLATTER-just make sure that I get my reach around today to make up for the rest.

No!!! All it takes is to coast through college and get some multiple choice questions on a test about nothing.  Then you get admitted into a law school and all your worries drift away.  You become almost superhuman, you can't count the money in your bank account, and you become extremely motivated once you start. Don't you know that law school solves everyone's problems.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: sashlxi on September 27, 2010, 10:02:23 AM
EFORE you decide to go to a law school, consider reading the following blogs

Third Tier Toliet

The Jobless Juris Doctor

Shilling Me Softly

Sh*t Law Jobs

Tales of a Fourth Tier Nothing

CHECK YOU THINKING LIKE A LAWYER

But I Did Everything Right!

Subprime JD

The Law School Tuition Bubble

Scammed Hard!

Education Matters

First Tier Toilet

Temporary Attorney: The Sweatshop Edition

Sallie Mae's female dog

Outside Lies Magic

EXPOSING THE LAW SCHOOL SCAM

Highest Education

Fluster Cucked -- America's Race to the Bottom

Rose Colored Glasses

Law School Must Be Debunked

Esq. Never

The Angry Future Expat

Life's Mockery Law Blog

Legal Nihilist

No more room at the bench - latimes.com
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Hamilton on September 27, 2010, 10:17:02 AM
I think these are all good blogs to check out for the downside view of law school - but don't get obnoxious with the multiple posts.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: louiebstef on September 27, 2010, 10:41:23 AM
I think most poor souls here are blasted by a tsunami wave of cynicism about LS and the legal field already.  I never have been one to give more
than cursory attention to naysayers.  These folks are usually not the doers....
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on September 27, 2010, 10:53:03 AM
All these blogs seem to imply that it is hard finding a job. Thank god for these warnings I will transfer to the MBA program since  I just talked to their career services and they said anyone who gets an MBA is guaranteed a sweet corner office and 500K salary. I remember when me and my high school friends got bachelors degrees we were overwhelmed with job offers. All great high paying jobs, great work schedule with the ability to choose wherever we wanted to live, but I had to choose law school. The one and only form of education where it is hard to find a job. Thank god for these warnings I will now go down one of the educational or career paths that are easy and lead to guaranteed success.  Only problem is that I forgot what type of degree or job guarantees me this road to easy street. Maybe somebody can help me out?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: louiebstef on September 27, 2010, 11:00:47 AM
Bigs,

You done SCREWED UP.  Who needs a stinkin bachelor's degree?  Why didn't you skeedaddle over to Everest and take that CSI course?  I heard they're hiring MILLIONS of people for HUNDREDS of jobs.

You idiot.

 ;)
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: marcus-aurelius on September 27, 2010, 11:58:53 AM
To show that it matters how hard YOU are willing to work.  I have two friends, went to the same school, had the same major, and GPA were closes (3.6 v. 3.5).  One has a NYC job at larger company.  Other is working for a local township.  And then one with the lower GPA is the one in NYC
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Hamilton on September 27, 2010, 12:27:03 PM
Is this supposed to be an argument in support of the idea that it is the hard-working go-getters who are landing jobs in law and everyone not getting a job is a lazy slacker not willing to put in the effort?  If so, it falls very flat.

The above listed blogs can be dismissed as being written by bitter JDs who just did not have what it took, or who somehow felt entitled to a job - but folks do so at their own peril.  I think these guys make an excellent point that anyone paying full price for a JD from a T3/T4 school and wracking up 6 figure debt is really taking a big risk.  They are providing a forum to warn 0Ls that law school is not a guaranteed path to wealth and glamour - contrary to the product that the law schools continue to sell.

To show that it matters how hard YOU are willing to work.  I have two friends, went to the same school, had the same major, and GPA were closes (3.6 v. 3.5).  One has a NYC job at larger company.  Other is working for a local township.  And then one with the lower GPA is the one in NYC
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on September 27, 2010, 01:00:46 PM
I think these guys make an excellent point that anyone paying full price for a JD from a T3/T4 school and wracking up 6 figure debt is really taking a big risk.  They are providing a forum to warn 0Ls that law school is not a guaranteed path to wealth and glamour - contrary to the product that the law schools continue to sell.


I would not disagree with that for a second, but going into any form of education anywhere except Harvard is a risk. A lot of people should not go to 4 year colleges, if you get a 3.3 high school GPA and 1100 on your SAT. You are not going to Harvard or Yale. You will probably go to some state college and rack up debt. It may or may not work out. Most people are NOT exceptional. Nothing is going to be handed to you and there is a lot of luck involved in getting a job. Education is a scam in all fields and from all institutions. I mean admissions officers in all forms of education write books on how to impress them enough to LET you pay them to get an education that is not a guarantee of anything. It is a ridiculous system, but it is the way it is and you need to deal with it. Or try change the structure of it, but writing a blog about how unfair everything is not helping these people.

For any 0L law school is difficult, Harvard is a better school than Cooley, if you go to the 49th best school and the 104th best student nobody is going to come knocking your door down to hand you a job. The real world is tough and NOTHING like school get used to it.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: haus on September 27, 2010, 01:09:08 PM
Is this supposed to be an argument in support of the idea that it is the hard-working go-getters who are landing jobs in law and everyone not getting a job is a lazy slacker not willing to put in the effort?  If so, it falls very flat.

The above listed blogs can be dismissed as being written by bitter JDs who just did not have what it took, or who somehow felt entitled to a job - but folks do so at their own peril.  I think these guys make an excellent point that anyone paying full price for a JD from a T3/T4 school and wracking up 6 figure debt is really taking a big risk.  They are providing a forum to warn 0Ls that law school is not a guaranteed path to wealth and glamour - contrary to the product that the law schools continue to sell.

To show that it matters how hard YOU are willing to work.  I have two friends, went to the same school, had the same major, and GPA were closes (3.6 v. 3.5).  One has a NYC job at larger company.  Other is working for a local township.  And then one with the lower GPA is the one in NYC

Hamilton,

I agree that life has risk. A decision to go after a JD is a risk. There are no guarantees that it will lead to a good career or anything else for that matter. What gets me about much of these bloggers and those that pop up in forums such as this one is that they very rarely seem to put in the time to provide some alternative.

