Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: sharka on January 06, 2015, 12:07:11 PM

Title: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: sharka on January 06, 2015, 12:07:11 PM
I'm sure this isn't a new topic, but I was hoping for advice and thoughts on how bad is it to have a 3.0 for 1L Fall Semester Grades at an ABA school? B-, B, B, and B+ combo.

Thanks all
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on January 06, 2015, 12:19:12 PM
To some extent it depends on the curve at your school, but generally that's not bad at all. In fact, it's good.

I think most people come into law school with high grades from college and expect that it will simply be repeated in law school. As you've already discovered, law school is much more difficult than undergrad and grades are generally lower. At my school the curve was brutal, and a GPA above 3.0 probably would have placed you in the top 15%. 
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: sharka on January 06, 2015, 02:11:18 PM
I think my law school's curve is a B? I know I read somewhere that the allocation of As (includes A-) is 15% at max and then there's an allocation of Cs at 20%?

And yes, I've discovered that law school is much harder than undergrad. Do you think that a 3.0 will damage my chances at a 1L summer job and job down the road given how much emphasis is placed on the 1L grades? I wish my LWR grade had been a B+ as opposed to a B.

Also while I have you here, I can't afford to do an unpaid full time internship, so if I don't get a paid internship or a part-time unpaid internship, would it be devastating for me to just work for a company I worked for in undergrad?

I'm personally just glad I didn't get a 3.0 that comprised of an A and a C because I think Cs look way worse than the benefit an A brings, but that may be just my personal beliefs.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on January 06, 2015, 03:28:02 PM
Do you think that a 3.0 will damage my chances at a 1L summer job and job down the road given how much emphasis is placed on the 1L grades?

Well, that question is subject to a number of variables. To a large extent it depends on what your goals are. If you have a 3.0 from Harvard, then no worries. If you have a 3.0 from Whittier, however, and are trying to get a prestigious and highly competitive federal internship, then it may be more difficult. Without knowing what your goals are it's hard to say.

As far as post-law school employment, again it depends. Big firms with 500+ lawyers and some federal agencies are going to be far more competitive than the local public defender's office (although those are probably more competitive than you think!). If the goal is a small firm doing family law and DUIs, it will be less of an issue.

Also while I have you here, I can't afford to do an unpaid full time internship, so if I don't get a paid internship or a part-time unpaid internship, would it be devastating for me to just work for a company I worked for in undergrad?

I don't know what the market is like where you live, but I can tell you that here in California paid internships are very competitive. The majority of students get unpaid internships. Sadly, firms and government agencies have figured out that there is a huge pool of talent willing to work for free.

I worked at a government office when I was in law school and we only budgeted for a small number of our internships to be paid. Obviously, the competition for those positions was especially high.

If you have to work at a non-legal job during the summer, so be it. However, it is imperative that you get some solid, marketable legal experience before you start looking for a job as a lawyer. The job market is very tight, and employers will be flooded with applicants who have experience. Those without experience will be at a serious disadvantage. Again, the caveat might be if you are graduating from a school with a huge reputation and you can simply rely on pedigree (Harvard, Yale, etc).

Otherwise you better have something else that the employer wants, namely experience.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on January 06, 2015, 06:03:05 PM
Congrats on your first semester grades! The release of those is a very stressful time and it getting a 3.0 is not bad at all. As Maintain States most 1L's assume they will get a 4.0 and 100% of them are certain they will be in the top 10% of the class and there is no way they wouldn't in the top 25% and it would absolutely impossible for them to be in the bottom half of the class. However, you don't need to be a math major to see how that math works out.

Any ABA Law Schools is compromised of very smart, motivated and hard working people and many students are shocked when 1L grades come out and they see C's for the first time. At the end of the day your grades mean very little and whether you pass the bar or not is what counts, but nobody has ever been hurt by having a solid law school GPA.

To sum it up a 3.0 is a great start and you are likely in the top 35% of your class with that so congrats and keep pushing through law school. If you have additional questions about the process this site has several insightful posters that offer excellent advice.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: sharka on January 06, 2015, 06:05:53 PM
I'm from California too! How about a 3.0 from schools like Davis, Hastings, or SCU? (I'm asking for my friends too who have similar (although not idential) 1L GPAs)?

I would love a big law summer position but I'm just as interested in medium and small firms and in-house positions. I'm neutral about clerkships personally.

I have considerable work experience prior to law school despite coming straight from undergrad, do you think that will help?

I've been volunteering at a clinic in the limited capacity a 1L can and my school also has a Negotiations Team, Moot Court, and Trial Team. Do you think any of these would help experience wise and if any are better than the other?

Thanks in advance for all the advice. I really appreciate it.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: sharka on January 06, 2015, 06:10:32 PM
Congrats on your first semester grades!

Thanks Citylaw! If you have any advice for me, I would love to take it in! It was a wonderful feeling to get these grades back. I did admittedly get a feeling of disappointment considering I'm used to having a GPA of 3.85-4.0 for undergrad semesters. But I'm slowly adjusting to understanding what a 3.0 means in law school. Like you said, I've heard grades don't matter after your first job, but I was wondering if you or Maintain have any suggestions on finding summer jobs and jobs for medium or small sized firms or in-house opportunities? I know my grades currently (or perhaps even long run) are not strong enough for Big Law, but big law was always a reach in my mind.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: MilsonDavis on November 23, 2015, 06:23:11 AM
Congrats on your first semester grades!
But I'm slowly adjusting to understanding what a 3.0 means in law school. If you need the 3 Week Diet to lose weight then you can get it here (https://skinnyexpress.com/the-3-week-diet-review) pretty cheap. Like you said, I've heard grades don't matter after your first job.

This is quite true although most employers still look at grades but we're more interested in experience and how you perform in a real work environment. 3.0 isn't that bad anyway.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on November 23, 2015, 01:57:10 PM
Yea of course the grades mean something and you would rather have a 4.0 than a 2.8, just like if your trying out for a basketball team you would rather be 6'10 than 6'5, but there are plenty of great 6'5 basketball players and plenty of great lawyers with a 2.8 GPA.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on November 23, 2015, 03:43:43 PM
Yea of course the grades mean something and you would rather have a 4.0 than a 2.8, just like if your trying out for a basketball team you would rather be 6'10 than 6'5, but there are plenty of great 6'5 basketball players and plenty of great lawyers with a 2.8 GPA.
I don't know if that is a spot on analogy, but I agree that employers care about grades AND what school you went to, class standing, what you did in undergrad, what you did in high school, your credit score, any juvenile convictions, how bad you smell, ALL OF THAT.

People pretend it doesn't matter at low ranked schools since they all plan to "go solo" and know that the average GED American client doesn't check. Truth be told, even then, any client who can pay up front still cares.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on November 24, 2015, 09:32:49 AM
It depends on the particular job. Some places, like big firms, care A LOT about grades, others are more concerned with relevant work experience. A few years out of law school, however, nobody will give a crap that you won Best Brief in Trial Advocacy.

People pretend it doesn't matter at low ranked schools since they all plan to "go solo" and know that the average GED American client doesn't check. Truth be told, even then, any client who can pay up front still cares.

I dunno. Maybe my experience is atypical, but I've never had an employer pay much attention to grades during an interview. I once got asked about class rank, and the guy just sort of nodded and moved along. As long as I wasn't in danger of failing out he didn't seem to care. At other interviews it never even came up.

As far as clients, my experience at a small boutique firm was that most clients did not know the difference between a T4 and Harvard and did not care.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on November 24, 2015, 10:28:13 AM
Yea my experience is more similar to Maintain's.

Of course having great grades is better, I was in the top of my class, but I still got rejected from plenty of jobs and despite getting the Witkin Award in Con Law 1 - Con Law II - Crim Pro 1 & Crim Pro 2. Not every DA, Public Defender and City Attorney Office was begging me to work for them.

For the most part on interviews employers ask do you have any experience doing X, because they don't want to spend time teaching it. If you know how to do a Pitchess Motion in California they don't have to explain it to you and you could have straight C's for all they care.

In BigLaw and certain jobs grades do matter, but those jobs are few and far between to begin with. Furthermore, of course there are small-mid size firms that care about grades, but there are small mid-size firms that might like that you like Basketball, or football or god knows what.

Every employer is not identical and has entirely different philosophies, culture, etc,. There are firms out there that would prefer to have a Tier 4 middle of the pack grad than the Harvard Valedictorian, because the Valedictorian Harvard working there wouldn't make any sense and you could constantly think they were going to leave.

I would love to have Lebron James on my lawyer league team, but if he quit the Cavs to play for me I would be a little suspicious about how serious he was to sticking with us long-term.

Furthermore, as to clients and grades/schools they don't particularly care. I go to a doctor, dentist, optometrist, CPA, etc and I honestly don't know what schools they attended or what grades they got, and I really don't care.

I don't have time to research it all and for the most part convenience in location, price, professionalism is far more important to me than whether they went to Harvard or Devry. Most clients are in the same boat and looking for representation in their situation with an attorney they like, is reasonably priced, and available.

Harvard Valedictorians can only do so much work in a day and are not likely to take the case of any jackass.

So at the end of the day, it is better to get good grades nobody argues that.  It is better to be 7'1 when your playing basketball, better to have six pack abs when pursuing your modeling career, etc, but not everyone out there is a Shaq Sized dominant NBA player that can related to everyone that also attended Harvard and graduated with an M.D., J.D., MBA, CPA, with years of experience at the top firms and is reasonably priced and available to any joe that needs help.


Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on November 25, 2015, 08:32:25 PM
Yea my experience is more similar to Maintain's.

Of course having great grades is better, I was in the top of my class, but I still got rejected from plenty of jobs and despite getting the Witkin Award in Con Law 1 - Con Law II - Crim Pro 1 & Crim Pro 2. Not every DA, Public Defender and City Attorney Office was begging me to work for them.

For the most part on interviews employers ask do you have any experience doing X, because they don't want to spend time teaching it. If you know how to do a Pitchess Motion in California they don't have to explain it to you and you could have straight C's for all they care.

In BigLaw and certain jobs grades do matter, but those jobs are few and far between to begin with. Furthermore, of course there are small-mid size firms that care about grades, but there are small mid-size firms that might like that you like Basketball, or football or god knows what.

Every employer is not identical and has entirely different philosophies, culture, etc,. There are firms out there that would prefer to have a Tier 4 middle of the pack grad than the Harvard Valedictorian, because the Valedictorian Harvard working there wouldn't make any sense and you could constantly think they were going to leave.

I would love to have Lebron James on my lawyer league team, but if he quit the Cavs to play for me I would be a little suspicious about how serious he was to sticking with us long-term.

Furthermore, as to clients and grades/schools they don't particularly care. I go to a doctor, dentist, optometrist, CPA, etc and I honestly don't know what schools they attended or what grades they got, and I really don't care.

I don't have time to research it all and for the most part convenience in location, price, professionalism is far more important to me than whether they went to Harvard or Devry. Most clients are in the same boat and looking for representation in their situation with an attorney they like, is reasonably priced, and available.

Harvard Valedictorians can only do so much work in a day and are not likely to take the case of any jackass.

So at the end of the day, it is better to get good grades nobody argues that.  It is better to be 7'1 when your playing basketball, better to have six pack abs when pursuing your modeling career, etc, but not everyone out there is a Shaq Sized dominant NBA player that can related to everyone that also attended Harvard and graduated with an M.D., J.D., MBA, CPA, with years of experience at the top firms and is reasonably priced and available to any joe that needs help.
You hearing all of this low ranked law school grads who were on the bottom of their class?????

-APPARENTLY YOU HAVE THE SAME ODDS ARE THE TOP 1% OF HARVARD LAW GRADS, SO STOP BEING A LITTLE female dog AND GO GET A JOB YOU f-ing BUMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(right?)
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on November 30, 2015, 05:34:33 PM
Basically, yea if you are a licensed attorney you can find a job, unless you a female dog and moan about it.

If you graduated at the bottom of your class from a non-elite school, you are not getting a big-law associate job out of law school, but you can get a job as a Public Defender, in a small-firm, etc Here is a litany of jobs for attorney's through California. http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=attorney&l=california+

Will the Valedictorian of Harvard have more doors open to them than a student with a 2.8 out of Santa Clara Law? Yes.

If you have a 2.8 GPA from Santa Clara are you doomed to giving handies to bums on Greyhound? No.

There are plenty of jobs out there, but any graduate even the Valedictorian of Harvard has to apply to them and both will get rejected from jobs.

However, if you are a licensed attorney in any state, anywhere, you have had a pretty good life to be perfectly honest and had a lot go your way. If you can't get a job not the most amazing job in the world, but a decent job with a B.A. a J.D. and a license to practice law, look in the mirror it probably has a lot more to do with you than the school you attened.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on November 30, 2015, 10:07:36 PM
Basically, yea if you are a licensed attorney you can find a job, unless you a female dog and moan about it.

If you graduated at the bottom of your class from a non-elite school, you are not getting a big-law associate job out of law school, but you can get a job as a Public Defender, in a small-firm, etc Here is a litany of jobs for attorney's through California. http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=attorney&l=california+

Will the Valedictorian of Harvard have more doors open to them than a student with a 2.8 out of Santa Clara Law? Yes.

If you have a 2.8 GPA from Santa Clara are you doomed to giving handies to bums on Greyhound? No.

There are plenty of jobs out there, but any graduate even the Valedictorian of Harvard has to apply to them and both will get rejected from jobs.

However, if you are a licensed attorney in any state, anywhere, you have had a pretty good life to be perfectly honest and had a lot go your way. If you can't get a job not the most amazing job in the world, but a decent job with a B.A. a J.D. and a license to practice law, look in the mirror it probably has a lot more to do with you than the school you attened.
Industry wide statistics disagree with you
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 01, 2015, 09:20:23 AM
I'm from California too! How about a 3.0 from schools like Davis, Hastings, or SCU? (I'm asking for my friends too who have similar (although not idential) 1L GPAs)?

