Should I become a lawyer?

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newrich
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Should I become a lawyer?

Postby newrich » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:40 pm

Alright, I just finished my freshman year of undergraduate studies at a good school. I have always wanted to be a lawyer, but have been having some doubts. I would go into corporate law, but how are the hours and stuff. I have heard that lawyers are the mots unhappy people. In addition to this, what are some other careers in lets say business that one can make alot of money but maybe work 50 hours per week instead of 80 plus? Thanks!

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GeePee
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Re: Should I become a lawyer?

Postby GeePee » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:44 pm

Unfortunately, even in top consulting jobs out of undergrad, you're going to have to put in some heavy hours if you're after a giant bankroll. Now, that's not to say that the hours don't dramatically decrease after the first 5 or so years in some types of employment, but you definitely have to put in your time.

Bottom line: if you're not committed, don't do it. People like you who follow the money are the reason why the people in these jobs are the most unhappy, mostly because they quickly realize that having a life is worth more than a 6-figure starting salary.

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vexion
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Re: Should I become a lawyer?

Postby vexion » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:14 pm

GeePee wrote:Unfortunately, even in top consulting jobs out of undergrad, you're going to have to put in some heavy hours if you're after a giant bankroll. Now, that's not to say that the hours don't dramatically decrease after the first 5 or so years in some types of employment, but you definitely have to put in your time.

Bottom line: if you're not committed, don't do it. People like you who follow the money are the reason why the people in these jobs are the most unhappy, mostly because they quickly realize that having a life is worth more than a 6-figure starting salary.


TITCR. If you're only interested in a fat paycheck, you should learn now that every job with a traditionally high starting salary commands a ridiculous amount of work. You don't work 50 hours a week and make over 60k or so. BigLaw associates average 60 hour weeks. Engineers and investment bankers work just as long. Doctors have four years of med school, then a low-paying residency with a workload sometimes equivalent to BigLaw, and only after all that any shot at making six figures. It's the first law of the business jungle -- if you want to succeed, work harder than everyone else around you.

There are probably three jobs where you can make a ton of money without putting in much, much more than a normal 40-hour workweek. Inventor (if you manage to invent some indispensable new invention in a flash of brilliance with minimal effort, and know how to appropriately market and license it...), trust fund baby/heir apparent to a monarchy, and blindfolded stock picker.

Also, if you "would go into corporate law," but you couldn't stomach working 80+ hour weeks, well, walk away now. First off it's a pipe dream to operate on the assumption, in your freshman year of college, that you would land one of the prestigious, high-paying BigLaw jobs out of law school. Statistically you're much more likely to work in PI, as a public defender, or as a sole practitioner making $40k and still working 60 hours many weeks. Second, just like GeePee said, people who go the BigLaw route for the money are the reason attorneys poll as one of the unhappiest professions, and one rife with alcoholics to boot. It can be soul-crushing work, especially to those whose hearts aren't in it.

xyzzzzzzzz
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:28 pm

Re: Should I become a lawyer?

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:58 pm

.
Last edited by xyzzzzzzzz on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cinefile 17
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Re: Should I become a lawyer?

Postby cinefile 17 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:04 pm

GeePee wrote:Bottom line: if you're not committed, don't do it. People like you who follow the money are the reason why the people in these jobs are the most unhappy, mostly because they quickly realize that having a life is worth more than a 6-figure starting salary.


+100

blsingindisguise
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Re: Should I become a lawyer?

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:18 pm

Apparently you could make a decent living in FLAME

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mstaten
Posts: 14
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Re: Should I become a lawyer?

Postby mstaten » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:26 pm

vexion wrote:
If you're only interested in a fat paycheck, you should learn now that every job with a traditionally high starting salary commands a ridiculous amount of work. You don't work 50 hours a week and make over 60k or so. BigLaw associates average 60 hour weeks. Engineers and investment bankers work just as long. Doctors have four years of med school, then a low-paying residency with a workload sometimes equivalent to BigLaw, and only after all that any shot at making six figures. It's the first law of the business jungle -- if you want to succeed, work harder than everyone else around you.

There are probably three jobs where you can make a ton of money without putting in much, much more than a normal 40-hour workweek. Inventor (if you manage to invent some indispensable new invention in a flash of brilliance with minimal effort, and know how to appropriately market and license it...), trust fund baby/heir apparent to a monarchy, and blindfolded stock picker.

Also, if you "would go into corporate law," but you couldn't stomach working 80+ hour weeks, well, walk away now. First off it's a pipe dream to operate on the assumption, in your freshman year of college, that you would land one of the prestigious, high-paying BigLaw jobs out of law school. Statistically you're much more likely to work in PI, as a public defender, or as a sole practitioner making $40k and still working 60 hours many weeks. Second, just like GeePee said, people who go the BigLaw route for the money are the reason attorneys poll as one of the unhappiest professions, and one rife with alcoholics to boot. It can be soul-crushing work, especially to those whose hearts aren't in it.


TITCR. Great response, Vexion. I couldn't have said it better.

Case2L
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Re: Should I become a lawyer?

Postby Case2L » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:07 am

newrich wrote:Should I become a lawyer?


If you have to ask, the answer is probably no. j/k - This is actually a question that you need to ask yourself, not us. There are too many lawyers as it is, and unless you make it into the top echelon of law schools, or a dominating regional school, job prospects are not so great. If you genuinely feel like the legal profession is a calling, a dream, etcetera, etcetera, then yes, you should be a lawyer. Just realize that a JD is not a license to print money.

Locke N. Lawded
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Re: Should I become a lawyer?

Postby Locke N. Lawded » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:21 am

Case2L wrote:
newrich wrote:Should I become a lawyer?


If you have to ask, the answer is probably no. j/k - This is actually a question that you need to ask yourself, not us. There are too many lawyers as it is, and unless you make it into the top echelon of law schools, or a dominating regional school, job prospects are not so great. If you genuinely feel like the legal profession is a calling, a dream, etcetera, etcetera, then yes, you should be a lawyer. Just realize that a JD is not a license to print money.


Agree 100%. There's no harm in taking a few years to decide what you ultimately want your future career path to be. Being a lawyer is not at all how it is depicted in movies and on television...most of what you do is mind-numbingly tedious and repetitive, and most lawyers never see the inside of a courtroom either at all or at least for many years.

I suggest you try to intern in a law office to see what really goes on there before committing yourself to getting a law degree. A law degree is not versatile anymore, and having one narrows the types of jobs for which you might actually be considered.

If you are in a job now that might lead somewhere, explore that path. You likely can't go back once you have that law degree.

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mallard
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Re: Should I become a lawyer?

Postby mallard » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:21 am

No.

andreea7
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Re: Should I become a lawyer?

Postby andreea7 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:27 am

newrich wrote:Alright, I just finished my freshman year of undergraduate studies at a good school. I have always wanted to be a lawyer, but have been having some doubts. I would go into corporate law, but how are the hours and stuff. I have heard that lawyers are the mots unhappy people. In addition to this, what are some other careers in lets say business that one can make alot of money but maybe work 50 hours per week instead of 80 plus? Thanks!


You are having some doubts and that's a problem because your deadline for applying to law school is coming in about three or four years? Get some real work experience and then maybe you can say you are having doubts.




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