Seriously reconsider

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nixy

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby nixy » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:11 am

Actually you kind of do have to explain that a “corporate” job means working for a corporation when there is a completely different standard usage for the term in a different industry (one in which you have no experience).

Also what are you talking about about “reducing the 38%” if you’re now saying people going solo won’t have any return at that point and therefore can’t count as employed? I’m completely baffled by what you’re saying. My point was that the 62% 9 months after graduation captures people who have chosen to go solo at that point.

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hoos89

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby hoos89 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:29 am

Synapse2018 wrote:
A corporate job is a job working for a corporation. It is not equivalent to practicing corporate law. That shouldn't have to be explained.

Given that the statistic cited is 9 months out of graduation, your theory that they've tried to go solo isn't applicable. It takes longer than that to build something meaningful for yourself. The market may be over saturated but so is just about every other market.

I never blamed anyone for being unemployed. I even stated that was my own situation and what it took to get from that to being independent and financially successful was primarily a change of mindset. You have to first believe in yourself to be a successful entrepreneur. It seems to me like that's where the difference of opinion really lies here.


Very few of those 62% are actually working for a corporation though. Also, those 9 months out stats DO count solos.

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby totesTheGoat » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:03 pm

Synapse2018 wrote:. You got a 62% chance of landing that corporate job. What if you end up in that 38%? Are you going to give up like the OP or will you keep working as hard as you did to go through law school to earn a reputation and become financially independent?


The point of the thread is to avoid becoming part of the 38% in the first place. The folks who are stuck there already are varying levels of screwed. Waving the magic "solo" wand is like saying "why don't you just start a successful restaurant chain?" Well, considering that most restaurants never run in the black before folding, maybe it's a bit harder than just hustling. Maybe, just maybe, it'd be smart to reconsider investing 3 years of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars of non-dischargeable debt before you pull the trigger on something with a 60/40 chance of success (using a very loose definition of success).

I don't see this thread as the OP giving up... I see it as the OP warning 0Ls like you that you aren't a special snowflake and you're just as susceptible to the realities of the legal job market as the person next to you. So many 0Ls go in with a mentality of I can beat the odds. I'm super smart, I got a 3.7 in Interwar Germanic Literature, and a 165 on my LSAT. I'm gonna outwork my peers and get one of those three BigLaw jobs available at my T40 each year. Little do they know that there are 60 other people in their class thinking the same thing. Guess what, a few years later 58 new lawyers walk away with varying levels of disappointment after they graduate into unemployment or, at best, a job that would hardly pay the minimum balance on their loans if not for the FedGov subsidizing their payments.

Working hard and hustling helps, and solo practice is a great thing to do (I wouldn't know, I got one of those "corporate" jobs), but it's not a magic pill to offset the abject stupidity of taking out 6 figures in loans to attend a school where you have less than 20% chance of getting a job that would pay your bills sans Uncle Sam having pity on you.

Lord Randolph McDuff

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:17 pm

totesTheGoat wrote:
Synapse2018 wrote:. You got a 62% chance of landing that corporate job. What if you end up in that 38%? Are you going to give up like the OP or will you keep working as hard as you did to go through law school to earn a reputation and become financially independent?


The point of the thread is to avoid becoming part of the 38% in the first place. The folks who are stuck there already are varying levels of screwed. Waving the magic "solo" wand is like saying "why don't you just start a successful restaurant chain?" Well, considering that most restaurants never run in the black before folding, maybe it's a bit harder than just hustling. Maybe, just maybe, it'd be smart to reconsider investing 3 years of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars of non-dischargeable debt before you pull the trigger on something with a 60/40 chance of success (using a very loose definition of success).

