Investment Financial Advisor vs Lawyer

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lawdog97

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Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby lawdog97 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:12 pm

Hello all, could I please get some advice?

I graduated from a local college back in May 2019 with a BBA in marketing with a 3.5 GPA . I currently work as a financial/investment advisor in a city of about 100,000 in ETX. I have been fortunate to work at a laid back and flexible company that is paying for all of my licenses.

However, I have always wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid. I took the LSAT in Jan of 2019 and scored a 145 after a few weeks of studying. I did not apply in 2019. With my GPA and LSAT, I could get into some lower tier schools, (Loyola- NOLA, St Mary's, Miss. College) however, I have a lot of connections in my small town and would not mind coming back to practice law. I do like the idea of going to Loyola though.

So, my question is: what would you do if you were in my situation? Would you give up your dreams or retake the LSAT?

Thank you!

lawdog97

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby lawdog97 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:46 pm

I know I should probably retake the LSAT, but at work, I keep getting more responsibility on top of trying to build my book. I am nonstop from 7 AM to 9 PM most days. I have to take Sundays off for my sanity!

lawdog97

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Investment Financial Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby lawdog97 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:03 pm

Hello all, could I please get some advice?

I graduated from a local college back in May 2019 with a BBA in marketing with a 3.5 GPA . I currently work as a financial/investment advisor in a city of about 100,000 in ETX. I have been fortunate to work at a laid back and flexible company that is paying for all of my licenses.

However, I have always wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid. I took the LSAT in Jan of 2019 and scored a 145 after a few weeks of studying. I did not apply in 2019. With my GPA and LSAT, I could get into some lower tier schools, (Loyola- NOLA, St Mary's, Miss. College) however, I have a lot of connections in my small town and would not mind coming back to practice law. I do like the idea of going to Loyola though.

So, my question is: what would you do if you were in my situation? Would you give up your dreams or retake the LSAT?

Thank you!

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Investment Financial Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:36 pm

I would never give up your current job to be a lawyer, and, separately, I would never attend a law school that would accept a 3.5/145.

You should decisively address both problems before considering law school: do a lot of research into what the practice of law actually entails, and get a good enough LSAT score for UT-Austin or a T14. (There are schools ranked lower with decent-in-a-vacuum outcomes, but the average/typical outcome from those schools is quantitatively and qualitatively less desirable than your current career trajectory.)

lawdog97

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Re: Investment Financial Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby lawdog97 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:50 pm

LSAT Airbender:
Thank you for the reply. I would love to retake the LSAT, but I keep getting more piled on plate. Building up a book of business is a difficult task. However, my boss is 62 and wants to retire in about five years. We are the only two advisors at our firm.

However, I still think about being an attorney and would love to get a law degree, for myself, even if I end up advising again. To me it is accomplishing a major goal I have always wanted to have.

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dabigchina

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby dabigchina » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:01 pm

It sounds like you have a viable career that you like. I wouldn't give that up to do something that you may or may not like. Understood that this is a childhood dream for you, but the actual practice of law turns a lot of people off.

tyroneslothrop1

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:17 pm

You must retake the LSAT. 145 is a bad score. Even if you think you might want to go to a lower-ranked school, you still must retake the LSAT. Study hard and get the best score you can. Then you may get a scholarship. Law school is a huge investment of time and money and, like someone said, many people find practice boring and tedious and nothing like they imagined. Don't just go to a low-ranked school because it is the path of least resistance. Could be disastrous. You graduate with no job and $200,000 grad in debt.

lawdog97

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby lawdog97 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:19 pm

Thank you all for the replies.

In college, I worked as a runner at a law firm and I really enjoyed working there. The managing partner and I got along extremely well and he always answered my questions.

JOThompson

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby JOThompson » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:01 pm

Absolutely have to take the LSAT again. Try PowerScore self-study (assuming they are still published), my score went up about 10 points after a few months of studying.

If you are going to go to law school (especially if you can't get your score into the mid 160s), you need to keep your debt low as possible to make it financially viable. You don't want to regret a major career change and income loss. Lawyers, especially outside of the T14 graduates, don't make nearly as much money as most people think, particularly in southern and midwestern markets. I graduated from a school that's ranked usually in the T20 to T30, and it's been a struggle financially for many years. I had a full-ride scholarship and seven years later, I am still barely paying off the interest only on my loans. For the placement power of my school, I'd be really in trouble if I'd paid full tuition.The risk would be heightened from a T2 or T3 school.

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby JJM1330 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:09 pm

You should only go to law school if:

1. You really really really want to be a lawyer.
2. You are comfortable with the idea that you may struggle to find a job post-grad from those schools.
3. You are comfortable with the idea that you may make less money than you currently do being a lawyer (at least starting salary-wise)
4. You are comfortable sacrificing three years of your life, in which you will make close to zero income.

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papermateflair

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby papermateflair » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:04 pm

lawdog97 wrote:Thank you all for the replies.

