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Author Topic: DON'T DO IT!!  (Read 4908 times)

john4040

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Re: DON'T DO IT!!
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2011, 05:30:33 PM »
Would you really have the world believe that employers of resterants and grocery stores and assembly lines really give that much extra support for lawyers?

Sure, as long as the lawyers are willing to accept the same pay as some uneducated schmuck with no social skills, no comprehension of the English language, and no ability to problem-solve.

Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do to make ends meet.

I would happily hire someone who graduated from law school and passed the bar to serve as a cashier or barrista over some random guy that came in off the street.  At least there would be less likelihood that they would steal money.

Denny Shore

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Re: DON'T DO IT!!
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 05:31:01 PM »
One more note - while the unemployment data sounds good, there are some things to keep in mind:
1) roughly 40% of law school graduates never practice law, so they aren't included
2) Solo practitioners (recent graduates who have no firm and little experience, so they handle little easy stuff) are counted as "employed"
3) The unemployment numbers aren't from licensed practitioners, but rather come from corporate responders

To respond to LincolnLover: to some employers, a JD has similar weight to an MBA.  I know a few people with JD's who got jobs as VP's of this or the other.  The caveat?  They worked for the company in a good job while going to law school and the degree likely simply gave them a leg up.

Denny Shore

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Re: DON'T DO IT!!
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 05:35:35 PM »
What jobs would you have gotten with an MBA (in this economy) that you wouldn't have been able to get with your BA that pay better and better employment stats than lawyer?

Before I went to law school, I worked for a fortune 500 company.  If I had gotten my MBA while employed, I would have been considered for about a dozen different positions.
It's all about where you go, who you know, and where you work I guess.
Employment stats?  They are fudged.  Pay?  Most attorney's don't land those six figure gigs anymore.  Most fresh attorneys will be lucky to earn $60k.  I made more than that before I quit to go to law school.
If you work for a bigger company with your BA and get your MBA, they often will help you pay for it and try to advance your career within the company.
I used to date a girl who got her MBA a few years back (we dated while she was attending).  Companies still recruit out of decent MBA programs and the pay for an MBA is right on par with that of a JD....

LincolnLover

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Re: DON'T DO IT!!
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 05:50:49 PM »
If that 40% is true I doubt they'd fall into the stats for unemployment in the legal community since not in the legal community.

Plus if they never plan to practice law, why go to law school? Are we talking about politicans I assume? For them, wouldn't a lack of legal employment not even matter since nonapplicable to their situation?

One more note - while the unemployment data sounds good, there are some things to keep in mind:
1) roughly 40% of law school graduates never practice law, so they aren't included
2) Solo practitioners (recent graduates who have no firm and little experience, so they handle little easy stuff) are counted as "employed"
3) The unemployment numbers aren't from licensed practitioners, but rather come from corporate responders

To respond to LincolnLover: to some employers, a JD has similar weight to an MBA.  I know a few people with JD's who got jobs as VP's of this or the other.  The caveat?  They worked for the company in a good job while going to law school and the degree likely simply gave them a leg up.

Denny Shore

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Re: DON'T DO IT!!
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 06:10:45 PM »
If that 40% is true I doubt they'd fall into the stats for unemployment in the legal community since not in the legal community.

Plus if they never plan to practice law, why go to law school? Are we talking about politicans I assume? For them, wouldn't a lack of legal employment not even matter since nonapplicable to their situation?


What it means is that the unemployment rate only applies to roughly 60% of all graduating JD's.  It means the unemployment numbers are skewed.  Why go to law school?  Well, I've asked a lot of people about that and gotten some very strange (to me) answers.  Here is a random sampling:
- The job market sucked when I graduated so I decided to fill that time with law school
- I couldn't get into law school
- My parents wanted me to go so badly
- I want to work for a not-for-profit and the people who do the job I want all have JD's
- I didn't know what else to do but wanted a higher degree than my bachelors
- I don't know.  I took the LSAT and did well so I figured I'd give it a go

