« on: April 10, 2006, 09:53:49 PM »
I know that some people are going to say 'that is wrong' or 'he is just mad,' but I honestly feel like I had a false impression upon considering law school, so I want you people to read this. I know many of you think that law school is in the same league as med school, and in a laymans point of view, it is. The people I run into who I knew before law school act like I will be making 100K after I graduate, and that I have it made. This is NOT AT ALL the case.
Basically, what I would explain to anyone planning to apply to law school is that I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Maybe that is melodramatic, but it is how I feel right now. I have never had an institution make me feel so worthless in my entire life. I will have been in school for more than a quarter of my life before I graduate, and I will have to fight harder to get a lower paying job than I would if I had stopped with an undergrad degree. If you are interested, read on:
I would first like to say that I have a engineering degree. At my undergraduate school, people ask you what your major is, if you say engineering they are automatically impressed. So one would think that a graduate degree on top of that would be even more prestigous, even more desirable. Basically, I could have taken a job out of undergrad making $40K easily, so you would think that with a graduate education on top of that you would be actively recruited, that you would be in demand.
That is FALSE. Also, people mention "doctor or lawyer" in the same sentence when speaking about what they want to be when they grow up, because they are both considered to be prestigious. That is completely misleading.
For example, FSU accepts approximately 10% of those who apply. So, of that 10% approximately half accept and enroll. So, that 5% of total applicants makes up the freshman class. Law school has this thing called 'law review,' which is the top 10% of the class taken from the first year. THESE are the people who are recruited. Thats right, 90% of the people who made it into the top 5% of all applicants who excepted are not even recruited for jobs. That is .5% of all total applicants who get job interviews; 90% don't get accepeted and 9.5% of those who do have to fight to even get an interview.
Of all the law firms that came to campus, I was excluded from even submitting my resume to 98% of them because I was only in the top 50% of my class. Only in the top 50% of my class, a class that makes up half of the top 10% who applied, which makes up the top 5% of the their undergraduate class and the top 15% of LSAT scores in the nation. Keep in mind, this isn't even a top teir law school; we are ranked 56th but will most likely break into the top tier (top 50) before I graduate.
On top of all that, law school isn't even hard. You might think 'whats wrong with that?' In undergrad, easy classes are sought after. Well, in most law schools they have this thing called a 'forced curve.' That means that only 5%-10% of all students get A's. Only 20% get B+'s. On top of that, the work is easy and the people you are competing with are EXTREMELY smart. The people you are competing with are already in the top 5% of their undergraduate class and the top 15% of the LSAT scores in the nation. So what is the answer to that equation? The answer is that everything is subjective. They don't tell you what you need to know, they don't tell you how to study when you first show up. The people who succeed are NOT the ones who do the most work. The people who suceed in easy classes are the ones who write the best in timed situations. Not just who writes the best, it is who writes the best in the teacher's subjective opinion.
So if the people are extremely smart, and the grades don't correspond to the amount of work you put in, people will figure it out. This breeds the biggest atmosphere of hate and contempt I have ever experienced. Never in my life have I ever hated someone simply because they did well, but I do now. It seems low, but you will understand it if you ever experience it. I HATE the people on law review; not a single one of them worked harder than I did, not a single one of them has a harder undergrad major than I do. On one level I hate them, but on another level I actually question my own intelligence. This is the way everyone in the bottom 90% feels, as far as I can tell.
So in conclusion, law school breeds hate. You are judged on criteria that have nothing to do with your intelligence or work ethic. You will not be in demand. Statistically, you will not pass the bar exam (you will not be able to practice law) if you are in the bottom 3rd.
I would give my left nut to start over and take a job in engineering. Of all the things I have done in my life, what I thought would be one of my most prestigous accomplishments turned out to be one of my worst mistakes (as of now).
Take it for what it is worth.