Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

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dixiecup

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby dixiecup » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:07 pm

BarelyConcealedRage wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:Join the military. You can be an officer, get paid fine, get benefits, have people thank you all the time, etc. Like, the military sucks, but if you’re really just at wit’s end.

Medically ineligible for the military unfortunately.

I also don't really want to do any humanities grad school program for sure. Graduate school is for professional studies, not partying. I got the partying out of my system in undergrad. I need a job that pays money.


You want to read something funny? 45% of people who got a worthless master's in arts degree said it was worth it. What was that percentage for a "professional" JD that "pays money?"" 23%. https://news.gallup.com/poll/227039/few ... hem%20Well

Any way, as I wrote before, you get one free government loan-funded graduate degree. Use it well.

BarelyConcealedRage

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby BarelyConcealedRage » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:19 pm

dixiecup wrote:
BarelyConcealedRage wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:Join the military. You can be an officer, get paid fine, get benefits, have people thank you all the time, etc. Like, the military sucks, but if you’re really just at wit’s end.

Medically ineligible for the military unfortunately.

I also don't really want to do any humanities grad school program for sure. Graduate school is for professional studies, not partying. I got the partying out of my system in undergrad. I need a job that pays money.


You want to read something funny? 45% of people who got a worthless master's in arts degree said it was worth it. What was that percentage for a "professional" JD that "pays money?"" 23%. https://news.gallup.com/poll/227039/few ... hem%20Well

Any way, as I wrote before, you get one free government loan-funded graduate degree. Use it well.


Probably because that JD came from a TTT or similar, or they went six figures in debt for a 60k a year job. Of course that isn't worth it.

You're basically telling me to mortgage my future and just have my life end at like 25.

TrustMeImALawStudent

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby TrustMeImALawStudent » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:28 pm

BarelyConcealedRage wrote:If you guy hate yourselves so much why didn't you go to medical school or engineering or something that makes sense but also pays money?

It makes me seriously question law school. I just don't see much of a chance of social mobility outside Big Law though since I missed out on the STEM train.


We all didn't go to med school for the same reason you state: we missed out on the STEM train.

I also have friends in STEM fields who hate their jobs and quit to become teachers.

Capitalism sucks and everything is a rat race. Very few people who work long hours find the happiness they seek, no matter what field they are in. It's rare.

Also, I'd say if you are having these thoughts now you should save yourself some money and avoid law school. I'm in it and feel trapped.

dixiecup

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby dixiecup » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:32 pm

BarelyConcealedRage wrote:
Probably because that JD came from a TTT or similar, or they went six figures in debt for a 60k a year job. Of course that isn't worth it.

You're basically telling me to mortgage my future and just have my life end at like 25.


I'm not telling you to get a bs master's in fine arts degree, just pointing out even that degree has much more graduate satisfaction than law. I couldn't care less what you do.

BarelyConcealedRage

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby BarelyConcealedRage » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:44 pm

dixiecup wrote:
BarelyConcealedRage wrote:
Probably because that JD came from a TTT or similar, or they went six figures in debt for a 60k a year job. Of course that isn't worth it.

You're basically telling me to mortgage my future and just have my life end at like 25.


I'm not telling you to get a bs master's in fine arts degree, just pointing out even that degree has much more graduate satisfaction than law. I couldn't care less what you do.

But what does that graduate satisfaction mean? There are a lot of ways to get a meaningless nonsense graduate school degree without paying too much. I mean I probably could. And considering these degrees aren't too difficult, unless we're talking real PhD's, and people probably enter them with few expectations - no wonder it's higher.

I think a lot more people go into law school with stars in their eyes which is what leads to such misery - especially since, unlike medical school, there is a law school someplace, somewhere that will accept you.

dixiecup

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby dixiecup » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:53 pm

BarelyConcealedRage wrote:But what does that graduate satisfaction mean? . . . I think a lot more people go into law school with stars in their eyes


It means that, with hindsight, they do not regret pursuing the degree. I don't think anyone goes to law schools with stars in their eyes. It's hard to miss all the websites and anecdotes warning applicants away. Any way, again good luck.

Veil of Ignorance

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:26 am

BlackAndOrange84 wrote:
dixiecup wrote:I hear what you're saying OP. You have few options now and want to try something else. Indeed, there isn't much risk to law school. You can fund the entire three years on federally guaranteed PAYE loans that you'll never have to pay back if you don't earn money (and don't have a large inheritance coming your way). At worst, it's a 3 year government funded vacation and, at best, it could turn into something great for you.

But even looking at it this way, I'd consider other graduate programs too. One of the coolest groups of people I knew were the english literature graduate students in my college. I was seriously jealous of their lives, good looking, pleasant people who partied and read and discussed literature all day. There are so many other cool graduate programs that the government will pay for, so be careful because you don't get to make this decision twice (I assume there's SOME cap on student loans.)


