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Author Topic: Law School Dilemma  (Read 3596 times)

xrayspec

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Re: Law School Dilemma
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2004, 08:54:18 PM »
Who can compete with people who have the same education but walk to work in plastic sandals and sleep on dirt floors?

Aonghus, they have lace-up shoes and apartments in other parts of the world you know...


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Hell, If I am going to work that hard to make 100 to MAYBE 150 a year, I might as well go to law school and work the same hours and maybe Ill make partner and have a shot at 3x that. 

... and dude, if you think you can make 100-150 in IT, gimme a hit of whatever you're smokin'. It's a support function in a corporation, it will always fall under administrative costs, and there will always be downward pressure on the salary curves.

lawschoolafterdark

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Re: Law School Dilemma
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2004, 10:50:22 AM »
If you want to "teach" in the sense of being the next Kingsfield, you need to go to a top school.  Look at the faculty lists of good schools and you will see that most are from top schools.  You also need to make law review, publish some good academic works, and a judicial clerkship will help.

The other route is to get a degree from somewhere, anywhere, distinguish yourself in an area of legal practice and become an adjunct faculty member at a lessor school. 

Unlike a PhD., you are unlikely to go from recieving a degree to teaching in one leap.

lawschoolafterdark

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Re: Law School Dilemma
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2004, 11:15:23 AM »
According to a recent article in National Jurist 33% of all law proffs went to three schools, Harvard, Yale and Stanford.
That should tell you something.

http://www.nationaljurist.com/archives_news.asp?id=24&pageID=66&mode=news

visit http://www.lawschoolafterdark.com

Aonghus

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Re: Law School Dilemma
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2004, 11:22:36 AM »
I was referring to maquilladoras... ever exxagerate to make a point?  Its called humor.  Yes, Im sure that all the Singhs in New Dehli who are taking US IT jobs have access to lace up shoes and floors... but there are A LOT of people in India sleeping in the dirt.  Just like there are in Mexico... or do you just travel to Cancun on spring break?

Do you WORK in IT?  Grow up man.  People that I WORK with make 100-150k!

Here let me help you.  Go to Salary.com, Plug in 92101 (San Diego) and then pick CITO Thats Chief Information Technology Officer.  With bonuses the average CTO in San Diego will make 170-330k per year.  A simple CCIE or network architech can make 125... Obviously middle management falls in between.

Lets try Data Warehousing Manager...  85-115k  Hint.. this is the position that a dual Masters CS/Business would qualify you for, assuming you have specialized in Databases...

From there, its up to you to make it to CITO.

Try not to speak out of ignorance.


Who can compete with people who have the same education but walk to work in plastic sandals and sleep on dirt floors?

Aonghus, they have lace-up shoes and apartments in other parts of the world you know...


Quote
Hell, If I am going to work that hard to make 100 to MAYBE 150 a year, I might as well go to law school and work the same hours and maybe Ill make partner and have a shot at 3x that. 

... and dude, if you think you can make 100-150 in IT, gimme a hit of whatever you're smokin'. It's a support function in a corporation, it will always fall under administrative costs, and there will always be downward pressure on the salary curves.

xrayspec

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Re: Law School Dilemma
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2004, 12:34:14 PM »
Yes, Im sure that all the Singhs in New Dehli who are taking US IT jobs have access to lace up shoes and floors... but there are A LOT of people in India sleeping in the dirt.  Just like there are in Mexico... or do you just travel to Cancun on spring break?

I'm not sure what your point is. There's millions of people in the US working full time and living below the poverty level. Financial hardship is not unique to the 3rd world.


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Do you WORK in IT?  Grow up man.  People that I WORK with make 100-150k!
From there, its up to you to make it to CITO.

Yes, I worked in the IT/technology field in San Francisco for 8 years. Yes, highly trained / specialized tech professionals are well paid. But you don't just take the elevator up to the CITO office. Those positions are nationally recruited and extremely competitive.

You described yourself as a system administrator. They do not make 100K and never will, because the knowledge set turns over every 3 yrs and you can always fill the seats with younger, cheaper labor (as you essentially concede)

You also seem confused on the distinction between IT and software engineering, which are totally distinct functions at most companies.



xrayspec

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Re: Law School Dilemma
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2004, 12:47:40 PM »
I want to go to law school mainly because I want to learn and study the law.  Money, prestige, employment, or even being a lawyer is secondary to that. 

