To better comply with TLS's Terms and Conditions I have removed the expletives I used in my first somewhat-heated posting. Although my user account and IP will probably be banned again, as long as this information is getting out to 0Ls before they take out massive amounts of debt, then I'll be satisfied. At least I tried to give you all a heads-up.
You are all a bunch of [0Ls]. You don't need to go 100-200K into debt to meet new people and move to a new city to get a graduate degree that is essentially worthless unless it is from a Top 6 law school. You literally do not learn how to do anything that an actual practicing attorney knows how to do. All you will do is read, outline, and [crap] yourself come exam time, all while bleeding money to pay for your law school and its professors (making $200K/yr teaching [poopooheads]) who were smart enough to get out of private practice while they could.
I know 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls, and LLMs that want to kill themselves because of their debtload and the fact that they have no legal job lined up. If this is the kind of misery you want to bring upon yourself, then go for it. Additionally, if you have no serious family connections to managing partners, don't have a full ride or parents that are paying 100% of your expenses, are a poli sci [majors] or possess any other useless UG degree, have an intense lisp or foreign accent, have any level of asperger's, or are a [jerk] or unattractive in any way, DON'T ATTEND LAW SCHOOL. You'll be flushing money down the toilet.
All you [0Ls] talk about is how intellectually stimulating LS is going to be... you are plainly [naive]. It's just a [fricking] rat race where you are in class all day taking notes, being scared [crapless] you don't get called on because you didn't really read the cases assigned (or even if you read them, your professor will make you feel like an idiot because your notes will be worthless), spend your nights and weekends slaving over pointless casebook reading and legal memorandum that take hours and hours to research, write, proof, revise, edit, repeat. Come November, you slave away over cover letters and resumes only to get rejected everywhere. Spring semester will follow suit, but with intensified stress levels as you pointlessly apply to jobs online through Symplicity, freaking out about how you are going to afford to pay rent and feed yourself over the summer because you couldn't get a paid job or a public interest grant. Your Career Development Office will continue to send you emails about jobs and fellowships that for which they are perfectly aware that no one is qualified for, and will be utterly useless.
Then Fall On Campus Interviewing (OCI) will roll around, where only the top 15% of 1L students will get interviews with firms paying $80K-$160K, a good number won't even get callbacks, and many of the few who get offers will then get no-offered at the end of the summer, and you will all again scramble to find a legal internship for 2L and 3L summers, repeating the stress which consumed you 1L year. You will take pointless classes 2L and 3L year which only gloss over the substance of the law, and none will make you any more qualified for a particular practice area (e.g., international law, human rights law, environmental law, and all other imaginary concentrations law schools claim to be the best at, but which lead to no improved employment opportunities).
Everyone is confident that they will get top 10% of their class, [crap], I was, too. Fact is I finished below median at my T20 after my first semester. (You will quickly learn that the legal recruiting process only cares about 1L grades, and that you are instantly barred from ever getting those $160K jobs if you aren't top of your 1L class.) However, I played my hand right. I had family connections, had a scholarship, have an engineering degree from a prestigious school, am sociable, tall, and good looking. Combine these, and boom, I have a summer associateship where I'm making $3K/week. Out of my 250-270 student class of 2012, I am one of maybe four students that has a paying firm job. But all my friends and classmates are either (1) lucky enough to snag an unpaid public interest job [where they will take on more debt this summer/max out their credit cards/work at Starbucks/Radio Shack part-time... but to be fair, a few dozen were able to snag $4-5K grants at my school, and some T14 schools (like Columbia) pay any student who does an unpaid internship], (2) have some type of family legal connection, but not with a managing law firm partner, and will be working unpaid for some [CRAP]LAW solo practitioner and living back at home, or (3) totally without a job and therefore foreclosed from future law firm jobs and [crapping] themselves and contemplating killself. I am lucky as [crap] that I have a job with an awesome firm and don't have to worry about finding employment during finals and am pretty much set for life. But sadly, I am the exception.
Even medians and below at top 14s (T14) are getting the shaft: --LinkRemoved--
If you need more evidence of how poorly your gamble to attend law school can turn out, please read these links from people who are living the nightmare: http://T14 Paradise.blogspot.com/, http://joblesslawyer.com/, --LinkRemoved--, http://esqnever.blogspot.com/, --LinkRemoved--, http://temporaryattorney.blogspot.com/.
Especially don't attend a festering TTT (schools not even within the top 100, but realistically anything outside the top 25).
3Ls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4fXTlFTQHY, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBbgXhac-Rs
Moral of this long post (which I took the time out of my studying for finals to write so that more innocent people in their 20s won't get sucked into the farce that is law school):
1. Don't add a useless law degree onto a useless undergrad degree. (So don't take on more crushing debt just because you couldn't find your dream job or are "bored" at your current job. It's not worth the debt and stress of law school and the legal profession.)
