Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

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KidStuddi
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby KidStuddi » Wed May 06, 2015 6:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Even in the best case scenario (for most people), you get biglaw, where you have to be totally fucking miserable for 5 years, work your ass off, and all to get back to a net worth of $0, and by then, you're going to be out of biglaw anyways. It just doesn't really make much sense thinking of this logically. I mean even if you get a great scholarship nowadays, you're probably still looking at taking on at least $150k in debt, which will probably be closer to $170k by the time you enter repayment. It just doesn't make sense if the best case scenario is working at a big firm and being miserable for a few years until you're back and $0, and then you're out. I could see an argument if you get a full tuition scholarship and can limit your cost of living to under $60k (with interest) for all 3 years, but besides that, I'm not really seeing a good reason why anyone would go to law school given how bad the salaries are outside of biglaw (even smaller firms pay like $55-65k /year around here). Are we all really just a bunch of idiots?


Some are, but mostly no.

The profession is broken in a pretty bad way in this country because of a lack of differentiation and specialization. Certain types of law are objectively easy and don't require anywhere near the kind of extensive (and now expensive) training as is currently required while there are some types of law that are incredibly complex and nuanced and probably, if anything, require more training than people get in law school. Yet, there isn't any distinction in credentials between the guy who writes wills for old folks and the guy who runs horrendously complex billion dollar M&A deals. IMO the two paths shouldn't even be the same degree at this point and they definitely shouldn't cost the same amount of money. In my opinion, people who accept the obviously inflated tuition with no intention of pursuing high paying jobs are kind of idiots (absent LRAP / other forgiveness plans that reduce the effective COA for those career paths).

But to your more general point, I don't think aiming to be a lawyer offers substantially worse odds than the usual comparison suspects of medicine and dentistry. Yes, doctors and dentists are all but guaranteed to be able to find a job that pays a good wage for the rest of their careers once they get out of school while attorneys aren't, but for some reason everyone likes to conveniently forget all of the people who spend 3-4 years in undergrad trying to get into medical school or dental school and only to fail and have to scramble to find jobs as lab technicians, pharmaceutical reps, etc. or pursue graduate education in bio / chem / etc., none of which offer job prospects anywhere on par with medicine / dentistry on average.

The curriculum for medicine and dentistry programs really begins in undergrad as both have required undergraduate courses and expect their students to come in with a fair amount of knowledge (as evidenced by the subject area grade focus and substantive entrance exams). All of those tens of thousands of kids every year who go to expensive undergraduate schools taking pre-med or pre-dental courses only to fail to get in are essentially in the same position of having spent a lot of money and time without getting a "guaranteed" job to show for it.

The medical path or the dental path doesn't become "safe" until you've already demonstrated that you're going to be pretty good (i.e. a lot better than average) at the fundamental sciences that underpin those professions than the rest of the field, and law is pretty much the same way. The legal path doesn't become "safe" until you've done well your first year of law school, proven that you're a tolerable human being during your summer internships / work experience, and then proven yourself in practice for a few years. The real difference between the paths is that the medical and dental paths start several years before the legal path does, and they do their weeding out earlier because both programs are longer (7 years minimum after undergrad in medicine and 4 (really 5 now) in dentistry).

Basically, there's no such thing as a guaranteed path to professional / financial success anywhere in America. All higher education is a risk and any career path you look at is going to be littered with people who didn't achieve what they hoped they would starting out -- law is not unique in that regard. The disillusion lawyers have isn't even unique to graduate / professional programs; there are plenty of people who spend two or three years in college with nothing to show for it but a pile of debt or who come out of supposedly "good programs" under employed. I've got several friends who majored in computer science at expensive schools thinking it was the ticket to Silicon Valley riches only to end up with a pretty stiff reality check and 40k a year jobs when they realized a couple hundred thousand other people had the same idea and it takes a lot more to stand out than simply picking a "good" major.

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bearsfan23
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby bearsfan23 » Wed May 06, 2015 6:34 pm

The couple dozen posters who constantly complain and bitch about their jobs on here should've never gone to law school period.

You need to understand you're getting a ridiculously warped picture of the legal profession if your just looking at TLS, which accounts for about.0001% of all lawyers.

Whether or not law school is a good decision should really come down to 3 things: 1) cost, 2) school, 3) whether you want to be a lawyer/have a plan to do something with your degree. Going to law school to work 10 years at a job you hate just to pay off loans just doesn't make any sense. But if you actually want to practice law, then its different

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed May 06, 2015 6:59 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Even in the best case scenario (for most people), you get biglaw, where you have to be totally fucking miserable for 5 years, work your ass off, and all to get back to a net worth of $0, and by then, you're going to be out of biglaw anyways. It just doesn't really make much sense thinking of this logically. I mean even if you get a great scholarship nowadays, you're probably still looking at taking on at least $150k in debt, which will probably be closer to $170k by the time you enter repayment. It just doesn't make sense if the best case scenario is working at a big firm and being miserable for a few years until you're back and $0, and then you're out. I could see an argument if you get a full tuition scholarship and can limit your cost of living to under $60k (with interest) for all 3 years, but besides that, I'm not really seeing a good reason why anyone would go to law school given how bad the salaries are outside of biglaw (even smaller firms pay like $55-65k /year around here). Are we all really just a bunch of idiots?