It’s harder to get a tenure track job in the humanities than a lawyering job from a T4 shithole. Sure, being a grad student is cool, but decades of underemployment working as an adjunct for maybe $25k with no benefits or becoming an overeducated high school teacher is not worth it.

I mean it's no worse than being a regular high school teacher. And most humanities PhD provide full funding and health care. Plus if you CAN land a tenure-track jobs it's sweet. I honestly don't know why people shit on the idea of becoming a prof so much.

Veil of Ignorance

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:30 am

dixiecup wrote:
BarelyConcealedRage wrote:
Probably because that JD came from a TTT or similar, or they went six figures in debt for a 60k a year job. Of course that isn't worth it.

You're basically telling me to mortgage my future and just have my life end at like 25.


I'm not telling you to get a bs master's in fine arts degree, just pointing out even that degree has much more graduate satisfaction than law. I couldn't care less what you do.

Wait why do you think that a graduate degree in literature is not-bs, but an MFA degree in creative writing is bs?

Veil of Ignorance

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:33 am

PhD programs are fuckin hard. Getting into then graduating from the PhD program in Philosophy at Harvard is much more difficult than doing so at the Law School. I'm saying that as someone who is going to HLS and would never have gotten in to the Philosophy program. Don't insult "worthless" degrees.

nixy

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby nixy » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:25 am

Veil of Ignorance wrote:
BlackAndOrange84 wrote:
dixiecup wrote:I hear what you're saying OP. You have few options now and want to try something else. Indeed, there isn't much risk to law school. You can fund the entire three years on federally guaranteed PAYE loans that you'll never have to pay back if you don't earn money (and don't have a large inheritance coming your way). At worst, it's a 3 year government funded vacation and, at best, it could turn into something great for you.

But even looking at it this way, I'd consider other graduate programs too. One of the coolest groups of people I knew were the english literature graduate students in my college. I was seriously jealous of their lives, good looking, pleasant people who partied and read and discussed literature all day. There are so many other cool graduate programs that the government will pay for, so be careful because you don't get to make this decision twice (I assume there's SOME cap on student loans.)


It’s harder to get a tenure track job in the humanities than a lawyering job from a T4 shithole. Sure, being a grad student is cool, but decades of underemployment working as an adjunct for maybe $25k with no benefits or becoming an overeducated high school teacher is not worth it.

I mean it's no worse than being a regular high school teacher. And most humanities PhD provide full funding and health care. Plus if you CAN land a tenure-track jobs it's sweet. I honestly don't know why people shit on the idea of becoming a prof so much.

Because it is EXTREMELY unlikely to happen, higher ed is a hugely dysfunctional industry, and getting a PhD and trying to get a TT job basically requires the kind of commitment that completely fucks you over for trying to get any other kind of job in the future, because you don’t appear to employers to have any kind of transferable skills and they have no idea what to do with a PhD.

Sure, you get (crappy) funding in academia, so you can (barely) afford to live for the 6+ years it will take you to get the degree, and you don’t come out with quite as much debt as in law school (but many people I know still had some debt), but you are way worse off for everything else if you don’t get the TT job, and even if you do, a lot of TT jobs are fairly awful.

BlackAndOrange84

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby BlackAndOrange84 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:44 am

nixy wrote:
Veil of Ignorance wrote:
BlackAndOrange84 wrote:
dixiecup wrote:I hear what you're saying OP. You have few options now and want to try something else. Indeed, there isn't much risk to law school. You can fund the entire three years on federally guaranteed PAYE loans that you'll never have to pay back if you don't earn money (and don't have a large inheritance coming your way). At worst, it's a 3 year government funded vacation and, at best, it could turn into something great for you.

But even looking at it this way, I'd consider other graduate programs too. One of the coolest groups of people I knew were the english literature graduate students in my college. I was seriously jealous of their lives, good looking, pleasant people who partied and read and discussed literature all day. There are so many other cool graduate programs that the government will pay for, so be careful because you don't get to make this decision twice (I assume there's SOME cap on student loans.)


It’s harder to get a tenure track job in the humanities than a lawyering job from a T4 shithole. Sure, being a grad student is cool, but decades of underemployment working as an adjunct for maybe $25k with no benefits or becoming an overeducated high school teacher is not worth it.

I mean it's no worse than being a regular high school teacher. And most humanities PhD provide full funding and health care. Plus if you CAN land a tenure-track jobs it's sweet. I honestly don't know why people shit on the idea of becoming a prof so much.

Because it is EXTREMELY unlikely to happen, higher ed is a hugely dysfunctional industry, and getting a PhD and trying to get a TT job basically requires the kind of commitment that completely fucks you over for trying to get any other kind of job in the future, because you don’t appear to employers to have any kind of transferable skills and they have no idea what to do with a PhD.

