« on: October 26, 2011, 10:56:27 PM »
"Well, what do you want to be? If you want to be a prosecutor - of course go to law school! If you do not know exactly what you want to be and just think you want to be a lawyer -- well, what kind of lawyer? Do you know what most lawyers do? Do you know that most lawyers hate what they do? Do you know what the salary ranges are? My point isn't to discourage, but I do want people to think more carefully about their choices. If you want to, f/e, be a "corporate lawyer", well ok, but I find most people who want to be that (a) don't know corporate lawyers work 90+ hrs/week and have high levels of drug and alcohol abuse and above avg rates of depression and suicide, and (b) how difficult those big corporate jobs are to get in the first place. If you go to Pace, you will not get a corporate job. So if that is your be all and end all, you should probably not accrue debt by going to that school. There are only so many jobs for so many people. With 40,000 graduates per year competing for 10,000 openings, your chances are not that great. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it -- if it is your passion and if you are sure about your prospects and the reality of being an attorney. But far too many of my friends and acquaintances find themselves unemployed or underemployed -- and they went to schools far better than Charlotte or Pace."
There is a saying that any law you think you would like to practice going into law school is not the same kind of law that you will want to practice coming out of law school. I know you are not trying to discourage people, but you should except that they have made a decision and you cannot convince them otherwise. Pace is a good law school so I don't know why you think there are no corporate jobs available to their graduates. There are other jobs available outside the country so that statistic only tells some of the data. I hope your friends do well in 2012.
"Its not a little secret to me, my family began poor. I am first generation in North America. My father was however, exceptionally good in math and very entrepeneurial. He was able to turn that into a lucrative career. I am not as smart as he is, I will likely not make his income. That is just life, and genetics. "Most" people in law school are not in T1. Most are also taking on student loans. Most are competing for 10,000 jobs per year in a market where 40,000 JDs graduate per year. It is most certainly not B.A. + J.D. = Profit."
I am happy that you have good genetics. So do I. I believe that if you are competitive then someone will offer you a job - it might be abroad. Lawyers are problem solvers and will figure it out. There is always the option to rent a small office and handle simple things like traffic tickets until something better comes along.
"Do you think they are any less disappointed when their son or daughter has no job and $150,000+ in debt he/she must pay off but can't? Do you think they are any less disappointed when son or daughter is doing doc review for pittance? Second, what is wrong with being a plumber? It is a fine profession, we need plumbers and mechanics, etc. And, to boot, many plumbers and mechanics make more money than lawyers and work fewer hours. No family wants to see their college grad become a handyman? Sure, they'd prefer to see their son/daughter get a very lucrative and presitgious job -- but only a minority get those jobs (and the minority that does ends up extremely disappointed with it). To make a huge financial decision, one that will impact yourself and your family, based on perceived 'prestige' or on hope, is a dangerous game."
No, I don't. I think lawyers are problem solvers and will be able to figure out a way to pay down their loans. Family members understand that law school is very expensive. There is nothing wrong with being a plumber. I wish a plumber was here right now. Being a lawyer is a very lucrative and prestigious job.
"Some attorneys have the ability to make more -- some, not all, only some. Many make less. You also need to look at the per hour salary one takes home. An attorney working at a big corporate firm makes $160K to start (in NY and DC). But he/she works 90+ hrs per week and has no vacation (vacation exists in theory only). A public school teacher on Long Island or Westchester, if he/she worked those hours and had next to no vacation days off, would also make that kind of salary, if not higher. For that matter, plenty of plumbers, if they worked such hours, would be in six figure salary range. Most lawyers of course do not work at big firms, or make $160K to start, but in the private sector (public, which I am in is different thankfully), most salaries outside the big firms range from $35,000-60,000, but even then attorneys are working more than 40 hrs per week -- maybe not 90hrs -- but still more than 40, 45. So really, are most attorneys better off than a good mechanic, handyman, or public school teacher? Doesn't look like it."
Actually, they are. Plumbers want to get the job done, go home, and not worry about solving legal problems. Here is what you do not grasp: people who have spent years of their lives earning a four year degree have earned a rightful place in law school. They are seeking a future that includes solving more important problems than the ones a plumber solves. That is what makes them happy. Why can't you understand that it is not all dollars and cents? It is about doing what you enjoy.
"You are conflating possibility for probability. Yes, in law it is possible that any client that walks in off the street could be the client whose fee is so large you can retire after the case -- but how probable is it? How probable is it that it will happen to you? One may as well spend $150,000 on lotto tickets because, after all, it is possible you can win and be a millionaire over night."
I have merely stated a fact and you have ran away with it. How probable is it? It depends on how good of a lawyer you are. Even if you are lucky enough to have such a client, there is no doubt that months of preparation will go into preparing for such a case.
In conclusion, I have enjoyed blogging with you, B212bb. I am getting busy with school as I am sure you are. This is going to be my last post in 2011. I wish you and everyone else the best of luck in school or at work, especially bigs5068. See you in 2012 assuming the world does not end!
If It Pleases The Court