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Author Topic: ANXIETY!!!!!  (Read 12453 times)

I.M.D.Law

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Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2014, 02:43:35 PM »
No, we're talking six figure careers.

None of the positions I mentioned require you to dispense legal advice, so bar admission is not necessarily critical. Knowledge of the relevant law, however, is considered a huge asset.
But to clarify you WERE licensed when you applied right?

I.M.D.Law

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Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2014, 02:46:29 PM »
This is my first time using this board and am wondering if it is normal to have a lot of anxiety about law school before I start. I really am not sure whether or not Law School is right for me. I know how difficult it is going to be (my gf is a current attorney and my brother is a current 2L) and that is not what is giving me anxiety (maybe a little that I wont do well). Mainly I am having anxiety over whether or not Law School is right for me and once I commit it will solidify my future is some sense. I am very outgoing and social, good with numbers and enjoy negotiating and traveling. I'm 26 and really need to figure out what im doing. Ive already put deposits down at law schools and not sure whether or not I should defer or not. Ive never worked in business and might have a false vision of what it might be like. I worked at a law firm for a year and a half and did enjoy it. I am really confused and not sure what I should do. I feel that law school shouldnt be creating this anxiety if it is truly what I should be doing. I am not sure whether I should pursue a JD/MBA or just a JD or just a MBA or neither. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
If you are thinking about other jobs, a joint degree might be a good idea. If you only want to practice law I wouldn't bother since you get them joint by having them use up eachothers electives. This means less wiggle room for electives and less "easy" classes to raise GPA.

Also be aware that you will be required to sit the GMAT(or GRE) and apply to that on top of the JD and get into both before "jointly" enrolling.
Most are pure JD for first year anyways, but just letting you know.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2014, 07:58:00 PM »
No, we're talking six figure careers.

None of the positions I mentioned require you to dispense legal advice, so bar admission is not necessarily critical. Knowledge of the relevant law, however, is considered a huge asset.
But to clarify you WERE licensed when you applied right?

No, these were jobs I had before I went to law school (I had almost a decade between college and law school). When I worked in film marketing/distribution, most of my bosses had JDs. Some were licensed, some weren't, some were licensed in other states. It depended on what other qualifications they brought to the table.

In environmental consulting it's common for managerial level consultants to have a JD/M.S. in Environmental Science, Biology, Geology, whatever their specialty is. Same thing, some are licensed some are not.

The thing to keep mind is that in both situations people were not actually practicing law, so bar admission was secondary to knowledge. If someone did have experience practicing entertainment or environmental law, however, that would have been a plus.

I.M.D.Law

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Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2014, 09:54:01 PM »
So then if you got the job BEFORE law school, it didn't need a JD to get and thus not really a good comparison to what someone could do with just a JD.
I honestly believe that you had a BETTER chance with no JD than if you had applied with one and without a license. That middle ground screams "there is something wrong with me, I'm either not smart enough or not trustworthy enough"

Maintain FL 350

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Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2014, 02:42:51 AM »
So then if you got the job BEFORE law school, it didn't need a JD to get and thus not really a good comparison to what someone could do with just a JD.

No, at age 22 I was low man on the totem pole. My BOSSES had JDs. I was pushing paper while the JDs were negotiating $50 million distribution agreements. We were not on the same level. To move up in the organization a JD was considered a stepping stone, and would have been preferred over an MBA. 


I honestly believe that you had a BETTER chance with no JD than if you had applied with one and without a license. That middle ground screams "there is something wrong with me, I'm either not smart enough or not trustworthy enough"

I think for many jobs that's probably true. I can only speak for the ones I've had personal experience with, and it wasn't really the case.

Here's the thing:

A lot of people already have a position and want to move up in the ranks.  Some jobs require an MBA to do that, for others a JD makes more sense. So they go to law school at night, and it helps them get ahead. It's a way of saying "I'm serious and I want to get into management." I saw LOTS of people in the entertainment industry who were working at studios, in marketing, distribution, lobbying, representation agencies, etc., who were going to law school at night. In a situation like that bar admission is less of an issue.   

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2014, 09:32:57 AM »
Is it common to have this anxiety and not be sure that Law School is the right decision?

Thanks

Common to have anxiety? Yes.  Common to not be sure about law school?  Not so much.  I'm surprised more people haven't commented on this last point.

If you're nervous about starting law school that's one thing, but not sure that law is for you could be a red flag.  If you're getting a free ride or a considerable financial package then it's not such a problem, but barring that then I would advise you to give some serious thought as to whether you have a genuine interest in the law that would justify the 6-figure student loan debt that you're about to incur.

Unfortunately, the reality of legal education today is that the average law student graduates with over $100,000 in student loan debt.

