thanks for the input!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Jerkovsky
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thanks for the input!

Postby Jerkovsky » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:47 pm

sorry, this had to go.
Last edited by Jerkovsky on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jerkovsky
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby Jerkovsky » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:55 pm

Also, is "Law School Admissions" the right forum for this question? None of the other ones really stuck out.....

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Kohinoor
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:59 pm

Jerkovsky wrote:I have recently started thinking very seriously about going to law school. I am right now finishing an MS in EE and have a good job lined up for July. Everything is jolly, except that engineers have a dreaded glass ceiling in their salaries. Unless you start your own company or join start-ups you are basically limited to making under $150k (give or take) for the rest of your career. But I have zero desire to become involved in such endeavors and feel more comfortable working in larger companies. This is why I have grown interested in becoming a patent lawyer.

Pro:
I would probably have a shot at the T14 (scored 173 on a diagnostic LSAT at one of those free Kaplan events + 3.5 GPA + solid softs)
I feel my skills may be better aligned with a career in patents than as an engineer (I am great at quickly familiarizing myself with new subjects and am a good reader/writer, but am not very creative and don't have the attention span necessary to work on a single project for many many months)
I am taking the introduction to intellectual property class at my school's law school and am loving the material
I can't see myself being happy as a 50 year old engineer

Con:
My main motivator is still the money.
My image of patent prosecution may be very distorted (I know it's tedious work at times, but I also imagine it involves getting to learn about new technologies while interacting with clients)

I am looking for a career that enables me to stay connected with the research sector of the technology industry and interact regularly with clients. From a monetary perspective, I am hoping to be able to get into the $200k+ range over the course of my career without having to take on the risks and stress associated with working in a startup (A 50% chance at getting a job in big law that requires ~60 hrs/wk may seem to be exactly the same, but trust me, it's nothing compared to working 80 hrs/wk at a start up with a 10% chance of surviving the year).

When I first started thinking about applying to law school, it seemed like the golden solution that will lead to nothing but joy and happiness, but after parsing through this forum I realize that my view may be overly optimistic. I will definitely take a year off before even applying, but want to be pretty set on my decision before I leave school so I can get letters of recommendation before my profs forget about me.

So what are your thoughts? I appreciate the input!
America is the only place that raises its kids to seek fulfillment in jobs. Enjoy biglaw homie.

Hey-O
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby Hey-O » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:04 am

Your argument seems to be: I want to have a mansion and yacht and be able to do what I love which is be an engineer, so I'll just be a lawyer who stares longing at the work of engineers and then argues about minutiae, while not actually being an engineer at all. This is a recipe for a jump off a bridge at the age of 45. Don't do it. Just be a great engineer and you'll have more money than 99.9999999% of humanity throughout the ages.

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englawyer
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby englawyer » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:15 am

go to law school. if money is your motivator, and you are sure about that, you will not be happy in engineering as you have preemptively seen. patent law seems like a good middle ground where you will have some connection to the tech and still make good cash.

if you LOVE doing engineering stuff, obviously you should just suck it up and live off a "measly" 120k :); there is no substitute for passion. however, myself and many others on here just didn't feel the magic and are making a similar career switch to the one you are contemplating.

CanadianWolf
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:16 am

Do you have any work experience as an engineer? Or did you simply pursue your master's in EE directly after finishing your undergraduate degree?

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Trifles
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby Trifles » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:20 am

The average worker in the world can expect to make about one thousand dollars a year. Are you 150 times better/smarter then the average person to actually deserve the 150k you are "limited" to? (No, you are not.) Be happy with what you have, don't throw away your happiness for a little more money; you are in an incredibly rare and lucky situation to not have to.

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ccs224
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby ccs224 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:21 am

Kohinoor wrote:America i[strike]s the only place that[/strike] raises its kids to seek fulfillment in [strike]jobs[/strike] money. Enjoy biglaw homie.


