"Don't go to law school"

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
Emma.
Posts: 2401
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby Emma. » Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:07 pm

mike0331 wrote:Hahah...

I have an interest in IP, patent prosecution, product liability stuff, etc. I also have an interest in criminal defense, especially in the case of constitutional issues. Where it will take me, who knows. I do know that as far as work environment I prefer smaller groups or teams. I have very little interest in the mythical land of "Big Law." It's hard to say what I'll end up falling in to though until I get some experience on the ground.

Mike


Lol. "Interest in" =/= job

Nomo
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 am

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby Nomo » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:05 pm

I think this forum is full of reasons why people don't like law.

Too many lawyers are totally unreasonable people, and they're very hard to work with. Clients are always coming to you with problems, and they're rarely happy with the resolution (they rarely get everything they wanted, and even if they do, they're unhappy with the cost). Family and criminal law are probably the too largest areas of law, and the clients in those areas are often the hardest to deal with. Drumming up business is tough. Getting clients to pay is tough. There are a lot of deadlines and rules, and you can't mess them up. If you're a litigator you're constantly in a competition that you don't have enough time to prepare for. No matter what kind of practice you're in, you're always going to have times when you feel like you're doing work conflicts with your values or social vision. If you're a public interest lawyer you might feel good about most of your cases, but you lose a lot, and you're paid very little. You never really get to build anything (like a product or a company).

On top of all that, youngish attorneys have to spend a lot of money on law school just to get in this game.

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby fats provolone » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:15 pm

being a lawyer = being a transaction cost

dabigchina
Posts: 703
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby dabigchina » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:19 pm

fats provolone wrote:i billed like 20 hrs that day



serious question, how do you people megapoast and still hit chargables? are people just not watching your hours? i know my partner would chew me out hardcore if i blew her budget because i was poasting on TLS.

EricHosmer
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:42 am

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby EricHosmer » Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:40 pm

I'm not a lawyer and haven't gone to law school, but I think the "law attracts people who are already unhappy" argument doesn't necessarily preclude law from making people more unhappy. Psychology has shown pretty definitely that the moods of the people we surround ourselves with affects our own moods. Even if you are someone who has that personality that is more unhappy generally, getting a job that has many people who are more consistently happy might help. Getting a job with many people that share in your more consistent unhappiness might worsen your mood even more.

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby mike0331 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:20 am

Emma. wrote:
mike0331 wrote:Hahah...

I have an interest in IP, patent prosecution, product liability stuff, etc. I also have an interest in criminal defense, especially in the case of constitutional issues. Where it will take me, who knows. I do know that as far as work environment I prefer smaller groups or teams. I have very little interest in the mythical land of "Big Law." It's hard to say what I'll end up falling in to though until I get some experience on the ground.

Mike


Lol. "Interest in" =/= job


Lol. No shit. Bitter much?

Mike

User avatar
Chevron Deference
Posts: 137
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:51 am

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby Chevron Deference » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:26 am

mike0331 wrote:
Emma. wrote:
mike0331 wrote:Hahah...

I have an interest in IP, patent prosecution, product liability stuff, etc. I also have an interest in criminal defense, especially in the case of constitutional issues. Where it will take me, who knows. I do know that as far as work environment I prefer smaller groups or teams. I have very little interest in the mythical land of "Big Law." It's hard to say what I'll end up falling in to though until I get some experience on the ground.

Mike


Lol. "Interest in" =/= job


Lol. No shit. Bitter much?

Mike


So almost every type of law interests you.

Do you have an engineering or bio background?

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby fats provolone » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:32 am

dabigchina wrote:
fats provolone wrote:i billed like 20 hrs that day



serious question, how do you people megapoast and still hit chargables? are people just not watching your hours? i know my partner would chew me out hardcore if i blew her budget because i was poasting on TLS.

u just don't sleep

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:44 am

fats provolone wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
fats provolone wrote:i billed like 20 hrs that day



serious question, how do you people megapoast and still hit chargables? are people just not watching your hours? i know my partner would chew me out hardcore if i blew her budget because i was poasting on TLS.

u just don't sleep

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby fats provolone » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:45 am

also what's a budget lol

User avatar
ymmv
Posts: 13052
Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:36 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby ymmv » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:46 am

Do you take stims other than coffee? Or modafinil or something?

