Here's a clip from USNews.com regarding "Poor Careers for 2006"
Poor careers for 2006
By Marty Nemko
Attorney. If starting over, 75 percent of lawyers would choose to do something else. A similar percentage would advise their children not to become lawyers. The work is often contentious, and there's pressure to be unethical. And despite the drama portrayed on TV, real lawyers spend much of their time on painstakingly detailed research. In addition, those fat-salaried law jobs go to only the top few percent of an already high-powered lot.
Many people go to law school hoping to do so-called public-interest law. (In fact, much work not officially labeled as such does serve the public interest.) What they don't teach in law school is that the competition for those jobs is intense. I know one graduate of a Top Three law school, for instance, who also edited a law journal. She applied for a low-paying job at the National Abortion Rights Action League and, despite interviewing very well, didn't get the job.
Hey Texasranger. I find your comments gel very much with common sense notions of what it takes to be fulfilled in life. My take is that if our respective job(s) utilize our knowledge and expertise in such a way that it helps someone out of a dark, hopeless situation- we feel like we're making a difference. And unfortunately the higher we climb up the firm life corporate ladder, the more out of touch and unsure we become with the reality of how/if we're making a "difference."
What's so sad is that money completely discourages those of us that could be phenomenal public servants but just can't due to huge financial commitments associated with family, loans etc.
I was watching Chief Justice John Roberts answer a question posed to him while lecturing at Northwestern University Law School earlier this year and found his comments on this issue interesting.
Question posed: How do you respond to criticism that judges are getting paid too much money?
Chief Justice Roberts Answer (paraphrased): However much it sounds like they will be making, they will in fact be making far less than what they could- working in public service. The very reason we are having trouble recruiting and maintaining talented/dedicated individuals for the federal bench is because they simply cannot afford to keep up with their past/present financial obligations when they make 2-3x more with their current employer.