If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

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Anonymous User
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If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:31 pm

I'm in what I think is an unusual position and I just want to hear the thoughts of others.

I graduated this May from a tier 2 law school and recently learned that I passed the California bar. Coming out of law school I had an offer, but that offer was rescinded a few months ago, before I started, due to "economic circumstances." At law school, I placed in the third quintile. So my grades are not stellar. After the offer was rescinded, I tried applying to several ip boutique firms and was either rejected or I simply heard nothing back. So in the mean time, I went back to my prior profession, software engineering. I took a software engineering job that pays 125k and the job seems very promising. I should also note I'm married and my wife has a great job that pays more than double what even big law salaries are. In other words, she is the real bread winner, even if I pursue a career as an attorney. She also doesn't mind what career I pursue as long as I have the time to take care of the household, which includes taking care of the kids so she can focus on her job.

Now that I found out I passed the bar, I have an urge to try to pursue the attorney career again, whether it is with a firm or even opening up a solo practice. I should note I'm reluctant to do the solo practice thing because I have no real experience, it is a thought. During law school I focused on patent law because of my Computer Science background and have some patent prosecution experience during my 2L summer at the same firm that eventually rescinded the offer. That firm, by the way, has agreed to give me an excellent reference if I need it.

Here's my question to you, if you were me, would you think it is even worth it to continue to try to pursue a career as an attorney?

Remember, I currently have a good job that pays reasonably well with a promising outlook and excellent work/life balance. But at the same time, I feel like it is such a waste to let my law degree just sit there after all that work obtaining it.

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AreJay711
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:38 pm

You do you. I think if the goal is to be able to take care of the house for your sugar mamma, you should keep the computer nerd job. I wouldn't risk messing that up, but you have to be happy, I guess. There's no harm in throwing a few lines and testing the waters while you continue to work at your current job. Don't do the solo thing, that's just silly.

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Dr. Review
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Dr. Review » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:47 pm

If you had told me that you could have gotten a job at 125k before you went to law school, I would have told you not to go to law school. It seems, however, that you ignored my theoretical advice that I didn't give you 3+ years ago, and went to law school anyway. I would only advise you to go back into the legal profession at this point if you think you will enjoy it more than the CS job. You have the freedom to choose, so exercise it. Do not feel pressured to go back into the legal realm just because you are "Anonymous User, Esquire" instead of just "Anonymous User".

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JohannDeMann
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:54 pm

How many hours a week do you work as an engineer? If its less than 50 you gotta go with that.

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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:55 pm

Dr. Review wrote:If you had told me that you could have gotten a job at 125k before you went to law school, I would have told you not to go to law school. It seems, however, that you ignored my theoretical advice that I didn't give you 3+ years ago, and went to law school anyway. I would only advise you to go back into the legal profession at this point if you think you will enjoy it more than the CS job. You have the freedom to choose, so exercise it. Do not feel pressured to go back into the legal realm just because you are "Anonymous User, Esquire" instead of just "Anonymous User".


Question completely depends on whether or not you really want to be an attorney. You have good work/life balance now, and you're likely to have a more difficult time finding that by working for a law firm. Also keep in mind that your experience as a law clerk/summer associate isn't going to be the same experience you have actually working as an attorney. Actual practice is extremely stressful and the work is generally boring/un-engaging.

That being said, software engineering hiring is hot now, so you could probably get another job if you wanted to try to become a lawyer.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:15 pm

Jesus no.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:29 pm

1) no fucking way
2) where can I sign up for such software engineering jobs?

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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 04, 2014 4:51 pm

Original poster here. Thanks for the thoughts, and I appreciate the responses.

The consensus seems to be to let the law degree go. That was actually what I was leaning towards anyways. I am planning on going to the swearing in but, yeah, probably not going to do much with my law degree after that. It's disappointing to come to the realization that I seem to have thrown away three years of my life, and a lot of money, on a piece of paper that's not worth much.

