Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

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Trifles
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Trifles » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:16 pm

flcath wrote:
The difficulty of a profession is entirely irrelevant to whether or not the number of entrants should be restricted. And while there should always be enough to cover public demand for the essential services (e.g., law and medicine), encouraging scarcity is not unethical, and it sure as hell is smart.


If there are people willing to go to law school at inflated tuition prices, and work for less money then you are willing to work, then god bless em and I wish them all the best. I think we must have very different definitions of what is ethical.

flcath
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby flcath » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:29 pm

Trifles wrote:
flcath wrote:
The difficulty of a profession is entirely irrelevant to whether or not the number of entrants should be restricted. And while there should always be enough to cover public demand for the essential services (e.g., law and medicine), encouraging scarcity is not unethical, and it sure as hell is smart.


If there are people willing to go to law school at inflated tuition prices, and work for less money then you are willing to work, then god bless em and I wish them all the best. I think we must have very different definitions of what is ethical.

I don't feel that taking pride in one's profession and working to increase its overall quality while at the same time ensuring job-security for the most-qualified practitioners is unethical.

I'd become a brain surgeon tomorrow for $30/hour--as would many people--thus displacing qualified brain surgeons who can't/won't work for $30/hour. I don't think that the AMA is evil for not allowing me to do that. Nor are they wrong for not allowing toilet med schools to open their doors in the US, or severely limiting the number of doctors allowed to practice with non-US (toilet) MDs.

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sawwaverunner
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby sawwaverunner » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:34 pm

It just seems really painfully obvious to me that people can't take debt lightly. Someone mentioned there being around 200 law schools in the nation; that's ridiculous. However, that volume allows students a lot to choose from. Pretty much all states have a public law school and those that don't have the help from law schools in neighboring states (I know Wisconsin does this and Alaska residents have opportunities to get public tuition).

Just be perfectly honest with yourself. Have you ever worked a job making more than 30k a year? If not, don't take 120K + (on top of Undergrad loans) expecting a job where you make $100,000. Are you attending harvard for law or Depaul? Law school isn't magic.....don't believe the salaries on TLS or school web-sites unless you want to figuratively paint rainbows over your pupils.

I don't know. Honestly, I'm not really top dog on a website like this; just a One L at Buffalo Law now. However, I think I made a great choice sticking to a public institution and I have absolutely no anxiety whatsoever about the debt I'm accumulating. As a law student all I can say is that law school is ridiculously stressful, and worrying about loans on top of coursework and expectations both academic and social (I can imagine) will be extremely taxing.

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Trifles
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Trifles » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:40 pm

flcath wrote:
Trifles wrote:
flcath wrote:
The difficulty of a profession is entirely irrelevant to whether or not the number of entrants should be restricted. And while there should always be enough to cover public demand for the essential services (e.g., law and medicine), encouraging scarcity is not unethical, and it sure as hell is smart.


If there are people willing to go to law school at inflated tuition prices, and work for less money then you are willing to work, then god bless em and I wish them all the best. I think we must have very different definitions of what is ethical.

I don't feel that taking pride in one's profession and working to increase its overall quality while at the same time ensuring job-security for the most-qualified practitioners is unethical.

I'd become a brain surgeon tomorrow for $30/hour--as would many people--thus displacing qualified brain surgeons who can't/won't work for $30/hour. I don't think that the AMA is evil for not allowing me to do that. Nor are they wrong for not allowing toilet med schools to open their doors in the US, or severely limiting the number of doctors allowed to practice with non-US (toilet) MDs.


Except you wouldn't be becoming a brain surgeon tomorrow, you would be going to medical school and doing your residency and passing the same licensing tests. Just as the students at lower tier or "toilet" law schools as you call them are going to class for three years and passing the same bar exams. How are you determining these people are less qualified attorneys? If a client thinks that an attorney is worth paying more for, then he will still make more money, and if the public doesn't think he is worth paying more for, then he won't.

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superserial
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby superserial » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:41 pm

yes.

Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:42 pm

sawwaverunner wrote:It just seems really painfully obvious to me that people can't take debt lightly. Someone mentioned there being around 200 law schools in the nation; that's ridiculous. However, that volume allows students a lot to choose from. Pretty much all states have a public law school and those that don't have the help from law schools in neighboring states (I know Wisconsin does this and Alaska residents have opportunities to get public tuition).

