The fundamental problem with 0L's.

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worldtraveler

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:58 pm

I'm glad I went to law school and have a job doing exactly what I want to do, and another even more awesome job starting soon.

I am one in a million. You shouldn't count on having that.

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:58 pm

worldtraveler wrote:I'm glad I went to law school and have a job doing exactly what I want to do, and another even more awesome job starting soon.

I am one in a million. You shouldn't count on having that.



If you really love your job, you're probably one in a million in the general population, not just the lawyer population. The most that the average person can really hope for is "I don't hate my job/am not completely miserable while I'm there."

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rayiner

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby rayiner » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:53 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:I'm glad I went to law school and have a job doing exactly what I want to do, and another even more awesome job starting soon.

I am one in a million. You shouldn't count on having that.



If you really love your job, you're probably one in a million in the general population, not just the lawyer population. The most that the average person can really hope for is "I don't hate my job/am not completely miserable while I'm there."


I find this line of reasoning really questionable. It's one thing to hate your 40 hour a week job. It's another to hate your all-consuming, 60+ hour a week job. Sure, you make more money, but the debt really limits how much you can enjoy it. And I think a lot of people overestimate how willing they are to make that time versus money tradeoff when it really comes down to having to slog through the grind day after day.

I don't know why this is so hard to get through to 0L's. You paint a world where college graduates are working 60 hour weeks for minimum wage and law school is their only alternative. That doesn't really describe the non-LS folks I know. My best buddy from college started at a $45k/year corporate job, where he wrote up quotes for a utility service provider. I have friends doing IT, HR, teaching, nursing, recruiting, etc. There's some super-spliters I guess who really can't get anything with their college degree, but most people who go to law school, at least at T14's, aren't in that spot. They don't have literally no other options. Most people who are smart enough to get into a school worth going to haven't fucked up their life to that point so much that they don't have any other options.

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby 09042014 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:14 pm

If you aren't talented enough to rise up in corporate america you won't last very long in law.

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IAFG

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby IAFG » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:19 pm

Desert Fox wrote:If you aren't talented enough to rise up in corporate america you won't last very long in law.

I dunno. Law is probably less political. And God knows you don't really need to be clever or creative.

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:31 pm

IAFG wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:If you aren't talented enough to rise up in corporate america you won't last very long in law.

I dunno. Law is probably less political. And God knows you don't really need to be clever or creative.

Do you find your work intellectually stimulating?

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IAFG

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby IAFG » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:34 pm

n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t wrote:
IAFG wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:If you aren't talented enough to rise up in corporate america you won't last very long in law.

I dunno. Law is probably less political. And God knows you don't really need to be clever or creative.

Do you find your work intellectually stimulating?

LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

I dunno maybe once a month.

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:37 pm

Well shit lol. Does biglaw (either transactional or lit) ever become challenging intellectually? Are any areas of law better in this regard than others? This is actually a pretty core need for me in a long-term career.

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rayiner

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby rayiner » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:42 pm

n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t wrote:Well shit lol. Does biglaw (either transactional or lit) ever become challenging intellectually? Are any areas of law better in this regard than others? This is actually a pretty core need for me in a long-term career.


Once or twice a month sounds right in litigation. That said, I'd say the same for software development, the area I used to work in, which is legitimately an interesting and creative field. 90% of work in any field is yak-shaving.

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IAFG

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby IAFG » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:46 pm

I dunno I guess people say appellate is brainier. It seems like the majority of the work (by hours) is repetitive mindless grindwork, or otherwise stuff that doesn't exactly require an intellectual powerhouse, in every practice area. There's a stage of your career where I suppose you delegate more of the grindwork, but then I look at more senior partners, and it seems like everything is repetitive from their perspective.

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby Theopliske8711 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:48 pm

I used to think that people making big money in big positions must be doing crazy complex work. I now realize that in most cases, they have done the same stuff over a really long period of time and thereby have become really skilled at it.

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IAFG

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby IAFG » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:49 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:I used to think that people making big money in big positions must be doing crazy complex work. I now realize that in most cases, they have done the same stuff over a really long period of time and thereby have become really skilled at it.

tbf if it were my $$$ on the line i would want a bored lawyer

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby daryldixon » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:50 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:I used to think that people making big money in big positions must be doing crazy complex work. I now realize that in most cases, they have done the same stuff over a really long period of time and thereby have become really skilled at it.

But most of the time it is really complicated as well.

