Law School Discussion

1L First Semester Grades

Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2015, 09:58:39 AM »
Well again Loki I agree with you particularly your point about going to open court before enrolling in law school and seeing what it is actually like.

Often the life of a lawyer is hurrying up to wait around for three hours so the judge can sign an order. It is very rarely as interesting as the movies again like all professions. I worked closely with many cops and I got to go on SWAT raids once in a blue moon, which was exciting, but for the most part it is sitting around writing a report about why X random crackhead broke a window and how there are no leads, etc, while some neighbor complains about how the cops should do something etc. 

The life of a cop is not quite like it is in the movies nor is it like that as a lawyer, doctor, accountant etc.

As for choosing between Medical School and Law School, it is not that black and white a choice.  I personally have a friend that dropped out of Med School, because she hated it and loves law school. Does Med School if you go through all the steps have a more certain path? Yes.

However, I personally could not be a doctor the thought of having to perform surgery or literally being responsible for someone's death for misdiagnosis is not something I  could handle. I have many doctor friends that hate writing and arguing and could not be a lawyer and I could not be a doctor. I have a friend who is an expert carpenter and can build houses from scratch I am blown up away by it, but he is terrified to write a letter.  He builds stuff for me and I do legal work for him, because I can't barely put together an Ikea Desk. Each person has their own strengths and attributes, so it is not just go to Med School.

Again, if a OL doesn't have the common sense to realize that law school or any form of school is not a golden ticket then no matter what they do, it will probably end in disappointment. If someone wants to be a PD and expects to be on a high profile murder trial that will have highly favorable facts on their side, which they will win and have turned into a movie 6 months out of law school. Well that is not going to happen.

As you said a PD will be assigned to the misdemeanor unit handling way more cases than can handle, which will likely involve drunk guys resisting arrest, dui's, illegal dumping, domestic violence issues and it will be a far cry from a high profile murder case. If you pay your dues for several years then you might move up to felonies and after a few more years work your way up, but this will probably take 10 years and very few people stick to one job for 10 years anymore. Not to mention 10 years in a PD office having to deal with some pretty f'ed up cases and being completely overworked and underpaid is not a great situation, but if your passionate about criminal defense it can be great.

I don't tell anyone yea you get a law degree and your dream job is handed to you. Med School is not that easy of a path either and plenty of people regret it, see these numerous accounts from various doctors. I could find a 1,000 similar articles from lawyers, doctors, accountants, firemen, cops, nurses, MBA's, etc.


http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/abinazir/2005/05/23/why-you-should-not-go-to-medical-school-a-gleefully-biased-rant/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/1-million-mistake-becoming-a-doctor/

http://qz.com/67304/i-just-finished-my-87-hour-work-week-and-have-230000-in-medical-school-debt/

I could find a million more accounts with these same dissatisfaction in every profession and my overall point for anyone, because it is all the same is be sure you know what you are getting into before pursuing an education in that field. None of them will be perfect, they will have their pros and cons.

Nothing is as glamorous as it appears on T.V. or in the movies. Every job has its headaches. I personally love being a lawyer, but yea there are things that suck about it to.

I loved playing basketball, but yea there were things that sucked about that to.

Again, if there is some easy to get, high paying, challenging and fulfilling when I want it to be, but lets me take time whenever I want as well then please let all of us know about it.

Unfortunately, I don't think it does.

Is law school absurdly expensive? Yes. (Therefore reduce costs if your planning on attending.)

Do many 0L's go into law school with completely unrealistic expectations? Yes.

If you go into anything with unrealistic expectations is it disappointing? Yes.

To any OL I recommend the following. Work in a law office before enrolling, watch court, talk to lawyers, find ways to reduce costs, and realize that simply passing the bar will not result in people handing you a job. Be ready to fight for one just like everyone else.

 Frankly for any profession do a little more than watch T.V. on the subject before making a commitment. If you want to be a cop go on multiple ride-along see what it is really like, talk to cops, join the Volunteer Police while going to school.



 








Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2015, 11:32:24 PM »
Well again Loki I agree with you particularly your point about going to open court before enrolling in law school and seeing what it is actually like.

Often the life of a lawyer is hurrying up to wait around for three hours so the judge can sign an order. It is very rarely as interesting as the movies again like all professions. I worked closely with many cops and I got to go on SWAT raids once in a blue moon, which was exciting, but for the most part it is sitting around writing a report about why X random crackhead broke a window and how there are no leads, etc, while some neighbor complains about how the cops should do something etc. 