Just be perfectly honest with yourself. Have you ever worked a job making more than 30k a year? If not, don't take 120K + (on top of Undergrad loans) expecting a job where you make $100,000. Are you attending harvard for law or Depaul? Law school isn't magic.....don't believe the salaries on TLS or school web-sites unless you want to figuratively paint rainbows over your pupils.

I don't know. Honestly, I'm not really top dog on a website like this; just a One L at Buffalo Law now. However, I think I made a great choice sticking to a public institution and I have absolutely no anxiety whatsoever about the debt I'm accumulating. As a law student all I can say is that law school is ridiculously stressful, and worrying about loans on top of coursework and expectations both academic and social (I can imagine) will be extremely taxing.


The problem is that many applicants get caught up in the whole idea of becoming an attorney that they completely forget about the debt. They assume that they'll just worry about that come graduation and that everything will some how work itself out. In the meantime, however, they're a big shot. There going to law school. 8)

Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:45 pm

Trifles wrote:
flcath wrote:
Trifles wrote:
flcath wrote:
The difficulty of a profession is entirely irrelevant to whether or not the number of entrants should be restricted. And while there should always be enough to cover public demand for the essential services (e.g., law and medicine), encouraging scarcity is not unethical, and it sure as hell is smart.


If there are people willing to go to law school at inflated tuition prices, and work for less money then you are willing to work, then god bless em and I wish them all the best. I think we must have very different definitions of what is ethical.

I don't feel that taking pride in one's profession and working to increase its overall quality while at the same time ensuring job-security for the most-qualified practitioners is unethical.

I'd become a brain surgeon tomorrow for $30/hour--as would many people--thus displacing qualified brain surgeons who can't/won't work for $30/hour. I don't think that the AMA is evil for not allowing me to do that. Nor are they wrong for not allowing toilet med schools to open their doors in the US, or severely limiting the number of doctors allowed to practice with non-US (toilet) MDs.


Except you wouldn't be becoming a brain surgeon tomorrow, you would be going to medical school and doing your residency and passing the same licensing tests. Just as the students at lower tier or "toilet" law schools as you call them are going to class for three years and passing the same bar exams. How are you determining these people are less qualified attorneys? If a client thinks that an attorney is worth paying more for, then he will still make more money, and if the public doesn't think he is worth paying more for, then he won't.


I disagree. If you flood the market with doctors, medical care would not be nearly as good. Reason being, not everyone is cut out to be a doctor, and by making it really competitive, you get the best.

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Trifles
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Trifles » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:49 pm

Bill James wrote:
I disagree. If you flood the market with doctors, medical care would not be nearly as good. Reason being, not everyone is cut out to be a doctor, and by making it really competitive, you get the best.


Unless you are relaxing the standards to pass the licensing exams, etc. then I see no reason that the extra people who end up passing were not cut out to be doctors. I don't know anything about admissions to medical school, but if it is anything like law school admissions, then it is more about learning how to play the admissions game then your actual potential.

keg411
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby keg411 » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:07 pm

Bill James, your projection system has sucked the past few years as compared to other sabrematricians. Guess baseball analysis doesn't pay what it used to if even you are considering law school ;) :lol:.

Bill James
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:34 pm

keg411 wrote:Bill James, your projection system has sucked the past few years as compared to other sabrematricians. Guess baseball analysis doesn't pay what it used to if even you are considering law school ;) :lol:.



ok

flcath
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby flcath » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:53 pm

keg411 wrote:Bill James, your projection system has sucked the past few years as compared to other sabrematricians. Guess baseball analysis doesn't pay what it used to if even you are considering law school ;) :lol:.

Holy God, dude, that may be the most esoteric joke in TLS history. It's by good fortune alone that Bill James' name happens to be in the opening paragraph of the wikipedia article on "sabrematrics", or I wouldn't have even gotten the Bill James double entendre. Further, you're lucky I had the intellectual curiosity to google "sabrematrician" in the first place.

A true thinking man's joke. I like it.

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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bluejayk » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:30 pm

flcath wrote:I don't feel that taking pride in one's profession and working to increase its overall quality while at the same time ensuring job-security for the most-qualified practitioners is unethical.


The ABA (thankfully) does not make its decisions based only on the interest of lawyers, they also consider the public interest. Your argument about working to increase overall quality is disingenuous, you're concerned with your own career prospects. Seeking to eliminate qualified competitors who can pass the bar and the MPRE just so you can have better access to high paying jobs IS unethical.
Last edited by bluejayk on Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sourpunch
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Sourpunch » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:10 pm

My parents are paying for law school, so I don't have anything to worry about except getting a job once I'm out. So, no regrets, because Political Science= piece of shit useless degree. Actually, a degree nowadays is a useless shit, I spent 4 years of my life so I could get a $10 an hour job. Fucking BUSH is a such a cocksucker.