I am an old geezer, I am making over 100k and have been for awhile now. It was only about 4 years ago that I got around to completing my BS degree, and all told it had very little impact in me getting to where I am, but I saw the writing on the wall and noticed that if I want to go further there are some things that I can do to improve my odds. So I completed the BS, I am working on the Masters now and contemplating the JD.

These efforts are not help me bust into a new field, they are to help me move further up the ladder in the field that I am already in.

I can easily see that for many pursuing a JD (esp. if taking on a great deal of debt to do it), could have negative consequences. This should be obvious to anyone who is capable of getting into a decent program. Although I would argue that the cost of opportunity for most law students is fairly low, as a great deal of them do not have the skills or experience needed to receive highly rewarding employment prior to going to law school. It is unlikely that by earning a JD at a respectable school that the long line of 100k + jobs that they would have otherwise been offered will have gone away, as they simply did not exist in the first place.

One needs to find a way to make themselves valuable. While a JD may well be part of that, for many it may not be enough by itself. What that something is will vary by the individual, but be prepared to do what others do not want to do. Find problems that need to be solved and solve them (or at least come up with a possible approach), if you cannot find a problem you are simply not looking hard enough.

I will continue to be turned off to the cries of those who have done everything right, got their degree and found no magic carriage to take them to the world of expense accounts and window offices. The competition does not end with an acceptance letter to law school, at graduation day, or when you pass the bar. Everyday you will need to get up and do more then the person across from you, everyday you will need to fight for a win. As we enter a world that more and more white collar work is being farmed out overseas (India I am looking at you...), there are NO SAFE SPOTS, there is no easy win, but for many avoiding law school is not the right option (while you are at it, why not avoid college, and perhaps that the last few years of high school so that you can get a good jump at the Asst. Manager slot over at the Taco Bell, sure the pay sucks but think how great it is not to have school debt or to have to worry about the Junior Prom).

Lets hear instead about what TO DO.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: louiebstef on September 27, 2010, 01:12:06 PM
"Lets hear instead about what TO DO."

Haus----

AMEN brother!
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on September 27, 2010, 01:16:04 PM
I could not agree more HAUS. In regards to these bloggers is it not amazing that they claim to be looking so hard for a job, but have time to write these blogs. I have written about 10 posts on this site today and I could have applied to 10 jobs in that time.  Maybe I would end up getting a better gig than I have had I done that. However, It is not my schools fault that I am writing on here so often or the educational structure it is my own. I love how nobody takes any accountability for their failure on those sites. Absolutely nothing is their fault and it is 100% their schools fault that they cannot find employment.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: louiebstef on September 27, 2010, 01:32:20 PM
Bigs,

Quit.  I'm startin' ta get that gospel feelin.  AMENNNNNNNN.
 ;)

When will people realize that a loser is a loser, whether they be degreed or not?  What is my definition of a loser?  Exactly what Bigs said.  Quit yer bitchin and finger pointing and get OUT there.  Nothing wrong with you volunteering to do some Pro Bono work for the community, since you're ostensibly UNEMPLOYED anyway.  Who knows? You may even meet someone that could help you in your career.

OH...SORRY.  I realize that'll cut into your internet time bitchin about what a raw deal you got.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Hamilton on September 27, 2010, 02:04:59 PM
Again, I think this is a very unfair characterization of the folks who cannot find work and it is an innacurate characterization of the folks who write those blogs.

I love how nobody takes any accountability for their failure on those sites. Absolutely nothing is their fault and it is 100% their schools fault that they cannot find employment.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on September 27, 2010, 02:35:03 PM
I just looked at two of them on third tier toilet the guy says this. On page 43 of Suffolk University’s 2009 IRS Form 990, you will see that university president and “professor of law” David J. Sargent made $832,782 in TOTAL COMPENSATION for 2008. Yes, that is one premium salary, isn’t it?

On page 45, the breakdown is as follows: $463,479 in base compensation; $89,816 in bonus and incentive compensation; $47,173 in other compensation; $211,136 in deferred compensation; and $21,178 in non-taxable benefits.

This guy is getting Suffolk's tax returns and reading through them? Really this guy is looking so hard for a job that he is delving into the University President's salary and IRS report. That is a ridiculous waste of time. *&^% Law Jobs is a listing of jobs that are not that great. Go to Craigslist in any profession and you will some jobs that do not pay well. That is freaking life. Now the Suffolk President's salary might be to high, but that has no impact on this guys ability to find a job. If he wants to make a report on how the price for schooling is outrageous I am all for it. However, for an individual complaining about finding work delving through University President's tax returns does not sound like a productive use of time can you agree with that?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: haus on September 27, 2010, 02:39:21 PM
Again, I think this is a very unfair characterization of the folks who cannot find work and it is an innacurate characterization of the folks who write those blogs.

I love how nobody takes any accountability for their failure on those sites. Absolutely nothing is their fault and it is 100% their schools fault that they cannot find employment.

Hamilton,

I spent a stretch of my life being homeless. I have no problem understanding that bad things happen. I get it.

I am just disappointed that of this subset of people who feel that they have been burned by law school (perhaps college as well) have not managed to come up with anything other then "hey this can fail', or in some of the more dramatic 'hey you are all doomed because I and the people I know failed'.

What now? Roll over, play dead?

They are right in that the image of success for everyone who gets in is a crock. Maybe there was a time in the history of law school or business school, that anyone who got in and made it to an interview, got through the thing without drooling on themselves and the jobs offers came falling from the sky like confetti. That is not what we have now, in anything.

Older workers will be retiring at a lesser rate (they need the income to pay their bills), companies will be more cautious in creating new jobs to avoid being on the hook to pay workers unless then know for a fact that they have plenty of work to keep them fully tasked. It is tough, hopefully it will be getting better, but it is tougher then it has been.

