Bill James wrote:I'm very concerned about the way things are going right now in the legal profession. Law is in the gutter and it has been this way for a decade now. I don't know what to think. Like most of you on here, I have a piece of shit degree, so if I don't go to law school, I have no where else to go. I've always wanted to go to law school, but with job prospects the way they are, combined with tuition costs, I'm starting to think that maybe this isn't the best investment. Is anyone else getting cold feet?
My biggest concern is with getting into the best school possible. Once that happens, and I remain on my guard, I figure I'll land on my feet. I usually do.
Don't get me wrong: the current troubles in the legal community that I consistently read about aren't doing anything to assuage my fears. But I'm not about to make a decision based on the way things appear to be now.
If nothing else, I'm comforted by my realistic expectations. If I ever climb up the ladder successfully and meet some "Big Law"-style opportunities, it'll surely be tempting, but if that doesn't happen, I'm not going to be disappointed, primarily because I realize that it's not meant for everyone and is far from the only way to take advantage of a law degree and, among other things, earn a lot of money. If I can earn, say, $200,000 a year working in a far less prestigious firm versus $400,000 working in a much more prestigious firm, I'm sure I won't be crying about it. (Those are random numbers, by the way, so don't jump all over me if you find something to object to.)
I and others could create lots of scenarios where you end up ahead, but the important thing to focus on is that your potential to earn more money is almost certainly greater than it would otherwise be. You know, my boss just met up with one of the CEOs our company. Both CEOs of our company used to be lawyers, and while they don't practice law directly any longer, the guy whom my boss met for lunch is still involved in some sort of activity where the legal market is a topic of discussion. He was telling me how this CEO described how they, doing what they do in a relatively unglamorous business, are now making more than most recent law school grads. But as my boss said, their ability to earn more money over their lifetimes is enhanced by their law degree, while he's pretty much hit the ceiling for what he is going to make in his current position.