Law = shelter from the storm.

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lolwut
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Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby lolwut » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:07 am

Short time lurker, first time poster, can't quite believe I hadn't found this site sooner.....

Anyways, I've been out of undergrad for several years now which may explain my position relative to the loop, so to speak.

So here it is, I'm just going to come out and say it to see if there's anyone else like me out there: My decision to go to law school was primarily prompted by the economy, loss of job and attempt to shelter myself from this economy for three years. I prepped for LSAT for roughly 2 months, took this past Dec, and am fairly satisfied with my 166. (3.4 gpa)

It's essentially a high stakes life dice-roll. Yes, there are many things that draw me to law and my experience/background suggest I'd be good at it, but that could also be the requisite load of bullshit I've had to drop in front of the more honest reasons of why I'm going. I'm sorry, but it is what it is.

Am I alone out here? Have most of you on here actually planned your paths leading you to law?

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Panther7
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby Panther7 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:11 am

you're not alone. law makes a lot of sense for me as well (i always intended on grad school), but i probably wouldn't have pursued it this year had it not been for the ridiculousness that is the job searches that I keep having to do.

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lolwut
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby lolwut » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:24 am

OH the job searching - I've given up on the inane, infuriating, frustrating practice laballed "job searching" in this economy. I've also had the pleasure of being accused (and penalized) for being overqualified on 2-3 occasions. Careerbuilder is useless, craigslist is a joke, my network of friends (including 3 unemployed attorneys) can't quite help with anything and I've applied for unemployment comp. until I know where I'll end up in the fall.

If my penis was 1 or 2 inches larger, I'd probably consider porn. I'm joking as it's probably hard for a 12 incher to get work these days as well. Joking again, I meant 11, who am I kidding.

But seriously, in the meantime (if I decide to retake, and shoot for next cycle w/hopeful scholarship at a great school) what have you all been using for job-search efforts? Any new sites out there I should check out? (Business degree/finance background w/poly sci)

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kurla88
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby kurla88 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:56 am

Would just like to say, if you're feeling unsure that you'll actually enjoy law school/being a lawyer, go to a lower-ranked school on scholarship.

Makes the dice-roll that much less high-stakes if you're getting a semi-portable(?) degree for free or cheap, rather than putting $200K on the line for a minimum-10-year commitment to study/work in a field you may or may not enjoy.
Last edited by kurla88 on Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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taw856
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby taw856 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:29 am

Won't say it's the economy in my case, but will say that you're not alone in not having planned to go to law school years ahead of time.

Frankly, when I left undergrad I didn't think I'd ever be going back to school of any kind. I was burned out and needed the real world to kick me around for a while to gain some perspective on what I really wanted to be doing with myself. :lol:

Anyhow, so long as you're realistic about what you're getting yourself into, why not?

EDIT: The above not intended to imply I don't "want" to be here.
Last edited by taw856 on Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bosque
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby Bosque » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:46 am

I'm actually here because I want to be.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby pleasetryagain » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:52 am

Bosque wrote:I'm actually here because I want to be.


I wish there was a way for adcomms to distinguish between those of us who really want to do this and have for years, and those who are dodging the economy. Sadly though, even if there was a way, they probably wouldn't care so long as the economy-dodgers numbers are good. :cry:

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vanwinkle
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:01 am

This place you think is safe is merely the eye of the hurricane. You're going to get pummeled again once you're in law school, it's hard for lawyers to find jobs right now too.

insidethetwenty
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby insidethetwenty » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:24 am

While it doesn't sound like you have a whole lot of other options, I'd say proceed with caution. Law school generally sucks a lot even for people who actually want to be there/be lawyers. The graduate business school at my UG cross-lists classes with the LS, and people from the graduate programs who take the law classes hate them. When I discussed the matter with them, they agreed that it was because they really didn't care about the law or law school, they just wanted the class for getting a job later.

If you know exactly what you are getting into, go for it. Work hard, get a great job, and be a happy attorney. If you really don't know what you want to do and just don't want to fight the job market anymore, you might end up hating law school/life.

But as you said, this is a big life dice-roll, and you might hit the point...

postitnotes
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby postitnotes » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:42 am

vanwinkle wrote:This place you think is safe is merely the eye of the hurricane. You're going to get pummeled again once you're in law school, it's hard for lawyers to find jobs right now too.


+1 Except you'd have mountains of debt coming out of law school if you pay sticker and you'd be tied to a certain kind of job (government or PI) if you want help paying it off. If you only want law school for "safety" purposes, consider taking a big scholarship at a lower ranked school or just not going and getting work experience in any field you can break into.