In the game of basketball, when you are passing the ball, you do not pass it to where your teammate is, instead you pass it to where they will be (my apologies is the use of the basketball analogy intrudes upon Bigs trademark) . When you are looking for a job, you should do what you can to position yourself, with the background, training, skills for what employees will want, not what they have needed in the past. Find something, get involved, make yourself useful. Find a way to demonstrate that you can resolve problems. It no guarantee, but we are all playing the odds, and as such those who take steps to make the odds favor them will have a better shot.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Hamilton on September 28, 2010, 06:23:35 AM
A lot of the derision posted by the scambloggers is aimed at T3s and T4s because they charge as much as a T1 and they continue to "sell the dream."  They are also critical of the ABA b/c in a time where the legal market is shrinking we are graduating record numbers of JDs and opening MORE law schools.  The laws of supply and demand need to come into play at some point here.  I applaud what they are doing because I think they are forcing a conversation about the truth-in-advertising when it comes to employment and salary statistics published by the schools.  Someone is finally out there loudly and openly calling 'BS' and challenging the veracity of the statistics.

WRT their blogging about their difficulties - they can't have a personal life?  We cannot assume that b/c they spend an hour or so a day blogging that they are not working hard to find work.  We all have our hobbies and passtimes.  They are laying their experiences out there for folks to see and consider when thinking about law school - that is bad?  Isn't it prident due dilligence to get all the facts and both sides of a story when making a decision?  I have never read "poor me, this is not my fault, this is all someone else's fault" on those blogs - I have simply seen them as folks telling the the story of the downside of law school, highlighting the risk of taking on $150K in debt, and describing the difficulties out there. 

I would hope that someone sitting near the bottom of their class at a T4 and paying $850/credit hour would heed those warning and think about what they are doing - the law school won't do it for them.  Alternatively, I would hope a 0L with no passion for law but thinking law school seems like a good idea and a sure path to a good job and wealth would have his eyes opened to reality and do a little more research before committing to law school.

This is no different than the folks selling gold right now - all of the ads telling you about the security of gold and why you should invest in it.  The SEC requires them to provide full disclosure on trading the commodity - there is no such requirement on the selling of JDs - so these guys are offering the other perspective.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: haus on September 28, 2010, 08:16:29 AM
  I have never read "poor me, this is not my fault, this is all someone else's fault" on those blogs...

The title of one of the most famous of these is "But I Did Everything Right!".

Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Hamilton on September 28, 2010, 08:43:53 AM
The nuance of their motives can be debated forever - that's what lawyers do.  The bottom line from my perspective is that it is good that this voice is out there providing a check on the law schools, offering the other perspective, and giving students/prospectives food for thought when they look at deciding whether to go to (or stay in) law school.  If one wants to see whining losers, that is what they will see.  If one wants to consider their stories as a window to the possible reality, that option is available too.

  I have never read "poor me, this is not my fault, this is all someone else's fault" on those blogs...

The title of one of the most famous of these is "But I Did Everything Right!".
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on September 28, 2010, 09:41:09 AM
A lot of the derision posted by the scambloggers is aimed at T3s and T4s because they charge as much as a T1 and they continue to "sell the dream."  They are also critical of the ABA b/c in a time where the legal market is shrinking we are graduating record numbers of JDs and opening MORE law schools.  The laws of supply and demand need to come into play at some point here.

WRT their blogging about their difficulties - they can't have a personal life?  We cannot assume that b/c they spend an hour or so a day blogging that they are not working hard to find work.  We all have our hobbies and passtimes.  They are laying their experiences out there for folks to see and consider when thinking about law school - that is bad?  Isn't it prident due dilligence to get all the facts and both sides of a story when making a decision?  I have never read "poor me, this is not my fault, this is all someone else's fault" on those blogs - I have simply seen them as folks telling the the story of the downside of law school, highlighting the risk of taking on $150K in debt, and describing the difficulties out there. 

I would hope that someone sitting near the bottom of their class at a T4 and paying $850/credit hour would heed those warning and think about what they are doing - the law school won't do it for them.  Alternatively, I would hope a 0L with no passion for law but thinking law school seems like a good idea and a sure path to a good job and wealth would have his eyes opened to reality and do a little more research before committing to law school.

This is no different than the folks selling gold right now - all of the ads telling you about the security of gold and why you should invest in it.  The SEC requires them to provide full disclosure on trading the commodity - there is no such requirement on the selling of JDs - so these guys are offering the other perspective.

I mean I hope anyone in law school realizes the lower ranked school and the lower their class rank the harder it will be to find a job. The worst student at Cooley will have a harder time finding a job than the best student at Harvard. I think everyone realizes that tier 4's are not Ivy League schools and I don't think tier 4's are really trying to say they are the same. Even if they are you know what it is a bit of puffery and if you want to be a lawyer you need to use a bit of common sense. I agree that ALL law schools are outrageously priced and that is why I always say get scholarship money and screw the rankings. Honestly, all these blogs look like they take more than hour a day and even if they do take only an hour if your struggling to survive and everything is going so terribly you DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR A HOBBY.  What are these people going to do if they ever do actually apply to a job and get one. The partner well say I need a memo in 2 hours well wait boss I need time for my hobby that is not going to work.

Life is hard and I don't think these people get that. Again on tier 3 schools one of their 4 main warnings at the top of the site are that going to a tier 3/4 school does not guarantee you a job. Shocking in fact no schooling at any institution or in any field guarantees you a job. There are Harvard and Stanford Grads that did not pass the bar or are unemployed. Education is what YOU make of it.

