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Author Topic: Free preview of law school  (Read 3087 times)

florida357

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Free preview of law school
« on: April 10, 2006, 09:53:49 PM »
I know that some people are going to say 'that is wrong' or 'he is just mad,' but I honestly feel like I had a false impression upon considering law school, so I want you people to read this.  I know many of you think that law school is in the same league as med school, and in a laymans point of view, it is.  The people I run into who I knew before law school act like I will be making 100K after I graduate, and that I have it made.  This is NOT AT ALL the case.

Basically, what I would explain to anyone planning to apply to law school is that I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Maybe that is melodramatic, but it is how I feel right now. I have never had an institution make me feel so worthless in my entire life. I will have been in school for more than a quarter of my life before I graduate, and I will have to fight harder to get a lower paying job than I would if I had stopped with an undergrad degree. If you are interested, read on:

I would first like to say that I have a engineering degree. At my undergraduate school, people ask you what your major is, if you say engineering they are automatically impressed. So one would think that a graduate degree on top of that would be even more prestigous, even more desirable. Basically, I could have taken a job out of undergrad making $40K easily, so you would think that with a graduate education on top of that you would be actively recruited, that you would be in demand.

That is FALSE. Also, people mention "doctor or lawyer" in the same sentence when speaking about what they want to be when they grow up, because they are both considered to be prestigious. That is completely misleading.

For example, FSU accepts approximately 10% of those who apply. So, of that 10% approximately half accept and enroll. So, that 5% of total applicants makes up the freshman class. Law school has this thing called 'law review,' which is the top 10% of the class taken from the first year. THESE are the people who are recruited. Thats right, 90% of the people who made it into the top 5% of all applicants who excepted are not even recruited for jobs. That is .5% of all total applicants who get job interviews; 90% don't get accepeted and 9.5% of those who do have to fight to even get an interview.

Of all the law firms that came to campus, I was excluded from even submitting my resume to 98% of them because I was only in the top 50% of my class. Only in the top 50% of my class, a class that makes up half of the top 10% who applied, which makes up the top 5% of the their undergraduate class and the top 15% of LSAT scores in the nation. Keep in mind, this isn't even a top teir law school; we are ranked 56th but will most likely break into the top tier (top 50) before I graduate.

On top of all that, law school isn't even hard. You might think 'whats wrong with that?' In undergrad, easy classes are sought after. Well, in most law schools they have this thing called a 'forced curve.' That means that only 5%-10% of all students get A's. Only 20% get B+'s. On top of that, the work is easy and the people you are competing with are EXTREMELY smart. The people you are competing with are already in the top 5% of their undergraduate class and the top 15% of the LSAT scores in the nation. So what is the answer to that equation? The answer is that everything is subjective. They don't tell you what you need to know, they don't tell you how to study when you first show up. The people who succeed are NOT the ones who do the most work. The people who suceed in easy classes are the ones who write the best in timed situations. Not just who writes the best, it is who writes the best in the teacher's subjective opinion.

So if the people are extremely smart, and the grades don't correspond to the amount of work you put in, people will figure it out. This breeds the biggest atmosphere of hate and contempt I have ever experienced. Never in my life have I ever hated someone simply because they did well, but I do now. It seems low, but you will understand it if you ever experience it. I HATE the people on law review; not a single one of them worked harder than I did, not a single one of them has a harder undergrad major than I do. On one level I hate them, but on another level I actually question my own intelligence. This is the way everyone in the bottom 90% feels, as far as I can tell.

So in conclusion, law school breeds hate. You are judged on criteria that have nothing to do with your intelligence or work ethic. You will not be in demand. Statistically, you will not pass the bar exam (you will not be able to practice law) if you are in the bottom 3rd.

I would give my left nut to start over and take a job in engineering. Of all the things I have done in my life, what I thought would be one of my most prestigous accomplishments turned out to be one of my worst mistakes (as of now).

Take it for what it is worth.

Little D

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Re: Free preview of law school
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2006, 10:01:02 PM »
wow I have seen this exact post about thirteen times.  For what its worth, law school aint that f-in bad, trust me.  If I can do it anyone can
They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."

