« on: March 21, 2007, 05:34:24 PM »
Well I already have a lib arts BA. As I said to a previous post, my reasons for wanting to study law are my own. Getting rich is not the primary reason. If it is for you why don't you go and get an MBA?
We all have BAs or BSs. And you're misreading me. I'm not arguing that it should be or is about 'getting rich' but rather the cost you're going to incur, both tangible and intangible, for the benefit. I think the "I want to be a lawyer, it's my dream, the debt and everything else won't matter" line of thinking is dangerous; I've known enough debt-saddled grads with minimal employment opportunities to know how real that risk is and what it does to you, emotionally and physically. Your reasons for studying law may be your own, but your debt will be the same as anyone else's.
It's about making enough to sustain a comfortable middle class lifestyle that doesn't have you scrambling from paycheck to paycheck or force you to keep a job you don't like. You'll be tied to that job for decades, versus someone who graduates debt-free or well enough from a prestigious enough school to serve three years in biglaw, be debt free, and have the freedom to decide law is for the birds and working in beagle rescue is where it's at.
I'm not here for the money, and I have no interest in business. I'm here looking for something more personally fulfilling but at the same time I'm extremely conscious of what it will cost me and if there isn't a realistic way for me to go into PI I won't risk incurring the debt.
ETA: I'm not talking about my job specifically, just using a specific in a general sense. That is, what I have now is a pretty standard post-lib arts entry level-ish job. It's not like I'm deciding between an amazing job most of us couldn't find and law, I'm deciding between something that's an option for anyone and law. Earnings potential wise my current career track is equivalent to a T3 or 4 grad with an average success level (especially ultimately paying $300,000 in loans in interest). It's less than most people with a JD can reasonably expect to make over a lifetime, but it comes without the longterm cost and life choice restrictions that accompany that debt.
Go and do a google search for the top 200 law firms in the country. Yes, you will find that a good amount of the associates went to top law schools. But many did not. Edwards & Angell, which is a huge firm from Boston/Providence, often hires from schools like Suffolk, Roger Williams, Franklin Pierce, etc... You CAN get a great education, and get a great job without going to a top school. Sure, you'll have to do well in terms of grades/class rank, but I feel that I can achieve those goals.
As for PI, there are ways to practice in that field and still repay your loans. I know lawyers who do, and some even went to (shudder!) tier 3 schools. No one said it would be easy, or you'd drive a brand new car every year, but it can be done.
Also, my reasons for wanting to study law are not "I want to be a lawyer, it's my dream, the debt and everything else won't matter," to quote your last post. I took this decision VERY seriously, and am trying to figure out a means by which i can afford to both attend, and do the work I want to. Are you saying that if your acceptances (and believe me, I'm impressed by them) were from low top-100 and maybe tier 3 schools, and you got no money, you wouldn't bother to go to law school? If so, what's the breaking point? Maryland yes, but American no way?