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby fats provolone » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:47 am

i naturally vibrate at a much higher wavelength than normal humans

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby fats provolone » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:47 am

the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long though

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13831
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby JohannDeMann » Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:09 am

yea i barely even drink coffee. i just wake up when my alarm goes off and cant really sleep if at work or oding work

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby mike0331 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:25 am

Chevron Deference wrote:
mike0331 wrote:
Emma. wrote:
mike0331 wrote:Hahah...

I have an interest in IP, patent prosecution, product liability stuff, etc. I also have an interest in criminal defense, especially in the case of constitutional issues. Where it will take me, who knows. I do know that as far as work environment I prefer smaller groups or teams. I have very little interest in the mythical land of "Big Law." It's hard to say what I'll end up falling in to though until I get some experience on the ground.

Mike


Lol. "Interest in" =/= job


Lol. No shit. Bitter much?

Mike


So almost every type of law interests you.

Do you have an engineering or bio background?


BS in Bio and work experience in assembly/QC/mechanics. I actually think mechanical stuff comes much more easily to me, I really should have done ME as my undergrad.

Mike

User avatar
earthabides
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:48 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby earthabides » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:24 am

.
Last edited by earthabides on Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby romothesavior » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:31 am

I totally get the "I hate being a lawyer" thing that you hear a lot on here, but I don't think that's representative of all or even most young lawyers. It seems to mostly be an issue for folks in shitlaw or big law. There are a lot of lawyer jobs out there that don't suck. I love my job, and most (but not all) the young lawyers I interact with here seem to like it too (prosecutors, small firms, mid sized firms, flyover "big law," etc.) The problem is there aren't enough enjoyable gigs available to make law school a good investment for most people, and the price of getting the degree is outlandishly high.

Cogburn87
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:26 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby Cogburn87 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:28 am

earthabides wrote:so biglaw is bad because you work really long hours and your bosses are really shitty?

sounds like most corporate jobs


Good observation. Thanks for the perspective.

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby mike0331 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:36 am

It is insanely expensive... but it seems like a lot of money is going around. Free rides are far from unheard of, even at decent schools with good local placement.

As was mentioned I think there is some sample bias going on. People who are polarized one way or the other are going to go online and post about their outstanding/terrible experience. Granted I'm a 0L, but I know quite a few lawyers.

Plenty of jobs will have shitty hours and bosses. I loathe my job and the upper management currently... and I'm making crap money with no real weekends, and my back is killing me every day when I get home.

Mike

User avatar
Skool
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:26 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby Skool » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:58 pm

mike0331 wrote:It is insanely expensive... but it seems like a lot of money is going around. Free rides are far from unheard of, even at decent schools with good local placement.

As was mentioned I think there is some sample bias going on. People who are polarized one way or the other are going to go online and post about their outstanding/terrible experience. Granted I'm a 0L, but I know quite a few lawyers.

Plenty of jobs will have shitty hours and bosses. I loathe my job and the upper management currently... and I'm making crap money with no real weekends, and my back is killing me every day when I get home.

Mike
I've worked some crappy blue collar jobs (the kind of job where you had to wake up at 3:15am to clock in at 3:45-4:00 to do do some tough ass manual labor). The stress of that job was just nothing like working on trial/trial prep for 5 months. Crappy hours doesn't really capture the full picture. It was like trying to drink out of a firehose for 16 hours a day with no relief. It was high stakes and high pressure ("oh you just put exhibit 3 in the folder for exhibit 4? Kill yourself.") You have little control over your own schedule ("Oh you want to go see that play with your girlfriend. The Court just decided it wants all the exhibits on your 2000 item exhibit list printed and in chambers tomorrow. Need you to get that done and QC'd ASAP"). And when you're around people who have been living this way for months, it's hard for anyone to be nice.

On top of that, there are so many people fighting for the opportunities you want and need to advance. ("Oh you want to take a deposition? See that knife over there? Go fight jim to the death and maybe I'll let you have it. Actually, this deposition is too important for you. Even though you killed Jim, I think I should take it.") You probably don't have to fight to stay in your crappy job. Also, if you lose your crappy job, the stakes probably won't be life ruining like losing big law before your debt is paid off could be.