Quote
"Law school debt essentially means a lawyer must make $200,000 or more above what the holder of a bachelorís degree will make over a lifetime, to have the investment break even." - http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/news18330.html

Don't get me wrong, if you have a genuine interest in the law and actually want to practice law, then you should definitely go to law school provided you can afford it.  Learning how to "think like a lawyer" is an invaluable problem solving skill set that can help you in all aspects of life, whether you're trying to figure out if a cop has the right to look in your glove box after pulling you over or whether you're planning to start your own business.  However, if you (figuratively speaking, not "you" personally) majored in basket weaving during college and just need something to do for 3 years, then law school is probably not a wise investment for you.  Either way, I wish you good luck.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

Maintain FL 350

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Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2014, 01:49:22 PM »
Unfortunately, the reality of legal education today is that the average law student graduates with over $100,000 in student loan debt.

Quote
"Law school debt essentially means a lawyer must make $200,000 or more above what the holder of a bachelorís degree will make over a lifetime, to have the investment break even." - http://www.hartfordbusiness.com/news18330.html

It is truly unfortunate that a legal education is so expensive.

However, that figure doesn't seem too bad when you consider that it's over the course of a lifetime. If a new law school grad can expect say, a 30 year career, we're talking about having to earn less than $7000 per year above what a Bachelor's degree holder would earn. That seems pretty realistic.

I completely understand that the first few years out of school are very difficult for many people. I graduated in 2012, and am keenly aware of how tight the job market is. Most new lawyers will struggle to make $1500 per month loan payments on their starting salary.

But I think it's important to point out that most lawyers will increase their earning potential over the first few years. Five to seven years into a legal career, I think the average lawyer is probably making substantially more than the average Bachelor's degree holder (depending of course on what the bachelor's is in. A BS in Engineering will make more than a BA in English Lit).

Here in LA our public law offices (DA, PD, etc) start out at about $70k. By five years in, the salary will be about $100k, and in most cases will max out at around $130-140k. I think that is significantly better than what the average holder of a liberal arts BA can expect.

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2014, 06:43:59 PM »
I should probably also add that the $200k figure that they cited did not include interest, which effectively turns a $200k loan paid over a 30 year term into about $450,000 even at favorable interest rates.

California sounds like a nice legal market b/c the public attorneys in New York and New Jersey are making nowhere near 6-figures. Public defenders and state prosecutors start at around $40k here.  After 10 years they're making about $70k, which, by the way,  could have been earned with just a bachelor's degree without incurring 6-figure debt.

Only a small minority of lawyers make 6-figures at graduation, and of the majority that don't,  most do not get there within 10 years after graduation (indeed, a good number never get there at all).  The "average" income stats of our profession are skewed higher than other professions because the minority of attorneys who are big income earners make 6 and 7 figures and beyond.  But I know way too many attorneys who are 5 or 10+ years into the practice who don't make $100k.  Accordingly, I can't accept the proposition that "most" attorneys earn significantly more money than bachelor's degree holders - especially when debt is factored in.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

I.M.D.Law

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Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2014, 08:07:07 PM »
Lifetime earnings do tend to be higher, people with only high school who criticize grad school level debt often don't factor that in.
Do all? No. Do most that do have to work for awhile to earn it? Yes. Do some high school dropouts make the same? Sure. Do most? Hell no.

Statistics is a mandatory course in undergrad for most degrees for a reason. I wish they required it at 9th grade level though since most Americans don't seem to understand it even at a remedial level. (and most dropouts at least show up tentatively to first year high school classes)

Maintain FL 350

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Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2014, 10:23:48 PM »
I should probably also add that the $200k figure that they cited did not include interest, which effectively turns a $200k loan paid over a 30 year term into about $450,000 even at favorable interest rates.

California sounds like a nice legal market b/c the public attorneys in New York and New Jersey are making nowhere near 6-figures. Public defenders and state prosecutors start at around $40k here.  After 10 years they're making about $70k, which, by the way,  could have been earned with just a bachelor's degree without incurring 6-figure debt.

Only a small minority of lawyers make 6-figures at graduation, and of the majority that don't,  most do not get there within 10 years after graduation (indeed, a good number never get there at all).  The "average" income stats of our profession are skewed higher than other professions because the minority of attorneys who are big income earners make 6 and 7 figures and beyond.  But I know way too many attorneys who are 5 or 10+ years into the practice who don't make $100k.  Accordingly, I can't accept the proposition that "most" attorneys earn significantly more money than bachelor's degree holders - especially when debt is factored in.

It's a difficult question to answer because there are so many variables. What specific degree someone holds, where they attended school (a BS in engineering from Caltech is probably going to earn more than a BS in engineering from an unknown school), location, experience, etc.

I think another issue is that many people with BAs in liberal arts aren't really using their degrees, per se. For example, I was a history major in undergrad and ending working in film distribution/marketing. A lawyer's employment is directly tied to their degree, so the benefit is easier to quantify.

My evidence is merely anecdotal, but it seems that TONS of people with BAs are working at low-midlevel paying jobs. Although I know plenty of new lawyers who are struggling, the experienced lawyers are doing just fine.

I mean, if you take two people, one with only a BA (and statistically it's likely to be a liberal arts degree) and one with a JD, are they likely to be making the same salary ten years down the road? I doubt it, but I might be wrong.