Rantings of a Curmudgeon

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stillWaiting23
Posts: 11
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Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby stillWaiting23 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:17 pm

Hi TLSers,

This is directed at 0Ls, because most law students should already know what I'm going to say. I'm a 1L at CCN. I frequented this site often as a 0L, and learned quite a bit from it. In some ways, this site is a great resource. Many of the guides written by successful students, the general warnings about the state of the economy and the relatively few number of lawyers that get 'big law', etc., those are all great. That said, there are a couple of myths that seem to be floating around that I'd like to dispel.

First, being a doctor is not a golden ticket. Yes, the number of doctors produced every year is restricted, whereas the number of lawyers is basically not. But, that's not the only consideration. Consider: 1) Doctors have qualify for med school, then attend med school, then intern, then do a residency, and only then do they become full doctors. In our profession, you can potentially go to school and 3 years later bank $160,000+ per year. An intern making less than a quarter of that would KILL to be in your position. 2) Insurance premiums. Doctors often pay tens or even hundred of thousands of dollars a year in insurance premiums. A lawyer typically pays no where near that. 3) A doctor can lose his license for a single mistake. Sure, a lawyer can can get in trouble with the bar or be the defendant in a malpractice suit. But, a lawyer is almost never going to have his entire career ruined because of a single, honest mistake. For fraud? Sure. But not a mistake. Many doctors live in fear of malpractice suits and losing everything. I'm not saying being a lawyer is absolutely better than being doctor. I'm saying, let's keep this whole 'the grass is always greener' stupidity in check.

Second, for many prospective lawyers, the opportunity cost of law school really isn't that high. If you graduated from nearly any college or university with a degree in psychology, history, english, a foreign language, sociology, communications, etc., your employment prospects are not very expansive. Is 150k of debt monumental? Absolutely. Is a 40k starting salary with a potential starting salary of 160k very appealing, when your other option is unemployment or 25k? Absolutely. I came from a hard science. It was a fairly big risk for me to attend law school, because I was giving up quite a bit (i.e., nice job) to do it. But, for someone whose other option is unemployment, 150k debt + a 50k salary isn't really all that bad. Stop mindlessly scaring off potential 0Ls (not saying you can't reasonably scare them off).

Third, recognize that the lawyers and law students on the website are NOT REPRESENTATIVE. This is my first time posting since coming to law school, and (unless I am very successful and post a guide in another year) I will probably never post again. I have better things to do with my time. All of my friends that used to frequent TLS do not frequent it now that they are in law school. We are, instead, working. I don't know why RM, the weird pear guy, and certain other members that have a faithful following post so often. I'm not in a position to judge them. But, I am in a position to say that they are the VERY vocal minority. The vast vast majority of successful law students and lawyers do not frequent internet forums. I don't know why these particular posters go against the norm and spend a great deal of time on here, but I would take what they say with a big dose of salt. They don't represent the profession. This is doubly true for the so-called lawyers who come on the website decrying the state of law. Really? They have nothing better to do with their time than make enflaming posts?

Fourth, people exaggerate the number of hours they work. This is a fact of life. At my previous job I worked between 38 - 60 hours per week depending on the case load. When my friends asked me how work was, or why I wasn't able to do 'x' with them last weekend, I responded that I was working 60 hour weeks. People exaggerate - simple as that. I've worked with and around lawyers for a reasonable amount of time and I have NEVER met a lawyer who consistently worked 80 hour weeks. When you go to trial, sure, you might pull 100 hour weeks. But guess what, that's like 2 weeks a year. I suppose it's possible that some lawyers/investment bankers/ CEOs work 80+ hour weeks every week. Those people are few and far between, and then tend to die young. Even at Big Law, that's not the norm.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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txadv11
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby txadv11 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:22 pm

Thanks, it is nice to hear this from someone in law school.

Chants
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby Chants » Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:47 pm

Great post. Very vocal minority= well said.

Sandro
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:12 am

Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby Sandro » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:10 pm

While I appreciate the insight some people who are in law school and devote a large amount of time to TLS, gotta agree with OP - why are some people spending so much time on TLS basically to do nothing but troll/tell people not to go to law school ? Makes you wonder because like OP said, when you're in LS you have better things to do than semi-troll.

and touching off another point of his post, ITE decent paying entry level jobs in some fields arent exactly being handed out like candy. I majored in two social sciences (1 econ) and my job prospects aren't all that awesome right now. That isn't why I want to go to law school but it seems a large number of people on this site advocate people to just skip law school and take what they can get right now. While I'm not saying LS is an awesome idea in all circumstances (100k+ in debt at a t3/t4 for example) it seems like a lot of people arent taking that into consideration right now.

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Lovely Ludwig Van
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby Lovely Ludwig Van » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:24 pm

Great post.

I've been wondering a lot of the same stuff myself - where DO all these people who seem to know everything about law school/the law profession, yet spend every waking hour on TLS come from? Yeah I get that it ain't all roses and rainbows in law school/law profession, but is it really that bleak compared to 40K debt coming out of UG w/ a shitty degree that'll earn you 20K a year? Makes me think that a lot of the negativity spewed on this site is reaction against the positive image of law school/law profession that became mainstream during the late-90's early-21st century.

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Sentry
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby Sentry » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:30 pm

Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:Great post.

I've been wondering a lot of the same stuff myself - where DO all these people who seem to know everything about law school/the law profession, yet spend every waking hour on TLS come from? Yeah I get that it ain't all roses and rainbows in law school/law profession, but is it really that bleak compared to 40K debt coming out of UG w/ a shitty degree that'll earn you 20K a year? Makes me think that a lot of the negativity spewed on this site is reaction against the positive image of law school/law profession that became mainstream during the late-90's early-21st century.

A lot of TLSers seem to have had very privileged upbringings so they think if you don't get BIGLAW and only make 45k/year you're life is pointless. There are a lot of Ivy grads here that act like making 60k straight out of school then going to HBS is something anyone can do.

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JazzOne
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby JazzOne » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:35 pm

Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:Great post.

I've been wondering a lot of the same stuff myself - where DO all these people who seem to know everything about law school/the law profession, yet spend every waking hour on TLS come from? Yeah I get that it ain't all roses and rainbows in law school/law profession, but is it really that bleak compared to 40K debt coming out of UG w/ a shitty degree that'll earn you 20K a year? Makes me think that a lot of the negativity spewed on this site is reaction against the positive image of law school/law profession that became mainstream during the late-90's early-21st century.

lol

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby WestOfTheRest » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:37 pm

A direct attack on specific members, a me against everyone else attitude, I have a feeling this thread is going to derail quickly.

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AnthonyNicator
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby AnthonyNicator » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:38 pm

stillWaiting23 wrote:I don't know why RM, the weird pear guy, and certain other members that have a faithful following post so often. But, I am in a position to say that they are the VERY vocal minority.



+1 finally someone realizes it!

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Knock
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby Knock » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:42 pm

Thanks for the post.

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paratactical
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby paratactical » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:43 pm

.
Last edited by paratactical on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jjlaw
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby jjlaw » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:55 pm

stillWaiting23 wrote: I don't know why RM, the weird pear guy, and certain other members that have a faithful following post so often.


This made me LOL. He is weird. And a pear.

Thanks for the post -- very refreshing POV.

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JazzOne
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby JazzOne » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:11 pm

stillWaiting23 wrote:Hi TLSers,

This is directed at 0Ls, because most law students should already know what I'm going to say. I'm a 1L at CCN. I frequented this site often as a 0L, and learned quite a bit from it. In some ways, this site is a great resource. Many of the guides written by successful students, the general warnings about the state of the economy and the relatively few number of lawyers that get 'big law', etc., those are all great. That said, there are a couple of myths that seem to be floating around that I'd like to dispel.

First, being a doctor is not a golden ticket. Yes, the number of doctors produced every year is restricted, whereas the number of lawyers is basically not. But, that's not the only consideration. Consider: 1) Doctors have qualify for med school, then attend med school, then intern, then do a residency, and only then do they become full doctors. In our profession, you can potentially go to school and 3 years later bank $160,000+ per year. An intern making less than a quarter of that would KILL to be in your position. 2) Insurance premiums. Doctors often pay tens or even hundred of thousands of dollars a year in insurance premiums. A lawyer typically pays no where near that. 3) A doctor can lose his license for a single mistake. Sure, a lawyer can can get in trouble with the bar or be the defendant in a malpractice suit. But, a lawyer is almost never going to have his entire career ruined because of a single, honest mistake. For fraud? Sure. But not a mistake. Many doctors live in fear of malpractice suits and losing everything. I'm not saying being a lawyer is absolutely better than being doctor. I'm saying, let's keep this whole 'the grass is always greener' stupidity in check.

Second, for many prospective lawyers, the opportunity cost of law school really isn't that high. If you graduated from nearly any college or university with a degree in psychology, history, english, a foreign language, sociology, communications, etc., your employment prospects are not very expansive. Is 150k of debt monumental? Absolutely. Is a 40k starting salary with a potential starting salary of 160k very appealing, when your other option is unemployment or 25k? Absolutely. I came from a hard science. It was a fairly big risk for me to attend law school, because I was giving up quite a bit (i.e., nice job) to do it. But, for someone whose other option is unemployment, 150k debt + a 50k salary isn't really all that bad. Stop mindlessly scaring off potential 0Ls (not saying you can't reasonably scare them off).

Third, recognize that the lawyers and law students on the website are NOT REPRESENTATIVE. This is my first time posting since coming to law school, and (unless I am very successful and post a guide in another year) I will probably never post again. I have better things to do with my time. All of my friends that used to frequent TLS do not frequent it now that they are in law school. We are, instead, working. I don't know why RM, the weird pear guy, and certain other members that have a faithful following post so often. I'm not in a position to judge them. But, I am in a position to say that they are the VERY vocal minority. The vast vast majority of successful law students and lawyers do not frequent internet forums. I don't know why these particular posters go against the norm and spend a great deal of time on here, but I would take what they say with a big dose of salt. They don't represent the profession. This is doubly true for the so-called lawyers who come on the website decrying the state of law. Really? They have nothing better to do with their time than make enflaming posts?

Fourth, people exaggerate the number of hours they work. This is a fact of life. At my previous job I worked between 38 - 60 hours per week depending on the case load. When my friends asked me how work was, or why I wasn't able to do 'x' with them last weekend, I responded that I was working 60 hour weeks. People exaggerate - simple as that. I've worked with and around lawyers for a reasonable amount of time and I have NEVER met a lawyer who consistently worked 80 hour weeks. When you go to trial, sure, you might pull 100 hour weeks. But guess what, that's like 2 weeks a year. I suppose it's possible that some lawyers/investment bankers/ CEOs work 80+ hour weeks every week. Those people are few and far between, and then tend to die young. Even at Big Law, that's not the norm.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Get back to us after OCI, bro. hth
Last edited by JazzOne on Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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northwood
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby northwood » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:12 pm

nice post. i just hope this doesnt become a big mudslinging event

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paratactical
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby paratactical » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:19 pm

northwood wrote:nice post. i just hope this doesnt become a big mudslinging event

--ImageRemoved--

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BruceWayne
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby BruceWayne » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:23 pm

OP this is the best post in the history of top-law-schools.com; thank you. After being in law school the last few months I've really realized just how correct your post is. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby BruceWayne » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:24 pm

Sentry wrote:
Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:Great post.

I've been wondering a lot of the same stuff myself - where DO all these people who seem to know everything about law school/the law profession, yet spend every waking hour on TLS come from? Yeah I get that it ain't all roses and rainbows in law school/law profession, but is it really that bleak compared to 40K debt coming out of UG w/ a shitty degree that'll earn you 20K a year? Makes me think that a lot of the negativity spewed on this site is reaction against the positive image of law school/law profession that became mainstream during the late-90's early-21st century.

A lot of TLSers seem to have had very privileged upbringings so they think if you don't get BIGLAW and only make 45k/year you're life is pointless. There are a lot of Ivy grads here that act like making 60k straight out of school then going to HBS is something anyone can do.



+1000000000000000000000000000000000 Where are all you normal reasonable posters coming from?? Understandably you guys must only post every blue moon.

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beachbum
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby beachbum » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:25 pm

northwood wrote:nice post. i just hope this doesnt become a big mudslinging event

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Kohinoor
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:44 pm

*ignores spectre of lawyers that never find work in law*
*conjures up reserve of 50k jobs ripe for the taking*

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JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby JazzOne » Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:40 pm

Kohinoor wrote:*ignores spectre of lawyers that never find work in law*
*conjures up reserve of 50k jobs ripe for the taking*

Where are my three wishes?

HopefulFish
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:27 pm

Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby HopefulFish » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:07 pm

CastleRock wrote:A direct attack on specific members, a me against everyone else attitude, I have a feeling this thread is going to derail quickly.


I don't.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:01 pm

JazzOne wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:*ignores spectre of lawyers that never find work in law*
*conjures up reserve of 50k jobs ripe for the taking*

Where are my three wishes?

I'm the ghost of OCI past. You're looking for the ghost of OCI future.

bigben
Posts: 703
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby bigben » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:16 pm

stillWaiting23 wrote:Second, for many prospective lawyers, the opportunity cost of law school really isn't that high. If you graduated from nearly any college or university with a degree in psychology, history, english, a foreign language, sociology, communications, etc., your employment prospects are not very expansive. Is 150k of debt monumental? Absolutely. Is a 40k starting salary with a potential starting salary of 160k very appealing, when your other option is unemployment or 25k? Absolutely. I came from a hard science. It was a fairly big risk for me to attend law school, because I was giving up quite a bit (i.e., nice job) to do it. But, for someone whose other option is unemployment, 150k debt + a 50k salary isn't really all that bad. Stop mindlessly scaring off potential 0Ls (not saying you can't reasonably scare them off).

I love how people seem to ignore the fact that these are questions to be answered with simple math. Without even doing the math, I can tell you that, on its face, [law school at full tuition + 40k job] is definitely NOT > [25k job].

But I guess the rest of this weird post is accurate. Except for the odd rant about doctors - I don't know anything about that so I can't say.

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nealric
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby nealric » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:22 pm

It's always fun watching 1Ls who have a few months of law school under their belts suddenly decide they are the consummate experts on law school and the legal profession.

I post because I enjoy talking shop. Some people like fishing. Most lawyers don't. Some people like internet forums. Most lawyers don't. I suspect the other posters who stick around after they start law school feel the same.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:52 pm

nealric wrote:It's always fun watching 1Ls who have a few months of law school under their belts suddenly decide they are the consummate experts on law school and the legal profession.

I post because I enjoy talking shop. Some people like fishing. Most lawyers don't. Some people like internet forums. Most lawyers don't. I suspect the other posters who stick around after they start law school feel the same.

His unrepresentative argument is extremely odd. We're an unrepresentative population re posting on the internet so... our perspectives on law are skewed?




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