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.
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.