One good reason to go to law school

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UNLV09
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One good reason to go to law school

Postby UNLV09 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:20 am

I can't believe it but I'm falling into the most cliche category of law school applicants. I'm that guy with a worthless liberal arts degree who hates math. As I once heard someone say "Law school is a refuge for those who can't do math." However, with all of the many reasons why not to go to law school including debt and job outlook, I think I have found one and I think I may fit that mold. I remember reading a thread on here a while back where many people were berating the law school decision and repeatedly saying that if you already have a job don't leave it to go to law school or if you have a useful degree, make the best out of it, etc. However one guy said something like "However, if you're a liberal arts major with no skills then law school might be a good option for you." Well I'm that guy. Police work was always my backup plan in life but when I applied I came across some "background" issues. Nothing that disqualified me for life, but I was told I needed to distance myself from the incident, i.e., to come back and apply in a few years. Military was a back up option too, but with a new wife I just can't imagine spending 12 month tours in Afghanistan away from her. I could always try to get an entry level office job and work my way up over the next 10 years but I'm trying to avoid that mundane life and low salary at all cost.

The job outlook and cost of law school is frightening, but to put it blatantly, with no relevant work experience and a useless degree, I need a skill, something to offer employers. I was hoping law school could suck me in, shape me up, teach me something and then spit me back out into the world with a skilled profession. I realize I'll be competing for 30k jobs against 45k other graduates, and worst of all, no way will I be able to get into a top 20 nor a full scholarship. I got caught up in the party scene one of my years in college and did absolutely terrible. That year brought me down to under a 3.0 The rest of the time I did excellent in my classes. Realistically I'll get into a regional school like University of San Diego, Santa Clara University or University of San Francisco, but I'm willing to stay in the area of the school I graduate from, and hope through an alumni network I can at least get something in midlaw (if that even exist. I hear some USD grads are able to get midlaw jobs?) so I at least have some hope of having a decent career.

And hey, if that fails, I can always go back to do doing construction work (my summer job during UG) for under the table cash so the bank can't garnish my wages :lol: Thoughts?

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Helmholtz
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby Helmholtz » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:26 am

UNLV09 wrote: Realistically I'll get into a regional school like University of San Diego, Santa Clara University or University of San Francisco

Thoughts?


Sounds like a horrible idea, unless you want to be that cliché of a guy with a worthless law school degree.

I'm trying to avoid that mundane life and low salary at all cost.


Better than a mundane life and low salary and scary amounts of debt.

071816
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby 071816 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:27 am

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Lawquacious
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:30 am

UNLV09 wrote:I can't believe it but I'm falling into the most cliche category of law school applicants. I'm that guy with a worthless liberal arts degree who hates math. As I once heard someone say "Law school is a refuge for those who can't do math." However, with all of the many reasons why not to go to law school including debt and job outlook, I think I have found one and I think I may fit that mold. I remember reading a thread on here a while back where many people were berating the law school decision and repeatedly saying that if you already have a job don't leave it to go to law school or if you have a useful degree, make the best out of it, etc. However one guy said something like "However, if you're a liberal arts major with no skills then law school might be a good option for you." Well I'm that guy. Police work was always my backup plan in life but when I applied I came across some "background" issues. Nothing that disqualified me for life, but I was told I needed to distance myself from the incident, i.e., to come back and apply in a few years. Military was a back up option too, but with a new wife I just can't imagine spending 12 month tours in Afghanistan away from her. I could always try to get an entry level office job and work my way up over the next 10 years but I'm trying to avoid that mundane life and low salary at all cost.

The job outlook and cost of law school is frightening, but to put it blatantly, with no relevant work experience and a useless degree, I need a skill, something to offer employers. I was hoping law school could suck me in, shape me up, teach me something and then spit me back out into the world with a skilled profession. I realize I'll be competing for 30k jobs against 45k other graduates, and worst of all, no way will I be able to get into a top 20 nor a full scholarship. I got caught up in the party scene one of my years in college and did absolutely terrible. That year brought me down to under a 3.0 The rest of the time I did excellent in my classes. Realistically I'll get into a regional school like University of San Diego, Santa Clara University or University of San Francisco, but I'm willing to stay in the area of the school I graduate from, and hope through an alumni network I can at least get something in midlaw (if that even exist. I hear some USD grads are able to get midlaw jobs?) so I at least have some hope of having a decent career.

And hey, if that fails, I can always go back to do doing construction work (my summer job during UG) for under the table cash so the bank can't garnish my wages :lol: Thoughts?



What is your overall undergrad GPA? It sounds like it may be under a 3.0, which will put you in rough territory admissions-wise. But if you perform very strongly on the LSAT you will have a shot at some good splitter-friendly schools (most of them probably not in California). Have you been practice testing for the LSAT or prepping?

I think I would aim for at least USD or Santa Clara, especially if you are paying sticker or close (most on here will prob say don't go to those at sticker, but I don't think things are always that cut and dry; I would say don't go to a TTT or TTTT school at sticker though, unless you have a guaranteed job afterward, which you don't based on what you have said here). I don't know what you would need to break USD or Santa Clara with a sub-3.0 GPA, but I imagine it would be at least mid-160s. Even then, many schools (unless splitter-friendly) won't take sub-3.0s, even if the LSAT is in the 170s.

But if you can hit 165+ on LSAT I think it could give you some options that could make law school worthwhile if you are really interested in law and think you want to be a lawyer.

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downing
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby downing » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:13 am

UNLV09 wrote:I can't believe it but I'm falling into the most cliche category of law school applicants. I'm that guy with a worthless liberal arts degree who hates math.


Well all you need to do is stop hating math and you're golden.

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omninode
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby omninode » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:42 am

downing wrote:
UNLV09 wrote:I can't believe it but I'm falling into the most cliche category of law school applicants. I'm that guy with a worthless liberal arts degree who hates math.


Well all you need to do is stop hating math and you're golden.


I'm pretty sure you're joking, but I do have to take issue with the assumption a lot of people around here seem to make, that people who can do math have no worries, unlike us poor fools who have to go to law school. I can tell you from experience (I have a lot of math and science major friends) that it is no easier to find work with a B.S. than with a B.A. More and more people on the science side are going back to graduate school in desperation, racking up law school-like levels of debt.

With that rant out of the way...

I personally think the best course of action in an economy like this is to do what you would have wanted to do with your life anyway. If you can honestly say that you would choose to attend law school even if people were offering you six figure jobs left and right, then you are doing the right thing. But do not use law school as a last resort. It will bury you.

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kwais
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby kwais » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:48 am

omninode wrote:
downing wrote:
UNLV09 wrote:I can't believe it but I'm falling into the most cliche category of law school applicants. I'm that guy with a worthless liberal arts degree who hates math.


Well all you need to do is stop hating math and you're golden.


I'm pretty sure you're joking, but I do have to take issue with the assumption a lot of people around here seem to make, that people who can do math have no worries, unlike us poor fools who have to go to law school. I can tell you from experience (I have a lot of math and science major friends) that it is no easier to find work with a B.S. than with a B.A. More and more people on the science side are going back to graduate school in desperation, racking up law school-like levels of debt.

With that rant out of the way...

I personally think the best course of action in an economy like this is to do what you would have wanted to do with your life anyway. If you can honestly say that you would choose to attend law school even if people were offering you six figure jobs left and right, then you are doing the right thing. But do not use law school as a last resort. It will bury you.


+1 One of the goofiest things on TLS is this whole "Every other sector is booming, law is the shithole" thing. Remember, it's ITE, not ITLE

blsingindisguise
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby blsingindisguise » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:18 am

OP would be better off getting an entry level job in almost any field and working his way up. The idea that there's nothing out there for liberal arts grads is mainly spread by people who have degrees in engineering or finance or other UG degrees that can potentially lead to a nice salary out of college -- to those people the options for humanities grads seem pretty bleak. But the options are no worse than those open to grads of third or fourth tier law schools.

