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Messages - PSUDSL08

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1
I know I am not a T1 material, I am a big time sucker for LSAT: I have been studying for it for a year, and I just can't put  up to 160.  So I am planning to go to a T3 or T4 schools, probably CUNY LS since it's cheap.  From my research, I notice that only ppl who go to top 30s LS can come out making $160k (median starting salaries for lawyers).  Is that true?

You'll be fortunate if you can find a job out of law school that will pay you $40-50K and provide you with good experience. Nobody should go to law school (minus students at the truly elite law schools) if you can't live with this as a realistic possibility. If money is your driver, go find work with a company that will pay for you to get your MBA.

2
Capital / Re: help I need to know more
« on: July 17, 2010, 10:53:31 AM »
If you're from the south and only have T4 schools to choose from, you should stay in the south. I went to Capital for a year before transferring out. People I know who were outside the top 10-20% had trouble finding work locally in Columbus, so your prospects in the south will be far worse. My friend was top 15%, law review and moved to North Carolina after graduating. He could not find work so he had to start his own practice just to get by. DO NOT attend this school if you're looking to move back down south after graduation

3
General Board / Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« on: April 18, 2010, 03:36:25 PM »

Please tell me, good Sir, which educations are walking into fame and fortune directly out of school these days? You guys keep talking as if we're in a lawyer-exclusive recession. Newsflash for you, things are FUBAR all across the board.


At this point, we're not talking about "fame and fortune," we're talking about finding a job period. And while I'd agree that things are FUBAR across the board, I'd surmise that the job market for attorneys is worse than the job market is for many other fields. Plus, a thing to keep in mind is that you're geographically limited in your job search with a JD. The average 20-something business major who gets laid off can switch disciplines (i.e. going from a finance to a business logistics position) and/or apply for jobs all across the country. The average 20-something law grad may be bar admitted in two states, three at most. And if you've interned at the PD's office for two years, it's a tough sell during an interview that you're all of a sudden interested in labor law.

Quote
What do you want to do with your life?
What opportunities do you have with your current education?
What other graduate educations can you choose between?

People should take these factors into consideration and not rely on the blanket statements of the miserable. That being said, many prospective 1L's are not doing this. I don't have statistics, but I'm guessing at least 50% of prospective 1L's are going straight from undergrad to law school...taking no time to explore opportunities in other career fields.

4
A common theme in threads like these are for prospective and current students to attack any 3L/recent graduate who somehow posts negative or pessimistic viewpoints about entering the field of law. It's possible that a good chunk of the "don't go to law school" crowd did not distinguish themselves amongst the rest of job seekers as great students and effective networkers. That being said, it might be worthwhile for some prospective and current students to take in some of the criticism without being so defensive about their chosen career paths.

I am not your typical disgruntled graduate, as I am currently working in my dream job. I started off at a T4 school and graduated in 2008 from a T2 school. I'm currently a prosecutor in a mid-sized city that is over-saturated with lawyers (top ten in nation for lawyers per capita). I make $40K per year, have $115K in student loan debt with the opportunity to have that debt forgiven in nine years. I was fully prepared for this reality as my dad is a prosecutor who had to pay his dues before seeing a significant salary increase. Many of the people I went to school with were not.

The prospects for employment in my city are atrocious across the board. Big firms have drastically reduced their summer associate programs. A majority of Biglaw 3L's from 2009 who were offered positions are now having their start dates delayed, and have been urged by their hiring firms to seek out other positions.  Back in October of 2009, one large firm cut its document review staff from 140 attorneys down to approximately 30. The small and mid-sized firms who have openings are seeking attorneys with a minimum of three to five years of experience. Who would you hire - the top 10% 3L with law review who is a work in progress or the top 10% guy with five years of experience who can hit the ground running?

Low paying government positions are increasingly hard to come by. There is little to no turnover in the DA's/PD's office. It's hard to bolt for greener pastures when there's nothing but scorched earth in sight. When a position does open up, either office can pick and choose amongst a multitude of candidates with impressive qualifications (top 5-10%, law review, courtroom experience). Judicial law clerks who would normally leave after one year of service are now staying aboard for their second and third years.
I have a good number of friends who are doing quite well, but they either had great qualifications or had a job lined up through family/close friends. Many are riding it out in clerkships or have sought out non-legal work they could have obtained without wasting three years of their lives and over $100K (event planner, insurance salesman, etc).