I have heard that lower tier schools are not as interested in teaching the law as an academic discipline, rather the want you to get the practical aspects of it.. so that would be a concern of mine.

Most law students intend to be lawyers so it shouldn't surprise you that's how the curricula are structured. There are plenty of courses on history, theory, etc so you could probably carve out a course of study that satisfied you.

If you are *really* sure you don't want to practice law, that seems to be a good argument to go to a lower-ranked school where there might be scholarship help --- I got a full scholarship to Loyola, my lawyer's advice was to take it only if my goal was to supplement my knowledge of the law to enhance my other work. If I actually wanted to practice, a degree from a higher-ranked school is invaluable.

PS strictly speaking you don't have a "dilemma"  ;)

Aonghus

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Re: Law School Dilemma
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2004, 12:51:34 PM »
Sure there is poverty in the US... Poverty in the US means a family of four has just one car and only three televisions.  Poverty in the 3rd world means that you sleep in dirt and eat garbage.  Big difference.

No, Im not confused.  Yes I work as a systems admin.  This does not mean that I am limited to being a sys admin forever.  As a sysadmin, my pay grade ends at around 80k, assuming my server farm doesnt get moved to the 3rd world, unless I move into networks and go CCIE.  The guy I report to makes about 100k, the guy he reports to makes about 140, his manager makes about 200.  My point is, these guys ALL work 80 hours a week, easily.  They are bald, hypertensive, and divorced.  If I need a dual masters and constant retraining and 80 hour workweeks to move ahead, and constant retraining and long ass work hours to stand still.... why not go to law school and see if I can do better?  Im going to be a worka f-ing holic anyway, unless I drop out and buy a freaking taco stand.

When I entered IT, you made your 50-70 k working 40-60 a week, if the company needed you trained, they paid for it, and you went on company time.  That isnt the case anymore.  I'm a 'unit', not an employee.  They know its cheaper to replace me with a frycook with a new cert, and when they can get away with it, they will.  I have to constantly retrain at my own expense to stay valuable.

In case you are wondering, as I stated, I work for one of the 'big 3' IT outsourcing companies.

My point was that in IT, I could go and get a dual masters degree with a specialty.  Security/Dbase/etc.. and then an MBA, and move OUT of sysadmin into management for a much lower cost than going to law school, in about the same amount of time, without leaving my job, but that I would have to work every bit as hard as a Big Law associate to move up... because the floor keeps moving out from under you in IT.

I dont have IT/MIS confused with software engineering.

_____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _
I'm not sure what your point is. There's millions of people in the US working full time and living below the poverty level. Financial hardship is not unique to the 3rd world.


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Do you WORK in IT?  Grow up man.  People that I WORK with make 100-150k!
From there, its up to you to make it to CITO.

Yes, I worked in the IT/technology field in San Francisco for 8 years. Yes, highly trained / specialized tech professionals are well paid. You don't just take the elevator up to the CITO office. Those positions are nationally recruited and extremely competitive.

You described yourself as a system administrator. They do not make 100K and never will, because the knowledge set turns over every 3 yrs and you can always fill the seats with younger, cheaper labor (as you essentially concede)

You also seem confused on the distinction between IT and software engineering, which are totally distinct functions at most companies.



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forthguy

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Re: Law School Dilemma
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2004, 01:37:17 PM »
You described yourself as a system administrator. They do not make 100K and never will, because the knowledge set turns over every 3 yrs and you can always fill the seats with younger, cheaper labor (as you essentially concede)

Interesting take.  I'm a Unix sysadmin, have been for around 9 years, and I've been in six figures since 1999.  I'd disagree with your assertion that knowledge turns over that fast.  In fact, it's not uncommon for me to learn something new that's been around for 10 years.  Will I ever make that $300K number?  No.  Well, not until annual raises pile up, anyway.  But I've also not seen much downward salary pressure, either.  At least not for somewhat senior folks such as myself.  (I did spend much of my dot-com time doing random programming tasks, but never to the level of product development sorts of development.)  I have lots of friends in other parts of the country (I'm in the Bay Area) making six figures.  I'd suggest it's more common than you think.

That said, I don't agree with a lot of Aonghus's characterizations of working in IT, either.  I don't hold a single certification.  I don't have a technical degree.  And I don't spend inordinate amounts of time outside work keeping learning the next wave.  Of course, it's possible I do.  I'm a hobbyist, too, and a lot of this stuff comes out when you're just messing around.

