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Author Topic: Is law school a good investment these days?  (Read 3017 times)

stbjm02

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Is law school a good investment these days?
« on: October 21, 2008, 03:06:14 PM »
I am in my last year of undergraduate study and plan on going to law school next year. I have read many articles saying that law school is not such a good investment anymore and that people are having trouble finding high paying and enjoyable jobs. This is very disheartening to hear and has taken some of my enthusiasm away.
 
Now I have two questions:

Do you think that as the economy recovers that more jobs will become available or do yo feel like this is just due to over saturation of the field and that it will not get better for a long time?

Also if you have any recent graduate job search stories: successes and failures please share.

vegemite

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Re: Is law school a good investment these days?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2008, 06:19:40 PM »
No. Run while you still can - before you're $100,000+ in debt and law school has crushed your sense of self worth.

Ninja1

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Re: Is law school a good investment these days?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2008, 12:40:52 AM »
Yes, law school, long term, is always a good investment (unless it's a *&^% school). If you can't recoup $100-200k worth of education expenses with a JD, you're doing something wrong.

Even if you get a job making $45-50k starting, your long term earning potential vastly exceeds pretty much any job you could get with just a BA/BS, even if they pay more initially.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

tony_rocky_horror

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Re: Is law school a good investment these days?
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2008, 08:56:25 AM »
No, stay away, more scholly $ for me

iwantagirl

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Re: Is law school a good investment these days?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2008, 02:09:18 AM »
if it's purely money consider becoming a police officer. after 5yrs u'll be making $100k at NYPD (more at wealthier depts like LAPD or orange county or long island). after 20yrs u retire and for yr pension u get 50% of whatever u made during yr last yr (right now it's around $150k as a detective or sergeant with overtime).  you can make some connections as a lawyer to start a business on the side, but the same is true of the police. really if youve saved any capital, u dont even need any connections to start something like an online store. just a lot of free time.

but anyway, here is why i would choose grad school. people find it prestigious. u are surrounded by the same people. imagine the kind of people that work in police or any other job that doesnt require much ambition? many of them have better character than lawyers, but most of them end up with broken lives. if you are a 30yo male, you might be financially a bit better off as a cop than as a lawyer, because u've already been earning money for quite some time. but most women will pick the lawyer because it's more prestigous.  ask any woman who is rich and she will say "doctors or lawyers". thats why i am going into medicine. i'll stay in school a bit longer. meanwhile, i can get women in bed with a simple drink. a cop would have to do much better than that.

Ninja1

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Re: Is law school a good investment these days?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2008, 02:57:58 AM »
if it's purely money consider becoming a police officer. after 5yrs u'll be making $100k at NYPD (more at wealthier depts like LAPD or orange county or long island). after 20yrs u retire and for yr pension u get 50% of whatever u made during yr last yr (right now it's around $150k as a detective or sergeant with overtime).  you can make some connections as a lawyer to start a business on the side, but the same is true of the police. really if youve saved any capital, u dont even need any connections to start something like an online store. just a lot of free time.

but anyway, here is why i would choose grad school. people find it prestigious. u are surrounded by the same people. imagine the kind of people that work in police or any other job that doesnt require much ambition? many of them have better character than lawyers, but most of them end up with broken lives. if you are a 30yo male, you might be financially a bit better off as a cop than as a lawyer, because u've already been earning money for quite some time. but most women will pick the lawyer because it's more prestigous.  ask any woman who is rich and she will say "doctors or lawyers". thats why i am going into medicine. i'll stay in school a bit longer. meanwhile, i can get women in bed with a simple drink. a cop would have to do much better than that.

169.  Well-nuanced, but uninteresting.

155 at best. I've never been a cop myself, but I have a few friends that have and they all more or less hated it. It's less making a difference/making money and more working insane shifts and writing traffic tickets/dealing with domestic incidents. There's a reason that cops are the low men on the government totem pole. And almost all of said friends have had to deal with complete *&^% social lives. Their wives and girlfriends leave them because they're unavailable, their friends leave them because they can't be @#!* offs around them anymore, their lives just suck more often than not.
 
Not to mention, not everyone can be a cop. I'd venture that the average lawyer can be a cop no better than the average cop can be a lawyer. You might deal with some of the same subject matter, but the two occupations couldn't be further apart in terms of what they do and the skills required.

