Rantings of a Curmudgeon

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James Bond
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby James Bond » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:06 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.


Ok...

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.

pereira6
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby pereira6 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:32 pm

I'm a completely uninformed 0L who knows pretty much nothing.

Of the tiny scraps that I do know, there is one attribute of TLS that I know exists that OP failed to recognize.

You post an argument on here, it's going to get torn apart unless it's actually sound. Say what you want about the regulars here (one of whom referred to themselves as people who 'like to talk shop', which I thought was a good description), but for the most part they are informed. I have noticed that the uninformed regulars often get blasted by the informed regulars.

Count me as one who appreciates the bluntness and honesty of the population on TLS. I think it can get a little offensive at times when its not really necessary, but I think for the most part it's good.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby ResolutePear » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:35 pm

stillWaiting23 wrote:Hi TLSers,
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?


Let me get this straight in my head:

You're judging me - and don't fucking think you're not, for posting on this forum... by posting on this forum with an essay that uses a middle-school essay form?

I hope you choke on your turkey.

Edit: Also, contrary to what you're trying to convince people at-

A doctor *WILL* be employed. Have you seen a unemployed, licensed doctor? If you have, give me his name and number. I'll gladly get him a job and pocket a 10,000USD finders fee from the hospital.
Last edited by ResolutePear on Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby ResolutePear » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:38 pm

jjlaw wrote:
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.


Yep, I'm as weird as they get. I've never said anything to the contrary and thanks for realizing that.

canuck
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby canuck » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:41 pm

Pear boy, you are kind of random. Why do you just debate 0Ls endlessly?

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JazzOne
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:00 am

stillWaiting23 wrote: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.

Well, I guess we've seen the last of him.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:03 am

canuck wrote:Pear boy, you are kind of random. Why do you just debate 0Ls endlessly?


Their tears. They give me strength.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:06 am

JazzOne wrote:
stillWaiting23 wrote: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.

Well, I guess we've seen the last of him.

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Shooter
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby Shooter » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:06 am

Lol @ "weird pear guy" is mad.

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beachbum
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby beachbum » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:53 am

I think all of you are curmudgeons.

policestate1234
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby policestate1234 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:07 am

ResolutePear wrote:
A doctor *WILL* be employed. Have you seen a unemployed, licensed doctor? If you have, give me his name and number. I'll gladly get him a job and pocket a 10,000USD finders fee from the hospital.


We are comparing apples to oranges. There are so many barriers to entry into becoming a doctor. You have to make it into medical school first. I'm not sure how many attorneys would have the grades to even get into medical school. Then you have to actually make it through medical school, lots of people wash out along the way. Then after all of that you have to make it through your residency. Along the way your constantly being evaulated and tested. You also may not get your first choice of specialty and be stuck doing something you might not want to do.

This is nothing like the legal profession.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:11 am

policestate1234 wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
A doctor *WILL* be employed. Have you seen a unemployed, licensed doctor? If you have, give me his name and number. I'll gladly get him a job and pocket a 10,000USD finders fee from the hospital.


We are comparing apples to oranges. There are so many barriers to entry into becoming a doctor. You have to make it into medical school first. I'm not sure how many attorneys would have the grades to even get into medical school. Then you have to actually make it through medical school, lots of people wash out along the way. Then after all of that you have to make it through your residency. Along the way your constantly being evaulated and tested. You also may not get your first choice of specialty and be stuck doing something you might not want to do.

This is nothing like the legal profession.


Have you read the OP? Probably not.

I suggest you read the paragraph beginning with: First.

bigben
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby bigben » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:16 am

Kohinoor wrote:
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?

I had the same thought.

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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby policestate1234 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:17 am

ResolutePear wrote:
policestate1234 wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
A doctor *WILL* be employed. Have you seen a unemployed, licensed doctor? If you have, give me his name and number. I'll gladly get him a job and pocket a 10,000USD finders fee from the hospital.


We are comparing apples to oranges. There are so many barriers to entry into becoming a doctor. You have to make it into medical school first. I'm not sure how many attorneys would have the grades to even get into medical school. Then you have to actually make it through medical school, lots of people wash out along the way. Then after all of that you have to make it through your residency. Along the way your constantly being evaulated and tested. You also may not get your first choice of specialty and be stuck doing something you might not want to do.

This is nothing like the legal profession.


Have you read the OP? Probably not.

I suggest you read the paragraph beginning with: First.


You said "Have you seen a unemployed, licensed doctor?" and I think it's not fair comparing a licensed doctor with a licensed lawyer. It takes so much more work to become a doctor that it's not really the right group. I think it's a more accurate to compare a MBA and a JD.

I think those are similar comparisons.
Last edited by policestate1234 on Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:19 am

policestate1234 wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
policestate1234 wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
A doctor *WILL* be employed. Have you seen a unemployed, licensed doctor? If you have, give me his name and number. I'll gladly get him a job and pocket a 10,000USD finders fee from the hospital.


We are comparing apples to oranges. There are so many barriers to entry into becoming a doctor. You have to make it into medical school first. I'm not sure how many attorneys would have the grades to even get into medical school. Then you have to actually make it through medical school, lots of people wash out along the way. Then after all of that you have to make it through your residency. Along the way your constantly being evaulated and tested. You also may not get your first choice of specialty and be stuck doing something you might not want to do.

This is nothing like the legal profession.


Have you read the OP? Probably not.

I suggest you read the paragraph beginning with: First.


You said "Have you seen a unemployed, licensed doctor?" and I think it's not fair comparing a licensed doctor with a licensed lawyer. It takes so much more work to become a doctor that it's not really the right group. I think it's a more accurate to compare a licensed MBA and a license lawyer.

I think those are similar comparisons.


Thank you, Mr. Non-relevant.

There is no comparison. Try again.

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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby FlamingCow » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:00 am

pereira6 wrote:Count me as one who appreciates the bluntness and honesty of the population on TLS. I think it can get a little offensive at times when its not really necessary, but I think for the most part it's good.


+1.

If you can't handle faceless internet avatars running their mouths all the time, how do you expect to survive in an even more cutthroat environment where the talk actually pertains to your career? You've got to wade through all the bullshit with a thick skin and find the truth in what's being said.

Besides, if understanding the reality of the legal job market is enough to demoralize someone out of pursuing a JD, then they probably weren't in it for real, anyway.

But then again, I'm just a 0L.

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drdolittle
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby drdolittle » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:34 pm

Let's not forget that law practice is a long term career. What OP alludes to, and I think this is true despite today's economy, is that even if your starting salary out of law school is relatively low now, the potential to earn with a JD over an entire career is much greater than with just a bachelor's. I don't see how the vast majority of law schools could continue charging the tuition they do if this won't hold true, at least in the long run.

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JazzOne
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:37 pm

drdolittle wrote:Let's not forget that law practice is a long term career. What OP alludes to, and I think this is true despite today's economy, is that even if your starting salary out of law school is relatively low now, the potential to earn with a JD over an entire career is much greater than with just a bachelor's. I don't see how the vast majority of law schools could continue charging the tuition they do if this won't hold true, at least in the long run.

I think this is the issue exactly. It's really hard to see how legal hiring plays out until you are in the midst of it. I was a skeptic too. There is a cultural perception that lawyers make a lot of money. I thought, surely TLS is just full of douches, and surely I can easily get a job in this field. And then when it wasn't so easy, and a boatload of my classmates weren't getting jobs, then I remembered all those TLS douches who told me exactly what to expect, only I couldn't see how...
Last edited by JazzOne on Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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JazzOne
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:40 pm

drdolittle wrote:Let's not forget that law practice is a long term career. What OP alludes to, and I think this is true despite today's economy, is that even if your starting salary out of law school is relatively low now, the potential to earn with a JD over an entire career is much greater than with just a bachelor's. I don't see how the vast majority of law schools could continue charging the tuition they do if this won't hold true, at least in the long run.

Also, IMO, many law schools are able to charge such ridiculous tuition because the federal government guarantees the loans. If you stripped away that government backing, I doubt that tuition level would be sustainable. What bank would lend you this kind of money?
Last edited by JazzOne on Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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drdolittle
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby drdolittle » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:45 pm

JazzOne wrote:
drdolittle wrote:Let's not forget that law practice is a long term career. What OP alludes to, and I think this is true despite today's economy, is that even if your starting salary out of law school is relatively low now, the potential to earn with a JD over an entire career is much greater than with just a bachelor's. I don't see how the vast majority of law schools could continue charging the tuition they do if this won't hold true, at least in the long run.

Also, IMO, many law schools are able to charge such ridiculous tuition because the federal government guarantees the loans. If you stripped away that government backing, I doubt some of that tuition level would be sustainable. What bank would lend you this kind of money?


Agreed. Although from its contribution to the recent real estate bubble, I don't have much confidence that today's "free market" would be any more efficient unfortunately.

WestOfTheRest
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby WestOfTheRest » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:07 pm

JazzOne wrote:
drdolittle wrote:Let's not forget that law practice is a long term career. What OP alludes to, and I think this is true despite today's economy, is that even if your starting salary out of law school is relatively low now, the potential to earn with a JD over an entire career is much greater than with just a bachelor's. I don't see how the vast majority of law schools could continue charging the tuition they do if this won't hold true, at least in the long run.

Also, IMO, many law schools are able to charge such ridiculous tuition because the federal government guarantees the loans. If you stripped away that government backing, I doubt that tuition level would be sustainable. What bank would lend you this kind of money?

And the feds continue to hand out these loans because they are also guaranteed. No way out for students, means that the feds don't really have any risk on student loans.

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JazzOne
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:12 pm

CastleRock wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
drdolittle wrote:Let's not forget that law practice is a long term career. What OP alludes to, and I think this is true despite today's economy, is that even if your starting salary out of law school is relatively low now, the potential to earn with a JD over an entire career is much greater than with just a bachelor's. I don't see how the vast majority of law schools could continue charging the tuition they do if this won't hold true, at least in the long run.

Also, IMO, many law schools are able to charge such ridiculous tuition because the federal government guarantees the loans. If you stripped away that government backing, I doubt that tuition level would be sustainable. What bank would lend you this kind of money?

And the feds continue to hand out these loans because they are also guaranteed. No way out for students, means that the feds don't really have any risk on student loans.

I wouldn't say there is zero risk. Many people are defaulting on these loans, or else they are making small payments due to IBR. I don't know if/when the overall scheme will become unprofitable, but if it does, the tax payer will take it on the chin. This probably applies to higher education in general, though, not just law school.

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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby IfByWhiskey770 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:14 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.


Oh I SERIOUSLY doubt these people are really Ivy grads.
One of the beautiful things about the internet is anonymity.

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JazzOne
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 24, 2010 6:16 pm

IfByWhiskey770 wrote:
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.


Oh I SERIOUSLY doubt these people are really Ivy grads.
One of the beautiful things about the internet is anonymity.

Very few TLSers even claim to be Ivy grads. Where does this perception come from?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Rantings of a Curmudgeon

Postby ResolutePear » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:53 pm

Too much analysis here.

Most regulars say what they say because they've either experienced or researched it.

TLS is not representative of the field - but look at the scores debated on it. There were people at my school struggling to get to a 155. Look at the backgrounds. And for the love of god, stop analyzing this "phenomenal board."




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