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Author Topic: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...  (Read 32162 times)

Thane Messinger

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Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
« Reply #90 on: March 13, 2011, 06:39:13 PM »
Is this supposed to be an argument in support of the idea that it is the hard-working go-getters who are landing jobs in law and everyone not getting a job is a lazy slacker not willing to put in the effort?  If so, it falls very flat.

The above listed blogs can be dismissed as being written by bitter JDs who just did not have what it took, or who somehow felt entitled to a job - but folks do so at their own peril.  I think these guys make an excellent point that anyone paying full price for a JD from a T3/T4 school and wracking up 6 figure debt is really taking a big risk.  They are providing a forum to warn 0Ls that law school is not a guaranteed path to wealth and glamour - contrary to the product that the law schools continue to sell.

To show that it matters how hard YOU are willing to work.  I have two friends, went to the same school, had the same major, and GPA were closes (3.6 v. 3.5).  One has a NYC job at larger company.  Other is working for a local township.  And then one with the lower GPA is the one in NYC


There are numerous lessons we might focus on, and it is clearly a difficult time to be looking for a job.  At bottom, however, is the reality that each individual is responsible for making the connection; jobs won't come to you.  It IS possible to find the right job, and there ARE "right" jobs out there.  They will be more difficult than in flush years, sure.  I dealt with this almost exactly 20 years ago, so I am proof on both sides. 

One additional point:  this is a good opportunity to ask the questions of which type of job is exactly right for you.  A job--even a biglaw job--can be heaven for one and one-half step from Hell for another.

A third point:  Much of the difficulty in one-on-one contacts has much less to do with stats and much more to do with being comfortable in your own skin.  This is something that few graduates are.  I encourage anyone to read Insider's Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job.  It was written during the flush times, but its message is, if anything, even more relevant now.  Of special importance is the interview in the book with a senior partner at a national firm:  it's the personal side that becomes the decision point as to a specific applicant.  Shiny resumes will mean little if the actual human is difficult or awkward.  So-so resumes will still matter, but they're not the end game, and especially not if the position that's right for YOU is one in which the human elements come through.  Focus on this now and save yourself years or even decades of misery.

I hope this helps,

Thane.

legalized

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Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
« Reply #91 on: March 23, 2011, 06:19:56 PM »
Bigs,

Quit.  I'm startin' ta get that gospel feelin.  AMENNNNNNNN.
 ;)

When will people realize that a loser is a loser, whether they be degreed or not?  What is my definition of a loser?  Exactly what Bigs said.  Quit yer bitchin and finger pointing and get OUT there.  Nothing wrong with you volunteering to do some Pro Bono work for the community, since you're ostensibly UNEMPLOYED anyway.  Who knows? You may even meet someone that could help you in your career.

OH...SORRY.  I realize that'll cut into your internet time bitchin about what a raw deal you got.

How very glib of you.  And if it costs them money to step out the door, say, for childcare, for the gas they must use up driving to and from this pro bono place, for the clothes they must obtain or clean...then what?

Someone can go sit in a library and shoot off a blog in between applications to jobs...or can have existing internet  from some neighbor's free wi-fi...

Going out to work actually uses up resources it takes cold hard cash to replace and/or maintain.  Let's be real.

There is a little entitlement to some but a lot of reality to most...and the oversimplified "oh EVERYthing EVERYwhere is like that" in this thread the past couple pages is very thickheaded and not adding any value to the conversation.

If bigs is going to say people who are working hard trying to achieve something don't have time to blog...then we should say he who is supposed to be working hard at passing his classes as a law student doesn't have time to be making these LENGTHY simplistic argumentative defensive rants against anyone not praising the legal industry.

I for one am glad both sides of the coin are under the spotlight for me, because it highlights the fact for me that while I want to be a lawyer, given my situation the only ways that makes sense (going to law school) is a full scholarship at a non-top 10 school or a top 10 (if not top 5) school... someone else with a different background might actually be able to take on significant amounts of debt for law school and have more flexibility on achieving their lawyer dreams than I do.  It's all about self awareness and awareness of the REALITY...and newsflash schools do not usually give such blatantly skewed representations of income and the fate of their graduating classes...the classy thing to do, technically, is to simply not report it at all if less than 80% of the graduating class responds, and to NOT count jobs that did not require a JD!

I mean the legal profession holds one to a higher standard anyway so why WOULDN'T we hold the schools producing said population of the profession to a higher standard than other types of higher education even IF they were all doing that?