And then your trial/project ends and it's a game of musical chairs to internally hustle and find work on a new matter before you're idle for too long.

It's not just "hours". It's pace and environment and stakes. I've been lucky to work on cases that I really care about. But fighting stress on stress on stress for shit you don't even care about would suck.

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby fats provolone » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:46 pm

to add to that, it's not just stakes. I've worked in much higher stakes jobs before. it's stressful but it's fine.

it's that the stakes are actually pretty low but are treated like a nuclear missile crisis at all times

mike0331
Posts: 447
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby mike0331 » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:04 pm

Skool wrote:
mike0331 wrote:It is insanely expensive... but it seems like a lot of money is going around. Free rides are far from unheard of, even at decent schools with good local placement.

As was mentioned I think there is some sample bias going on. People who are polarized one way or the other are going to go online and post about their outstanding/terrible experience. Granted I'm a 0L, but I know quite a few lawyers.

Plenty of jobs will have shitty hours and bosses. I loathe my job and the upper management currently... and I'm making crap money with no real weekends, and my back is killing me every day when I get home.

Mike
I've worked some crappy blue collar jobs (the kind of job where you had to wake up at 3:15am to clock in at 3:45-4:00 to do do some tough ass manual labor). The stress of that job was just nothing like working on trial/trial prep for 5 months. Crappy hours doesn't really capture the full picture. It was like trying to drink out of a firehose for 16 hours a day with no relief. It was high stakes and high pressure ("oh you just put exhibit 3 in the folder for exhibit 4? Kill yourself.") You have little control over your own schedule ("Oh you want to go see that play with your girlfriend. The Court just decided it wants all the exhibits on your 2000 item exhibit list printed and in chambers tomorrow. Need you to get that done and QC'd ASAP"). And when you're around people who have been living this way for months, it's hard for anyone to be nice.

On top of that, there are so many people fighting for the opportunities you want and need to advance. ("Oh you want to take a deposition? See that knife over there? Go fight jim to the death and maybe I'll let you have it. Actually, this deposition is too important for you. Even though you killed Jim, I think I should take it.") You probably don't have to fight to stay in your crappy job. Also, if you lose your crappy job, the stakes probably won't be life ruining like losing big law before your debt is paid off could be.

And then your trial/project ends and it's a game of musical chairs to internally hustle and find work on a new matter before you're idle for too long.

It's not just "hours". It's pace and environment and stakes. I've been lucky to work on cases that I really care about. But fighting stress on stress on stress for shit you don't even care about would suck.


Yeah that doesn't sound all that fun. On the plus side I don't expect to have debt, and have virtually no aspiration for "big law." I've worked high stress jobs in the .mil, but I've never done anything quite as fulfilling since that.

But you're right, I can just leave and it won't effect shit at my current job. In fact the other day the district manager tried to hint that he could be a huge asshole and bla bla bla... I told him I could walk out. It is nice being a position where you don't have to play their games.

Mike

User avatar
Skool
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:26 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby Skool » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:11 pm

mike0331 wrote:Yeah that doesn't sound all that fun. On the plus side I don't expect to have debt, and have virtually no aspiration for "big law."
Just to clarify my experience, I've never worked in big law as an attorney. I've only worked as a paralegal in PI impact litigation firms run by biglaw refugees.

I've still dealt with litigation stress, seen attorneys forced out against their will, and fighting with each other for opportunities to get more experience/preferred assignments.

I'm guessing it's even worse in Biglaw.

User avatar
fats provolone
Posts: 7125
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:44 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby fats provolone » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:14 pm

it's an artifact of an oversaturated profession.

User avatar
Skool
Posts: 1028
Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:26 pm

Re: "Don't go to law school"

Postby Skool » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:25 pm

Yeah, so even if you don't want biglaw, you should expect this artifact to follow you for the foreseeable future.

I'm from the east coast, but I think Seattle is an awesome city and it appeals to my SO personally and professionally. We could see ourselves living there long-term, but I have zero ties. Because she works in a legitimate profession, she'd probably have no trouble getting a job there if she wanted it. I have a friend in nursing who literally packed her bags and drove across the country and found a solid job there within a month.

Almost impossible for an attorney to do. I think the limited mobility (as a function of over-saturation) is the thing I hate the most about the profession.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: kugs, whsy and 3 guests