Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: Angelvoice on October 01, 2010, 06:27:16 PM

Title: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Angelvoice on October 01, 2010, 06:27:16 PM
Hello.  I am new to this board.  I am glad I found it because I would like some honest opinions from some law students.  Most of the material I have read on here seems to be very negative and I must say, is bringing me down a little bit.  However, I am choosing to still pursue more feedback.  I am currently a first year college student pursuing an Associate's Degree in Paralegal Studies.  I have been thinking about becoming a lawyer for years now but I just haven't really went for it because I have two small children that require a lot of my time.  However, lately I have been thinking about it more and more and part of me has decided to just go for it.  I just don't want it to be a mistake decision.  I love justice and I would really like to help people.  I also love figuring things out.  Anyone who would be willing to chat about a positive experience, I would love to talk to you.  I really need to speak to someone about this!  Thank you!
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: IPFreely on October 08, 2010, 06:28:52 PM
You're going to end up $150,000 in debt, hanging out at the courthouse hoping to make $100 from the local PD office by defending drunk drivers and child molesters.  If you're hot, you could make a lot more as a stripper, with much higher job satisfaction, and skip the law school debt.  Enjoy.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Angelvoice on October 08, 2010, 06:51:39 PM
Wow.  Thanks......well not really.  Also, I am a Christian, so no stripping for me.  Lol, think I will just stick with law....
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: IPFreely on October 08, 2010, 07:05:01 PM
So it's better to get drunks and child molesters out on the streets than it is to take off your clothes in front of someone?  Thank God I'm an atheist;  at least we have moral standards.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Angelvoice on October 08, 2010, 07:11:10 PM
Who says I will be defending those people?  There are alot of other things that I could do you know.  And I have very high morals.  Thank you very much.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Tanrael on October 09, 2010, 11:06:54 AM
Don't feed the trolls.  :-p

Honestly if you want to go into law and are only a year into school, I would recommend switching degrees or taking a heavy courseload in philosophy or science.  Paralegal studies, prelaw and criminal justice do not seem to help folks prepare much for the LSAT.  I would also recommend doing a lot of reading and studying to figure out your personal counter to the very valid points raised by the negativity.

1.  How much have you done to ensure that you know what you are getting into?

2.  How are you planning on paying for college and grad school.  If you are taking out loans now then you are taking on a boatload of risk.

3.  Have you decided what level of risk you are willing to assume?  If your LSAT isn't good enough for a top regional school in the location you want to practice in, are you willing to walk away?

Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Angelvoice on October 09, 2010, 11:56:12 AM
Thank you for your advice.  My plan is, to finish this degree just to get a job, then pursue a BS in Psychology.  I can use that to either apply to law school or get my phd in psychology.  Loans, yes either way. 
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Tanrael on October 09, 2010, 12:53:39 PM
Not a bad way to go for degree plan, so that you can keep doors open for alternatives.

Is your husband willing to move so that you can go to school, or are you going to have to attend a particular local school?
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Angelvoice on October 09, 2010, 01:01:42 PM
I will have to go here.  And it's a T4.  I have two children and I don't want to move them.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Tanrael on October 09, 2010, 01:26:49 PM
If you want to help people, psych is probably going to be better.  Going 150k in debt at a tier 4 school, when you can't leave the local area sounds positively disasterous. 

I have 2 kids and a wife and am in a similar situation.  I have about 3 years to go to finish my degree, but I will be moving to go to school and then find work.  My wife is going to school as well, but her degree plan and career choice are a little more flexible for moving.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Thane Messinger on October 09, 2010, 01:49:08 PM
Honestly if you want to go into law and are only a year into school, I would recommend switching degrees or taking a heavy courseload in philosophy or science.  Paralegal studies, prelaw and criminal justice do not seem to help folks prepare much for the LSAT.  I would also recommend doing a lot of reading and studying to figure out your personal counter to the very valid points raised by the negativity.

Agreed as to the sciences.  Philosophy, which should be a shoo-in, is often taught in a way that is downright depressing.  So, depending upon the program and teachers, be careful.  Mathematics is a must.  (Really.)  Most of the soft sciences will be only marginally helpful, if at all.  Talmudic studies if it's offered and you want to catch up on the Old Testament.  = :   ) 
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: louiebstef on October 09, 2010, 04:45:29 PM
Thane,

So you're vanting zhe boy to hock himself a chaynik and study Talmud?

Oy vay!
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Hamilton on October 11, 2010, 05:27:30 AM
I agree with this sentiment.  I went to LS with three young kids at home - fortunately I had a supportive wife and an existing career to pay the bills and tuition.  If you do not have a 100% supportive spouse prepared to carry the load with the kids while you are gone then you can plan on having a VERY stressed out household and damaged relationships.  In hindsight I was grossly unfair to the family - you will be absent, totally absent, from 3 or 4 years of your kids lives.  What is more important to you - having a law degree or your children having a parent around to guide their development?

Add to that my opposition to going to a T4 (went to one myself), putting yourself $100K in debt for a T4 degree (insanity), the job prospects coming out of a T4 (very low), and the salary range for T4 grads (well below 6 figures), I would really think long and hard about other more fruitful alternatives given your situation.