I would love a big law summer position but I'm just as interested in medium and small firms and in-house positions. I'm neutral about clerkships personally.

I have considerable work experience prior to law school despite coming straight from undergrad, do you think that will help?

I've been volunteering at a clinic in the limited capacity a 1L can and my school also has a Negotiations Team, Moot Court, and Trial Team. Do you think any of these would help experience wise and if any are better than the other?

Thanks in advance for all the advice. I really appreciate it.

Following on on this and other questions.

First, don't worry about the 3.0. Most people who go to law school did very well in undergrad where there was rampant grade inflation. In other words, getting less than a 4.0 is considered "bad." Law school is not like that. As almost every school, there is a curve, and it is rigorously applied. The most helpful thing for your own understanding is not your absolute grade, but how you did on your own school's curve. That should be freely available (this will be your "class rank" moving forward).

Second, *any* legal experience your first summer is a good thing. I didn't see your school posted, but for most people not attending an Ivy League, a 1L summer at Big Law is out of reach (unless they are, say, T1 and finish at the top of their class). At this point, you shouldn't be looking down at clerkships- I clerked for a state court judge my first summer and it was the most amazing experience ever, and I formed connections I still use- it also gave me a leg up for my second year (I summered at BigLaw for 2L). Repeat- any summer position that gives you legal experience will be valuable. But look for real legal experience. And you also don't know, yet, what you don't know.

Third, regarding what you're looking for in the second year. The general rule of thumb, for employers, is as follows:
Law Review > Moot Court > Trial Team > Secondary Journal > (Other Moot Court, Negotiations Team, Etc.) > Clubs.

This can be fluid; for example, law review (or whatever the primary journal at your school is) will always be a huge bonus, but if you want to work as a prosecutor, they will likely be happy that you were on the trial team. Or, maybe you are a great orator, and your school has a great moot court. But for "general applications" that is the order that most employers will view. In fact, many employers will specifically say "Law Review or Moot Court only" for some positions.

Okay, that's about it for now.

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 01, 2015, 09:27:19 AM
Basically, yea if you are a licensed attorney you can find a job, unless you a female dog and moan about it.


More than 15% of JDs who graduate remain long-term unemployed. That's the most recent statistics.

More than 30% of JDs who graduate and are employed cannot find employment in the legal field (you want burgers with that). That's the most recent statistics.

This is industry-wide. This is includes the best law schools (HYS) making up for, well, some of the not-so-good ones. This also includes the reduced class from 2012.

Short version- almost 50%. That's terrible. Which is a nice way of saying ... do not believe that. Law school is a great option for some people, and is the equivalent of flushing money down the toilet for other people. Please, please, please make sure you make an informed decision, and do not assume that there will be a job for anyone with a JD. That is not true.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on December 01, 2015, 01:54:24 PM
I'm going to get all wishy washy and agree with both of you. Citylaw and Loki both bring up relevant truths.

Clearly, the legal job market is bad. There are too many law grads for too few jobs. No question about it.

BUT...

I meet people literally every single day who graduated from schools that you've never heard of, and are successful PDs, DAs, small firm lawyers and solo practitioners. In that sense, Citylaw is right. A highly motivated graduate of a T4 who knows how to hustle and is willing to take some risks will probably do better than a T1 grad who says "But I went to a good school. Give me a job befitting my prestigious education."

The problem I often see is that 25 year olds who have no meaningful real world experience simply cannot navigate the job market effectively, let alone possess the skills to strike out on their own.

This is purely anecdotal (so take it for what it is), but the somewhat older part time students at my non-prestigious law school had better employment stats than the younger full time students. They already knew how to navigate the job market, and were perhaps more realistic about their options.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 01, 2015, 03:33:26 PM
I'm going to get all wishy washy and agree with both of you. Citylaw and Loki both bring up relevant truths.

Clearly, the legal job market is bad. There are too many law grads for too few jobs. No question about it.

BUT...

I meet people literally every single day who graduated from schools that you've never heard of, and are successful PDs, DAs, small firm lawyers and solo practitioners. In that sense, Citylaw is right. A highly motivated graduate of a T4 who knows how to hustle and is willing to take some risks will probably do better than a T1 grad who says "But I went to a good school. Give me a job befitting my prestigious education."

The problem I often see is that 25 year olds who have no meaningful real world experience simply cannot navigate the job market effectively, let alone possess the skills to strike out on their own.

This is purely anecdotal (so take it for what it is), but the somewhat older part time students at my non-prestigious law school had better employment stats than the younger full time students. They already knew how to navigate the job market, and were perhaps more realistic about their options.

Hey, I'm not trying to be all doom and gloom! I just take real exception to the claim that there are jobs for anyone with a bit o' spit and polish. There aren't.

Up until this year (I moved) I worked closely with my school's alum office. And the market out there was ... rough. Are there a lot of variables? Sure. How you did in school. Your prior experience. Your connections. Your "gumption." Where in the country you are located. Your willingness to move to find a legal job.

But it's not true that you can just find a job- even a PD job. Even a job working for the State in family law proceedings. And working as a solo practitioner, straight out of law school, is incredibly hard. There are some people that are able to do it, who are able to build those connections quickly, who have the work ethic, who quickly understand the difference between law school and the practice of law. But there are more failures than successes (and I would always recommend someone get some experience, of some kind, before hanging their shingle).

And that's what I will always push back against. The reality is that for just about half of the people that go to law school right now - there won't be a legal job at the other end. Another significant percentage will be in legal jobs that, to be honest, don't pay well and aren't well-respected (which means that law school, from a strictly numbers standpoint, is a three-year long bad investment). On the other hand, if a person takes the time to understand what the legal profession really entails (not TV shows), and dedicates themselves to law school and then their career, it is an immensely rewarding profession.

Although I still haven't gotten to write, "Suck it" in a brief. Someday. It's good to have a dream.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 01, 2015, 04:08:44 PM
Glad to see you are back Loki.

Excellent post above regarding GPA and the subsequent what employers look at Law Review, Moot Court, etc.

As for the job issue, of course getting a job anywhere is hard and you will be rejected.

Becoming a Public Defender is doable, but many people have to volunteer for a few months doing that before a fullt-me job is offered, so on and so on.

However, as far as I know nobody is handing out jobs to anyone. Furthermore, I don't think to many J.D.'s are working at McDonald's you can have a non-legal job that is not McDonald's in fact I met many people in law school that had no desire to be lawyers and ended up with decent jobs. (Although they did not need a J.D. to get them), which goes to your point of be sure law school is for you.

I don't think the job market is any different for teachers, nurses, businessmen/woman, etc, cops, fireman, etc ask any professional out there how they started and it will not be some easy road. They started doing some entry-level job and worked their way up. To do this they were rejected countless times and the law is no different.

If anyone thinks that if you get a J.D. firms will have private jets waiting outside of your graduation hall to wine & dine you in hopes that you will choose to work for their firm for $250,000 starting. Well that is not going to happen.

If there is a job like that out there, I would love to know about it, but I don't think it exists.

So as Loki points out law school is not for everyone and there is no guarantee you will succeed just because a law school accepts you. Your going to have to fight, claw and deal with rejection with a J.D. just as you will in any other profession.

Again, unless there is some easy to get, high paying job, that is challenging when you want it to be, but whenever you want a little time off you can have it, and people are impressed by it at cocktail parties and so on. I would LOVE to know about it.

If I am being missing that gig for 32 years then shame on me, but please for the love of god if it exists let me know.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on December 01, 2015, 05:23:56 PM
I essentially agree with you Citylaw, nothing worth doing is easy. I know people who have struggled for years to become firemen, airline pilots, etc.

There is one difference though: the cost. Most of them (with maybe the exception of pilots) won't take on the equivalent of a mortgage to take a stab at the dream. The debt that many law students will accrue in pursuit of their dream is staggering. That has to be taken into account, and makes it a different discussion than cops, firemen, etc.

I wonder if the issue is not so much that aren't job opportunities in law, but that there aren't enough of the right kinds of jobs for inexperienced new grads. PD and DA hiring (at least here in CA) is pretty damn competitive. They don't necessarily care about pedigree, but you better have some experience and connections. Those used to be relatively safe bets for new grads. Same with big firms. There are opportunities in my area for a new grad who has serious previous work experience and wants to strike out as a crim defense/family law/whatever lawyer, but as Loki stated that is VERY daunting for most new grads.

I think you also get a lot of people going to law school because they aren't really what else to do. They have a degree in History or Poly Sci, and law school sounds vaguely interesting. Besides, it's three more years of getting to be a student (no work!), and it's sort of prestigious.

Those people would be better off doing something else for three years. Getting a real estate license. Becoming a financial planner. Becoming a building inspector, you name it. I suspect that they make up large portion of the 50% who don't get jobs.   
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 01, 2015, 06:08:40 PM
Well pilot school, med school and the like are all very expensive the same as law school if not more.

Med School is 4 years, plus residency etc and far more costly than law school.

Cops and Fireman unlike the other professions are limited in to their income potential. There salaries are set and there is no real private sector Fire Department or Police Department so the cost is less, but the rewards are less as well.

You can make an insane amount of money as a lawyer, but it is extremely difficult and more often that not making money in the legal profession requires you to argue on behalf of things that are not easy to argue for.

Law school is expensive and undeniably is more expensive than it needs to me. In reality that ABA for all intents and purposes has a monopoly and they are abusing it as evidenced by the skyrocketing tuition, but this kind of thing is not that uncommon.

It is a far from perfect situation, but if you want to be a lawyer go to law school. However, realize it will not be an easy journey and you could end up being out 3 years and $100,000+ for the right to do a job your not interested in doing.

Is law school right for everybody? No.

However, people make mistakes and attending law school could be a terrible decision or a great one. If we knew how things would turn out life would be pretty easy.

Law school is pretty much like anything else it has its pros and cons. It is a not a career death sentence to anyone that attends nor is it a guarantee of a million dollar salary per year.

 
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 02, 2015, 08:00:41 AM
Citylaw,

But let's look at the specifics. I happen to know a lot about the medschool career path. But let me ask you- how many unemployed doctors do you know? Have you thought about why? Well, long story short, the AMA artificially restricts the number of openings. They run a match program for residents and med school graduates. In short, it's pretty much guaranteed employment. Maybe you might not become a dermatologist (cool fact- that's one of the hardest specialties to get into!), but you're going to work at a very good wage. Provided you don't wash out, and you don't hate being a doctor, it's a great investment. Period.

Becoming a pilot is similar. Now, a lot of commercial pilots really come from the military. Many people aren't aware that becoming a commercial pilot involves working at a commuter airline for many years making the equivalent of minimum wage- if you make it. But you know what the profession entails, and it's not hard to figure out.

The trouble with our profession is the combination of opacity, reputation, and supply. Let me go, briefly, through each.
Opacity- Most people don't understand what a lawyer does. They may have a vague idea from, say, Law & Order reruns or some other TV show. Or maybe it's just "three more years of not working after UG." But, assuming they even find a job, they don't realize what being an attorney really entails. If I had a dime for every 0L who said they wanted to be a "Mergers and Acquisitions Attorney" or "Human Rights Lawyer" then I could retire already. "Discovery" and "Due Diligence" are likely foreign concepts for them. The divide between civil and criminal law (and what that entails) or, even more importantly, transactional v. litigation or government v. private sector work? In house or firm work?
Reputation- Most people, again, have the vague idea that becoming an attorney gives you magical and increased standing in the community, just like a doctor, but without the blood and science. Eh ... not so much. Going to law school doesn't mean you magically get a corner office in LA or NY on the 42nd floor with a killer wardrobe.
Supply- There are too many JDs and too few jobs. Period. Even a public defender's job, now, is competitive. At the local PD's office, there were over 3,000 applications for a new opening (one to three years experience necessary) before they closed the process. No, it's not nearly as bad as it was four years ago- but it's still pretty bad.

And that's why I keep asking you not to post such optimistic assessments. I am perfectly aware that any career goal has its drawbacks; heck, think about getting a PhD in English with the goal of becoming a tenured professor! But people should very carefully consider the risk/reward ratio for law school. They should know that-
1. There is a decent possibility that they will never work in the legal profession (which means that if they go to law school, they should work their butts off).
2. It is an investment (which means that if they chose to go, they need to lower costs, unless they are going to a T14 school and are open to the possibility of working in BigLaw to pay off debts).
3. It is not glamorous (which means they should talk to a few practicing attorneys to get a feel for what actual practice is like prior to committing).
4. And they should never, ever, ever go with the vague idea that "A JD can be used for all sorts of things," or "I'm not sure what I want to do, so I might as well go to law school."
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on December 02, 2015, 10:04:23 AM
I think it all traces back to your point about opacity (great word). If people actually knew what lawyers did for a living, there would be less law school applicants hence less supply.

I think the point that Citylaw is making isn't so much "Hey, anybody can be a successful lawyer!", so much as if you possess certain attributes and skills you can succeed regardless of the statistical averages. In other words, you will be in that 50% of employed lawyers.

The problem that I see again and again, however, is that 22 year olds are very poor judges of their own capabilities. I'm sure that 100% believe that they will be successful, without a serious objective evaluation of their own strengths and weaknesses. How can that be instilled in them? I don't know. Special snowflakes don't like to hear that stuff.

4. And they should never, ever, ever go with the vague idea that "A JD can be used for all sorts of things," or "I'm not sure what I want to do, so I might as well go to law school."
   