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Ragged
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Ragged » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:03 pm

Very interesting thread, lots of good comments.

To answer the thread's question: yes, I was freaking out for a while there, espessially after reading JDU forum. Now my plan is that if I don't get into T5 this cycle I will retake LSAT next September and reapply next cycle, whether or not I get a better score. Will probably go to LS regardless.

Now I will probably end up at atleast a T10 LS, which I figure puts me at the top 5% of all LS graduates automatically, thus eliminating tones of competition in the market. My parents will try to help me lift a part of the cost, but I will probably need to take some debt out to pay for the rest. It shouldn't be too bad though, so I'm not too worried about that. Also, I am fluent in one foreign (to me native) language and convresant in two more, which I figure gives me a leg up in the area of international law and gives me an opportunity to work abroad. Plus hopefully I will get an MBA as well, which should further increase my marketability. Also, my ungergrad major is not worthless (accounting/finance), but actually works really well in combinaiton with a JD (or so I hear). So, now that I think about it, it would be a shame to waste this opportunity, even with the way things are looking in the market. So, I am most probably going, this cycle or next. I figure no matter which field you enter you are gonna have to bust your balls to succeed, law is no different.


200+ LS in the country is crazy I agree, but as long as there are oblivious liberal art majors who think that going to a TTT LS will make them rich, its going to stay that way. Each LS is like a business. As long as there are customers the business will keep on selling the product, no matter how useless. I agree with bluejayk that loans should be made dischargeably to make schools think twice before giving out tones of debt to students who might never pay it back.

Cutting accreditation from bottom tiers is a dream for any lawyer, but will not help the profession. Once there are less schools, law salaries will go up, making law more attractive, attracting even more students to the field, which will result in either more schools getting accredited or tuition in current schools becoming absurde (or even more absurde than it already is), untill law is no longer that attractive. Its econimics, its inevitable.

My feel is that once people figure out that being a lawyer is not an easy way to get rich the flood to law schools will subside, market forces will take over and profession will stabilize at an optimal level, where lawyers still make a good amount of money and general public will have access to legal advice at a reasonable price. The current bubble will burst sooner or later.

interestedbyestander
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby interestedbyestander » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:16 pm

Trifles wrote:
flcath wrote:
The difficulty of a profession is entirely irrelevant to whether or not the number of entrants should be restricted. And while there should always be enough to cover public demand for the essential services (e.g., law and medicine), encouraging scarcity is not unethical, and it sure as hell is smart.


If there are people willing to go to law school at inflated tuition prices, and work for less money then you are willing to work, then god bless em and I wish them all the best. I think we must have very different definitions of what is ethical.


The problem is people don't believe or realize that they will be working those hours for such a small salary until it's TOO LATE ... they are already massively in-debt and have no choice and no alternative. Every TTT student (and every law student for that matter) thinks they will be the exception and "do just fine", many do, but for many others it's only after 3 years and $150,000 later do they find out they screwed their careers, financial lives, and future.

The funny thing about this industry is that the "golden ring" of a legal career (i.e., BigLaw) is so awful too. They pay well but are yokes around the necks of new entrants, offering such terrible lifestyles. I have yet to hear of anyone who really likes working in BigLaw, and so many so glad to be done with it.

Just my two cents.

flcath
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby flcath » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:39 pm

Ragged wrote:My feel is that once people figure out that being a lawyer is not an easy way to get rich the flood to law schools will subside, market forces will take over and profession will stabilize at an optimal level, where lawyers still make a good amount of money and general public will have access to legal advice at a reasonable price. The current bubble will burst sooner or later.

While I agree with the accuracy of your prediction (to some extent--specialized job markets adjust much more slowly than commodities markets or blue collar job markets because of the non-transferability of the education/training), I don't think this is the most humane solution for TTT students. (I want to again emphasize that for the purposes of this thread, I'm talking about the "for real" TTTs: places that expel a third of their 1L classes and survive off of their exorbitant tuition.)

The TLS consensus seems to be something along the lines of "well those kids were stupid and they got what's coming to them." While that might be (actually, it definitely is) the attitude appropriate for applicants to adopt with their own decisions, it is not the type of reasoning used on the policy level (unless you're super-conservative).

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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Bill James » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:04 pm

Ragged wrote:Very interesting thread, lots of good comments.