More law schools are opening up that is true maybe the number of people in school should be reduced. However, the population continues to grow and more universities are opening up in every field. More people means more jobs, but it also makes things more competitive. Education is NOT a guarantee of anything and you should know that. These people writing these blogs are the type of people that expected to go to law school graduate and have things handed to them. That is not the way it works. LIFE IS HARD AND IF YOU WRITE A BLOG ABOUT HOW UNFAIR AND DIFFICULT EVERYTHING IS WELL THEN THE SAD THING IS THAT THEY DID NOT ALREADY KNOW THAT. I pieced that one together in about 4th grade, but these were probably the kids that went straight to law school from undergrad and never had a job their entire life. Maybe I am wrong, but I would not be shocked if that is the description of these folks.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on September 28, 2010, 09:52:56 AM
Hamilton you also did not answer if you think looking through the President of Suffolk's tax returns is a waste of time. This document is at least 43 pages and probably took him awhile to even get the documents.   I am sure this little project took the writer well over an hour and possibly several days if you are looking so hard for a job it does not seem like a great use of your time. Can you agree with that?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Hamilton on September 28, 2010, 10:50:25 AM
Waste of time?  Perhaps not.  I certainly had no idea these administrators were pulling down close to a million dollars - all while tuition constantly gets jacked up.  To me that borders on "journalism."  Reading the author's profile, he is employed in a non-legal job, so I take it he quit looking at some point.

Is it really fair to essentially say that if he has time to blog about things, then clearly he is not putting the requisite effort into finding a job?  Is it possible to look for a job 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, within a certain geography?  For brand new JDs perhaps, but after a few years, the shine is off the penny and you are just another number out looking.

Hamilton you also did not answer if you think looking through the President of Suffolk's tax returns is a waste of time. This document is at least 43 pages and probably took him awhile to even get the documents.   I am sure this little project took the writer well over an hour and possibly several days if you are looking so hard for a job it does not seem like a great use of your time. Can you agree with that?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on September 28, 2010, 11:30:09 AM
I have no problem with him saying that administrators and law school EVERYWHERE from tier 1 to tier 4 is to expensive. Why the guy needs to go off on the employment etc is another story. If he wanted to present an argument that merely said law school is to expensive and detailed the expenditures I would be interested to see that. I have seen every campus in the Bay area Stanford, GGU, Santa Clara, Hastings, University of San Francisco, and Berkeley not one of them is worth 30K a year. For that kind of money I think the floors should be made out of gold or something and they are not. However, all the schools provide a legal education and you basically have to go through the system if you want to be a lawyer. Maybe he should do some anti-trust litigation to attack the prices, but again do not say the education and employment prospects are unfair. School does not guarantee employment and no school will guarantee you a job. That is true in every profession and at every institution.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: louiebstef on October 04, 2010, 06:54:22 PM
Bigs, why not just simplify?
It all boils down to the fact that many folks just have an entitlement mentality.

We can't change them. 
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Hamilton on November 01, 2010, 06:48:50 AM
Its unfair to paint folks who highlight the difficulty of finding a job as whiners or feeling "entitled" to a job.  If -- after a loss -- a quarterback comments after the game that he could not hit his receivers in the end zone, he is stating fact, not displaying a sense that he was "entitled" to those touchdown passes.  Instead of tearing down the messenger, post some facts that demonstrate that lawyers are getting out of law school and securinig jobs as lawyers.  The facts do show that law school employment stats are skewed and a huge percentage of jobs reported are very low-paying non-lawyer jobs.

Bigs, why not just simplify?
It all boils down to the fact that many folks just have an entitlement mentality.

We can't change them.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on November 01, 2010, 09:57:04 AM
I have never once said that the school's stats are not bloated and inaccurate, but again what school does not use a bit of puffery in their stats. What is the employment rate for undergraduate schools? MBA schools? CPA schools? Bottom line is that schools are a business and education everywhere is basically a scam, but one you have to deal with.  If you graduate from high school and go no further your options are really limited. You won't have debt though. So unless I am wrong about higher education and there is some cheap and easy degree that will guarantee me a good job at graduation. Then law school is just like every other form of higher education I am currently aware of. At least they take the time to b.s. some stats and have to report to the ABA, which regulates somewhat. Most other types of schooling do not even take the time to report any form of statistics regarding their graduates.

Regarding the entitlement it seems to me that a lot of people go straight from undergrad to law school and have never looked for a job. They are shocked that I have been in school for 7 years and people are not lined out the door for me. They have never had to look for a job, which sucks, but it is done. When I graduated from the Ivy League equivalent school of Chico State people were not lined up for me. I had to go and bust my ass to find a job some people were less than impressed with a Chico State degree, but I didn't say boo-hoo. I kept going, because I had to. I couldn't live with my parents and blog about unfair everything was I had to get it done and I did. This same is going to happen most likely when I graduate from GGU. However, I want to be a lawyer and I can't really do that without going to law school. So here I am, but I am aware that it will be a struggle and it may even turn out awful for me. Still if there is one thing I hate having it is a feeling of I wish I would have tried that or done this. You have one life to live and if being a lawyer is something you really want to do go for it. If you think it is some road to easy street you are way off base. It is far from that in fact it is probably the road to hard street. You will have a lot of debt and need to work your ass off way more than you did in school to pay it off. However, if you like to be challenged, working hard, and most importantly you find the law interesting then go for it. If as I saw on one of those youtube videos a law school carol (which I do think is funny btw) However, the ghost of law school past said you used to play x-box all day and hang out at the coffee shop with your friends. If that is what makes you really happy then law school is not for you. It is a time consuming profession, but if you like to work hard then it can be rewarding.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Hamilton on November 01, 2010, 10:58:15 AM
To my point, I think this is a flawed assumption.

Folks are not saying 'people wont GIVE me a job.'  They are saying 'I am having difficulty FINDING a job.'  It is unfair to paint the latter as whiners or somehow feeling "entitled" when they actually voice that problem.

Not saying you do that specifically, but that seems to be the broad-brush response to folks who pipe up about the bad job market.

