bk1 wrote:My problem with these threads that point out that something like "most people out of law school, even successful ones, are miserable" is that it acts as if there is a realistic alternative. Working fucking sucks. Deal with it. Would you rather be a barista/bartender/salesclerk/whatever? Fine go do that. But in general you are not going to be happy working. Is biglaw an order of magnitude worse? Maybe, but it's all relative. My general suggestion: stop trying to find happiness/fulfillment in a job.
After reading through many threads on this site, I made the decision not to go to law school last year, and I am glad I made that choice. I graduated from an Ivy undergrad, with degree in finance and economics, but due to my shitty GPA and lack of solid work experience, I graduated unemployed. (I stayed unemployed for like a year after graduation)
At that time, I basically thought that my 'default' option was to go to law school, just like most of my friends from college who missed boat on a high paying finance job. I quickly found out that despite having a finance/econ degree from a top business school (Penn Wharton), most employers outside of finance/consulting sectors did not give shit about my academic credentials. To make up for my failure, I studied for LSAT and got a score of 172.
I applied to law schools, but due to my GPA (3.2) my best option was a lower T14 on sticker price, or other lower ranked schools with moderate amounts of scholarships. I was on verge of matriculating at the T14 law school, but reading through this site opened my eyes and made me more cautious regarding employment prospects in legal sector, incurring 250k in debt. In addition, this site provided me an insight into the life of working at big firms as attorneys, and I came to the conclusion that even if I was lucky to land a big law firm job, I wouldn't necessarily enjoy the lifestyle or the work I do as a big firm attorney.
Following that decision, I focused 100% on my job search, applied to shit loads of jobs, and networked like m-f'er. In the end, I landed a job as a business analyst at a consulting firm, and I couldn't be happier about how things turned out. I disagree with anyone that says that "working in general sucks". I'll tell you what - being unemployed sucks 100 times more than working, and I can say that from experience. I truly love my job - I only work 45-50 hours a week, get to travel to cool places, I get to do interesting projects for clients, get paid decently well, get superb benefits, the people I work with are really chill, and I have solid prospects of upward mobility within my firm.
I guess the reason why many lawyers are discontent with their jobs (if that is true), may be due to the fact that many people chose this profession since they couldn't figure out what they wanted to do, or since they couldn't get a decent job after college. I completely understand why many people would want to attend law schools, even now. However, I believe more prospective law students need to open their eyes and consider many different career fields - that may have better employment prospects than law. (accounting, computer science, nursing, engineering, etc)
I just wanted to share my insight, as my story is relevant to the question of "why do so many 0L's want to go to law school, despite knowing how terrible legal hiring is at this point?"
Edit: sorry for the long post.