Attorneys are Jaded

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HLS
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Attorneys are Jaded

Postby HLS » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:52 pm

9 times out of 10, they all discourage us from going to law school and they all have shitjob stories to tell. Why are attorneys so overwhelmingly jaded?

Renzo
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby Renzo » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:55 pm

Because ten out of ten lawyers thought they were going to get either a) really rich or b) a really cool, rewarding job. And since only 1 in 10 has either, the nine you talked to hate life.

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northwood
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby northwood » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:57 pm

lots of people hate their jobs and hate life. even more people suck at life. What peoiples goals are- and how they have accomplished -or not accomplished their goals may impact their viewpoint on life.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby ResolutePear » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:59 pm

Think of it like this:

An attorney once told me that he had a job defending criminals and one was a gangbanger who shot a kid in the face. He got paid big $$$, but felt that his moral turpitude overwhelmed his life.

I have no such moral turpitude. Provided that the money is there.

Two of the same situations where you'll have a happy and unhappy lawyer.

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Superficial
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby Superficial » Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:22 pm

ResolutePear wrote:Think of it like this:

An attorney once told me that he had a job defending criminals and one was a gangbanger who shot a kid in the face. He got paid big $$$, but felt that his moral turpitude overwhelmed his life.

I have no such moral turpitude. Provided that the money is there.

Two of the same situations where you'll have a happy and unhappy lawyer.


You have no such moral turpitude or you choose to ignore them?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:59 pm

Superficial wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:Think of it like this:

An attorney once told me that he had a job defending criminals and one was a gangbanger who shot a kid in the face. He got paid big $$$, but felt that his moral turpitude overwhelmed his life.

I have no such moral turpitude. Provided that the money is there.

Two of the same situations where you'll have a happy and unhappy lawyer.


You have no such moral turpitude or you choose to ignore them?


It comes and goes. It stays away when I'm making $$$.

drummerboy
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby drummerboy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:57 pm

Ask any doctor, particulary pediatricians, internists, and some surgical specialties, and they too will tell you to avoid becoming a Dr. No matter, what anyone says, as corney as it may seem, its your perspective of the world that will determine whether you achieve success or not.

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Grizz
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby Grizz » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Superficial wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:Think of it like this:

An attorney once told me that he had a job defending criminals and one was a gangbanger who shot a kid in the face. He got paid big $$$, but felt that his moral turpitude overwhelmed his life.

I have no such moral turpitude. Provided that the money is there.

Two of the same situations where you'll have a happy and unhappy lawyer.


You have no such moral turpitude or you choose to ignore them?


I worked at a small firm where people did this kind of crazy shit and more. No moral turpitude. Incredibly interesting work.

drummerboy
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby drummerboy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:06 pm

correct that kind of shit can be extremely interesting and often very lucrative to some. i myself, would find it interesting, moreso, for example, than boring corporate law.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:09 pm

drummerboy wrote:correct that kind of shit can be extremely interesting and often very lucrative to some. i myself, would find it interesting, moreso, for example, than boring corporate law.


My dream job is to work for Google's law dept.

Getting paid to trample all over people's privacy is awesome.

bayougrl26
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby bayougrl26 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:50 am

I'm doing an undergrad internship with a capital defense attorney. He is widely respected as the best criminal defense attorney in the state and he loves his job.

I want to be him when I grow up. He doesn't make a ton of money, but he seems like he likes his life.

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ahduth
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby ahduth » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:12 am

Meh. Working kinda sucks. Welcome to life.

Don't go to a firm where the people are idiots. My friend has a specific recommendation for to-be-attorneys, which she calls the secretary test.

If the secretaries look unhappy, or better yet if you talk to them and they say they're unhappy, don't go there. The secretaries are the gears that make the whole machine move - they know every instance of these partners lives, and if the partners are treating them badly... how are they going to treat you?

alumniguy
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby alumniguy » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:40 am

HLS wrote:9 times out of 10, they all discourage us from going to law school and they all have shitjob stories to tell. Why are attorneys so overwhelmingly jaded?


This is a pretty open question and difficult to interpret to boot.

There are many reasons why many lawyers seemed jaded.

1. Many recent law school graduates have staggering levels of debt and little/to no job prospects. I would imagine that this is one reason why many are jaded. So one's legal education is simply not worth the money one has invested. One would hope that going to law school for three years (that is 7 years of total education) would provide a comfortable living for the majority of law school graduates, but it doesn't. You may be stuck in a job that pays little more than had you not went to school. People often go to law school because it has traditionally been viewed as a stable job that pays well. Not sure that is accurate anymore - especially in comparison to alternative career choices.


2. The legal profession is also very, very demanding (like doctors in that regard). You end up working your ass off much of your career. You don't get to coast along once you've graduated law school, the "fun" just begins. As a lawyer you are addressing people's problems - two parties want to get a deal done, but they need a contract that lays out the deal in precise terms and both parties want to be protected, one party is wronged and sues another party, etc. It is a profession filled with conflicts that need to be resolved, which is very, very stressful. There are often extreme time pressures involved. Litigators have court deadlines, transactional lawyers live and die by their client's timetables. In today's world, lawyers are expected to be available 24/7 a week. No one likes lawyers - even your clients will likely find lawyers to be a necessary evil in the world.

3. There is little to no job security. Lawyers are service professionals. You are constantly working to satisfy your client's needs usually at all hours of the day. As an associate, you could be laid off (and unlike lower paying professions, being a laid off lawyer means the loss of a substantial income with little likelihood of ever making the same levels of income). Most associates leave biglaw after 3 years - primarily because the business model requires high turnover. You make incredible sacrifices to be in biglaw. You can't leave home without your blackberry. You work long hours. You work sporadic hours. Your personal life will be interrupted. A friend calls on Monday and wants to plan dinner for Friday night, you simply don't know if you'll be able to make it. You may get a 5:00p.m. Friday call asking you to spend the entire weekend on an emergency memorandum or ancillary deal documents.

4. Most people don't know what lawyers do. I would venture to guess that 75% or more of the posters on this board have no clue what a lawyer actually does for 90% of their day. Simply put, students are going into law school blind. If you knew that you would spend your first year of your career primarily reviewing documents (95% of them being completely irrelevant to the case you're assigned) and preparing legal memoranda on minute areas of the law usually related to finance, securities, etc. - would most pre-law school students be interested?

So all in all, many lawyers are miserable - yes, we may be well paid, but our lives are miserable (or at the very least, perceived to be miserable). Once you accumulated the high level of debt, you are beholden to stay as long as you can. Similarly once you've earned a good salary for a few years, you are beholden to lose it (even if your personal life would improve).

Every potential law school student should ask themselves whether they would still choose to become a lawyer if would have to remain middle class for the rest of their lives. Would you sign up for 3 more years of schooling if you could make the same amount in life without the 3 years of extra schooling? Moreover, in a field you actually are interested in?

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Ashlaw
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby Ashlaw » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:28 pm

I am wondering if non-profit lawyers make enough money to pay for bills? Judging by what I hear on these forums, it seems that they live with a roommate and drive a prius (although it's an amazing car). I want to do advocacy work for non-profit but I also don't want to be dirt broke. Anyone care to chime in on this?

alumniguy
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby alumniguy » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:27 pm

If you are going the PI route, it depends on the type of PI you want to do. If you are concerned with getting prestigious PI work (e.g., ACLU), you'll need a very strong resume (as strong as you would to get a biglaw job). School should be somewhat of a factor, but I'd argue that debt is still a bigger issue.

If you want general advocacy work (e.g., smaller organizations that deals less with policy and more with individual cases), debt should be primary concern.


Many schools have special loan forgiving programs for students dedicated to PI - they run the gammut from loan assistance programs to dedicated scholarship. I would look at these, especially the dedicated scholarships, with your credentials.

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yoitsmebenny
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby yoitsmebenny » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:03 pm

Ashlaw wrote:I am wondering if non-profit lawyers make enough money to pay for bills? Judging by what I hear on these forums, it seems that they live with a roommate and drive a prius (although it's an amazing car). I want to do advocacy work for non-profit but I also don't want to be dirt broke. Anyone care to chime in on this?

Since when are Priuses cheap?

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Veyron
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Re: Attorneys are Jaded

Postby Veyron » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:05 am

Ashlaw wrote:I am wondering if non-profit lawyers make enough money to pay for bills? Judging by what I hear on these forums, it seems that they live with a roommate and drive a prius (although it's an amazing car). I want to do advocacy work for non-profit but I also don't want to be dirt broke. Anyone care to chime in on this?


Only conservative and libertarian non-profit lawyers make enough money to pay the bills. SAYTP political affiliation.




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