I don't see this thread as the OP giving up... I see it as the OP warning 0Ls like you that you aren't a special snowflake and you're just as susceptible to the realities of the legal job market as the person next to you. So many 0Ls go in with a mentality of I can beat the odds. I'm super smart, I got a 3.7 in Interwar Germanic Literature, and a 165 on my LSAT. I'm gonna outwork my peers and get one of those three BigLaw jobs available at my T40 each year. Little do they know that there are 60 other people in their class thinking the same thing. Guess what, a few years later 58 new lawyers walk away with varying levels of disappointment after they graduate into unemployment or, at best, a job that would hardly pay the minimum balance on their loans if not for the FedGov subsidizing their payments.

Working hard and hustling helps, and solo practice is a great thing to do (I wouldn't know, I got one of those "corporate" jobs), but it's not a magic pill to offset the abject stupidity of taking out 6 figures in loans to attend a school where you have less than 20% chance of getting a job that would pay your bills sans Uncle Sam having pity on you.


The bolded is definitely true. Being five years out, one of the most surprising things to me is 1) that solo and small firm people do actually make better money than I had assumed was the case and 2) nonetheless, they remain in the same level of debt or worse because being an attorney is stressful and people compensate by buying things.

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby tier4_partner » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:07 pm

I graduated a decade ago from a true TTTT. Well before the law school scam was mainstream and even before the number games played by law schools had been exposed. I started LS in the pre-housing bubble error and graduated just as the markets were tanking. I’ve seen all measures of outcomes from my own TTTT and other schools - TTTT through T14. I also started at the damn bottom (in an ID mill) and managed to climb out of the gutter and am now a midlaw partner. I’ve been hired and I’ve done hiring. I’m in some position to make some reasoned judgments on the way the profession works.

1. The market is NOT great for grads generally (and it’s especially not great from low end law school grads). This is a fact. When we open up a position at my firm for a new lawyer (fresh out of LS), counting the number of resumes is a job all its own.

2. For many grads - starting in a mill is the only option. Getting out of a mill after starting there requires a special combination of hard work, relentless drive and frankly - luck.

3. Starting a solo shop straight out of law school is almost always a mistake / disaster / malpractice event waiting to happen. The most successful solos and small firms are spin offs of succesful firms or were started by attorneys who practiced in a firm or govt first. It’s rare to see a legit solo or small firm born of the “hang a shingle” idea that is so pervasive amongst 0Ls pretending to have a “back up plan.”

4. Even if you’re a good lawyer - making partner still requires the ability to generate and manage business. But realistically, it takes years to learn how to handle having your own clients and how to find them. And not making partner really sucks.

5. Doing wills and DUIs and of counsel appearances for $100 a pop as a solo is not sexy and it’s also not akin to freedom. It’s just shit.

6. There are plenty of hard working smart people who will max out at $125k working in Insurance Defense. They will be lifetime associates. They are just as capable as the next guy/gal. Things just didn’t break right for them. There are many many many graduates who fit this description. Many! If this is totally unacceptable to you - rethink law school. Especially since there are also many lawyers that would kill for the privilege of winding up at a decent ID mill earning $125k. Even achieving the status of lifetime ID associate is it a given. Just visit a local municipal court and look around at the sad faces in tattered suits.

The struggle is real. Just somee thoughts.

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Pneumonia

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:19 am

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote: I'm not an 0L, I'm a practicing attorney about five years out. I went to a "T40" school. I do not agree with you about this advice being awful. All the entrepreneurial people I went to law school with are very successful regardless of what their grades were in law school. I think this is what the poster is basically trying to say.

As for me, I built a private practice in about three years that netted me over 100k a year. Each year it grows and now I have people working under me. I enjoy it because I don't have to make any arguments that I'm not comfortable with, and I also get to set my own schedule.

To the original OP: hang in there! You'll get rejected 100 times before you get your foot in the door, and there is nothing wrong with that. Life is about failing and learning from failure, and then failing again.

It was bad advice in the context in which it occurred, which was as a response to OP's warning that the market is tough for T40 grads. In comes this oaf telling people "hey, don't worry, all you need to do is hang your own shingle." I take it you read his response (as it appears others have) as just general advice, or as advice to people who have already missed the employment boat. In that context, sure, it's fine. But "don't worry, if you miss biglaw all you have to is learn SEO and build your personal brand" should not be the reason that anyone decides to attend law school in the first place.

