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Why Go?

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I am not a law student but know quite a few people who are planning to attend. My question is, why would anyone want to go, especially with the dismal job prospects for lawyers that have been a problem over the past twenty years? Someone in my family is planning this as a career path and I am worried sick for him. Unless he gets into a top 20 law school, he's not going to have much chance at a job. And even if he gets a free ride through law school, and graduates without 100K in loan debt, he will still lose three years of income by being a full time student.  And he seems to get most of his ideas about this career from television, movies and John Grisham novels. Seems to be doing it solely for whatever prestige he thinks it may have. And he's smart, but not Ivy League material.
The legal industry is so saturated that even paralegals and legal secretaries have difficulty finding jobs, and we live in a big city. A lot of legal work is even being outsourced now to other countries. Many people with law degrees wind up in other careers, but even getting into a different career can involve having to return back to school and get certified/licensed to do something else.
This is a tough road that many people are choosing to go down, why do it?  I can't imagine anything more frightening than to spend 3 years in school, rack up debt all for the "privilege" of entering a very tough job market for their chosen field. Healthcare workers can often graduate, even from trade schools, and go straight to work! There IS no pounding the pavement day after day or spending countless hours online applying for jobs. They just get hired! They can buy cars, have a decent place to live, with little student loan debt; or if they do have debt, they can pay it off quickly A) they can get hired quickly and B)  because many nursing schools costs around 20K, not 100K like law school does.

Many nursing schools are well over $100,000 dollars and plenty of lawyers find work from non-top 20 schools.

A license to practice law is a lifelong investment and most lawyers do quite well if they stick with it for five plus years.

Why does anyone bother to go to college? You lose four years of income and it often costs $100,000, but again education is a life-long investment same as law school.

The earning potential for attorneys is very high, but you need to be good much like anything else. Are jobs difficult to find in nursing, business, law, cops, bus-drivers, etc? Yes.

If there is some guaranteed way to make $100,000 + dollars without any sacrifice please let me know.

If your family member is passionate about the law it could be a great fit and the more important reason to go to law school is the ability you have to make positive changes.  Simply put there are an abundance of reasons to attend law school and abundance of reasons not to, which is pretty much the case for any decision.

There is rarely a right answer applying this to your post what filed instead of law what should this family member pursue?

Don't feed the troll


--- Quote from: NewlyMinted on July 08, 2014, 08:12:28 PM ---Don't feed the troll

--- End quote ---


Maintain FL 350:
Troll? Maybe. I'll answer anyway, maybe someone will find the information useful.

Yes, the legal job market is tight but plenty of law grads find decent employment. Your first job straight out of law school may not be so great, but as Citylaw said it gets much better after you have a couple of years' experience under your belt.

Employment statistics have to be viewed in context. They are usually a snapshot taken nine months after law school graduation, when most grads have only just passed the bar a couple of months earlier and are looking for work. It's not a very good metric for gauging long term prospects.

I graduated in 2012 from a non-elite law school in a very crowded market (CA). Two years after graduation, the vast majority of my classmates are gainfully employed as attorneys. Some are with big firms making big money, some are prosecutors and public defenders, and some are solo practitioners.

If someone is a disciplined, motivated, and knows how to make connections they can absolutely have a successful career even if they don't graduate from Harvard. However, if someone is unrealistic, entitled, and doesn't know how to hustle they're going to have a hard time finding a job. I would imagine that this is true for all fields, not just law.


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