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Author Topic: Worst time to be a lawyer?  (Read 2976 times)

scarlett

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Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2008, 10:16:54 PM »
i agree w/ the no debt rationale.... butt, you don't wana be a 30 year old intern answering to whiny ada's..     law school sucks, if you're gona do it, get it over w/ young IF YOU CAN...


also, being an associate billing 2000 plus hours seems alot more doable younger than older if you do the private big law route..
::) Gimme a break.  I'm over 30.  We old folks manage just fine. 


cisforcookie

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Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2008, 10:40:33 PM »
I think it more likely that this is just a relatively unpleasant time to be anything other than filthy rich. Our economy is experiencing some growing pains as it copes with the confluence of outsourcing and technology. I can't think of any prestigious job class that seems particularly stable. Except, unfortunately, politicians.

Perhaps there is a much better question than whether this right now is a bad time to be a lawyer. What is the likelihood that things will be good for lawyers throughout our careers? More than a blip on the economy radar, I would worry more that the legal profession will grow more and more into a legal services industry where we are merely the newest members of the proletariat.

trinity2782

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Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2008, 01:49:42 PM »
I think right now is not the best time to be a law student looking for a job, but certainly not the worst time to be a lawyer. The economy stinks, that we all can agree. However, when the economy goes down, bankruptcies and corporate reorganizations go up and lots of lawyers are needed for both. Granted some lawyers will lose their jobs and law firms will cut back on the amount of hiring, but as mentioned by a previous poster, the economy ebbs and flows and lawyers are needed in either direction it goes. What this means is that for the next few years big law firms are not going to go as deep as they have for the past 6-8 years in law school classes [except for HYS] to recruit. So more students will have to take med, small, govt jobs and then move on to big firm [if they decide to do so] when the economy strengthens. There have always been more law students than quality legal jobs in the US, this is no surprise.

As to the starting salaries, I can only speak about large firms because those salaries can be easily accessed. I would have to say that starting salaries in NYC have not kept up with the other markets in the country and are not commensurate with the amount of work required and the cost of living. However outside NYC, starting salaries for first year associates at a large law firm are more than enough, esp for those who have $100k+ debt like myself. 
Emory Law Class of '09

1LMan

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Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2008, 02:05:25 PM »
DC market just went up this year to the NY $160k, firms are adding all kinds of perks to get associates to stick around, and bonuses are growing. 

Worst time to be a lawyer?  Not if you are in Biglaw.

Now if you are planning on opening a solo practice or if you go to a marginal school, well, sure it's a bad time to be a lawyer.... But that would be the case even in the best of times.

bruin945

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Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2008, 03:18:37 PM »
What would you guys consider average schools, in terms of us news rankings?

1LMan

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Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2008, 04:43:01 PM »
What would you guys consider average schools, in terms of us news rankings?

Anything outside of the T25.

Sad but true..... 

xferlawstudent

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Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2008, 05:05:21 PM »
Are you joking; T25 is by definition, above average.

1LMan

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Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2008, 06:38:55 PM »
Are you joking; T25 is by definition, above average.

Exactly, he said what do I define as average and my response is anything OUTSIDE of the top 25 schools.  The reality is that is the truth.  Nothing outside of the T25 has national placement and all pretty much require top grades to get the most coveted positions.

Susan Cartier Liebel

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Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2008, 10:01:36 PM »
Worst time to be a lawyer?  Not if you are in Biglaw.

Now if you are planning on opening a solo practice or if you go to a marginal school, well, sure it's a bad time to be a lawyer.... But that would be the case even in the best of times.

Solos comprise more than 50% of all private practice attorneys in the country.  In some states, like New York, they are as high as 81%.  In the best of times they do well by their own standards which include, but are not limited to gross income.  In the worst of times they have to rewrite their business model, consider shifting practice areas, just like BigLaw.

However, they never have to worry about a pink slip at an inopportune time, being derailed from a partnership track, office politics, wanting to start a family or take a vacation.  They are more professionally agile, technologically forward and quite capable of riding out economic downturns if they keep their ear to the ground....as they are a committee of one and just have to say, 'I think I'm going to do this right now.'  And solos don't have to worry about their law school pedigree as dictated by U.S. News and World Reports.

General Counsel of major Fortune 500 corporations are seeking out solo and small firms because of innovative billing and high tech presentation, one-on-one dealings with the actual lawyer versus layers of associates.  One example is Mike Dillon of Sun Microsystems.

Smart and profitable lawyers exist in every employment configuration.  Don't broad brush.  If BigLaw is the ambition, then absolutely strive for it.  But know there are other viable and satisfying routes to practicing law regardless the economy. You just have to know where the opportunities are and go for it like any good entrepreneur...except you have a legal license.
Susan Cartier Liebel, Esq.
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http://solopracticeuniversity.com

bruin945

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Re: Worst time to be a lawyer?
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2008, 11:22:24 PM »
Does anyone know how the University of Minnesota places nationally in terms of getting jobs?