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unsweetened

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby unsweetened » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:29 am

tier4_partner wrote:I graduated a decade ago from a true TTTT. Well before the law school scam was mainstream and even before the number games played by law schools had been exposed. I started LS in the pre-housing bubble error and graduated just as the markets were tanking. I’ve seen all measures of outcomes from my own TTTT and other schools - TTTT through T14. I also started at the damn bottom (in an ID mill) and managed to climb out of the gutter and am now a midlaw partner. I’ve been hired and I’ve done hiring. I’m in some position to make some reasoned judgments on the way the profession works.

1. The market is NOT great for grads generally (and it’s especially not great from low end law school grads). This is a fact. When we open up a position at my firm for a new lawyer (fresh out of LS), counting the number of resumes is a job all its own.

2. For many grads - starting in a mill is the only option. Getting out of a mill after starting there requires a special combination of hard work, relentless drive and frankly - luck.

3. Starting a solo shop straight out of law school is almost always a mistake / disaster / malpractice event waiting to happen. The most successful solos and small firms are spin offs of succesful firms or were started by attorneys who practiced in a firm or govt first. It’s rare to see a legit solo or small firm born of the “hang a shingle” idea that is so pervasive amongst 0Ls pretending to have a “back up plan.”

4. Even if you’re a good lawyer - making partner still requires the ability to generate and manage business. But realistically, it takes years to learn how to handle having your own clients and how to find them. And not making partner really sucks.

5. Doing wills and DUIs and of counsel appearances for $100 a pop as a solo is not sexy and it’s also not akin to freedom. It’s just shit.

6. There are plenty of hard working smart people who will max out at $125k working in Insurance Defense. They will be lifetime associates. They are just as capable as the next guy/gal. Things just didn’t break right for them. There are many many many graduates who fit this description. Many! If this is totally unacceptable to you - rethink law school. Especially since there are also many lawyers that would kill for the privilege of winding up at a decent ID mill earning $125k. Even achieving the status of lifetime ID associate is it a given. Just visit a local municipal court and look around at the sad faces in tattered suits.

The struggle is real. Just somee thoughts.

^^^ This is a good nut shell.

If anything, I would add that most people start off as an optimistic 1L, full of hopes, dreams, and excitement about what the future may hold. Some may think that they can outwork everyone else, or that they are smarter than everyone else. By spring semester, they realize that they are not smarter than everyone else and there are others that work even harder. Grades come out and reality begins to sink in. It's more likely than not that our enterprising 1L is not in the top 1/4 of the class.
It gets better though! Our 1L gets a summer internship somewhere and then realizes how much he DOESN'T know about the actual practice of law. Law is like reading books about how to swim and actual work is getting thrown into the pool. Then you get to the bar exam, which is awful in its own special way. Going into private practice right away has significant malpractice risks, which can be a career-killer.

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Pneumonia

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:49 am

Synapse2018 wrote: Listen, I agree with you. The OP stated that the degree is worthless if you can't find a job. I was addressing that argument ONLY. If he really wants to practice law, he can. After the bar, nothing stands in his way. All he needs to successfully retain clients is knowledge that is available publicly and in any format he chooses.

Some folks just won't find the job they're looking for. Assuming OP graduated in May, he'll soon be 90 days unemployed which can turn into 6 months or even 1 year really fast. Yes, he should keep looking for a job; however, he SHOULD NOT DEPEND on finding a salaried job as the ONLY possible route to earning a living from his degree.

The worst advice is to "JUST keep looking". You need to be much more proactive than that these days!

