Choosing a field of law?

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Easy-E
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Choosing a field of law?

Postby Easy-E » Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:08 am

I'm not sure where else to put this, but do most of you have a pretty specific idea of what field of law you'd like to work in, and are therefore taking it into account when targeting schools? Or considering the legal market, are the majority of people focusing first off on minimal debt and best job prospects, regardless of the field of law you might end up following?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:20 am

Probably varies from person to person.

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Easy-E
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby Easy-E » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:23 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Probably varies from person to person.


Fair enough. I've just had a lot of people ask me upon finding out I took the LSAT, and I'm not sure if I'm in the wrong for not having an answer :lol:

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TommyK
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby TommyK » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:33 am

Most people end up practicing something that they didn't expect to practice when they start law school. Some people do know that they want to litigate or do transactional work; other people don't have the foggiest. People are asking you for the same reason they asked you your freshman year what your major was - because they care about your or are just shooting the shit and it seems like reasonable small talk.

I would come up with a canned answer like, "Well, most people end up practicing in an area that they didn't intend when they began law school, but right now patent litigation seems really interesting to me. But we'll see. How about them bears, huh? I mean... sometimes Cutler looks like a world-beater. Other times, he looks like he's fresh off a JV squad."

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Easy-E
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby Easy-E » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:40 am

TommyK wrote:Most people end up practicing something that they didn't expect to practice when they start law school. Some people do know that they want to litigate or do transactional work; other people don't have the foggiest. People are asking you for the same reason they asked you your freshman year what your major was - because they care about your or are just shooting the shit and it seems like reasonable small talk.

I would come up with a canned answer like, "Well, most people end up practicing in an area that they didn't intend when they began law school, but right now patent litigation seems really interesting to me. But we'll see. How about them bears, huh? I mean... sometimes Cutler looks like a world-beater. Other times, he looks like he's fresh off a JV squad."



As a Packers fan, you have offended my family and my honor. Choose your weapon.

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TommyK
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby TommyK » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:00 am

emarxnj wrote:
TommyK wrote:Most people end up practicing something that they didn't expect to practice when they start law school. Some people do know that they want to litigate or do transactional work; other people don't have the foggiest. People are asking you for the same reason they asked you your freshman year what your major was - because they care about your or are just shooting the shit and it seems like reasonable small talk.

I would come up with a canned answer like, "Well, most people end up practicing in an area that they didn't intend when they began law school, but right now patent litigation seems really interesting to me. But we'll see. How about them bears, huh? I mean... sometimes Cutler looks like a world-beater. Other times, he looks like he's fresh off a JV squad."



As a Packers fan, you have offended my family and my honor. Choose your weapon.


I'm talking about the Bears QB's inconsistency. You should be happy. But that Erin Rodgers... I'm tired of the analysts' pleasuring themselves talking about this guy, gushing over what an elite QB he is. If I hear him recount his sob story explaining the "chip on his shoulder" for falling ALLLLL the way to the bottom of the first round of the draft and not being treated nicely by Favre, I'll lose it. He's a douche and grows a stupid beard. I hate him I hate him I hate him.

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Easy-E
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby Easy-E » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:13 am

TommyK wrote:
emarxnj wrote:
TommyK wrote:Most people end up practicing something that they didn't expect to practice when they start law school. Some people do know that they want to litigate or do transactional work; other people don't have the foggiest. People are asking you for the same reason they asked you your freshman year what your major was - because they care about your or are just shooting the shit and it seems like reasonable small talk.

I would come up with a canned answer like, "Well, most people end up practicing in an area that they didn't intend when they began law school, but right now patent litigation seems really interesting to me. But we'll see. How about them bears, huh? I mean... sometimes Cutler looks like a world-beater. Other times, he looks like he's fresh off a JV squad."



As a Packers fan, you have offended my family and my honor. Choose your weapon.


I'm talking about the Bears QB's inconsistency. You should be happy. But that Erin Rodgers... I'm tired of the analysts' pleasuring themselves talking about this guy, gushing over what an elite QB he is. If I hear him recount his sob story explaining the "chip on his shoulder" for falling ALLLLL the way to the bottom of the first round of the draft and not being treated nicely by Favre, I'll lose it. He's a douche and grows a stupid beard. I hate him I hate him I hate him.



I don't care how he does it, as long as keeps putting up 3+ TDs a game, he can grow mutton chops :mrgreen:




Oh and thank you for the actual response to my question!

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rinkrat19
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:15 am

emarxnj wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Probably varies from person to person.


Fair enough. I've just had a lot of people ask me upon finding out I took the LSAT, and I'm not sure if I'm in the wrong for not having an answer :lol:
I get that question constantly (also "I bet you're going to do environmental law, right?"), and my standard answer is that I'm going in with an open mind because I don't know enough yet to be sure what I'll like or what I'll be good at (or what I'll be able to get a decent job in).