If you want to help people, psych is probably going to be better.  Going 150k in debt at a tier 4 school, when you can't leave the local area sounds positively disasterous. 

I have 2 kids and a wife and am in a similar situation.  I have about 3 years to go to finish my degree, but I will be moving to go to school and then find work.  My wife is going to school as well, but her degree plan and career choice are a little more flexible for moving.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: jack24 on October 11, 2010, 07:49:53 AM
I will have to go here.  And it's a T4.  I have two children and I don't want to move them.

Go check out lawschoolnumbers.com for the law school in your area and see what kind of numbers it takes candidates to get a good scholarship there.
If you do well in undergrad and get a good score on the LSAT, you might be able to go to a T4 for next to nothing.
Of course, there is no guarantee that you will be able to keep the scholarship for all three years, so you'd have to look into that when time gets closer. 

Also, take a look at this chart  http://libarts.wsu.edu/philo/overview/grad-admissions.asp
It tells you the performance on graduate admissions tests by major.   I think it has more to do with the type of people that choose the majors than the majors themselves, but it's still interesting.

My biggest warning against going to law school is that it's unpredictable.   The debt sucks and the job market sucks worse, but a hard working graduate can make it through.   But I never seem to talk to anyone that ended up practicing the type of law they set out to practice.  So how can you possibly decide if it's what you want to do?   When you go to law school you are totally rolling the dice.  It's hard to predict how well you'll do, it's hard to predict whether you'll like law school at all,  it's nearly impossible to predict what type of job you'll get (at that point), and it's hard to predict whether you'll like the job you do get.

That may be true of many professions, but hopefully those professions have better job prospects and a more surely defined career path.

For example, many people would never want to be a pharmacist because it looks boring and you are basically a glorified cashier.   But, you get paid $50+ per hour to be a bored and glorified cashier, and you have a good idea of what it's going to be like going in.


Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: jack24 on October 11, 2010, 08:03:20 AM
More information about LSAT performance by undergrad major

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2009/09/physics-math.html
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 11, 2010, 09:05:37 AM
Honestly, law school is like any other type of education except there is more debt. Education is always a risk and I do not believe any profession even pharmacists are guaranteed a job. If you are in undergrad right now do everything you can to boost your GPA including taking some B.S. classes i.e. frisbee golf, weightlifting, whatever it may be to get you some free A's. The higher your GPA the more likely scholarship money will come your way and schools do not really care if you got a 3.8 in basket weaving or physics. The higher your GPA the more scholarship money you will get if you have a respectable LSAT score. Getting out of law school with as little debt as possible is a huge plus.

As people said there is a chance you might not get a job. That possibility exists in every profession and at every institution. I don't know if law school is a roll of the dice. It is a risk, but your odds are better in law school than they are in Vegas. You will need to work hard, because your class rank will mean a lot when you start looking for employment. However, unlike Vegas you can control your class rank somewhat by working your a** off.

Bottom line is Law School is hard and there are no guarantees. However, as far as I know nothing in life worth doing is easy and there are no guarantees. If law is really something you want to do sit it on a few classes at the school you are considering. Work in a law office if that is a possibility and do as much research as you can. A lot of people who write all these negative comments about law school have entitlement issues and you will see that if you attend law school. They will bit** and moan about any situation they are put in and you can't listen to people like that.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Hamilton on October 11, 2010, 11:10:01 AM
I have to disagree 100%.  I have a Masters and a JD.  Grad school takes time but it is much more relaxed and there is greater flexibility in the programs.  Law school is like boot camp, it is a cruel and unforgiving mistress, it demands all of your time and all of your energy - and it gets them.  There is no flexibility and the time-requirements are incredible.  Graduating grad school is the most important thing, so a B average does not kill you - in law school grades and class rank is everything -- if you are not in the top 10% at a T4, then you are wasting your time.  Getting there and staying there takes incredible committment.  The stress level and demands are so much different between grad school and law school that there is no comparison.  Now, throw young kids in the mix and you are playing with fire. 

Having done it, I think anyone with young children who decides to go to law school is making a HUGE mistake - they rob their children of a parent for 3 to 4 years, quadruple the stress level in the household, place a huge financial burden on the family (if no scholarships or tuition reimbursement), and deprive themselves of the life-experience of their children.  It takes a toll on the family and relationships suffer.  The worst part is when your kids get used to you not being around, and accept it. 

Honestly, law school is like any other type of education except there is more debt.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 11, 2010, 11:44:44 AM
I don't have a kid so I cannot comment on that. I am sure it does place a strain on the family and law school is hard and demanding. Working as a lawyer is even more demanding. If you are not ready to fully commit to something then DON"T DO IT. Yes class rank is important the law is a competitive profession. When you are a lawyer winning your case or better yet doing a good enough job to prevent litigation will determine if you get a paycheck or not. LAW SCHOOL IS HARD AND BEING A LAWYER IS DEMANDING. Sometimes it might not even be FAIR, but again life is not fair get used to it.