In college, I worked as a runner at a law firm and I really enjoyed working there. The managing partner and I got along extremely well and he always answered my questions.


Liking one person at one law firm and a childhood dream are not enough reasons to become a lawyer with a 145 LSAT and take on (hundreds of) thousands of dollars in debt. What kind of job do you want to do as a lawyer? How much money do you want/need to make to make it worth it? Are you committed enough to your dream to go to law school part time while you continue to work? What appeals to you about being a lawyer - is it saying you're a lawyer (checking a box) or doing actual legal work? Is there a way you can get more legal experience - for example, working as a paralegal?

If I were in your situation and wasn't planning on retaking the LSAT, I wouldn't go to law school unless I had an undying passion for the law such that the only way I could be truly happy is by being a lawyer.

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Re: Investment Financial Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:25 pm

lawdog97 wrote:However, I still think about being an attorney and would love to get a law degree, for myself, even if I end up advising again. To me it is accomplishing a major goal I have always wanted to have.


You're a financial advisor. Imagine a client told you that they had always dreamed of setting $300k on fire and dancing around it in an ancient pagan ritual to summon a wealth god. They know that there's almost no chance the ritual will work, but it's always been their life's ambition to perform it. Would you tell them it was a financially sound idea?

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby lawdog97 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:39 pm

To answer your questions:

I enjoyed everything about working at a law firm. From the actual hands on work to saying I work at one. The attorneys I met were not well educated used-car salesmen types, but were good guys.

One of the reasons I want to be a lawyer is because I feel I was naturally born that way. As funny as it sounds, I just have never seen myself doing anything else. I honestly do not think I would every be happy doing anything else. I cannot really explain it in words (if you had the same feeling you would understand). The law is just piquant to me.

I love reading books by and about lawyers. Jeffrey Toobin's "The People vs OJ Simpson", for example, is such a fascinating book, not just for the case drama, but for the legal analysis and lawyering of the actual case. There are other similar books I enjoy about law and legal/political theory.

While I understand the financial ramifications of law school, I currently have no bachelors debt and have been saving up money like the dickens.

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nealric

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby nealric » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:49 pm

tyroneslothrop1 wrote:You must retake the LSAT. 145 is a bad score. Even if you think you might want to go to a lower-ranked school, you still must retake the LSAT. Study hard and get the best score you can. Then you may get a scholarship. Law school is a huge investment of time and money and, like someone said, many people find practice boring and tedious and nothing like they imagined. Don't just go to a low-ranked school because it is the path of least resistance. Could be disastrous. You graduate with no job and $200,000 grad in debt.


OP doesn't have to retake. The other option is just to continue with their current career. But yet, if OP is fixated on law, sticking with a 145 is not a viable option. Any school that would have you with that score likely isn't worth attending.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Investment Financial Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:13 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
lawdog97 wrote:However, I still think about being an attorney and would love to get a law degree, for myself, even if I end up advising again. To me it is accomplishing a major goal I have always wanted to have.


You're a financial advisor. Imagine a client told you that they had always dreamed of setting $300k on fire and dancing around it in an ancient pagan ritual to summon a wealth god. They know that there's almost no chance the ritual will work, but it's always been their life's ambition to perform it. Would you tell them it was a financially sound idea?


To put it another way, climbing Mount Everest would cost about as much, take about as long, and do more for your career prospects (by not actively making them worse).

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby patent_guy » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:39 pm

lawdog97 wrote:To answer your questions:

I enjoyed everything about working at a law firm. From the actual hands on work to saying I work at one. The attorneys I met were not well educated used-car salesmen types, but were good guys.

One of the reasons I want to be a lawyer is because I feel I was naturally born that way. As funny as it sounds, I just have never seen myself doing anything else. I honestly do not think I would every be happy doing anything else. I cannot really explain it in words (if you had the same feeling you would understand). The law is just piquant to me.

I love reading books by and about lawyers. Jeffrey Toobin's "The People vs OJ Simpson", for example, is such a fascinating book, not just for the case drama, but for the legal analysis and lawyering of the actual case. There are other similar books I enjoy about law and legal/political theory.

While I understand the financial ramifications of law school, I currently have no bachelors debt and have been saving up money like the dickens.


I would advise you not to go to law school. Frankly, none of these are good reasons and they all sound like you have built up a mythical image of “being a lawyer” and how great it is. It’s not great.

I suspect that your mind is already made up though, so 1. study study study and 2. retake to get some scholarship money at a good school. Please don’t take out loans to go to any of the schools you mentioned.

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papermateflair

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby papermateflair » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:18 pm

OP, have you looked through the "day in the life" thread? I wonder if that would help you learn a little more about what legal practice looks like in reality (it isn't really like what you see in books about the legal profession, especially because those books tend to be about significant court cases, and they certainly don't describe what it's like to be a junior lawyer). Remember, those books are about THE BIGGEST CASE that lawyer ever worked on (when written by the actual lawyers on the case - Jeffrey Toobin wasn't involved in the OJ case) - not necessarily what their day to day life was like. I appreciate a good legal book or podcast as much as the next person, but it isn't remotely what my daily practice is like.

