Law school will destroy your life. Dont fall for the false statistics put out by law schools. You will have crippling debt and wont be able to get the most basic job paying 30k. Learn from others who have suffered this fate. Everyone thinks they will be in the top 10% of the class- they wont be!
NOT NECESSARILY THE CASE THAT 90% OF INCOMING 1L'S ARE HEADED FOR DISAPPOINTMENT...(fixed)
Fact: for every 100 entering 1L's, 10 will be in the top-10%, meaning 90 will not. Let's say, for argument's sake, that 70 out of every 100 actually projected themselves to wind up in the top-10%, while the other 30 of every 100 (humbly) did not. Let's also suppose that, holding 10% constant for believers and non-believers, three non-believers and seven believers out of every 100 1L's would wind up in the top-10%. Reasonably assuming the majority of non-believers to be "non-caring" as well (about reaching the top-10%, versus reaching top-25% or "doing well"), that would leave only 63 disappointed folks out of every 100, not 90.
And, for argument's sake, let's say that a constant percentage of each group was lying about their relative belief, i.e., a certain number of purported believers really did not believe, and a certain number of so-called non-believers really believed the entire time that they would wind up in the top-10%. It would be fair to assume those percentages to be congruent to each other, thus the numbers would still be the same.
Now, let's say that a certain percentage of the believers who don't make the top-10% are not disappointed that they didn't make the top-10% (remember, believing something will happen is an altogether different proposition from being disappointed if it doesn't happen). Here's a somewhat analogous scenario:
I thought I could get Jay-Z tickets a few months ago, even though the stats were against me. That is, I knew I had a chance, however small, and went for it. I didn't get them, and I didn't care that much. I knew I would have other chances to see Jay-Z. One can imagine that some believers feel the same way...they believe but won't be pissed if it doesn't happen.
And, rationally, one can also believe that, as a coping mechanism, many stated non-believers talk themselves out of believing so that they will actually relax during 1L and wind up performing better (these are the "secret believers", for some of whom this method will actually pay dividends), while the rest of the non-believers really don't believe and, thus, cannot be dissappointed (save for the small few who wind up near failure).
The number of non-successful secret believers who care that they didn't make the top-10% is likely to be outnumbered by the non-successful believers who don't care. Offset the disproportunately small number of non-successful secret believers who actually care with the larger number of non-successful believers who don't care, and those 63 dissappointed students for every 100 actually shrinks to about 50.
Hence, I say that about 50%, not 90%, of incoming students is dissappointed about not being in the top-10%. Accounting for the egos that pervade the few "truly elite" schools (HYS, CCN, et. al.) versus those at the larger number of lower-ranked and/or less prestigious schools and one could argue that even fewer than 50% of all incoming 1L's expect to do more than make the top-30% or top-half of their classes. And, at the elite schools, a higher percentage of believers can be said to be in that group that isn't as worried about not having reached the top-10%, because the job prospects tend to be better at those schools. And students at lower ranked schools have aready been humbled by the admissions process, so they are acquainted with the world of "anything-can-happen-law". Thus, they are less likely to be shocked when they don't make the top-10%, even at their respective, relatively lower ranked, schools.
Of course, there are the students at lower ranked schools who go to such schools believing they are superior to their peers and, therefore, should have been admitted to "better schools". But IMHO, there would not be enough of them to offset the number of students who just want a law degree and believe they can build their careers after law school and, indeed, expect that they will have to do just that.
Bottom line, I give students a little more credit than most. I think 40-50% of 1L's, at the absolute most, may wind up dissappointed, and to various degrees, at the end of their first year(s) of law school. But nowhere do I believe "suicide watch" is in order.