This will sound mean, but my point is to be clear. You have no idea what you're talking about. It would take paragraphs to fully explain why, but luckily a few others have already taken up that task in part. To them I'd add the following:

--Telling someone who can't get a job to hang a shingle is like telling someone tied to an anchor to just swim. "What are you going to do, just let the anchor drown you?" Obviously, sure, if you can't find a job then maybe consider trying to put your license to work, including hussling, SEO, whatever else. (But also maybe don't. Maybe you have a family and you need to get 40+ hours somewhere just for the insurance.) Deciding what to do AFTER you can't land a legal job is a situation that every law student should seek to avoid. For someone who is already in this situation, stories like LordRandolph's are valuable. 1% make it solo. But for those considering law school that stat should be terrifying, not comforting.

--A law "license" certifies that you sat through three years of academic nonsense without complaining. It entitles you to get sued for malpractice and not much else.

--This should go without saying, but apparently not. Law is nothing like CS. You do not learn any skills in law school. It is very difficult, probably bordering on impossible, to learn skills on your own. Unlike most of CS, law is not a meritocracy. The underlying reality is that skills matter very little because the intellectual bar to making 190k a year is remarkably low. Easily 80% of annual graduates are smart enough to work in biglaw, but only 10% of them get the chance. Instead, and again unlike CS, law hiring preferences credentials above all else.

--You are wrong about employment timelines. Although, of course, "find something sooner rather than later" is always good advice.

--The reality is that law schools produce 30–40% more graduates than the market needs year after year. Those that don't find jobs remain in the unemployment pool. They have crushing debt. For some of these individuals, "a change of mindset" might be helpful advice, if a little trite. But no amount of positive thinking is going to change outcomes for all, most, or even many of them.

--Very few people are "struggling and fighting" for a law license. It's remarkably easy to get one, which is part of the problem.


I too contributed to this this website as 0L. I knew little about law school and even less about legal employment, and my posting reflected that. Others corrected me where I was wrong. That's all I'm trying to do here.

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby tbaker757 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:48 pm

I went solo straight out of law school. It was the best decision I ever made and am making more than my contemporaries who went with a more traditional route. However a lot of things had to break right for me to get where I am. A lot of it was hard work but some of things have to do with geography (how under served my market is and the fact that I moved to a rural area, which is not for everyone, to accomplish that) and some things are just luck with networking. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't try solo if you don't have any options because it can succeed. This site is geared toward a certain kind of person wanting certain things. There is usually another path.

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby Itwasascam » Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:05 pm

My T1 law school has began sending emails for $15/hr doc review jobs and tips on starting your own firm.

I know many people in the top half of the class that are still unemployed

Don’t be a fucking moron and go to a non T14 school (or maybe T20) w/o a huge scholarship/a job already lined up

redmachine

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby redmachine » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:03 pm

OP, Were the statistics on http://www.lawschooltransparency.com representative of your graduating class? Just curious if schools are fudging those somehow.

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hoos89

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby hoos89 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:20 pm

redmachine wrote:OP, Were the statistics on http://www.lawschooltransparency.com representative of your graduating class? Just curious if schools are fudging those somehow.


A lot of T50 schools just don't place well.

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby redmachine » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:44 pm

hoos89 wrote:
redmachine wrote:OP, Were the statistics on http://www.lawschooltransparency.com representative of your graduating class? Just curious if schools are fudging those somehow.


A lot of T50 schools just don't place well.


True but, like for example, George Mason's stats say they placed 60% of the 2017 class in a full-time job requiring bar passage. https://www.lstreports.com/schools/gmu/jobs/ They also show George Mason making a healthy cut in class sizes, with only 152 students graduating in 2017 vs. 255 graduating in 2013. This was all promising and I thought the scam being fixed. Obviously they're not lying about the graduating class size but is the employment statistic bogus?

nixy

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby nixy » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:26 pm

Stats are for 9 months after graduation. OP might well have a job by then.

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hoos89

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Re: Seriously reconsider

Postby hoos89 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:08 pm

Also, 60% of the class getting jobs as lawyers within 9 months of graduation is not good, especially considering the median salary of those jobs is probably ~$50-60k.



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