Law school is expensive, it is hard, it is no guarantee either. Again, I don't know any type of education that does not meet that criteria. Law school works for some people and not for others. It is a risk and it may or may not work out. Again, that is the way it is in EVERYTHING. If you have a family and mortgage there are even more risks involved. It is also demanding, but I don't find it anymore demanding than other jobs I have had in the past. Granted the paychecks for the work was a huge place and if you are raising a family I would think that would be something to consider.

Bottom line as I have always said is education in any field is a RISK. It works out for some and not for others.

Hamilton out of curiosity what was your graduate degree in? Did it give you a lot of great benefits? I would imagine a graduate degree is helpful, but as any type of education goes it is the bare minimum requirement to get into a field. School should be free, but unfortunately it is not. So you have to deal with it and if you REALLY want to be a lawyer well then you know the risks. If it doesn't work out you can point the finger at this and that, but remember the most important factor in any career path and from whatever school they went to is shockingly the INDIVIDUAL. It is real easy to complain about how unfair something is or how this and that is not right, but the people who get PAID make sh** happen. Regardless of what school they went to or what type of education they received.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: IPFreely on October 11, 2010, 05:49:15 PM
I will have to go here.  And it's a T4.

Don't feed the trolls.  :-p
You see that?  Where was I trolling?  I was simply telling her the truth.

Who says I will be defending those people?  There are alot of other things that I could do you know.  And I have very high morals.  Thank you very much.
You could be a plumber, I suppose, or a daycare mommy.  T4?  In this economy??  With a college "degree" in "paralegal studies"??? Really????

I'll return to my earlier comment:  you're going to end up with $150K in debt, defending child molesters and drunk drivers.  You'll need to do that in order to pay off your law school debt.

Unless, of course, your idea of "high morals" includes defaulting on your student loan debt.  Good luck with that.

Stick with being a paralegal.  It doesn't pay much, but you won't destroy your entire family's future with a crushing debt load.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: IPFreely on October 11, 2010, 06:25:08 PM
As people said there is a chance you might not get a job. That possibility exists in every profession and at every institution. I don't know if law school is a roll of the dice. It is a risk, but your odds are better in law school than they are in Vegas.
Nonsense.  Vegas is pure statistics.  If you understand the math, you can make a living there.  If you're just a tourist, you'll get eaten alive.  A bit like law school in that regard.

A lot of people who write all these negative comments about law school have entitlement issues and you will see that if you attend law school. They will bit** and moan about any situation they are put in and you can't listen to people like that.
I'm basing my comments on her "hi, I have no idea what I'm doing, I think lawyering is cool, but my paralegal program doesn't even have ABA accreditation, I have two small kids I have to take care of, and I'm planning on going to a T4 law school because that's the only program that's conveniently located" posts.  I predict that her future will include repeatedly hearing "Waitress, another Miller Lite!" The question is whether, while filling drink orders, she will be saddled with $150K in law school debt, or not.

If she'd written, "Hi, I just got accepted at HSY on a partial scholarship, my husband is really supportive, but is this a good idea?" my replies would be somewhat more positive.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: louiebstef on October 11, 2010, 06:59:28 PM
Bigs,

Despite myself, I have to support IPFreely's position.

The woman in question came here for earnest advice.  You know yourself that a career in the law (if any of us actually make it--you and IPF are far closer than I am) requires a thick skin.   IPF is being harsh, sure.  So partners are never arrogantly dismissive of summer associates?
You and I believe in courtesy and professionalism.  Unfortunately not everyone demonstrates these traits.

IPF's point (if I am understanding him), is that if she is serious, she needs to ring the alarm bell and "get hot."   At this stage she needs MUCH more information to make these important decisions about.  She needs to dig, read and discuss with her family.  All of this is absolutely possible, because she is just starting undergrad.  She needs to understand that the decision to attend LS is not an easy one, especially for a non-trad.   I am supportive of her, but agree with IPF that she needs to dig more to ensure that LS is really what she wants.

Just my 1 cent.   
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: louiebstef on October 11, 2010, 07:11:06 PM
Bigs,

I think Tanrael accurately expressed my concerns for AngelVoice.  I waited until after my children were grown (and a military retirement) to pursue an interest in the law that I've held my entire adult life.  Many years ago I determined that I couldn't risk my family's security to chase a J.D.  NOW is my time.

Everyone has to make these decisions for themselves.  AngelVoice just has to know that she indeed WILL face more challenges than you do as a child-free 20 something in LS.  Not that those good grades you have earned weren't the result of busting your ass.....


Don't feed the trolls.  :-p

Honestly if you want to go into law and are only a year into school, I would recommend switching degrees or taking a heavy courseload in philosophy or science.  Paralegal studies, prelaw and criminal justice do not seem to help folks prepare much for the LSAT.  I would also recommend doing a lot of reading and studying to figure out your personal counter to the very valid points raised by the negativity.

1.  How much have you done to ensure that you know what you are getting into?

2.  How are you planning on paying for college and grad school.  If you are taking out loans now then you are taking on a boatload of risk.

3.  Have you decided what level of risk you are willing to assume?  If your LSAT isn't good enough for a top regional school in the location you want to practice in, are you willing to walk away?
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 11, 2010, 07:58:36 PM
Well first off nothing indicates that IPfreely has even attended one law school class or even sat for the LSAT. Yet they feel the need to give all kinds of advice about  something they know absolutely nothing about.

