Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Before you go to law school...  (Read 3322 times)

sashlxi

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
    • Email
Before you go to law school...
« on: September 27, 2010, 12:00:43 PM »
BEFORE you decide to go to a law school, consider reading the following blogs

Third Tier Toliet

The Jobless Juris Doctor

Shilling Me Softly

Sh*t Law Jobs

Tales of a Fourth Tier Nothing

CHECK YOU THINKING LIKE A LAWYER

But I Did Everything Right!

Subprime JD

The Law School Tuition Bubble

Scammed Hard!

Education Matters

First Tier Toilet

Temporary Attorney: The Sweatshop Edition

Sallie Mae's female dog

Outside Lies Magic

EXPOSING THE LAW SCHOOL SCAM

Highest Education

Fluster Cucked -- America's Race to the Bottom

Rose Colored Glasses

Law School Must Be Debunked

Esq. Never

The Angry Future Expat

Life's Mockery Law Blog

Legal Nihilist

No more room at the bench - latimes.com

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Before you go to law school...
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2010, 03:08:35 PM »
Really this again? Wow! It is amazing that people struggling and claiming to work so hard at finding work have so much time to write blogs about how unfair everything is. To any 0L law school does not guarantee you anything, but as far as I know no form of education guarantees you anything. Law school is a lot of work and it is ridiculously expensive so if you can get a scholarship at a lower ranked school take it, unless of course it is Harvard or something. However, the 85th best school is not going to open many more doors than the 112th so get out as cheaply as you can. Also most importantly be sure you want to be a lawyer before you go to law school. If you are the type of person that thinks getting a J.D. will open the road to easy street you have another thing coming. You need to be willing to work and figure sh** out on your own. If you not capable of that then law school might not be for you. However, if you put the work in and try your ass off you CAN succeed. That does mean you WILL succeed though, life is tough and so is the legal profession. You might do everything right and it might not work out. However, I do not know anything that is a guaranteed road to a fulfilling and lucrative career if someone does PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

sad_wolverine

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Before you go to law school...
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 09:28:36 PM »
Have to agree with OP on this one. Sure, people who go to third and fourth tier schools are deluding themselves if they think they will land a BigLaw job. But the sad fact is that even the T14 schools regularly fabricate employment statistics leading people to believe that a JD with "Michigan" on the diploma is your golden ticket.

0Ls, please, I'm begging you, with tears in my eyes, do not believe the lies that these schools feed you. The top schools are just as guilty of this as the lower-ranked schools.

Morten Lund

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: Before you go to law school...
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 12:21:51 AM »
While I don't doubt that there is a bit of puffery going on across the board, I have a difficult time imagining why top schools (like Michigan) would go out of their way to make law school attractive to fence-sitters.  The top schools aren't in it for this year's tuition check - they have a much longer time horizon. 

Michigan doesn't want to be a top ten school.  Michigan wants to be a top three school, and then a top one school.  Those rankings are determined retroactively by the actions of graduates - most of the rank drivers relate to reputation, directly or indirectly.  "Fooling" people to attend would be counter-productive to that goal.  Michigan wants its graduates to do well - so well that the school's reputation is improved - and they have no need or desire to fill out their classes with suckers for the tuition money.  Michigan isn't short on quality applicants.  They will not have any trouble filling their classes.  It is no accident that the very top schools do not offer merit scholarships, but lots of need-based aid.  They are investing in their real asset:  their reputation.

No knock intended on lower-ranked schools, but their motivation is different and, I suspect, more short-term oriented than the motivation of the top-ranked schools, and even the almost-top-ranked schools. 

I am bit more of a softie than bigs, and I appreciate the disappointment of not finding the path as easy as you had hoped and expected - I really do.  You are clearly in part a victim of the times, as are many others.  These are tough times to be coming out, no matter the school, and when you entered law school Michigan probably did have almost 100% placement rate of graduates to jobs of their choosing. 