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thesealocust

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby thesealocust » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:55 pm

Substance/complexity of work as a junior varies a lot between practices, firms and regions. Some legal work at the big firm level is very boring (diligence and doc review being the obvious examples), but other areas can be challenging/complex even for juniors (I've seen examples in tax, derivatives, regulatory practices, etc.).

I'm 'lucky' enough to do something that's often brutally challenging and doesn't involve diligence or doc review. Most days I'd gladly trade some stress and pressure for boredom, but the grass is always greener, right?

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:59 pm

Could you nice people give some examples of work you did that you found interesting?

Edit: and try to be specific of what you actually did because a lot of terms are nebulous to us ignorant 0Ls.
Last edited by n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t on Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby 09042014 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:00 pm

My work has been pretty intellectually challenging. I know the average person can't do it.

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IAFG

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby IAFG » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:01 pm

thesealocust wrote:Substance/complexity of work as a junior varies a lot between practices, firms and regions. Some legal work at the big firm level is very boring (diligence and doc review being the obvious examples), but other areas can be challenging/complex even for juniors (I've seen examples in tax, derivatives, regulatory practices, etc.).

I'm 'lucky' enough to do something that's often brutally challenging and doesn't involve diligence or doc review. Most days I'd gladly trade some stress and pressure for boredom, but the grass is always greener, right?

"Trans" and "lit" are such vague oversimplifications. I would quit my job if I had to do the "trans" I'm familiar with, because it makes my brain leak out my ears with misery and boredom.

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby froglee » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:02 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
IAFG wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
froglee wrote:If an ongoing law school student tells a 0L not to go to law school, he is a hypocrite. Those 0L lemmings probably even fantasize that person is trying to stop more competitions for jobs, because after all, those 0L think they are going to crank it in law school.

If a jobless law school graduate tells a 0L not go to law school, he, of course, is just a bitter loser.

If a big law associate tells a 0L not go to law school, he is a hypocrite too.


To be fair though, if anyone counters a doom and gloom anecdote with one about someone who is reasonably happy in their job and is glad they went, they get accused of special snow flaking/cherry picking/etc.

Okay but I actually am reasonably happy and would go again and still think people just don't really know what they're getting into.


Totally legit point, I'm just not sure the hivemind generally pushes the same caveats with bad anecdotes as they do with good ones. It's sort of like:

"Hey, I went to a good school and I struck out at OCI and now I'm doing doc review in a condemned slaughterhouse, I would rather be blowing truckers for a living."

"Ha! You see that, 0Ls! Gaze upon this and weep!"

"Hey, I'm working at a small/mid-size regional firm. I like it and I'm pretty happy I went."

"This is an atypical one in a million outcome! 0Ls, pay no attention!"


Obviously I'm exaggerating a little, and I think reminding people that anecdotes are not trends is a good thing. I've sometimes seen people way too quick to credit atypically bad outcomes, though. At least, that's how it seems to my 0L mind.

I also get the whole "people don't know what they're getting into." Again, far point, and I think people can be more or less informed. Obviously, it's better to be more informed. But the standard can't be perfect, certain knowledge. You have to be open to a little ambiguity/roll of the dice. You probably won't really know whether you like being a lawyer or not until you've been practicing law for a while. When I joined the military, I didn't know for sure how it was going to turn out. I did a lot of research, of course, and I was pretty confident that I would be not miserable doing it for at least a few years, but that's about the limit of foreknowledge.

Anyway, I know you're not saying "No one should ever go", just thinking out loud.



""You probably won't really know whether you like being a lawyer or not until you've been practicing law for a while. When I joined the military, I didn't know for sure how it was going to turn out. I did a lot of research, of course, and I was pretty confident that I would be not miserable doing it for at least a few years, but that's about the limit of foreknowledge. """

The difference between law school and military is that you don't need to pay 200,000 loans to join the later.

And I guess paying 200,000 and spend three years just to find out if you like this profession is kind of expensive....

And don't a lot or even the majority of the 0L claim they like being a lawyer for various reasons? Social justice, love to argue, change the world and etc?

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:25 pm

rayiner wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:I'm glad I went to law school and have a job doing exactly what I want to do, and another even more awesome job starting soon.

I am one in a million. You shouldn't count on having that.



If you really love your job, you're probably one in a million in the general population, not just the lawyer population. The most that the average person can really hope for is "I don't hate my job/am not completely miserable while I'm there."


I find this line of reasoning really questionable. It's one thing to hate your 40 hour a week job. It's another to hate your all-consuming, 60+ hour a week job. Sure, you make more money, but the debt really limits how much you can enjoy it. And I think a lot of people overestimate how willing they are to make that time versus money tradeoff when it really comes down to having to slog through the grind day after day.

