a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

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rftdd888
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a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby rftdd888 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:48 am

a
Last edited by rftdd888 on Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

byunbee
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby byunbee » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:50 am

i don't know if i belong in law school, but i know i want to make a lot of money.

also, flame?

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rftdd888
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby rftdd888 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:55 am

you guys use "flame" too much. no, this isn't a flame.

serious as a heart attack.

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Kohinoor
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:59 am

rriles wrote:hi, this is my first post so hopefully it's a good one. i should probably provide a little background...

i'm a sophomore in college

aaaand done.

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rftdd888
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby rftdd888 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:04 am

Kohinoor wrote:
rriles wrote:hi, this is my first post so hopefully it's a good one. i should probably provide a little background...

i'm a sophomore in college

aaaand done.


very little relevance to my question. if you don't want to answer the question you could always abstain from posting.

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mstaten
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby mstaten » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:05 am

I would say, and take this for what it's worth, that many people enter the legal profession with unrealistic expectations and/or a lack of genuine interest in practicing law. This eventually causes them much grief once the realities of being a practicing attorney set in and the hard and unglamorous work begins. This is just a quick response; however, I'm sure another TLSer will elaborate on this for you.

byunbee
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby byunbee » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:11 am

biglaw doc review isn't exactly like briefing supreme court cases and researching things you are passionate about, i imagine.

the hours are long, the job security's not great ITE, and the work isn't really all that rewarding. and i think that's why you see so many people wash out despite the high pay, in many cases. it's not a matter of "should they or should they not be there." it's just a tough system for a lot of people to handle.

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rftdd888
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby rftdd888 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:09 pm

ok good responses so far. interesting stuff.

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mallard
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby mallard » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:11 pm

If you're actually as interested in the law as you seem, it'll probably end up being okay. I find it stunning that torts and contracts are still "fascinating" after "extensive research," but if they are, you'll probably end up happy enough.

reverendt
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby reverendt » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:16 pm

Many lawyers/law students are by nature neurotic people who will never be satisfied. Thus, in many instances it's probably NOT the schooling or the job that creates the unhappiness, but the mindset of the people.
On the other hand, if you're a "glass is half full" type, you probably WILL be happy.

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ConMan345
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby ConMan345 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:18 pm

The number of people going to law school who don't know if they want to be lawyers is staggeringly high. I've never understood it, but I suppose it's a product of the ease of admittance and the herds of liberal arts grads without jobs. Also, starting in biglaw is far removed from most of the actual workings of the legal system. I have a friend who routinely works on parts of briefs she never sees again, meant for things she is never told about, for a case she doesn't entirely understand, involving large multinational corporations, stretching over many years. That can be terrible for some people. Now, if you did (most) government work or small firm stuff, you'd be involved in matters from start to finish much, much sooner-- sometimes as soon as you start.

Also, the legal field has more than its fair share of chronic malcontents.
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LoyolaLaw2012
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby LoyolaLaw2012 » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:18 pm

mallard wrote:If you're actually as interested in the law as you seem, it'll probably end up being okay.


This is the most important thing to consider.

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NayBoer
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby NayBoer » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:43 pm

If you pick a profession based on the idea that people will think you're talented and important, then you're more likely to be unhappy when you realize it's a lot of factual details and abstract characterizations. A lot of lawyers should really go into business but they're too uncomfortable with risk or with networking.

I used to read tons of SCOTUS cases too, and wrote out summaries and position papers for a website I started (now offline). I also joined a government sim online and argued some cases before the sim's Supreme Court. So I understand the law-geek thing. But the buzz from 1Ls seems to be that conlaw class is boring as hell.

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:04 am

.
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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:19 am

rriles wrote:i ask because i love the law and i can't wait to get to law school. i don't agree with people who say "i'm thinking about going to law school" because i feel like you either know you should be there or you know you shouldn't. i really know that i should be there. i'm thinking that these people (especially the ones chasing biglaw jobs who only went for the money) are the ones who make the profession look as miserable as it does.

It's really not that simple. Law school costs a lot of money, is difficult, and take a huge time commitment. Even your classmates who love the law like you do will be constantly questioning their decision to come to law school, at least in the first semester. It's great that you know you should be in law school (or, think you know you should be in law school), but lots of people go in only 90% sure or 70% sure, or 50% sure and later realize they have made the best (or sometimes, not the best) choice.

I think it's entirely unrealistic to feel absolutely certain you belong in law school until you've spent a semester there. You don't know what law school's like. Brief all the opinions you want, but it's not going to be the same, and until you experience something you can't know what it's like for you. Accordingly, I think it's silly to "disagree with people" who acknowledge that they aren't certain that law school's where they belong. You, too, could end up miserable and out-of-place.

