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Thinking about law school? Read this.

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by DNW, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    "They have to read and respond to mail and firm memos, go to meetings, read legal publications, and eat lunch"”not to mention kib-bitz with colleagues, if not friends."


    I chuckled. [​IMG]
     
  2. Fuuma

    Fuuma Senior member

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    OE, just going off the report that was posted, which was basically 1.5 hours worked vs. 1 hour billable. So 2k billable hours = 3k hours worked. Basically, 50% more than a 40 hour per week working stiff for probably far more than 50% more than what the usual 40 hour per week working stiff earns. Yes, yes, cost of school, missed income while in school, etc. Still, career trajectories and future earnings are vastly different divergent.

    You do realize that those 2K hrs have to be spent practice law? That's roughly the equivalent of rubbing sandpaper on your genitals if you ask me....
     
  3. Flambeur

    Flambeur Senior member

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    I'm surprised [​IMG] hasn't chimed in.

    I think [​IMG] got a bit smarter about mixing his professional, personal, and internet lives.. At least I hope so.
     
  4. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    Dude, if you "really have no other choice than to go to law school", how are you not limiting yourself? And if you aren't, then you just can not express yourself well at all.

    Can't believe it hasn't been said before but being mature for 19 doesn't mean anything. Look back at yourself when you are 21 or 22 and you'll see what I mean. You're getting a lot of advice here from people who were in your boat not too long ago. If you were truly mature for a 19 year old you'd at least listen to what they say.


    yeah that's not exactly a contradiction. perhaps poor wording caused that.

    i researched a ton of careers. lawyer sounded like a perfect fit. you can't be a lawyer without first going to law school. lost school is insane for obvious reasons, but i have no choice but to go to law school, because i would like to practice law.

    i agree that when i look back on myself in a few years i'll probably regret some things etc. but this won't be one of them.
     
  5. Mark it 8

    Mark it 8 Senior member

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    yeah that's not exactly a contradiction. perhaps poor wording caused that.

    i researched a ton of careers. lawyer sounded like a perfect fit. you can't be a lawyer without first going to law school. lost school is insane for obvious reasons, but i have no choice but to go to law school, because i would like to practice law.

    i agree that when i look back on myself in a few years i'll probably regret some things etc. but this won't be one of them.


    You asked for advice. Thus far you have contested every single piece of advice you've been given, even advice that doesnt dissuade you from attending law school. Why did you even ask for input if you dont want any?
     
  6. AR_Six

    AR_Six Senior member

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    At some point, something is going to snap, and it ain't going to be pretty.
    It's just his personality type, he runs triathalons and iron man competitions for fun as well. Total workaholic, he'd be more likely to snap if he took a 6 month sabbatical. I'm sort of the same way to a less extreme degree; if I'm not working on something that's enough to tire me out, I'm pretty unhappy. We'll see if that helps me down the road or not.
     
  7. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    You asked for advice. Thus far you have contested every single piece of advice you've been given, even advice that doesnt dissuade you from attending law school. Why did you even ask for input if you dont want any?

    you're painting a pretty distorted picture here. i haven't contested every piece of advice. i've contested some of it.

    i appreciate ALL of it. but i don't really subscribe to the whole "WHAT YOU THINK IS WRONG AND YOU'RE IN FOR A RUDE AWAKENING" thing.

    i mean, yeah, it's not the greatest time to get into the legal profession. but there are inherent risks with any profession worth doing. what if i wanted to be a doctor? well, med school is hard and the first decade or so are a complete bitch, so i shouldn't do it? what if i want to help people, though? what if i'm willing to take that risk?

    that's all i'm saying. it's going to be impossible to convince me that i outright should reconsider things, because i know ALOT about the profession (specifically the ares of which i'd like to practice) and i'm confident i can be successful.
     
  8. AR_Six

    AR_Six Senior member

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    That's as may be, but what you think is wrong, and you're in for a rude awakening.
     
  9. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    that's all i'm saying. it's going to be impossible to convince me that i outright should reconsider things, because i know ALOT about the profession (specifically the ares of which i'd like to practice) and i'm confident i can be successful.


    Said like a 19 or 20 year old.

    God, it was such a great feeling to think like this, in complete dearth of education and experience on the topic.
     
