squee116 wrote: Arcticlynx wrote:
squee116 wrote:I suppose I should clarify. My interest in big law has to do with money. From what reading I have done, it would appear as though big law prepares associates for careers outside of its own firms, generally pays well, and generally provides an array of work to help build skill sets. Work at a big law firm, from what I've read, at least lends itself to helping someone get hired by another firm. I'm not a big fan of the term "job security," but I think people should try as hard as possible to develop themselves as much as possible to maintain "work security." The more attractive a choice or act makes me look as an employee, the more I'd like to do it, if possible.
If the above is a misconception (it may very well be), then my attachment to big law wanes. In terms of where I'd like to be, I have no interest in any of the states I have family ties to (with the possible exception of extended family [AZ, PA, NC]). I have visited Washington state several times and, though I'm generally not a big fan of urban areas, Seattle has to be one of my favorite big cities (weather and all). However, I've gleaned that the area isn't really rich in legal jobs. I have a few friends in Texas that swear to me I'll love the state. That may be, but the weather doesn't sound that enticing. However, I am not repulsed by the state either. There are parts of it that sound genuinely intriguing, and others that are very off-putting. I really don't have an attachment to any area. I like the cooler climate of the Pacific Northwest, and have friends and family scattered throughout the PNW, the Midwest, the South, and the Coastlines. Certainly, I do require some amenities be available wherever I go: high-speed internet, clean water, access to parcel services, etc. I'm a bit of a food snob, which usually meshes well with large cities. And to be honest, the less driving I have to do, the better. What this says, I don't know, but I hope it clarifies things.
On a side note, my parents agreed that I should retake the test. Now only the time frame is in question. They think the February test would be best, so that if my scores don't improve, I can still accept the offers I've gotten. I was leaning more towards June.
Ok, I find it really interesting that the TLS community likes you and thinks you have a good attitude, because the impression that I get from your posts is not good and frankly I think your attitude kinda sucks. A lot of lawyers and people I know who are in law school, are in the legal field because they want to help people, or save the earth, or improve education, or protect animals, or make a difference, or something. You come off like the only reason you are interested in law is money and that your parents are controlling you life (more or less), my gosh OP, do you have any passion or purpose beyond going to law school, getting into a big firm and making money.
Four comments on this:
1. If your interested in the pacific northwest and open to small law, why not apply to Willamette. Although the LSAT/GPA is lower then Seattle, the employment is better.
2. You really come off like the only reason that you are going to law school is for the money. I think that is a mistake in almost any profession.... In my experience people who go chasing after $$$, often find it, but at the expense of much more important and valuable aspects of life, they are rarely happy or healthy. Anyhow, if you want money a safer bet would be a degree in fiance, then a job as a CFA.
3. This is going to tie into chasing money, because I feel like people often go into IP law for that reason, and you talked in an earlier post about trying to get the credentials to take the patent bar. IP is not going to be as easy as you think. It's not just about checking off some list of hard science classes and then taking a test. You need to bring some kind of experience or specialized knowledge to the table in order to be competitive, and to be clear you will mostly be competing against people who have PhD's and Master degrees.
4. How old are you OP? And who is controlling your life, who is making decisions? If I told my parents I was going to move to a small village in Amazon in order to learn tribal languages, they would either support me or they would learn to live with it. Take ownership of your life, if you think that your should take a year off and re-take the LSAT then that is what you should do. A lot of people get on here and talk about what their parents think, are you going to law school for your parents or for yourself?
I'm sorry you got that impression. I could see how I put that out there.
1) I do like the PNW. But for me, liking something is not important enough for me to follow it. If I don't assess the likely outcomes, worst-case-scenarios, etc., then I've done myself a disservice. For instance, let's say I move out to the PNW, go to Willamette, and get a job as a lawyer. My parents are aging, and if one of them gets sick, I may have to move back to California to take care of them. What does my degree do for me now?
2) Whether or not I want to spend my time focusing on money, it's a crucial part of living life. I have many things I enjoy doing, that make me happy: building computers, tinkering with game engines, testing out hi-fi headphones, and various other expensive hobbies. To do the things I want to do which make me happy, I need money. I'm excluding the social element of happiness which is unpredictable and uncontrollable. I can't pre-determine the people I meet in life, other than controlling the environments I enter into. Certainly I could find more money at the end of some other rainbow. I've read the articles, the posts, and heard the opinions of how Law School is a mine field. But surprisingly, it is what I want to do.
3) My interest in IP law isn't just about money. There are personal factors tied into the decision, and it is something I genuinely want to do. That said, I can't see anything wrong with doing what I want to do, and wanting to make money at it. I do see your point about the competition, and in that respect, you are right. I'm being a bit of a hypocrite for choosing a field I will inherently be at a disadvantage in, while simultaneously saying I want to maximize my chances at making decent money. However, as far as I know, technical backgrounds are only required for patent prosecution. I understand that a technical background is a bonus for all IP law, though.
4) I'm 25. Certainly I'm capable of making my own decisions, and running my own life. Please allow me to clarify: Any decision I make is mine, and I own the result of whatever happens. Decisions, however, aren't made in vacuums. Despite working, I live at home rent free, and as I said earlier, my school financing is coming from my parents. While I may disagree with my parents about how to proceed with the application process, I can't be anything but thankful for the opportunity and support they have provided me with. I'd prefer to get them to understand the reality of the situation, and get us all on the same page if at all possible.
*Edit* I forgot to include my UG degree, which is Business Management. That was after 2 years spent as a Computer Science major.
Good response. Sorry if I made it too personal, my interest is not to attack you as much as the mentality that the only reason to go to law school is to become a Biglaw lawyer and make as much money as possible. Whether you choose to buy into this mentality is of course up to you, but I felt the need to cut in because this mentality can be contagious, especially for competitive people like me. The next thing you know you will be representing Monsanto in order to take away land from family farmers. I recognize that this could have come across as a mild flame, which was not my intention; my intention was to shift the conversation away from “how can one can go to law school and make as much money as possible” to “what ones purpose is in going to law school, and how to pursue that.”
Speaking in general, there are two kinds of lawyers. The kind that people respect and do valuable work in society, and the kind the people hope they’ll never become. There are both kinds here on TLS and following you posts from the top of this thread, I perceive that you were slipping towards the second. The world does not need any more lawyers who go to law school and work in law for the sole purpose of making money. That being said, it sounds like my perceptions were unjustified, thanks for not taking my comments too personally.
1. The best advice I have received from a practicing attorney is that law school matters for your first job, and after that it will depend on how you perform as a lawyer. That being said, if you want Biglaw then you need to start right out of law school. And if you want to be able to move around the country, you’re either going to need to work for a national firm or one with a good reputation for lateral hires or you’re going to need to be willing to drop down into a smaller/boutique firm when you move or even go in house (which works well for IP). To do this you probably need to go to a tier one law school.
2. Working to live is great, and is different from living to make as much money as possible.
3. Too bad computer science doesn’t typically count much towards the patent bar (although I think some courses can if they border with computer engineering). But your business degree would make you pretty appealing for in house IP, I would think. Working in house for a company is becoming more common straight out of law school, and might be worth a look.
4. Agreed, originally this came off as “my parents want me to go to law school, and they want me to go to law school this year.” Not “I want to go to law school, and my parents support me.”