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Is becoming a lawyer a mistake? - Page 3

post #31 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bic Pentameter View Post
I attended law school and currently am reassessing the value of the J.D., both economically and psychologically. I went to a top 25-ish school, and graduated in the upper middle of my class.

Today, I will readily admit that I went to law school for the wrong reasons and that I had unrealistic expectations. The month before I graduated college, I took the GMAT, the MCAT, the LSAT, and all of the other ...ATs that opened graduate school doors at the time. I say only half jokingly that I went to law school because my scores were the highest on the LSAT.

I lived at home and paid in state tuition. My parents loaned me the money I needed while in school. I finished repaying those interest free loans a few years go.

Today, I make more on my single salary than both of my parents did. They were public school teachers, each of whom had masters' degrees. I feel odd to make more in my mid-thirties today than my parents did combined in the early nineties.

In 2006, I made the jump from a smaller comfortable boutique firm to big law. My salary increased by 50%, but my stress level tripled.

Last Wednesday, I was told that with the downturn in the economy, the big firm no longer needs me. Of course there is a bit of shock associated with losing my job, but the environment was taking quite a toll on my health. It feels good to be unemployed.

I would have been poorer, but probably happier had I gotten that PhD in modern Asian history.

Bic

Bic, are going to stay in Japan?

I took the LSAT and was set to attend UC Davis but decided I didn't love the law enough to endure the whole "law career". I didn't want to get a JD and not practice law. However, many political people have JD's and do not practice yet are quite successful.

I just enrolled in MBA program.
Ironically, I have two co-workers that have both, a JD and MBA. Both are from top tier schools-Duke and Indiana University.
post #32 of 397
Yep. At least in medicine, even a family doc makes a little under $200,000 a year. I don't think a lawyer from the bottom of his class coming from a shi$$y law school can make close to that much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CTGuy View Post
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_b...nt_go_to_.html

I was sent this post by a fellow law school graduate recently and I empathize strongly with the post. Law school is a total waste of money unless you are in the top 10 percent of your class otherwise from a return on investment standpoint you might as well remain in the workforce and for 3 years.
post #33 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
at this very moment I'm toying with accepting a public service job (and the accompanying drastic reduction in income) and wondering what it will do to my comfortably suburban, middle-aged lifestyle.

Does that mean no more EG/Lobbs or Dior MIJ as well?
post #34 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by whacked View Post
Does that mean no more EG/Lobbs or Dior MIJ as well?

Unfortunately, it probably would mean that, or at least they'd be far fewer and farther between. I may give ed, kent wang, and others with a vested interest in keeping my discretionary income high a chance to talk me out if it.
post #35 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coho View Post
Yep. At least in medicine, even a family doc makes a little under $200,000 a year. I don't think a lawyer from the bottom of his class coming from a shi$$y law school can make close to that much.

Certainly not as an entry level salary. That's more than people with great grades at top law schools are getting when they start at BigLaw firms.
post #36 of 397
@Coho

What people disregard or don't know about medicine if that after your 4 years med school, you start at basically 35k to work 80 hours a week for the next 3 years as an intern (i think you're at around 50-60k by the end of your 3rd year. Only after you are done do you start to make real money. And the average for a family doc is not 200k. It's like ~120k and malpractice insurance is a bitch. If you want to be a surgeon then after interning you need a fellowship which can add another 2-4 years depending on specialty, if you get in. You dont' get that big salary until the end, and even then, most docs make less than people think they do. Nobody intelligent should go to med school unless they REALLY want to be doctors. There are far easier ways to make a buck if you've got the brains.

LD, why the hell would you consider that after making partner?
post #37 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford View Post
I'm not a lawyer, but I have to completely disagree with the premise of the linked article. Having a father, father-in-law, best friend and numerous other friends who are lawyers, I think the concept that if you don't get in with a top firm, you are doing something that doesn't require a law degree is ridiculous. You can be very successful working for a smaller firm, doing corporate law or just hanging out your own shingle and you wouldn't be able to do any of those things had you not gone to law school.

Going to law school is a great way to ensure higher earnings throughout your lifetime and if you live anywhere other than New York, LA or San Francisco, to put yourself into one of the highest income brackets.

This article is just another example that sometimes the WSJ (as much as I love that paper) needs to get out into "flyover" country once in a while and understand how the world outside of NYC lives.

Why should they? They write for people who couldn't give a shit about living in a square state. It's target market are well educated professionals.

