Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?  (Read 129603 times)

dbgirl

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5091
    • View Profile
    • KnowTheTruth
Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #70 on: June 25, 2006, 05:48:20 PM »
I have met lots of lawyers who like thier jobs. It's a matter of finding the job that fits you.
When you have somebody dying because they are poor and black or poor and white or because of whatever they are ... that erases everything that's great about this country.

-TMcGraw

http://www.wm3.org/splash.php

Burning Sands

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 215
    • View Profile
Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #71 on: June 25, 2006, 06:49:33 PM »
I am convinced the reason why so many lawyers are so miserable is because they don't REALLY know what they're getting into. Whoever mentioned people should do some kind of legal work first, I completely agree with that. When faced with the reality of what law firm life is really like, many people would probably decide not to go. Many people (like myself) may be reassured that it is something they want to do.



I have enjoyed reading the responses here and hope to add my own two cents.

Am I still glad?  The Jury's still out on that one.

After having completed two years of law school I can fully agree with the quote from above that many people are unhappy because they missed that chapter in Planet Law School that said "Don't do this unless you know what you're getting into."  To that end, many of my classmates are/were liberal arts majors who had nothing better to do with their bachelor's degree, weren't making any money in the workforce and just upped and decided to go to law school as some type of a "get rich quick" plan - only to find out that law school and the legal profession is FAR from that.

You can graduate from law school and make $145k or $45k.  Its different from med school where irrespective of what particular residency you enter, you're guaranteed to come out making $150k, $200k, and even $250k in some areas. The law has no such guarantee.  So to the poster in the first few pages who said that there are far easier ways to make (more) money, you couldn't be more correct.

But as far as my personal perspective, the reason why I'm torn is because I actually like the process of learning the law, the intellectual stimulation, being charged with the task of finding the most persuasive answer to a complex fact pattern, etc.  So I like the educational side of law school. 

What I can't stand is the dirt and grime of the legal profession and those in it.  I'm not talking about work or long hours, I'm moreso talking about the elitist attitudes, the snobbery of the law, and all the other nonesense that comes along with actually finding a job in the law. 

I guess my frustration generates from the old school notion that if you work hard and handle your business in the classroom then things like finding a job shouldn't be a problem, but in law school I've discovered the hard way that you can't take anything for granted.  (although I'll concede that this probably doesn't apply if you attend Harvard, but for the rest of us who don't...)


I think what may be the most frustrating aspect for all law students, regardless of what law school you go to, is that the things that may interest us the most within the law usually pay the least.  Not that its all about money, but unfortunately the majority of law students at every law school are faced with a significant amount of debt upon graduation. So its been my experience that we're often forced to sacrifice what we'd like to do for what what will pay the bills.  Personally speaking, I've had the pleasure of externing for a federal judge in the nearby District Court, and I absolutely loved it!  I am currently interning for a mid/large size NYC law firm and I can't say that I'm as thrilled. 

So I guess you could say that I love the substance of the law, but hate the procedures that govern the profession.
Burning Sands

anotheranotherone

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #72 on: June 25, 2006, 09:03:41 PM »
The smartest person in my law school class, bar none, dropped out in September or October of our 2L year. He was so happy about it. He snuck into my car and left business cards all over, in the sun visor and the ashtray and the glove compartment and squeezed between the pages of my textbooks, with little messages on the back, saying things like, "Who's still in law school -- CHUMP?" I don't think he had any regrets. And he could have been a great lawyer. He was an accountant, with training in and an instinct for business valuation. He worked at that job way more than the officially permitted 20 hours a week while in school. He had one of the nimblest, most playful minds I've seen. In our moot court exercise I watched, amazed, as he handled the judges' questions, cool as a cucumber. He left because his fiance's father was dying, and his sister had just had a baby born without a small intestine, and he wanted to give them his time, his money, and his attention. And because he didn't care that much about being a lawyer, and thought the indulgence of a legal education wasn't the best use of time or money. And because he wasn't trying to prove anything with law school. If he was at the outset, he'd abandoned those pretenses by second year. 

