Deciding Where to Go > Choosing the Right Law School

From a recently barred attorney - What I wish I knew before I went to law school

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--- Quote from: vuarnet on April 11, 2013, 12:44:16 PM ---
I'm new here, so next time I intend on making a joke over the interwebs, I'll remember to use emoticons to give said joke emotional context. :P

--- End quote ---

Sometimes I am oversensitive, so I may need a little extra help to see a joke.  I'm just in the thick of it.  I've been an attorney for two years and I have a decent job, but I'm trying to lateral now and the job market is killing me.  Every decent job (even some not-so-decent jobs) have an unbelievable amount of applications.   I talked to one attorney who posted a commission-only part-time gig and he said he had like 30 applications in the first three days after posting a craigslist ad. 

I guess my main point is that law school takes three years of your life and a lot of debt.  The only valid reason to go to law school is if you genuinely believe a lawyer job is right for you.  Money is a terrible reason.  The job market is just as bad as any job market, but the actual costs and opportunity costs are higher than most professions. 

I honestly believe that the median law graduate has about a 50% chance of his investment paying off and about at 20% chance that he'll enjoy his job as an attorney.

I completely forgot about a friend of mine that the Marine Corps saw fit to make him a supply officer even though he graduated law school and passed the bar.  In defense of the Corps, I think he tried to be a pilot first and got injured so he couldn't fly anymore.   Once that happens you are at the mercy of the Marines and what is needed despite what you did educationally.   

I think there are plenty of misreable lawyers and plenty of happy ones. Just as their are misreable cops, firefighters, building inspectors, architects, salesman, paramedics, etc. There are also plenty of happy cops, firefighters, building inspectors, architects, salesman etc.

The reality is working is tough you meet very few people who in any profession who say I am overpaid, get to do  I want, and never have an issue with my job. Is law school hard? Yes. Expensive? Yes. However, I meet people from all walks of life who complain and hate their job or love their job. Therefore, whether you succeed as an attorney in any profession are far more up to you than any number, school, etc.

Jack is right that if you want to be a lawyer then you should go to law school, but there is always the paradox of you cannot possibly know if you will like being a lawyer until you are a lawyer. However, you will not really know if you like being a cop until your a cop so on and so on, but life is trial and error. I think law school is like anything else and you will get what you put into it.

Being a lawyer is nothing like T.V. makes it out to me you will not be recruited wined and dined and yes there will be numerous applicants for any attorney job, but there are numerous applicants for every position out there and whether you go to law school or pursue some other profession starting out will be tough.


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