  10. yerfdog

    yerfdog Senior member

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    The truth kind of exists in an area between all of these posts. You do not need to go to a top 15 law school to get a Biglaw job, but it sure makes it easier. This is how people "arrive" at Biglaw:

    - Traditional route as associates straight out of law school.

    - Work at a boutique firm that gets bought up by Biglaw.

    - Know someone on the hiring committee.


    Maybe Lawyerdad will correct me but I think another way that's often overlooked is to work in the federal government (with major exceptions, ie DOJ, fed agencies are much less snobby about school rank) for several years, then do the standard thing that happens w/lobbyists and regulators where you switch to private sector representing companies against your old agency.
     
  11. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    Said like a 19 or 20 year old. God, it was such a great feeling to think like this, in complete dearth of education and experience on the topic.
    i just don't really buy into the ad hominem. sorry. i guess in your eyes it's extremely immature for me to research a profession, decide i want to make it my career, and exhibit confidence in my ability to one day achieve that dream. it's quite silly of me to do that. brb i'm going back in time to tell anyone who ever was successful at anything that you think it's immature of them to try and accomplish something hard, with confidence.
    That's as may be, but what you think is wrong, and you're in for a rude awakening.
    best post in the topic
     
  12. Connemara

    Connemara Senior member

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    Said like a 19 or 20 year old. God, it was such a great feeling to think like this, in complete dearth of education and experience on the topic.
    I (probably you too Pio) felt like that at 16-17. But this guy is almost 20. [​IMG]
     
  13. Runningman411

    Runningman411 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, tough crowd! Perhaps you older, I meant more experienced guys, should get together and write a "how to live your life" book. That way, the younger generation won't go out and make their own mistakes and they'll all be successful, pleasant, well-dressed individuals. [​IMG]

    With that being said, though, the OP should consider some of the things that are being said. Practicing law can be rewarding once you find your groove but it can also be pretty shitty early on. You never really appreciate the level of shittiness until you're actually in it. Long hours, dealing with other people's problems all day, opposing counsel problems, office politics, etc. I don't think the others are dissuading you from going to law school. I think they're giving you the full picture.

    Many bright eyed law students go into law school with a higher purpose, which is a good thing. Many bust their butts to get into law review, top 10%, etc. so that they can score a "good" job, which law school counselors and their fellow students have convinced them are the biglaw type jobs. It's not until after they've gone through the wine-and-dine summer clerkships and have been in the office for a year or so that they realize that the "prize" that they sought really wasn't much of a prize at all. It's been a year and they're still reviewing documents, writing briefs and researching until 10 pm. They're basically high paid secretaries for the lead partner on the case. They haven't stepped into a courthouse or taken a deposition or even spoken to a client yet as they're the third name on signature block for that case. Not a very "Boston Legal" existence...

    OP, you really should listen more to these guys and gather whatever information that you can. Consider the good advice and filter out the filler stuff. Nobody, and not even a "mature" 19 year old, should ever believe that they have nothing to learn from others.
     
  14. rjakapeanut

    rjakapeanut Senior member

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    man, you guys sure are overplaying this age stuff. that was only fun when you could tease your younger siblings/cousins about it. once you get to round 18-24 you're pretty much there nowadays.

    anyways, i'm definitely considering the good advice and filtering out the filler stuff. i just have trouble accepting generalized advice over the internet from people who don't know me or my situation. it's irresponsible to give that kind of advice to someone when the decision itself is a very personal one -- career selection.

    i appreciate all of the comments. i read them all, and they're noted. but i'm focusing on some of my advisors IRL -- people who know me personally and who practice law in my area.

    like i said, i appreciate the advice. but half of you think that simply because you're 5 or 10 years older than me you're on some higher plane of intelligence -- that you've "figured something out" that my simple mind cannot yet understand.

    you're dolts.

    if you have a claim, make it with evidence. don't pop in somewhere and throw words around without justifying them. that's asinine.
     
  15. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    i just don't really buy into the ad hominem. sorry.

    i guess in your eyes it's extremely immature for me to research a profession, decide i want to make it my career, and exhibit confidence in my ability to one day achieve that dream. it's quite silly of me to do that. brb i'm going back in time to tell anyone who ever was successful at anything that you think it's immature of them to try and accomplish something hard, with confidence.