2. Don't assume that you will finish in the top percentiles of your class. You have an inverse chance of doing just the opposite.
3. Read/listen to every [fricking] link that is in this post. If you don't, you will regret it for the rest of your [fricking] lives.
4. A URM? Still [fricked] (--LinkRemoved--).
5. Think you are T14 safe? Think again (--LinkRemoved--).
6. If you aren't T6/engineering/well-connected/top 10%, start getting used to craigslist legal board: http://xoxohth.com/thread.php?thread_id=1282645&mc=15&forum_id=2
So how should you decide if law school is a good gamble/risk of the rest of your life? I highly advice you go only if at least one of these factors apply to you (but the more factors that you have, the better):
1. You get into Harvard/Yale/Stanford (HYS).
2. You get into other schools in the T14 with $.
3. Your parents finance your entire law school adventure.
4. You are well-connected to partners at a law firm that expressly tell/promise you employment.
5. You have an undergraduate degree in (starting with the best) either a (1) BS, MS, or Ph.D. in electrical engineering, (2) BS, MS, or Ph.D. in chemical engineering, (3) Ph.D. in a biological science, or (4) any other engineering or hard science (not sociology or psychology), but these won't be in as much a demand.
6. You get a 100% full ride.
7. You got at least a 170 LSAT.
Hope this post helps you make a wise and thought-out decision. I hate seeing my law school friends dealing with depression, inevitable bankruptcy, crushed dreams, and a bleak future, and I certainly don't want any others to experience the same. I am going to repost and bump this until the message finally gets through all of your thick skulls. I'm sure that it feels that I'm trying to crush your dreams, but you will seriously thank me for crushing those than creditors crushing the rest of your future.
P.S. More links that you will find useful:
I'll add more as I run across them...
rando wrote:You should never go to law school without weighing the costs of attendance, how you are going to pay off loans, why you want to be a lawyer etc. But if you have weighed those things and are making a well thought out decision, then by all means I think you should go to law school.
I 100% agree with this statement, rando. (And this is exactly what I'm trying to get 0Ls to do.) But when I see my friends take on an obscene amount of debt (which is easily available compliments of the federal government and its debt-machine), it literally breaks my heart to how badly they are struggling.
The primary problem is that students are "weighing" these factors with the wrong assumptions because law schools downright lie about their employment statistics. Like Duke's 100% employment-at-graduation. Are you [fricking] kidding? Not even Yale had 100%! And in the Great Depression, all Duke law students, even the one student who finished dead last in the class (probably with below a 2.0 GPA and on academic probation) found gainful employment? Doesn't that also assume that they had a 100% bar passage rate? No [fricking] way. Up and down the T14 are students finding themselves without legal jobs.
Ask yourself, of the schools you are looking at, which ones are being the most transparent about their employment statistics? Consider University of Chicago. They provide a complete class list which shows where each graduate is landing after 3L year. (See here: --LinkRemoved--, and the http://www.lawschooltransparency.com site in general.) With many other schools, you'll be lucky to find detailed employment statistics on their websites. Even so, graduating law students AREN'T required to report their employment status or salary. Do you really think someone who got totally shafted and scammed by a law school is going to reply to an employment survey? In reality, it's going to be the lucky ones with solid firm jobs that reply back.... this obviously skews the data upwards.
Law schools skew and manipulate their data like crazy. For instance, how do you know that a school's employment statistics don't include temporary contract work (a.k.a. "doc review") or non-legal jobs? You don't! You wonder why admissions people claim a JD to be so versatile? Because in the unfortunate situation that you don't find legal employment (and much more likely these days), you bet your ass you're going to make it versatile. But an unemployed 3L is damaged goods for law firms and over-qualified for every other non-legal job. If you find yourself in this situation, you better pray to God that he swoops in and saves your ass through family connections or a networking miracle.
Be skeptical, and don't be scared to grill admissions officers on that fact. YOU are the one about to fork over thousands of dollars to them. You have the right to know that your TRUE odds of finding a job are.
A'nold wrote:Let me rephrase my point in more direct terms: If you are going into ls for the $ and power, there is a BIG chance you will hate your decision to attend, even if you land a 160k prestigeous biglaw gig out of school. It is not all it is cracked up to be. If you are going to law school b/c you love challenging, intellectual stimulation and want an interesting career OR have a purpose such as becoming a prosecutor, judge, DOJ attorney, JAG, etc. you will likely love your choice.
Again, I agree with this poster's comment. But an "intellectual stimulation" doesn't cost six figures of debt. It's not [fricking] free money bud. And with today's DirectPLUS loans at like 7-8%, your interest will be nasty. And tack that on to any accruing interest from your UG loans. You absolutely need to balance the "benefits" (intellectual stimulation, maybe it'll be interesting if you find a great job or discover your passion) with the "costs" (time, opportunity cost, DEBT, stress, golden handcuffs, etc.).