This point in particular is noteworthy. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this from undergrads or even law students. People greatly overestimate the value of a JD outside of the legal market. I mean, it is a useful degree and people usually look upon it favorably (in my experience), but unless you have other job-specific experience a JD alone is not going to land you a gig as Human Resources Director or Amnesty International Spokesperson, or Congressman.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 02, 2015, 10:19:46 AM
Everything you say is true, but I don't think I am being overly optimistic, but I am not unnecessarily pessimistic either.

None of the paths are easy plenty of doctors I know can't believe that law school is only 3 years and you have the same rights as any other lawyer immediately after passing the bar. There is no residency requirement in the law, you can pass the bar and make a court appearance the next day. Furthermore, there is no special requirement to be a trial attorney like there is to be a surgeon and so forth or obtain one of the numerous specialties in the medical field. You are simply an attorney licensed to practice law. The day I swore into the California Bar I had as much right to represent a client in California as Chemerinsky did. Pilots similarly do not just get to fly commercial airliners after going through pilot school they have to go through all kinds of b.s. So in that sense law school wins in that once your in you are in, but there is no set path of what to do next, which is stressful.

Since those rights exists immediately there are plenty of jobs for lawyers in the U.S. South Dakota for example is paying lawyers to simply move there. http://ujs.sd.gov/Information/rarprogram.aspx

The problem is everyone out of law school expects a corner office in NY City and well that is not easy to get. Even now I live in San Francisco, but I don't want work in San Francisco I have to commute, but 20-30 miles out in the East Bay there are plenty of jobs for lawyers.

Anyone attending law school or any form of school for that matter needs to have realistic expectations.

Law school is not a golden ticket nor is any other form of education. Law school is also more expensive than it should be I will not debate that, which is why as you say costs should be a concern I agree 100% with that.

As you describe in your own post becoming a pilot is not easy and more or less you need to be in the military to start that career. Well the law is not much different JAG is actively recruiting for any ABA law grad and if you want to get some solid experience out of the gate JAG will do it, but you will be in the military and it is a sacrifice.

I was offered a job by Army JAG, which I turned down. However, it was available, but it was realistically an 8 year commitment and I could be sitting in a base in Afghanistan right now, which was a sacrifice I personally was not willing to make.

So if a licensed lawyer wants to get a job somewhere doing something as an attorney there are options. Every rural public defender office in California is hiring. Mendocino County. https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/mendocinoca Tuluare County, http://agency.governmentjobs.com/tulare/default.cfm has D.A., Child Support Attorney, Public Defender etc.

I could go on and on, but nobody wants to live in these places, but if you want to get a job and have a license to practice law it is available.

SF Public Defender though is booked and not hiring.

So there are jobs for attorneys, but the odds of a J.D. from some mid-level school with a 3.1 getting the corner office in the TransAmerica building with  $200,000k salary after graduation is not going to happen. This is true of even Harvard Grads.

Law school is difficult and getting a degree does not guarantee success, but if you have a J.D. and passed a bar exam and your sole goal is to get a job somewhere you can get one. JAG is an option, Move to South Dakota or some rural county somewhere and there is work. None of these are dream positions though.

Again this is true of all professions unless as I said earlier there is some easy to get, high paying, low stress, challenging when I want to be, glamorous job, that lets me take time off whenever I want. Please, please let me know and I will be eternally grateful.

Unfortunately, doctors, lawyers, nurses, cops, pilots, etc are classified as jobs that you "work" at. There is a reason it is called work and not fun. Work can be fun at times, but for the most if anyone in any profession was told you know what we will pay you $200k to not work and do whatever you want they would take it.

I think the issue is people in their bubble whether it be pilots, doctors, lawyers, nurses etc think their situation is unique, but it isn't. There are pros and cons and this golden job that I described above as far as I know doesn't exist, because if it did everyone would be doing it.  Again if it exists and I have been overlooking it for 32 years then let me know and I will walk out of this office right now and you should to.

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 02, 2015, 12:35:51 PM
Citylaw,

Allow me to illustrate with one of our former examples. If someone who is 14 years old tells you that they will play in the NBA, a person could reasonably note that this is a very difficult career path. Now, that doesn't mean it's impossible- some people, quite clearly, do make it! But perhaps that path is not for everyone.

So let's take generic student thinking of attending Golden Gate University (to use one example). Absent scholarships, his expected debt at graduation is approximately $260,000. After graduating, he has an approximately 21% chance of working at a law firm, an 8% chance of working for the government (this includes PD jobs), a 10% chance of working for some type of "school-funded" job (the school pays money to make their employment stats look a little better), and a 0% chance of a clerkship with the state of federal judiciary (really- they haven't placed one recently). They have roughly the same chance of being unemployed as being employed at a job that requires a JD. And, remember, that most of those JD jobs will make it hard to pay back the debt that was incurred.

The trouble is, a lot of people believe they are the unique and special snowflake. Here's the thing- unless someone was offered a free ride to Golden Gate, in this climate, *there is no way they should go there.* None. The debt/reward ratio doesn't make sense. But every year, 0Ls go there at full freight, get deep into debt, and graduate and either aren't employed in the legal field are struggle for years to repay their debts on low legal salaries. 

That's just common sense. You don't have to have a 180 and go to HYS to be an attorney (especially if you've seen the level of practice we've all seen). But you do have to properly value the money and the time to get the degree, and try to decide if, in the long run, it will likely be worth it. Some attorneys (me, you, maintain) find a high degree of satisfaction in their jobs. Others hate it. Prior to the 2007 correction, things were a little different; but, in good conscience, the only advice you can give a student thinking of law school is to *seriously consider the options*.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 02, 2015, 01:29:37 PM
Again, I agree with everything, but not the numbers there are far more than 21% of Golden Gate Graduates that passed the bar working in law-firms right now.

The statistics for law school employment are absurdly flawed. As an example it requires you to report employment 9months after graduation. However, it is literally impossible for an attorney of GGU, USF, Santa Clara or any other California Law School or anyone taking the California Bar Exam after graduation to even be a licensed attorney until Mid-Late November.

Since graduation is in May there is no way for anyone to be a licensed attorney working in a law-firm until 7 months after graduation and Christmas is not exactly hiring season. Additionally, California Bar Passage statewide was below 50% if I am not mistaken.

So the numbers just don't make any sense and I do not agree with any statistics, because it does not take account any of these factors. If it was 18 months for all students of these schools that passed the bar exam then I am open to hearing those numbers, but the current statistical breakdown makes no sense.

Now should you go to GGU, USF or any of these schools excpecting to have anything handed to you? No. In fact, you probably will not have a glamorous job.

To use the 14 yr old example let hypothetically lets make him a 17 yr old is 6'4 220 pounds and moderately athletic and the 4th best player on his mediocre high school varsity team.

Is he going to make the NBA? Highly unlikely.

Is the kid going to be a division 1 starter? highly unlikely.

Is the kid going to be make a division 1 roster? highly unlikely.

Could the kid tryout and make a Junior College team somewhere in the U.S? Probably if he really wanted to seek it out.

Could this same kid then walk on or get a small scholarship to a D2-D3 or NAIA school. A little more difficult, but likely.

Could this kid then play in some league somewhere in Europe making $40,000 a year. Yes.

With all this experience could the kid then become a high school coach somewhere and make a living through baskeball. Sure.

Is doing any of those things easy? Is the kid willing to relocate to Weed, California for two years to play JUCO basketball and then play at Humboldt State for 2 years.

Then move to Germany while making scraps to play in an empty gym?

If he is then he can have a career in basketball if he really loves B-Ball.

It is a far cry from the NBA, but it is a living playing basketball.

This is the same for law students at these schools.

If you go to GGU and expect a Supreme Court Clerkship out of school, well not happening. If your open to moving to Mendocino County to be a Child Support Attorney and get your feet wet, because you really want to be a lawyer you can go on to make a living as an attorney.

That is my point. Is it possible to succeed from GGU, USF, Santa Clara? Of course.

Are you going to have an experience like Tom Cruise in the firm? No. not even if you are Valedictorian.



Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 02, 2015, 02:12:51 PM
Again, I agree with everything, but not the numbers there are far more than 21% of Golden Gate Graduates that passed the bar working in law-firms right now.

...

If your open to moving to Mendocino County to be a Child Support Attorney and get your feet wet, because you really want to be a lawyer you can go on to make a living as an attorney.


Two quick points. Statistics aren't everything, but ... I have seen you make this argument before, and you've never backed it up with anything. The statistics I see back up my anecdotal knowledge of the job market, as I have worked with law schools, worked with law students looking for jobs, and have hired for law firms. Stating "statistics are wrong" doesn't quite cut it.

Next, the point you miss is that even undesirable job opening are hard to find. Those PD positions, for example, usually require 1 year of experience ... from? And even when they are posted, they are oversubscribed. And if you get them, remember what I said about debt? Yes, you can work in public interest for a long while for loan forgiveness, but you *should be aware of that going in.*

I could never, in good conscience, *with the market as it is today*, recommend that someone go to a school like Golden Gate paying full freight. I just couldn't. If they lack the requisite abilities (given the current climate) to score well enough on the LSAT to go to a school like that on a significant scholarship, they need to seriously consider why they are going to law school. Because this is a gigantic investment. You don't normally tell people, "Hey, spend $260,000 and three years of life, and maybe you can find a job you don't want in a place you don't want to live for a salary that you could have received without the investment ... and that's if you're one of the lucky ones."
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 02, 2015, 02:45:41 PM
Basically, yea if you are a licensed attorney you can find a job, unless you a female dog and moan about it.


More than 15% of JDs who graduate remain long-term unemployed. That's the most recent statistics.

More than 30% of JDs who graduate and are employed cannot find employment in the legal field (you want burgers with that). That's the most recent statistics.

This is industry-wide. This is includes the best law schools (HYS) making up for, well, some of the not-so-good ones. This also includes the reduced class from 2012.

Short version- almost 50%. That's terrible. Which is a nice way of saying ... do not believe that. Law school is a great option for some people, and is the equivalent of flushing money down the toilet for other people. Please, please, please make sure you make an informed decision, and do not assume that there will be a job for anyone with a JD. That is not true.
And anyone who compares lawyer to medical (as I've seen Citi and a few others do) is just apples to oranges at best. Doctors have not only better employment rates, but the WORST doctor in their class will have MULTIPLE jobs begging them still (I know an MD in this very situation) plus their pay/benefits are FAR higher on even day 1 for them vs half a decade later for the lawyer, and almost never get laid off unless the lose their license (even if they should have lost it for killing people), its not at all comparable.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 02, 2015, 03:13:48 PM
Again, Loki I agree with you.

To go back to by Basketball example, ending up as a high school basketball coach is not a glamorous job, but if you truly love basketball and that is your passion then that is great.

I went through a similar path in basketball and ended up in some crazy places and gave up more lucrative regular job offers to pursue basketball, because I loved it. However, at some point I decided I did not want to keep living in China going to obscure villages to play basketball getting by and hoping x-shady Chinese basketball owner would pay me after the game, which did not always happen.

However, I have friends that stuck with it and are now assistants at D2 colleges or in a high school and they are extremely happy. However, they are making $45,000 in Nebraska and getting by and hoping that one day they will get a head coaching job or maybe become an assistant in the NBA somewhere. There is no guarantee of it, but they are pursuing their passion. If you really love basketball that is great.

The law is similar and I think we both agree that you shouldn't incur the costs, three years of your life, etc to figure out if law school is for you. Instead, you have to really want to be a lawyer and unless your admitted to Harvard, Yale, etc I strongly encourage a law school applicant to get a Paralegal Certificate first and work in a law office. If after that experience they are still dead-set on going to law school, but Golden Gate at full freight is their only opportunity then I would recommend it.

If some kid out of undergrad just doesn't want to start work or likes watching Law & Order and can only muster a 152 on the LSAT and thinks sure why not go to law school. Then I would give that kid the same advice you are.

To the stats issue. I don't know how else to back it up. Law students graduate in May? Am I wrong? You cannot sit for the California Bar Exam until you graduate from Law School and the exam is in late July.

You then have to sit and wait like a jacka** until the Friday before Thanksgiving to get your bar results.

Then the typical law student swears in at their school ceremony in December.

If that is not the process then I really f'ed up, because I went through the purgatory of waiting for bar-results clerking at some b.s. places making $15 an hour as a "clerk" from August to November.

However, p I had several job offers that were contigent on me passing. I sat around like a complete jackass waiting for the f'ing aholes that grade the bar-exam to give me my results so I could start real attorney work, instead of hustling to make a $100 a week.

However, none of the real jobs wanted me to start if I was going to have to go right back to taking the bar exam. Why would they waste the time, resources and money to implement me into their work environment, which I was not even licensed to do until my results came out?

If there is a way to avoid that situation then I am an idiot, but very few jobs if any were eager to hire someone until results were out. With more than 50% of takers not passing the first time would you? If some kid came into our office right now and seemed great, but could not make court appearances etc and if we did hire them they might have to take 4 months off to study I would not hire them. Instead, I would hire one of the countless people licensed already as would any reasonable business.



Thankfully, I passed and I accepted a job offer, but did not start until mid-January, because after I passed I went on a trip. The last thing on my mind after passing the bar exam, going on a cross-country trip and starting a new job was filling out my employment statistics with my law school.  In fact, I never filled it out so I am likely one of the people listed as "unemployed" according to the statistics.

In all honestly, did you fill out anything after graduating? On top of the countless things I have to do everyday that is not my #1 priority. However, for some reason I spend time on this board, but I like it, however more productive uses of my time could be found, including filling out the stats, but I didn't do it. I personally don't know many of my classmates that did either.

In summary my personal experience is how I dispute the statistics and I don't think anything in my experience is that unusual.

So as usual, I think we agree for the most part.  If a OL is considering law school research everything and take the commitment seriously. Don't half ass a 3 year and $100,000 plus investment.

