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Runner-up

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #150 on: May 01, 2007, 05:05:23 AM »
A judge visiting my school and speaking to the student body, advised us not to go into law, if we wanted to get rich. Up until that point, everyone had been laughing at his jokes. When he made that statement, the whole room was stone silent.

themanwithnoname

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #151 on: May 01, 2007, 12:20:36 PM »
I think this makes sense though. At least at the top schools, people will have the credentials to go into a field like finance - and get REALLY rich. So, if your goal in life is to just make as much money as possible, you are in the wrong field.

squarre

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #152 on: May 01, 2007, 02:02:29 PM »
A judge visiting my school and speaking to the student body, advised us not to go into law, if we wanted to get rich. Up until that point, everyone had been laughing at his jokes. When he made that statement, the whole room was stone silent.
Obviously I didn't hear the talk, but I have heard many say you won't get rich practicing law.  When most people say this they don't mean you won't make very good money and won't live extremely comfortably.  There are just very few lawyers who get into the mid to high six figures and still fewer that get to the seven figure range.  Successful entrepreneur, high level finance executives, and various other have many more making the very high end salary.   

It definitely doesn't mean that most lawyers will go through life living hand to mouth and struggling to make a living.

utu

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #153 on: May 01, 2007, 02:13:56 PM »

I think this makes sense though. At least at the top schools, people will have the credentials to go into a field like finance - and get REALLY rich. So, if your goal in life is to just make as much money as possible, you are in the wrong field.


Obviously!

d a n a

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #154 on: May 01, 2007, 10:03:57 PM »

I think this makes sense though. At least at the top schools, people will have the credentials to go into a field like finance - and get REALLY rich. So, if your goal in life is to just make as much money as possible, you are in the wrong field.


Obviously!


;)

amygdala

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #155 on: May 03, 2007, 10:12:29 PM »


I think this makes sense though. At least at the top schools, people will have the credentials to go into a field like finance - and get REALLY rich. So, if your goal in life is to just make as much money as possible, you are in the wrong field.


Exactly, it's not only money that people who go to law school are after; it's also about being considered a "learned," "respectable" person -- as attorneys are perceived to be.

k k

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #156 on: May 04, 2007, 12:32:15 AM »

Exactly, it's not only money that people who go to law school are after; it's also about being considered a "learned," "respectable" person -- as attorneys are perceived to be.


Images of legal practice are too often coloured by popular presentations of the profession in movies and by sensational press coverage of unusual court proceedings. However, you are better off clearing away the glamour and take a close look at the daily life of practicing attorneys.

People should not be willfully blind to the central fact of law school: it is a trade school, and the trade itself can be esoteric, dull and of questionable utility. Study of law is like doing a very large Sunday crossword for 3 years straight. What you do in law school is read hundreds and hundreds of cases learning that judges write remarkably poorly. In most cases, judges need give little more than a yes or no answer, but they devote thousands of words in each instance trying to sound reasonable and consistent. From all their verbiage, you are supposed to glean a pattern and pretend it constitutes a set of legal rules. What law professors do is reveal the twisted reasoning employed by all judges.

One "appeal" of this "mode of pedagogy" is that students are invited to feel superior to the nation's jurists, who are made to seem at best ignorant buffoons and at worst heartless manipulators of doctrine. Yet, surprisingly law students learn a lot about the premises and methodology of the law by reading and discussing cases. Unfortunately, this knowledge is not the kind of truth that sets you free, but rather it is the kind that makes you cynical.

On the other hand, practicing law in a corporate setting is boring and requires excessively long hours. If people knew what work is like in big city firms, they would never do it. It is basically a "sweatshop," and all you do is get a copy of an old document and you fill in the blanks -- there's a lack of intellectual stimulation to the extent that you just don't enjoy it. Nonetheless, lawyers pursue this more lucrative career track because of the huge debt that many young people take on while attending law school. Wall Street lawyers make the most money, but they appear to get the least satisfaction out of their jobs. They work extremely long days and many weekends, billing clients for 2,000 to 2,500 hours of work a year, and find they are given little responsibility initially. On the other hand, young prosecutors, law clerks, and public-interest lawyers seem to take real pride in what they are doing and get great satisfaction from their jobs. The problem, of course, with these latter positions is that the attorney will be earning a fraction of what his counterpart may be making in the less satisfying, more stressful, and less stimulating alternative.

While there may be a significant number of law school graduates flourishing in other careers, the ugly truth is that almost everyone who goes to law school becomes a lawyer; because law school teaches you a particular trade, you're more likely to practice it. Although in some cases law school may help you write about the law and some aspects of policy, it does not mean that you can do anything with a law degree; rather, it means that some people can find gainful employment as writers despite the careful attention of a battery of professionals bent on ruining your prose (Developing writing skills as a prerequisite to become an attoney unfortunately means that law school will teach you an essentially unreadable kind of prose). If you want to do something else you should do something else.

Lawyers do not make that much money. The funny thing is that lawyers don't make much compared to investment bankers, for example. And the salaries of associates carry fringe benefits like constant pressure and slim chances of becoming a partner in the firm. The net result may be not having enough time to spend the money you make and being miserable in the process. Consider also that it's very hard to land such a high paying job at a time when there are unemployed and underemployed lawyers all over the place, and plenty are making perfectly ordinary salaries.

themanwithnoname

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #157 on: May 04, 2007, 12:45:33 PM »
k k, why are you in law school?

bobbykurva

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #158 on: May 04, 2007, 07:16:54 PM »
Sounds like KK is on the road to become one of those "ignorant buffoons and at worst heartless manipulators of doctrine." This damn post is "devote of thousands of words in each instance trying to sound reasonable and consistent... [f]rom all th[is] verbiage."

TheNewGuy

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Re: poor lawyers
« Reply #159 on: May 05, 2007, 12:08:22 AM »
A judge visiting my school and speaking to the student body, advised us not to go into law, if we wanted to get rich. Up until that point, everyone had been laughing at his jokes. When he made that statement, the whole room was stone silent.

lucky me, my administrators already gave us that speech on Admitted Students Day --- I'm glad I'm over the little power trip myself.

When it boils down to it, $$ / power was not at all how I had envisioned a great career in the first place...(was was one of those socially conscientious types). Then I stumbled upon law when I was really struggling to make a buck out of college, and I abruptly (in sort of an Orwellian way) became intruiged by that unrealistic perception of lawyering. Now that that's worn off, I've realized to a certain degree what I have gotten myself into: learning a trade I have an inclination towards. (That inclination is consistent with with I was looking for in the first place!)

This is where I can identify with KK's post, while generally feeling pretty positive about the whole ordeal.