The life of a cop is not quite like it is in the movies nor is it like that as a lawyer, doctor, accountant etc.

As for choosing between Medical School and Law School, it is not that black and white a choice.  I personally have a friend that dropped out of Med School, because she hated it and loves law school. Does Med School if you go through all the steps have a more certain path? Yes.

However, I personally could not be a doctor the thought of having to perform surgery or literally being responsible for someone's death for misdiagnosis is not something I  could handle. I have many doctor friends that hate writing and arguing and could not be a lawyer and I could not be a doctor. I have a friend who is an expert carpenter and can build houses from scratch I am blown up away by it, but he is terrified to write a letter.  He builds stuff for me and I do legal work for him, because I can't barely put together an Ikea Desk. Each person has their own strengths and attributes, so it is not just go to Med School.

Again, if a OL doesn't have the common sense to realize that law school or any form of school is not a golden ticket then no matter what they do, it will probably end in disappointment. If someone wants to be a PD and expects to be on a high profile murder trial that will have highly favorable facts on their side, which they will win and have turned into a movie 6 months out of law school. Well that is not going to happen.

As you said a PD will be assigned to the misdemeanor unit handling way more cases than can handle, which will likely involve drunk guys resisting arrest, dui's, illegal dumping, domestic violence issues and it will be a far cry from a high profile murder case. If you pay your dues for several years then you might move up to felonies and after a few more years work your way up, but this will probably take 10 years and very few people stick to one job for 10 years anymore. Not to mention 10 years in a PD office having to deal with some pretty f'ed up cases and being completely overworked and underpaid is not a great situation, but if your passionate about criminal defense it can be great.

I don't tell anyone yea you get a law degree and your dream job is handed to you. Med School is not that easy of a path either and plenty of people regret it, see these numerous accounts from various doctors. I could find a 1,000 similar articles from lawyers, doctors, accountants, firemen, cops, nurses, MBA's, etc.


http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/abinazir/2005/05/23/why-you-should-not-go-to-medical-school-a-gleefully-biased-rant/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/1-million-mistake-becoming-a-doctor/

http://qz.com/67304/i-just-finished-my-87-hour-work-week-and-have-230000-in-medical-school-debt/

I could find a million more accounts with these same dissatisfaction in every profession and my overall point for anyone, because it is all the same is be sure you know what you are getting into before pursuing an education in that field. None of them will be perfect, they will have their pros and cons.

Nothing is as glamorous as it appears on T.V. or in the movies. Every job has its headaches. I personally love being a lawyer, but yea there are things that suck about it to.

I loved playing basketball, but yea there were things that sucked about that to.

Again, if there is some easy to get, high paying, challenging and fulfilling when I want it to be, but lets me take time whenever I want as well then please let all of us know about it.

Unfortunately, I don't think it does.

Is law school absurdly expensive? Yes. (Therefore reduce costs if your planning on attending.)

Do many 0L's go into law school with completely unrealistic expectations? Yes.

If you go into anything with unrealistic expectations is it disappointing? Yes.

To any OL I recommend the following. Work in a law office before enrolling, watch court, talk to lawyers, find ways to reduce costs, and realize that simply passing the bar will not result in people handing you a job. Be ready to fight for one just like everyone else.

 Frankly for any profession do a little more than watch T.V. on the subject before making a commitment. If you want to be a cop go on multiple ride-along see what it is really like, talk to cops, join the Volunteer Police while going to school.

I think it depends on what type of law you are and do. Its a rough start for the good jobs, but if comparing them to non professions (comparing to MD's isn't really fair since they are not even close to the same thing except for the "doctorate" group lie we tell ourselves we have) But I've worked factories for less than $100 a day with insane amounts of body pain and VERY real risk of severe life altering bodily injury, vs gigs where I make twice that to do less than 20 minutes of (basically nut scratching)

Just don't get stuck doing doc review. I know people with 20 years of that. I'd rather open my own wrists with rusty barbed wire that had been stored in salt jars.

Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2015, 12:02:43 PM »
Yea that is basically my point there are certainly a hell of a lot worse jobs than being a lawyer and even Doc Review is better than factory or warehouse work, which I have done as well.

It all just comes down to a bit of common sense. If you get a J.D. and pass the bar you can get a job practicing law, but your first job will not be ideal. However, that is the same in any profession.

At the very least you are building towards something with a J.D. if your a factory worker for example you go until your body craps out.

Law school is great for the right person, but I think to many people think it is a golden ticket. Or if X dream doesnt' work out then there is always law school, but law school SHOULD NOT be a backup plan. It should be something you really want to do.