But like I said, if you don't have any work experience and find yourself as a senior in undergrad with a degree that has awarded you with minimal/zero employment prospects, don't go to law school because you think it's a safe backup. It isn't. Don't tack on all that debt with another inherently useless degree. Pay down your UG debt, build up some savings, and then reassess your life situation in a few years. Take some more time to study and increase your LSAT score to expand your long-term career opportunities, and also reflect on whether the legal profession is truly something you can see yourself doing.
If you do have a strong passion of "becoming a prosecutor, judge, DOJ attorney, JAG," then I fully support your decision to attend, and I think that's great. One place there is an unmet need is legal aid. But the skyrocketing cost of tuition is preventing so many great people from pursuing it. They become trapped in debt and have to work non-stop to meet their loan payments. They don't have time to serve those who need it. And when state budgets are getting cut right and left, fellowships for legal aid attorney salaries are getting slashed. Trust me, it's a really tough job market out there, public interest and private practice. And think about some of those jobs. What percentage of law students become judges? A scintilla. Don't be stupid. DOJ Honors program require top academic creditials. Prosecutor budgets are shrinking rapidly. People (from BIGLAW down to [CRAP]LAW) are flooding JAG with applications in the hope that they won't be unemployed after graduation/unemployment benefits run out. Just, whatever you do, think your decision through for God's sake.
Also think about attrition in the legal market. Senior attorneys and partners (think 50 years old and up) lost a [crap] ton of money and probably a good chunk of their retirement savings. You think that they are still going to retire when they thought they would? Hell no. They have to work several more years to recoup their losses, and this is keeping new attorney spots from opening up.
if you notice, they always have <50 posts and are usually new
So what? Does this make any of what I've said invalid? Maybe I can't stand the fact that everyone here is drunk on the koolaid. Maybe I've been busy as [crap] with law school. Maybe these posts I'm writing are worth ten-[fricking]-million posts, you [dunce].
JDU and xoxo trolls that think they have a mission to crap on everyone and convince them out of ls as a career b/c they are unhappy and they buy into the JDU hype b/c their lives suck.
Sure I look at these sites, but I'm no troll. (Those are mostly Ivy students anyways...) But the [crap] is real. My best friend got no-offered from BIGLAW DC... they gave like 4 offers to a summer class of over 20. She thought the firm was financially healthy. Guess what? DING[FRUIT]. She's so depressed and just not herself anymore. And she was on E-board of a journal and had great grades. Now she carries the no-offer BLACKSPOT. I can name so many 2Ls that are scrambling and clawing for unpaid positions (normally positions for 1Ls).
But think about where I'm coming from. I was lucky enough to snag a great job. Thinking about it, I feel like I survived a slaughter. (Think the Titanic scene when the boiler rooms were flooding and the iron doors were slowing closing, trapping people inside. I shit you not, that is how I felt.) Law school these days, in such a saturated market, is a dangerous game of survival. And no, I don't recommend you become a plumber or apprentice. lol I recommend you get an entry-level job out of UG, and think REAL HARD about your graduate school decisions.
prezidentv8 wrote:Depends on the class but in general, my view is that:
-Material itself isn't very hard as a general matter.
-Interest in materials varies by class and topic.
-When the material is boring, it's horrible BECAUSE of the volume.
-Classes are interesting, when you're interested in the class material (slightly redundant but you catch my drift).
-Classes are boring when you really don't care (e.g. me in crim).
-Law school teaching and grading systems are incomprehensibly stupid (personal opinion).
-I'm tired of studying crim law.
I concur with most of this. For me, I loved Civil Procedure, Legal Writing, and (surprisingly) Con Law, but felt like everything else was rather boring. Anyways, after the bar I'll never have a need for that information again. (If I did have a contract dispute or a constitutional law question, I'd obviously hire a lawyer who has been practicing in that area for many years. Not like I'd take up the case and rely on my one semester class lol)
I think this comprises a huge segment of the student body, but not all regret attending law school, esp. when coupled with a desire to do something in particular. But I guess than can fall into the second bolded part. However, I don't think it needs to PI/government. There are lots of interesting things in biglaw (even outside of patents).
The people that I know who don't regret going to law school are employed. Or at the least aren't drowning in debt. And to be fair, one of my friends is a personal injury lawyer who loves the work that he has been doing for the past 10 years, although he's told me that he will never be able to pay off his loans (unless of course he gets lucky with a windfall tort case). But at least he knew what he was getting into and knew that it was going to be an uphill battle. Plaintiff personal injury is his passion (don't laugh) and he's a great lawyer, it's just tough to make ends meet out there.
Alright, back to slaving over my law school outlines. Good luck 0Ls with your decisions. I really hope you do what will make you happy in life, but just remember that student loans are a big, big deal, and can cause more problems than just financial stress. If you are 100% sure that law is your passion (and it has been for many years, even before the economy's shit-storm) then you should go. But this is a decision that will affect the rest of your life, so don't take it lightly.