Why You Should Go To Law School

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prezidentv8
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:48 am

adamlippes wrote:
if i'm going to be part of the rat race, it's going to be for something i WANT to be doing.


I'd wager that most people heading into law school, and most people even on this forum, don't know that law is something they want to do.

When I started out, I didn't know either. I took a big risk by following through with it.


I buy that, but that is very true for a lot of careers, which I grant are generally less expensive to get into. But it certainly applies to lots of graduate programs out there.
adamlippes wrote:To current 1Ls posting in this thread:

We get it, you're now too cool for school (I think this is a genuine phase of TLSers in law school: as 0Ls, they are all cute and optimistic. As 1Ls, they are all jaded and it becomes cool to say, "law school sucks.")


Not I. Though probably not cute, I'm definitely optimistic. But yes, this trend of pessimism is foolish.

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DannyJames
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby DannyJames » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:49 am

adamlippes wrote:
if i'm going to be part of the rat race, it's going to be for something i WANT to be doing.


I'd wager that most people heading into law school, and most people even on this forum, don't know that law is something they want to do.

When I started out, I didn't know either. I took a big risk by following through with it.


How will you know if you don't go? I just do not understand how people can be so afraid of a misstep in life. of course it's a risk to go, but if you want to practice (or find out that you don't want to) then you have to study law. it seems like a pretty simple process. I'd rather take that risk than always wonder "what if" while i punch the time clock at my hourly wage job

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wardboro
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby wardboro » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:50 am

This thread in short:

1. Law school fun. Nice kids, sometimes engaging studies, enjoyable experience.
2. You better have enjoyed your fun, because you could have surfed facebook and hung out with 20-somethings for three years without paying 20k a semester.

I'm a 2L (at a barely T50 school with no intentions to drop out) so I have skin in the game. I am hoping for things to recover, but seriously I recommend that people seriously consider avoiding law school for a while. (At the very least, try to get low-cost tuition. I have in-state that's between 15-20k a year for tuition and low COL, but I still think that might be too much. I would suggest that 60k is an appropriate debt ceiling for COL/Tuition combined over 3 years.) I appreciate that positive messages provide balance, but I also think law school is a scary place to be right now. It's a blast to be here, I love law school. I'm terrified of what happens when it ends.

adamlippes
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby adamlippes » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:56 am

...
Last edited by adamlippes on Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DannyJames
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby DannyJames » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:00 pm

adamlippes wrote:
DannyJames wrote:
adamlippes wrote:
if i'm going to be part of the rat race, it's going to be for something i WANT to be doing.


I'd wager that most people heading into law school, and most people even on this forum, don't know that law is something they want to do.

When I started out, I didn't know either. I took a big risk by following through with it.


How will you know if you don't go? I just do not understand how people can be so afraid of a misstep in life. of course it's a risk to go, but if you want to practice (or find out that you don't want to) then you have to study law. it seems like a pretty simple process. I'd rather take that risk than always wonder "what if" while i punch the time clock at my hourly wage job


Pretty expensive mistake, man.


and there you have it...you're already calling it a mistake. I'm glad everything else in life is so worry free and inexpensive. i guess we all should just plop down in our rockers and watch time pass by, because that way we won't make any mistakes

Edit: we obviously have different views on mistakes. i never see it as a mistake to go after something you want and it not work out. but i also don't think solely in terms of $$ like apparently the majority of you do

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mtyrikos
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby mtyrikos » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:09 pm

j2d3 wrote:I am not worried about the job market after law school, because abstract cyclical phenomena don't dictate my personal decisions. I guess I'm lucky in that I already have a career that pays quite well, and I'll only be expanding my opportunities within my field by getting a JD. I'll probably also get another advanced degree in CS. In any case, I'm going back to school because I love being in school. The only part I'm not going to like is these maniacal people desperate to get the highest GPA at any cost so they can score their coveted "biglaw" jobs.

I don't get this mentality... but it's evident all over these boards. First of all, these $160K jobs - the "biglaw" jobs they want to land - these jobs aren't even that amazing in terms of salary... considering what you have to do to get them. You can get a job in TV production that pays better without any degree - not even a bachelors is required. Learn final cut. It's a way easier path to "riches." Or you could be a shooter on a reality TV show and bring in $800/day plus per diem, plus travel expenses... I know a makeup artists who charge $2000/day. You could also, like me, figure out how to program computers. You don't need school for that... everything you need is right in front of you... I taught myself (almost) everything I know about programming, and I made $2500/week - for a 35 hour (or so) week - every week for 3 years - doing IT / web production for a network TV show. It was obscene how easy my job was. Teaching myself several computer languages and working as a sysadmin obviously took time and effort, but I was making money the whole way through. It was all "on-the-job training." I never built up massive debt, and the jobs I ended up with were cushy, high paying, flexible, and easy. These aren't things I've heard about working in biglaw...