NayBoer wrote:So I understand the law-geek thing. But the buzz from 1Ls seems to be that conlaw class is boring as hell.


Depends on the professor. I looooooved conlaw.

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ihatelaw
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby ihatelaw » Sat Jun 05, 2010 10:51 am

I've met more than one person who began hating law school after they started getting median or below median grades and realized that they aren't the smartest person in the room, have no chance to clerk for the COA or the supreme court, and that they will end up struggling to get a biglaw job that they will have for 5 years before getting fired for not being partner material. I've also met the exact opposite. I think many law students fall into one of these two categories to different extremes, and, to some extent, practitioners. You don't often hear the chief litigating partner at Kenner, Bach & Ledeen complaining about their job.

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jrodz80
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby jrodz80 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:04 am

Every career has its unglamorous side. This is true, in fact, of most things in life. There's the "honeymoon stage" when you feel so pumped about what you're doing/about to do that you'd actually do it for free (how naive). Then there's the stage when things begin to settle down and you begin to get a more realistic picture of the path you've chosen. Then comes the real test of the humdrum, drawn out, chore-like tasks associated with your career (every career has them, so you cannot escape this). The difference is in how you react to the latter. Will it lead you to some existential crisis regarding your career choice? If so, you have definitely chosen poorly. If all you feel is physical or mental exhaustion and nothing else, then get plenty of r&r and live to practice another day.

sluguy14
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby sluguy14 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:18 am

I think the vast, vast majority of unhappiness is due to people not knowing what the hell they're getting into when they decide to go to law school.

What exactly do lawyers do? What is expected of lawyers and law students? What are the chances of you getting your desired legal job? What do you do in law school, and how much work is it?

My experience is somewhat limited, but I have yet to meet a future law student (in person) who can accurately answer these questions. And there are A LOT of bad reasons for going to law school:

1) Money
2) Prestige
3) Desire to stay out of the "real world" a while longer
4) Liberal arts major who can't find a decent job
5) I like to argue/I'm good at arguing
6) Family/peer pressure

Etc Etc.

Whether they admit to it or not, a lot of people go to law school (and end up as lawyers) for one or more of these reasons. And of course, they're quickly hit with the reality that their career choice was a bad one and is nothing like they imagined it to be. But they're stuck in a very specific field with multiple years and thousands of dollars invested and very little chance of escape. So they drink. A lot.

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rayiner
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby rayiner » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:36 am

Countervailing opinion. I have no interest in justice or people. I'm in it for the money. However, I'm an engineer and the kind of person who enjoyed taking the LSAT so I loved 1L. The exams are all just like games you can amuse yourself with. If you like rules, you should be in good shape.

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doyleoil
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby doyleoil » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:43 am

I had a professor this year who said a huge part of being a good academic is knowing when to scrap a project because you've asked the wrong question.

I'll leave you to connect the dots.

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thesealocust
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:26 pm

edit: n/m
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bostonlawchick
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby bostonlawchick » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:34 pm

reverendt wrote:Many lawyers/law students are by nature neurotic people who will never be satisfied. Thus, in many instances it's probably NOT the schooling or the job that creates the unhappiness, but the mindset of the people.
On the other hand, if you're a "glass is half full" type, you probably WILL be happy.


+10000

I for one am definitely neurotic and never satisfied. But then again, I also am the glass half full type. I'm happy but I'm never completely content. Anyway...

I also feel like maybe people go to law school loving the law and wanting to make a difference and then get a huge reality check when they enter the real world and realize that sometimes as a lawyer you have to work for the bad guy or compromise your ideals.

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rftdd888
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Re: a question about unhappy students/practicing attorneys

Postby rftdd888 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:05 pm

xyzzzzzzzz wrote:what cases are you reading? Most people find cases dealing with hot political topics interesting, but that is really because they just like to debate abortion, affirmative action, and free speech issues. Also, it seems there are law students who like the law, but because of the pressure are unhappy. You're doing reading for fun now (with no time restrictions), but now imagine it is your life. You're doing it most of the day, most of the week, and you're being graded for it, and so is everyone else. And your grades are going to determine your employment prospects. You might like the law, but you might not like the system.And really, you can't have one without the other. Keep in mind, when practicing your client is supreme to all else. For some, this can create real dilemmas.


good point. i started reading the hot topic cases, but now i'll read pretty much whatever case pops up or has recently been decided -- i'm more or less interested in the legal reasoning applied in every case, not just the ones that really interest me.

lots of great points in this thread. i never really thought about it from that point of view. i guess time will tel how i perform in law school.




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