I am not making any of those up, nor am I exaggerating.
Some people go to law school because they hope that their JD will suffice for an MBA and they aren't very good at math.  Some people go to law school just to get the degree (I have a friend who has a PHD and decided to go to law school.  She's in her last year and met a doctor.  They are engaged. She doesn't want to practice.  If anything, she wants to teach.
Some people get their degree, pass the bar, can't find work, and do something that isn't related to law.  I have a friend who's dad owns one of those pool/deck/game room supply type of companies that is fairly large and very profitable. She went to school because she didn't want to go work for her dad.  Now, however, with job prospects as thin as they are, she's admitted to me that she is considering going to work for her dad after law school if she can't find a job that pays her more than $60k a year.
There are a lot of reasons for the 40%.  However, it should be noted that not all of them go to law school just for another degree.  Many want to be lawyers, then when they hit the real world, they find that they either can't find steady work, can't find work with a decent wage, can't find work, or another opportunity comes along. 
Another anecdotal story - I met a girl who admitted to me that she is going to law school, and I SWEAR I am not making this up, so she could meet a husband.  Here I thought that crap ended in college!
I have another buddy who hasn't been able to find anything but contract work, and only once in a while, since graduating two years ago.  He went to a very good school, did well, interned at a mid sized firm (who didn't offer him employment because they were laying people off) and clerked for a judge before graduating.  He gave up and bought a carpet cleaning business with loans from his family.  He isn't reported as an "unemployed" lawyer.  He wasn't "unemployed" when he was doing contract work.  He isn't unemployed now.  He's just not working as a lawyer.
Point is, don't believe unemployment data.  First of all, it doesn't cover all the graduating students.  Second of all, it doesn't include those who have "given up".  And finally, it's just data.  Reality is reality.  If you attend law school and aren't in your final year, make friends with someone who is and keep in touch with them after law school.  They can probably give you a better picture of what employment prospects exist in your area than I can. 
What I know is that in Chicago, jobs are thin.  The Cook County States Attorney's office is on a hiring freeze.  The P.D.'s office isn't hiring that many people either.  There were a few thousand experienced attorney's laid off over the last few years and they are competing for the same jobs that recent graduates are. 

Denny Shore

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Re: DON'T DO IT!!
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2011, 06:21:35 PM »
BIGS - I agree with most of what you say.
However.....
Where I go to law school, I need 90 credit hours to graduate.  That will cost me approximately $108k and three years to achieve my JD.
MBA programs are 2 years, as are most other "graduate" degrees.  Hence, they tend to be much cheaper and less time consuming....
Just a thought.
Of course there are no guarantees in life.  However, law schools have been pretending that everything is rosy, and it isn't.
I clerked for over a year at a small firm.  They were struggling, but getting by.  They specialize in DUI.  You know what cut into their business, besides the bad economy?  Dump truck lawyers.  Recent graduates who have no idea what they are doing, screwing up DUI's for 1/3 the price.  Real Estate attorneys taking on DUI's that should cost $4k for $500.  Corporate attorney's (mis)handling retail theft charges for pennies on the dollar.  Divorce attorney's doing speeding tickets for $100.  Etc., etc. etc.
I agree that if you REALLY want to be a lawyer, go to law school. 
Here's a fun anecdote: my aunt and uncle brought my recent college graduate cousin to a family dinner and asked me to talk to him about going to law school.  They wanted me to convince him to go.  Within 5 minutes, he told me that he had no interest in the law or in being a lawyer.  So I told him to avoid it.  My aunt and uncle gave me angry stares.  So I turned to them and asked them if they wanted me to lie to him and tell him that every law school graduate is happy, has a job, and drives a lovely Jaguar. 
Do what interests you, what you are passionate about, and what you enjoy.  If it's lawyering, then stick with it and don't give up.  Do not, however, go to law school unless you are sure that you want to be a lawyer. 
I could have gotten my MBA in two years, spend less than $75 grand, stayed employed while getting it, and been up for a Director level position at the fortune 500 company I was working for. Stupid me wants to be a lawyer though.....

FalconJimmy

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Re: DON'T DO IT!!
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2011, 08:59:58 PM »
I honestly can't say enough that an MBA and a JD are not analogous at all.

MBAs these days, are a complete enigma.

First, most MBAs are not accredited by the AACSB.  They're total jokes.  Why do they get students?

Because in business, most disciplines don't require you to be that intelligent or analytical.  They don't care about your grades.  In most business disciplines, the old adage about A students working under C students hold true.  Most business disciplines are more reliant on factors other than intellect.

Whenever you promote 1 person in business, 99 people are pissed off and a handful of them want to file lawsuits.  So, for most middle management and higher positions, they like to see an MBA.  They will not promote based on it.  They just want the checkbox.  The promotion comes because of your work.  1 year after you graduate with a BBA or MBA, nobody asks anything about your school experience.  They don't care about your grades, they don't care about what school you went to.  They look to what you did for that year.  On the job performance is everything in business.  Education is next to nothing.