It does prove a need to have ultra-sharp research and analysis skills before you even get to law school though...cause if you call a school and they refuse to tell you what percent of their last reported class actually responded to their survey (if their material doesn't say it)...you can use that to cross them off your list and move on to more open honest schools.  The ABA guides to the law schools give a TON of data and information...make use of your Excel skills and get on it!

And I personally used the info about the lie about real starting salaries for the average Joe Blow New Lawyer and simply CALLED AROUND TO LOCAL LAWYERS in the field(s) I want to work in...and they are generally happy to give you the truth on what you need to do to set yourself up for a j.o.b. in the field, and what the general starting salary range is for a new JD with no experience or only clinical experience... just ask the right questions of the right people.

Shame I have to put in so much legwork before even finishing applications but, researching is fun for me I like discovery...so I guess that's part of why I won't mind doing it now for myself and later on for a case!

Let's realize the flaws of others and take their doom and gloom with a grain of salt and an eye to the facts, yes, BUT let's be realistic that there was a huge implosion in the legal field with the onset of the The Great Recession and have a little empathy...and the sense to learn from the mistakes of others.

legalized

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Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
« Reply #92 on: March 23, 2011, 06:53:34 PM »
"but I was scared, so I work at a hotdog stand......" is less impressive with the ladies than "Yeah I got stuck as general manager at Kmart for awhile, but I have a JD".........who's sausage would you rather swallow? There you go.


I definitely lol'ed!


bigs5068

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Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
« Reply #93 on: March 23, 2011, 09:56:27 PM »
For the record I am not saying people don't have time to blog obviously I am in school right now, writing this post. However, it would be quite strange of me to complain if I received bad grades and complained about unfair my school was when I have posted 1500 times or something like that on this board. The amount of time I spend writing on this board could be put to better use. Thankfully my grades are good, but it would be strange if I complained about how fair everything was when I could spend time working studying to improve my grades.

Therefore, I think it is quite strange when someone claiming to be hard at work looking for a job and saying how unfair the market is has time to rant about how unfair it is when their time could be devoted to finding  a job. It seems the people most negative about law school etc are the ones that take no accountability for their decisions. Education is and always has been a  risk and law school is no different.

I honestly think a lot of people come into law school straight from undergrad thinking law school will open all kinds of doors, but nothing will come easy. I graduated from college expecting every job to come easy to me, but there are plenty of people with B.A's in this world. I found a job, but it took time and I was not paid nearly as well as I would have liked. I am expecting the same thing when I graduate from law school.

Then I agree with everything else you said do your research before going to law school. However, don't just look at the ABA and U.S. News they do a mediocre job of telling you what you are in for. Bar Passage is important to look at, but knowing how many volumes a law school's library has is more or less irrelevant. Call Local Lawyers as you suggested and you can also find alumni pretty easily. Alumni are the people you want to listen to because they have first hand knowledge about the school and no motive to sugarcoat anything. If they loved their experience at their school they will you about it, if they feel like there school did a terrible job and ripped them off they will let you know. You can look at law firm websites and search for lawyers by school to get contact info. The Nevada Bar website also lets you search for attorney by school and I am unaware of any other state bar website that does this, but again this is a good starting point to get first hand knowledge from people that actually attended a school. One thing that happens on this board and the internet in general is people that have not even taken the LSAT yet alone sat in one law school class. Go on rants about schools and law school itself. I being a second year law student am not much better, because I barely know anything about the legal field. I have been through 1 3/4  years of law school and a few internships, which have left me feeling like I still have a lot to learn.

Remember when looking at data etc that a law school has a motive to  sugarcoat their info, because they want you to come to their school and pay them. A perfect example of this is how schools keep employment statistics. When you pay 100K plus to get a law degree, you expect a decent paying job. However, their employed statistics count unpaid internships as employed. Working as a fry cook at McDonald's employed. A good site to find real salary information is lawschooltransparency.com . This gives actual salary information, which is hard to come by from any school.


legalized

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Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
« Reply #94 on: March 24, 2011, 07:49:29 AM »
For the record I am not saying people don't have time to blog obviously I am in school right now, writing this post. However, it would be quite strange of me to complain if I received bad grades and complained about unfair my school was when I have posted 1500 times or something like that on this board. The amount of time I spend writing on this board could be put to better use. Thankfully my grades are good, but it would be strange if I complained about how fair everything was when I could spend time working studying to improve my grades.

Therefore, I think it is quite strange when someone claiming to be hard at work looking for a job and saying how unfair the market is has time to rant about how unfair it is when their time could be devoted to finding  a job. It seems the people most negative about law school etc are the ones that take no accountability for their decisions. Education is and always has been a  risk and law school is no different.

