Is law school a good choice for me?

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NotMittRomney

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Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby NotMittRomney » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:53 pm

I NEED HELP DECIDING IF LAW SCHOOL IS A GOOD CHOICE FOR ME -

I'm currently a procurement agent at the largest aerospace company in the world (have been for just 1 month). I've always planned to attend law school, just wanted to earn some money and gain practical/related (government contracts, etc) experience before I go. I plan to go in two years. However, I do not want to attend law school if I cannot make it in Midwest, BigLaw. Think Bryan Cave or Polsinelli in Kansas City or St. Louis (starting salaries are $120ish). Or the DOJ (have 1 contact at the DOJ, 4 contacts in Midwest Big Law) I have a 3.82 GPA from a small liberal arts college in the Midwest, and all of my practice LSAT's (simulated real test conditions) are high 160's but I absolutely cannot get higher than a 168.

In my current job, I make $50k (excellent benefits, 401k match). I can't decide if I should stick it out for 10 years at my current job, where I will then make $120k, or if I should go to law school. My current company will also pay for me to get up to two Masters degrees at no expense to me (but NOT a law degree).

Essentially, if I stay put, I'm set. But I KNOW, deep down, that I've always wanted to be a lawyer. Everything I read about law school and becoming a lawyer is so discouraging/depressing. It has made me so self concsious about whether I'm smart enough to go to law school. That is my question, am I the student that should still go because I'll reap the benefits, or the fool who should not go?

cavalier1138

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Re: Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:02 pm

If you want to be a lawyer, go to law school. But if your only goals are breaking in to insular biglaw markets or highly competitive federal jobs, then you need to aim for a high LSAT or get more easily achievable goals.

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UVA2B

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Re: Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby UVA2B » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:05 pm

Why do you think you want to be an attorney, and why would being a Midwest Biglaw attorney or DOJ attorney be the only way you'd enjoy being an attorney?

It seems like you're basing this entirely on salaries, which is a consideration, but can't be THE ONLY consideration.

What do you imagine being an attorney is like that originally sounded appealing to you? Do you like your current job enough that you'd be happy staying in it?

It's impossible to tell any one person law school is the right/wrong decision for them personally, but you absolutely need to amplify why you think you want to be an attorney and what you hope to get out of becoming an attorney.

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Ferrisjso

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Re: Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby Ferrisjso » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:16 pm

NotMittRomney wrote:I NEED HELP DECIDING IF LAW SCHOOL IS A GOOD CHOICE FOR ME -

I'm currently a procurement agent at the largest aerospace company in the world (have been for just 1 month). I've always planned to attend law school, just wanted to earn some money and gain practical/related (government contracts, etc) experience before I go. I plan to go in two years. However, I do not want to attend law school if I cannot make it in Midwest, BigLaw. Think Bryan Cave or Polsinelli in Kansas City or St. Louis (starting salaries are $120ish). Or the DOJ (have 1 contact at the DOJ, 4 contacts in Midwest Big Law) I have a 3.82 GPA from a small liberal arts college in the Midwest, and all of my practice LSAT's (simulated real test conditions) are high 160's but I absolutely cannot get higher than a 168.

In my current job, I make $50k (excellent benefits, 401k match). I can't decide if I should stick it out for 10 years at my current job, where I will then make $120k, or if I should go to law school. My current company will also pay for me to get up to two Masters degrees at no expense to me (but NOT a law degree).

Essentially, if I stay put, I'm set. But I KNOW, deep down, that I've always wanted to be a lawyer. Everything I read about law school and becoming a lawyer is so discouraging/depressing. It has made me so self concsious about whether I'm smart enough to go to law school. That is my question, am I the student that should still go because I'll reap the benefits, or the fool who should not go?