    Pointing out that you are exhibiting your youthful nature is not an ad hom, it's a statement of fact. The immature part is being so convinced you are 100% correct in the face of evidence to the contrary from a number of people that have already traveled the same or very similar path you are planning on. There's nothing wrong with being your age and seriously, it's a great feeling. I remember it well.



    like i said, i appreciate the advice. but half of you think that simply because you're 5 or 10 years older than me you're on some higher plane of intelligence -- that you've "figured something out" that my simple mind cannot yet understand.

    you're dolts.

    if you have a claim, make it with evidence. don't pop in somewhere and throw words around without justifying them. that's asinine.


    I admit it. I'm a dolt. Also, not very intelligent and kinda just basically intellectually slow. Also, I'm double your age. It's not that you gain intelligence, I mean look at how deficient I am intellectually, but you do tend to change your perspective and have yourself tempered by years of real life experience from your education, career, and life.

    I in no way am trying to dissuade you from your chosen path, I merely commented you are exhibiting some characteristics of your current stage of development and that I greatly enjoyed being in that stage myself. If I were you, I'd take that as a compliment.
     
  16. Nereis

    Nereis Senior member

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    I don't have a very high opinion of lawyers. But I can respect the guys in prosecutor's offices and civil defense busting their asses to help other people out. While it may be hard to get into, BigLaw to me has always just been reviewing contracts using information you memorised as a bright eyed kid. It's hardly something you look back on with pride and go "gee, my life made a difference". Even morally bankrupt bankers can argue that they at least help people who would make good stuff, get the financing they need.
     
  17. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    Also, I'm double your age.

    I thought you were much older for some reason. Maybe you just have that cantankerous old man act perfected. [​IMG] Actually I really am just kidding in that last sentence.
     
  18. crazyquik

    crazyquik Senior member

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    OE, just going off the report that was posted, which was basically 1.5 hours worked vs. 1 hour billable. So 2k billable hours = 3k hours worked. Basically, 50% more than a 40 hour per week working stiff for probably far more than 50% more than what the usual 40 hour per week working stiff earns. Yes, yes, cost of school, missed income while in school, etc. Still, career trajectories and future earnings are vastly different divergent.

    I know.

    Union HVAC/plumber/electrician will pull down $100-130k a year; figure half that for a journeyman or apprentice. Apprenticeship takes 5 years. It takes 7 to become an unemployable law school grad.

    In an equal 5 years, the union tradesman will make over $100k/year. If you did law and undergrad in 6, you could be begging to work for $10/hr or getting turned down from paralegal jobs.

    If the union working stiff were working 60 hours a week, you're talking easily north of the NYCBigLaw $160k zomg!!!111!!!!.

    You're also over-inflating the career trajectory and future earnings of most law school graduates. Some will never practice, many will only practice for a few years. Even before 2008, even graduates of top schools would often see their prime earnings years at the early point of their careers; they would get on the 145k/160k scale, work for 2-5 years (getting a lockstep raise each year) before either voluntarily leaving or getting forced out of BigLaw. Their pay would never again approach $160-200k. Career trajectories for BigLaw are up-or-out; mostly out. The chances of one of the 40,000 law school graduates each year becoming an equity partner in an AmLaw 100 firm are less than 1%. Even the chances for T14 law school graduates of becoming AmLaw 100 equity partners are in the low single digits (if that much, it was rough back of the envelope math when I calculated it).
     
  19. gvibes

    gvibes Senior member

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    Maybe Lawyerdad will correct me but I think another way that's often overlooked is to work in the federal government (with major exceptions, ie DOJ, fed agencies are much less snobby about school rank) for several years, then do the standard thing that happens w/lobbyists and regulators where you switch to private sector representing companies against your old agency.
    Of the former federal employees at my big-ass firm, just about all of them were in the prestigious areas - DOJ or FTC for antitrust, or USAs mostly.
     
  20. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    The bottom line is this, being a lawyer is not a very easy way to make a living. It's a lot of long hours, hard work, stress, etc., so any kid who is 19 years old and going on and on about wanting to become a lawyer must be missing something somewhere.

    Actually, my law school essay was about deciding to become a lawyer instead of a plumber. I often think to myself that I might not have made the right choice.
     

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