I honestly think a lot of people come into law school straight from undergrad thinking law school will open all kinds of doors, but nothing will come easy. I graduated from college expecting every job to come easy to me, but there are plenty of people with B.A's in this world. I found a job, but it took time and I was not paid nearly as well as I would have liked. I am expecting the same thing when I graduate from law school.

Then I agree with everything else you said do your research before going to law school. However, don't just look at the ABA and U.S. News they do a mediocre job of telling you what you are in for. Bar Passage is important to look at, but knowing how many volumes a law school's library has is more or less irrelevant. Call Local Lawyers as you suggested and you can also find alumni pretty easily. Alumni are the people you want to listen to because they have first hand knowledge about the school and no motive to sugarcoat anything. If they loved their experience at their school they will you about it, if they feel like there school did a terrible job and ripped them off they will let you know. You can look at law firm websites and search for lawyers by school to get contact info. The Nevada Bar website also lets you search for attorney by school and I am unaware of any other state bar website that does this, but again this is a good starting point to get first hand knowledge from people that actually attended a school. One thing that happens on this board and the internet in general is people that have not even taken the LSAT yet alone sat in one law school class. Go on rants about schools and law school itself. I being a second year law student am not much better, because I barely know anything about the legal field. I have been through 1 3/4  years of law school and a few internships, which have left me feeling like I still have a lot to learn.

Remember when looking at data etc that a law school has a motive to  sugarcoat their info, because they want you to come to their school and pay them. A perfect example of this is how schools keep employment statistics. When you pay 100K plus to get a law degree, you expect a decent paying job. However, their employed statistics count unpaid internships as employed. Working as a fry cook at McDonald's employed. A good site to find real salary information is lawschooltransparency.com . This gives actual salary information, which is hard to come by from any school.

Understood.  And for the record I like having both sides come on the boards or the blogosphere...although now that I think about it the lawyers busy liking their lives are on my fb...I used facebook to find alumni and get info from them since they are my age and current in the field...thanks for the input!

I used my state's bar website to find lawyers in the fields i'm interested in by zip code...I think it had a by school option too but if not i made sure ask them about the culture etc of whatever school they were listed for, if it was a school on my list of possibles.  One of them pointed out that the evening part time classes are wayyyy friendlier and laid back at their alma mater than the vibe of the day classes, and she didn't like the hypercompetitiveness of the day class.  She also felt I actually had an edge in what I want to do since I will be able to identify with the potential clients being from/part of their community and not an outsider.   So my instincts seem to be working pretty well so far as to what I need to do to get where I want to go.  Let's hope it holds up cause all the research sure hasn't turned up good news all the time. :(

cure

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Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
« Reply #95 on: May 02, 2012, 06:54:15 PM »
Re-awakening this thread.  Another essay on the subject:

http://www.lawschoolcure.com

More or less balanced despite the title.

biggestlaw

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Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
« Reply #96 on: July 14, 2013, 12:05:24 PM »
All terribly important considerations! For a lighter take on the question of whether to go to law school, have a listen to the latest episode of https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/i-have-problem-david-heti/id647195490. The host (a comic who was once a lawyer) is taken to task by his good lawyer friend for being a "class traitor" for leaving the world of law for stand-up. A super hilarious, intelligent conversation/confrontation.

MertSpist

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For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"
« Reply #97 on: December 16, 2013, 04:15:53 AM »
If the police service application requires a high school transcript, then yes, you need to get your high school transcript.

Why is that so difficult that you needed to ask for clarification on an Internet forum?

yollymila423

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Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
« Reply #98 on: January 20, 2014, 11:54:27 PM »
A law profession is a serious obligation. If you try to enter these skills you have to be sure to take the all responsibilities not only in yourself but also in your clients. I suggest to consult first with an expert before to make a decision.

CA Law Dean

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Re: For Those of You Asking "Should I Go to Law School"...
« Reply #99 on: February 05, 2014, 05:29:02 PM »
If you are considering going to law school in California, don't forget to check out the 17 California-accredited law schools (CALS) in addition to the 21 ABA approved law schools. As dean of Monterey College of Law I am happy to answer questions that might help you identify why one of these regional law schools might be a good fit for you. Questions to consider are: 1) Do you learn better in smaller class sizes? 2) Are you concerned about the $150K cost of the typical ABA law schools? and 3) Are you interested in the type of law jobs available in smaller, non-urban communities?
Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu