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.
stillWaiting23 wrote: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.
They teach you strawman arguments at your CCN? Somehow I doubt it, just like I doubt your anecdotal evidence that a medical intern is just dying to be a lawyer or a law student. Also, only the top whatever percent comes out and makes $160,000, and that high paycheck is often at a hilariously low dollar per hour rate. Stupidity in check?
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).
It's laughable that ITE you assume every person out of a law school, much less a TTT, has an automatic 40k starting salary out the gun. Also, your arbitrary 40k vs. 25k numbers are nonsense.
stillWaiting23 wrote: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?
"Inflaming," and what's the difference between posting on TLS versus having sex with your wife versus going to the gym versus reading a book versus playing video games, etc.? People have different hobbies. These people are both successful and unsuccessful. There is absolutely no positive or negative correlation between success in law school or in the legal profession and posting on law forums. Oh I'm sorry, "all of your friends" don't post anymore. Checkmate?
stillWaiting23 wrote: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!
You say you've never met a lawyer who consistently works 80 hour weeks and yet later you say even at BigLaw that's not the norm. Me thinks you've never met a BigLaw lawyer. Sure your assistant DA in a small town can pull of 45-50 hour weeks easy, but if you're going to make that $160k you alluded to before, you're going to be living in a big city and you're going to be devoting your life to the firm. There are books printed about BigLaw hours, articles written about BigLaw hours, and anecdotal evidence all over this site and others about BigLaw hours, and yet we're supposed to disregard all of that just because some 1L from a T6 comes in here and "reveals the truth" to us? Please...
A law degree is ridiculously expensive to obtain, law itself is a merciless career path, and the over-saturation in the job market is a very real problem that people in the T14 are facing (including T14 people on this site, sadly). Worry more about your grades and finding yourself a job in the future than what people on this site have to say. You're no less "pathetic" than the regular people posting here by coming here and posting a lecture.