Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Poll

Because:

I find the law interesting
I want to be a lawyer (or any other profession the requires a J.D)
My undergrad degree does not afford many job opportunities
I don't know what else to do/unsure
I want a six figure+ income
other

Author Topic: Why are you going to law school?  (Read 2844 times)

TimMitchell

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Why are you going to law school?
« on: July 05, 2008, 09:37:20 PM »
This is a tough topic, I debated making at a poll because the answers will probably vary significantly. However, the poll will make it anonymous and track people who don't feel like posting.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is it seems a lot of people go to law school to become lawyers because they love the law or find it interesting. Others want to make big money quick and thinks law is a fairly safe bet for this (don't make this a debate about law school failures. What I mean is it's a lot safer than getting a Masters in Tasmanian Gender Studies) while others don't know and decide law school is a good way to stay a student for another three years.

So, why are you going to law school?

Laura Roslin

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Re: Why are you going to law school?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2008, 11:03:20 PM »
As an Ivy econ major, in theory I have other job options.    Like...banking!  And consulting!  And...actually, that's about it.  ;D

My explanation of why I find the law interesting is going to sound pretty weird.  I remember in elementary school, we learned about the Constitution, and the government, and the rule of law.  Every single year, we learned about it, and it seemed handed down from on high - the law of the land was as real, permanent, and ingrained in the fabric of the universe as the laws of gravity and electromagnetism.    And then one day I realized, all at once, that it wasn't - that our government, our entire world system of sovereign states and police and no riding your bike on the sidewalk once you turned 13 - was an invention of human beings, as fragile and artificial as a house of cards.

Well, I found that thought both terrifying and awe-inspiring. The law (which governs in many regards how our society works) is an invention, and a distinctly human one, which means it is flawed and sometimes illogical and immensely complicated.  And it's always changing. 

One of the things they drill into you as an Econ major is the nature of incentives - the ways that the rules of the game (taxation, competitive forces, etc) can drastically affect people's behavior.  The law is the rules of the game for our society, and their scope matters immensely.  Why did the laws come down as they did?  How might things be different - how might people's lives be different - otherwise?  How do the puzzle pieces fit together? 

There's another reason, which is a bit more personal (i.e. egotistical :D).  In my experience, I do much better in situations where I have a distinct role - the research person, the computers gal, whatever.  (Being one of 100 spreadsheet jockeys has less appeal for me.)  I like being someone who can contribute something important.  (I suppose that's true of everyone to some degree - everyone wants to make a difference - but the nature of the desire varies.) So even if I don't go into (say) appellate practice, being the lawyer - and hopefully a good lawyer - would allow me to make a substantive contribution to whatever organization I ended up working for. 

That was a really long-winded explanation, sorry.  (It's particularly obnoxious when you consider that, having never been to law school, I'm probably wrong about a lot of this.)  I'm certainly not ignorant of the amount of hard and sometimes boring work that will be involved.  And one can't entirely ignore the other reasons in the poll - for example, I'd be the first to admit that if there were fewer job options after the JD (a la a PhD in English) I'd be a lot more hesitant to dive in headfirst.  But there are other ways to make money, too.  In short: my answer is that I find law interesting.  ;D
I have a PhD in horribleness!

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Alecto

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Re: Why are you going to law school?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2008, 11:23:39 AM »
I wish you could select more than one! Primarily, I find the law interesting, but it will provide more employment opportunities than would my B.A. or M.S., and at a higher salary.  I wouldn't necessarily say I'm in it for a six-figure income, although now a six-figure income just won't get you as far as it used to, so I guess if I want to be able to afford things like daycare and a college education for my (future, unborn) children, I guess I'm in it for that, too!

SCK2008

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Re: Why are you going to law school?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2008, 02:55:28 PM »
There are a few major reasons why I am going to law school but one thing I'm really looking forward to is learning how to break-down and deconstruct arguments and analyze issues from every angle...