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Easy-E
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby Easy-E » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:11 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
emarxnj wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Probably varies from person to person.


Fair enough. I've just had a lot of people ask me upon finding out I took the LSAT, and I'm not sure if I'm in the wrong for not having an answer :lol:
I get that question constantly (also "I bet you're going to do environmental law, right?"), and my standard answer is that I'm going in with an open mind because I don't know enough yet to be sure what I'll like or what I'll be good at (or what I'll be able to get a decent job in).



Exactly. I'm not going to commit to something to find out I won't be able to find a job practicing it!

CanadianWolf
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:42 pm

The correct answers are international law, environmental law or entertainment law.

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Easy-E
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby Easy-E » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:48 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:The correct answers are international law, environmental law or entertainment law.


No space law??

CanadianWolf
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:49 pm

If you want space law, then you need to get your LLM at Mississippi.

msuz
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby msuz » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:00 pm

Can someone explain to me what exactly happens in law school that people dont know what they want to do until later, OR what makes people change their minds halfway through? Maybe it only usually happens to people who havent done the proper research beforehand (ie, what is it like to do x type of law in the real world, what type of work do x lawyers actually do, how likely am I to get a job in this with the school I go to, etc), but perhaps someone can clear this up. Does it have to do with having unrealistic expectations going into law school, debt, or something else?

If you don't know what you are going to end up in, how do you decide what internships to do in the summer? Do people usually use their 1L summer to test something out, decide if they like it, then either switch career paths later or stick with that if they liked it? Im pretty sure I know exactly what I want to do and exactly why I am going to law school, so I am curious to know why people go to law school if they are so unsure about what they want to do before they commit to 3 years of education/possible long-term loan repayment.

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Easy-E
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby Easy-E » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:46 pm

msuz wrote:Can someone explain to me what exactly happens in law school that people dont know what they want to do until later, OR what makes people change their minds halfway through? Maybe it only usually happens to people who havent done the proper research beforehand (ie, what is it like to do x type of law in the real world, what type of work do x lawyers actually do, how likely am I to get a job in this with the school I go to, etc), but perhaps someone can clear this up. Does it have to do with having unrealistic expectations going into law school, debt, or something else?

If you don't know what you are going to end up in, how do you decide what internships to do in the summer? Do people usually use their 1L summer to test something out, decide if they like it, then either switch career paths later or stick with that if they liked it? Im pretty sure I know exactly what I want to do and exactly why I am going to law school, so I am curious to know why people go to law school if they are so unsure about what they want to do before they commit to 3 years of education/possible long-term loan repayment.



It appears someone already answered this for you. I think most people going to law school want to be lawyers, but it sounds like basing school selection on what field of law you want to work in is ill-advised.


TommyK wrote:Your questions represent a misunderstanding that a lot of applicants have during the process - that certain schools are good for one kind of law and not good at another. With very few exceptions (maybe IP for UNH, formerly franklin pierce?), this just really isn't the case. Your goal shouldn't be to go to the school with the best criminal defense program. It should be to go to a school that has a decent reputation in the area that you want to practice and also has low cost of attendance (through either scholarship or low tuition). Any comparative benefits from school to school in quality of preparation for a particular practice of law will be so marginal that it will not have any noticeable effect. Take the advice given and find out the area you want to practice. If Ohio, go Ohio State; If Wisconsin, go to Wisc; if Indiana, go to IUB; if Illinois, go to UIUC, etc.

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TommyK
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby TommyK » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:46 pm

Most people really don't know what is involved in a career path until they really start getting into it. I think that's true not only in law, but a lot of professions (certainly is true for teaching for many people). A buddy of mine took a summer associateship with a huge firm and he did a bunch of litigation work and he found out he haaaaaated litigation. Not so much because of the actual work, but because litigation (from his perspective) attracted the biggest assholes.

As you find out more about different practice areas, you might find that they imply certain things that you really like or really hate. Maybe one practice group implies a lot of short-notice loooooong days for a couple of weeks, crushing any ability to plan a life around it - but then again, maybe you like the adrenaline rush of finishing a huge project with an aggressive timeline.

Another example: I have a buddy who went to law school dreaming of doing appeals work because he loved the idea of having the legal universe for that case defined as far as facts and moving from there. Of course, the kind of position he wanted was ridiculously hard to get so he is doing real estate law work because the firm that hired him specialized in that and now, he's been doing it for a few years.

TL;DR version: sometimes it's experience of what you hate or like; sometimes it's the opportunities you have that dictate your practice.

achewood
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Re: Choosing a field of law?

Postby achewood » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:32 pm

emarxnj wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:The correct answers are international law, environmental law or entertainment law.


No space law??


whoa what's the joke about environmental law???




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