... They are shocked that I have been in school for 7 years and people are not lined out the door for me.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on November 01, 2010, 12:10:01 PM
Yea I should not say shocked that is to strong of a word.  My point was simply that finding work is hard. Finding a job simply sucks it always has and always will no matter what field you are trying to enter into. People always want to hire people with experience, but you need a job to get experience.  So getting your first job presents somewhat of a catch 22 and this does not only apply to the legal field.  In fact it applies to just about everything there is.  It does seem that law schools for how outrageously expensive they are could provide you with a year of clinical training for free after you pass the bar. Having on-campus clinics where professors are being paid to supervise you will give them the ability to really train you. This would allow students to get real experience after graduation instead of  being at a firm where they really do not have time to teach you. It seems the whole legal profession would benefit from this, but it does not look like it is going to happen anytime soon. That is the one reason Doctors/Nurses do get jobs when they finish everything they have to get practical experience before going out into the real world. Law school leaves you knowing the executive powers of the President, but not how to write motions, file things in court, and just the day to day of being a lawyer. That is the real issue.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: nealric on November 13, 2010, 05:03:14 PM
Quote
  but not how to write motions

I had plenty of instruction on writing motions in law school. The issue isn't knowing how to write the, it's knowing when they are appropriate and knowing what to put in them when you don't have a professor giving you an assignment.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on November 13, 2010, 05:41:38 PM
Yea the actual practical aspects of it is what should be taught. You can write motions using Matthew Bender or something, but how do you apply it practically. I am still only a 2L and I can only hope I will learn more along the way. However, as it stands if someone right this second had a problem I would not be able to solve it. I would know to file a complaint, but I am sure that is not the answer in every situation. Even if a complaint was the answer I would not know what to do after it was filed.I  imagine most law school graduates no matter what school they go to do not know how to do much of anything practical when they graduate. The only real way to learn anything is to actually be forced to do it. However, it seems most law students are scared to do anything real and the schools are to soft on students.

Maybe it is not like this at other schools, but I have professors that say if you did not do the reading just sign in. Or I don't want to call on to much blah. The only person being hurt by professors being overly nice is the student. If you can't get around to reading 20-30 pages as a first year student when your job is school and you cannot rationally discuss what you read in front of your peers then you do not even have a chance of being a halfway decent lawyer. I am constantly astonished at how soft & spoiled law students are. Seeing it in action I don't know why I am ever surprised reading things like JDunderground & other sites.

The bottom line is law school should be much harder than it is. It seems like the real reason there is unemployment and all this other stuff is that the school's are to soft on their students. They need to make you do real stuff and not just reading about the Executive Power. Students do not come out knowing what they need to know and it seems like after 3 years you should know the simple basic practical aspects. However, it does not seem like schools or the ABA are interested in requiring a more practical education.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: marcus-aurelius on November 13, 2010, 06:08:46 PM
Spoken like a true competitor and athelte bigs. As one who is not yet in law school, I cannot comment on it.  But I do feel one should always push past their comfort level if success is the goal
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on November 13, 2010, 07:47:31 PM
Thanks. I was just in a study group with 3 other people who would not stop complaining about how hard the class we are in is. I wanted to kill somebody instead I went on a rant on this website. All I kept thinking about was if you stopped b***hing for 2 minutes and studied maybe it would not be that hard. They are cool people and they are probably 10x smarter than me, but good god stop whining. All I could think to myself was what if these people were in an actual law firm and someone wanted them to do something. Would they just tell them it sounds to difficult?  I don't know your background, but if you come from a family that made you do any kind of work in high school or college be able to control your emotions when you listen to completely spoiled & naive people complain about the most retarded things in the world. Instead of taking it out on them vent on this board  :)

In all seriousness I really do think the main reason for all the people bi***ing and moaning on JDunderground & other such sites is that law school is to easy. You should be required to do something real before you can become a lawyer. As it stands you can get a J.D. & pass the bar a standardized test and you somehow are deemed capable of dealing with real problems. The simple fact is the only way to know how to deal with real problems is by dealing with real problem. Unfortunately, the ABA and law schools do not seem to understand this. This results in people coming out completely unprepared for the REAL world.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: marcus-aurelius on November 14, 2010, 05:29:47 AM
I wonder if part of the problem is for mnay law students college was easy and thus they do not know how to work.  If not for working full time for several years, I may not either.  I can sleep through most of my classes and still maintain an A average.  My work ethic developed through actual work prevents me from doing so.  So those who have never really worked, may find work to not be for them in law school
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on November 16, 2010, 01:10:48 PM
Maybe, I mean law school truly is not that difficult. I remember reading books etc about how hard it would be and I have been extremely underwhelmed. People will disagree with me on this I am sure, but literally if you show up to class everyday, do the readings, make a decent outline (there are a million different ways to do this, but whatever you need to do to go over what you learned.) You will get decent grades. Be a responsible human being and odds are everything will end up ok regarding your grades.

Instead a bunch of people try to take all these shortcuts. They buy supplements, listen to podcasts, etc and they say I never read the book or show up to class. Then they are baffled by the professor's exam, because the supplement the professor never assigned did not address some topic the professor covered extensively in class. People put in 100x more effort tin taking shortcuts han they would by just doing the basic simple task they are supposed to do. Read between 60-90 pages during the weekdays. It is far from impossible and I have done a lot harder things than that.

Getting a job you ask. How hard is that I was in suits all the time and people would always ask me how are you getting all these interviews? My simple answer I applied to jobs and they called me back. Not everyone in fact probably like 15% of the jobs I applied to, but it takes 10-15 minutes to write an acceptable cover letter. I applied to 400 jobs I think, which was quite easy to do when only having to read 60-90 pages a day.  I ask them if they applied or even signed up with LCS oh no we didn't get around to that yet. Again, all I can think is how how in god's name are you that lazy that you don't have time to just register with career services. It is in the building you can take 20 minutes out of your day when reading 60-90 pages. It is just the bare minimum and if you do that you will need to write a competent cover letter. Again, if you do that things will probably work out even if you go to a lowly tier 4.

That is probably so incoherently written it is beyond understanding, but I am just so astonished at how spoiled & soft law students are. That does not apply to everyone obviously, but a vast majority of them would probably succeed if they used common sense and took some accountability for themselves.

The reality is law school is to soft on people and the professors and administration is  to nice. This isnot going to help anyone in the long run. Yesterday for example our professor gives a list of people who will get called on the next class, which I think is to easy in the first place. However, one of the girls yesterday still did not get around to reading it. She was assigned a 4 page reading the book and just needed to have some comprehension of 4 freakin pages. She gets called on and says I did not read it. The professor gives a look of disappointment and moves on. I would have kicked her out of the class or literally docked her an entire grade or something.  That is just simply inexcusable unless some emergency happened, but she was at the 49ers game and she could have read before going or our class is at 3:00 with a horrible hangover I could competently understand 4 f***ing pages. None of that was done so all I can ask is what in god's name will she do if she is a lawyer? 