FTFW

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englawyer
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby englawyer » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:24 am

Trifles wrote:The average worker in the world can expect to make about one thousand dollars a year. Are you 150 times better/smarter then the average person to actually deserve the 150k you are "limited" to? (No, you are not.) Be happy with what you have, don't throw away your happiness for a little more money; you are in an incredibly rare and lucky situation to not have to.


where does it say OP was happy? in fact, he even says he will be UNhappy as a 50 yr old engineer.

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Trifles
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby Trifles » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:31 am

englawyer wrote:
Trifles wrote:The average worker in the world can expect to make about one thousand dollars a year. Are you 150 times better/smarter then the average person to actually deserve the 150k you are "limited" to? (No, you are not.) Be happy with what you have, don't throw away your happiness for a little more money; you are in an incredibly rare and lucky situation to not have to.


where does it say OP was happy? in fact, he even says he will be UNhappy as a 50 yr old engineer.


He said his main motivator was still money. If he wouldn't be willing to do patent work for less money then 200k+ some point in the future, then he is still going to be a miserable son of a bitch. He needs to find something he actually enjoys if he wants to be happy doing it 60+ hours a week.

Jerkovsky
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Postby Jerkovsky » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:20 am

.
Last edited by Jerkovsky on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:27 am

I know several electrical engineers that did well in undergraduate school, worked for five to eight years, then got MBA degrees after which their earnings rose substantially. New positions involved sales and/or marketing in technical fields.

Jerkovsky
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby Jerkovsky » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:31 am

Yeah, that's the other track I am considering. Trying to figure out which of those two career paths would make me happier.

09042014
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:41 am

Jerkovsky wrote:Yeah, that's the other track I am considering. Trying to figure out which of those two career paths would make me happier.


Why not try the engineering job out for a few years? That will let the legal field pick back up, and give you an edge in hiring.

You might be able to bank enough money for expenses, and maybe get a full ride at a T1, and come out of law school debt free.

Or you get your MBA. Or stay in engineering.

rsuelzer
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby rsuelzer » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:44 am

Very, very, very few lawyers make 200k+ a year. In fact, I bet that fewer than 1% of lawyers make 200k a year, I would be shocked if more than 1% of lawyers were making 200k a year!!!

There is nothing wrong with making 150k a year, why would you want to beat your brains out doing something you hate for extra money?

That being said, law is not the career you want to go into if your only motivation is to make money. Your salary will not be any better if you chose to go into law. In fact, it will probably be worse! Don't trade in something you love for something you are ambivalent about. The most successful lawyers are not the ones who do it for the money, they are the ones who have a passion for it.

My end goal is a job that will pay me 100-115k a year, with a full pension. Probably looking at an entry level job with a federal agency doing contracts and procurement. A boring job, a 9-5 job, but a job that will allow me to retire early and enjoy the things in my life that I will never be able to fashion into a career (fishing, gardening).


If you want to be go to law school to become rich, you really need to realize that a law degree is not the way to do that. Most lawyers do not own yachts, and the ones that make enough money to afford one are working 80 hours a week and can't use it anyway.

Sorry for the typos!

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Helmholtz
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby Helmholtz » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:54 am

rsuelzer wrote:Very, very, very few lawyers make 200k+ a year. In fact, I bet that fewer than 1% of lawyers make 200k a year, I would be shocked if more than 1% of lawyers were making 200k a year!!!


I understand your point, but OP took a 173 as a diagnostic and has a decent GPA. Could easily be looking at CCN and even if he finishes near the middle of his class, has the very real possibility of making +$160k the year after graduation.

rsuelzer
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby rsuelzer » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:02 am

rsuelzer wrote:
I understand your point, but OP took a 173 as a diagnostic and has a decent GPA. Could easily be looking at CCN and even if he finishes near the middle of his class, has the very real possibility of making +$160k the year after graduation.


. Point made. Do what you want, chances are you will be successful at it. Just make sure it is really want you want to do!