I was pulling up to the school, stopped at a red light across the street, on the day he dropped out. I watched him coming out of the building. He was wearing a suit, as he often did because of his accounting clients. He hadn't told me that he was dropping out, or even that he was thinking about it, but somehow by the way he walked and held his head I knew he had turned in the paperwork, and that he wasn't coming back. I wished for the light to change so I could catch him, but it didn't, and I watched him get into his car and drive away, leaving the law school behind.

He's a teacher now, and from my spies in the middle school I understand he's a very good one. We, in my law school class, were poorer for his absence. I missed him for a long time; I still miss him sometimes. I've never had another intellectual playmate who had quite the same clever, playful mind. But I think he did the right thing. I thought that then, watching him walking across the lawn to his car. Sometimes you can tell by the way someone carries themselves that they have utter faith in a decision.  I'm not saying it's right for you. But if you know your priorities, and you ask yourself why think you should leave, and why you think you should stay, I think you'll make a good decision. Good luck.

Budlaw

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
    • View Profile
Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #73 on: June 26, 2006, 12:24:56 AM »
Yet another "original" post. Here's the link to where you stole this from:

http://civpro.blogs.com/civil_procedure/2004/11/quit_law_school.html

 ;)


The smartest person in my law school class, bar none, dropped out in September or October of our 2L year. He was so happy about it. He snuck into my car and left business cards all over, in the sun visor and the ashtray and the glove compartment and squeezed between the pages of my textbooks, with little messages on the back, saying things like, "Who's still in law school -- CHUMP?" I don't think he had any regrets. And he could have been a great lawyer. He was an accountant, with training in and an instinct for business valuation. He worked at that job way more than the officially permitted 20 hours a week while in school. He had one of the nimblest, most playful minds I've seen. In our moot court exercise I watched, amazed, as he handled the judges' questions, cool as a cucumber. He left because his fiance's father was dying, and his sister had just had a baby born without a small intestine, and he wanted to give them his time, his money, and his attention. And because he didn't care that much about being a lawyer, and thought the indulgence of a legal education wasn't the best use of time or money. And because he wasn't trying to prove anything with law school. If he was at the outset, he'd abandoned those pretenses by second year. 

I was pulling up to the school, stopped at a red light across the street, on the day he dropped out. I watched him coming out of the building. He was wearing a suit, as he often did because of his accounting clients. He hadn't told me that he was dropping out, or even that he was thinking about it, but somehow by the way he walked and held his head I knew he had turned in the paperwork, and that he wasn't coming back. I wished for the light to change so I could catch him, but it didn't, and I watched him get into his car and drive away, leaving the law school behind.

He's a teacher now, and from my spies in the middle school I understand he's a very good one. We, in my law school class, were poorer for his absence. I missed him for a long time; I still miss him sometimes. I've never had another intellectual playmate who had quite the same clever, playful mind. But I think he did the right thing. I thought that then, watching him walking across the lawn to his car. Sometimes you can tell by the way someone carries themselves that they have utter faith in a decision.  I'm not saying it's right for you. But if you know your priorities, and you ask yourself why think you should leave, and why you think you should stay, I think you'll make a good decision. Good luck.

giraffe205

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 278
    • View Profile
Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #74 on: June 26, 2006, 04:22:56 AM »
No matter what field you enter, you're going to find some ppl who love it, some who are lukewarm about it, and some who abosultely hate it. I'm sure that not every car mechanic hates their job, just as I'm sure that not all of them love it. There are teachers who love their jobs and the perks, e.g., three-month summer vacation, but others that hate it.

Everything in life has ups and downs. I personally can't stand it when ppl complain about being miserable. If you don't like it, cut your losses and find something else to do that you at least like better. No one likes a whiner.

