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Pre-Law in high school / DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« on: October 09, 2007, 02:21:32 AM »
This is a public service announcement.  Do not go to law school.  Scratch it off your list.  The reason I am posting here is because high school students are really the right age to get this message across to.

Here's a little background about me.  I was always one of the smartest kids in my high school and did all the things I needed to do to get into law school.  I got a 161 on my LSAT which is the top 14% of test-takers.  It isn't an earth-shattering score, but it is definately respectable.  I got into a state school that was first tier when I applied to it but has since slipped out of the top.  I really thought that I wanted to be a lawyer to make courtroom arguments and because the profession would be a great career that would be financially rewarding.  So, I got your typical liberal arts degree from my big state school and went to law school right after college.  I was full of ideals. 

However, the realities of the legal profession will beat all of your ideals out of you by the time law school is over.  After three years of incurring debt and wanting to finally get a house and start a family or at least be able to impress potential girlfriends, you will want a job that PAYS.  Unfortunately, there are so many law schools it's ridiculous.  For every job that you apply to, there will be over 100 people competing for the same slot.  And, there aren't that many jobs out there now to begin with.  It is a really tight market and it will be 1,000 times worse by the time the current crop of high school kids get their JD's.  No matter how good you are, it will be impossible to distinguish yourself from the competition.  You will keep compromising your goals until you just want a job to pay the bills and get something close to the lifestyle you envisioned when you started law school.       

You might think "well, I'll just study hard and beat out the competition."  Wrong.  Law schools curve their grades which means that only 5 out of 90 people in a class can get an A.  It doesn't matter if 40% of the class wrote brilliant essays that were each A quality work.  Your work will be arbitrarily differentiated so that 5 people get As, 5 people get Ds, and 80 people get between a B plus and C minus.  That is really hard to take when you were the smartest person everywhere you went before law school and your grades do not reflect the work you put into studying.  Oh yeah, and you will be competing with at least one retired neurosurgeon who got bored with brain surgery, drives a lexus, and decided to go to law school for kicks.  Additionally, many law firms and big companies are outsourcing legal work to India where the "attorneys" are not licensed and they make 7 to 16K a year.  The profession is no longer respected.  It's just a business that is affected by the same bean counting crap that affects all businesses.   

After getting through law school, you will have to take the bar which is only offered twice a year and it takes them 5 months to grade that mo-fo.  I fortunately aced the bar in my first try, but it is still an incredibly stressful time where you are looking for attorney work without actually knowing if you will be an attorney. 

As a second year attorney, some of my friends who went to business school in undergrad are making much more money than me and they've been working longer.  I would advise not to go to law school but just go to business school in undergrad.  Law school is a complete waste of your time.  Work after college, find something you enjoy that can be lucrative, and then possibly go to some other grad school if you feel it can actually increase your earning potential or if your employer will pay for it.   

You should only go to law school if you get into a true ivy league law school where employment is guaranteed, or if you scored incredibly high on your LSAT (170+) and can guarantee that you will be in the top 5 to 10 percent of your class because you are a prodigy.  Then, you must be willing to work like a female dog (not my original term, but was edited by the web site) to earn your $160k a year starting salary (70 hour work weeks).

I wish someone had told me this when I was a high school senior.  My life would be totally different.             

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