Sure, you get (crappy) funding in academia, so you can (barely) afford to live for the 6+ years it will take you to get the degree, and you don’t come out with quite as much debt as in law school (but many people I know still had some debt), but you are way worse off for everything else if you don’t get the TT job, and even if you do, a lot of TT jobs are fairly awful.


This. You’re basically guaranteed to not get a TT job unless you go to one of a few top programs, which are incredibly competitive to get into. Also, while being a grad student may look fun and cool to an outsider, don’t underestimate the seriously hard work it takes to get fluent in your chosen niche and how that can transform something that was a love into work.

dixiecup

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby dixiecup » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:13 am

Veil of Ignorance wrote:PhD programs are fuckin hard. Getting into then graduating from the PhD program in Philosophy at Harvard is much more difficult than doing so at the Law School. I'm saying that as someone who is going to HLS and would never have gotten in to the Philosophy program. Don't insult "worthless" degrees.


I didn't insult it. I said it had much higher graduate satisfaction than a law degree. It says something that despite all of the difficulties you wrote, people look back on such degrees with fondness.

dixiecup

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby dixiecup » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:29 am

BlackAndOrange84 wrote:Also, while being a grad student may look fun and cool to an outsider, don’t underestimate the seriously hard work it takes to get fluent in your chosen niche and how that can transform something that was a love into work.


I wonder if law is the only degree people pursue for money, and not because they love the field of study.

Hutz_and_Goodman

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:04 am

I genuinely enjoy practicing law. I’m a rising fourth year in big law. I can confirm that most people do not love it although in general most people do not enjoy their profession. I find legal strategy intellectually challenging, I like writing and research, and I like the competitiveness of litigation. I have always enjoyed competitive strategy games including poker.

I think what contributes to people not enjoying the law are: (i) debt (people feeling they have no choice but to continue to practice/making a big salary and still renting with roommates); (ii) prestige/money (it is difficult to change careers to something with similar money/prestige); (iii) a lot of people go to law school because they aren’t sure what to do next and would like to make a lot of money. This is very likely to lead to unhappiness and I would strongly recommend being a paralegal or otherwise getting exposure to what lawyers actually do before attending law school.

blaineco

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby blaineco » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:07 am

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I genuinely enjoy practicing law. I’m a rising fourth year in big law. I can confirm that most people do not love it although in general most people do not enjoy their profession. I find legal strategy intellectually challenging, I like writing and research, and I like the competitiveness of litigation. I have always enjoyed competitive strategy games including poker.

I think what contributes to people not enjoying the law are: (i) debt (people feeling they have no choice but to continue to practice/making a big salary and still renting with roommates); (ii) prestige/money (it is difficult to change careers to something with similar money/prestige); (iii) a lot of people go to law school because they aren’t sure what to do next and would like to make a lot of money. This is very likely to lead to unhappiness and I would strongly recommend being a paralegal or otherwise getting exposure to what lawyers actually do before attending law school.

I'm about to finish up an engineering UG degree and I'll be going to law school afterwards. I found that, unlike the intellectual rigor of engineering school, actually working as an engineer is noncompetitive, intellectually boring, and lacking anything that resembled inherent value. The money is good for coming out of UG but biglaw seems like the more demanding/stressful/well-paying option. Can anyone else attest to the challenging nature of biglaw because if I'm signing up for basically the same jobs I've worked as an engineer, I'll save the 3 years and take a different route.

dixiecup

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby dixiecup » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:53 pm

blaineco wrote:I'm about to finish up an engineering UG degree and I'll be going to law school afterwards. I found that, unlike the intellectual rigor of engineering school, actually working as an engineer is noncompetitive, intellectually boring, and lacking anything that resembled inherent value.


How does one move into a harder and more intellectually stimulating area of engineering? It's odd to hear you say that designing products that sell, because buyers want them, lacks "inherent value." I'm sure you've seen the papers arguing that lawyers add little economic value.

The closest you'll get to engineering in biglaw is IP law. To see if you'll like it, ask yourself this: Would you rather be the person who invented something, or the lawyer who defends that invention?

blaineco

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby blaineco » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:37 pm

dixiecup wrote:
blaineco wrote:I'm about to finish up an engineering UG degree and I'll be going to law school afterwards. I found that, unlike the intellectual rigor of engineering school, actually working as an engineer is noncompetitive, intellectually boring, and lacking anything that resembled inherent value.


How does one move into a harder and more intellectually stimulating area of engineering? It's odd to hear you say that designing products that sell, because buyers want them, lacks "inherent value." I'm sure you've seen the papers arguing that lawyers add little economic value.