It is simply unbelievable to me. Those are extreme cases and a lot of people in law school are smart and hard working, but I can really see the type of people that join JDunderground etc. Law school is not unlike anything else do your s*** and this will require some work & sacrifice. As far as I know to succeed in anything it takes work & sacrifice, but law school does not even ask for that much. Well that is a nice and awesome incoherent rant, but I had to vent.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Hamilton on November 17, 2010, 10:17:52 AM
Interesting article at ATL:  only 8% consider a school's job placement statistics the most important factor when considering a law school. 

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/11/even-if-you-told-law-prospective-students-the-truth-would-they-care/
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on November 17, 2010, 10:54:58 AM
I completely agree with everything that article says. I do not think 90% of incoming law students have any idea what they are in for. The admissions requirements should be 100x more stringent than they are. They could be like medical & nursing schools and require prerequisite courses for an applicant to even be considered. They could also make some kind of hourly requirement to work in a law firm, court, or some legally related field before applying. Instead you can breeze through college with a 3.2 in Religious Studies and get about 70 out of 100 MC questions on a test you do not even need to study for and whollaa. You have sufficiently proven you are willing to put in 3 years of work and 100k for a field you have displayed no interest in whatsoever. 

The fact that U.S. News ranking is one of the top priorities is another thing that is in no way surprising. I myself was nearly tricked into moving to Michigan to attend a Tier 2 school opposed to a tier 4 in a place where I have a ton of connections and actually want to live. The rankings are really sad because they mislead so many students into thinking anybody would care that they go to the 74th opposed to the 111th best school. Particularly when considering the formula U.S. News uses makes almost no sense. I wish U.S. News could be sued, but they are just a private for profit-magazine giving their opinion and people are stupid enough to think it matters. I paid a $700 deposit, because I was one of these stupid people. Thankfully, I talked to 3 practicing  lawyers the day before I bought my plane ticket to Michigan who told me nobody really cares about tier 2 or tier 4 schools. If you want a job in San Francisco you should go to school in the Bay Area.  I am still astonished that I did not have the common sense to realize that months earlier, but it makes me feel better that 92% of people are just as dumb as me.

So bottom line is law school is not a guarantee and the number one thing any student should consider before committing 3 years & 100k is getting a job. You should probably get some kind of legal experience before applying, because 3 years & 100k is a big commitment. Considering how big the commitment is it would be wise to have some exposure to the legal field. Then go to school in the location you want to live in and get out as cheaply as possible. Take scholarship money unless it is an ELITE school. If the school's main claim to fame is that it had the 9th best international law program it is not worth 100k more to go. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, those types of school are worth the extra money. If you say the school's name and the average joe on the street gives a puzzled look it is not that impressive. Even if you go on to tell average Joe it is the 49th best school (according to the for-private and unregulated U.S News subjective opinion) and had the 39th best public interest program and 17th best international law program he will still scratch his head.  The majority of lawyers will probably do the same and I can only imagine they don't care if you went to the 63rd or 87th best school. They also probably have no idea who holds the title of 17th best international program and even if they did they could care less. 
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: MikePing on January 27, 2011, 11:45:02 AM
Here is another link that is actually free and has a lot of the same information:
http://www.law-schoolcoach.com (http://www.law-schoolcoach.com)
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: Thane Messinger on March 13, 2011, 04:39:13 PM
Is this supposed to be an argument in support of the idea that it is the hard-working go-getters who are landing jobs in law and everyone not getting a job is a lazy slacker not willing to put in the effort?  If so, it falls very flat.

The above listed blogs can be dismissed as being written by bitter JDs who just did not have what it took, or who somehow felt entitled to a job - but folks do so at their own peril.  I think these guys make an excellent point that anyone paying full price for a JD from a T3/T4 school and wracking up 6 figure debt is really taking a big risk.  They are providing a forum to warn 0Ls that law school is not a guaranteed path to wealth and glamour - contrary to the product that the law schools continue to sell.

To show that it matters how hard YOU are willing to work.  I have two friends, went to the same school, had the same major, and GPA were closes (3.6 v. 3.5).  One has a NYC job at larger company.  Other is working for a local township.  And then one with the lower GPA is the one in NYC


There are numerous lessons we might focus on, and it is clearly a difficult time to be looking for a job.  At bottom, however, is the reality that each individual is responsible for making the connection; jobs won't come to you.  It IS possible to find the right job, and there ARE "right" jobs out there.  They will be more difficult than in flush years, sure.  I dealt with this almost exactly 20 years ago, so I am proof on both sides. 

One additional point:  this is a good opportunity to ask the questions of which type of job is exactly right for you.  A job--even a biglaw job--can be heaven for one and one-half step from Hell for another.

A third point:  Much of the difficulty in one-on-one contacts has much less to do with stats and much more to do with being comfortable in your own skin.  This is something that few graduates are.  I encourage anyone to read Insider's Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job.  It was written during the flush times, but its message is, if anything, even more relevant now.  Of special importance is the interview in the book with a senior partner at a national firm:  it's the personal side that becomes the decision point as to a specific applicant.  Shiny resumes will mean little if the actual human is difficult or awkward.  So-so resumes will still matter, but they're not the end game, and especially not if the position that's right for YOU is one in which the human elements come through.  Focus on this now and save yourself years or even decades of misery.

I hope this helps,

Thane.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: legalized on March 23, 2011, 04:19:56 PM
Bigs,

Quit.  I'm startin' ta get that gospel feelin.  AMENNNNNNNN.
 ;)

When will people realize that a loser is a loser, whether they be degreed or not?  What is my definition of a loser?  Exactly what Bigs said.  Quit yer bitchin and finger pointing and get OUT there.  Nothing wrong with you volunteering to do some Pro Bono work for the community, since you're ostensibly UNEMPLOYED anyway.  Who knows? You may even meet someone that could help you in your career.

OH...SORRY.  I realize that'll cut into your internet time bitchin about what a raw deal you got.

How very glib of you.  And if it costs them money to step out the door, say, for childcare, for the gas they must use up driving to and from this pro bono place, for the clothes they must obtain or clean...then what?

Someone can go sit in a library and shoot off a blog in between applications to jobs...or can have existing internet  from some neighbor's free wi-fi...

Going out to work actually uses up resources it takes cold hard cash to replace and/or maintain.  Let's be real.

There is a little entitlement to some but a lot of reality to most...and the oversimplified "oh EVERYthing EVERYwhere is like that" in this thread the past couple pages is very thickheaded and not adding any value to the conversation.

If bigs is going to say people who are working hard trying to achieve something don't have time to blog...then we should say he who is supposed to be working hard at passing his classes as a law student doesn't have time to be making these LENGTHY simplistic argumentative defensive rants against anyone not praising the legal industry.

I for one am glad both sides of the coin are under the spotlight for me, because it highlights the fact for me that while I want to be a lawyer, given my situation the only ways that makes sense (going to law school) is a full scholarship at a non-top 10 school or a top 10 (if not top 5) school... someone else with a different background might actually be able to take on significant amounts of debt for law school and have more flexibility on achieving their lawyer dreams than I do.  It's all about self awareness and awareness of the REALITY...and newsflash schools do not usually give such blatantly skewed representations of income and the fate of their graduating classes...the classy thing to do, technically, is to simply not report it at all if less than 80% of the graduating class responds, and to NOT count jobs that did not require a JD!

I mean the legal profession holds one to a higher standard anyway so why WOULDN'T we hold the schools producing said population of the profession to a higher standard than other types of higher education even IF they were all doing that?

It does prove a need to have ultra-sharp research and analysis skills before you even get to law school though...cause if you call a school and they refuse to tell you what percent of their last reported class actually responded to their survey (if their material doesn't say it)...you can use that to cross them off your list and move on to more open honest schools.  The ABA guides to the law schools give a TON of data and information...make use of your Excel skills and get on it!

And I personally used the info about the lie about real starting salaries for the average Joe Blow New Lawyer and simply CALLED AROUND TO LOCAL LAWYERS in the field(s) I want to work in...and they are generally happy to give you the truth on what you need to do to set yourself up for a j.o.b. in the field, and what the general starting salary range is for a new JD with no experience or only clinical experience... just ask the right questions of the right people.

Shame I have to put in so much legwork before even finishing applications but, researching is fun for me I like discovery...so I guess that's part of why I won't mind doing it now for myself and later on for a case!

Let's realize the flaws of others and take their doom and gloom with a grain of salt and an eye to the facts, yes, BUT let's be realistic that there was a huge implosion in the legal field with the onset of the The Great Recession and have a little empathy...and the sense to learn from the mistakes of others.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: legalized on March 23, 2011, 04:53:34 PM
"but I was scared, so I work at a hotdog stand......" is less impressive with the ladies than "Yeah I got stuck as general manager at Kmart for awhile, but I have a JD".........who's sausage would you rather swallow? There you go.


I definitely lol'ed!

Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: bigs5068 on March 23, 2011, 07:56:27 PM
For the record I am not saying people don't have time to blog obviously I am in school right now, writing this post. However, it would be quite strange of me to complain if I received bad grades and complained about unfair my school was when I have posted 1500 times or something like that on this board. The amount of time I spend writing on this board could be put to better use. Thankfully my grades are good, but it would be strange if I complained about how fair everything was when I could spend time working studying to improve my grades.

Therefore, I think it is quite strange when someone claiming to be hard at work looking for a job and saying how unfair the market is has time to rant about how unfair it is when their time could be devoted to finding  a job. It seems the people most negative about law school etc are the ones that take no accountability for their decisions. Education is and always has been a  risk and law school is no different.

I honestly think a lot of people come into law school straight from undergrad thinking law school will open all kinds of doors, but nothing will come easy. I graduated from college expecting every job to come easy to me, but there are plenty of people with B.A's in this world. I found a job, but it took time and I was not paid nearly as well as I would have liked. I am expecting the same thing when I graduate from law school.

Then I agree with everything else you said do your research before going to law school. However, don't just look at the ABA and U.S. News they do a mediocre job of telling you what you are in for. Bar Passage is important to look at, but knowing how many volumes a law school's library has is more or less irrelevant. Call Local Lawyers as you suggested and you can also find alumni pretty easily. Alumni are the people you want to listen to because they have first hand knowledge about the school and no motive to sugarcoat anything. If they loved their experience at their school they will you about it, if they feel like there school did a terrible job and ripped them off they will let you know. You can look at law firm websites and search for lawyers by school to get contact info. The Nevada Bar website also lets you search for attorney by school and I am unaware of any other state bar website that does this, but again this is a good starting point to get first hand knowledge from people that actually attended a school. One thing that happens on this board and the internet in general is people that have not even taken the LSAT yet alone sat in one law school class. Go on rants about schools and law school itself. I being a second year law student am not much better, because I barely know anything about the legal field. I have been through 1 3/4  years of law school and a few internships, which have left me feeling like I still have a lot to learn.

Remember when looking at data etc that a law school has a motive to  sugarcoat their info, because they want you to come to their school and pay them. A perfect example of this is how schools keep employment statistics. When you pay 100K plus to get a law degree, you expect a decent paying job. However, their employed statistics count unpaid internships as employed. Working as a fry cook at McDonald's employed. A good site to find real salary information is lawschooltransparency.com . This gives actual salary information, which is hard to come by from any school.

Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: legalized on March 24, 2011, 05:49:29 AM
For the record I am not saying people don't have time to blog obviously I am in school right now, writing this post. However, it would be quite strange of me to complain if I received bad grades and complained about unfair my school was when I have posted 1500 times or something like that on this board. The amount of time I spend writing on this board could be put to better use. Thankfully my grades are good, but it would be strange if I complained about how fair everything was when I could spend time working studying to improve my grades.