I don't know why this fascinates me but I'm looking forward to using the skills I'll learn in school to more effectively argue (aka "debate") with my family and friends...


hth...
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Re: Why are you going to law school?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2008, 04:44:55 PM »
All of the above

baileypicks24

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Re: Why are you going to law school?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2008, 07:26:17 PM »
As an Ivy econ major, in theory I have other job options.    Like...banking!  And consulting!  And...actually, that's about it.  ;D

My explanation of why I find the law interesting is going to sound pretty weird.  I remember in elementary school, we learned about the Constitution, and the government, and the rule of law.  Every single year, we learned about it, and it seemed handed down from on high - the law of the land was as real, permanent, and ingrained in the fabric of the universe as the laws of gravity and electromagnetism.    And then one day I realized, all at once, that it wasn't - that our government, our entire world system of sovereign states and police and no riding your bike on the sidewalk once you turned 13 - was an invention of human beings, as fragile and artificial as a house of cards.

Well, I found that thought both terrifying and awe-inspiring. The law (which governs in many regards how our society works) is an invention, and a distinctly human one, which means it is flawed and sometimes illogical and immensely complicated.  And it's always changing. 

One of the things they drill into you as an Econ major is the nature of incentives - the ways that the rules of the game (taxation, competitive forces, etc) can drastically affect people's behavior.  The law is the rules of the game for our society, and their scope matters immensely.  Why did the laws come down as they did?  How might things be different - how might people's lives be different - otherwise?  How do the puzzle pieces fit together? 

There's another reason, which is a bit more personal (i.e. egotistical :D).  In my experience, I do much better in situations where I have a distinct role - the research person, the computers gal, whatever.  (Being one of 100 spreadsheet jockeys has less appeal for me.)  I like being someone who can contribute something important.  (I suppose that's true of everyone to some degree - everyone wants to make a difference - but the nature of the desire varies.) So even if I don't go into (say) appellate practice, being the lawyer - and hopefully a good lawyer - would allow me to make a substantive contribution to whatever organization I ended up working for. 

That was a really long-winded explanation, sorry.  (It's particularly obnoxious when you consider that, having never been to law school, I'm probably wrong about a lot of this.)  I'm certainly not ignorant of the amount of hard and sometimes boring work that will be involved.  And one can't entirely ignore the other reasons in the poll - for example, I'd be the first to admit that if there were fewer job options after the JD (a la a PhD in English) I'd be a lot more hesitant to dive in headfirst.  But there are other ways to make money, too.  In short: my answer is that I find law interesting.  ;D

Excellent, excellent post. Thanks for sharing.

baileypicks24

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Re: Why are you going to law school?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2008, 07:38:56 PM »
Man. I just read it again. Seriously, that is some deep poo. Very nice post. I like the way you think:  There are natural, unchangeable laws that govern what happens when you bounce a ball, but nothing naturally governs the actions of human beings. And the law tries to achieve this noble task. Man, great perspective. Well done.  :)

JusAbstinendi

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Re: Why are you going to law school?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2008, 03:12:29 AM »
The chicks. Duh.
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WashLaw

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Re: Why are you going to law school?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2008, 09:25:56 AM »
for me, I committed the great sin of knowing I wanted to be a lawyer before I started undergrad. I've always found political issues and controversies fascinating. But as I got older, I realized how important a role the Constitution played into all this. So i decided to pursue a career in Constitutional law. Is it a bit naive? probably. But I've always been so interested in the subject. Honestly, I think I'd kill myself if I were anything other than a lawyer of some sort.

dsetterl

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Re: Why are you going to law school?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2008, 09:59:00 AM »
I do it for the free food charged to the client with them not knowing that even though I pay for my lunch in front of them, I will later tack it on to their bill. Also, at the firm I work we also have cake day once a month. Pretty snazzy the life for a lawyer if I do say so myself.