It's kinda weird when my friends and family ask what I'm doing now that I have my law degree and I tell them I'm a software engineer. I can't seem to shake the feeling that I'm missing out by not using my law degree and finding a law job. I dunno, perhaps I'll eventually springboard into in house directly from my engineering position.

To answer a couple of questions that were posted:

1. I average around 40-50 hours a week, depending on the state of current projects I'm assigned to.

2. I'm in California, these software engineering jobs are everywhere here, whether in Nor Cal or So Cal. Software Engineers are so highly sought after, all you need is a CS degree, a breath, and some reasonable intelligence.

Thanks

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Emma.
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Emma. » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:03 pm

1) Definitely stick with the current job.

2) I don't know that you have to think about law school as a waste of 3 years. Who knows, maybe this job or some future job will look on your LS experience as a huge plus and it'll help you advance within the company. There are plenty of JD CEOs out there.

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WeeBey
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby WeeBey » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:13 pm

125k for 40-50hrs and a wife that earns 300k+?

Wanna trade lives?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:06 pm

I mean, there's no putting a price tag on doing what you want to do with your life. But from a pure lifestyle perspective, your current job is enviable to basically any lawyer, and for a typical T2 grad with no legal job lined up it would be a downright fantasy.

Jchance
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Jchance » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:33 pm

Is this trolling at its finest?

And who the fuk cares about your sunk cost and saving faces? It's your life dude, do what you want to do with it. Your life sounds financially stable. If you want to be an attorney, apply for law jobs while keeping your eng job until you get a law job. If you don't want to be a lawyer, stay with your eng job. How is this an issue?

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:42 pm

So about this computer sciences B.S.: I did a social sciences/humanities undergrad, but I'm good w/ computers. Pretty extensive web design skill and what not, strong formal logic skills, did well in a basic programming class. I.e. I think I could pick it up if this law thing flames out.

Is there like a post-bacc program at a legit school that I could get into that will get me one of these jobs? or do I have to go back for the whole thing? I think UT has a good comp. sci program, should I look into a comp sciences dual degree if I strike out at OCI? (not flame)

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justonemoregame
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby justonemoregame » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:20 pm

Females don't make that kind of money, you're trolling

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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I can't seem to shake the feeling that I'm missing out by not using my law degree and finding a law job. I dunno, perhaps I'll eventually springboard into in house directly from my engineering position.


OP, are you currently at a very large company or a very small company? Larger tech companies are more likely to have IP departments where there are, if not actual patent agents, at least people who are responsible for IP portfolio management, working with company inventors, developing IP licensing strategies, etc. who are or used to be engineers. My impression (as a former software engineer) is that this is more of a business role than legal, and that it's more JD-advantage than JD-required, but that this is probably the easiest legal-ish in-house position to get into from engineering.

As another idea - if you're pretty happy with your software job but you feel like you're wasting your JD, why not use your law degree for good? Hook up with your local county bar association and do pro bono on the weekends. Your JD and bar admission uniquely qualify you for volunteer positions that most other people can't take, even if they want to. I'm sure you can find something local that (1) gives you training; (2) provides malpractice insurance; (3) lets you practice the law while helping people who need help. Help neglected kids find stable homes, help domestic violence victims, help tenants avoid eviction, help the elderly avoid abuse, etc. Or help small business owners, help starving artists, help employees who are getting screwed, help people write wills, help immigrants with paperwork - whatever causes appeal to you. Hell, in your position, maybe you even have the luxury to cut back on your hours at work, doing part-time engineering while parenting and volunteering. Something to consider.

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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:56 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:So about this computer sciences B.S.: I did a social sciences/humanities undergrad, but I'm good w/ computers. Pretty extensive web design skill and what not, strong formal logic skills, did well in a basic programming class. I.e. I think I could pick it up if this law thing flames out.