Now, there ARE some disciplines in business that require a lot of brainpower and those disciplines hire just like the law does.  Want to work at a major accounting firm?  Better have a monster GPA.  Want to be a Wall Street Analyst?  You need a great school and great grades.

However, the picture isn't at all as good for MBAs as it is for JDs.  Not by a longshot.

If you graduate with an MBA from a top school with a top class rank, your ticket is punched.  However, once you get outside of maybe the top 50 schools, if all you have is undergrad and an MBA, you will not get a job.  Or at least, you certainly won't get one that pays more than about $50,000 a year.  Drop into schools that aren't in the top 100?  Non-AACSB accredited schools?  With unremarkable grades?  I hope you like working retail, because that's all that's out there.

For the vast majority of MBAs, the salaries involved are pretty much what the worst law salaries are.  $60,000 a year is considered a failure in the law.  $60,000 a year, for most MBAs, is pretty good coin.  You can be a consultant with a lot of name-brand companies and only make between $60,000 and $80,000.  $160,000 salaries?  Unheard of, except on Wall Street.  And most of those guys have engineering undergrad degrees and MBAs in heavy quantitative sciences.

I got an MBA from a fair-to-middlin' school.  Right around #50 in rank.  Try booking the class in Finance or Quantiative Analysis when half the class is engineers from top schools. 

Your success in business, for 95%+ of MBAs has zero to do with the MBA, and 100% to do with your work experience and demonstrated professional accomplishments.  The top graduates from the top schools MIGHT have a shot at a six figure salary at graduation, but they're the exception.

If I had to chose between being a 25 year old with an MBA or a 25 year old with a JD, I'd take the JD, hands-down, all other things being equal.  A top 10% graduate of the 50th ranked law school in the country is looking at six figures, easily.  The top 10% graduate of the 50th ranked b-school will only get that if he was already pulling down $70-80K or more before going to school.

If you want an MBA go get one.  I had one and it did fine for me.  Punched my ticket on the way to management.  Idiots who had the same degree, but who weren't as good professionally did worse.  People with extraordinary success were able to get "executive MBAs" from local liberal arts schools.  (Executive MBA means higher tuition, but none of that pesky "having to learn stuff".  You literally just pay to get the thing and they let you skate on all the true academics... not such a big deal since all the non-AACSB MBAs pretty much don't have any actual academics involved, either.)

However, I absolutely know that the folks who got JDs with most of the other factors being comparable, did better over the long run.

An MBA doesn't open any doors, unless you're that top student at a top school:  only your work experience does that if you're not graduating from a truly top school.  (Not talking about the top 14 here.  More like maybe the top 6.  If the school doesn't have a name like MIT, Northwestern, Stanford, Harvard, then you can forget it.  Your unremarkable grades at Arizona State will absolutely not get you a job.).  The Law opens doors for every student of a top school, most students at the middling schools and the top students at the worst schools. 

There's a complete chasm of difference between the opportunities. 

FalconJimmy

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Re: DON'T DO IT!!
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2011, 09:08:08 PM »
Granted, these stats are not that reliable and are subject to manipulation, but just to give an idea of the difference in MBA and JD salaries:

http://www.hbs.edu/recruiting/mba/data-and-statistics/employment-statistics.html
Median havard b-school salary:  $120,000



http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/index.html

average starting salary for 2008 Harvard Law School graduates was over $155,000


LincolnLover

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Re: DON'T DO IT!!
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2011, 01:13:17 PM »
Do you honest believe that enough lawyers are doing that to scew the stats that bad? Do you really think law grads by huge waves are taking minimum wage jobs?

Would you really have the world believe that employers of resterants and grocery stores and assembly lines really give that much extra support for lawyers?

Sure, as long as the lawyers are willing to accept the same pay as some uneducated schmuck with no social skills, no comprehension of the English language, and no ability to problem-solve.

Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do to make ends meet.

I would happily hire someone who graduated from law school and passed the bar to serve as a cashier or barrista over some random guy that came in off the street.  At least there would be less likelihood that they would steal money.

GGI

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Re: DON'T DO IT!!
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2011, 01:55:04 PM »
Guys, one more thing to bear in mind. Becoming a qualified attorney gives you the opportunity to open your small practice and work on your own, which means you do not have necessarily to look for a "job".

Giuseppe Giusti
Attorney and Author of Soft Skills for Lawyers
http://softskillsforlawyers.blogspot.com/