Studying law school material isn't fun for most people. You don't get to choose a wide variety of classes in law school.
For example, I took a lot of math, music, history, etc. classes in undergrad and I really enjoyed the contrast. In law school it's all pretty much the same method of studying.

narkizopoint
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby narkizopoint » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:49 am

vanwinkle wrote:This place you think is safe is merely the eye of the hurricane. You're going to get pummeled again once you're in law school, it's hard for lawyers to find jobs right now too.


Do you mean "out of law school"?

I think its safe to say that we are all hoping that this current hurricane is seasonal and the winds will dissipate sometime over the next 3 years (2 for you 1Ls) :wink:

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vanwinkle
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:44 pm

narkizopoint wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:This place you think is safe is merely the eye of the hurricane. You're going to get pummeled again once you're in law school, it's hard for lawyers to find jobs right now too.

Do you mean "out of law school"?

I think its safe to say that we are all hoping that this current hurricane is seasonal and the winds will dissipate sometime over the next 3 years (2 for you 1Ls) :wink:

No, I mean once you're in law school. The job hunt begins when you're a 1L; I'm a 1L looking for summer jobs right now and having a hard time because all the unpaid internships that 2Ls used to ignore are being filled up by 2Ls who can't find paid internships at law firms. It won't be long before you start seriously feeling the effects of the economy once more; I already am, despite being at a top law school and having respectable grades.

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softey
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby softey » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:48 pm

MY DADDY"S A LAWYER

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vanwinkle
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:56 pm

softey wrote:MY DADDY"S A LAWYER

Go to Cooley, get your JD, join the family firm, and bank it.

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softey
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby softey » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:58 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
softey wrote:MY DADDY"S A LAWYER

Go to Cooley, get your JD, join the family firm, and bank it.

not that kind of daddy...

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jakeoooh
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby jakeoooh » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:05 pm

In my case, it's more a matter of the opportunity cost of going back to school shrinking to an acceptable level. I've been out of undergrad since 2002, and had initially planned on attending law school right after graduation. During that cycle, a few wait-lists failed to manifest into acceptances, and I decided to get a job rather than go to Fordham (my best option at the time). After working for a year and then opening my own business, it became economically infeasible to go back to school as a result of marriage and financial success. The economic slowdown has given me the opportunity to (hopefully) pursue the career which I had initially planned on embarking upon. I don't know if I would consider law school as "shelter from the storm," since I could continue paying my bills without making the return to school, but I would say that the storm has definitely provided me an opportunity.

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agentzer0
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby agentzer0 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:12 pm

I think "riding out" the rough economy in law school makes plenty of sense; while law job prospects have been hit along with the rest of the job market, they will rise again as the broader job market rises. Since law school is 3 years it makes perfect sense to spend the years when the job market is weakest in school increasing your earning potential for when the job market rebounds. Like the previous poster said; the opportunity cost these days is lower than in the past and the value of a JD for employment prospects will increase as the economy continues to recover.... just make sure it's a JD from a school that has good value/earning potential in the first place...

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vanwinkle
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:15 pm

agentzer0 wrote:Since law school is 3 years

This is the flaw in your argument. You're exposed to the job market less than 6 months after you first enroll, as you're required to find your own summer employment, and even unpaid internships are becoming quickly saturated. You do have to find something to do for your summers though, since 1) a lack of summer employment is a huge glaring mistake on your resume and 2) it's during the summer employments that you get your best chance to network and make connections for finding work once you graduate. Anyone who banks on avoiding the economy while in law school is making a foolish mistake.

postitnotes
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby postitnotes » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:22 pm

agentzer0 wrote: the opportunity cost these days is lower than in the past and the [b]value of a JD for employment prospects will increase as the economy continues to recover....


The problem are the tuition costs. There are not enough jobs for grads, so there are a lot of people who are going to end up faring worse going to law school because of debt and no employment prospects rather than just having no employment prospects.

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agentzer0
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby agentzer0 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:22 pm

This is flawed:

vanwinkle wrote:
agentzer0 wrote:Since law school is 3 years

You do have to find something to do for your summers though, since 1) a lack of summer employment is a huge glaring mistake on your resume and 2) it's during the summer employments that you get your best chance to network and make connections for finding work once you graduate.


I'm assuming a general economic recovery. If that recovery happens, firms/employers will be increasing hiring numbers. As this happens there will be more post-graduate positions available than there were summer-gigs the previous years... If employers are increasing hiring numbers across the board (my assumption) and are hiring more graduates than there were summer-gigs for those graduates while they were in school they cannot penalize everyone who didn't do something over the summer, the math wouldn't work.

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agentzer0
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby agentzer0 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:24 pm

postitnotes wrote:
agentzer0 wrote: the opportunity cost these days is lower than in the past and the [b]value of a JD for employment prospects will increase as the economy continues to recover....