Again, law school is somewhat of a risk, but many people do find employment as a attorneys in some fashion. They do not all sit out in front of courthouses begging to defend child molesters. Also becoming a public defender is not an awful gig if they do have to defend child molesters. There is decent pay, loan forgiveness, and government benefits. Trust me there are a lot worse gigs in the world than becoming a Public Defender.

Shocking that Ipfreely came up with the great analysis that Harvard law school is better than a tier 4, but in all honestly sometimes a Harvard degree can work against you. I do not know what area the OP lives in, but I am sure there are employers that would rather have a local grad than a Harvard one. For example if she lives in Spokane I would imagine many firms would rather have a Gonzaga Grad than a Harvard one. They would want someone who could commit to the area, the firm would know professors at the school, etc etc. Now obviously at any big time firm the Harvard Grad is going to win, but I imagine with the OP's commitment to stay in her area that he/she is not looking for a big firm gig. Rather she is looking for local employment and the tier 4 in the area she wants to live in can likely help her get a legal career started in that location. He/she will probably never make 100k a year, but it does not sound like that is his or her goal.

Maybe it won't work out, but as I have said a million times education is a risk. If you want to be a lawyer go to law school, but do realize it could really badly. I would honestly have rather tried to do something I really wanted to do and failed miserably than have sat at some b.s. job for 40 years and wonder what would happen if I tried to do this or that. You have one life to live and if you listen to people who want to discourage you then you will sit around and do nothing. I imagine IPfreely is one of those people that sits around criticizing everybody's decisions all the time and has never done anything ever themselves.

Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Thane Messinger on October 11, 2010, 08:03:27 PM
IPF's point (if I am understanding him), is that if she is serious, she needs to ring the alarm bell and "get hot."   At this stage she needs MUCH more information to make these important decisions about.  She needs to dig, read and discuss with her family.  All of this is absolutely possible, because she is just starting undergrad.  She needs to understand that the decision to attend LS is not an easy one, especially for a non-trad.   I am supportive of her, but agree with IPF that she needs to dig more to ensure that LS is really what she wants.


To broaden this a bit, this is excellent advice for everyone considering law school. 

In a sense, it's easier for non-traditional students to ask these questions, because their route is unusual--although an increasingly high percentage of students are non-traditional.  (Does this make the non-traditional student the traditional one?)  It's harder for someone in his or her early 20s to ask the same questions, as there's less basis for an answer and a greater likelihood of an "of course I'm going to law school." 

"Of course" is the right answer . . . but not for the reasons that apply to many.  And, as is integral in the law, the reason is more important than the answer.

So, everyone should ask these questions before embarking on an arduous, expenseive three-year journey.

Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Thane Messinger on October 11, 2010, 08:10:54 PM
* * *
Shocking that Ipfreely came up with the great analysis that Harvard law school is better than a tier 4, but in all honestly sometimes a Harvard degree can work against you. I do not know what area the OP lives in, but I am sure there are employers that would rather have a local grad than a Harvard one. For example if she lives in Spokane I would imagine many firms would rather have a Gonzaga Grad than a Harvard one.
* * *


At the risk of generating more heat than light . . .

1.  Not true.

2.  It is both deceptive and unhelpful to pull Harvard--or, to be more generous, Yale, Harvard, and Stanford--into a comparison with any school below the top tier (top quarter of the top tier, really).  Those three (And the top 5, top 10, top 14...) are in a different category.  Thus they're in a different world.  It's more useful to compare, say, a local school with a well-regarded school outside that region.  Even there, the answer is usually the same as #1.

Bigs, love ya' man, but it just ain't so.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 11, 2010, 08:13:55 PM
Yea law school is a huge financial and time commitment. I don't think anyone can know if it is the right answer until they are done with it. Up to this point it has worked out for me, but it could south real fast. I am nearly half way done and up to this point I am very happy with my decision, but it can change. Education is a long term investment and when choosing a career in anything there are going to be ups and downs. If as soon as sh** hits the fan you start blaming everybody else, but yourself and take no accountability then the law is certainly not for you. Sh** is going to hit the fan for you at some point in school or during your legal career and you better be able to handle it.

If anyone is expecting 100k a year check for getting a J.D. and passing the bar you have another thing coming. It will be competitive there are a lot of people competing for the quality jobs that exist. Believe it or not there is competition for any type of job worth having. The majority of people that write all this negative crap about law school have never held a job in their lives and went down the easy undergrad route (never holding a job during this period), then went to law school never got an internship or any type of work experience and were baffled that when they finished in the top 50% of the 112th best school with nothing setting them apart from anybody else that employers were not lined up to hire them. When the real world hit them instead of dealing with it they make blogs to complain about how unfair everything is and well that is what those type of people will be doing for the rest of their lives.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Thane Messinger on October 11, 2010, 08:23:06 PM
If anyone is expecting 100k a year check for getting a J.D. and passing the bar you have another thing coming. It will be competitive there are a lot of people competing for the quality jobs that exist. Believe it or not there is competition for any type of job worth having. The majority of people that write all this negative crap about law school have never held a job in their lives and went down the easy undergrad route (never holding a job during this period), then went to law school never got an internship or any type of work experience and were baffled that when they finished in the top 50% of the 112th best school with nothing setting them apart from anybody else that employers were not lined up to hire them. When the real world hit them instead of dealing with it they make blogs to complain about how unfair everything is and well that is what those type of people will be doing for the rest of their lives.