T. Durden

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 472
    • View Profile
Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #75 on: June 26, 2006, 12:09:33 PM »
heya burning sands

i feel as if maybe my educational "career" is at least ostensibly following in teh footsteps of your own in the sense that 1) i'm currently in the midst of a judicial externship [which I enjoy as the judge is very, very bright and yet amusing, educational, etc. - and he has absolutely no problem giving me responsibility which I'm definitely not qualified to handle (i.e. writing his ruling minute entry orders on summary judgment and now even writing one of his opinions) - which makes it fun], and 2) in August the fall interview program will begin and I will try my best to land one of these summer associate jobs with a large to mid-sized firm in either DC, NYC, or SF.

You mention that you don't really enjoy the internship with the firm (i'm assuming that this is a SA position) - why not? Compared to your externship experience, what is it that you dislike about the firm position?

just curious...

jason1114

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #76 on: June 26, 2006, 04:59:55 PM »
I think most people who end up miserable probably would be miserable regardless of their job. Happiness is what I do when I am not working, regardless of how few hours that happens to be.

Burning Sands

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 215
    • View Profile
Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #77 on: June 26, 2006, 05:32:48 PM »
heya burning sands

i feel as if maybe my educational "career" is at least ostensibly following in teh footsteps of your own in the sense that 1) i'm currently in the midst of a judicial externship [which I enjoy as the judge is very, very bright and yet amusing, educational, etc. - and he has absolutely no problem giving me responsibility which I'm definitely not qualified to handle (i.e. writing his ruling minute entry orders on summary judgment and now even writing one of his opinions) - which makes it fun], and 2) in August the fall interview program will begin and I will try my best to land one of these summer associate jobs with a large to mid-sized firm in either DC, NYC, or SF.

You mention that you don't really enjoy the internship with the firm (i'm assuming that this is a SA position) - why not? Compared to your externship experience, what is it that you dislike about the firm position?

just curious...


In my personal opinion, the only good thing about law firms are the salaries they provide.  Everything else about them is negative.  just my 2 cents.

To elaborate, most people complain about the hours...I don't really care abour hours because that's just life. Even if you're working for yourself in your own business you're going to put in hours. But keep in mind, I'm single with no kids so I'm biassed.  If you were trying to have any significant family QT, working at a manhattan firm is not exactly conducive to that.

Also, you have to accept that if you're working for big law you're working for the bad guys.  If you have a strong conscience this is not the job for you.  I handled an employment discrimination/sexual harassment claim the other day and my main job was to find case law that would allow us to conceed that harassment took place but still screw the plaintiffs over by dismissing their case because they missed the statute of limitations time period by a few weeks.  Stuff like that.

But I think my main complaint is that the work that you get at a law firm is monkey work compared to the work you get working for a judge.  Especially in NY.  Assoc's get all this doc review and depostition summaries (not fun) and junk like that.  Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of research assignments but its just not the same.  I think the District Court experience spoiled me.  I'm used to writing court opinions and picking apart other law firms' case briefs, etc.  You get to see the big picture of the practice working for the court. From the law firm assoc' perspective you only get to see bits and pieces of litigation.

But some people have no problem doing the monkey work after spending 3 years towards a legal education so hey, to each their own.

Burning Sands

fat

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #78 on: June 29, 2006, 01:58:03 AM »

[...] I've been in the Marines, I've worked Construction, and I've worked as a legal assistant at a law firm. I actually like getting up and going to lawschool, [...]


So basically you're a blue collar guy trying to become a white collar one?

slacker

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 949
    • View Profile
Re: 1 year later....still glad u went to law school?
« Reply #79 on: June 29, 2006, 06:40:10 AM »

[...] I've been in the Marines, I've worked Construction, and I've worked as a legal assistant at a law firm. I actually like getting up and going to lawschool, [...]


So basically you're a blue collar guy trying to become a white collar one?

Nice sterotyping. Who's to say someone who's "blue collar" can't succeed in law school? Perhaps those who've actually done some manual labor for a living appreciate a desk job more than those who've never appreciated their entitlements.