Fine Firefighters Academy Graduates can't find jobs quote, "There arenít too many careers out there that are quite as hard to break into as firefighting, and so I pose the question: How bad do you want it, and is it worth it? Letís consider." http://firecareers.com/blog/firefighting-is-it-worth-it/
Police Academy graduates can't find jobs, http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local/jobs-scarce-for-police-academy-grads/nMsNk/
Then lets look at statistics from the U.S Labor Department regarding lawyers http://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm
Median Pay is $113,000. Job rate expected to grow 10%. Well the magic of "stats' I guess everything is ok.
The point I try to make routinely is that law school is not much better or worse than anything else out there. Finding your first job sucks in any field. Law school is more expensive than many other professions, but med school is far more expensive and takes far longer than law school does.
Again, if there is some easy to get, high paying, fulfilling when you want it to be, but doesn't interfere with your life then please let me know. I am literally begging to know, but unfortunately I don't think such a position exists.
The simple fact with any form of education is that it is a long-term investment. I had plenty of friends that did not go to college and make between 40-60k out of high school at some loan department at a bank, insurance I don't any number of random jobs and it was amazing. Making 40k at 19 when you live with your parents you can buy a car it's amazing at that age.
While I was in college paying to go to school and accruing debt that sucked. When I finally did graduate my friends were making more than me, because they had been working five years. However, eventually they were limited in their careers, because they didn't have a college degree. The ability for growth stopped.
Law school is the same. I had many friends that did not attend law school and stuck with their jobs after graduating working as mid-level managers at various companies and making 70-80k. That's fine and paying off their UG loans. I went to law school and accrued more debt and did not work for three years.
Upon graduating from law school I make about what they made out of college. However, get 4-5 years of experience as a lawyer then your ceiling increases.
This is the same in every profession everywhere. Education generally pays off in the long run, but it takes a long time and at that end of the day I have spent 7 years in school. That means 7 years of non-full time employment and debt has accrued. My friends from HS that went straight into the work force probably have more money than I do. However, when they are 40-45 and have no education finding new work will be difficult.
What is the right answer? I don't know again, if that job I described above earlier exists great, but it doesn't. Therefore, if your going to pursue an education be sure it is something you want to do.
Those firefighters and police academy graduates if they wanted to be firefighters or cops then they are on their way. Eventually, they will find full-time employment, but it will be a bi**h. If after all that struggle and time it ends up they never wanted to be a cop or firefighter then it was a waste of time and they will be disappointed and bit** on internet boards about how unfair everything is.
Many people go into law school not knowing what to expect and if you spend three years of your life and between $100-200k on an education to do something you don't really want to do. Well then your are going to be upset and bi**h about the system.
Again, this is why I 100% agree with Loki's early suggestion of 0L's watching open court seeing what it is really like. It is not quite as dramatic as Tom Cruise in a Few Good Men. Work in a law office and see what it is all about. Even study for the LSAT and take it. If you hate the LSAT then your going to hate law school. It is a mini-version of having to learn minor nuances under time pressure.
If you hate the LSAT, reading, writing, etc but somehow think being a lawyer will allow to travel the world and litigate only interesting cases, and never have to write briefs, or research, etc then your going to be disappointed.
Just be realistic and use common sense. Again, just because the U.S. Labor Department lists a stat of $113,000 median salary does not mean everyone that graduates from law school makes $113,000 at graduation. You can literally manipulate a stat to say whatever you want.
Therefore, what you should do is for example if your considering going to Golden Gate Law and work to work in San Francisco, reach out to Golden Gate Law Grads in San Francisco and ask them about their experience. Talk to 15-20 and I am sure there will be some really cool people that are happy with their choice, some nutjobs that are unhappy, and some people that are fine.
Then at the end of the day you have to ask yourself are you really willing to go through all of it. At that point it will be on you to be realistic, if you think well I am going to make $200,000k at graduation even though nobody I talked to did, because I am special and will be valedictorian or transfer to Stanford for 2L, because clearly I will be in the top 1% will then that is your choice, but that person is unlikely to have it play out as it does in their head.
So is law school the perfect golden ticket? No.
Does law school allow you to sit for the bar exam and provide you a professional license? Yes.
Are their jobs for lawyers out there? Yes.
Are legal jobs easy to get? No.
Is there some easy to get, high paying, fulfilling job that never gets in the way of your life or causes undue stress? No.
So bottom line go to law school if you want to be a lawyer, but have realistic expectations.