Anyway - you're never going to *really* make money (in the grand scheme of things) working a salary job for someone else... yet all these supposedly smart kids are practically killing each other for a chance at middle class salary jobs. Seems like most applicants to top law schools are well brain washed.

That said, having a legal education is worth something! A JD can be a great asset for an entrepreneur, and if you want to be an entrepreneur and *really* make money - you can't be afraid of a little debt. You've got to risk money to make money, and it's always best to risk someone else's. Happily, the government is more than willing to let you borrow your way through law school.

I hope this economy does successfully dissuade the kind of people who are attracted to law school because they want "high paying" salary jobs in "big law." These people seem exceedingly boring, immature, and douche-y. I'd prefer to be in school with intellectually curious, innovative people whose interests are interdisciplinary and who aspire to more than joining the great frat party in the sky(scrapers).



Just when I was about to give up on these boards.... something reasonable was finally said. Good Job. Thank you. The amount of indoctrinated (and naive) groupthink on here is staggering... see: "Tiger Tar Clubhouse" for several examples. Anyways... I believe we have the "TITCR" here. Cheers.

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wardboro
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby wardboro » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:12 pm

DannyJames wrote: but i also don't think solely in terms of $$ like apparently the majority of you do


Quotes like these will win you tons of friends in law school. Everyone loves the self-righteous kid who came to law school for the "right reasons" while everyone else there is just a money-grubber. Honestly, you'll make more friends on this board, in law school, and in life if you purge this mentality.

While some believe there are intangible benefits to the practice of law, law is often boring, tedious, and a lot of people leave the profession in the long-run. I think if you don't consider the $$ part as you approach taking on a large debt at an early age, you're really not evaluating the decision from a mature, multifaceted perspective. Whether you make biglaw (great credentials) public defender in podunk (good credentials) or unemployed (poor credentials) that debt is generally non-dischargable. (I know some LRAP options exist, but even public interest jobs are not in great supply right now, so you have to consider debt if you're risk averse.)

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MTal
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby MTal » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:16 pm

j2d3 wrote:I am not worried about the job market after law school,


It was at this point that I stopped reading.

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ccs224
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby ccs224 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:23 pm

adamlippes wrote:You people are being silly.

Best Case Career Scenario: You get a job that pays 160k.

After taxes and loans, how much are you really taking home? It'll be nice, but not extravagant, especially if you're in NYC or another major market.

The next salary level below 160 is 145, which is still doable, but then it goes off into the sub-100s. Without LRAP, that really isn't doable. When I say you'll be struggling to pay off your loans, I mean it.

People here seem to think that, even at 160k, lawyers have a 14k monthly check to do whatever they want. In reality, you're probably taking home maybe 4k of that? Maybe less? What about paying for apartment rent?


If you are single in NYC making 160, your taxes would look like this:

Monthly Gross Pay
$13,333.33
Federal Withholding
$3,077.01
Social Security
$826.67
Medicare
$193.33
New York
$902.03
NY SDI
$2.60
Net Pay
$8,331.69

I don't think that calculation took into account city tax, so we'll make it an even 8,000. If you reserve $2000 for general living expenses except rent (which would be living fairly well, if you ask me) and another $2000 for an expensive apartment, you would still have $4000 left to devote to loan repayment. That sounds perfectly doable.

Not that any of this matters to me. I will be depending entirely on LRAP, thank you.

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DannyJames
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby DannyJames » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:26 pm

wardboro wrote:
DannyJames wrote: but i also don't think solely in terms of $$ like apparently the majority of you do


Quotes like these will win you tons of friends in law school. Everyone loves the self-righteous kid who came to law school for the "right reasons" while everyone else there is just a money-grubber. Honestly, you'll make more friends on this board, in law school, and in life if you purge this mentality.

While some believe there are intangible benefits to the practice of law, law is often boring, tedious, and a lot of people leave the profession in the long-run. I think if you don't consider the $$ part as you approach taking on a large debt at an early age, you're really not evaluating the decision from a mature, multifaceted perspective. Whether you make biglaw (great credentials) public defender in podunk (good credentials) or unemployed (poor credentials) that debt is generally non-dischargable. (I know some LRAP options exist, but even public interest jobs are not in great supply right now, so you have to consider debt if you're risk averse.)