I'm much like the OP, though.  I'm largely interested in law school because I'm interested in studying law.  I also think I would be interested in a career change, but I'm not prepared to suggest I know enough right now to make that declaration.  Which is why I'm keeping my job and only applying to part-time programs.  (I may not be going at all, given that I've not been accepted anywhere.)

Greg

jas9999

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Re: Law School Dilemma
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2004, 02:16:32 PM »
Certainly, it's folly to compare the earnings of Wintel admins with Unix admins, because they're not in the same market. What people have said about downward wage pressures is much more the case in the Wintel world, where it only takes a matter of weeks to train someone from scratch to be a competent admin. In Unix, it takes years of experience and the ability to actually write code (and I don't mean XHTML or Flash).

Personally, I've been working in IT on the support side for a few years, but have never wanted to make it a career. I hate sitting in front of a computer all day, and find that I get no intellectual satisfaction from working on computers as an end to themselves. As a tool to research legal or societal issues, I think it's great, but I don't do computing for the sake of computing. At least, I won't after August 1 of this year.

Before I got into IT professionally, I had a stint working for a then "Big 5" accounting firm, doing financial audit. If I had stayed with that, I would be looking at earnings equal to anything a lawyer can expect. I hated the atmosphere and the work, and resented that I was recruited on false pretenses (that I would be allowed to switch to IT audit after a year in financial audit), so I left the firm and moved to a new city to start over.

I do not know what I wish to do once I finish law school, but I look at the JD as being able to open a lot of doors that otherwise would remain closed. If you want to be a power broker in America, money aside, a law degree is probably the best way. All of the top politicians and political pundits have attended law school, and many corporate and entertainment leaders have as well. If nothing else, it's the networking opportunity of a lifetime if you can be at a top or second tier northeast cooridor law school.

The point is, there's a lot you can do with a JD besides work in a large law firm. Heck, a lot of people set out on their own with a classmate or two and open their own firms, specializing in everything from criminal defense to arbitration to education law.

forthguy

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Re: Law School Dilemma
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2004, 03:10:04 PM »
Certainly, it's folly to compare the earnings of Wintel admins with Unix admins, because they're not in the same market. What people have said about downward wage pressures is much more the case in the Wintel world, where it only takes a matter of weeks to train someone from scratch to be a competent admin. In Unix, it takes years of experience and the ability to actually write code (and I don't mean XHTML or Flash).

I think that's moderately fair.  Certainly, it takes fewer skills to perform desktop support or do low-level server administration under Windows than it does for Unix.  Going deeper, however, I'm not so sure it's accurate.  In many respects, it takes a lot more work to make Windows do "the right thing" than it does Unix.  Sometimes, the most difficult part is convincing management that fancy GUIs don't make everything simple.  If this was more widely understood, you would probably have fewer worm outbreaks taking down corporate Windows networks, for instance.  I spent about three years during NT's rise (3.5 to 4.0SP3) doing as much NT as Unix.  There's a lot to know about the innards of Windows, and it's a lot more difficult to do than grepping through /etc for a configuration option that sounds right.


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Personally, I've been working in IT on the support side for a few years, but have never wanted to make it a career. I hate sitting in front of a computer all day, and find that I get no intellectual satisfaction from working on computers as an end to themselves. As a tool to research legal or societal issues, I think it's great, but I don't do computing for the sake of computing. At least, I won't after August 1 of this year.

Doing the mundane in IT (small cog in a big machine) is no fun at all.  I've been there, and I left when I found my current gig, where I get to support a variety of things.  Supporting a system that keeps financial data available to a company is not a lot of fun; my last job involved such critical things as ensuring the corporate website's brochure-ware was always available.  Not the most thrilling of jobs.  But now, for instance, I'm implementing and supporting systems for some scientific research groups on the leading edge of pharmaceutical research.  I contribute to systems helping other scientific groups doing human genome mapping.  And other research groups doing advanced energy research.  Others in my group are touching all sorts of new scientific research.

It doesn't make the base work any more appealing, necessarily, but it does make the satisfaction a bit better.  At least I can see some benefits of the work I do.  What I'm not sure I would want to do with a JD is fall back into feeling like I'm just churning out memos working toward no particular end.

Greg