An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

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areyouinsane
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby areyouinsane » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:37 pm

It's not just 3 years. It's 7. Think about that. Seven years of lost income and accumulated debt is the price of entry into the legal profession. Start as an apprentice in a skilled trade, making $15/hour at 18 years old fresh out of HS isn't so bad. Seven years out, you've got a house a wife some kids... you know, things that actually matter in life. The things you had to put off until later, until later, for the dubious prospect of becoming a lawyer. Consider the time value of money too. The debt incurred early in life is amplified in significance by the time value of money, as is the opportunity cost of not working steadily for seven years.


Hell, why even wait to turn 18? My buddy Dave quit high school the day he turned 16 to apprentice to his buddy's dad who is a plumber. He had his own plumbing license by age 22 and now has a fleet of 5 trucks, owns a BMW M3 that he races on weekends in Connecticuit on a private track, and lives in an 800 K house. He could buy and sell most shitlaw lawyers with his pocket lint.

If you're the least bit mechanically inclined, the trades are a good thing to try out and almost certainly will provide a much better standard of living/income than getting a non Top 14 JD.

(Hell, Dave makes more turning in copper scrap alone than most shitlawyers do in a year! He took a 25 K load of pipe scrap the other day and walked out with a nice phat check). Just another benefit of the plumbing trade.

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fatduck
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby fatduck » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:49 pm

every single person in the entire united states of america should join the military. there should be no other options for employment.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:50 pm

You're buddy Dave should come out to Arizona and work with the meth addicts here. They steal copper from new housing developments and sell it to survive. Sounds like the life.

Lots of good points made in this thread, but the seven years thing is a bit misleading. Most people planning to go to law school are finishing or have finished undergrad. So those first four years are already out the window. But for the vast majority of people trade school and vocational training need to make a comeback.

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fatduck
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby fatduck » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:50 pm

areyouinsane wrote:a BMW M3 that he races on weekends in Connecticuit on a private track

and i thought lawyers had a monopoly on douchiness.

areyouinsane
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby areyouinsane » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:50 pm

Another thing you should understand is that law is an especially miserable job. Endless bales upon fucking bales of boring paperwork, hyper-technical rules, obnoxious judges/opposing counsel, long hours, stress, annoying clients, and just general all-around misery. The only thing that EVER made this sewer of an industry tolerable was the high salaries.

Take away the $$$ and law has absolutely nothing going for it. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Hell, Biglaw kids struggle to put up with the utter misery of it all for 160 K + bonus. Why the fuck would anyone want to put up with it for 40 or 50 K a year? Small law shit tends to be even more miserable since there's often minimal or no support staff.

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Hannibal
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby Hannibal » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:51 pm

fatduck wrote:every single person in the entire united states of america should join the military. there should be no other options for employment.


Like you'd know shit about the military.

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fatduck
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby fatduck » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:51 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:But for the vast majority of people trade school and vocational training need to make a comeback.

i totally agree. everyone should become a plumber or mechanic. except for me, of course.

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fatduck
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby fatduck » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:52 pm

areyouinsane wrote:Another thing you should understand is that law is an especially miserable job. Endless bales upon fucking bales of boring paperwork, hyper-technical rules, obnoxious judges/opposing counsel, long hours, stress, annoying clients, and just general all-around misery. The only thing that EVER made this sewer of an industry tolerable was the high salaries.

Take away the $$$ and law has absolutely nothing going for it. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Hell, Biglaw kids struggle to put up with the utter misery of it all for 160 K + bonus. Why the fuck would anyone want to put up with it for 40 or 50 K a year? Small law shit tends to be even more miserable since there's often minimal or no support staff.

you realize plumbers have to deal with poop, right?

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Hannibal
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby Hannibal » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:52 pm

fatduck wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:But for the vast majority of people trade school and vocational training need to make a comeback.

i totally agree. everyone should become a plumber or mechanic. except for me, of course.


Nah, just a plumber. Job market for mechanics sucks.

At least in California.

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robotclubmember
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby robotclubmember » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:59 pm

fatduck wrote:
areyouinsane wrote:Another thing you should understand is that law is an especially miserable job. Endless bales upon fucking bales of boring paperwork, hyper-technical rules, obnoxious judges/opposing counsel, long hours, stress, annoying clients, and just general all-around misery. The only thing that EVER made this sewer of an industry tolerable was the high salaries.

Take away the $$$ and law has absolutely nothing going for it. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Hell, Biglaw kids struggle to put up with the utter misery of it all for 160 K + bonus. Why the fuck would anyone want to put up with it for 40 or 50 K a year? Small law shit tends to be even more miserable since there's often minimal or no support staff.

you realize plumbers have to deal with poop, right?