Furthermore, do not I repeat do not attend Golden Gate, USF, Santa Clara etc if you don't want to be a lawyer. That is one of the biggest issues I saw. I don't how many people at my school said oh yea I am in law school, but I don't really want to be a lawyer. "WTF?" Unless you have time and money to burn then sure enjoy the intellectual challenge it provides.

However, if your an undergrad student already $50,000 in debt that has never worked a day in your life and you scrap by with a 2.9 from Humboldt State and then eek out a 151 on the LSAT and GGU says hey we will take $200,000 of your money. Then I would tell that kid to do some research and work for a little bit to realize how much $200,000 actually is and see if the life of a lawyer is for them.




 





 


Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 02, 2015, 07:08:36 PM
Again, Loki I agree with you.

To go back to by Basketball example, ending up as a high school basketball coach is not a glamorous job, but if you truly love basketball and that is your passion then that is great.

I went through a similar path in basketball and ended up in some crazy places and gave up more lucrative regular job offers to pursue basketball, because I loved it. However, at some point I decided I did not want to keep living in China going to obscure villages to play basketball getting by and hoping x-shady Chinese basketball owner would pay me after the game, which did not always happen.

However, I have friends that stuck with it and are now assistants at D2 colleges or in a high school and they are extremely happy. However, they are making $45,000 in Nebraska and getting by and hoping that one day they will get a head coaching job or maybe become an assistant in the NBA somewhere. There is no guarantee of it, but they are pursuing their passion. If you really love basketball that is great.

The law is similar and I think we both agree that you shouldn't incur the costs, three years of your life, etc to figure out if law school is for you. Instead, you have to really want to be a lawyer and unless your admitted to Harvard, Yale, etc I strongly encourage a law school applicant to get a Paralegal Certificate first and work in a law office. If after that experience they are still dead-set on going to law school, but Golden Gate at full freight is their only opportunity then I would recommend it.

If some kid out of undergrad just doesn't want to start work or likes watching Law & Order and can only muster a 152 on the LSAT and thinks sure why not go to law school. Then I would give that kid the same advice you are.

To the stats issue. I don't know how else to back it up. Law students graduate in May? Am I wrong? You cannot sit for the California Bar Exam until you graduate from Law School and the exam is in late July.

You then have to sit and wait like a jacka** until the Friday before Thanksgiving to get your bar results.

Then the typical law student swears in at their school ceremony in December.

If that is not the process then I really f'ed up, because I went through the purgatory of waiting for bar-results clerking at some b.s. places making $15 an hour as a "clerk" from August to November.

However, p I had several job offers that were contigent on me passing. I sat around like a complete jackass waiting for the f'ing aholes that grade the bar-exam to give me my results so I could start real attorney work, instead of hustling to make a $100 a week.

However, none of the real jobs wanted me to start if I was going to have to go right back to taking the bar exam. Why would they waste the time, resources and money to implement me into their work environment, which I was not even licensed to do until my results came out?

If there is a way to avoid that situation then I am an idiot, but very few jobs if any were eager to hire someone until results were out. With more than 50% of takers not passing the first time would you? If some kid came into our office right now and seemed great, but could not make court appearances etc and if we did hire them they might have to take 4 months off to study I would not hire them. Instead, I would hire one of the countless people licensed already as would any reasonable business.



Thankfully, I passed and I accepted a job offer, but did not start until mid-January, because after I passed I went on a trip. The last thing on my mind after passing the bar exam, going on a cross-country trip and starting a new job was filling out my employment statistics with my law school.  In fact, I never filled it out so I am likely one of the people listed as "unemployed" according to the statistics.

In all honestly, did you fill out anything after graduating? On top of the countless things I have to do everyday that is not my #1 priority. However, for some reason I spend time on this board, but I like it, however more productive uses of my time could be found, including filling out the stats, but I didn't do it. I personally don't know many of my classmates that did either.

In summary my personal experience is how I dispute the statistics and I don't think anything in my experience is that unusual.

So as usual, I think we agree for the most part.  If a OL is considering law school research everything and take the commitment seriously. Don't half ass a 3 year and $100,000 plus investment.

Furthermore, do not I repeat do not attend Golden Gate, USF, Santa Clara etc if you don't want to be a lawyer. That is one of the biggest issues I saw. I don't how many people at my school said oh yea I am in law school, but I don't really want to be a lawyer. "WTF?" Unless you have time and money to burn then sure enjoy the intellectual challenge it provides.

However, if your an undergrad student already $50,000 in debt that has never worked a day in your life and you scrap by with a 2.9 from Humboldt State and then eek out a 151 on the LSAT and GGU says hey we will take $200,000 of your money. Then I would tell that kid to do some research and work for a little bit to realize how much $200,000 actually is and see if the life of a lawyer is for them.




 





 
Justification is all I saw in that
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 03, 2015, 02:10:53 PM
Ok.

In an effort to get completely off track from the original topic, which is what online boards are all about I suppose. Here is an example of why stats in any context don't mean a whole lot. Realistically you can have a stat say anything you want.

Here is a recent list of the top 10 best cities to raise a family based on the following stats. http://www2.forbes.com/business/the-best-cities-for-raising-a-family/?utm_campaign=Best-Cities-Raising-Family&utm_source=yahoo-gemini&utm_medium=referral

Metro Population: 567,000

Major Industries: Technology, Health care, Education

Gross Metro Product: $18.5 B

Median Household Income: $59,916

Median Home Price: $177,100

Unemployment: 3.5%

Job Growth (2013): 5.3%

Cost of Living: 7.3% below natíl avg

College Attainment: 35.8%

Net Migration (2013): 610

-The cost of living is 7.3 below the national average, but what are the salaries?

Collegiate attainment is 35.8%, but what is the median income of the households that end up enrolling in college. Does every family that makes over $1,000,000 a year send their kid to college, probalby, but what about the families making under $50,000.

More importantly what is college attainment. If you enroll in a Sports & Film nightclass at a Junior College is that "attainment"

You could go on and on and poke holes in any stat, including job placement for law grads.

Frankly, everyone I know that graduated with me 4 years ago is employed. Did I know everyone in my class no, but of the 50-60 people I interacted with during law school every single one passed the bar some took two attempts and found employment.

One guy took 4 times to pass, but he did and got a job.

So the point is don't rely heavily on stats, the rankings, or anything else. Use this magical thing called common sense.

If you graduate law school and don't pass the bar your not going to get a job as an attorney. 100% of students that never passed a bar are not working as attorneys, that is a stat I can get behind.

Additionally, just because you pass the bar and a test of minimal competence to practice law does not mean every firm in the world is going to beg you to work there. Instead you will have to hustle to get a job.

it is the catch 22 everyone faces in every profession. You need education and experience to do X job. However, as a new graduate you don't have experience and therefore you are not qualified to do many jobs, but eventually you will find a job that allows you to get experience. Thereafter, you have experience and problem solved, but it will be an annoying 1-2 year journey to start your career.

I don't know any profession that doesn't have this barrier. You don't do brain surgery the second you graduate from Med School, you don't handle a Murder Trial the second you graduate from Law School, You are not named CEO the second you get your MBA, you are not made the Head of Accounting at Global Tax Firm after getting your CPA license, You are not named head of Psychiatric Care for the State after getting your Ph.D. in Psychology, your are not named Head of Nursing after graduating from Nursing School, your not made Chief of Police the second you graduate from the Police Academy.

On and on it goes.

Starting a career is difficult and the law is no better or worse. In fact personally I think it is a little easier than a lot of careers to get your start, because there are only so many licensed attorneys.

If your competing for X Admin Job literally millions of people are qualified to do that job.

So to get back on track 1L Semester Grades you want to do as well as possible, because that will open as many doors. However, there is a 99% chance that any 0L is not going to graduate in the top 1% of their class or graduate from the top 1% of law schools.

Every firm would surely love to have to the Valedictorian of Harvard work at their firm. Every NBA team would love to have Lebron James, Steph Curry, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan as their starting 5. so on and on so, but they can't.

There is only one Lebron there is only one Harvard Valedictorian per year.

End of incoherent rant.






Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 04, 2015, 08:53:13 AM
...

You could go on and on and poke holes in any stat, including job placement for law grads.

Frankly, everyone I know that graduated with me 4 years ago is employed.

Citylaw,

I snipped the rest because this perfectly encapsulates the difficulty you are having. The conflation of statistics and anecdotes, and why each has their purpose.

Let's take this one- Personally, everyone I knew well at law school my year passed their Bar on the first try and had no problem finding a job.* Then again, I was heavily into the Law Review at a T50 school, so my law school friends were my law review friends and it was a good school. My anecdote doesn't really help other people.

On the other hand, everyone I knew after that wasn't getting jobs. But that's because I was working with the alum office with people that weren't getting jobs during the greatest legal recession our country has seen.

So if I was to say either that everyone gets jobs (based on first-hand knowledge) or that no one gets jobs (based on first-hand knowledge) that would be wrong.

Where statistics often go wrong is when they are used to prove something. Take a bunch of stats to show, definitively, that X School is the #18 Law School and Y School is the #22 Law School. Or that these specific factors make a city the best place to raise a family. But what shouldn't be wrong is the underlying statistics. What is unemployment rate in that city? What is the population?

You keep making generalized statements about the employment rate (well, it's probably wrong). But here's the thing- it isn't. They do it nine months after graduation (that takes into account the Bar Passage rate). Sure, sometimes there are ways to game any stats- after years of suspiciously high employment numbers at some schools, they started looking at school-funded positions (the school hiring people, or funding jobs, in order to make their employment statistics look better). There are also the government's statistics on employment for JDs, which I have also cited.

And that's what I keep returning to. Both of us agree that people need to be better informed. But part of that information is a clear picture of what is really going on. Not your anecdotes; not my anecdotes; not the school's brochures; but the real statistics and probabilities of what will happen.

Put it this way- law school should be a passion (as is the profession), but it's also an investment in your future. Would you tell people to invest $260,000 based upon your anecdotes that, "Hey, it worked out okay for me and some buddies," or would you expect people to actually look at how the investment has performed with, you know, numbers? Statistics? Annual rate of return? Likelihood of success? Because the problem with law schools isn't that people are overly pessimistic about their chances; it's the exact opposite.



*With one medical exception.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 04, 2015, 10:04:31 AM
And I'm going to expand on this, and why I get frustrated that, despite our areas of disagreement, I think you continue to be overly ... cheery when it comes to people thinking about law school.

It is very difficult for a person to estimate how they will perform in law school, and in the law profession. I will be the first to say that your uGPA and your LSAT score are the full measure of a person. That said, they do measure *something.* There is some correlation between your LSAT score, for example, and how you will perform in school and on the Bar.

If a person cannot even score a 150 (for example) on the LSAT, that person should be seriously thinking about why they are going to Law School. Because getting into a law school isn't the battle- it's success at the law school, it's passing the Bar, and it's getting a job as an attorney in what remains a difficult market. Remember- the *nationwide* unemployment rate for new JDs *nine months after graduation* (and this is all jobs, including flipping burgers) has remained about 10% since the beginning of the great legal recession. And it hasn't looked like it's going to under it.

In addition, my anecdotal experience is that, if anything, a JD makes it more difficult to get hired in many non-legal fields. Having spoken to some of the alums from my school who were not as fortunate as I was, I have heard variations of the same story when they have interviewed for non-legal positions- "Why aren't you working as an attorney?" "What happened?" Many non-legal employers view JDs as more expensive as other hires, more likely to cause "problems," and failures if they weren't employed as an attorney (this is different if you've worked and you're choosing to leave the profession, fwiw). There are people I've known that omitted their JD from their resume in order to get employment.

And all of this is why I get so discouraged. I love the law. I love practicing the law. I have a hearing this afternoon that I am going to just dominate in (it's possible that the judge might be wrong... heh). Last night, the appellate court just cut & paste my brief and vacated the lower court's order. I live for this. But this isn't for everyone. I saw people who worked with me at BigLaw who are still doing due diligence and discovery, and have never taken a deposition- they get money, but hate their jobs. I know classmates who have left the profession in order to write books. One of the people I know, who worked in the PD's office and was as good an attorney and as good a person as you will ever meet, just up and quit because she could no longer, in conscience, continue to do a credible job for her clients with the caseloads and resources the state gives her. Seriously- she worked harder than a second year at Cravath, and it never ended. And that's the point- practicing attorneys, we are the successful ones! We are the ones who made it. And this isn't for everyone.

So we need to be very cautious about giving optimistic advice to people. If you're not going to a top school, or you don't have a free ride, a 0L needs to seriously consider whether law school is right for them.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 04, 2015, 10:06:11 AM

 I will be the first to say that your uGPA and your LSAT score are the full measure of a person.


Are not the full measure of a person.

Why can't we edit out posts!!??!!
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 04, 2015, 10:09:32 AM
Again, you are correct your law review buddies probably did well. I was also at the top of my class and most of my friends took school seriously and worked really hard to succeed.

There were some characters to say the least at my school as I am sure there are at every school and I wouldn't be shocked if they are working at some coffee shop complaining about how unfair everything is.

To any OL if your in the bottom 10% of your law school class at Golden Gate for example the job market is going to be really tough.

If your in the top 10% of your class at any school your first job is going to be easier.

That is my overall point I suppose and why I don't like stats, because it negates common sense.

Are there slackers at every law school out there that couldn't hold down a job at Starbucks. Probably, but if you are a hard-working person that takes law school seriously and truly works at it an ABA school will do fine.

That is my main point it really is up to the individual whether they will succeed or not. However, I think the problem is a lack of self-awareness for many people, who think hey I got a 2.9 GPA and a 151 LSAT, but being a lawyer might be cool. The LSAT is not a good predictor and the test isn't fair, but I will be in the top 10% and transfer to Stanford 2L and then make $200k a year starting. 

