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Law Schools - Where and Why? - Page 22

post #316 of 418
from what I understand..."mid" law is a bit of a myth but it does exist.

there's going to be a good amount of lawyers that come out fresh, making market - that's $160k + bonuses. Wow!

but the vast, vast majority will be staring at $45k or less. Nightmare! if you have a huge amount of debt - that survives bankruptcy

then a small percentage will find a decent boutique firm that'll give them $85-115k - but this is really, really hard to get as a fresh graduate.

Why does everyone hate on law school? Because if you get big law, you are looking at getting worked into the ground for 5 years before you either hit the lottery and become partner or you have to find another job. The mid law myth is in part because there are so many goddamn big law cast offs who have great degrees and work experience

Why would a boutique firm or a 200+ attorney regional firm want to hire someone fresh out of law school when they can get some grizzled veteran from big law? To get mid law, you need to be a social network g-unit or else you need to have connections.

The worst stories though, the horror stories, I think are mostly people who didn't do their due diligence. You cannot take $200k out in loans, spend a summer studying "law" in Spain from a "for-profit" law school. You need to think long and hard about law school. You MUST do well on the LSAT before considering law school - I'm not joking.

Lastly, IBR, or the work for 10 years and we'll forgive your loans thing is very complicated. if you get a wife and she works, it gets even more complicated. the gov. isn't going to let a bunch of people walk away with a couple hundred K. As long as the government is the one giving out student loans, I wouldn't trust the system.

BOLs all, back to studying for another 6 hours during my super fun spring break. abovethelaw
post #317 of 418
Oh, and no, the thought that a law degree is super versatile is a huge myth. One that many parents encourage their kids to do, and their kids, thinking it is true and don't want to work a real job decide to go to...

You learn nothing applicable in real life in law school except how to read 100 pages a night.

Lastly: concerning the go to a worse school so you end up in the top 5%...terrible, terrible idea. Like I said, it is ONE exam per semester. ONE exam. Everyone knows this. You are graded on a curve. If you get a stomach ache during your first exam, boom, there goes an entire semester's worth of work. Grading is somewhat arbitrary unless you truly worked hard as a mofo, but the name of the game is MINIMIZING RISKS when it comes to a final exam.

To put this in perspective, the class I thought I worked hardest for, I got the WORST grade in (below median grade). I sorta knew cause the exam was totally different from what my professor taught. The other classes, which I also worked my ass off for, I got the highest grades in and that pulled my rank into a top percentile.

Also, I felt like I worked harder and am smarter than everyone else in my section <-- this is the kind of attitude that a TON of law students have

haha sorta kidding...BUT NOT
post #318 of 418
yeah law school exam results are so random and hard to predict. the classes that i worked/studied hardest in i ended up doing the worst and the ones that i straight up studied last minute from commercial outlines i did the best in. also ended up doing best in evidence, crim procedure, etc. more lit focused areas and doing only ok in corporate, securities, etc. more transactional focused ... my interests and experience all are in corporate sector and thats what im going into after grad smile.gif

law school doesnt prepare you for the bar (thats why you pay 3000+ for barbri) and it doesnt really prepare you for work at a firm (thats why you do a summer associateship) so you just go through it to get that piece of paper that hangs on your wall
post #319 of 418
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by randomkoreandude View Post

law school doesnt prepare you for the bar (thats why you pay 3000+ for barbri) and it doesnt really prepare you for work at a firm (thats why you do a summer associateship) so you just go through it to get that piece of paper that hangs on your wall

That seems to be true for just about any college degree, though.

Minus maybe your Chem/Engineering sort of thing.
post #320 of 418
went to a t14 school without any scholarships. i actually turned down scholarships to 3 schools in the 40-50 range. graduated probably lower half of my class because i just honestly didnt work as hard as i should have. almost dropped out after my first year because i barely got a 3.0 and didnt enjoy law school itself (my classmates, the environment, etc.). but to me it made no sense for me to drop out halfway through- i had paid for the first semester of my second year by that time. if i dropped out, i would have nothing and around 70k in debt. at least with another 70-75k i would have a degree.

looking back, i wish i hadnt gone to law school at all. i just didnt have the heart to do it. a big factor was that it was just at a bad time in my life- i was across the country during a time when my father's health was failing and my mother needed my help with the family business. so both summers i was fully occupied helping them out with no legal internships. so i graduate law school with almost zero legal experience other than helping out with mediation and working at the community law center for 2 semesters. i thought my job prospects would still be decent given the school i went to but it hasnt been great. due to my lack of experience, i can only get internship type jobs for experience or doc review crap. and paying back the student loans (~150k) has been next to impossible. i pay what i can when i can, but i cannot make full payments.

i am moving back east and will try to start over.