To answer the thread's question: yes, I was freaking out for a while there, espessially after reading JDU forum. Now my plan is that if I don't get into T5 this cycle I will retake LSAT next September and reapply next cycle, whether or not I get a better score. Will probably go to LS regardless.

Now I will probably end up at atleast a T10 LS, which I figure puts me at the top 5% of all LS graduates automatically, thus eliminating tones of competition in the market. My parents will try to help me lift a part of the cost, but I will probably need to take some debt out to pay for the rest. It shouldn't be too bad though, so I'm not too worried about that. Also, I am fluent in one foreign (to me native) language and convresant in two more, which I figure gives me a leg up in the area of international law and gives me an opportunity to work abroad. Plus hopefully I will get an MBA as well, which should further increase my marketability. Also, my ungergrad major is not worthless (accounting/finance), but actually works really well in combinaiton with a JD (or so I hear). So, now that I think about it, it would be a shame to waste this opportunity, even with the way things are looking in the market. So, I am most probably going, this cycle or next. I figure no matter which field you enter you are gonna have to bust your balls to succeed, law is no different.


200+ LS in the country is crazy I agree, but as long as there are oblivious liberal art majors who think that going to a TTT LS will make them rich, its going to stay that way. Each LS is like a business. As long as there are customers the business will keep on selling the product, no matter how useless. I agree with bluejayk that loans should be made dischargeably to make schools think twice before giving out tones of debt to students who might never pay it back.

Cutting accreditation from bottom tiers is a dream for any lawyer, but will not help the profession. Once there are less schools, law salaries will go up, making law more attractive, attracting even more students to the field, which will result in either more schools getting accredited or tuition in current schools becoming absurde (or even more absurde than it already is), untill law is no longer that attractive. Its econimics, its inevitable.

My feel is that once people figure out that being a lawyer is not an easy way to get rich the flood to law schools will subside, market forces will take over and profession will stabilize at an optimal level, where lawyers still make a good amount of money and general public will have access to legal advice at a reasonable price. The current bubble will burst sooner or later.



What pisses me off most of all is that many of the TTT schools don't give a shit that their students are paying 30k a year and will end up being jobless and drowning debt. No, they continue to peddle their bullshit salary/employment statistics, intentionally misleading applicants. Look at Cooley, for example, it has it's own ranking system where it is ranked in the top 14 with a bunch of ivy league schools. How in the hell does the dean of admissions live with himself by trying to weasel any and all money from the student body so that he can more money for the school.

Yes, I realize that law school applicants should be privy to the scams TTTs pull, but many are not. Many have never been on TLS and don't realize that the employment/salary statistics are not accurate. They have never been on JDU and seen how bad their prospects actually are. So, it is the law school student's fault for not doing his/her research, but it still doesn't make it right for law schools to commit fraud.
Last edited by Bill James on Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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UnderwearModel
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby UnderwearModel » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:05 pm

EVERYONE GET OUT OF LAW NOW!

GatorBait09
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby GatorBait09 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:35 pm

I don't know, I think it all depends on how you go about it. There are so many people, especially on this board, that go after the creme de la creme (T14) of law schools not realizing that they probably won't get much in terms of schollies. Now I'm definitely not bashing such lofty goals, but I think people have to take an economic approach to law school. Theoretical situation: if I had a 168, got into Duke (where I would love to go), but got only a little bit of help from them (which is generally the case), why would I go? Why would I go $100k+ into debt to spend 2.5 years living like a hobo to make about the same as I would coming out of an in-state school ranked a tad lower that would essentially give me a free ride?

Now I guess I just don't have those aspirations of world fame and glory, but seriously. If you do cost-benefit analysis it should become abundantly clear what the better deal is. Yeah congrats, you got into Duke, but are they paying for most of it? If not, it's probably not worth skipping over Emory's or Wake's free ride.

I think the reason people regret law school is because they made a bad choice on where to attend. The legal profession, even today, is probably the most lucrative industry we can go into with our given qualifications. There might be some med students on here who want to go to med school, but really... they're going to spend even more money, more time in debt, and 8 to 10 years in med school and residency before they get a real job. They'll be 30 by the time they start making 120k/yr. I'll be 26 when I start making the same amount. I'll be working around 1950 billable hours per year (37.5 hours/wk) while they'll be working 60-80 hours per week. Maybe I just don't love medicine enough, but I think that sucks. I'd rather make the same amount working half as much, but that's just me.