You make many good points in your posts.  The danger is in conflating what we control with what we cannot.

I graduated from a top-ish school (Texas), did rather well, got a great job (in a horrendously difficult market), and so I do feel that I have a bit to share.

Where your advice is quite right is that, once one is engaged, it is personal quality that will make the difference.  Whether in litigation, where breeding tends to be somewhat less crucial, or in transactional work, being an excellent attorney will make a difference.  Possibly the difference.  Having practiced with many attorneys, however, I can tell you that the bell curve is alive and well in practice as well as in law school, often out of indifference rather than incompetence per se.  This can be a great advantage--for those who are willing to actually BE excellent.

This is rather different from the odds of getting that shot in the first place.  These are related, however, as a personal insistence on excellent nearly always leads to the "lucky" opportunities we seek.

This is neither to challenge nor to affirm, but to reinforce your and other points that, in addition to debt, stress, hard work, etc., there is the very real factor of one's own quality.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: IPFreely on October 11, 2010, 10:17:30 PM
Well first off nothing indicates that IPfreely has even attended one law school class or even sat for the LSAT. Yet they feel the need to give all kinds of advice about  something they know absolutely nothing about.
Nice way to ASSume a lot of stuff.  I haven't checked your background out, but I don't go around blithely assuming that you recruit fools to attend a for-profit T4 law school at full price in order to make your living.

FYI, I'm a 3L at a mid-T1.  My LSAT was 167.  You could have found out at least the first part by looking at my past posts.  You might have guessed from the "IP" part of my user name that I'm interested in IP (something else you could have spotted from my posts here).  Just looking at my join date would have given you more info than what you ran with there, bubba.

I imagine IPfreely is one of those people that sits around criticizing everybody's decisions all the time and has never done anything ever themselves.
And I imagine that you're a complete idiot.  I also imagine that my imagination is more on-target than yours.

OP is free to make her own decisions.  Since she ASKED for opinions here, I figured I'd give her mine.  You don't like it?  Well, who cares what you think?

Again, law school is somewhat of a risk, but many people do find employment as a attorneys in some fashion. They do not all sit out in front of courthouses begging to defend child molesters. Also becoming a public defender is not an awful gig if they do have to defend child molesters. There is decent pay, loan forgiveness, and government benefits. Trust me there are a lot worse gigs in the world than becoming a Public Defender.
Hey, did *I* object to her becoming a defender of child molesters?  No, *she's* the one who spouted off about how she has morals.  Well, if she goes to a T4, she'll probably have to drop those.

(Brightens.)  Perhaps an anecdote would help to illustrate the situation!

The ex-girlfriend who convinced me that I could survive law school went to a T3.  She graduated into a really pretty damn great economy in 2006.  The only job she was offered was in the middle of nowhere in a tiny firm, earning a pittance.  The majority of her class ended up destitute, begging anyone to give them jobs.  She talked about her work, probably more than was permitted under the rules of professional conduct now that I know about such things, but anyway, her clients ran from small-time arsonists to a serial public masturbator who liked to jerk off in front of children to teach them proper technique.  When she wasn't defending dirtbags and perverts, she checked real estate titles at the county courthouse.  I suspect that that work has largely dried up, since housing sales are a quarter of what they were four years ago.

That's what the OP most likely has to look forward to, if she finds a law-related job at all.  A lot of T4 grads don't.  Especially in this economy.  Oh, and FYI, the economy isn't going to get any better any time soon -- enjoy your hope and change, they're what's for dinner.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 11, 2010, 10:39:47 PM
Your really cool!  :)
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: IPFreely on October 11, 2010, 11:19:05 PM
IPF's point (if I am understanding him), is that if she is serious, she needs to ring the alarm bell and "get hot."   At this stage she needs MUCH more information to make these important decisions about.
That would be part of it, but really, I'm suggesting she not go at all.  Unless she gets a full-ride scholarship somewhere, anyway, or miraculously gets into a T1, or even a T2.

The law market is saturated.  Doc review is being offshored to India as fast as the big firms can find literate workers there.  New associate hirings are down by more than half.  The number of law schools is INCREASING, and class sizes at existing schools are INCREASING too.  Does this strike anyone as being a little . . . off?

Getting "an education" isn't a ticket to anything but massive debt.  If you're extremely intelligent, very hardworking, and can do well in a good program . . . then go.  If you're average, want to devote your life to your family, and are just going to trudge through the motions, don't bother.  Go do something worthy of your talents.  Don't waste your money and your time on the sheet of paper that will somehow magically transform your dreary existence into a dreary indebted existence with collection agencies howling at you through the telephone three times every evening.