in the end, despite my position, i really do think law school is what you make of it. even if you dont do too well in class, if you do the extra shit like externships, volunteer, and do some kind of journal, they will really help you out a lot. it is really up to you to find all the different ways to get hands on experience. OCIs are fail and arent really designed to help out the majority of the student population. i know a lot of people who didnt go to t14 schools and didnt have top grades but got jobs because they really fought for it primarily, in my opinion, by structuring their own legal education as one which focused on work experience and practical knowledge. going through the motions set out by the school itself works for the top students of the top schools, but in the end, hurts the vast majority of them.
post #321 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheessus View Post

went to a t14 school without any scholarships. i actually turned down scholarships to 3 schools in the 40-50 range. graduated probably lower half of my class because i just honestly didnt work as hard as i should have. almost dropped out after my first year because i barely got a 3.0 and didnt enjoy law school itself (my classmates, the environment, etc.). but to me it made no sense for me to drop out halfway through- i had paid for the first semester of my second year by that time. if i dropped out, i would have nothing and around 70k in debt. at least with another 70-75k i would have a degree.
looking back, i wish i hadnt gone to law school at all. i just didnt have the heart to do it. a big factor was that it was just at a bad time in my life- i was across the country during a time when my father's health was failing and my mother needed my help with the family business. so both summers i was fully occupied helping them out with no legal internships. so i graduate law school with almost zero legal experience other than helping out with mediation and working at the community law center for 2 semesters. i thought my job prospects would still be decent given the school i went to but it hasnt been great. due to my lack of experience, i can only get internship type jobs for experience or doc review crap. and paying back the student loans (~150k) has been next to impossible. i pay what i can when i can, but i cannot make full payments.
i am moving back east and will try to start over.
in the end, despite my position, i really do think law school is what you make of it. even if you dont do too well in class, if you do the extra shit like externships, volunteer, and do some kind of journal, they will really help you out a lot. it is really up to you to find all the different ways to get hands on experience. OCIs are fail and arent really designed to help out the majority of the student population. i know a lot of people who didnt go to t14 schools and didnt have top grades but got jobs because they really fought for it primarily, in my opinion, by structuring their own legal education as one which focused on work experience and practical knowledge. going through the motions set out by the school itself works for the top students of the top schools, but in the end, hurts the vast majority of them.

what t14 did you go to? stanford/berkeley??
post #322 of 418
Funny -- I drop by this thread from time to time, type up a few paragraphs of reply, then erase it.

Are any practicing attorneys posting in this thread? The thread could really use the input of midlevel associates.
post #323 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by DLester View Post

Funny -- I drop by this thread from time to time, type up a few paragraphs of reply, then erase it.
Are any practicing attorneys posting in this thread? The thread could really use the input of midlevel associates.


yes there are a few from time to time... Lord Barrington comes to mind... there are others, but this thread isn't very active. I agree with your point above. nod[1].gif
post #324 of 418
I thought past posts LB said he applied to law, then he decided against it even after decent prospects. Other posts I remembered him mentioning working in supply chain management.

puzzled.gif
post #325 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by erdawe View Post

I thought past posts LB said he applied to law, then he decided against it even after decent prospects. Other posts I remembered him mentioning working in supply chain management.
puzzled.gif

perhaps I misinterpreted some of his posts.... I know for sure there is at least ONE on here! happy.gif If it's the case that's not LB then someone else may chime in after they've read this... my bad.
post #326 of 418
Midlevel associate here. Life is busy. Go to CU Law in Boulder if you live in Vegas. At least there are attractive women and an amazing outdoor lifestyle, and your job options in the mountain west are good given it's the best school around.
post #327 of 418
post #328 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by erdawe View Post

I thought past posts LB said he applied to law, then he decided against it even after decent prospects. Other posts I remembered him mentioning working in supply chain management.
puzzled.gif

Correct.

I considered law but decided against it. One of my siblings is a practicing lawyer who went through law school during the bad years (2008-2011) so I know the lay of the land.
post #329 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by skitlets View Post

I also don't know if I'd want to stay around Irvine for a minimum of 5 years, unless I lived in a livelier city like Newport and didn't have to deal with brutal traffic.
I don't know if I'd call Newport Beach livelier, but you won't be more than about 8 miles from UCI anywhere in Newport, unless you live way out on the Newport harbor peninsula, like by the Bluth Banana Stand. If you live in San Francisco, that seems like some pretty brutal traffic to me and I bet you can handle switching to 8 miles of multilane curving surface streets through manicured suburbia for your commute.
post #330 of 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by skitlets View Post

The employment numbers are from lawschooltransparency, a pretty reputable source. I'm sure schools game as much as they can, but the FT, unemployed, etc. numbers are tough to skew. I keep in mind "unknowns" and look up other ways they might cheat.
Just FYI, these numbers can actually be skewed if data points get lost, intentionally or not. For instance I graduated from UCLA law in 08 and had a terrible employment outcome for about 1 year (ie, basically no employment).

UCLA never asked me what my employment status was (I never changed my email address or phone number, and I updated them when I moved out of an apartment I couldn't afford due to no income, so I doubt they couldn't find me). As a result I didn't show up in the employment stats the next year. Yes, I would have answered a survey if they sent me one - I was checking their career services website multiple times a day and I was bitter and wanted to be counted, so I didn't self-select out of the survey due to embarassment (although I was also embarassed). When it got to the 9 months after graduation time when they ask about employment outcome, I kept checking to see if I would get a survey, and I never did.

For what it's worth, it has all worked out fine for me, but it took about 2.5 years to get to where I figured I'd be a few months after graduation. Oh, and if you have better grades than me or more hustle and people skills, things will also likely work out better. But just know that even UCLA isn't a guarantee of immediate success if you just get average B+ grades like me.
Edited by yerfdog - 3/26/12 at 10:37pm
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