The JD does not open up as many doors as it did for the WWII and baby boomer generations. The older attorneys who started their own firms have attorney numbers in the 15000-40000 range. The attorney numbers for my graduating class is well into the 210,000 range. Nonetheless, when you tell the average person you're going to law school, it's common for them to "ooh and ahh" and otherwise stroke your ego...all the while assuming you're going to be rich and successful. The numbers tell a vastly different story.

It's very easy to sit back as a prospective student and say "I won't let this happen to me" or "things will be fine once the economy rebounds." And I'm sure many of you will do just fine. But there are a good number of people who will end up regretting their decision in 2013. Just do your homework before you decide to take the plunge.

5
Recent graduate (transferred from T4 to T2) and current ADA in a midsized city that is extremely over-saturated with lawyers. Just wanted to add some input based upon my personal experiences, and the experience of other recent graduates. 

Becoming an ADA was a dream come true for me, but is not the case for many people. I make less than $40K a year and have $140K in debt. The Federal Loan Forgiveness Act will enable me to have my debt discharged in 10 years, but there's not a lot of fat in my current budget, and there wont be for the foreseeable future.

I've heard many people considering law school indicate that if they can't break in with a big firm, that they'd just "head to the government." In this economy, a DA/PD job is no longer a fallback position. All the big firms in my area have either retracted offers altogether, or have postponed hiring dates. Those with postponed hiring dates have been told to actively seek out other positions. The stack of applications at my office, and the Public Defender's office, is ceiling high. Low paying government jobs are becoming increasingly competitive, and the turnover is decreasing. So I urge anyone considering law school to not assume that these jobs will be readily available...even if you're in the top 10%/law review category.

Document review positions are also drying up. One large firm in particular has just cut their document review staff from 130 attorneys to 20...the casualties were informed of the downsize upon arriving to work on Monday. Furthermore, many people who were serving 1 year state level clerkships are now staying put for their second and third year. In my area, the positions most accessible to grads without outstanding credentials are shrinking in number.

I cant tell you how many people I've come into contact with at both my T2/T4 schools who clearly had not done their research before taking the plunge. Many went into law school with the misconception that a law degree is a ticket to financial security. They fall into one of several varieties: (1) unemployed, deferring loans while interest accrues (2) opened up their own practices with no real experience, (3) working in entry-level, non-legal positions or (4) are working long hours at small firms, disappointed with their salaries.

Before making the time and financial commitment that law school requires, I'd urge anyone considering law school to gain at least one year of relevant work experience in a non-legal field of interest. If you find a career you love, then you avoid 3 yrs of law school. If you're miserable and still want to go to law school, there's nothing stopping you. Also, the students that have taken time off in between undergrad and law school tend to be more disciplined, treating law school like a job and not an extension of college.

Also, do your research and be realistic about your expectations based upon not only the school you're attending, but your own strengths and weaknesses. Talk to graduates who attended the school you're considering and find out what they're doing out there. Start networking now because who you know is everything. Don't lose touch with those contacts...you never know who may be able to help you out in the longrun.

6
General Board / Re: Academic Dismissal/Readmittance
« on: June 22, 2009, 11:00:37 AM »
I was under the impression that I had a semester to pull it up. But the school is saying that since I was below a 2.0 by the end of the year, that I am out. Yet, they are still letting me take the classes I am currently enrolled in.

I talked to the "Professor of Doom" who gave me the grade that tanked me and he told me that he could tell I knew the stuff, I just didn't get it down on paper.  When I submitted my petition, I submitted a copy of my 42 page outline for the course and a note for the review committee to review the grade.  Don't know what is going to happen yet.  They told I will not know until the end of July.  In the meantime, I live on campus, so if I am not currently a student, I am kind of worried about getting "evicted" from campus housing.  Only working 15 hours a week because of school rules and so I was primarily relying on financial aid.  Things are just really bad....

I don't really know what I was looking for by posting here.  Just needed to vent.  I feel really alone right now because I am too embarrassed to tell any of my friends or classmates.  My parents are tired of listening to me gripe and told me that they don't have enough energy to give me emotional support.  And to make matters even worse, the day I found out, I was supposed to go to a meeting at work.  I called my boss sobbing and said I couldn't make the meeting and now he is threatening to fire me because I won't tell him what happened.  I don't want to have to justify my absence from the meeting (which was really just a dumb "pep rally" kind of thing) and I don't feel that it is any of his business but since I might be needing money for a place to live/move/food/etc., I almost feel compelled to tell him.  I am extremely depressed and stressed over this.

And the reason I am going for the JD was because my MA in Education and my MBA weren't really helping me in the current job market.  Ah, crap.... maybe I should have just gone to Med School!  Ugh.