That is not uncommon thought process for many 0L's and that is where the problem is.

It all comes to expectations and if someone with a 2.9 and 151 LSAT legitimately was passionate about becoming a Public Defender had worked in a P.D's office during college and loved the work, then Golden Gate or some mediocre law school would work fine.

That person is probably capable of passing the bar and getting a job at a P.D's office somewhere, which is that person's passion as you state. If the law is something X person is a passionate about then law school can be a great choice.

If someone goes to law school expecting a golden ticket and they don't know what else to do, well that is a problem.   

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 04, 2015, 03:59:44 PM
I just read your post above, we must have simultaneously posted and I could not agree with you more it is very difficult if not impossible to predict how you will do in law school.

 Clearly if you excel in law school your odds of doing well as a lawyer are increased and vice versa the other way. How well you know if you well do well in law school? You don't.

That is the simple question law school is a huge risk/investment whatever you want to call it. It could go great and you can land your dream job out of law school it does happen. You could also fail out after 1L and be out $40,000 in debt and a year of lost income, not to mention it would be embarrassing to fail out.

Each form of school is a risk even Med School plenty of people fail out of that or don't make it through residency etc. There are plenty of people that regret every enrolling in Med School.

What it all comes down to do is common sense and a brief reality check. Law school is not a golden ticket, but there are no other golden tickets either.

If you want to be a lawyer and know what your getting into law school can be a great choice. However, if you really want to be a lawyer you may fail out 1L, you may never pass the bar, you may pass the bar and not ever work as a lawyer. Those are all options, but there is one way and one way only to be a lawyer and that is by going to law school.

Would I recommend law school to everyone? No.

Can it be a great choice for some people? Yes.

How will it work out for random 0L reading this post? Nobody can know.

Law school can be a great choice or a disastrous choice and again apply common sense.

Will a person with a 4.0 and 180 LSAT that graduates from Harvard have more options than another person with a 3.1 and a 155 LSAT that graduates from USF?

Yea I would bet on the Harvard Grad to make more money, have more job opportunities, and more or less have a better legal career.

Just as the Number #1 draft pick in the NBA Draft will have more options than the 49th pick.




Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 04, 2015, 06:19:40 PM

 I will be the first to say that your uGPA and your LSAT score are the full measure of a person.


Are not the full measure of a person.

Why can't we edit out posts!!??!!
Because the new thread is stupid and we all miss the old one

-As to the idea of poking at the flaws of stats, sure. Nothings perfect, but they exist for a reason. Stats show that you are most likely more hungry in a refugee camp than in a trailer park. Always true? No. But not a lot of 19 year old heart attacks from a deep fried oreo died south of the sahara................stats DO matter.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 05, 2015, 06:26:39 AM
So many quick things-

"That is my overall point I suppose and why I don't like stats, because it negates common sense."

O ... M ... G. Yes, and that's exactly why statistics are useful (or, as so many people who go to law school say, "I didn't know that there'd be math!"). So-called common sense is neither common, nor sensical. What a person believes to be true (from their own anecdotal information, from what they see in the media, and from what friends tell them) isn't as valuable as, well, numbers. Do outliers exist? Sure. But how do we know, for example, what the odds of getting a federal clerkship if you go to Golden Gate are- well, there are numbers on that, and they influence your decision. You don't ask Uncle Bob. Same with everything. Problem is, people suck at evaluating decisions. For example, people overestimate their chances of getting killed by extremely unlikely events (shark attacks, terrorist attacks, and so on) and underestimate their chances of dying as they most likely will (car accident, heart attack, cancer). Numbers (real numbers) help. Common sense doesn't.

"Each form of school is a risk even Med School plenty of people fail out of that or don't make it through residency etc. There are plenty of people that regret every enrolling in Med School.
What it all comes down to do is common sense and a brief reality check. Law school is not a golden ticket, but there are no other golden tickets either."

Please, just stop with this. For anyone reading this- if you have are choosing between Law School and Medical School, and you have the ability to do both... go to medical school. Period. No, there isn't a 100% guarantee. You could die. You could become a drug addict during residency. You could decide you hate being a doctor. Of course, there are equal risks (if not greater) with going to law school. And the upside is much greater. Period. While there are cases that this won't apply to (brilliant mind, but comes from a family of lawyers and will take over an established and thriving family practice, say) ... that person will already have *actual reasons and will not be debating the question*. No, nothing is guaranteed, and medical school is very tough on you, but it is pretty much guaranteed employment at a good income for the remainder of your life. When you write that there are "plenty of people that regret enrolling in Medical school," I can 100% guarantee you that the number of people in that category is < the number of people that have regretted law school. By a large, large, large degree.

"That person is probably capable of passing the bar and getting a job at a P.D's office somewhere, which is that person's passion as you state."

No. That's what you keep missing. Many of these positions just aren't as available as they were. And many of the people applying have no idea what a PD does. It isn't all of this glamorous, "I'm going to defend a client falsely accused of murder." It's, "How do I manage 500 cases, knowing I'll get to meet the client for 10 minutes, and try to move my caseload with the most plea deals, so that, if necessary, I can occasionally take one of these to court - knowing that I won't be able to get any resources to fight the prosecutor?"

Instead of saying, "It's all out there, follow your dream." Try and be real. Courts are open. A person should sit in and watch proceedings for a few days. Not a murder trial. But a foreclosure docket. Some minor criminal proceedings. Bail hearings. Then that person should realize that (if they go into litigation) that this is *the most exciting part of an attorney's job*. They should understand what due diligence and discovery entail. They should talk to a few practicing attorneys in transactional and litigation.

Then, assuming this is a job they want to do (and for some people, such as us, it really is!), they need to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as their likelihood of success. If a person is paying full freight at Golden Gate- that is just not a good investment in their future. Period.

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 05, 2015, 02:47:13 PM
So many quick things-

"That is my overall point I suppose and why I don't like stats, because it negates common sense."

O ... M ... G. Yes, and that's exactly why statistics are useful (or, as so many people who go to law school say, "I didn't know that there'd be math!"). So-called common sense is neither common, nor sensical. What a person believes to be true (from their own anecdotal information, from what they see in the media, and from what friends tell them) isn't as valuable as, well, numbers. Do outliers exist? Sure. But how do we know, for example, what the odds of getting a federal clerkship if you go to Golden Gate are- well, there are numbers on that, and they influence your decision. You don't ask Uncle Bob. Same with everything. Problem is, people suck at evaluating decisions. For example, people overestimate their chances of getting killed by extremely unlikely events (shark attacks, terrorist attacks, and so on) and underestimate their chances of dying as they most likely will (car accident, heart attack, cancer). Numbers (real numbers) help. Common sense doesn't.

"Each form of school is a risk even Med School plenty of people fail out of that or don't make it through residency etc. There are plenty of people that regret every enrolling in Med School.
What it all comes down to do is common sense and a brief reality check. Law school is not a golden ticket, but there are no other golden tickets either."

Please, just stop with this. For anyone reading this- if you have are choosing between Law School and Medical School, and you have the ability to do both... go to medical school. Period. No, there isn't a 100% guarantee. You could die. You could become a drug addict during residency. You could decide you hate being a doctor. Of course, there are equal risks (if not greater) with going to law school. And the upside is much greater. Period. While there are cases that this won't apply to (brilliant mind, but comes from a family of lawyers and will take over an established and thriving family practice, say) ... that person will already have *actual reasons and will not be debating the question*. No, nothing is guaranteed, and medical school is very tough on you, but it is pretty much guaranteed employment at a good income for the remainder of your life. When you write that there are "plenty of people that regret enrolling in Medical school," I can 100% guarantee you that the number of people in that category is < the number of people that have regretted law school. By a large, large, large degree.

"That person is probably capable of passing the bar and getting a job at a P.D's office somewhere, which is that person's passion as you state."

No. That's what you keep missing. Many of these positions just aren't as available as they were. And many of the people applying have no idea what a PD does. It isn't all of this glamorous, "I'm going to defend a client falsely accused of murder." It's, "How do I manage 500 cases, knowing I'll get to meet the client for 10 minutes, and try to move my caseload with the most plea deals, so that, if necessary, I can occasionally take one of these to court - knowing that I won't be able to get any resources to fight the prosecutor?"

Instead of saying, "It's all out there, follow your dream." Try and be real. Courts are open. A person should sit in and watch proceedings for a few days. Not a murder trial. But a foreclosure docket. Some minor criminal proceedings. Bail hearings. Then that person should realize that (if they go into litigation) that this is *the most exciting part of an attorney's job*. They should understand what due diligence and discovery entail. They should talk to a few practicing attorneys in transactional and litigation.

Then, assuming this is a job they want to do (and for some people, such as us, it really is!), they need to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as their likelihood of success. If a person is paying full freight at Golden Gate- that is just not a good investment in their future. Period.
The sad truth is that even though (IMHO) ALL medical students (even those who fail out first year) could easily pass law school and the bar exam, I'd go as far as to say most law students (even those doing great at law school) couldn't even get into medical school. The main reason being the difference in prereqs, but mental ability too. Lets not fool ourselves. It angers people to say that, but reality remains.

Interesting article I came across the other day. Albeit from our neighbor to the north, and PharmD bust still interesting
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/the-future-of-work/fresh-university-grads-facing-tough-entry-level-job-market/article27513283/

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 07, 2015, 09:58:39 AM
Well again Loki I agree with you particularly your point about going to open court before enrolling in law school and seeing what it is actually like.

Often the life of a lawyer is hurrying up to wait around for three hours so the judge can sign an order. It is very rarely as interesting as the movies again like all professions. I worked closely with many cops and I got to go on SWAT raids once in a blue moon, which was exciting, but for the most part it is sitting around writing a report about why X random crackhead broke a window and how there are no leads, etc, while some neighbor complains about how the cops should do something etc. 

The life of a cop is not quite like it is in the movies nor is it like that as a lawyer, doctor, accountant etc.

As for choosing between Medical School and Law School, it is not that black and white a choice.  I personally have a friend that dropped out of Med School, because she hated it and loves law school. Does Med School if you go through all the steps have a more certain path? Yes.

However, I personally could not be a doctor the thought of having to perform surgery or literally being responsible for someone's death for misdiagnosis is not something I  could handle. I have many doctor friends that hate writing and arguing and could not be a lawyer and I could not be a doctor. I have a friend who is an expert carpenter and can build houses from scratch I am blown up away by it, but he is terrified to write a letter.  He builds stuff for me and I do legal work for him, because I can't barely put together an Ikea Desk. Each person has their own strengths and attributes, so it is not just go to Med School.

Again, if a OL doesn't have the common sense to realize that law school or any form of school is not a golden ticket then no matter what they do, it will probably end in disappointment. If someone wants to be a PD and expects to be on a high profile murder trial that will have highly favorable facts on their side, which they will win and have turned into a movie 6 months out of law school. Well that is not going to happen.

As you said a PD will be assigned to the misdemeanor unit handling way more cases than can handle, which will likely involve drunk guys resisting arrest, dui's, illegal dumping, domestic violence issues and it will be a far cry from a high profile murder case. If you pay your dues for several years then you might move up to felonies and after a few more years work your way up, but this will probably take 10 years and very few people stick to one job for 10 years anymore. Not to mention 10 years in a PD office having to deal with some pretty f'ed up cases and being completely overworked and underpaid is not a great situation, but if your passionate about criminal defense it can be great.

I don't tell anyone yea you get a law degree and your dream job is handed to you. Med School is not that easy of a path either and plenty of people regret it, see these numerous accounts from various doctors. I could find a 1,000 similar articles from lawyers, doctors, accountants, firemen, cops, nurses, MBA's, etc.


http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/abinazir/2005/05/23/why-you-should-not-go-to-medical-school-a-gleefully-biased-rant/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/1-million-mistake-becoming-a-doctor/

http://qz.com/67304/i-just-finished-my-87-hour-work-week-and-have-230000-in-medical-school-debt/

I could find a million more accounts with these same dissatisfaction in every profession and my overall point for anyone, because it is all the same is be sure you know what you are getting into before pursuing an education in that field. None of them will be perfect, they will have their pros and cons.

Nothing is as glamorous as it appears on T.V. or in the movies. Every job has its headaches. I personally love being a lawyer, but yea there are things that suck about it to.

I loved playing basketball, but yea there were things that sucked about that to.

Again, if there is some easy to get, high paying, challenging and fulfilling when I want it to be, but lets me take time whenever I want as well then please let all of us know about it.

Unfortunately, I don't think it does.

Is law school absurdly expensive? Yes. (Therefore reduce costs if your planning on attending.)

Do many 0L's go into law school with completely unrealistic expectations? Yes.

If you go into anything with unrealistic expectations is it disappointing? Yes.

To any OL I recommend the following. Work in a law office before enrolling, watch court, talk to lawyers, find ways to reduce costs, and realize that simply passing the bar will not result in people handing you a job. Be ready to fight for one just like everyone else.

 Frankly for any profession do a little more than watch T.V. on the subject before making a commitment. If you want to be a cop go on multiple ride-along see what it is really like, talk to cops, join the Volunteer Police while going to school.



 







Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 08, 2015, 11:32:24 PM
Well again Loki I agree with you particularly your point about going to open court before enrolling in law school and seeing what it is actually like.

Often the life of a lawyer is hurrying up to wait around for three hours so the judge can sign an order. It is very rarely as interesting as the movies again like all professions. I worked closely with many cops and I got to go on SWAT raids once in a blue moon, which was exciting, but for the most part it is sitting around writing a report about why X random crackhead broke a window and how there are no leads, etc, while some neighbor complains about how the cops should do something etc. 

The life of a cop is not quite like it is in the movies nor is it like that as a lawyer, doctor, accountant etc.