Is there like a post-bacc program at a legit school that I could get into that will get me one of these jobs? or do I have to go back for the whole thing? I think UT has a good comp. sci program, should I look into a comp sciences dual degree if I strike out at OCI? (not flame)



GaTech has an inexpensive online Masters degree. Not sure the requirements or employment prospects, but their undergrads do well. Might (not sure) also qualify you for the patent bar if that is of interest.

http://www.wsj.com/video/the-just-under ... 420516597F

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:55 am

DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL

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Meow Meowsworth
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Meow Meowsworth » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:37 am

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL


I can tell that you read the post.

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NYC2012
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby NYC2012 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:53 am

justonemoregame wrote:Females don't make that kind of money, you're trolling


You are everything that is wrong with the world, whether or not that was a joke.


@ OP: I would just advise you to not jump around - maybe stick with this job for another year and then try to find an attorney job? I get that it will be harder the longer you're out of law school, but I would just be wary of having short-term things on the resume and jumping around. Also, from my understanding, it's damn near impossible to make $125k plus out of a tier 2 school in an entry level attorney position.

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KMart
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby KMart » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:09 am

Meow Meowsworth wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL


I can tell that you read the post.

Must do solid on the RC part of the LSAT.

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banjo
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby banjo » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:33 am

Ron Don Volante wrote:So about this computer sciences B.S.: I did a social sciences/humanities undergrad, but I'm good w/ computers. Pretty extensive web design skill and what not, strong formal logic skills, did well in a basic programming class. I.e. I think I could pick it up if this law thing flames out.

Is there like a post-bacc program at a legit school that I could get into that will get me one of these jobs? or do I have to go back for the whole thing? I think UT has a good comp. sci program, should I look into a comp sciences dual degree if I strike out at OCI? (not flame)


You could consider technical writing. I worked part-time as a technical writer in college. I wrote software manuals and training materials at a technology company. So far, law seems to be a lot more analytical/challenging, but technical writing can be a good career for a humanities person interested in science and technology.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:06 pm

Meow Meowsworth wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL


I can tell that you read the post.


it was TLDR for me. i'm too busy to care about the nuances of some dumbass's life choices.

the only thing i picked up was that OP has some kind of viable career possibility in computer science. no one with this sort of thing should ever go to law school, unless they get into YLS

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WeeBey
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby WeeBey » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:17 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Meow Meowsworth wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL


I can tell that you read the post.


it was TLDR for me. i'm too busy to care about the nuances of some dumbass's life choices.

the only thing i picked up was that OP has some kind of viable career possibility in computer science. no one with this sort of thing should ever go to law school, unless they get into YLS


Just curious, why would YLS change things as opposed to HLS, SLS, or other T14s with full rides?

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:52 pm

canadianbrother wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
Meow Meowsworth wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL


I can tell that you read the post.


it was TLDR for me. i'm too busy to care about the nuances of some dumbass's life choices.

the only thing i picked up was that OP has some kind of viable career possibility in computer science. no one with this sort of thing should ever go to law school, unless they get into YLS


Just curious, why would YLS change things as opposed to HLS, SLS, or other T14s with full rides?


Sure, I guess HLS or SLS would be worth it. I'm pretty sure the number of people who get full rides to T14s is extremely low, however, so that wouldn't be a meaningful consideration for the vast majority of prospective law students.

In any event, having read the OP, I find it quite sad that he/she is asking this question NOW after having wasted a significant percentage of his life preparing for and being in law school. What a huge fucking waste of time. Life is short. Don't waste three years of it at a T2.

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Re: If you were me, would you pursue a law career?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 06, 2014 4:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:1. I average around 40-50 hours a week, depending on the state of current projects I'm assigned to.

2. I'm in California, these software engineering jobs are everywhere here, whether in Nor Cal or So Cal. Software Engineers are so highly sought after, all you need is a CS degree, a breath, and some reasonable intelligence.

Thanks


op,
how old are you; quality of college/graduate degree/work ex? i am not sure if it's fair to say that software engineer jobs are everywhere. i work in CA in the same profession and make a little more than you, but i don't think companies want to hire just about anyone with a CS degree. it is however true that if you are younger the standards are a bit lower. it's easier to get a job in engineering as a young person but the career progression flats out quickly.




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