It's not like they have to eat it. They have to look at it, occasionally, and use a tool to clear it out sometimes. I have to deal with my own poop everyday, I sit over a pile of it after excreting it from my anus, it smells, then i grab a piece of TP and wipe it through my ass crack to clear up the remaining fecal matter. i do it multiple times a day. is that so much worse than anything a plumber does?

but yeah, even for 160K a year big law retention is way below most skilled labor retention rates. working in a firm is a special kind of misery.

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law4vus
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby law4vus » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:16 pm

areyouinsane wrote:Even small firms are now having routine pleading and other paperwork churned in Indian for pennies per doc.


"In Indian"? Are you freaking kidding me? :roll:

areyouinsane
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby areyouinsane » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:53 pm

"In Indian"? Are you freaking kidding me?


I meant to write "India."

Anyway, you won't only be competing with hordes of unemployed American lawyers, but also with a continent of "lawyers" who will churn the same paperwork for pennies on the dollar:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/busin ... gewanted=2

This trend will only increase, as corporations realize how reckless, foolish and unecessary it is/was to pay top whack to American lawyers to churn this crap. Love this line:

What G.E. does not need, though, is the “army of associates around them,” Ms. Dascenzo said. “You don’t need a $500-an-hour associate to do things like document review and basic due diligence,” she said.

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bceagles182
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby bceagles182 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:12 pm

This thread is stupid

1. The study contains so many errors that it's a joke. To name a few:

It ignores that nobody takes the bar in DC b/c they can waive in -- most take the NY bar instead.
It ignores that people who graduate from UWisconsin are automatically barred in Wisconsin.
It ignores that many people take the bar in multiple states, which renders both the national and the state numbers utterly useless. For example, pretty much everyone practicing in Jersey takes the NY bar as well.

2. Going to law school is not a bad decision for everyone outside the T14. It is, obviously, a gamble. And going to law school to get rich is a mistake because the odds are against it. But for those of us who want to become lawyers, it is not necessarily a bad decision. On the contrary, it can prove to be a very beneficial decision for those who attend lower ranked schools and end up at the top of the class. Those people made the correct decision to gamble on their own abilities, regardless of their objectively-defined initial odds of success.

This is America. It's competitive and only the smartest/strongest survive (unless the democrats are in office). As long as the information is available, people can weigh the numbers, evaluate their own abilities, and make a subjective determination about what is best for themselves. If they are willing to roll the dice, then who are you to say it is automatically a poor decision?

This whole concept of "t14 material" is a joke. It doesn't matter if someone didn't do well on the lsat if they can kick your ass on law school exams. Top 5% @ t2>>>>>>>>>>>> Top 50% @ somewhere like Georgetown

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NR3C1
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby NR3C1 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:21 pm

bceagles182 wrote:This is America. It's competitive and only the smartest/strongest survive (unless the democrats are in office). As long as the information is available, people can weigh the numbers, evaluate their own abilities, and make a subjective determination about what is best for themselves. If they are willing to roll the dice, then who are you to say it is automatically a poor decision?

Yeah... Just like Wall St. et al survived a few years ago by their own hard work, strong ethics, and smart investment strategies (aka bailouts with public funds and scamming other investors).

flexityflex86
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:37 pm

The obvious answer is to stop shipping jobs oversees. Tax the hell out of it. Make it economically a better call to give jobs to Americans. This is not just true for law jobs. It's true for all jobs. When one looks at the growing economies, it is not a coincidence they are the ones much of the west ships jobs to, and buys products from - India, China, Thailand, etc.

areyouinsane
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby areyouinsane » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:40 pm

It ignores that many people take the bar in multiple states, which renders both the national and the state numbers utterly useless. For example, pretty much everyone practicing in Jersey takes the NY bar as well.


Yeah, it's handy being dual barred in NY/NJ (I am, as a matter of fact). It gives you not only one but TWO of the most oversaturated markets to scrounge for work in.

Another bonus is that you get to pay 2 separate, very expensive bar dues, send in two pairs of CLE forms, etc. NJ also hits you up not only with bar dues, but also a mandatory $270 yearly fee which goes to Fund for Client Protection, which locates competent counsel for those who were screwed by the short-bus grads of the state's 3 TTT law schools. All told, you're looking at north of a thousand bucks a year just to keep your licenses current.

To top it off, NJ also has MANDATORY pro bono assignments (i believe it's the only state to do so). I've been stuck with 2 of these turds the past 5 years. I got to burn gasoline, put miles on my car, pay postage/mailing fees, and waste about 20 hours of my time: all for free.

flexityflex86
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby flexityflex86 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:54 pm

areyouinsane wrote:
It ignores that many people take the bar in multiple states, which renders both the national and the state numbers utterly useless. For example, pretty much everyone practicing in Jersey takes the NY bar as well.


Yeah, it's handy being dual barred in NY/NJ (I am, as a matter of fact). It gives you not only one but TWO of the most oversaturated markets to scrounge for work in.

Another bonus is that you get to pay 2 separate, very expensive bar dues, send in two pairs of CLE forms, etc. NJ also hits you up not only with bar dues, but also a mandatory $270 yearly fee which goes to Fund for Client Protection, which locates competent counsel for those who were screwed by the short-bus grads of the state's 3 TTT law schools. All told, you're looking at north of a thousand bucks a year just to keep your licenses current.

To top it off, NJ also has MANDATORY pro bono assignments (i believe it's the only state to do so). I've been stuck with 2 of these turds the past 5 years. I got to burn gasoline, put miles on my car, pay postage/mailing fees, and waste about 20 hours of my time: all for free.

is your career that bad you can't spend gas and postage to help your fellow americans or are you just selfish?

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minnbills
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby minnbills » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:13 am

There is risk in life, and things aren't always peaches and cream. My grandfather grew up in a shantytown during the great depression. He didn't complain. He just dealt with it and made things work. My great-grandfather was drafted into World War One and died a few years later from lung cancer after spending a good while in a POW camp and getting caught in a mustard gas attack. Life can suck. What are you going to do? Despair, gnash your teeth and pound your feet? The economy sucks for everyone, stop acting like it is insulated to the profession only.

I could cross the street tomorrow and get nailed by a drunk driver (one just went through my neighbor's window the other day, actually) but does that mean I should never cross the street? Things are bad in the legal market. Many people aren't going to find work. So make smart choices. Don't go to a poor school in your region. Don't take on a lot of debt if you're not going to an elite school. So be careful, but for god's sake this apocalypse attitude is uncalled for.

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fatduck
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby fatduck » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:14 am

minnbills wrote:There is risk in life, and things aren't always peaches and cream. My grandfather grew up in a shantytown during the great depression. He didn't complain. He just dealt with it and made things work. My great-grandfather was drafted into World War One and died a few years later from lung cancer after spending a good while in a POW camp and getting caught in a mustard gas attack. Life can suck. What are you going to do? Despair, gnash your teeth and pound your feet? The economy sucks for everyone, stop acting like it is insulated to the profession only.

I could cross the street tomorrow and get nailed by a drunk driver (one just went through my neighbor's window the other day, actually) but does that mean I should never cross the street? Things are bad in the legal market. Many people aren't going to find work. So make smart choices. Don't go to a poor school in your region. Don't take on a lot of debt if you're not going to an elite school. So be careful, but for god's sake this apocalypse attitude is uncalled for.

ARE YOU INSANE? START FIXING TOILETS OR ELSE.

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robotclubmember
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby robotclubmember » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:36 am

bceagles182 wrote:This thread is stupid

1. The study contains so many errors that it's a joke. To name a few:

It ignores that nobody takes the bar in DC b/c they can waive in -- most take the NY bar instead.
It ignores that people who graduate from UWisconsin are automatically barred in Wisconsin.
It ignores that many people take the bar in multiple states, which renders both the national and the state numbers utterly useless. For example, pretty much everyone practicing in Jersey takes the NY bar as well.

2. Going to law school is not a bad decision for everyone outside the T14. It is, obviously, a gamble. And going to law school to get rich is a mistake because the odds are against it. But for those of us who want to become lawyers, it is not necessarily a bad decision. On the contrary, it can prove to be a very beneficial decision for those who attend lower ranked schools and end up at the top of the class. Those people made the correct decision to gamble on their own abilities, regardless of their objectively-defined initial odds of success.

This is America. It's competitive and only the smartest/strongest survive (unless the democrats are in office). As long as the information is available, people can weigh the numbers, evaluate their own abilities, and make a subjective determination about what is best for themselves. If they are willing to roll the dice, then who are you to say it is automatically a poor decision?

This whole concept of "t14 material" is a joke. It doesn't matter if someone didn't do well on the lsat if they can kick your ass on law school exams. Top 5% @ t2>>>>>>>>>>>> Top 50% @ somewhere like Georgetown


1. those errors have been talked about and if you want to look back and make more comments then do so, but you can't dismiss the study as a whole on the basis of a part.