As for choosing between Medical School and Law School, it is not that black and white a choice.  I personally have a friend that dropped out of Med School, because she hated it and loves law school. Does Med School if you go through all the steps have a more certain path? Yes.

However, I personally could not be a doctor the thought of having to perform surgery or literally being responsible for someone's death for misdiagnosis is not something I  could handle. I have many doctor friends that hate writing and arguing and could not be a lawyer and I could not be a doctor. I have a friend who is an expert carpenter and can build houses from scratch I am blown up away by it, but he is terrified to write a letter.  He builds stuff for me and I do legal work for him, because I can't barely put together an Ikea Desk. Each person has their own strengths and attributes, so it is not just go to Med School.

Again, if a OL doesn't have the common sense to realize that law school or any form of school is not a golden ticket then no matter what they do, it will probably end in disappointment. If someone wants to be a PD and expects to be on a high profile murder trial that will have highly favorable facts on their side, which they will win and have turned into a movie 6 months out of law school. Well that is not going to happen.

As you said a PD will be assigned to the misdemeanor unit handling way more cases than can handle, which will likely involve drunk guys resisting arrest, dui's, illegal dumping, domestic violence issues and it will be a far cry from a high profile murder case. If you pay your dues for several years then you might move up to felonies and after a few more years work your way up, but this will probably take 10 years and very few people stick to one job for 10 years anymore. Not to mention 10 years in a PD office having to deal with some pretty f'ed up cases and being completely overworked and underpaid is not a great situation, but if your passionate about criminal defense it can be great.

I don't tell anyone yea you get a law degree and your dream job is handed to you. Med School is not that easy of a path either and plenty of people regret it, see these numerous accounts from various doctors. I could find a 1,000 similar articles from lawyers, doctors, accountants, firemen, cops, nurses, MBA's, etc.


http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/abinazir/2005/05/23/why-you-should-not-go-to-medical-school-a-gleefully-biased-rant/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/1-million-mistake-becoming-a-doctor/

http://qz.com/67304/i-just-finished-my-87-hour-work-week-and-have-230000-in-medical-school-debt/

I could find a million more accounts with these same dissatisfaction in every profession and my overall point for anyone, because it is all the same is be sure you know what you are getting into before pursuing an education in that field. None of them will be perfect, they will have their pros and cons.

Nothing is as glamorous as it appears on T.V. or in the movies. Every job has its headaches. I personally love being a lawyer, but yea there are things that suck about it to.

I loved playing basketball, but yea there were things that sucked about that to.

Again, if there is some easy to get, high paying, challenging and fulfilling when I want it to be, but lets me take time whenever I want as well then please let all of us know about it.

Unfortunately, I don't think it does.

Is law school absurdly expensive? Yes. (Therefore reduce costs if your planning on attending.)

Do many 0L's go into law school with completely unrealistic expectations? Yes.

If you go into anything with unrealistic expectations is it disappointing? Yes.

To any OL I recommend the following. Work in a law office before enrolling, watch court, talk to lawyers, find ways to reduce costs, and realize that simply passing the bar will not result in people handing you a job. Be ready to fight for one just like everyone else.

 Frankly for any profession do a little more than watch T.V. on the subject before making a commitment. If you want to be a cop go on multiple ride-along see what it is really like, talk to cops, join the Volunteer Police while going to school.

I think it depends on what type of law you are and do. Its a rough start for the good jobs, but if comparing them to non professions (comparing to MD's isn't really fair since they are not even close to the same thing except for the "doctorate" group lie we tell ourselves we have) But I've worked factories for less than $100 a day with insane amounts of body pain and VERY real risk of severe life altering bodily injury, vs gigs where I make twice that to do less than 20 minutes of (basically nut scratching)

Just don't get stuck doing doc review. I know people with 20 years of that. I'd rather open my own wrists with rusty barbed wire that had been stored in salt jars.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 09, 2015, 12:02:43 PM
Yea that is basically my point there are certainly a hell of a lot worse jobs than being a lawyer and even Doc Review is better than factory or warehouse work, which I have done as well.

It all just comes down to a bit of common sense. If you get a J.D. and pass the bar you can get a job practicing law, but your first job will not be ideal. However, that is the same in any profession.

At the very least you are building towards something with a J.D. if your a factory worker for example you go until your body craps out.

Law school is great for the right person, but I think to many people think it is a golden ticket. Or if X dream doesnt' work out then there is always law school, but law school SHOULD NOT be a backup plan. It should be something you really want to do.

I think law might be one of the few professions were people a large amount of people enroll to give up three years of their life and $100,000 of money to do something they don't want to do.

You don't go to a Police Academy and here the Trainees say oh yea I am just doing this to open my options, what I really want to do is act?

Or a Fire Academy or Accounting school etc.

The fact that many people make a huge commitment to do something they don't want to do is a recipe for disappointment, so before anyone enrolls be sure you know what you are getting into.

The legal profession is pretty cool in my opinion and I enjoy doing it, but just like everything else it has its pitfalls.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 10, 2015, 07:23:26 AM
It all just comes down to a bit of common sense. If you get a J.D. and pass the bar you can get a job practicing law, but your first job will not be ideal. However, that is the same in any profession.

...
I think law might be one of the few professions were people a large amount of people enroll to give up three years of their life and $100,000 of money to do something they don't want to do.


Just to quickly review.

1. It's not common sense. There's, like, actual numbers for people to use.

2. It's not $100,000. The actual costs of attending these law schools is much higher- expect (to use Golden Gate, for example) $260,000. The average cost of tuition alone (not including cost of living) at *state* schools is $25k a year. The average cost of tuition (not including cost of living, books, and other expenses) is over $45k a year at a private school.

3. This entire idea is premised on the concept that you get that first job. Again, the idea that a person can *because common sense tell you that there are jobs in South Dakota* doesn't cut it. The actual numbers (and everyone's actual experience) shows you that your outcomes in terms even getting a job vary widely depending on the school you graduate from.

4. So, it is imperative that a person be able to understand their ability to practice law prior to making to making the decision. Despite what CityLaw keeps saying, both "common sense" and actual statistics show that far too many people graduate with no ability to get any job that requires a JD and massive amounts of debt that will haunt them for the next 25+ years. And that's not even taking into account those who go to law school and still have UG debt.

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 10, 2015, 12:27:22 PM
There are jobs for entry level lawyers http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=entry+level+attorney&l=california

You will have to compete for these positions and you will be rejected numerous times before you get a job. All while having debt hanging over your head.

It is a burden, but nothing worth doing is easy. Law school can be and is a terrible choice for many people, Law school can be and is a great choice for others.

There are plenty of grads doing well from every ABA Law School and plenty not doing well. Again, if you want to be an attorney there are risks and that is why you should be sure you want to do it.

A J.D. is not a guarantee of success nor a guarantee of failure. It is a degree and what you do with it has a lot more to do with the individual, but people do tend to overthink their abilities, work ethic, etc so be realistic in your decision making.

Just as every 1L is certain they will be in the top 10% everyone accepted as a OL therefore thinks they will be in the top 10% of the class and put in all the hours to network, apply to hundreds of jobs, and straight hustle, but humans tend to give themselves more credit.

A perfect example is all the home gym equipment out there. Everyone knows to exercise and eat right it is not difficult, but actually doing it is the issue.

In all honesty, if you attend X school and graduate top of the class, law review, mock trial, etc you can get a job. To do that you will need to spend countless hours of studying, work, networking and still no guarantee of anything working out.

Is law school a risk? Yes.

Are people particularly law students unrealistic with their expectations? Yes.

Can law school work? Of course.

You can use stats as well if you attend GGU there is a 50% chance you will be in the bottom half of the class.  This will mean you are probably at risk for passing the bar 1st time.

Furthermore, unless you hustle and do mock trial, journals, get internships etc a graduate in the middle of the pack from GGU with no activities and no internship experience will not get you very far and that is assuming you pass the bar.

A middle of the pack GGU student that gets internships, mock trial, journals etc can probably do fine, but will they actually do the work necessary to obtain those placements? That is up to them.

Education is what you make out of it, but you need to be realistic about what you are really going to do. Even if you do everything right you also need to be realistic about that outcome.

Those are the issues that people face and I think people are whinier than they have ever been about how unfair etc things are and if your a whiner don't go to law school.

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 10, 2015, 12:45:14 PM
This is why you are unnecessarily optimistic. You post that there are jobs, but you fail to note the vast number of people applying, and the lack of jobs. To put it in more perspective- it's one thing to get a job as an attorney when you are already a practicing, employed attorney. It's entirely different when you are unemployed and have no experience.

So when you offer generic, "You can do," advice, you are actively hurting people. It's this same advice that was given out (wrongly) before the legal market crash, and it's just wrong to offer it now.

So, for anyone still paying attention in a thread nominally about 1L First Semester Grades ... if you have scored so low on your LSAT/uGPA that you have to pay full freight to go to a school like GGU or Cooley or *shudder* an unaccredited law school, don't go. Really. There is no possible world in which the risk-reward ratio can possibly make sense, absent some unusual circumstances (your grandfather's will states that you will get ONE BEEELEON DOLLARS when you get the JD). Just look at the numbers. Look at the debt.

Now, if you're looking at scholarships (and pay attention to the terms of the scholarship!) that advice may change. But for generic advice- there's a metric ton (or imperial ton, if you prefer) of attorneys applying for every job opening. The employment rate for newly-minted JDs is *worse* than that of English undergraduates. So, please consider things very carefully. Many people believe that they are the unique and special snowflake that, despite the cruddy GPA and LSAT score, will make it on to a journal and/or moot court, and graduate at the top of their class. But the past is prologue.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 10, 2015, 01:22:39 PM
Again, I agree with you, but any job is competitive anywhere.

McDonalds puts applications on file and doesn't hire everyone.

The rest I agree with yea if you think your a special little snowflake your not. Frankly, if that is how you view things whether it is law, medicine, McDonald's etc your not going to get a job.

Looking for a job sucks, it always has and always well. It is a universal truth and the more prestigious and desirable the job the more competitive it becomes. Law jobs are more desirable and prestigious than most other jobs so it is competitive and even a Yale Grad can apply to 10 jobs and will likely get rejected 90% of the time.

A GGU grad will probably get rejected 99% of the time, but in reality if you look long and hard enough you can get a job. What is a long and hard search is subjective and frankly most people considering law school are not realistic.

Frankly everyone in my class that I know is employed, but it took a year for some people to find legal employment. It was not easy, but law does build on itself now all of us are a few years out with experience and getting jobs is much easier, but is the typical 0L ready to be $260k in debt and be willing to look for a job for a year? Then that first job not pay that well either?

If that same person sticks with it for 5 years then some real doors will open, but that is a long freaking journey and many people are not up to it.

Just as many people in this world have 6 pack abs it can be done, everybody CAN do it. However, most people don't.

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 10, 2015, 01:39:01 PM
There are jobs for entry level lawyers http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=entry+level+attorney&l=california


You know that is utter crap right? People all try that stuff (and all the ones like it) and fail epically. You KNOW this right?

Loki is right on the "first job" thing. Once you have that "experience" (and the references,etc that come with it) you are at least able to compete. Otherwise you are pretty much screwed. Half the "entry level" jobs actually require more than that (the search lies to you) and the rest "strongly prefer" it.

People end up stuck thinking trap thoughts like
"Document Review counts as experience, I can start there" (it doesn't actually, but it beats the janitor job at the STD ward)
"I can do legal secretary or paralegal, they even have 'no experience required' ones for that, I HAVE TO qualify for that"
(no, no you don't. The JD HURTS YOU on that application actually-test it and find out first hand)
"I'll just join JAG" (best aim for 11B son, and even then you likely are too fat or on some mental pills thanks to society and they don't need/want a reject like you anyways)
"I'll just work for free at the legal clinic to get experience" (they tend to only want students still in school, or those who have experience to supervise them-they literally ask themselves 'what is wrong with this person' if you try it)
"I'll go solo with no experience-batman could do it" (STFU)
"ok, I'll get my experience first by doing probono work for friends and family" (expect to have them all hate you for how stupid you are when you lose all their cases for lack of experience, and if you pick strangers expect them to SUE you for malpractice-the ironic sting of being punished for work you did for free)

Yup, this about sums it up.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 10, 2015, 01:48:02 PM
Yea that is pretty much the Catch 22 of any job. They want you to have experience, but you can't get experience until you are hired.

Ask anyone in any profession how easy it was to get their first job. Hell even McDonald's would prefer you to have experience as a cashier or in the food service.

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 10, 2015, 04:53:40 PM
Yea that is pretty much the Catch 22 of any job. They want you to have experience, but you can't get experience until you are hired.

Ask anyone in any profession how easy it was to get their first job. Hell even McDonald's would prefer you to have experience as a cashier or in the food service.
To a limited degree yes, but not really.

Doctors who are licensed WILL have MORE people looking to hire them than they even want to apply to
McDonalds might "prefer" but they don't really care. They will still hire you. You WILL NOT get hired at law firms that "prefer" it. The meaning of the word varies wildly between the professions.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 10, 2015, 06:08:21 PM
Precisely with the more prestigious the position the more it will be applicable.

Is a Medical Degree of more value than a Law Degree? Yes.

Is a Medical Degree longer and more expensive than law school? Yes.

McDonald's is open to anyone that is 16 and frankly most people will get hired that apply it is not an ideal job.

If you want to go a step higher then working retail not in the food industry is probably one bump up i.e. Home Depot, Toys R Us, Target. Those places might be a little harder for someone with no experience. However, no education or experience is technically necessary.

One step higher than that an office job as a receptionist or admin somewhere.  Usually they will want you to have some office experience, which is hard to get without any education whatsoever. When I was 19 and in college I was tired of working at a Hardware Store and wanted an office job. All the jobs required that you need office experience though, but I finally got a job in a physical therapy office, because of my basketball background. However, I was frustrated, because as a college-student I could not get an office job, because I had no work experience in an office.  However, it wasn't that competitive I found work.