I think law might be one of the few professions were people a large amount of people enroll to give up three years of their life and $100,000 of money to do something they don't want to do.

You don't go to a Police Academy and here the Trainees say oh yea I am just doing this to open my options, what I really want to do is act?

Or a Fire Academy or Accounting school etc.

The fact that many people make a huge commitment to do something they don't want to do is a recipe for disappointment, so before anyone enrolls be sure you know what you are getting into.

The legal profession is pretty cool in my opinion and I enjoy doing it, but just like everything else it has its pitfalls.

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Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« Reply #43 on: December 10, 2015, 07:23:26 AM »
It all just comes down to a bit of common sense. If you get a J.D. and pass the bar you can get a job practicing law, but your first job will not be ideal. However, that is the same in any profession.

...
I think law might be one of the few professions were people a large amount of people enroll to give up three years of their life and $100,000 of money to do something they don't want to do.


Just to quickly review.

1. It's not common sense. There's, like, actual numbers for people to use.

2. It's not $100,000. The actual costs of attending these law schools is much higher- expect (to use Golden Gate, for example) $260,000. The average cost of tuition alone (not including cost of living) at *state* schools is $25k a year. The average cost of tuition (not including cost of living, books, and other expenses) is over $45k a year at a private school.

3. This entire idea is premised on the concept that you get that first job. Again, the idea that a person can *because common sense tell you that there are jobs in South Dakota* doesn't cut it. The actual numbers (and everyone's actual experience) shows you that your outcomes in terms even getting a job vary widely depending on the school you graduate from.

4. So, it is imperative that a person be able to understand their ability to practice law prior to making to making the decision. Despite what CityLaw keeps saying, both "common sense" and actual statistics show that far too many people graduate with no ability to get any job that requires a JD and massive amounts of debt that will haunt them for the next 25+ years. And that's not even taking into account those who go to law school and still have UG debt.


Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« Reply #44 on: December 10, 2015, 12:27:22 PM »
There are jobs for entry level lawyers http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=entry+level+attorney&l=california

You will have to compete for these positions and you will be rejected numerous times before you get a job. All while having debt hanging over your head.

It is a burden, but nothing worth doing is easy. Law school can be and is a terrible choice for many people, Law school can be and is a great choice for others.

There are plenty of grads doing well from every ABA Law School and plenty not doing well. Again, if you want to be an attorney there are risks and that is why you should be sure you want to do it.

A J.D. is not a guarantee of success nor a guarantee of failure. It is a degree and what you do with it has a lot more to do with the individual, but people do tend to overthink their abilities, work ethic, etc so be realistic in your decision making.

Just as every 1L is certain they will be in the top 10% everyone accepted as a OL therefore thinks they will be in the top 10% of the class and put in all the hours to network, apply to hundreds of jobs, and straight hustle, but humans tend to give themselves more credit.

A perfect example is all the home gym equipment out there. Everyone knows to exercise and eat right it is not difficult, but actually doing it is the issue.

In all honesty, if you attend X school and graduate top of the class, law review, mock trial, etc you can get a job. To do that you will need to spend countless hours of studying, work, networking and still no guarantee of anything working out.

Is law school a risk? Yes.

Are people particularly law students unrealistic with their expectations? Yes.

Can law school work? Of course.

You can use stats as well if you attend GGU there is a 50% chance you will be in the bottom half of the class.  This will mean you are probably at risk for passing the bar 1st time.

Furthermore, unless you hustle and do mock trial, journals, get internships etc a graduate in the middle of the pack from GGU with no activities and no internship experience will not get you very far and that is assuming you pass the bar.

A middle of the pack GGU student that gets internships, mock trial, journals etc can probably do fine, but will they actually do the work necessary to obtain those placements? That is up to them.

Education is what you make out of it, but you need to be realistic about what you are really going to do. Even if you do everything right you also need to be realistic about that outcome.

Those are the issues that people face and I think people are whinier than they have ever been about how unfair etc things are and if your a whiner don't go to law school.


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Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« Reply #45 on: December 10, 2015, 12:45:14 PM »
This is why you are unnecessarily optimistic. You post that there are jobs, but you fail to note the vast number of people applying, and the lack of jobs. To put it in more perspective- it's one thing to get a job as an attorney when you are already a practicing, employed attorney. It's entirely different when you are unemployed and have no experience.

So when you offer generic, "You can do," advice, you are actively hurting people. It's this same advice that was given out (wrongly) before the legal market crash, and it's just wrong to offer it now.

