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Author Topic: Should we really go into law?  (Read 7430 times)

Scentless Apprentice

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Re: Should we really go into law?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2009, 03:08:19 PM »

I honestly do not feel that a surplus of lawyers is where the problem is at (that is not saying it isn't an issue). I feel that the problem is currently the cost of attending law school, which forces law graduates to all target the high paying jobs. There are a number of "inferior" legal areas that are not overstaffed, but they are generally paying too poorly for a debt-laden graduate to consider if they have other options available.


The problem is the cost? This doesnt really make intuitive sense..so..law schools charge too much, forcing graduates to "all target high paying jobs"? I don't think thats true. Most people in the bottom half of any toilet, T50/T60 & above, dont even have a shot at a high paying job. Save your resume. A big reason they don't have a shot at these jobs is because there are many, many applicants with higher class ranks higher ranked schools. They get the jobs first.

So, the number of lawyers is a big, big problem.

Also, forget T3/T4, do you know how many non-accreds there are out there? Those grads that pass the bar may not be competition at most firms, but they are certainly taking jobs in shitlaw, and going solo. Which is pretty incredible. All those lawyers means less jobs for most graduating classes T50 & above. I havent done an empirical study, but from reading I've done & the experiences of people I know, this seems to be what happens.
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BikePilot

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Re: Should we really go into law?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2009, 10:41:39 PM »
I think there is some sense to the idea that the cost of law school can foreclose some options for people who really want to be lawyers but are not competitive for high paying legal jobs. If someone really wants to be the local trust and estates guy for example, that's going to be hard to do if you have 200k in student loans. There is definitely a drastic difference in ROI between schools. (for example, tuition at hls is about the same as at suffolk, average post graduate income, not the same).

I want to be a lawyer, but I also want to eat. If I were not fairly sure that I could make a very comfortable living as a lawyer I'd have done something else and not lost much sleep over it. Some folks are totally determined to be lawyers no matter what, others have less drastic preferences, nothing wrong with either situation. For people trying to chose between careers, relative supply and demand of labor in those fields is worth considering and in these respects healthcare jobs are probably a better bet, especially with the baby boomers getting old. It does seem like healthcare and law could have some similarities. Both give you a chance to help people, both are professional services, both are academically demanding etc.
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AgreeToDisagree

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Re: Should we really go into law?
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2009, 06:25:05 AM »
as a lawyer who graduated from law school over a year ago as a nontrad student, I can tell you NOT to go.

There are no jobs.

There is little solo work for the huge amount of solo lawyers.

There is rampant age discrimination.

me== top ten percent magna cum laude TTT grad in the sunbelt. Cannot even get a response to my resumes.

Any more questions?

Keep your head up, only a year has elasped.


"We have all met that type-- know-it-alls in our society who appoint themselves as infallible experts, but who actually know very little." - Ben Carson M.D.

getfit

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Re: Should we really go into law?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2009, 10:32:53 AM »
Those are all the same questions I am throwing around myself.  I am one of those people who is almost 40, have a science undergrad degree, and am torn with what professional degree to pursue.  The poster asked if law was the best choice, or something in medical.    It is a very good question in my opinion, but not one that can be easily answered by this board I've found.  It is very plausable to be undecided between law or medicine, and anyone who has been working for years and is considering these fields, should know that it's not all about money.  Being in a job that you hate, making good money like I am, doesn't make me want to stay here.  It's best to do what will make you happy, regardless of the money it brings in. 
Because of my age, med school is out of the question, it's 4 yrs of school, then interning, and residency, it will be time to retire before I'm really all the way donem, not to mention I would probably have to retake some of the science classes since it was years ago. 
That leaves Physician asst.  That's 2 yrs, and I think jobs a plenty.  Problem there is, the number of hours you have to have actually working with patients in order to even apply.  That's a huge problem if you're not already working in the medical field in some degree, and can take years to accomplish just to be able to do the 2 years of school.

I have yet to hear why anyone wants to be a lawyer.  Why do I want to be a lawyer?  I enjoy reading and researching things, I enjoy solving problems, I enjoy a good argument, or discussion, and most of all, I want to help people and give back to society.  I would want to go into criminal law because that seems to be the most interesting to me, but that is not where the money is I"m sure.  Does anyone really know what being an attorney is all about before getting into law school?  I certainly have no clue other other than what I see on tv, and that can't be realistic.  Most of these interests also apply to going into the medical field. 

It's a great question anyway, and I'd really like to hear why some of you want to be an attorney, just out of curiosity.



escude

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Re: Should we really go into law?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2010, 12:45:18 AM »
Well I can answer part of this question since I'm a practicing physician already but am posting on here because I want to think about law!

I can tell you this about medicine: it is long, it is tough, and it is emotionally draining. Your mistakes are scrutinized more than those in most career lines. In medicine for example if I don't treat an infection early enough it can turn into sepsis and then the patient may need to go to the hospital/the ICU/maybe die. In business you make a mistake and someone loses a few million but you at least didn't harm anyone or have the emotions of a family in grief.

Medicine is good though because it can also be emotionally *rewarding*; when people realize you've helped them and give you thanks it is a wonderful feeling. But oftentimes its that one person/family who is ungrateful or toxic that ruins everything else in that day.

