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Author Topic: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!  (Read 44123 times)

PublicServiceAnnouncement

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DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« on: October 09, 2007, 02:21:32 AM »
This is a public service announcement.  Do not go to law school.  Scratch it off your list.  The reason I am posting here is because high school students are really the right age to get this message across to.

Here's a little background about me.  I was always one of the smartest kids in my high school and did all the things I needed to do to get into law school.  I got a 161 on my LSAT which is the top 14% of test-takers.  It isn't an earth-shattering score, but it is definately respectable.  I got into a state school that was first tier when I applied to it but has since slipped out of the top.  I really thought that I wanted to be a lawyer to make courtroom arguments and because the profession would be a great career that would be financially rewarding.  So, I got your typical liberal arts degree from my big state school and went to law school right after college.  I was full of ideals. 

However, the realities of the legal profession will beat all of your ideals out of you by the time law school is over.  After three years of incurring debt and wanting to finally get a house and start a family or at least be able to impress potential girlfriends, you will want a job that PAYS.  Unfortunately, there are so many law schools it's ridiculous.  For every job that you apply to, there will be over 100 people competing for the same slot.  And, there aren't that many jobs out there now to begin with.  It is a really tight market and it will be 1,000 times worse by the time the current crop of high school kids get their JD's.  No matter how good you are, it will be impossible to distinguish yourself from the competition.  You will keep compromising your goals until you just want a job to pay the bills and get something close to the lifestyle you envisioned when you started law school.       

You might think "well, I'll just study hard and beat out the competition."  Wrong.  Law schools curve their grades which means that only 5 out of 90 people in a class can get an A.  It doesn't matter if 40% of the class wrote brilliant essays that were each A quality work.  Your work will be arbitrarily differentiated so that 5 people get As, 5 people get Ds, and 80 people get between a B plus and C minus.  That is really hard to take when you were the smartest person everywhere you went before law school and your grades do not reflect the work you put into studying.  Oh yeah, and you will be competing with at least one retired neurosurgeon who got bored with brain surgery, drives a lexus, and decided to go to law school for kicks.  Additionally, many law firms and big companies are outsourcing legal work to India where the "attorneys" are not licensed and they make 7 to 16K a year.  The profession is no longer respected.  It's just a business that is affected by the same bean counting crap that affects all businesses.   

After getting through law school, you will have to take the bar which is only offered twice a year and it takes them 5 months to grade that mo-fo.  I fortunately aced the bar in my first try, but it is still an incredibly stressful time where you are looking for attorney work without actually knowing if you will be an attorney. 

As a second year attorney, some of my friends who went to business school in undergrad are making much more money than me and they've been working longer.  I would advise not to go to law school but just go to business school in undergrad.  Law school is a complete waste of your time.  Work after college, find something you enjoy that can be lucrative, and then possibly go to some other grad school if you feel it can actually increase your earning potential or if your employer will pay for it.   

You should only go to law school if you get into a true ivy league law school where employment is guaranteed, or if you scored incredibly high on your LSAT (170+) and can guarantee that you will be in the top 5 to 10 percent of your class because you are a prodigy.  Then, you must be willing to work like a female dog (not my original term, but was edited by the web site) to earn your $160k a year starting salary (70 hour work weeks).

I wish someone had told me this when I was a high school senior.  My life would be totally different.             

bliwo

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Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2007, 02:32:56 AM »
This is really ridiculous.  Don't worry about the above post.  Lots of people enjoy law school and find good jobs afterward.  And then as with anything, some people are miserable, as with the person above.  But don't think the above poster speaks for anyone else.

beni

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Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2007, 02:36:44 AM »
...and then there are those of us who want to do something personally meaningful instead of just seeing big dollar signs at the end of the tunnel.