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thecilent
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby thecilent » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:52 am

:/ don't do it op. Your reasoning is not sound

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mpj_3050
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby mpj_3050 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:56 am

The schools are going to cost a fortune in tuition alone; factor in high cost of living and you are in really dangerous territory.

None of these schools falls into the realm of "decent decision" barring big-time no stipulations money.

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thesealocust
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:58 am

What could possible go wr--

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scammedhard
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby scammedhard » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:13 am

As bad as you might think your situation is now, I bet that there a bunch of recent JDs from these schools that would love to be in your shoes.

Have you thought of joining the Reserves? It's a great supplementary income and one very rarely gets called into action.

UNLV09
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby UNLV09 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:52 am

I have a crappy 2.7 GPA (hey, you would've gotten one too if you went to UNLV. How can anyone study with that many casinos, night clubs and strip clubs around?) However, I've taken five graduate classes in an equally worthless liberal arts masters degree and since I'm out of Vegas now I've been able to actually concentrate and maintain a 3.7 in that program so far. I really want to quit the program though because I realize it won't help get a job, at all. From what I found on the law school admissions calculator, I wouldn't have much trouble getting into the schools I mentioned with a 165+ LSAT. USD probably wouldn't give any money with that GPA, but I've seen people get a little bit of money at Santa Clara and USF with that GPA and those scores. I'm a URM too so that should help.

I know there are other opportunities besides law school out there, but out of reasonable career choices (okay I know, law isn't really reasonable anymore), law is the one that interest me the most, by far. I have a friend who took an entry level position with a finance company after college and is making really good money already. I know others who went into retail, almost just for fun, because they didn't want to enter the "real" workforce yet, and are making decent salaries as district and regional managers already. I just really like the law.

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Lawquacious
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:20 pm

UNLV09 wrote:I have a crappy 2.7 GPA (hey, you would've gotten one too if you went to UNLV. How can anyone study with that many casinos, night clubs and strip clubs around?) However, I've taken five graduate classes in an equally worthless liberal arts masters degree and since I'm out of Vegas now I've been able to actually concentrate and maintain a 3.7 in that program so far. I really want to quit the program though because I realize it won't help get a job, at all. From what I found on the law school admissions calculator, I wouldn't have much trouble getting into the schools I mentioned with a 165+ LSAT. USD probably wouldn't give any money with that GPA, but I've seen people get a little bit of money at Santa Clara and USF with that GPA and those scores. I'm a URM too so that should help.

I know there are other opportunities besides law school out there, but out of reasonable career choices (okay I know, law isn't really reasonable anymore), law is the one that interest me the most, by far. I have a friend who took an entry level position with a finance company after college and is making really good money already. I know others who went into retail, almost just for fun, because they didn't want to enter the "real" workforce yet, and are making decent salaries as district and regional managers already. I just really like the law.



Take the LSAT and see where you stand if you are really interested in law. The URM status may help, though unfortunately it seems to help reverse splitters (relatively low LSAT, solid GPA) more than regular splitters (solid LSAT, low GPA). But that fact could still help, and you may in fact have some pretty decent options IMO if you can clear 165.

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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby shoeshine » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:28 pm

UNLV09 wrote:Police work was always my backup plan in life but when I applied I came across some "background" issues. Nothing that disqualified me for life, but I was told I needed to distance myself from the incident, i.e., to come back and apply in a few years.

Whatever this was may also disqualify you from sitting for the bar. Check into it before you waste 100k+ on law school.

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Lawquacious
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:35 pm

shoeshine wrote:
UNLV09 wrote:Police work was always my backup plan in life but when I applied I came across some "background" issues. Nothing that disqualified me for life, but I was told I needed to distance myself from the incident, i.e., to come back and apply in a few years.

Whatever this was may also disqualify you from sitting for the bar. Check into it before you waste 100k+ on law school.



You can call State Bars or do research online on this topic. There's not too much that will ultimately prohibit you from practicing law IMO (in many states even felony convictions won't necessarily prevent you from passing C and F), but it does depend on how far in the past it was, and you may need to show evidence of 'rehabilitation.' But I am not an expert on this, and it is true that you should look into this. There are situations where people can get shut out from practice based on history, so it is very true you wouldn't want this to be you. But I would say that the biggest thing is don't repeat whatever it was that caused the problem if at all possible. That's where I think you could get ultimately screwed re: a law career, especially if it happened during the law school application process, or during or after law school. But this is not meant to be taken as any sort of official or actual advice. It is just my speculation and should be confirmed or disconfirmed through your own research using official and reliable sources.

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JoeFish
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby JoeFish » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:17 am

Awww maaaaannnn I'm a math major who's going to law school. Didn't know that people who were afraid of math saw it as a meeting ground!

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crossarmant
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby crossarmant » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:21 pm

UNLV09 wrote:I have a crappy 2.7 GPA (hey, you would've gotten one too if you went to UNLV. How can anyone study with that many casinos, night clubs and strip clubs around?) However, I've taken five graduate classes in an equally worthless liberal arts masters degree and since I'm out of Vegas now I've been able to actually concentrate and maintain a 3.7 in that program so far. I really want to quit the program though because I realize it won't help get a job, at all. From what I found on the law school admissions calculator, I wouldn't have much trouble getting into the schools I mentioned with a 165+ LSAT. USD probably wouldn't give any money with that GPA, but I've seen people get a little bit of money at Santa Clara and USF with that GPA and those scores. I'm a URM too so that should help.

I know there are other opportunities besides law school out there, but out of reasonable career choices (okay I know, law isn't really reasonable anymore), law is the one that interest me the most, by far. I have a friend who took an entry level position with a finance company after college and is making really good money already. I know others who went into retail, almost just for fun, because they didn't want to enter the "real" workforce yet, and are making decent salaries as district and regional managers already. I just really like the law.


Come back in a year when you've worked in a law office or company's legal department. Mere "interest" is not enough to devote yourself to 6-figure debt, 3 years of school, and a career as an attorney. Also, browse through here a bit, the Bay area seems to be one of the hardest to get in to, so look elsewhere. With a 2.7 GPA and a high enough LSAT you can get into someplace like UMinn or others.

I had a horrendous GPA as well, so when I was about to take my LSAT I told myself "If I score below xxx then here's my back-up plan". I had a Psych degree which has proven to be pretty much all but useless except to satiate a Bachelors requirement. My case was that if I did poorly on the LSAT then I'd go back to undergrad and get a Geosciences degree and try to get scooped up by an oil company, figured I took a fair share of Geology classes in undergrad for fun anyways, it'd only take 2 years and like $30k. Though I am much more interested in the law field, so make up a few possible alternatives to work as an attorney and explore all of those avenues realistically and address how much each would cost and how long it'd take.

UNLV09
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby UNLV09 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:48 pm

Lawquacious wrote:
UNLV09 wrote:and you may in fact have some pretty decent options IMO if you can clear 165.


What options? From I learned looking at the admissions calculator, the schools I mentioned would be the only schools that I would realistically have a chance of getting into, unless I go get at least 5+ years of impressive work experience or something.

As for the person who said I should get a job in a law office before making any rash decisions, that's a good point. From what I've heard, studying the law can much more interested than practicing it unless you land a really awesome job (high profile criminal defense attorney, prosecution, etc.)

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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby bk1 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:52 pm

UNLV09 wrote:What options? From I learned looking at the admissions calculator, the schools I mentioned would be the only schools that I would realistically have a chance of getting into, unless I go get at least 5+ years of impressive work experience or something.


I hope you realize that the schools you mentioned (USF/SCU) only place 1/4 of their grads into full time lawyer positions (source: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com).

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Lawquacious
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:57 pm

UNLV09 wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:
UNLV09 wrote:and you may in fact have some pretty decent options IMO if you can clear 165.


What options?


As a URM clearing a 165 you might get into some fairly strong schools (maybe around T30?) even with a fairly horrendous GPA (as far as law admissions goes anyway). That's basically what I meant by good options. But I would do more research if I were you, and like I said, I think regular splitters aren't aided as much by the URM thing as reverse-splitters, especially with a GPA in your range.

It sounds like you really do need to put more thought into this though. I wouldn't go just because you can.

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Verity
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby Verity » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:04 am

OP can go to a shitty LS, do some doc review, and then be the next areyouinsane. Then we all profit.

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boosk
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby boosk » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:18 am

bk1 wrote:
I hope you realize that the schools you mentioned (USF/SCU) only place 1/4 of their grads into full time lawyer positions (source: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com).


cool site

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crossarmant
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby crossarmant » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:42 am

UNLV09 wrote:What options? From I learned looking at the admissions calculator, the schools I mentioned would be the only schools that I would realistically have a chance of getting into, unless I go get at least 5+ years of impressive work experience or something.

As for the person who said I should get a job in a law office before making any rash decisions, that's a good point. From what I've heard, studying the law can much more interested than practicing it unless you land a really awesome job (high profile criminal defense attorney, prosecution, etc.)


Admissions "Calculators" are extremely flawed when you're a splitter. I was flat-out rejected with a 0% chance at some of the schools I got scholarships to and I had an auto-admit status at some of the schools I got rejected from. Cast a wide net to schools where your LSAT is above median/75th percentile.

Yes, working in the field is extremely different than the closed academic field. I've worked in both in-house legal depts and with a criminal/family attorney and it's far different from schooling. I personally loved the hustle and bustle of the criminal/family law field; always on the move from court to court, talking with an array of people, not really having a boss, etc. But some people would hate that. I also enjoyed the legal dept work of making sure the company is in compliance and dealing with the litigation regarding them. I did some of my work through a legal contracting agency so I got to get my feet wet in a slew of different fields so I got a better taste of the field as a whole than simply working as a legal assistant for a personal injury firm or the like.

I feel that a lot of lawyers are disillusioned and dislike their jobs because they never tried it out before hand. Many were probably aimless liberal arts majors who figured "Meh, why not? Maybe I can live the 'Boats n' Hoes' lifestyle like this," then they realize that it's NOT Law&Order or Allie McBeal. Do not go into law school unless you have worked in the legal field.

EDIT: Forgot a key "NOT"
Last edited by crossarmant on Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

UNLV09
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Re: One good reason to go to law school

Postby UNLV09 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:40 pm

crossarmant wrote:Many were probably aimless liberal arts majors who figured "Meh, why not? Maybe I can live the 'Boats n' Hoes' lifestyle like this," then they realize that it's Law&Order or Allie McBeal. Do not go into law school unless you have worked in the legal field.


This is exactly what I am. Except I'm not interested in the "Boats n' Hoes" (already did that during undergrad), just want a job I have some interest in and that requires schooling I think I'll have fun doing. Why is law/government such a bust? I know the economy as a whole is hurting but regardless, the health guys have a great job outlook due to the dying baby boomers, the math/science/engineer guys are still pretty stable like always, the business/retail guys don't have the opportunities they used to but still can find entry level jobs somewhere and grind their way up, the same can be said for the computer dudes, and the police/military guys always have plenty of people that need to be shot (well, police are getting laid off like crazy but they can always go join the military or do private security which is in very high demand right now). For all of us poli sci/history majors who are truly interested in law/government, we're just screwed. Good political jobs that actually deal with public policy (not just door-to-door fundraising) are ridiculously competitive and to get one you have to have family connections or go to a top UG and land a killer internship. And the lawyer job outlook is almost as bad as the one-hour photo or music store future business outlook. Not to mention, my state has put a freeze on almost all government hiring http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/1 ... 23796.html. I need to go back and do another undergrad.




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