I don't know why this is so hard to get through to 0L's. You paint a world where college graduates are working 60 hour weeks for minimum wage and law school is their only alternative. That doesn't really describe the non-LS folks I know. My best buddy from college started at a $45k/year corporate job, where he wrote up quotes for a utility service provider. I have friends doing IT, HR, teaching, nursing, recruiting, etc. There's some super-spliters I guess who really can't get anything with their college degree, but most people who go to law school, at least at T14's, aren't in that spot. They don't have literally no other options. Most people who are smart enough to get into a school worth going to haven't fucked up their life to that point so much that they don't have any other options.


I'm not talking about a world in which all college graduates are working at Arby's and law school is their only hope. Doesn't gel with my experience either. I've been out of undergrad for about nine years, and besides being in the military for awhile, have worked for the federal government in DC and Hawaii for about five years doing some pretty cool shit. (Or, at least, shit that sounds really cool to the uninitiated.) And that was with, God help me, a political science degree from a state university. It's not like I simply can't imagine anything better to do, so might as well go to law school.

All I'm saying is if the standard you have for a job is "absolutely love it, it's my dream job" then 99% of the world is not going to meet that standard. Most people are going to fall somewhere in the middle, and if you can say you're having more good days than bad and don't dread going in in the morning, you're probably ahead of the curve.

Or, to put it more succinctly:
rayiner wrote:90% of work in any field is yak-shaving.



froglee wrote:
The difference between law school and military is that you don't need to pay 200,000 loans to join the later.

And I guess paying 200,000 and spend three years just to find out if you like this profession is kind of expensive....

And don't a lot or even the majority of the 0L claim they like being a lawyer for various reasons? Social justice, love to argue, change the world and etc?



You don't necessarily need to take out 200k in loans to go to law school, either. I personally wouldn't take out 200k in loans to go to HYS, not that they'd have me.

And trust me, the military is just as capable of fucking up your life as law school.
Last edited by TheSpanishMain on Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby coldshoulder » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:37 pm

n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t wrote:Could you nice people give some examples of work you did that you found interesting?

Edit: and try to be specific of what you actually did because a lot of terms are nebulous to us ignorant 0Ls.


Even though in Criminal Law you're essentially doing the exact same things all the time (repetitive motion work), having interesting facts and people essentially every day helps.

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patogordo

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby patogordo » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:13 am

life is suffering. if you weren't born rich you're better off just staying poor and shooting heroin until you die.

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worldtraveler

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby worldtraveler » Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:35 am

coldshoulder wrote:
n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t wrote:Could you nice people give some examples of work you did that you found interesting?

Edit: and try to be specific of what you actually did because a lot of terms are nebulous to us ignorant 0Ls.


Even though in Criminal Law you're essentially doing the exact same things all the time (repetitive motion work), having interesting facts and people essentially every day helps.


I've written some memos on intellectually challenging topics about following international law and written some motions that were pretty instrumental in getting prisoners of conscience out of jail in a foreign country. That was challenging and legitimately awesome.

I only spend about 25% of my time on that stuff though. The rest of it is reports to donors, checking translations, and yelling at people on skype over a bad connection.

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Johann

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby Johann » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:20 am

patogordo wrote:life is suffering. if you weren't born rich you're better off just staying poor and shooting heroin until you die.


So succinct. So eloquent. Just beautiful. (not being sarcastic)

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:19 am

worldtraveler wrote:
coldshoulder wrote:
n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t wrote:Could you nice people give some examples of work you did that you found interesting?

Edit: and try to be specific of what you actually did because a lot of terms are nebulous to us ignorant 0Ls.


Even though in Criminal Law you're essentially doing the exact same things all the time (repetitive motion work), having interesting facts and people essentially every day helps.


I've written some memos on intellectually challenging topics about following international law and written some motions that were pretty instrumental in getting prisoners of conscience out of jail in a foreign country. That was challenging and legitimately awesome.

I only spend about 25% of my time on that stuff though. The rest of it is reports to donors, checking translations, and yelling at people on skype over a bad connection.

That is awesome. Do you need to go to HYSCCNB (G?) to get a job like that?

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Re: The fundamental problem with 0L's.

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:26 am

patogordo wrote:life is suffering. if you weren't born rich you're better off just staying poor and shooting heroin until you die.


This is really true. Honestly. For 90%+ of people globally, it's actually true.



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