PublicServiceAnnouncement

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Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2007, 02:56:26 AM »
It's really not that ridiculous.  Virtually everyone not yet in law school or in their 1st year wants to do "something meaningful" to help people when they become a lawyer.  I know I did.  Law school beats that out of you.  Most of my friends are not happy with their jobs as attorneys.  There are exceptions, but the majority don't like what they do everyday and just see it as a paycheck.  I remember I rolled my eyes during one of my 1L professor's presentation on why lawyers become alcoholics at a substantially higher rate than other professions.  Now I understand.  I personally don't drink much but I can understand why the profession churns out so many alkies and divorces. 

Most attorneys will tell you not to go to law school unless it is truly what you want to do.  I know I didn't pay that any attention when I heard it myself, but I would really impress upon high school students to not rely on going to law school.  Have a back-up plan.  Fully explore your career options in undergrad.  Don't get a degree in liberal arts that practically forces you to go to law school to increase your earning potential.       


 

Nimmy

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Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2007, 03:24:59 AM »
The best advice in here is do not get a liberal arts degree.  Get a hard science degree, or a math degree, or a business degree, or an engineering degree.  Seriously.  You have options with those.  You know what I did with my History and Political Science degree from the best College in my state for a year before going to law school?  I delivered pizzas.  Seriously.

If you then decide to go to law school, do so in a way that you incur little debt, and do so only after you have explored the other options your BA/BS provides.  Likely you can make just as much as an attorney out of undergrad with one of the degrees I named above and you are just wasting 3 years of salary plus tuition and living expenses.

AkhilAmar

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Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2007, 12:59:39 PM »
The best advice in here is do not get a liberal arts degree.  Get a hard science degree, or a math degree, or a business degree, or an engineering degree.  Seriously.  You have options with those.  You know what I did with my History and Political Science degree from the best College in my state for a year before going to law school?  I delivered pizzas.  Seriously.

If you then decide to go to law school, do so in a way that you incur little debt, and do so only after you have explored the other options your BA/BS provides.  Likely you can make just as much as an attorney out of undergrad with one of the degrees I named above and you are just wasting 3 years of salary plus tuition and living expenses.

I also know people who graduated with a B.A. and ended up working jobs that require zero education (e.g. a guy w/ a history degree from a top 30 public university who worked as a janitor after graduation).

But remember this: a degree is only what YOU make of it. Personally, I would never settle for a pizza joint job after graduation; I would go to the far reaches of the Earth to find a better job if necessary. Don't expect to sit on your degree and expect magical things to happen. A B.A. is like a 1960's high school diploma, they are literally a dime a dozen. Now more than ever before it is about what you decide to do post-graduation and not what opportunities your degree bestows upon you.

I agree with the OP. The vast majority of schools outside the Top 50 are what insiders call MoneyLaw Schools, meaning they are there to make money - that's all. MoneyLaw Schools know that morons who get a 150 on the LSAT but "wanted to be a lawyer ever since I was little" will do anything to go to law school. Hence, the reason why sh*thole law schools can get away with charging 30k a year in tuition w/ horrible and/or nonexistent career prospects.

Here's the bottom line: If you are extremely interested in law and are intelligent and can get into a Top 30 (or so) law school, go for it. But to the majority of you, unless given a very large scholarship, stay away from law school because you might be using your J.D. to manage a KFC. As I said above, a degree is what you make of it, but, in the context of professional jobs, in today's over-saturated legal market that is more fiction than fact.   
UGPA: 3.8

LSAT: Dec. '07

Dream school: Michigan!

$Bill

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Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2007, 07:56:22 AM »
It's really not that ridiculous.  Virtually everyone not yet in law school or in their 1st year wants to do "something meaningful" to help people when they become a lawyer. 

 

And here I was looking at divorce clinics...

Dizzle

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Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2007, 04:56:40 PM »
Fist yourself.

Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration

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Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2007, 05:41:24 PM »
ha ha, i love miserable people.
Wallace Stevens: "BLAHHHH you and I are like the same person."

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Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2007, 05:49:53 PM »
thanks, I'm withdrawing all my apps now