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Author Topic: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!  (Read 23253 times)

Thane Messinger

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Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 06:17:44 PM »
* * *

The job market is pretty tight right now and there are a ton of new law grads and recently laid-off associates. The ROI for most law schools is really not so great. 

There are other reason than big law to go to law school that are probably not as school-sensitive - if you want to work for a local PD, do small town work or that sort of thing I suspect most of what I said doesn't apply (but realize you could probably make more $$ at mixing drinks at starbucks).

Also, take a realistic look at the cost of law school - its easy to rack up more than $100k in debt - figure tuition tends to be around $45k/yr

* * *


BikePilot has posted some excellent notes, and in thinking about the comments in Overwhelmed, it seems important to stress a few points for those not yet in law school.  First, it's important to understand the realities of the job market now.  Legal hiring has long been a double-bell curve market, with a few making excellent salaries, and most making considerably less.  In a market such as this one, the absolute and relative numbers are shakier.  Second, it will take years to correct.  Third, costs are significant, especially without special care (such as working at a firm before law school, and working part-time during years 2-3).  Fourth, study habits of most law students are ineffective or counterproductive.  Fifth, grades during first year are (nearly) everything.  Sixth, raw intelligence is just one among many factors in all of the above. 

Finally . . . the real question boils down not just to a cold assessment of all of the financial and statistical factors, but as much (or more) to something deeply personal.  Do you really, truly LIKE what goes with being an attorney.

Most of us do.  Most of us like thinking.  Challenging ourselves.  Thinking and debating outside whatever box happens to be containing the subject de jour.  All of these are what an attorney does.  And more.  And if one is dedicated, the lifestyle can also be quite rewarding. 

In short, this is an intensely personal question.  My suggestion is to read ALL of the pre-law books out there.  Most of the information is fairly straightforward.  Much will confirm the above.  And all should help in making this determination.

swester

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Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2010, 11:52:48 PM »
Blah, blah, blah.  It's takes a heap of cognitive dissonance to accept life as a lawyer. 

Please, do yourself the favor and DONT go. Not only is the job market horrible and only getting worse, but the jobs that do exist generally aren't worth having. Wouldn't you love to "help" people at some lovely non-profit gig?  Good luck doing that at $33k/year with $100k+ in loans.

You have a power and an opportunity in your hands that 2Ls, 3Ls, and lawyers (and non-lawyer J.Ds) WISH they had.

Make the wise and clear choice.

flawg

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Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2010, 07:36:12 AM »
To the OP, if you have absolutely impeccable credentials, are a superior human being, and are doing it for more than the money, and are always right, then it is definitely the thing for you.

Otherwise, it isn't worth it.
Fill the room with your intelligence!

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2010, 11:43:25 AM »
sure are a lot of wash out around here lately..... :P

IAmMultipleBooks

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Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2010, 07:42:10 AM »
Byron,

It is NOT worth it. I go to a T14 (3L), and I can tell you that the job market is even worse than you think. It's not going to get better either. Please do not go to law school. Even the $40k-70k a year jobs are almost impossible to obtain now unless you have a personal connection. It's absolutely brutal.

Don't go. You'll thank me when you see your lawyer friends in misery.

TheDudeMan

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Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2010, 10:37:35 AM »
Byron,

It is NOT worth it. I go to a T14 (3L), and I can tell you that the job market is even worse than you think. It's not going to get better either. Please do not go to law school. Even the $40k-70k a year jobs are almost impossible to obtain now unless you have a personal connection. It's absolutely brutal.

Don't go. You'll thank me when you see your lawyer friends in misery.

I am graduating from GW and am fortunate enough to not have debt and to have a Biglaw job lined up.

That said, I would never do it again.

Law school is a miserable hell and the odds of getting a firm job ITE are slim.  Even if you do get one, do you really want it?  I'm having doubts about leaving my current profession to slave away for 60 hours a week.

Law school and the legal profession are nothing like what you imagine.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2010, 04:21:17 PM »
Byron,

It is NOT worth it. I go to a T14 (3L), and I can tell you that the job market is even worse than you think. It's not going to get better either. Please do not go to law school. Even the $40k-70k a year jobs are almost impossible to obtain now unless you have a personal connection. It's absolutely brutal.

Don't go. You'll thank me when you see your lawyer friends in misery.

I am graduating from GW and am fortunate enough to not have debt and to have a Biglaw job lined up.

That said, I would never do it again.

Law school is a miserable hell and the odds of getting a firm job ITE are slim.  Even if you do get one, do you really want it?  I'm having doubts about leaving my current profession to slave away for 60 hours a week.

Law school and the legal profession are nothing like what you imagine.

Congratulations, and condolences.  This reality is true for far too many law students . . . but it doesn't have to be.

The first question is whether law school is right for YOU.  It shouldn't be a generic choice. 

Then, once you're in, the question is how to go about it.  If one has chosen law school, one darned well ought to aim high, to do well, and to learn the law to the standard of a practitioner as well as a professor. Paradoxically, aiming for the practitioner standard is in many ways easier and better in law school, as it's less cluttered with the bad habits of K-16.

CJScalia

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Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2010, 12:13:55 AM »
Byron,

It is NOT worth it. I go to a T14 (3L), and I can tell you that the job market is even worse than you think. It's not going to get better either. Please do not go to law school. Even the $40k-70k a year jobs are almost impossible to obtain now unless you have a personal connection. It's absolutely brutal.

Don't go. You'll thank me when you see your lawyer friends in misery.

Please tell me, good Sir, which educations are walking into fame and fortune directly out of school these days? You guys keep talking as if we're in a lawyer-exclusive recession. Newsflash for you, things are FUBAR all across the board.

When you ask yourself whether to go to law school or not, looking for someone to give you a blanket "yes" or a blanket "no" is retarded - and the people giving you those answers are equally retarded.

What do you want to do with your life?
What opportunities do you have with your current education?
What other graduate educations can you choose between?

Just to take a few of the obvious ones. Again, people keep talking about this as if lawyers are screwed, but everyone else can just pick and choose employers, and every month they get a blank check to just fill in whatever they feel like they've earned.

*&^%'s screwed up all across the board right now. Yes, getting a job with a law degree is difficult now. Newsflash again; so is getting a job with any other degree.

You know what though, if I were to make a career recommendation to random people based on no knowledge about their life or desires, I'd say get a nursing degree. Quality of life is great, you'll do a job that really feels like it matters, you'll have livable hours (unlike your doctor friends, which is another bonus to you), people will love you long time for the job you do; and guess what, the pay isn't half bad either.
3L
Law school completed.
Bar exams next.

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2010, 12:24:22 AM »
Nothing like quiting a grad degree to get an associates degree ;D

That being said most lawstudents would kill themselves day one of a real school. "what do you mean I have to get an 80% or better on ALL exams or fail, where's the curve...daddy.... :P "   

IAmMultipleBooks

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Re: Is law school worth it?- Freaked Out!
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2010, 12:59:56 PM »
CJScalia, you keep repeating the same thing. I have a business background and a great familiarity with economics. You don't need to keep repeating that unemployment is bad in the US. The question is whether law school is worth it. The answer is, flatly, "no." It is only worth it if you have a strong connection in the industry, or if you go to Harvard, Yale, or Stanford. Otherwise, if you are going by strict economic calculations, it is definitely not worth it (and if you're going by lifestyle calculations, it's not worth it either, but that's neither here nor there).

You need to calm down and stop filling the board with your spin campaign.