Therefore, I think it is quite strange when someone claiming to be hard at work looking for a job and saying how unfair the market is has time to rant about how unfair it is when their time could be devoted to finding  a job. It seems the people most negative about law school etc are the ones that take no accountability for their decisions. Education is and always has been a  risk and law school is no different.

I honestly think a lot of people come into law school straight from undergrad thinking law school will open all kinds of doors, but nothing will come easy. I graduated from college expecting every job to come easy to me, but there are plenty of people with B.A's in this world. I found a job, but it took time and I was not paid nearly as well as I would have liked. I am expecting the same thing when I graduate from law school.

Then I agree with everything else you said do your research before going to law school. However, don't just look at the ABA and U.S. News they do a mediocre job of telling you what you are in for. Bar Passage is important to look at, but knowing how many volumes a law school's library has is more or less irrelevant. Call Local Lawyers as you suggested and you can also find alumni pretty easily. Alumni are the people you want to listen to because they have first hand knowledge about the school and no motive to sugarcoat anything. If they loved their experience at their school they will you about it, if they feel like there school did a terrible job and ripped them off they will let you know. You can look at law firm websites and search for lawyers by school to get contact info. The Nevada Bar website also lets you search for attorney by school and I am unaware of any other state bar website that does this, but again this is a good starting point to get first hand knowledge from people that actually attended a school. One thing that happens on this board and the internet in general is people that have not even taken the LSAT yet alone sat in one law school class. Go on rants about schools and law school itself. I being a second year law student am not much better, because I barely know anything about the legal field. I have been through 1 3/4  years of law school and a few internships, which have left me feeling like I still have a lot to learn.

Remember when looking at data etc that a law school has a motive to  sugarcoat their info, because they want you to come to their school and pay them. A perfect example of this is how schools keep employment statistics. When you pay 100K plus to get a law degree, you expect a decent paying job. However, their employed statistics count unpaid internships as employed. Working as a fry cook at McDonald's employed. A good site to find real salary information is lawschooltransparency.com . This gives actual salary information, which is hard to come by from any school.

Understood.  And for the record I like having both sides come on the boards or the blogosphere...although now that I think about it the lawyers busy liking their lives are on my fb...I used facebook to find alumni and get info from them since they are my age and current in the field...thanks for the input!

I used my state's bar website to find lawyers in the fields i'm interested in by zip code...I think it had a by school option too but if not i made sure ask them about the culture etc of whatever school they were listed for, if it was a school on my list of possibles.  One of them pointed out that the evening part time classes are wayyyy friendlier and laid back at their alma mater than the vibe of the day classes, and she didn't like the hypercompetitiveness of the day class.  She also felt I actually had an edge in what I want to do since I will be able to identify with the potential clients being from/part of their community and not an outsider.   So my instincts seem to be working pretty well so far as to what I need to do to get where I want to go.  Let's hope it holds up cause all the research sure hasn't turned up good news all the time. :(
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: cure on May 02, 2012, 04:54:15 PM
Re-awakening this thread.  Another essay on the subject:

http://www.lawschoolcure.com

More or less balanced despite the title.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: biggestlaw on July 14, 2013, 10:05:24 AM
All terribly important considerations! For a lighter take on the question of whether to go to law school, have a listen to the latest episode of https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/i-have-problem-david-heti/id647195490. The host (a comic who was once a lawyer) is taken to task by his good lawyer friend for being a "class traitor" for leaving the world of law for stand-up. A super hilarious, intelligent conversation/confrontation.
Title: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"
Post by: MertSpist on December 16, 2013, 02:15:53 AM
If the police service application requires a high school transcript, then yes, you need to get your high school transcript.

Why is that so difficult that you needed to ask for clarification on an Internet forum?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: yollymila423 on January 20, 2014, 09:54:27 PM
A law profession is a serious obligation. If you try to enter these skills you have to be sure to take the all responsibilities not only in yourself but also in your clients. I suggest to consult first with an expert before to make a decision.
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: CA Law Dean on February 05, 2014, 03:29:02 PM
If you are considering going to law school in California, don't forget to check out the 17 California-accredited law schools (CALS) in addition to the 21 ABA approved law schools. As dean of Monterey College of Law I am happy to answer questions that might help you identify why one of these regional law schools might be a good fit for you. Questions to consider are: 1) Do you learn better in smaller class sizes? 2) Are you concerned about the $150K cost of the typical ABA law schools? and 3) Are you interested in the type of law jobs available in smaller, non-urban communities?
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: CA Law Dean on April 19, 2014, 10:07:32 AM
Excerpt from Karen Sloan’s article, April 16, 2014, National Law Journal:

Is now the ideal time to enroll in law school? Steven Freedman, assistant dean for admissions at the University of Kansas School of Law, has been making the counterintuitive case that it is.
In a series of posts on the law professor blog The Faculty Lounge, he argues that the relatively small number of people set to graduate with J.D.s in 2017 will mean better job prospects for those who do. In short, the supply of new lawyers will be much more closely aligned with the demand for their services than for the Class of 2013.

“Enroll today or you will miss out on what might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Freedman wrote on April 10. “Namely, the chance to graduate from law school in 2017-2018, which will likely be one of the best times ever to graduate from law school.”

Read more: http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202651438798/Theory%3A-The-Time-Was-Never-Better-to-Enroll-in-Law-School#ixzz2zFaxCxWw (http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202651438798/Theory%3A-The-Time-Was-Never-Better-to-Enroll-in-Law-School#ixzz2zFaxCxWw)
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: fmkdqosj on November 24, 2015, 02:57:44 AM
 :D :D
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on November 25, 2015, 08:34:22 PM
:D :D
>:( >:( >:( >:(


ps
Go to medical school, those people get to play with knifes at work
If I tried that *&^% I'd get shot in the face.........IN THE FACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: CatherinePowter on November 26, 2015, 02:52:38 AM
Great sharing,very profound!
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on November 27, 2015, 11:39:56 AM
Great sharing,very profound!
so your troll method is new single post alts
its ok, I remember you-now go away
Title: Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
Post by: humanrightsLLM on February 11, 2016, 11:09:39 AM
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