1. I don't care if you're my friend on here, and my viewpoint is not self-righteous just because i don't already hate my life and the law
2. I said nothing about my future peers, and i make no assumptions as to their outlooks on this topic
3. My life seems to be going quite well with the mentality that I will make it happen if I dedicate myself to it
4. I don't need a vague and unfounded description of law, and those that don't like it.
5. Just because I say I am confident in my abilities and decision, and money is not a huge factor factor for me, does not mean I have not/am not considering it in my decision.
6. In the long-run, I'll end up doing what makes me happy, one way or another :mrgreen:

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MTal
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby MTal » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:31 pm

There are a lot of young Marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. They face danger and the possibility of death every day, and they all have different ways of coping with it. 1 coping strategy, particularly among the young, is to view yourself as indestructable, that you are destined for greatness and are immortal. Other more seasoned Marines who have been out in the field for a while put their trust in God and in themselves and know when not to take stupid risks. Now my question is, where do you think the majority of the casualties are coming from?

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prezidentv8
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:35 pm

MTal wrote:There are a lot of young Marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. They face danger and the possibility of death every day, and they all have different ways of coping with it. 1 coping strategy, particularly among the young, is to view yourself as indestructable, that you are destined for greatness and are immortal. Other more seasoned Marines who have been out in the field for a while put their trust in God and in themselves and know when not to take stupid risks. Now my question is, where do you think the majority of the casualties are coming from?


Iraq?

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DannyJames
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby DannyJames » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:43 pm

MTal wrote:There are a lot of young Marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. They face danger and the possibility of death every day, and they all have different ways of coping with it. 1 coping strategy, particularly among the young, is to view yourself as indestructable, that you are destined for greatness and are immortal. Other more seasoned Marines who have been out in the field for a while put their trust in God and in themselves and know when not to take stupid risks. Now my question is, where do you think the majority of the casualties are coming from?


I'm not indestructible, and there are a million possible outcomes from attending law school, but i just choose to focus on what i can control and have confidence in myself. trying to make an analogy between law school and war, using soldiers that are dying as a comparison to debt i may take on, is ridiculous and quite idiotic. if you MUST use this absurd comparison, provide stats for the deaths, amount of time in high-risk situations vs. lower-risk, and average age compared to time in high-risk situations.

otherwise, kindly sit and read without commenting :D

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triplecats
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby triplecats » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:44 pm

MTal wrote:There are a lot of young Marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. They face danger and the possibility of death every day, and they all have different ways of coping with it. 1 coping strategy, particularly among the young, is to view yourself as indestructable, that you are destined for greatness and are immortal. Other more seasoned Marines who have been out in the field for a while put their trust in God and in themselves and know when not to take stupid risks. Now my question is, where do you think the majority of the casualties are coming from?


MTal, I'm curious at what point you think it is "worth it" for someone to go to law school. I am not entirely familiar with your story, but I seem to remember you decided law school wasn't worth it after 1L? And then you found a job in finance iirc.

Why did you personally decide you wanted to go to law school when you did? I'm assuming the job prospects were enough to scare you away from continuing, but what made you want to do this all in the first place?

This is not at all intended as an attack, for what it's worth. I am glad that you've found a better path for yourself... I'm just wondering how you got from pre-law to 1L to finance, and what would have kept you in law school.

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MTal
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby MTal » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:50 pm

If you read my previous post in this thread, you'll see that I said go T14 sticker, partial scholly at a cheap state school, or full scholly anywhere else. Several posts later, a T14 student, adamlippes chimed in and said I was being too generous! That even T14-T11 is no longer worth because in his words "you risk living a life slightly above the poverty line".

I decided to go because I thought I would enjoy law school (which I did, 1L was a blast) and that I could finish high enough in my class to get at least a decent job (maybe not big-law, but decent sized firms). In the first semester I was motivated and did well. In the second semester, I got burned out and did poorly, had I finished in the top 1/3rd I probably would have stayed. I am happy with what I am doing now.

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MTal
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby MTal » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:51 pm

DannyJames wrote: otherwise, kindly sit and read without commenting :D


You know this is just going to egg me on, right?

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GATORTIM
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby GATORTIM » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:58 pm

MTal

you mentioned earlier that you receive a $2k bonus for a recruit hired by your firm and passes the series 7; I'm assuming you are in financial services sales. I find it ironic that you rant about the saturated legal-market while typing on TLS with one hand while reaching for the phone with the other to cold-call someone to deliver a variable-annuity pitch.