This just means that people need to diversify and specialized. A law degree offers you more than just a job at a law firm, there's many things you can do with it.
post #38 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coho View Post
Yep. At least in medicine, even a family doc makes a little under $200,000 a year. I don't think a lawyer from the bottom of his class coming from a shi$$y law school can make close to that much.

I hate to break this to you, but that might be what a GP grosses, but that ain't what he takes home. I am not saying docs do not make a good living and I'm not saying some docs don't make a great living, but MD =! automatic riches anymore. Trust your buddy Piobaire on what docs make

You want a good specialty, one that is already in high demand and will just grow and grow over the next 30 years? Vascular surgeon. Of course, that is a tough gig to master, and I mean a real vascular surgeon, not a cardiologist pretending to be one. Trust your buddy Piobaire on this too, as an area that will be in huge demand.
post #39 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
I hate to break this to you, but that might be what a GP grosses, but that ain't what he takes home. I am not saying docs do not make a good living and I'm not saying some docs don't make a great living, but MD =! automatic riches anymore. Trust your buddy Piobaire on what docs make

You want a good specialty, one that is already in high demand and will just grow and grow over the next 30 years? Vascular surgeon. Of course, that is a tough gig to master, and I mean a real vascular surgeon, not a cardiologist pretending to be one. Trust your buddy Piobaire on this too, as an area that will be in huge demand.

he's also ignoring the fact that the lawyer finishing at the bottom of his class from a shitty law school probably would not have been admitted to medical school in the first place.
post #40 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post


LD, why the hell would you consider that after making partner?

A whole variety of reasons, but mostly because I somewhat out of the blue was confronted with an opportunity to do something a little different for a while. If I hate it or find I've become too spoiled and materialistic to hang with it, I can always go back to a firm. (Which is not to say that I've made a final decision yet.)
In some ways, though, it's actually an easier option to contemplate than earlier in my career. My student debt was paid off some years back. I've always tried to live on the assumption that I might want to make this kind of choice down the road, so our mortgage is manageable and I've managed to get some decent seed money into my retirement accounts and my daughter's college savings plan. So at this point in my life it's really just a question of reducing my discretionary income (admittedly, discretionary income that I very much enjoy having) as opposed to not being able to make ends meet.

So now you know about my cholesteral levels, my career mid-life crisis, and my financial personal finances. Anything I missed?
post #41 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
I hate to break this to you, but that might be what a GP grosses, but that ain't what he takes home. I am not saying docs do not make a good living and I'm not saying some docs don't make a great living, but MD =! automatic riches anymore. Trust your buddy Piobaire on what docs make

You want a good specialty, one that is already in high demand and will just grow and grow over the next 30 years? Vascular surgeon. Of course, that is a tough gig to master, and I mean a real vascular surgeon, not a cardiologist pretending to be one. Trust your buddy Piobaire on this too, as an area that will be in huge demand.

So a wet-behind-the-ears law grad looking to become the next John Edwards might want to start reading up on vascular surgery and every possible complication that can follow from it?
post #42 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
So a wet-behind-the-ears law grad looking to become the next John Edwards might want to start reading up on vascular surgery and every possible complication that can follow from it?

post #43 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
A whole variety of reasons, but mostly because I somewhat out of the blue was confronted with an opportunity to do something a little different for a while. If I hate it or find I've become too spoiled and materialistic to hang with it, I can always go back to a firm. (Which is not to say that I've made a final decision yet.)
In some ways, though, it's actually an easier option to contemplate than earlier in my career. My student debt was paid off some years back. I've always tried to live on the assumption that I might want to make this kind of choice down the road, so our mortgage is manageable and I've managed to get some decent seed money into my retirement accounts and my daughter's college savings plan. So at this point in my life it's really just a question of reducing my discretionary income (admittedly, discretionary income that I very much enjoy having) as opposed to not being able to make ends meet.

So now you know about my cholesteral levels, my career mid-life crisis, and my financial personal finances. Anything I missed?

edit: going too far. :P
post #44 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post
he's also ignoring the fact that the lawyer finishing at the bottom of his class from a shitty law school probably would not have been admitted to medical school in the first place.

Also, I think he was pretty much comparing a GP to said bottom dwelling grad from a shitty school. That right there is a major problem in medicine. IMO, one GP is worth 20 CTs in terms of overall health of the population.
post #45 of 397
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
That's more than people with great grades at top law schools are getting when they start at BigLaw firms.

BigLaw has raised their salaries a few times in the last couple of years...market is now at 160 before bonuses, so first-year associates are making close to, if not over, 200k after bonuses.
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