The problem are the tuition costs. There are not enough jobs for grads, so there are a lot of people who are going to end up faring worse going to law school because of debt and no employment prospects rather than just having no employment prospects.


Let me clarify, when I said "just make sure it's a JD from a school that has good value/earning potential in the first place..." - I meant don't go to a shitty school, and I set this bar pretty low; I wouldn't go anywhere outside the T30 and would think hard about anything outside T14/would do a lot of projections to figure out how much you'd have to make to cover tuition+foregone salary.

pieceofbeth
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby pieceofbeth » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:28 pm

You need to seriously think it through. A lot of people like you went to law school for similar reasons and now hate their jobs.

However, there are also people who have seriously thought the whole thing through and hate their jobs.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:30 pm

agentzer0 wrote:This is flawed:

vanwinkle wrote:
agentzer0 wrote:Since law school is 3 years

You do have to find something to do for your summers though, since 1) a lack of summer employment is a huge glaring mistake on your resume and 2) it's during the summer employments that you get your best chance to network and make connections for finding work once you graduate.

I'm assuming a general economic recovery. If that recovery happens, firms/employers will be increasing hiring numbers. As this happens there will be more post-graduate positions available than there were summer-gigs the previous years... If employers are increasing hiring numbers across the board (my assumption) and are hiring more graduates than there were summer-gigs for those graduates while they were in school they cannot penalize everyone who didn't do something over the summer, the math wouldn't work.

I love how you call my statement flawed and then attempt to use several flawed assumptions to disprove it.

Even if hiring does pick up, there have been more than 20,000 lawyers laid off in the last year, and many of those are attempting to grab up whatever jobs they can. Until those lawyers get reabsorbed there's going to continue to be a surplus of experienced lawyers available to soak up jobs as they open up. A recovery is a long-term thing and it is incredibly naive to assume that it will happen so rapidly that the job market will spontaneously and dramatically improve from this year to the next when many of you are 1Ls.

You're also ignoring the number of deferred associates hired out of last summer's graduating class. Those people have jobs lined up, but their start date was deferred to this summer or even in some cases next summer; that means that even if an economic recovery occurs and hiring can pick up again, those employers have a supply of new associates coming in already without having to hire from this summer's graduating class at all. The only way for this to not be an issue is if law firms uniformly start needing both all the associates they deferred last year and the folks graduating this summer and looking for work. That would essentially have us going from zero hiring to double the historical amount of hiring in a single year, and that's more than just a recovery, that's a recovery plus unprecedented growth in the legal market all within the span of a single year. This is in no way realistic at all.

You're right, if there was more hiring than available lawyers the math wouldn't work. However, it will be years before the math makes things an employee's market once more, and in the meantime law firms and public service employers alike are free to discriminate against those who don't have summer employment on their resume.

postitnotes
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby postitnotes » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:32 pm

agentzer0 wrote:
postitnotes wrote:
agentzer0 wrote: the opportunity cost these days is lower than in the past and the [b]value of a JD for employment prospects will increase as the economy continues to recover....


The problem are the tuition costs. There are not enough jobs for grads, so there are a lot of people who are going to end up faring worse going to law school because of debt and no employment prospects rather than just having no employment prospects.


Let me clarify, when I said "just make sure it's a JD from a school that has good value/earning potential in the first place..." - I meant don't go to a shitty school, and I set this bar pretty low; I wouldn't go anywhere outside the T30 and would think hard about anything outside T14/would do a lot of projections to figure out how much you'd have to make to cover tuition+foregone salary.


The phenomenon I'm talking about (unemployment with debt) is happening at top 14 schools. It's pretty scary how eager people are willing to throw themselves into massive debt these days, even at top 14 schools.

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SteelReserve
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby SteelReserve » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:47 pm

Man, going to law school as a form of economic shelter is easily one of the worst, if not the worst, reason to go to school. So many people hate law school and working in the law, including people who truly thought they wanted to be lawyers . You will end up working your ass off in law school, then you get to suffer through the bar exam (which also will of course limit the rest of your life to a certain state). Lawyers don't just move around, you find a state and you spend your life there. It can take years to become fluent in a state's procedural rules.

So now because you had a tough time sending your resumes out on Monster like everyone else during the Great Recession, you now get to sit on thousands in debt, having an equally difficult time searching for a job, after working your ass off for 3 years and no money, and if you are lucky enough to get a job, it may be doing something you hate. And then because you have the JD and you're 3 years older, you have approximately a 0% chance of switching careers and you are locked for life into the state that you (hopefully) got a job in. Oh, and that job may start around 40k.




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