$100k is A LOT of debt, but so is the $60k financed by a dude pulling in $45 grand a year to buy a new BMW; which is worse? You might be able to touch more lives or combat the nations debt crisis by picketing high-end car dealerships rather than admonishing 0L's that have the same ambition you once held, but failed to realize.

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DannyJames
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby DannyJames » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:58 pm

MTal wrote:
DannyJames wrote: otherwise, kindly sit and read without commenting :D


You know this is just going to egg me on, right?


egg you on or not, provide stats for your argument. i'd LOVE to see them.

HawksJetsFalcons
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby HawksJetsFalcons » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:02 pm

I don't post on this board often anymore for a reason. Too many pessimists and naysayers.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:03 pm

HawksJetsFalcons wrote:I don't post on this board often anymore for a reason. Too many pessimists and naysayers.


1. Probably wise.
2. Your name makes me think of this shirt I have that reads "Millbrae Lions Colts"

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hoopsguy6
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby hoopsguy6 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:03 pm

GATORTIM wrote:MTal

you mentioned earlier that you receive a $2k bonus for a recruit hired by your firm and passes the series 7; I'm assuming you are in financial services sales. I find it ironic that you rant about the saturated legal-market while typing on TLS with one hand while reaching for the phone with the other to cold-call someone to deliver a variable-annuity pitch.

$100k is A LOT of debt, but so is the $60k financed by a dude pulling in $45 grand a year to buy a new BMW; which is worse? You might be able to touch more lives or combat the nations debt crisis by picketing high-end car dealerships rather than admonishing 0L's that have the same ambition you once held, but failed to realize.



This really does not help your argument.

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DannyJames
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby DannyJames » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:04 pm

HawksJetsFalcons wrote:I don't post on this board often anymore for a reason. Too many pessimists and naysayers.


don't lose faith, some of us have a positive outlook on the future! but yes, it's funny how many members on here are so upset with everything regarding law...

akw009
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby akw009 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:19 pm

rabblerabblerabble

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wardboro
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby wardboro » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:19 pm

DannyJames wrote:
wardboro wrote:
DannyJames wrote: but i also don't think solely in terms of $$ like apparently the majority of you do


Quotes like these will win you tons of friends in law school. Everyone loves the self-righteous kid who came to law school for the "right reasons" while everyone else there is just a money-grubber. Honestly, you'll make more friends on this board, in law school, and in life if you purge this mentality.

While some believe there are intangible benefits to the practice of law, law is often boring, tedious, and a lot of people leave the profession in the long-run. I think if you don't consider the $$ part as you approach taking on a large debt at an early age, you're really not evaluating the decision from a mature, multifaceted perspective. Whether you make biglaw (great credentials) public defender in podunk (good credentials) or unemployed (poor credentials) that debt is generally non-dischargable. (I know some LRAP options exist, but even public interest jobs are not in great supply right now, so you have to consider debt if you're risk averse.)


1. I don't care if you're my friend on here, and my viewpoint is not self-righteous just because i don't already hate my life and the law
2. I said nothing about my future peers, and i make no assumptions as to their outlooks on this topic
3. My life seems to be going quite well with the mentality that I will make it happen if I dedicate myself to it
4. I don't need a vague and unfounded description of law, and those that don't like it.
5. Just because I say I am confident in my abilities and decision, and money is not a huge factor factor for me, does not mean I have not/am not considering it in my decision.
6. In the long-run, I'll end up doing what makes me happy, one way or another :mrgreen:


fwiw, I don't care if you're my friend either, but your reputation is important, especially if you're looking for non-biglaw work. in a smaller market, employers will ask your classmates about you and whether or not you'd be a good fit. just try to avoid being the classhole.

don't call me bitter for calling a spade a spade. i came into law school with my eyes wide open knowing that it could be a dangerous gamble. i'm at peace with my decision (class of 2011), but i'm happy to point out some things that should be considered.

good luck with your decision.

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MTal
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Re: Why You Should Go To Law School

Postby MTal » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:21 pm

GATORTIM wrote:MTal

$100k is A LOT of debt, but so is the $60k financed by a dude pulling in $45 grand a year to buy a new BMW; which is worse? You might be able to touch more lives or combat the nations debt crisis by picketing high-end car dealerships rather than admonishing 0L's that have the same ambition you once held, but failed to realize.


Um, you're comparing a tangible asset to what is essentially a piece of paper. At least you can resell the Beamer if you're not happy with it and can partially get your money back. I'd like to see you try and do the same with a J.D.

Edit: I guess there have been a few J.D.'s for sale on e-bay. Can't speak as to their auction price though.
Last edited by MTal on Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.




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