But at the same time, I would like to believe that nobody would believe that there is such a thing as a "golden ticket," let alone that an academic degree would qualify.  As I have posted earlier, even had you landed your dream job out of law school, you would still have no guarantees.  Most BigLaw hires don't last more than a few years before moving on to something else (for instance).  There are no guarantees in life, and a law degree may be the furthest thing from a guarantee.  If you wanted safe employment, you should have gone to medical school, because all paths from law school to "success" go through lots of hard work and peril, with failure lurking at every turn.

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Before you go to law school...
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2010, 12:44:51 AM »
I really don't think med school is anymore of a guarantee. I was at a friends wedding these weekend and there were a lot of med students and they were saying oh it must be so nice to know you are going to make a ton of money as a lawyer. I thought ok well you don't know what you are talking about. I assumed med students would make a ton of money, but there situation is almost worse. They go in as much debt and get locked into things for 5 years. People think Med or Law school is a golden ticket, but it is simply not. There is NO golden ticket. No school can guarantee anything they just can't.

I think Morten is right in that lower ranked schools have more short term goals and they want to fill seats. They also need to get some quality applicants to and that is why they offer the scholarships. Michigan or Yale does not need to do things like that, because well they are who they are.  I am baffled even at my school that people at GGU think they are going to be entitled to things and that it is the same as Stanford it is not. You can have a good career from any school, but you will need to earn it. You are not earning anything if you are sitting around bit**ing about how unfair it is. If you go to a tier 4 you better be willing to bust your f'ing ass and go to a ton of interviews and be ready for some rejection. There is no red carpet rolled out for and you better realize that. You can do it, but if you sit around and b***h on the internet about how unfair it is that you finished in the top 40% at the 79th best school you can't expect anything.

Morten Lund

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: Before you go to law school...
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2010, 01:04:26 AM »
I really don't think med school is anymore of a guarantee. I was at a friends wedding these weekend and there were a lot of med students and they were saying oh it must be so nice to know you are going to make a ton of money as a lawyer. I thought ok well you don't know what you are talking about. I assumed med students would make a ton of money, but there situation is almost worse. They go in as much debt and get locked into things for 5 years. People think Med or Law school is a golden ticket, but it is simply not. There is NO golden ticket. No school can guarantee anything they just can't.

At the risk of hijacking...

It all depends on what you mean by "guarantee," of course.  Medical school is difficult, long, and painful, and the post-graduate training requirements are onerous.  Many fail along the way.

BUT - upon completion of all requirements for the practice of medicine, you will find that there is virtually 100% employment rate for physicians, and (with some exceptions) the income curve is quite different from the lawyer income curve.  No bi-modal distribution there.  Unless you do out of your way to find a low-paying job, you will have a hard time making less than $100k, and probably well beyond that.  You can ambitious and shoot higher, but the "just hanging out" income level for physicians is very respectable.

And, unlike law school, this applies almost universally across school rank and class rank.  Ask your doctor sometime where (s)he went to med school, and about class rank.  You may be surprised (or frightened).

Hence the old joke:  "What do you call the guy who graduates last in his class from HLS?  'Waiter!'  What do you call the guy who graduates last in his class from HMS?  'Doctor'."

All that said, I ultimately agree that there is no golden ticket, and there are no guarantees.  But in terms of income security and job security, a medical license may be the closest thing

bigs5068

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Before you go to law school...
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2010, 02:12:31 AM »
I don't think that is true I imagine many people find WORK as doctors. However, many J.D. could also find WORK in Timbuktu places instead of bi**h ing and moaning. I am sure many physicians fight for spots in areas they want to work, New York, San Francisco, etc. However, the competition for those jobs is fierce and they get stuck in places like Weed, California. There are attorney jobs in these places as well, but law students don't have the 5 year residency requirement that they HAVE to do. So they will hang out in the area they went to law and if things are not handed to them instead of looking for opportunities in these remote places where they could get experience they decide to create blogs about unfair everything is. I mean I am sure I could find all kinds of people complaining about how unfair Medical School is as well. In fact my friend told me there is a book that follows 7 doctors from Harvard throughout their careers and only one was happy with their choice. I will ask my friend to give me the name of it. It actually does exist he showed it to me.