The closest you'll get to engineering in biglaw is IP law. To see if you'll like it, ask yourself this: Would you rather be the person who invented something, or the lawyer who defends that invention?

The only experiences I have had as an engineer have been immensely dissimilar to that of an inventor. While I'm sure that is an aspect of the market, the broad majority seems to be following procedures and making repairs. Truth be told, it feels like I could teach a high school student to do my job in a week. A little bit of background though, I'm in electrical engineering and, like most branches of engineering, I don't have a substantial programming background. Unfortunately this shuts a lot of doors for the software development and start-up realm.

dixiecup

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby dixiecup » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:43 pm

blaineco wrote:The only experiences I have had as an engineer have been immensely dissimilar to that of an inventor. While I'm sure that is an aspect of the market, the broad majority seems to be following procedures and making repairs. Truth be told, it feels like I could teach a high school student to do my job in a week. A little bit of background though, I'm in electrical engineering and, like most branches of engineering, I don't have a substantial programming background. Unfortunately this shuts a lot of doors for the software development and start-up realm.


I see. Well repairs done right can be hugely important too and, if you're bored, consider the harder engineering jobs. Any way, good luck with whatever you choose.

Staddle

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby Staddle » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:22 pm

The OP inquired whether there is anyone who likes being a lawyer. I think we need clarification: compared to what? Having worked in Biglaw for 35+ years, I can confirm that there are definitely high-paying jobs that I think I would have enjoyed more. They include: movie star, model, NBA player, NFL player, MLB player, professional tennis player, and founder of a company like Apple/Google/Microsoft. But I knew at a relatively early age that I lack the looks and/or skills for the first six, and I never had an idea that I thought was good enough to launch a business on. So I settled for being a lawyer. And yes, with some qualifications, I like it.

Being a lawyer is intellectually challenging; provides an opportunity for creativity; allows me to work with very talented colleagues and adversaries; provides opportunities for me to train younger lawyers and lawyers-to-be, including working as an adjunct at a local law school; has resulted in very good money; has provided substantial freedom to take on cases that interest me or are important to me, including pro bono cases; and frequently, gives a lot of flexibility regarding how I organize my workload, including where I do my work. As the posters on this web site make clear, however, it is far from Nirvana. There is a lot of stress and constant pressure to perform at a high level. Job security in BigLaw is not high. It is very time-consuming. Clients and judges can be very demanding. And some people, including people that can influence my happiness, can be unpleasant and/or unfair.

But no job is going to be enjoyable all the time--there is a reason they call it work. For most people, the alternative to being a lawyer is not being a movie star, NBA player, NFL player, MLB player, or founder of a company like Apple/Google/Microsoft. It's things like being an engineer, doctor, businessperson, accountant, insurance salesman, real estate agent, military officer, teacher, pastor, college professor, journalist, small business owner, government worker, etc. So in deciding whether to become a lawyer, you need to evaluate your second best alternative. Mine was engineer. I decided for me--and I am confident that I was right--that I would be happier as a lawyer than an engineer.

I agree with the prevailing sentiment on this forum that law school is, for most people, a gamble. Even a T14 is not a guarantee to a lucrative, prestigious career. That was true 35 years ago when I was in school and is even more true today. I also agree that minimizing debt is extremely important, that some law schools are not worth attending, and that obtaining a position in BigLaw is very competitive (albeit with great variations in the level of competitiveness, depending on the law firm).

As a fairly recent newcomer to this forum, however, I find the levels of pessimism and cynicism to be higher than I would have expected. There are many successful lawyers in Big Law that did not attend a T14. And there are many happy, successful lawyers--particularly those who are entrepreneurial-- that never worked (or even considered working) in Big Law. There are happy, successful lawyers who work, for example, in suburban practices, prosecutor's offices, public defenders offices, government (federal, state and local), public interest organizations, in-house legal departments, etc. I would encourage almost anyone that thinks they have the skill set to be a good lawyer and a real passion to be a lawyer (and that is a minority of law students, in my estimation) to pursue the profession. Be reasonable; don't wrack up crazy debt; work hard in law school; understand you may not live the lifestyle after graduation that you would like, but go for it. On the other hand, I would strongly discourage law school for non-wealthy people who want to go because they don't know what else to do and they think law school seems fun, prestigious or a ticket to financial success.

Npret

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Re: Does anyone here actually enjoy being a lawyer?

Postby Npret » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:25 pm

The very last part of your statement is what I would emphasize.

If you find pessimism high here, it may be because you haven’t seen years of students borrowing their way to a degree because they see the salary offered in big law as their almost guaranteed future. It’s difficult to dissuade people.

Here is OP who has a homeless mother and sees debt and law school as the only option for the future. I personally think there is a large gap between those two things and possibly OP should explore them before going into law.



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