I would also encourage you to spend more time talking to actual lawyers. Once you have a sense of the type of practice you would like to be in (litigation?), then look at the qualifications of folks who have those jobs - particularly people who have those jobs who are closer to your age. If you notice patterns about their qualifications (say, they all went to a top 50 law school, or the best law school in their area), then you know what schools you should be working towards.

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby JOThompson » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:45 pm

OP, I sent you a detailed PM.

In addition to all the good advice above, would recommend that you also job shadow a variety of lawyers. May be worth volunteering for legal aid or a clinic if you can as well. Law is really a grind, especially in entry-level positions. Very little of it is glamorous. I am seven years out of school and still basically do grunt work that more senior attorneys can't be bothered with. This somewhat harsh reality is even true if you have a job that takes you to court and trial most days of the week. There's a lot of repetition and monotony, and it is often a thankless job.

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby PeanutsNJam » Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:30 pm

If OP has connections in his small town and all he wants to do is work there, going to a random school in the area is fine, just make sure you go for free, which would require you to at least get maybe 10 more points on the LSAT?

Definitely don't go with anywhere with a 145.

lawdog97

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby lawdog97 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:19 pm

I will look at the "day in the life" thread.

I am very good friends with a solo litigator in my city, him and I work out of the same coffee shop. I need to sit and ask him questions.

I also read Robert Shapiro's book as well as John Ashcroft's, which gave me an idea. There is also a podcast I like entitled "Lawyer 2 Lawyer" where a few lawyers discuss the legal ramifications of hot topic issues.

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby LBJ's Hair » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:00 am

I sorta disagree with the takes in the thread that OP shouldn't go because s/he read books about criminal trials that sound cool and actually lawyers do dumb boring stuff.

Like, OP could *do* criminal law? As a DA in a Texas town, or PD, or whatever? I have high school friends who have done multiple trials 2 years after graduating - DUIs, but w/e . If you want criminal work and you're comfortable living in a non-metro area like, it's.... available.

The problem is the $$$ - OP, you will ruin your life if you take out $200K in student loans to get a job as a Texas DA making $55K a year.

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nealric

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Re: Investment Financial Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby nealric » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:20 pm

This thread is already posted in legal employment. Please do not post duplicate threads. The two have been merged.

lawdog97

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Re: Investment Financial Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby lawdog97 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:42 pm

Thank you all for the feedback.

In my current job, my boss and I are the only advisors in our firm. He is 63 and wants to retire in a few years. I am 22. In my small city, I have built many business connections: I am on the symphony board of directors, a development committee, and a plethora of business contacts.

I do enjoy my job and playing the stock market. However, law school is a dream.

I am also looking at online MBA programs- LSU has a good one for $34,000 (the entire program). A hell of a lot less than $54,000 for Loyla- New Orleans. The big Texas schools are all $50,000 plus.

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Re: Investment Financial Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby Golradaer » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:48 pm

lawdog97 wrote:Thank you all for the feedback.

In my current job, my boss and I are the only advisors in our firm. He is 63 and wants to retire in a few years. I am 22. In my small city, I have built many business connections: I am on the symphony board of directors, a development committee, and a plethora of business contacts.

I do enjoy my job and playing the stock market. However, law school is a dream.

I am also looking at online MBA programs- LSU has a good one for $34,000 (the entire program). A hell of a lot less than $54,000 for Loyla- New Orleans. The big Texas schools are all $50,000 plus.

Sounds like you're in a great position for your career. Don't ruin it by taking out huge loans to go to a terrible law school. I've never understood why people feel the need to get graduate degrees when their career path doesn't require it, but I am 100% in favor of you wasting less money on an online MBA and keeping your solid career path as opposed to pursuing law. To satisfy your passion for law, you can keep reading the books you like, watching legal dramas, listening to true crime podcasts, etc. There's no need to turn a passion into your job. Keep it as a hobby.

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Re: Investment Advisor vs Lawyer

Postby FutureLawyerDude » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:30 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:If OP has connections in his small town and all he wants to do is work there, going to a random school in the area is fine, just make sure you go for free, which would require you to at least get maybe 10 more points on the LSAT?

Definitely don't go with anywhere with a 145.


I second this, retake the LSAT and don't kill yourself studying, a mid 150's isn't difficult at all. Study a bit, go to a tiny law school for free where you want to work, and maybe you can be a sole practitioner, if not, just go back to your current job. Adding .Esq to the end of your name doesn't ever hurt. Ultimately, people on here are going to be very, "Ho Hum" about not going to T14, but it is your life and if you want to be a lawyer go for it. However, I will hedge this by saying that you need to keep it in perspective. It is more likely than not, not going to be like The People vs. OJ. Do what you love, people have shifted careers with less than what you have, and it seems like you can be in a position to actually enjoy law school and excel at a small one for free.

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