Don't regret going to law school, just make better choices.

bahama
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby bahama » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:07 pm

GatorBait09 wrote: There might be some med students on here who want to go to med school, but really... they're going to spend even more money, more time in debt, and 8 to 10 years in med school and residency before they get a real job. They'll be 30 by the time they start making 120k/yr. I'll be 26 when I start making the same amount. I'll be working around 1950 billable hours per year (37.5 hours/wk) while they'll be working 60-80 hours per week. Maybe I just don't love medicine enough, but I think that sucks. I'd rather make the same amount working half as much, but that's just me.


Your law vs. med comparison makes no sense.

Not many 26 year old law grads are making 120K +. The average is much lower. Nearly all post-residency doctors are making that much, if not double that, although they are a few years older. If you look at the income of a law grad vs med grad at age 30 or even 40 I am sure more often than not the med school grad is making more.

If you are making 120k as a 26 y/o lawyer, you WILL be WORKING 60-80 hr weeks. Billable hours are much lower than the time you spend at work.

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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby the lantern » Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:26 pm

I told one of my friends (who will be applying to law school in 2012 or 2013, he currently works as a chemical engineer making good money) that I was having second thoughts, and he gave me an earful about how I was "panicking" and that the internet was full of malcontent losers than whine. I'm not sure what to think. The legal market is unquestionably screwed, and I am not sure I want to take out $100,000 of loans for a profession that seems to offer little. In the best case scenario, you get a job that works you to the bone and you can afford to pay back your loans. I don't really think I want to work 70 hours a week. I don't know. I have always wanted to be a lawyer, but I am having trouble justifying the expense. I could just as easily enter the work force and save myself the money..

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Ragged
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby Ragged » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:04 pm

the lantern wrote:I told one of my friends (who will be applying to law school in 2012 or 2013, he currently works as a chemical engineer making good money) that I was having second thoughts, and he gave me an earful about how I was "panicking" and that the internet was full of malcontent losers than whine. I'm not sure what to think. The legal market is unquestionably screwed, and I am not sure I want to take out $100,000 of loans for a profession that seems to offer little. In the best case scenario, you get a job that works you to the bone and you can afford to pay back your loans. I don't really think I want to work 70 hours a week. I don't know. I have always wanted to be a lawyer, but I am having trouble justifying the expense. I could just as easily enter the work force and save myself the money..



I tend to agree with the bolded part. When I first visited JDU I freaked out, but then I asked myself "what kind of a lawyer has time to hang out on internet to whine about how law sucks?". Boards are self selecting and you got to adjust for that when you read stuff.

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wadeny
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby wadeny » Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:24 pm

It's actually refreshing to see a thread like this - having second thoughts about LS is very reasonable, especially if you're taking on a lot of debt. I've got a couple friends and a relative (3Ls with decent class placement at a strong T30) who have basically struck out at getting any law-related work for this upcoming year. Right now, it looks like they'll probably end up with a 50k job at graduation with 100K+ in debt....I feel bad for them because they entered LS before the economy really tanked. At least 0Ls on here know what they're getting themselves into for the most part. TTT grads are not the only ones struggling out there now.

slider
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby slider » Sun Jan 03, 2010 8:53 pm

Even though I'm just as guilty of second guessing myself. I found this thread on this year's OCI results which helped a little. It doesn't seem terrible as I thought considering the economy.

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=82395

ughOSU
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Re: Am I the only that's having second thoughts?

Postby ughOSU » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:08 pm

bluejayk wrote:The ABA (thankfully) does not make its decisions based only on the interest of lawyers, they also consider the public interest. Your argument about working to increase overall quality is disingenuous, you're concerned with your own career prospects. Seeking to eliminate qualified competitors who can pass the bar and the MPRE just so you can have better access to high paying jobs IS unethical.

HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!! Maybe it's just the times we're growing up in, but I am completely incapable of deceiving myself into believing that a professional organization has anything in mind other than maintaining their power, stature, and money. I think when you begin giving these organizations credit for protecting the public interest or some equally selfless duty you set yourself up to be had.

There are far more law school graduates than there are legal jobs worth having. How many ambulance chasers can this country handle? I don't think there's much of a debate that the bottom of the barrel lawyers hurt the profession and the country, but obviously the ABA has been calculating things differently (perhaps purely economically???). I think making it more difficult to become a lawyer would not necessarily be a bad thing.

e: also, add me to the list of those having crippling second thoughts on this whole thing. I may have to take another year off to decide regardless of what schools I get into.




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