And finally on pay, most cops don't get paid that well. For the level of education required, they do, but overall, they don't. A starting cop where I'm from makes $35-45k/yr depending on education and where they work, but they top out in the mid $60s without a serious promotion. A starting DA makes ~$42k/yr, but they top out somewhere around $70-80k without a comparable promotion. Yeah, the DA spends a lot more on school, but they also make up for it reasonably quickly. And if you have a real firm job, you make up for the difference REAL quick. And for the NYC and LA cops, a brand new NYC/LA biglaw lawyer making market easily smokes a multi-year NYPD/LAPD veteran hands down. To even suggest there's a comparison is fraudulent.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

iwantagirl

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Re: Is law school a good investment these days?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2008, 03:34:31 AM »
if it's purely money consider becoming a police officer. after 5yrs u'll be making $100k at NYPD (more at wealthier depts like LAPD or orange county or long island). after 20yrs u retire and for yr pension u get 50% of whatever u made during yr last yr (right now it's around $150k as a detective or sergeant with overtime).  you can make some connections as a lawyer to start a business on the side, but the same is true of the police. really if youve saved any capital, u dont even need any connections to start something like an online store. just a lot of free time.

but anyway, here is why i would choose grad school. people find it prestigious. u are surrounded by the same people. imagine the kind of people that work in police or any other job that doesnt require much ambition? many of them have better character than lawyers, but most of them end up with broken lives. if you are a 30yo male, you might be financially a bit better off as a cop than as a lawyer, because u've already been earning money for quite some time. but most women will pick the lawyer because it's more prestigous.  ask any woman who is rich and she will say "doctors or lawyers". thats why i am going into medicine. i'll stay in school a bit longer. meanwhile, i can get women in bed with a simple drink. a cop would have to do much better than that.

169.  Well-nuanced, but uninteresting.

155 at best. I've never been a cop myself, but I have a few friends that have and they all more or less hated it. It's less making a difference/making money and more working insane shifts and writing traffic tickets/dealing with domestic incidents. There's a reason that cops are the low men on the government totem pole. And almost all of said friends have had to deal with complete poo social lives. Their wives and girlfriends leave them because they're unavailable, their friends leave them because they can't be @#!* offs around them anymore, their lives just suck more often than not.
 
Not to mention, not everyone can be a cop. I'd venture that the average lawyer can be a cop no better than the average cop can be a lawyer. You might deal with some of the same subject matter, but the two occupations couldn't be further apart in terms of what they do and the skills required.

And finally on pay, most cops don't get paid that well. For the level of education required, they do, but overall, they don't. A starting cop where I'm from makes $35-45k/yr depending on education and where they work, but they top out in the mid $60s without a serious promotion. A starting DA makes ~$42k/yr, but they top out somewhere around $70-80k without a comparable promotion. Yeah, the DA spends a lot more on school, but they also make up for it reasonably quickly. And if you have a real firm job, you make up for the difference REAL quick. And for the NYC and LA cops, a brand new NYC/LA biglaw lawyer making market easily smokes a multi-year NYPD/LAPD veteran hands down. To even suggest there's a comparison is fraudulent.

lol i just noticed u're doing fsu law.  chances of you making biglaw are NOT high.  and if you do make biglaw, you should know that they work much longer "shifts" than cops and they can get fired any day.  And they do not have a pension. You mentioned that a lawyer with a +10k/yr top pay over a cop is doing better financially.  Maybe u need to write out the numbers on a spreadsheet?? even if the education is free and you dont get taxed on those extra 10k, u lose what 60k*3 over 3 yrs, so it will take u 18yrs to catch up? And how about that 50% pension after 20yrs. U know there is a spreadsheet somewhere proving that a UPS driver will do better over 20yrs than a family physician. u really think that a lawyer in nyc with his $150k/yr is a bigshot? his rent and taxes will leave <50k to pay his bills.
cops are not at the "bottom of the govt", at least not financially. cops in nyc or la will make as much as prosecutors over their 20yrs and they will get better pension.  and if you compare them to federal employers. say an officer physician who retires as a navy captain, he will get about 1/2 the pension of a cop.
if you cant be a cop, it must be because you are weak. if i dont want to be a cop, it's because they dont get the recognition.

Ninja1

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Re: Is law school a good investment these days?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2008, 05:17:30 PM »

155 at best.

I think you're pissed that a ridiculous flame account is already considered a better poster than you.

Yes, your 28 posts qualify at all to determine what is and is not a good quality post.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

Ninja1

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Re: Is law school a good investment these days?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2008, 05:57:40 PM »
if it's purely money consider becoming a police officer. after 5yrs u'll be making $100k at NYPD (more at wealthier depts like LAPD or orange county or long island). after 20yrs u retire and for yr pension u get 50% of whatever u made during yr last yr (right now it's around $150k as a detective or sergeant with overtime).  you can make some connections as a lawyer to start a business on the side, but the same is true of the police. really if youve saved any capital, u dont even need any connections to start something like an online store. just a lot of free time.

but anyway, here is why i would choose grad school. people find it prestigious. u are surrounded by the same people. imagine the kind of people that work in police or any other job that doesnt require much ambition? many of them have better character than lawyers, but most of them end up with broken lives. if you are a 30yo male, you might be financially a bit better off as a cop than as a lawyer, because u've already been earning money for quite some time. but most women will pick the lawyer because it's more prestigous.  ask any woman who is rich and she will say "doctors or lawyers". thats why i am going into medicine. i'll stay in school a bit longer. meanwhile, i can get women in bed with a simple drink. a cop would have to do much better than that.