You're numbers will get you(regardless of your LSAT if you're in the 160s) into almost all the law schools. Go to the best school you can attend in the region you want to practice in if the price makes sense. I'm not going to tell you if LS is the right or wrong choice for you just know that the people on here tend to lean towards saying it's the wrong choice unless you give them specific answers to all their questions and you should not make the choice not to go SOLELY based on TLS advice because it's always going to be biased towards not going.

cavalier1138

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Re: Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:18 pm

Ferrisjso wrote:You're numbers will get you(regardless of your LSAT if you're in the 160s) into almost all the law schools. Go to the best school you can attend in the region you want to practice in if the price makes sense. I'm not going to tell you if LS is the right or wrong choice for you just know that the people on here tend to lean towards saying it's the wrong choice unless you give them specific answers to all their questions and you should not make the choice not to go SOLELY based on TLS advice because it's always going to be biased towards not going.


Why won't you be satisfied with making dumb decisions about your own life? Must you also give dumb advice to other people?

NotMittRomney

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Re: Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby NotMittRomney » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:20 pm

UVA2B wrote:Why do you think you want to be an attorney, and why would being a Midwest Biglaw attorney or DOJ attorney be the only way you'd enjoy being an attorney?

It seems like you're basing this entirely on salaries, which is a consideration, but can't be THE ONLY consideration.

What do you imagine being an attorney is like that originally sounded appealing to you? Do you like your current job enough that you'd be happy staying in it?

It's impossible to tell any one person law school is the right/wrong decision for them personally, but you absolutely need to amplify why you think you want to be an attorney and what you hope to get out of becoming an attorney.


UVA2B - thank you for asking me the tough questions. I want to be an attorney, specifically a litigator, because the fundamental skills are what I enjoy doing the most (reading, writing, negotiating, professional argumentation). Being a Midwest BigLaw attorney or a DOJ attorney probably aren't the ONLY way. I think I would still be happy as an attorney, but I've set those two as my goals because I do not want to live a life making between $50k-$70k. I come from a low income family (less than 35k for a family of four at some times). I have worked hard to get where I am, and the possibility of a life with a six figure salary is now very easy for me in the business realm. That's why salary is important, because in a way it represents a culmination of the climb that I've endured and being valued for my work. Yet, at the same time, I feel that because of my background, I've thought about money my whole life and have a tendency to ignore things that will make me happy if I can make money doing something else (i.e. ignore my dream to be a lawyer because I have a financially safe route right in front of me).

What initially appealed me was the idea, the flash, the suits, etc. But I've combed through many TLS forums and met enough lawyers that have convinced me those are stupid reasons. But after that, I began a long Mock Trial career (yes I know, still nothing like being a real attorney), that got my foot in the door, and made me really think about it. Now I want it because I believe the day to day activities highlight my strengths, because I enjoy the intellectual rigor. And while I do believe I could be happy at my current company, I don't believe it would be for the right reasons. I think I'd be in it for the eventually very-high salary.

chicagoburger

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Re: Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby chicagoburger » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:39 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Ferrisjso wrote:You're numbers will get you(regardless of your LSAT if you're in the 160s) into almost all the law schools. Go to the best school you can attend in the region you want to practice in if the price makes sense. I'm not going to tell you if LS is the right or wrong choice for you just know that the people on here tend to lean towards saying it's the wrong choice unless you give them specific answers to all their questions and you should not make the choice not to go SOLELY based on TLS advice because it's always going to be biased towards not going.


Why won't you be satisfied with making dumb decisions about your own life? Must you also give dumb advice to other people?


How about you give any real advice instead of being a bitchy dog?

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:45 pm

chicagoburger wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Ferrisjso wrote:You're numbers will get you(regardless of your LSAT if you're in the 160s) into almost all the law schools. Go to the best school you can attend in the region you want to practice in if the price makes sense. I'm not going to tell you if LS is the right or wrong choice for you just know that the people on here tend to lean towards saying it's the wrong choice unless you give them specific answers to all their questions and you should not make the choice not to go SOLELY based on TLS advice because it's always going to be biased towards not going.


Why won't you be satisfied with making dumb decisions about your own life? Must you also give dumb advice to other people?


How about you give any real advice instead of being a bitchy dog?

People STOP derailing the OP's thread.