2. going to law school is not a bad decision for EVERYONE outside of the T14, which wasn't the argument, but it is financially a bad investment for about half of everyone outside the T14. applicants have information, but the quality of information is shit. would you think it was fair that you invested hundreds of thousands in stock for a company whose financial statements mere materially misstated so that you were not aware of the true financial health of the company? no, and that's why we have independent auditors attest to the fairness and accuracy of financial reporting on publicly held companies, so that investors can make informed decisions. medical ethics, when possible, requires not consent but "informed" consent from the patient to conduct to a procedure. see where i'm going? where's the oversight from the ABA? the onus should not be on the student to seek data outside of the school's website, because an institution that teaches law should have the ethics not to misreport or misrepresent its employment data, yet many schools do just that. applicants can make decisions off the information provided, but not "informed" ones because the data is bullshit. being "willing" to roll the dice presupposes that the student knew the dice weren't loaded against them, in the case of TTT/TTTT's and most T2's quite honestly.

the root of the problem: PEOPLE GO TO LAW SCHOOL BECAUSE THEY THINK IT'S AN ATTRACTIVE CAREER CHOICE ON THE BASIS OF FLAWED DATA. THE EMPLOYMENT DATA IS WRONG HOWEVER, THEREFORE THEY ARE WRONG. if shit schools published an accurate picture of post-employment prospects, people wouldn't be lining up to go to 'Bozo so they could do doc review for $25 an hour.

and I'd take median at G-town over top 5% at a T2, but that's just me. and it does matter if you kicked ass on the lsat, because schools buy lsat scores in the form of scholly $$$ to boost their stats, so it means presumably you paid less, which significantly impacts your rate of return on your investment. and yes, maybe the gamble worked out well for those at the top 5% of their T2. wow, a 5% chance of getting a decent payback on you investment, what a deal!

It's competitive and only the smartest/strongest survive (unless the democrats are in office)


lolwut? wtf is this? we're going to politicize an analysis of the surplus of lawyers now?? what does obama have to do with yer legal jerbs? don't forget what forum you're in.

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reepS
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby reepS » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:12 am

I smell a birther

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robotclubmember
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby robotclubmember » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:25 am

minnbills wrote:Things are bad in the legal market. Many people aren't going to find work. So make smart choices. Don't go to a poor school in your region. Don't take on a lot of debt if you're not going to an elite school. So be careful, but for god's sake this apocalypse attitude is uncalled for.


I don't get why you are saying pretty much exactly what I am saying, but framing it as if we are in some kind of disagreement?? I'm not "gnashing my teeth and pounding my feet," lol. I don't care how many times your grandpa walked 18 miles in the snow uphill both ways to get to school. We're saying the same thing. Except that I'm stating it rationally, and you are demeaning it for being an apocalypse attitude and then rephrasing it to say the same thing.

areyouinsane
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby areyouinsane » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:25 am

Fact is, the ABA could easily get accurate, honest data from each law school re: salary and employment. All it would take is a postcard-sized questionnaire with the following questions:

1. Name of law school you graduated from.

2. Are you employed?

3. If so, are you employed in a position which requires a JD AND BAR ADMISSION?

4. If the answer to #3 is "yes," is your position temporary or permanent?

5. What is your annual salary and/or hourly rate if a temp?

6. Are you admitted to the bar?

Make completing and returning the postcard a requirement:

1. Prior to the bar exam

2. One year post-admission

3. Three years post admission

4. 5 years post admission

Make a failure to submit the card conditions for suspension of one's license.

This system would give a deadly accurate picture of the short-and-long term outcomes from all the ABA schools. Such data would probably turn most TTT's like 'Bozo, Brooklyn, Cooley, Pace etc into overnight ghost towns.

Another good idea would be this: Make student loans dischargable in bankruptcy, and allow the lenders to levy a clawback against schools with employment metrics below a certain level.

Have the postcards mailed & collected (and all data analyzed) by an independent 3rd party auditor like Price Waterhouse, etc.

This of course will never happen, as the TTT's will fight tooth and nail to keep the "real" info about their grad's secret, as the publication of same will put them out of business.

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emciosn
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby emciosn » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:04 am

Read through the thread and I think this is the general rule of thumb:

Those who are in law school should generally try to convince those who are not in law school to not attend.

It's basic economics, we are trying to maximize our own utility by decreasing the amount of competition in the future. So in that sense Robot is doing it right.

I do not agree with his economic outlook. I think the economy is doing much better this year than it has over the last couple and will continue to get better. We were it a pretty deep hole so getting out takes time.

I think the whole T14 or don't go thing is a little silly. I think that people need to be more informed about job placement and salary statistics than they are but there are some good options down the list, especially good regional schools. The T3 from my home state is still placing pretty well in state. That being said there are some lower ranked school that don't place well anywhere and students still attend, a lack on information.

Overall I agree with Robot that people (those not on this site) need to be more informed about their law school decision. I think his doom and gloom assessment is a little overboard, though. I suspect he is working hard to make the job marked better for the rest of us though so hats off.

nygiants56
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Re: An Analysis of the Lawyer Surplus

Postby nygiants56 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:38 am

so is the basic assesment here if you are not in t14 don't go to law school? What about those who are looking for state school and eventually a small practice dealing with real estate, wills and estates. There are those who are looking at non corporate jobs, should they not attend law school?




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