169.  Well-nuanced, but uninteresting.

155 at best. I've never been a cop myself, but I have a few friends that have and they all more or less hated it. It's less making a difference/making money and more working insane shifts and writing traffic tickets/dealing with domestic incidents. There's a reason that cops are the low men on the government totem pole. And almost all of said friends have had to deal with complete poo social lives. Their wives and girlfriends leave them because they're unavailable, their friends leave them because they can't be @#!* offs around them anymore, their lives just suck more often than not.
 
Not to mention, not everyone can be a cop. I'd venture that the average lawyer can be a cop no better than the average cop can be a lawyer. You might deal with some of the same subject matter, but the two occupations couldn't be further apart in terms of what they do and the skills required.

And finally on pay, most cops don't get paid that well. For the level of education required, they do, but overall, they don't. A starting cop where I'm from makes $35-45k/yr depending on education and where they work, but they top out in the mid $60s without a serious promotion. A starting DA makes ~$42k/yr, but they top out somewhere around $70-80k without a comparable promotion. Yeah, the DA spends a lot more on school, but they also make up for it reasonably quickly. And if you have a real firm job, you make up for the difference REAL quick. And for the NYC and LA cops, a brand new NYC/LA biglaw lawyer making market easily smokes a multi-year NYPD/LAPD veteran hands down. To even suggest there's a comparison is fraudulent.

lol i just noticed u're doing fsu law.  chances of you making biglaw are NOT high.  and if you do make biglaw, you should know that they work much longer "shifts" than cops and they can get fired any day.  And they do not have a pension. You mentioned that a lawyer with a +10k/yr top pay over a cop is doing better financially.  Maybe u need to write out the numbers on a spreadsheet?? even if the education is free and you dont get taxed on those extra 10k, u lose what 60k*3 over 3 yrs, so it will take u 18yrs to catch up? And how about that 50% pension after 20yrs. U know there is a spreadsheet somewhere proving that a UPS driver will do better over 20yrs than a family physician. u really think that a lawyer in nyc with his $150k/yr is a bigshot? his rent and taxes will leave <50k to pay his bills.
cops are not at the "bottom of the govt", at least not financially. cops in nyc or la will make as much as prosecutors over their 20yrs and they will get better pension.  and if you compare them to federal employers. say an officer physician who retires as a navy captain, he will get about 1/2 the pension of a cop.
if you cant be a cop, it must be because you are weak. if i dont want to be a cop, it's because they dont get the recognition.

Yet again, lack of reading comprehension rears its ugly head. I never said I wanted biglaw. Actually, I really don't want big law. I had the chance to go to several schools with much better biglaw placement than FSU (it doesn't take much), but I came here instead for a number of reasons that aren't the topic of this discussion.

Most cops work shifts equal to or worse than most biglaw lawyers. Their wives don't leave them because they're home all the time. And if you don't suck as a lawyer, you probably won't get fired. You can get fired doesn't mean you will get fired.

You still acknowledge that the lawyer does better financially in the long run than the cop. If you're making a career of it, 18 years isn't that long. It's those last 10-15 that really bring in the bank. And no, I don't think the new NYC biglaw lawyer is making big bank given his COL, but the new cop has about the same COL at a third of the salary.

Yes, cops tend to have much better pension programs than other jobs, but lawyers, especially the government ones, have pretty good pension programs themselves. I think cops have a slight edge here, but not by much and not enough to cancel out the pay disparity. Also along these lines, yes, the Navy captain gets a very good pension, but his pay sucks for the vast majority of his career compared to what he could make out in the civilian world.

Do you seriously think the average UPS driver is going to do better than the average family physician? If that were the case, why is there not a serious shortage of med students and a gross excess of UPS drivers? The only way I can even kind of conceive this is if the physician losses several large malpractice suits and doesn't have insurance/lives in WV.

Cops, by definition, are the low men on the law enforcement chain. They're the muscle of the operation, the DA is the brains.

Lots of people would not meet the physical requirements to be cops. Lots of people don't meet the physical requirements to get into the military, and they're a lot more forgiving (initially) than the average police force. Apparently, that's not a concern with your Olympian physical abilities, but as I said, the requirements to be a lawyer (or doctor) are completely different from those of being a cop.  I suspect those might be a bigger challenge for you.
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.

Ninja1

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Re: Is law school a good investment these days?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2008, 05:59:01 PM »
Not if you go to FSU.

Poor flame. How's that Valpo acceptance letter treating you? Got it under glass yet?

And why do you keep deleting all of your posts?
I'mma stay bumpin' till I bump my head on my tomb.