It's no different from the barfing undergrads who are drinking themselves into oblivion every single night in the undergrad bar district here.  Want to get drunk and hurl seven nights a week?  Why bother to take out student loans to pay a university ten, twenty, thirty, forty grand a year in tuition when you're too hung over to pay any attention in class anyway?  Just go get some crappy job, maybe working retail or waiting tables or something, and go get drunk every night without the debt, and without the pressure of explaining to parents why you flunked all of your classes, and so on.

(Brightens.)  Perhaps another anecdote is in order!

A couple of weeks ago, I was out getting plastered at a local bar along with some of my peers.  We got to talking with the waitress, and discovered that she too is a student at our local academic institution.  She is getting a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology.  Bog alone knows what her student loan debt is like, probably well into six figures.

After she wandered away to bring back more booze for us, I asked my peers, "what the hell do you do with a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology?"

In retrospect, the answer was obvious.(*)

Now, all right, law is a little different, but not a whole lot.  The OP could graduate from her T4 and then go off and start her own law firm -- in the Obamaconomy, the odds of her finding an associate's gig are pretty damn low (and the current mess is going to last for years -- look at Japan for what Bernanke's policies, which he copied from post-Bubble Japan circa 1992, result in).  If she has a lot of friends and relatives with legal problems, she might be able to hang in there.

She could just as easily open a daycare and skip the whole law-school-massive-debt-hangover thing, and she would probably make about as much, without the debt service costs dragging down her net take-home pay.  Learn to be a plumber, or an interior decorator, or a stripper.

But in terms of being offered a job out of law school, what are the odds?  Especially when someone has absolutely no skill whatsoever other than "being a lawyer"?  And one who couldn't even get into a good school?  Like, a school with a large alumni network, in positions to hire their school's recent graduates?

When I was going through the decision process, and after having read this forum -- back when it was still fairly active -- I came to the conclusion that if I didn't get into a T1, it wasn't worth the expense.  Wasting $150,000 on a piece of paper just so I could help assho1e neighbors sue each other, for a net to me of $40K a year?  Not really worth it.

On the other hand, spending $60K (after scholarship) for a degree that would likely get me into a decent patent law firm, earning $100K to $150K a year?  Probably worth it.

You do the math, you make the decision.  If the numbers don't make sense, then don't do it.

I submit to you that the OP's current plan of action is one that, if she runs the numbers, will be one that will make absolutely no sense.



(*) Another round please, waitress.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: IPFreely on October 11, 2010, 11:23:11 PM
Your really cool!  :)
I looked you up.  Golden Gate?  No wonder you're defending going to a T4.  Good luck with that.  What are their employment stats like?
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 11, 2010, 11:26:25 PM



You make many good points in your posts.  The danger is in conflating what we control with what we cannot.

This is rather different from the odds of getting that shot in the first place.  These are related, however, as a personal insistence on excellent nearly always leads to the "lucky" opportunities we seek.

This is neither to challenge nor to affirm, but to reinforce your and other points that, in addition to debt, stress, hard work, etc., there is the very real factor of one's own quality.

I do not think there is any doubt that if you go to a lower ranked school you are going to have to work a lot harder at finding a job. You should know that going in, but it can and is done. People like IPfreely seem to look down on people that are actually working and whose clients are not ideal.   I honestly never heard of such things until reading his post about his ex-girlfriend's horrible employment story. As I understood most lawyers deal with wonderful clients who are always happy to talk to their attorney.  Generally these clients always pay their bills on time without dispute and these high paying clients are always of the highest moral character.  They go to church every Sunday and are only interested in the good of the community. Heaven forbid that a client might actually have done something wrong or want take advantage of a situation.  Certainly no client seeks an attorney for selfish monetary gain that would be unheard of! Maybe there are a few despicable people like this out there seeking monetary gain for their own selfish reasons, but only a lowly tier 3 student would take such a horrendous client.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 11, 2010, 11:33:19 PM
Well the employment for me has been pretty good up to this point and I have made some straight cash homie. Honestly, there are bitter people at tier 1's and at a tier 4's and it certainly does not help you to be in that category in any aspect of life. You seem to be taking it way to personally man it is an internet board.  Anyways, good luck to you out there.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: IPFreely on October 11, 2010, 11:45:17 PM
Well the employment for me has been pretty good up to this point and I have made some straight cash homie. Honestly, there are bitter people at tier 1's and at a tier 4's and it certainly does not help you to be in that category in any aspect of life. You seem to be taking it way to personally man it is an internet board.  Anyways, good luck to you out there.
Glad to hear, really.  And likewise.

BTW, I'm not bitter about law school.  I enjoy the hell out of it.  But I don't think it's a good idea for people to waste huge amounts of money on a degree with little likelihood of getting a job out of it.  Better to go do something that doesn't require $150K for an entry fee.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 12, 2010, 12:09:41 AM
I agree law school is WAY TO EXPENSIVE for what it is. That goes from tier 1 to tier 4 for the amount of money any ABA school charges the halls should be made of gold. Almost every school charges around 30k a year give or take a few thousand dollars. I have seen every school in the Bay Area and no law student is getting anywhere near 30k worth in facilities, services, etc at any of them from Stanford to GGU. 

