What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

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Anonymous User
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What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:03 pm

I'm a 0L student at a lower T14 school and I suddenly wanted to ask this question.

First of all, I have a really low self esteem about my intellectual abilities. This might sound stupid and I've discussed this with many people on this forum who told me so(hence the anon) but the thing is, I had to study for a very long time (3 takes, over the course of 1.5 years) to merely get a low 170's on my LSAT and I'm still struggling with reading while I'm here. Also, I'm not a good writer imo.

Anyhow, adding to that low self esteem, I am consistently discouraged by hearing bad things about law school and the legal profession from people in the legal profession. I sort of relate to how law school sucks (especially 1L) but was wondering whether that would continue into my career.

So tell me, does working at BigLaw really suck that bad? Then why do you do it? I don't get why everyone complains so much but they don't tend to stop doing it. Is it the money and prestige? Or is there something else that grabs you? If I'm not that interested in money and prestige would I not be able to stand the boring, dryness of work?

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:20 pm

Worry about whether you're cut out for law school first.

Anonymous User
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Re: What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:20 pm

In a sense, I'm like you.

I struggle with self-esteem when it comes to my intellectual abilities, especially if I have to articulate something verbally. I usually get very frustrated when I'm put on the spot, which typically leads to a brain freeze. In school, too, I have to study a lot more than others, though I did end up in the top five percent of my class. Some people are naturally more gifted than others when it comes to intellectual ability, but that doesn't mean hard work won't pay off in law school or in the real world.

I am a 2L with an SA so I'll probably have a better answer after the summer. If you do want biglaw, I think the most crucial thing right now is to work on your writing skills and just continue working hard.

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NinerFan
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Re: What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

Postby NinerFan » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:35 pm

Having talked to a number of people in and out of practice, the general feeling I get is that most people who practice biglaw are unhappy. There are exceptions. The odds are against you being one of those happy people. If you're not interested in money/prestige (which, arguably, isn't that great) and just want something that interests you, it doesn't seem like biglaw is the thing for you. And, your chances at big law from the lower T-14 is probably in the 50-60% range, so it's not even a sure thing.

If your question is "Should I go to law school?" - No.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In a sense, I'm like you.

I struggle with self-esteem when it comes to my intellectual abilities, especially if I have to articulate something verbally. I usually get very frustrated when I'm put on the spot, which typically leads to a brain freeze. In school, too, I have to study a lot more than others, though I did end up in the top five percent of my class. Some people are naturally more gifted than others when it comes to intellectual ability, but that doesn't mean hard work won't pay off in law school or in the real world.

I am a 2L with an SA so I'll probably have a better answer after the summer. If you do want biglaw, I think the most crucial thing right now is to work on your writing skills and just continue working hard.


Include me in this club. I have a high LSAT score for the school im attending, but it took me a year of on and off studying to get there. My brain def does not work as fast as plenty of people around me. Outworking people can go a long way though--I ended up doing well 1L year. If you like learning, law school can be really rewarding (at least IMO).

As for whether you'll enjoy biglaw or not--I can't try to help with that question.

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paul34
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Re: What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

Postby paul34 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
So tell me, does working at BigLaw really suck that bad? Then why do you do it? I don't get why everyone complains so much but they don't tend to stop doing it. Is it the money and prestige? Or is there something else that grabs you? If I'm not that interested in money and prestige would I not be able to stand the boring, dryness of work?


Granted, this is only a single article, but, I think it is worth a read:

--LinkRemoved--

As far as how true it is, I do not know. It does give one something to seriously ponder, however. I read it yesterday and have been really mulling over what I exactly want, long term, out of my legal career. If what is in the article is true (and based on other things I've seen and read, along with "common sense," it may not be so far-fetched), then I'm not really sure I should be "BigLaw or bust" anymore.

bdubs
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Re: What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

Postby bdubs » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:11 pm

paul34 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
So tell me, does working at BigLaw really suck that bad? Then why do you do it? I don't get why everyone complains so much but they don't tend to stop doing it. Is it the money and prestige? Or is there something else that grabs you? If I'm not that interested in money and prestige would I not be able to stand the boring, dryness of work?


Granted, this is only a single article, but, I think it is worth a read:

--LinkRemoved--

As far as how true it is, I do not know. It does give one something to seriously ponder, however. I read it yesterday and have been really mulling over what I exactly want, long term, out of my legal career. If what is in the article is true (and based on other things I've seen and read, along with "common sense," it may not be so far-fetched), then I'm not really sure I should be "BigLaw or bust" anymore.


This is a chicken-and-egg type problem. People who go to law school, people who do well in it, and people who do well in practice are predominantly pessimistic people. This is not because law makes them that way, they become lawyers because they think in that manner.

http://www.bakadesuyo.com/why-are-lawye ... ng+tree%29

I think the vast majority of people who become lawyers would probably be pessimistic and unhappy in almost any job.

Not saying this is a one size fits all kind of thing. I know there are some successful optimistic lawyers and law students, but they are the exception. If this describes you, then just learn to accept it (or try really, really hard to change it). However, I would caution you against blaming it on the work. Work just plain sucks in 90% of jobs. The other 10% are split between those that pay horribly, and those that are so scarce that they are almost unattainable.

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:12 pm

Thanks for the amazing article

paul34 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
So tell me, does working at BigLaw really suck that bad? Then why do you do it? I don't get why everyone complains so much but they don't tend to stop doing it. Is it the money and prestige? Or is there something else that grabs you? If I'm not that interested in money and prestige would I not be able to stand the boring, dryness of work?


Granted, this is only a single article, but, I think it is worth a read:

--LinkRemoved--

As far as how true it is, I do not know. It does give one something to seriously ponder, however. I read it yesterday and have been really mulling over what I exactly want, long term, out of my legal career. If what is in the article is true (and based on other things I've seen and read, along with "common sense," it may not be so far-fetched), then I'm not really sure I should be "BigLaw or bust" anymore.

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paul34
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Re: What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

Postby paul34 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:16 pm

bdubs wrote:This is a chicken-and-egg type problem. People who go to law school, people who do well in it, and people who do well in practice are predominantly pessimistic people. This is not because law makes them that way, they become lawyers because they think in that manner.


Yes, but I think one of the primary points in the article to which I linked was that the long hours themselves also significantly contribute to the unhappiness. Not being able to spend time with your partner and/or family, friends, etc. would certainly make things far worse for anyone, even someone who isn't very pessimistic normally.

I am not opposed to weighting the work side of the "work/life balance" a lot more, but there has to be a limit. We all probably have a different limit. I think what the article is warning against (at least one of things) is to not underestimate how much "life" you really need in that ratio.

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vanwinkle
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Re: What kind of person would be unfit for BigLaw?

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 0L

Stopped reading here.

Try again in the "Ask a Law Student" forum if you want to ask it there. See also viewtopic.php?f=23&t=170600




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