Medicine pays well; doctors rarely make less than 6 figures full time (100K for academia jobs - anything beyond 700-800K becomes very difficult or requires ultra hot specialist like heart surgeon). BUT their pay is capped for the most part since compensation is fixed by Medicare rates by which insurers go by. Things will get worse with government intervention no question. But doctors will still make great money.

Many doctors are unhappy and would not do it over again. But the US needs doctors badly and if this is what you want to do then do it. Lord knows we need more primary care doctors.

I'm considering career change not because of the above but more because I feel intellectually not challenged by medicine and wish to find something that may get my juices going.

PA's are pretty good jobs; they pay pretty well, take less schooling than full out docs. But they face some of the same problems docs do in terms of liability. Some argue that its a BETTER job than MD is. But you face a glass ceiling for sure.

My ultimate advice after years of mentoring fellows, residents, med students, and college students is this: find your interest, find your passion and go for it. Don't do a career because your buddies do it or because you think it pays well. If you have the passion money will come assuming you have reasonable work ethic and intelligence.

medicine and law are similar in some ways and yet very different. if you are deciding between those two it means that you need to probably explore a bit more what it is to be in one of those fields.

Good luck and hope that helps.

john4040

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Re: Should we really go into law?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2010, 11:54:39 AM »
Here you go... work on this and tell me if you should go to law school:



To view it in full size, right click the image and then click view image.

If you're still convinced you want to go to law school after that, then read this:
http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3203215

Alamo

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Re: Should we really go into law?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2010, 08:47:28 PM »
Here you go... work on this and tell me if you should go to law school:



To view it in full size, right click the image and then click view image.

If you're still convinced you want to go to law school after that, then read this:
http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3203215

This is absolutely fantastic, and although it overgeneralizes, appears to be pretty much spot-on.
I must admit that I may have been infected with society's prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God . . . and that in years hence I may be seen as someone who was on the wrong side of history.  I don't believe such doubts make me a bad Christian.  I believe they make me human . . .

Jittery

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Re: Should we really go into law?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2010, 11:16:27 PM »
In another post I asked if I'd be wasting my time even going through the law school application process given my 2.0 GPA, 160 LSAT (based on practice test results) and other background stats.

The flow chart in this thread provides a good dose of reality. There was a big part of me hoping for some encouragement, but just as big a part of me wanted an honest and realistic assessment of my law school and career prospects. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it can also put you out of your misery. I don't think I'll be investing in any LSAT prep programs or in any other way participating in the law school application process at this point, even though it is my strong desire to become an attorney.

Unlike most law school programs that I'm aware of, there are many graduate school programs that are willing to overlook some of the shortcomings in your undergraduate transcript (for example: instead of looking at your overall GPA, they will consider your last 60 undergraduate credit hours if that helps you). For someone in my position this may be the best viable option especially if law school doesn't appear to be an option.

Another comment I wanted to make, specifically with respect to potential law school candidates who do have impressive GPAs, LSATs and other background stats is that if you are passionate about becoming a lawyer, you should take that into consideration when calculating a Benefit-Cost ratio of your prospects. There may be too many lawyers mainly because there are too many hacks, ambulance chasers and mediocre cookie-cutter attorneys but I feel very strongly that there is always room in the legal profession for good attorneys with talent and passion.


smiley224

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Re: Should we really go into law?
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2010, 06:02:50 PM »
I would second pretty much what Squire Jons said above.  The age discrimination is really rampant. Of course, right now things are so bad that even people the "right" age with excellent grades and on law review are not getting jobs.

I am a 3L about to graduate and I really am glad to see threads on here questioning whether law school is the right idea for people.. because IT ISN'T! With the exception that maybe, if you *really* are one of those people who have a burning passion to practice law that you have had since the fourth grdae, then okay, you might as well go for it. But let's face it, if you are on this board questioning whether to go to law school or not, you are not one of those people.

Even before the legal industry collapsed in the last couple of years, really only 50% of people coming out of law school would ever get a job as a lawyer. I used to come on LSD a 0L and everyone is so optimistic and they don't want to hear anything bad and they think it will be different for them. But now I think the legal industry has gotten so bad--when even some Harvard Law grads can't get jobs--that you really can't be in denial about it.

If I had to do it over again, I think I would do an MBA. It doesn't have the prestige of being a lawyer, but then if you can't find employment as a lawyer and wind up working in business, are you really going to feel like you gained so much prestige from that 3 years of hell, $160,000 of debt and 3 years out of the job market?

legalized

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Re: Should we really go into law?
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2010, 05:44:10 PM »
well both.


A profession surely is not the rest of your life, hence the term "non traditional". Plenty of lawyers who switch professions and v/v.


Have all of you even looked in the reality of things? There is even a section on lsd that might be helpfull:

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/students/index.php/board,1009.0.html

 

Nontraditional doesn't instantly mean career-changer.

It means anyone not going to law school as a single (tax status-wise), 21-25 year old, childless 1L either straight from undergrad or with a few years in between UG and 1L.

And it is usually said that once a lawyer/doctor/pharmacist/electrician/insert-trade-of-choice-here...ALWAYS that.  No one can take the skill away from you once it's earned/learned/licensed.  You may have to renew a license or whatnot, but once you know it, trained in it, done it, you are good to go no matter where or when you are in the world or in your life.

Now if you are not practicing you might not be as in demand as someone who has stayed current with the activity and not just the licensing, but even a lawyer who became a stay at home mom can be hit up by her friends for legal advice and be perfectly within the law to dish it out.