I do not think the employment is as awful as people make it out to be though. It is hard to find a job particularly when staring out. That is true in all professions and from every institution. However, education is a LONG TERM INVESTMENT. If you are an attorney it is a career that will likely last 30 to 40 years and in the long run 100k is worth 30 years of a job you enjoy doing. The key though is to make sure that being a lawyer is something you want to do and you will need to realize that a J.D. is no golden ticket to riches or special treatment. It is very likely at the beginning you will need to deal with masturbators and other various f***ed up people. Nobody starts out at the top even Lebron James had to bring the donuts when he was a rookie. Even if you went to Harvard for law school I imagine there is no great special treatment once you start out. There is probably more for them than a GGU student and I certainly don't expect anything to be handed to me and I know I will need to work my ass off for anything that I get in the legal profession. However, I knew that going in and if you go to a tier 3 or 4 school you will need to work harder than anyone else. You are going in as an underdog if you are tier 3/4 student and the only way an underdog succeeds in anything is by busting his or her ass. Even if they do work 100x harder than anyone else they still might not succeed.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Tanrael on October 12, 2010, 12:14:46 PM
Don't feed the trolls.  :-p
You see that?  Where was I trolling?  I was simply telling her the truth.

There is an art to explaining to someone that the path they are choosing isn't wise.  For a board like this one, full of aspiring professionals, one would expect at least an attempt at professionalism.  Telling a women that she is better off as a stripper is rude and insulting.  Treating anyone with such disrespect demonstrates a lack of fitness for the vocation we aspire to.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Angelvoice on October 12, 2010, 12:51:53 PM
I appreciate that.  Thank you!
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: sethc on October 20, 2010, 05:56:16 AM
Not to sound jaded, but..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMvARy0lBLE

..I feel like this is obligatory.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: john4040 on October 20, 2010, 08:22:37 AM
Think long and hard about going to law school.  I wouldn't pay more than ~$15,000 in TOTAL tuition to go to a T3 or T4.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 20, 2010, 09:11:12 AM
That was honestly a pretty funny video. Still I will stand by my old position that a lot of jobs are hard and you can meet people in almost every profession that say they are underpaid and overworked. Yes there is a lot of debt to get education in those fields as well. I very rarely meet people that say man I am so underworked and overpaid and got this position with no educational debt whatsoever. Now is law school a guarantee of anything absolutely not. Is an MBA a guarantee absolutely not. Maybe an M.D. is a guarantee if it you get through the education and the residency, but I think it takes 12 years and yes you will also have a lot of debt and be quite busy and have your personal life interfered with. Finding work is a pain in the ass and generally most of the time so is working. I would love to be paid exorbiant amounts of money to just hang out like  a Kardashian, but unfortunately my Dad was not a rich lawyer and I am not a really hot girl. So I have to deal with the cards I was dealt and that is what most people have to do.

I constantly plead on this website for someone to tell me of some field that is easy to get into, pays me exorbitant amounts of money, guarantees me a sweet corner office, and would never interfere with my personal life. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IF THERE IS A JOB THAT WILL PAY ME A 100K to WORK 10 HOURS A WEEK IS NOT COMPETITIVE TO GET INTO AND WILL NOT PUT ANY STRAIN ON ME PLEASE PLEASE LET ME KNOW! Because I will drop out of law school ASAP. Until then I have chosen law school, because of the different things have done it is the most enjoyable to me.  It has worked out for me up to this point, but who knows how it will turn out.   
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: marcus-aurelius on October 20, 2010, 09:49:07 AM
Bigs,

I think the elusive 10 hour per week job making 100,000 per year is easily attainable.  Male escort service should do the trick :)
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 20, 2010, 10:01:24 AM
 :) Possibly only problem is that will really interfere with my personal life don't know how my girlfriend would feel about. Plus my weekends will be booked and it is also hard to get clients that will pay me the big bucks since there might be a few people better looking and more charismatic than me out there. So the easy to get into factor is not satisfied. Plus I do not if I would enjoy being with the type of people that have to pay exorbitant amounts of money for a male escort and so I might not truly ENJOY the work.

I appreciate the suggestion though :) any other suggestions? Honestly, I would really like to have a job that paid me a lot, never interfered with my personal life, and I enjoyed every single second of the few hours I put in a week. It would be great to have it figured out by the end of the day. Me and a lot of my friends have been trying to figure this problem out for 25 years and still have not come up with a solution, but I know there are a lot smarter people than me out there.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: john4040 on October 20, 2010, 10:02:40 AM
I constantly plead on this website for someone to tell me of some field that is easy to get into, pays me exorbitant amounts of money, guarantees me a sweet corner office, and would never interfere with my personal life. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IF THERE IS A JOB THAT WILL PAY ME A 100K to WORK 10 HOURS A WEEK IS NOT COMPETITIVE TO GET INTO AND WILL NOT PUT ANY STRAIN ON ME PLEASE PLEASE LET ME KNOW! Because I will drop out of law school ASAP. Until then I have chosen law school, because of the different things have done it is the most enjoyable to me.  It has worked out for me up to this point, but who knows how it will turn out.

