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Author Topic: Think Twice Before Going to Law School  (Read 2368 times)

pchan

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Think Twice Before Going to Law School
« on: March 20, 2004, 03:03:03 AM »
Check out these two articles:

1. "On Being a Happy, Healthy, and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession."

http://www.jd2b.com/VanderbiltLawReview.pdf

2. "The Truth About the Billable Hour." 

http://www.law.yale.edu/outside/html/Career_Development/cdo-billable.htm

bobfett33

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Re: Think Twice Before Going to Law School
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2004, 03:32:29 PM »
Another great "online book," written by a lawyer:

Take the Bar and Beat Me

http://prelaw.hypermart.net/thetext.htm#intro-Alice

dsds3581

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Re: Think Twice Before Going to Law School
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2004, 05:06:08 PM »
Pchan, I agree with what you said in your other post--I believe that one of the main underlying reasons why a lot of attorneys are unhappy is because they simply didn't know what they were getting into and wanted to attend law school/become an attorney for the wrong reasons or reasons that aren't good enough.

That said, I do know attorneys who are happy. I think law definitely isn't for everyone, but it's going to be the right profession for some. The benefit of reading and posting these articles, hopefully, is geared more towards waking some of the more less- or ill-informed people up rather than trying to dissuade EVERYONE.

bobfett33

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Re: Think Twice Before Going to Law School
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2004, 05:34:32 PM »
I think it's especially hard for people who score well on the LSAT to think about NOT going to law school - I mean, if we aren't meant to go, why would we have scored so high (at least that's the mentality)?  I had really hardly given any thought to law school ever - but then, on a whim, I decided I'd give the LSAT a try, and when I scored in the 96th percentile... now it seems that I'd be doing myself a disservice by not going...  I don't know... the LSAT isnt' really that good a predictor of law school or legal success anyway.

Anti_Ivy

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Re: Think Twice Before Going to Law School
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2004, 05:56:32 PM »
I must comment on this topic before every law school applicant/student decides to give up.

As far as happiness goes, LAW SCHOOL IS (generally) COMPLETELY SEPARTE FROM THE LEGAL PROFESSION!!!

Many people think, "Well, I like law school, so I'll like being a lawyer..."  From what I've read, many people love law school, but hate practicing law.  And vice versa: many people hate law school, but enjoy working in the legal sector.

I'm not sure if I will decide to be an attorney.  I am (pretty) sure that I will enjoy law school.  For all I know, I may decide to be a political journalist.  I don't know how I plan to use my J.D.  But that is what internships/clinics/summer jobs are for.  I'll deal with my future as it comes.  I don't think anything could keep me from attending law school.  As a matter of fact, since I am so stubborn, I am actually more determined to attend law school after I hear of someone who couldn't cut it.

karenw911

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Re: Think Twice Before Going to Law School
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2004, 08:45:05 PM »
<applause to Anti>

Enough said.

Karen W.

ajlynnette

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Re: Think Twice Before Going to Law School
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2004, 01:44:16 AM »
chan, i think you're doing some good in presenting the 'other side' of what some aspiring attorneys see as the 'greener side' of the picket fence that is law school.

and ivy? you made a VERY good point (imo) about how you can totally like one part of the equation but not the other. the only reason i'm prompted to go to law school is because of some nudging from a few profs at school and because i'm one of those 'well, do something to change it if it's so bad!!' types. (lol) ;)

but thanks again for sharing the info chan and fett! don't ever think you're not helping by giving another angle on things! :)

aj ;D

joegibbsiii

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Re: Think Twice Before Going to Law School
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2004, 04:23:39 PM »
Some of the points brought up in this thread are exactly why I would suggest that everyone take at least some time off between graduating from undergrad and starting at law school.  There is absolutely no rush--the average age of 1L's is around 24 of 25 so its not like you'll be behind the 8-ball if you start later than age 22.  But most of all, taking a year or two off to try some work in the legal field will really help you decide if this is a life style that is right for you. 

Obviously, no two places are the same so just because you react one way to your first full-time extended work experience doesn't mean that you'll feel the same way about your jobs after law school, but getting some initial experience a good way to figure out if you really hate the legal field.  Its nice to find that out before you rack up a 6-figure debt.  Moreover, if all goes well, having experience will allow you to have more confidence when you start law school. You'll know a bit about the law.  You'll be familiar with some legal terms.  You'll know that this is something you can do. 

Plus, work experience and having demonstrated commitment to the legal field will really enhance your application.  For many law schools, this is a very big deal.

ajlynnette

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Re: Think Twice Before Going to Law School
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2004, 09:54:26 AM »
i could not agree more w/joegibb in his opinion on working first. that's what i decided to do about 5yrs ago before i went back to school to finish my undergrad 2yrs ago (which will finally be done in July! yay!). and even now, i'm still gonna go back to work in this next school year to see if i really still wanna do this because like joe said, i'm not willing to rack up a 6-fig debt. what i'm gonna look at now are the different places where my JD could be used, bar regulations, reciprocity rules (that's a BIG deal to me right now) and other things.

i just hope that the law schools i apply to will take my work experience into consideration like joe says. lol ;)

aj ;D