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weee
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby weee » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:13 am

I dropped out of an EE PhD program because I knew I lacked the passion, and went to work for 5 years, I say if you recognize that you lack the passion it's very unlikely that working is going to change, but you could easily work a year or two and save aggressively, pad the resume a bit more, and then go to law if you are still feeling the inclination, and also see where the legal market is headed.

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violinst
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby violinst » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:27 am

Yes, try it. I am pretty sure that you will go to a very good school and also perform well there. You don't have that much to loss (you will likely to have a good scholarship/legal job after graduation), but the reward can be tremendous.

We need people like you. There are too many political "scientists" in law school.

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SoCalStudent
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby SoCalStudent » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:38 am

If money is the motivating factor, than you may come to find that law isn't for you after you've racked up $150K+ in debt. There's no guarantee you'll make half of what you're saying you'd make as an engineer. Stick with engineering and be happy with a six-figure salary.

JOThompson
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby JOThompson » Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:40 am

violinst wrote:There are too many political "scientists" in law school.

There are also too many people in law school who are mainly interested in making six figures.

$160k a year won't be worth the loss of happiness. I get the impression that the OP would be more satisfied with engineering. At least try it out, like Desert Fox suggested. Become a lawyer because you want to practice law, not to chase cash. If you're bright and/or hard-working like the OP, you may end up having a financially lucrative career, but there's no guarantee.

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violinst
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby violinst » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:10 am

JOThompson wrote:
violinst wrote:There are too many political "scientists" in law school.

It can also be argued that there are too many people in law school who are motivated primarily by money.


That's a joke. I meant that his background would be a meaningful addition to the legal field.

Whether one is motivated by money (to do anything) is irrelevant at the end, imo, as long as one is able to produce top notch goods and services in the most efficient way. All societies benefit from quality and efficiency, and imo money is actually the best motivator for the purpose achieving quality and efficiency.

"I am taking the introduction to intellectual property class at my school's law school and am loving the material. I can't see myself being happy as a 50 year old engineer."

OP does not seem to have the greatest passion for science, but he does seem to be very interested in law at the moment. I believe that OP will do well in law school (he seems to have already done well on the LSAT easily.) and therefore I think that he should give law a try. Our society would benefit greatly when OP is doing something that he is best at, and that something could very well be law. And law could certainly be more rewarding financially, which in turn will likely to make OP happier. Money may work its magic again by "luring" someone to find what he is best at.

JOThompson
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby JOThompson » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:22 am

You make a well reasoned point about society benefiting from the most efficient use of resources/talents. However, I think we can infer from the OP's thread title ("wrong reasons") that he holds some lingering doubts. I believe that happiness is an essential element of efficiency and I'm not sure if law would be the best fit for the OP now. I imagine he'll be successful at whatever he does, but that doesn't mean that law is necessarily his ideal career.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby quickquestionthanks » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:26 am

The only credited advice here is from DF (surprisingly). Go work as an engineer for 3-5 years, save up money, let the legal market pick up. Another thing to consider is demographics.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/09/educa ... =1&_r=2&hp

So do the math. In addition to the poor job market, this explains why law school admissions is so cutthroat. Wait five years and your 173 and work experience will get you further.

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violinst
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Re: contemplating law school for the wrong reasons?

Postby violinst » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:29 am

JOThompson wrote:You make a well reasoned point. However, I think we can infer from the OP's thread title that he has some serious doubts. I believe that happiness is an essential element of efficiency and I'm not sure if law would be the best fit for the OP now. I imagine he'll be successful at whatever he does, but that doesn't mean that law is necessarily his ideal career.


True. But I think that he should give it a try (Again, I believe that he is likely to get a good scholarship and perform well in law school. Since he is not most satisfied with what he has now, he really doesn't have much to loss.) I understand the doubts completely, for I just gave up a 22-year-long career (I started really early) to go to law school. What motivated me? Money, the chance that I may be better at law, and the potential to be happier.

Happiness => [Efficiency => Success]

or

[Efficiency => Success] => (newly-found perhaps) Happiness

I don't really know. I am on my way to find out.
Last edited by violinst on Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:05 am, edited 2 times in total.




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