I think you're (deliberately) missing the issue here.  No one claims that there is a field that is easy to get into, pays exorbitant amounts of money, guarantees a sweet corner office, or that would never interfere with your personal life.  What many are saying is that law school is simply not worth it after a certain point.  That exact point is extremely difficult to define (usually because people try to throw in intangibles).  However, when people come on here and talk about how they "love the law," "want to seek justice," or other similar B.S.; they have not stepped foot into a law office or talked to a recent graduate or a practicing attorney; and they are willing to incur significant debt... it kind of makes you wonder.

I wish that more people would come to this board and share their stats (Approximate school rank / Class Rank / Prior work experience) and employment (size of firm / salary / type of work) after their 3L year.  This would give all of these 0Ls a chance to see, first hand, a good sample of the type of opportunities that await them after graduation.  I'm not crossing my fingers, but the ABA has finally started looking into making the employment stats that law schools report more transparent.  There is no doubt in my mind that everyone (except law schools) would benefit from this information.  When, if ever, any of this information is released, I think people will be shocked to see the (real) average salary per school and how many law school graduates are not finding employment in the legal sector.  These are the types of risks that those on this board advocating against going to law school wish to expose to the 0Ls that don't have any information on the current state of the legal market.  Transparency becomes even more crucial when considering that many law school grads are throwing down $100-$200K on hopes, dreams, and misleading statistics.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Hamilton on October 20, 2010, 10:09:45 AM
Not if Deuce Biggalo (sp?) is any indication...

Bigs,

I think the elusive 10 hour per week job making 100,000 per year is easily attainable.  Male escort service should do the trick :)
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: marcus-aurelius on October 20, 2010, 10:28:16 AM
I never said male escort to women.  Watch the assumptions :)
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 20, 2010, 11:25:13 AM
True Hamilton, but remember he stole the suave guys identity and used that reputation to get clients.

John, I agree that when people say I am seeking justice etc they have little idea what they are talking about. I have been through a year of law school and worked in law firms for two years and I still barely know what is going on. I really think law schools need to bump their admissions requirements up and do what nursing or medical school does and require you to take certain courses first off to show you planned on going to law school and didn't just graduate and say man I don't want to deal with work.

Then I also think you should be required to work in a law firm for a certain amount of hours before applying to law school. As it stands now you can be going to college on a basketball scholarship get a degree in Criminal Justice like some jackasses out there :)/religious studies/ etc and have no idea what you want to do with your life. However, if you are somewhat responsible in college show up to class get decent grades graduate and then it ends. You ponder what to do with your life and there is this MC test you can take that will basically take care of the next three years of your life and the true beauty is you do not even really need o study for the test, it is a logic puzzle. So if you get around 60% of the questions on this test correct, combined with your decent effort in college that resulted in above a 3.0, and have the ability to pump out a two page essay describing yourself well that is all you need to commit three years of your life and 100k. It is completely insufficient and you should required to do about 100 more things before you can be admitted to law school. However, as it stands law school admissions requirements are be moderately intelligent,  somewhat responsible in college, a decent MC test taker, and boom you are ready to be a lawyer. I think this is the path many take and then are shocked that the law is not quite as exciting as the movies make it out to be.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: Hamilton on October 20, 2010, 12:13:14 PM
Bigs - agree w/what you are saying, which to me is that the ABA needs to step up it's accredidation and make law schools more restrictive, not more inclusive.  At the current trend, law school is becoming an over-priced trade school that anyone can get into if they are willing to pay the price.  Law school should be like med school - selective and restrictive.  Unfortunately, the ABA is going in the other direction and accrediting more law schools.  Schools like Cooley who keep expanding and lowering admission standards bring the profession down and set stdents up for long-term financial failure.
Title: Re: Thinking about going to law school....
Post by: bigs5068 on October 20, 2010, 01:24:53 PM
I agree 100% it is nowhere near the way that Art School, which living in San Francisco is everywhere, but if some type of standard is not imposed it could eventually head that way. As it stands it is quite easy to get into any tier 1 to tier 4 law school. I know schools like Harvard & Yale require numerous essays and interviews etc, but to a lot of schools from the top 25 to Cooley you just need a LSAT score and respectable GPA and often times in a major that is a complete joke, which included my Criminal Justice and my insane amount of A's I got for playing  basketball I nailed theory of basketball, varsity conditioning, weightlifting, fundamentals of basketball, and principles of basketball.   I nailed them for 4 straight years amazing right! That does not display any type of desire to go to law school, but GGU was eager to hand me a scholarship because my bogus GPA might help them look better in the rankings. U.S. News is just an absolute joke and a big part of the numerous problems law schools have regarding admissions standards etc.

I think you should be required to work just 100 hours in any law office and have it documented it could be volunteer or paid. Then also have the ABA create a list of prerequisite classes a student needs to complete before applying. Not that this will necessarily teach the law student anything of substance, but it will at least show the person had a desire to attend a law school and was willing to make some sacrifices to get there. My friend got into nursing school, but she had to take a number of prerequisite classes to get admitted. I do not see why the ABA does not require prerequisite classes for the law as well.