So, for anyone still paying attention in a thread nominally about 1L First Semester Grades ... if you have scored so low on your LSAT/uGPA that you have to pay full freight to go to a school like GGU or Cooley or *shudder* an unaccredited law school, don't go. Really. There is no possible world in which the risk-reward ratio can possibly make sense, absent some unusual circumstances (your grandfather's will states that you will get ONE BEEELEON DOLLARS when you get the JD). Just look at the numbers. Look at the debt.

Now, if you're looking at scholarships (and pay attention to the terms of the scholarship!) that advice may change. But for generic advice- there's a metric ton (or imperial ton, if you prefer) of attorneys applying for every job opening. The employment rate for newly-minted JDs is *worse* than that of English undergraduates. So, please consider things very carefully. Many people believe that they are the unique and special snowflake that, despite the cruddy GPA and LSAT score, will make it on to a journal and/or moot court, and graduate at the top of their class. But the past is prologue.

Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« Reply #46 on: December 10, 2015, 01:22:39 PM »
Again, I agree with you, but any job is competitive anywhere.

McDonalds puts applications on file and doesn't hire everyone.

The rest I agree with yea if you think your a special little snowflake your not. Frankly, if that is how you view things whether it is law, medicine, McDonald's etc your not going to get a job.

Looking for a job sucks, it always has and always well. It is a universal truth and the more prestigious and desirable the job the more competitive it becomes. Law jobs are more desirable and prestigious than most other jobs so it is competitive and even a Yale Grad can apply to 10 jobs and will likely get rejected 90% of the time.

A GGU grad will probably get rejected 99% of the time, but in reality if you look long and hard enough you can get a job. What is a long and hard search is subjective and frankly most people considering law school are not realistic.

Frankly everyone in my class that I know is employed, but it took a year for some people to find legal employment. It was not easy, but law does build on itself now all of us are a few years out with experience and getting jobs is much easier, but is the typical 0L ready to be $260k in debt and be willing to look for a job for a year? Then that first job not pay that well either?

If that same person sticks with it for 5 years then some real doors will open, but that is a long freaking journey and many people are not up to it.

Just as many people in this world have 6 pack abs it can be done, everybody CAN do it. However, most people don't.


Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« Reply #47 on: December 10, 2015, 01:39:01 PM »
There are jobs for entry level lawyers http://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=entry+level+attorney&l=california


You know that is utter crap right? People all try that stuff (and all the ones like it) and fail epically. You KNOW this right?

Loki is right on the "first job" thing. Once you have that "experience" (and the references,etc that come with it) you are at least able to compete. Otherwise you are pretty much screwed. Half the "entry level" jobs actually require more than that (the search lies to you) and the rest "strongly prefer" it.

People end up stuck thinking trap thoughts like
"Document Review counts as experience, I can start there" (it doesn't actually, but it beats the janitor job at the STD ward)
"I can do legal secretary or paralegal, they even have 'no experience required' ones for that, I HAVE TO qualify for that"
(no, no you don't. The JD HURTS YOU on that application actually-test it and find out first hand)
"I'll just join JAG" (best aim for 11B son, and even then you likely are too fat or on some mental pills thanks to society and they don't need/want a reject like you anyways)
"I'll just work for free at the legal clinic to get experience" (they tend to only want students still in school, or those who have experience to supervise them-they literally ask themselves 'what is wrong with this person' if you try it)
"I'll go solo with no experience-batman could do it" (STFU)
"ok, I'll get my experience first by doing probono work for friends and family" (expect to have them all hate you for how stupid you are when you lose all their cases for lack of experience, and if you pick strangers expect them to SUE you for malpractice-the ironic sting of being punished for work you did for free)

Yup, this about sums it up.

Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« Reply #48 on: December 10, 2015, 01:48:02 PM »
Yea that is pretty much the Catch 22 of any job. They want you to have experience, but you can't get experience until you are hired.

Ask anyone in any profession how easy it was to get their first job. Hell even McDonald's would prefer you to have experience as a cashier or in the food service.


Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« Reply #49 on: December 10, 2015, 04:53:40 PM »
Yea that is pretty much the Catch 22 of any job. They want you to have experience, but you can't get experience until you are hired.

Ask anyone in any profession how easy it was to get their first job. Hell even McDonald's would prefer you to have experience as a cashier or in the food service.
To a limited degree yes, but not really.

Doctors who are licensed WILL have MORE people looking to hire them than they even want to apply to
McDonalds might "prefer" but they don't really care. They will still hire you. You WILL NOT get hired at law firms that "prefer" it. The meaning of the word varies wildly between the professions.