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florida357

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Re: Free preview of law school
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2006, 10:19:00 PM »
wow I have seen this exact post about thirteen times.  For what its worth, law school aint that f-in bad, trust me.  If I can do it anyone can

13 times?  that must mean a lot of people feel that way.

and you are right, law school itself isn't bad.  In fact, it is f-ing easy.  Anyone who gets in can graduate law school.  The fact is that it isn't what it is cracked-up to be.  It isn't prestigous, you won't be in demand, you will not be recruited.  Your options are: A.) make it into the top 15% (everyone thinks they can when they enter lawschool, obviously 85% are severly dissappointed. B.)Know someone who will give you a job because of your last name  C.) fight for every interview you can get, interviews where firms are talking to +60 students to fill one temporary position...and in the end you will either get a job or you will have wasted 3 years of your life and gone at least 50K in debt.

jitch

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Re: Free preview of law school
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2006, 10:48:45 PM »
If you won't get recruited, how do you explain the placement rates after graduation?  You might not get recruited into biglaw, but 98.9% of graduates of FSU law school have a job within 9 months of graduation.  Obviously someone outside of the top ten percent is getting recruited...

florida357

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Re: Free preview of law school
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2006, 11:28:56 PM »
98.9% have A job.  Obviously you aren't fluent in legalize yet.  I will have A job within 9 months of graduating, though it might be a job as a placement mentor at a community college in Anchorage, Alaska....

Look, I am telling you that I am in the top 50% of my class, I have had approximately 10-15 interviews in two years and the best odds I have seen on an interview was a firm that was interviewing 20 people for one opening.... my buddy on law review had 40 interview in the fall semester alone. 

I knew people were going to criticize my opinion when I wrote it. 







My only point is that, as layman, you think (as I did) that lawschool is an awesome achievement, comparable to med school.  My friends from undergrad still all think I have it made.  It is not what you think.  If I had to do it over again, there is no way I would go to law school.

audi20V

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Re: Free preview of law school
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2006, 12:03:11 AM »
Interesting. I just started a $60k/year job as an engineer and will be leaving to go to law school with promises of amazing career prospects. I guess it must be the school. These schools average $100k+ starting salaries with even more for IP people with a tech degree.

Why don't you just go back to engineering if you hate it so much?

chevelle

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Re: Free preview of law school
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2006, 12:04:35 AM »
My only point is that, as layman, you think (as I did) that lawschool is an awesome achievement, comparable to med school.  My friends from undergrad still all think I have it made.  It is not what you think.  If I had to do it over again, there is no way I would go to law school.

Being that like half of all people who apply to law schools are not accepted anywhere, I think it's a pretty good achievement. Maybe you went into the wrong profession if you have these feelings...

norcaldude

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Re: Free preview of law school
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2006, 12:04:57 AM »
fwiw, this is what I was trying to warn people of here.  I got laughed out by people claiming they aren't interested in money.

I'm also an engineering undergrad.  As such, I don't see what the problem is with the curve--it's a standard engineering curve (although there it isn't forced).  Grading is not "subjective", you need to take initiative to figure out what every teacher wants.  Just like high school...

Basically, if you're looking for money, the Top 18 schools are the only way to go (T14 if you don't plan to practice in the local market to the school).  If you don't get in, try again until you do.  Those schools ARE comparable to med schools.  And if you still don't get in, then just don't go to law school, unless you aren't looking for a well-paying job if you don't make the top 15% of your class.

I gotta tell you though, as an engineering major, you should have known to do your homework before undertaking a project like law school.

chevelle

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Re: Free preview of law school
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2006, 12:07:46 AM »
I gotta tell you though, as an engineering major, you should have known to do your homework before undertaking a project like law school.

A lot of engineers I knew just went to law school because they hated their majors and didn't know what else to do with themselves.

A couple of them were advised to do so by their parents, who were pissed at paying for 4 years of Ivy League education to learn that their kid didn't want to be an engineer.

norcaldude

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Re: Free preview of law school
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2006, 12:11:42 AM »
A lot of engineers I knew just went to law school because they hated their majors and didn't know what else to do with themselves.

A couple of them were advised to do so by their parents, who were pissed at paying for 4 years of Ivy League education to learn that their kid didn't want to be an engineer.

Sorry to hear.  If you're an engineer, and didn't too to great, I guess it comes down to acing the LSAT.  Why get an Ivy engineering degree :p?  I woulda just done econ + history and then taken my free pass to law or business school.  Parents pay for education, I wish!