I think Med Students and doctors are put on these pedestal by each other. Doctors think that lawyers make more money and lawyers think doctors have it easier. Again no guarantee for either one, but the grass seems greener to the other. Doctors are locked into the residency for 5 years as I understand it making 30-40k a year. At least with Law School you CAN make big bucks right out of school. Med school is the same as law school as far as I am concerned and there are risks associated with it. Education is not a GOLDEN TICKET and again no institution and no field of study can guarantee you anything.

Believe it or not sitting around female dog*** and moaning on websites about how you got a raw deal is not helping you. Life is tough and you should get used to it.

Morten Lund

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: Before you go to law school...
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2010, 03:42:13 AM »
I don't think that is true I imagine many people find WORK as doctors. However, many J.D. could also find WORK in Timbuktu places instead of bi**h ing and moaning. I am sure many physicians fight for spots in areas they want to work, New York, San Francisco, etc. However, the competition for those jobs is fierce and they get stuck in places like Weed, California.

But here's the difference:  The young MD with a small family practice in Weed, CA, is making $200k a year with excellent job security.  The young JD in a small general practice firm in Weed, CA, is making between $30k and $60k in any given year, with no job security whatsoever.

Hmm...  I'm not helping make the case for law school here, am I.

MEMEMEME

  • Guest
Re: Before you go to law school...
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2010, 04:05:04 AM »
Stop whining and get on with the tuition repayment. You should never go to school for a career to make big bucks anyway. You should go because you want a decent lifestyle and are relatively interested in the work. You don't have to love it, but if the thought of reading case after case is only justified by the big bucks for you, then forget it. Too many people are going to law school for that reason and that's why it is such a crowded field. If only the people went who were as I described above, we wouldn't have this problem anyway.

MeganEW

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 68
    • View Profile
Re: Before you go to law school...
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2010, 07:36:54 AM »
I don't think that is true I imagine many people find WORK as doctors. However, many J.D. could also find WORK in Timbuktu places instead of bi**h ing and moaning. I am sure many physicians fight for spots in areas they want to work, New York, San Francisco, etc. However, the competition for those jobs is fierce and they get stuck in places like Weed, California.

But here's the difference:  The young MD with a small family practice in Weed, CA, is making $200k a year with excellent job security.  The young JD in a small general practice firm in Weed, CA, is making between $30k and $60k in any given year, with no job security whatsoever.

Hmm...  I'm not helping make the case for law school here, am I.
Exactly... One little caveat, this is for US MD students.  The match rate for DO students is a little lower, and the match rate for Caribbean medical schools is even lower.

To continue the hijack....
To even apply to medical school, you have to have certain undergraduate courses.  If you didn't take these as an undergrad, you have to complete them another way, typically by getting a master's.  You also have to take the MCAT, which requires you to study for content.
There are a purposely limited number of slots for MD students in the US.  Only roughly a third of those who apply to US MD programs get in.  Keep in mind, these are people who suffered through organic chemistry, the MCAT, etc.  However, this is smart, because after medical school, the vast majority of students match or are able to scramble into residency spots.
At this point, new doctors are jealous of their BigLaw professional brethren because they (the dr.s) are working 80 hours/week and making between $35k-$60k/year depending on specialty and COL city for the next 3-7 years of residency and fellowship.  Those who have the shorter residencies are going into the lower paid specialties (internal medicine, pediatrics) and will likely make $100k - $200k for most of their career.  Surgical residencies are typically 5 years.  General surgeons typically make around $300k and orthopedic surgeons typically make more than that.  We'll see what happens, though, with the new healthcare bill, and how that affects salaries.
Also, I'm under the impression, though, that scholarships are far more common in law than medicine.  I don't know anyone at my husband's private (~$40k/year) medical school who received more than a couple thousand in aid / year.

In short, doctors do have high salaries at this point in time, but it's not exactly the fast track to easy street.  If you want that, go into investment banking / private equity. ;)  (okay, I wink, but seriously... 6-figure bonuses straight out of undergrad?  crazy!)
Acceptances: UIUC, IUB, Fordham, W&L, OSU
WL: Notre Dame
Rejections: NYU, Northwestern