Move a step higher a full-time office job with benefits etc or maybe a sales job. You might need a Bachelor's Degree, but again they will want you to have sales experience and a bachelor's degree; or full-time office experience and a bachelor's degree. Many people with Bachelor's are not immediately offered a job either and if they no work experience it is a ** to get that first job. As there are millions of people with B.A's or B.S's that are looking for their first job or a new job. However, there are millions of jobs open for that skill level.

One step higher a graduate degree job, which is only to open to people with specific degrees Therapist next. A lot of people pursue their MFT based on their psychology degree. Once they get the MFT they have to put in tons of hours and work low paying jobs to get Therapy experience before they can be a therapist on their own.

An MFT is cheaper and less time than a J.D., but less lucrative and more competitive.

Next up lets go with Nursing this is a job that requires Certification and experience. Many of my friends became nurses and graduated nursing school, but many of the jobs required experience as a nurse. The Catch 22, discussed above. However, they all eventually found jobs, but yea my roommate during law school was in nursing school. Everyone thought since I was in law school I got handed a job at graduation, I assumed nurses got handed jobs after nursing school. We both complained how annoying it was that places wouldn't hire you without experience, because how could you get experience?

I could do this exercise forever and yea an MD is the most guaranteed path to success. If you get into Med School, Graduate Med School, get through Residency and then want to practice medicine your set. I don't think any other profession has as a clear of a track, but it is about a 10 year process that is highly competitive.

Law is a tough path not anyone can get in and it is 3 years and arguable the Bar Exam is the most difficult test any profession has to take. It is competitive, but for all intents and purposes when doing the grad school analysis law school isn't as bad as a lot of other professions.

It is far from perfect and by no means a guarantee, but again neither is anything else.

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 11, 2015, 07:54:30 AM

It is far from perfect and by no means a guarantee, but again neither is anything else.

One more time- you are making the wrong comparisons. If you just look at the numbers (actual numbers) you will see that even with the market correction, there are too many law school, admitting too many unqualified people, with too few jobs available. This is not a matter of opinion- these are facts.

Saying things like, "Don't worry, you can be the guy (or girl) that spends $260,000, and then doesn't work for five years, but, dadgummint, you can persevere and after five years, you too might get your entry level job in the law" just isn't correct.

Do you know how long five years is? More importantly, would *you* hire someone that is five years out of law school and has no legal experience? I know I wouldn't. That's the killer. The longer you don't work in the law, the worse it becomes- it's a spiral of doom. The hardest job to get is the first- and the longer it takes, the harder it becomes. Just toss in the added factor that if you were one of the people that didn't get a job to begin with, it is likely for a reason (didn't pass the bar, didn't do well at a lower-ranked school) - and those reasons aren't going to get much better.

So we start with those base propositions; there are too many law schools, with standards that are too lax, admitting too many students, with too few jobs. Which means that if you are a student admitted to a law school with extremely law standards (that's a good way to put it, right), and that school is not offering you a scholarship ... don't become one of the statistics. We have enough of those.

Yes, there are different cases. Someone might want to practice in Maine and go to UMaine Law School. But for generic advice, it's best to tell a person to run ... not walk ... away.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 11, 2015, 10:01:49 AM
Well so what do you tell college graduates that can't find a job? http://www.newsweek.com/2015/06/05/millennial-college-graduates-young-educated-jobless-335821.html

Is college a bad investment as well? There are more college graduates than entry level jobs for college degrees so should nobody attend college, is a bachelor's degree a bad idea? http://www.newsweek.com/2015/06/05/millennial-college-graduates-young-educated-jobless-335821.html . A bunch of college graduates can't find job, because they don't have experience.

While we are at it why graduate high school? http://innovationtrail.org/post/295-recent-high-school-graduates-cant-find-work 29.5% of HS graduates can't find jobs. Why attend high school?

No form of education guarantees you a job and obviously the less prestigious the school the less doors you have open.
Furthermore, finding a job particularly your first job is hard. It is a universal truth that doesn't apply only to law school.

So what do you tell a millennial with a college degree that can't find a job?  Is a four year degree, which is also expensive a bad idea?





Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 11, 2015, 02:29:37 PM
Precisely with the more prestigious the position the more it will be applicable.

Is a Medical Degree of more value than a Law Degree? Yes.

Is a Medical Degree longer and more expensive than law school? Yes.

McDonald's is open to anyone that is 16 and frankly most people will get hired that apply it is not an ideal job.

If you want to go a step higher then working retail not in the food industry is probably one bump up i.e. Home Depot, Toys R Us, Target. Those places might be a little harder for someone with no experience. However, no education or experience is technically necessary.

One step higher than that an office job as a receptionist or admin somewhere.  Usually they will want you to have some office experience, which is hard to get without any education whatsoever. When I was 19 and in college I was tired of working at a Hardware Store and wanted an office job. All the jobs required that you need office experience though, but I finally got a job in a physical therapy office, because of my basketball background. However, I was frustrated, because as a college-student I could not get an office job, because I had no work experience in an office.  However, it wasn't that competitive I found work.

Move a step higher a full-time office job with benefits etc or maybe a sales job. You might need a Bachelor's Degree, but again they will want you to have sales experience and a bachelor's degree; or full-time office experience and a bachelor's degree. Many people with Bachelor's are not immediately offered a job either and if they no work experience it is a ** to get that first job. As there are millions of people with B.A's or B.S's that are looking for their first job or a new job. However, there are millions of jobs open for that skill level.

One step higher a graduate degree job, which is only to open to people with specific degrees Therapist next. A lot of people pursue their MFT based on their psychology degree. Once they get the MFT they have to put in tons of hours and work low paying jobs to get Therapy experience before they can be a therapist on their own.

An MFT is cheaper and less time than a J.D., but less lucrative and more competitive.

Next up lets go with Nursing this is a job that requires Certification and experience. Many of my friends became nurses and graduated nursing school, but many of the jobs required experience as a nurse. The Catch 22, discussed above. However, they all eventually found jobs, but yea my roommate during law school was in nursing school. Everyone thought since I was in law school I got handed a job at graduation, I assumed nurses got handed jobs after nursing school. We both complained how annoying it was that places wouldn't hire you without experience, because how could you get experience?

I could do this exercise forever and yea an MD is the most guaranteed path to success. If you get into Med School, Graduate Med School, get through Residency and then want to practice medicine your set. I don't think any other profession has as a clear of a track, but it is about a 10 year process that is highly competitive.

Law is a tough path not anyone can get in and it is 3 years and arguable the Bar Exam is the most difficult test any profession has to take. It is competitive, but for all intents and purposes when doing the grad school analysis law school isn't as bad as a lot of other professions.

It is far from perfect and by no means a guarantee, but again neither is anything else.
This math doesn't work though
The lowest step (mcdonalds) anyone who does it can get hired for the most part
The next step (lawyer) you are boned trying to find work
The top step (MD) you are covered in my job offers than a pimp in fur coats

If this math made sense it wouldn't go down then up like that.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 11, 2015, 02:32:11 PM
Well so what do you tell college graduates that can't find a job? http://www.newsweek.com/2015/06/05/millennial-college-graduates-young-educated-jobless-335821.html

Is college a bad investment as well? There are more college graduates than entry level jobs for college degrees so should nobody attend college, is a bachelor's degree a bad idea? http://www.newsweek.com/2015/06/05/millennial-college-graduates-young-educated-jobless-335821.html . A bunch of college graduates can't find job, because they don't have experience.

While we are at it why graduate high school? http://innovationtrail.org/post/295-recent-high-school-graduates-cant-find-work 29.5% of HS graduates can't find jobs. Why attend high school?

No form of education guarantees you a job and obviously the less prestigious the school the less doors you have open.
Furthermore, finding a job particularly your first job is hard. It is a universal truth that doesn't apply only to law school.

So what do you tell a millennial with a college degree that can't find a job?  Is a four year degree, which is also expensive a bad idea?
Saying "college" as an all inclusive term is just ignorant. We've been talking about MAJORS this entire time.
But yeah, if you were already in debt with no job and through more debt and years on top of it to reach the same place...........its not "better".
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 14, 2015, 10:08:31 AM
Fine Firefighters Academy Graduates can't find jobs quote, "There arenít too many careers out there that are quite as hard to break into as firefighting, and so I pose the question: How bad do you want it, and is it worth it? Letís consider." http://firecareers.com/blog/firefighting-is-it-worth-it/

Police Academy graduates can't find jobs, http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local/jobs-scarce-for-police-academy-grads/nMsNk/

Then lets look at statistics from the U.S Labor Department regarding lawyers http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm Median Pay is $113,000. Job rate expected to grow 10%. Well the magic of "stats' I guess everything is ok.

The point I try to make routinely is that law school is not much better or worse than anything else out there.  Finding your first job sucks in any field. Law school is more expensive than many other professions, but med school is far more expensive and takes far longer than law school does.

Again, if there is some easy to get, high paying, fulfilling when you want it to be, but doesn't interfere with your life then please let me know. I am literally begging to know, but unfortunately I don't think  such a position exists.

The simple fact with any form of education is that it is a long-term investment. I had plenty of friends that did not go to college and make between 40-60k out of high school at some loan department at a bank, insurance I don't any number of random jobs and it was amazing. Making 40k at 19 when you live with your parents you can buy a car it's amazing at that age.

While I was in college paying to go to school and accruing debt that sucked. When I finally did graduate my friends were making more than me, because they had been working five years. However, eventually they were limited in their careers, because they didn't have a college degree. The ability for growth stopped.

Law school is the same. I had many friends that did not attend law school and stuck with their jobs after graduating working as mid-level managers at various companies and making 70-80k. That's fine and paying off their UG loans. I went to law school and accrued more debt and did not work for three years.

Upon graduating from law school I make about what they made out of college. However, get 4-5 years of experience as a lawyer then your ceiling increases.

This is the same in every profession everywhere. Education generally pays off in the long run, but it takes a long time and at that end of the day I have spent 7 years in school. That means 7 years of non-full time employment and debt has accrued. My friends from HS that went straight into the work force probably have more money than I do. However, when they are 40-45 and have no education finding new work will be difficult.

What is the right answer? I don't know again, if that job I described above earlier exists great, but it doesn't. Therefore, if your going to pursue an education be sure it is something you want to do.

Those firefighters and police academy graduates if they wanted to be firefighters or cops then they are on their way. Eventually, they will find full-time employment, but it will be a bi**h. If after all that struggle and time it ends up they never wanted to be a cop or firefighter then it was a waste of time and they will be disappointed and bit** on internet boards about how unfair everything is.

Many people go into law school not knowing what to expect and if you spend three years of your life and between $100-200k on an education to do something you don't really want to do. Well then your are going to be upset and bi**h about the system.

Again, this is why I 100% agree with Loki's early suggestion of 0L's watching open court seeing what it is really like. It is not quite as dramatic as Tom Cruise in a Few Good Men. Work in a law office and see what it is all about. Even study for the LSAT and take it. If you hate the LSAT then your going to hate law school. It is a mini-version of having to learn minor nuances under time pressure.

If you hate the LSAT, reading, writing, etc but somehow think being a lawyer will allow to travel the world and litigate only interesting cases, and never have to write briefs, or research, etc then your going to be disappointed.

Just be realistic and use common sense. Again, just because the U.S. Labor Department lists a stat of $113,000 median salary does not mean everyone that graduates from law school makes $113,000 at graduation. You can literally manipulate a stat to say whatever you want.

Therefore, what you should do is for example if your considering going to Golden Gate Law and work to work in San Francisco, reach out to Golden Gate Law Grads in San Francisco and ask them about their experience. Talk to 15-20 and I am sure there will be some really cool people that are happy with their choice, some nutjobs that are unhappy, and some people that are fine.

Then at the end of the day you have to ask yourself are you really willing to go through all of it. At that point it will be on you to be realistic, if you think well I am going to make $200,000k at graduation even though nobody I talked to did, because I am special and will be valedictorian or transfer to Stanford for 2L, because clearly I will be in the top 1% will then that is your choice, but that person is unlikely to have it play out as it does in their head.

So is law school the perfect golden ticket? No.

Does law school allow you to sit for the bar exam and provide you a professional license? Yes.

Are their jobs for lawyers out there? Yes.

Are legal jobs easy to get? No.

Is there some easy to get, high paying, fulfilling job that never gets in the way of your life or causes undue stress? No.

So bottom line go to law school if you want to be a lawyer, but have realistic expectations.



Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 15, 2015, 01:16:56 PM
Fine Firefighters Academy Graduates can't find jobs quote, "There arenít too many careers out there that are quite as hard to break into as firefighting, and so I pose the question: How bad do you want it, and is it worth it? Letís consider." http://firecareers.com/blog/firefighting-is-it-worth-it/

Police Academy graduates can't find jobs, http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local/jobs-scarce-for-police-academy-grads/nMsNk/

Then lets look at statistics from the U.S Labor Department regarding lawyers http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm Median Pay is $113,000. Job rate expected to grow 10%. Well the magic of "stats' I guess everything is ok.

The point I try to make routinely is that law school is not much better or worse than anything else out there.  Finding your first job sucks in any field. Law school is more expensive than many other professions, but med school is far more expensive and takes far longer than law school does.

Again, if there is some easy to get, high paying, fulfilling when you want it to be, but doesn't interfere with your life then please let me know. I am literally begging to know, but unfortunately I don't think  such a position exists.

The simple fact with any form of education is that it is a long-term investment. I had plenty of friends that did not go to college and make between 40-60k out of high school at some loan department at a bank, insurance I don't any number of random jobs and it was amazing. Making 40k at 19 when you live with your parents you can buy a car it's amazing at that age.