Npret

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Re: Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby Npret » Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:51 pm

No. OP you are in a good spot. Stay there.
Edit to add: the question isn't whether you are smart enough for law school. Law school is a professional school that gets you a job. Why would you waste 3 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars if you are so concerned with getting ahead in life financially.
You actually sound prestige obsessed and as if you need to go to law school to prove something to yourself. Find another way to deal with that.

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UVA2B

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Re: Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby UVA2B » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:27 pm

NotMittRomney wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Why do you think you want to be an attorney, and why would being a Midwest Biglaw attorney or DOJ attorney be the only way you'd enjoy being an attorney?

It seems like you're basing this entirely on salaries, which is a consideration, but can't be THE ONLY consideration.

What do you imagine being an attorney is like that originally sounded appealing to you? Do you like your current job enough that you'd be happy staying in it?

It's impossible to tell any one person law school is the right/wrong decision for them personally, but you absolutely need to amplify why you think you want to be an attorney and what you hope to get out of becoming an attorney.


UVA2B - thank you for asking me the tough questions. I want to be an attorney, specifically a litigator, because the fundamental skills are what I enjoy doing the most (reading, writing, negotiating, professional argumentation). Being a Midwest BigLaw attorney or a DOJ attorney probably aren't the ONLY way. I think I would still be happy as an attorney, but I've set those two as my goals because I do not want to live a life making between $50k-$70k. I come from a low income family (less than 35k for a family of four at some times). I have worked hard to get where I am, and the possibility of a life with a six figure salary is now very easy for me in the business realm. That's why salary is important, because in a way it represents a culmination of the climb that I've endured and being valued for my work. Yet, at the same time, I feel that because of my background, I've thought about money my whole life and have a tendency to ignore things that will make me happy if I can make money doing something else (i.e. ignore my dream to be a lawyer because I have a financially safe route right in front of me).

What initially appealed me was the idea, the flash, the suits, etc. But I've combed through many TLS forums and met enough lawyers that have convinced me those are stupid reasons. But after that, I began a long Mock Trial career (yes I know, still nothing like being a real attorney), that got my foot in the door, and made me really think about it. Now I want it because I believe the day to day activities highlight my strengths, because I enjoy the intellectual rigor. And while I do believe I could be happy at my current company, I don't believe it would be for the right reasons. I think I'd be in it for the eventually very-high salary.


Take the LSAT, and see how you do. If you can get a high 160s or 170s LSAT, consider applying just to see what options you would have. Try to stay objective in making this decision, because you're likely going to feel an impulse of excitement because really good schools want you to join their class.

You've demonstrated some pretty common reasons for wanting to go to law school, which is probably good and bad. Good because you're at least thinking about why law school is for you, but bad because those are very common reasons for wanting to go to law school without much understanding of the actual practice of law.

I'd recommend you set up informational interviews with people who do the type of work you think you'd enjoy to get a feel for the actual profession. You're not going to get much reliable information in an anonymous internet forum like this that is responsive to your particular circumstances. Meeting with professionals in the area of law and market you want will be much more informative than any of us can be. Plus they can comment on your particular reasons for law school more accurately because there's probably less likely to be information loss in that conversation.

cavalier1138

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Re: Is law school a good choice for me?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:29 am

NotMittRomney wrote:UVA2B - thank you for asking me the tough questions. I want to be an attorney, specifically a litigator, because the fundamental skills are what I enjoy doing the most (reading, writing, negotiating, professional argumentation). Being a Midwest BigLaw attorney or a DOJ attorney probably aren't the ONLY way. I think I would still be happy as an attorney, but I've set those two as my goals because I do not want to live a life making between $50k-$70k. I come from a low income family (less than 35k for a family of four at some times). I have worked hard to get where I am, and the possibility of a life with a six figure salary is now very easy for me in the business realm. That's why salary is important, because in a way it represents a culmination of the climb that I've endured and being valued for my work. Yet, at the same time, I feel that because of my background, I've thought about money my whole life and have a tendency to ignore things that will make me happy if I can make money doing something else (i.e. ignore my dream to be a lawyer because I have a financially safe route right in front of me).


Out of curiosity, why the focus on the Midwest? The starting salaries for biglaw associates are higher in other regions.



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