This might not be the advice you want to hear, but you really should quit while you're ahead. Your rationale for going to law school (i.e. the JD will help you in the current job market) is fundamentally flawed. I know numerous people from T2/T3/T4 schools with grades far better than yours who are either unemployed or are in temporary document review positions. Jobs for new grads even in the $30K-50K range (state level clerkships, DA's office, PD's office, small firms) are extremely competitive nowadays.

As a 27 year old with an MBA and a Masters in Education, it appears from the limited info you've provided that you're pursuing education just for the sake of pursuing education. Assuming you graduated from college at 22, finished your MA in education at 23, and finished your MBA at 25...I can't imagine you've spent enough time out there to really (1) accurately gauge the markets in a non-recessionary period and/or (2) establish a level of seniority where the MBA will come in handy.

I'd honestly get out now while you can before you've accrued a mortgage worth of debt for no house. If in a few years you get the itch to go back to law school then give it a shot on a clean slate.

7
General Board / Re: Academic Dismissal/Readmittance
« on: June 21, 2009, 09:14:37 PM »
I think a couple of questions for clarification are necessary before attempting to give honest, meaningful advice: (1) What is the rank/tier of your law school and (2) Since you've already pursued two masters degrees, what are you hoping to achieve with a JD?

8
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Capital or Toledo
« on: June 20, 2009, 09:17:27 PM »
I attended Capital before transferring to and graduating from a T2 school. I still keep in touch with a fair amount of people that I met at CULS during my 1L year. There are a lot of people from CULS who are unemployed. The ones who are employed outside the top 10% are either doing non-legal work or have document review positions.

Toledo is a higher ranked school and you'll save at least $42K by going there (basically $132/month before interest over 30 years), not including any reduction in the cost of living in Toledo vs. Columbus. Long story short, don't go to Capital...from a professional standpoint you have nothing to gain by going there, even if you want to work in Columbus.

9

Thank you for your comments however some of the most high profile agents have not accomplished law school. If I do not get in to a top law school that does not necessarily set me back in competing with others for a job in this field. This industry requires determination, ruthlessness, and a no quit attitude. Getting started in this field will result in years of being rejected and turned down by potential clients. However, you just need to be persistent and not quit.

Im not going to change my career choice. That WILL NOT happen. This is what I am set on doing and this is what I believe I was born to do. How could I possibly live with myself for the rest of my life if I dont settle for the best and what I want to do? Am I suppose to just live my life and do some job that I really dont love much? If I come off as rude, well im sorry, its because I dont want someone to tell me I should maybe reconsider. Im so passionate about this. This stupid damn LSAT or potentially not getting into law school will not stop me from doing what I want.

You only live once, you should do what will make you happy.

Thank you to everyone else with the advice I will definitely check into everything. I really appreciate all of this. It means a lot.

I appreciate your enthusiasm and drive to pursue the career you want. Nobody is telling you not to strive to become a sports agent. I think what some of us are urging you to consider are to (1) be aware of your limitations and to (2) consider your practical alternatives IF becoming a sports agent does not work out.

First, I think your "I won't settle for less" attitude is refreshing and I hope you're able to hold onto that attitude as time progresses. But to be frank, having a chip on your shoulder was, in all likelihood, not enough to get you into an ABA accredited school. 

Even if you were to get into an T4 school, the idea of taking out $100-150K in loans with NO desire to practice law just to have the chance of becoming a sports agent is not a wise financial or professional decision. IF for some reason things don't work out, you're now saddled with $1,000+ a month in loan payments, potentially forced into a career that you don't want.

I think you'd be far better off trying to work in some capacity for a sports agency and pursue a Masters in sports management or an MBA. If you find the right employer, you can get them to pay a chunk of your tuition. It would be a far cheaper and probably easier prerequisite to becoming a sports agent. I wish you luck in whatever course of action you decide.

10

I want to be a sports agent. I have met with many agents and professional scouts such as ones with the Portland Trail Blazers. This is no joke or fake thread. I want to pursue a career in this industry for both FIFA and the NFL. I know law school would best prepare me for this career choice.


I agree with TTom that your odds of getting into a T4 law school are extremely slim. Even if you broke into a T4, you're looking to pursue a career in a highly competitive field. Unless you have a guaranteed "in" through your contacts, your odds of breaking into the field with a T4 degree are slim to none. IMO it wouldn't be worth 3 years of your life and $100-150K just to have an outside shot at becoming an agent. I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

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