While I was in college paying to go to school and accruing debt that sucked. When I finally did graduate my friends were making more than me, because they had been working five years. However, eventually they were limited in their careers, because they didn't have a college degree. The ability for growth stopped.

Law school is the same. I had many friends that did not attend law school and stuck with their jobs after graduating working as mid-level managers at various companies and making 70-80k. That's fine and paying off their UG loans. I went to law school and accrued more debt and did not work for three years.

Upon graduating from law school I make about what they made out of college. However, get 4-5 years of experience as a lawyer then your ceiling increases.

This is the same in every profession everywhere. Education generally pays off in the long run, but it takes a long time and at that end of the day I have spent 7 years in school. That means 7 years of non-full time employment and debt has accrued. My friends from HS that went straight into the work force probably have more money than I do. However, when they are 40-45 and have no education finding new work will be difficult.

What is the right answer? I don't know again, if that job I described above earlier exists great, but it doesn't. Therefore, if your going to pursue an education be sure it is something you want to do.

Those firefighters and police academy graduates if they wanted to be firefighters or cops then they are on their way. Eventually, they will find full-time employment, but it will be a bi**h. If after all that struggle and time it ends up they never wanted to be a cop or firefighter then it was a waste of time and they will be disappointed and bit** on internet boards about how unfair everything is.

Many people go into law school not knowing what to expect and if you spend three years of your life and between $100-200k on an education to do something you don't really want to do. Well then your are going to be upset and bi**h about the system.

Again, this is why I 100% agree with Loki's early suggestion of 0L's watching open court seeing what it is really like. It is not quite as dramatic as Tom Cruise in a Few Good Men. Work in a law office and see what it is all about. Even study for the LSAT and take it. If you hate the LSAT then your going to hate law school. It is a mini-version of having to learn minor nuances under time pressure.

If you hate the LSAT, reading, writing, etc but somehow think being a lawyer will allow to travel the world and litigate only interesting cases, and never have to write briefs, or research, etc then your going to be disappointed.

Just be realistic and use common sense. Again, just because the U.S. Labor Department lists a stat of $113,000 median salary does not mean everyone that graduates from law school makes $113,000 at graduation. You can literally manipulate a stat to say whatever you want.

Therefore, what you should do is for example if your considering going to Golden Gate Law and work to work in San Francisco, reach out to Golden Gate Law Grads in San Francisco and ask them about their experience. Talk to 15-20 and I am sure there will be some really cool people that are happy with their choice, some nutjobs that are unhappy, and some people that are fine.

Then at the end of the day you have to ask yourself are you really willing to go through all of it. At that point it will be on you to be realistic, if you think well I am going to make $200,000k at graduation even though nobody I talked to did, because I am special and will be valedictorian or transfer to Stanford for 2L, because clearly I will be in the top 1% will then that is your choice, but that person is unlikely to have it play out as it does in their head.

So is law school the perfect golden ticket? No.

Does law school allow you to sit for the bar exam and provide you a professional license? Yes.

Are their jobs for lawyers out there? Yes.

Are legal jobs easy to get? No.

Is there some easy to get, high paying, fulfilling job that never gets in the way of your life or causes undue stress? No.

So bottom line go to law school if you want to be a lawyer, but have realistic expectations.
I'm going to be honest I didn't even read that this time
rehash, rehash, one liner at the bottom that people agree with but not for the reasons you gave
you watch a lot of political "debates" don't you?
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 15, 2015, 02:07:54 PM
Fine Firefighters Academy Graduates can't find jobs quote, "There arenít too many careers out there that are quite as hard to break into as firefighting, and so I pose the question: How bad do you want it, and is it worth it? Letís consider." http://firecareers.com/blog/firefighting-is-it-worth-it/

Well there is the first sentence talking about how difficult it is to be a firefighter, but go for it if you want to do it.

Law school is the same way.

Also, in response to why stats are so helpful I posted a "stat" that says lawyers make $113,000 a year. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm

That stat is obviously flawed and you could poke a million holes into it, just as you could poke holes in all the stats offered regarding employment.

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 15, 2015, 06:43:13 PM
Fine Firefighters Academy Graduates can't find jobs quote, "There arenít too many careers out there that are quite as hard to break into as firefighting, and so I pose the question: How bad do you want it, and is it worth it? Letís consider." http://firecareers.com/blog/firefighting-is-it-worth-it/

Well there is the first sentence talking about how difficult it is to be a firefighter, but go for it if you want to do it.

Law school is the same way.

Also, in response to why stats are so helpful I posted a "stat" that says lawyers make $113,000 a year. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm

That stat is obviously flawed and you could poke a million holes into it, just as you could poke holes in all the stats offered regarding employment.
Thanks for the condensed version, but all that really matters is what happens when you stick your head out the window and look to the left and the right. I'm not sure how disconnected you are from recent grads, but I know a lot of recent grads (first hand basis) from different professions including law. When you walk out into grey cloud and rain, hearing someone call you to tell you that you are wrong..........it just insults even the trees level of mental skills.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 16, 2015, 10:00:02 AM


Let's pose this hypo a 23 year old college graduate cannot find a job, with their bachelor's degree. What do you tell them to do?

Everyone keeps saying law school is this unique terrible decision, which is unlike any other profession. I disagree and think law school like anything else has its pros and cons,  but if law school is such a bad idea what  should the person above do?
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 16, 2015, 11:28:42 PM


1.Let's pose this hypo a 23 year old college graduate cannot find a job, with their bachelor's degree. What do you tell them to do?

2.Everyone keeps saying law school is this unique terrible decision, which is unlike any other profession. I disagree and think law school like anything else has its pros and cons,  3.but if law school is such a bad idea what  should the person above do?
1. You are really stuck on this aren't you. "what would you tell a Trex that was choking on a space ship" does it matter?
2. It is unique, it is 100% NOT THE SAME THING as ANY of the other examples.
3. whut? um..........uh...........did you even proof read that to make sure it made sense?
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 17, 2015, 10:02:31 AM
Well you didn't answer the question.

A business major with a 3.3 GPA that accrued $40,000 in undergrad debt says he can't find a job. He tells everyone not to go to college, because nobody will hire you without experience. 

Is he right? What advice would you give this person?

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 17, 2015, 01:00:00 PM
Well you didn't answer the question.

A business major with a 3.3 GPA that accrued $40,000 in undergrad debt says he can't find a job. He tells everyone not to go to college, because nobody will hire you without experience. 

Is he right? What advice would you give this person?
guy is off topic, you mention he is off topic, he sticks to topic............
ok, fudge it, I come here because I'm bored for a few minutes, so lets do this (or whatever)
His GPA, doesn't matter, no clue why you brought it up
You mention he's a business major, so "don't go to college" isn't the argument that should be made, but don't be a business major
Then you would go to national statistics from there
I honestly want to believe that you think before hitting send, but I also am 100% sure that you are using the logic mistake of starting at a conclusion and working backwards from there. Its a mistake almost everyone makes I've noticed, I blame 24 hour "news" networks for it myself, but that's another rant entirely.

come on man, come on
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 17, 2015, 01:55:37 PM
I assume you would tell him look for jobs eventually he/she will find one.

It is unlikely that person will be unemployed their entire life, but will have struggles getting their first job.

What is different for a lawyer?
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 17, 2015, 03:30:46 PM
I assume you would tell him look for jobs eventually he/she will find one.

It is unlikely that person will be unemployed their entire life, but will have struggles getting their first job.

What is different for a lawyer?
I like you, you seem like someone I'd really like to share office space with. I mean that.
And I get what you THINK you are getting at
it just pains me that you think it even relevant
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 18, 2015, 08:36:22 AM
I assume you would tell him look for jobs eventually he/she will find one.

It is unlikely that person will be unemployed their entire life, but will have struggles getting their first job.

What is different for a lawyer?

What is different for a lawyer? Let's see-
1. First, many (not all, but many) lawyers will have the undergrad debt (which may be considerably more than $40k) PLUS their law school debt (let's say $260k) and not be able to find a job. Math says that one number is bigger than the other.

2. Second, a college degree is the new high school degree. Many entry-level jobs require a college degree, period. What kind? Who cares! Business, hotel management, Russian studies. Whatevs. You can use that college-level business degree to get a job, or to go to any number of different grad schools, or anything. And you're *only* 40k in debt.

3. A law school degree, on the other hand, is just a degree to practice law. Really. And what's worse is that the value diminishes the longer you don't have the initial job. Which is to say, you become *more* unemployable the longer you wait because of your JD. And with more debt.

So are they different? Yeah, you can say that.

Which goes back to the important point- is law school a bad decision for everyone? No. But is it probably a bad decision for those paying full freight at bad schools? Probably, yes.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 18, 2015, 10:11:22 AM
No what do you tell the college grad that says I have 80k in debt and cannot find a job. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/felix-w-ortiz-iii/college-grads-are-still-hurting-over-debt-and-joblessness_b_7449460.html

This kid goes on the internet and warns everyone college is a scam and to avoid it all costs, because you will accure debt and be unable to find a job at graduation.

What do you tell that kid?
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: loki13 on December 18, 2015, 10:52:46 AM
No what do you tell the college grad that says I have 80k in debt and cannot find a job. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/felix-w-ortiz-iii/college-grads-are-still-hurting-over-debt-and-joblessness_b_7449460.html

This kid goes on the internet and warns everyone college is a scam and to avoid it all costs, because you will accure debt and be unable to find a job at graduation.

What do you tell that kid?

I would tell that kid- hey, look at the bright side. You could spend three more years out of work, be $340,000 in debt, and have even worse employment prospects.

Then again, since we are doing anecdotes, what are you telling the "kids" (you know that they're not kids when they graduate, right?) that have followed your advice, gone into over $300k in debt, wasted three years, can't find a job, and now have to omit their JD from their resume and explain away those three years to potential employers?

All because they believed that, well, if you want it bad enough, it will work out, even if you scored a 145 on your LSAT to pay 50k a year for a degree you'll never use?
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 18, 2015, 11:08:00 AM
Well the college graduate will say that is great I am not going to law school, but I am in debt and don't have a job. College is a waste of money and nobody should pursue education, because it costs money and doesn't guarantee you a job. 

Is this college graduate right? He has accrued debt, did not work for four years, has no job and has nothing a piece of paper to show for his work.

Is he doomed to giving handj**s on the street?



Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 18, 2015, 02:10:09 PM
Well the college graduate will say that is great I am not going to law school, but I am in debt and don't have a job. College is a waste of money and nobody should pursue education, because it costs money and doesn't guarantee you a job. 

Is this college graduate right? He has accrued debt, did not work for four years, has no job and has nothing a piece of paper to show for his work.

Is he doomed to giving handj**s on the street?
I gotta believe there is a point in there...........and that you have the ability to absorb the info already given to you in a loop...................but all evidence seems to point to the contrary.
Personally I don't give a *&^% about this random person. I wouldn't tell them anything. End. Over.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 18, 2015, 02:38:32 PM
That is a fair way to deal with it.

However, my point is that if a college grad b**tched and moan** that they couldn't get a job and had debt etc and said nobody should ever go to college, you would say no you should probably start looking for a job not b**th on the internet about it.

Eventually that college grad would find a job, but it would take time. If this college grad simply said nobody should ever go to college you would say that is not necessarily true.

If this college grad went to Humboldt State expecting to make $200,000 at graduation will then you said that was never going to happen. Did the college grad go in with common sense and have realistic expectations?

If yes then college can be a great idea if not they will be bitter. Not much different than law school.

Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 18, 2015, 06:56:00 PM
That is a fair way to deal with it.

However, my point is that if a college grad b**tched and moan** that they couldn't get a job and had debt etc and said nobody should ever go to college, you would say no you should probably start looking for a job not b**th on the internet about it.

Eventually that college grad would find a job, but it would take time. If this college grad simply said nobody should ever go to college you would say that is not necessarily true.

If this college grad went to Humboldt State expecting to make $200,000 at graduation will then you said that was never going to happen. Did the college grad go in with common sense and have realistic expectations?

If yes then college can be a great idea if not they will be bitter. Not much different than law school.
To bring up a point that another poster brought up already undergrad is the new high school diploma, so your argument is equate to saying "If someone asks if eating the core food groups is worth it...............lets all eat shitpie"
NOT the same thing man.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: Citylaw on December 19, 2015, 10:00:36 AM
Fair enough and I like the analogy, but the argument will soon be a graduate degree is the new hs diploma. There are countless people with bachelors that are not getting any jobs at all.

The overall gist is that starting a career is hard and finding your first like "real" job is a really hard. Most if not all professional jobs want you to have education and experience, but how can you get experience if they will not you without experience?

People eventually figure it out, but it is a pain in the ass. Then once you get your first job you are overworked and underpaid and it is far from perfect and it is work.

Unless there is some easy to get, high paying, challenging & fulfilling when I want it to be, but doesn't get in the way of my life job out there. I think whatever career path you choose it is a bit of a rat race and law is one of many career paths with its pros and cons.

However, I think one of the primary reasons many law school students is because people have unrealistic expectations and think upon graduation you will be handed some high paying job that allows you to only work on interesting cases etc, but that is not the case.

Your first legal job will be hard to get and you will be overworked and underpaid just like everyone else that starts out.
Title: Re: 1L First Semester Grades
Post by: 🍟💵🌲🍥 on December 19, 2015, 10:57:06 AM
And overall I think we agree with eachother, especially on the most critical point.............everyone loves *&^% pie...........

I think we are over analyzing little stuff so much due to low traffic on here lately. I am glad the TLS "was going to take the lsat 3 years ago and 1000 posts back but still haven't done it yet but am posting on 3L and bar exam topics anyways as if I have a clue" posters aren't here. But SOME Life would be nice to see.