Some are, but mostly no.

The profession is broken in a pretty bad way in this country because of a lack of differentiation and specialization. Certain types of law are objectively easy and don't require anywhere near the kind of extensive (and now expensive) training as is currently required while there are some types of law that are incredibly complex and nuanced and probably, if anything, require more training than people get in law school. Yet, there isn't any distinction in credentials between the guy who writes wills for old folks and the guy who runs horrendously complex billion dollar M&A deals. IMO the two paths shouldn't even be the same degree at this point and they definitely shouldn't cost the same amount of money. In my opinion, people who accept the obviously inflated tuition with no intention of pursuing high paying jobs are kind of idiots (absent LRAP / other forgiveness plans that reduce the effective COA for those career paths).

But to your more general point, I don't think aiming to be a lawyer offers substantially worse odds than the usual comparison suspects of medicine and dentistry. Yes, doctors and dentists are all but guaranteed to be able to find a job that pays a good wage for the rest of their careers once they get out of school while attorneys aren't, but for some reason everyone likes to conveniently forget all of the people who spend 3-4 years in undergrad trying to get into medical school or dental school and only to fail and have to scramble to find jobs as lab technicians, pharmaceutical reps, etc. or pursue graduate education in bio / chem / etc., none of which offer job prospects anywhere on par with medicine / dentistry on average.

The curriculum for medicine and dentistry programs really begins in undergrad as both have required undergraduate courses and expect their students to come in with a fair amount of knowledge (as evidenced by the subject area grade focus and substantive entrance exams). All of those tens of thousands of kids every year who go to expensive undergraduate schools taking pre-med or pre-dental courses only to fail to get in are essentially in the same position of having spent a lot of money and time without getting a "guaranteed" job to show for it.

The medical path or the dental path doesn't become "safe" until you've already demonstrated that you're going to be pretty good (i.e. a lot better than average) at the fundamental sciences that underpin those professions than the rest of the field, and law is pretty much the same way. The legal path doesn't become "safe" until you've done well your first year of law school, proven that you're a tolerable human being during your summer internships / work experience, and then proven yourself in practice for a few years. The real difference between the paths is that the medical and dental paths start several years before the legal path does, and they do their weeding out earlier because both programs are longer (7 years minimum after undergrad in medicine and 4 (really 5 now) in dentistry).

Basically, there's no such thing as a guaranteed path to professional / financial success anywhere in America. All higher education is a risk and any career path you look at is going to be littered with people who didn't achieve what they hoped they would starting out -- law is not unique in that regard. The disillusion lawyers have isn't even unique to graduate / professional programs; there are plenty of people who spend two or three years in college with nothing to show for it but a pile of debt or who come out of supposedly "good programs" under employed. I've got several friends who majored in computer science at expensive schools thinking it was the ticket to Silicon Valley riches only to end up with a pretty stiff reality check and 40k a year jobs when they realized a couple hundred thousand other people had the same idea and it takes a lot more to stand out than simply picking a "good" major.


This is an extremely solid post.

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baal hadad
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby baal hadad » Wed May 06, 2015 7:04 pm

I like law. Doin lit aint bad

Wish I didn't pay so much 2 get here though

W loans I'm def worse off salary wise than my college bros

And they had 3 yrs to accumulate $$$ too when I was gettin schooled

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed May 06, 2015 8:06 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Even in the best case scenario (for most people), you get biglaw, where you have to be totally fucking miserable for 5 years, work your ass off, and all to get back to a net worth of $0, and by then, you're going to be out of biglaw anyways. It just doesn't really make much sense thinking of this logically. I mean even if you get a great scholarship nowadays, you're probably still looking at taking on at least $150k in debt, which will probably be closer to $170k by the time you enter repayment. It just doesn't make sense if the best case scenario is working at a big firm and being miserable for a few years until you're back and $0, and then you're out. I could see an argument if you get a full tuition scholarship and can limit your cost of living to under $60k (with interest) for all 3 years, but besides that, I'm not really seeing a good reason why anyone would go to law school given how bad the salaries are outside of biglaw (even smaller firms pay like $55-65k /year around here). Are we all really just a bunch of idiots?


Some are, but mostly no.

The profession is broken in a pretty bad way in this country because of a lack of differentiation and specialization. Certain types of law are objectively easy and don't require anywhere near the kind of extensive (and now expensive) training as is currently required while there are some types of law that are incredibly complex and nuanced and probably, if anything, require more training than people get in law school. Yet, there isn't any distinction in credentials between the guy who writes wills for old folks and the guy who runs horrendously complex billion dollar M&A deals. IMO the two paths shouldn't even be the same degree at this point and they definitely shouldn't cost the same amount of money. In my opinion, people who accept the obviously inflated tuition with no intention of pursuing high paying jobs are kind of idiots (absent LRAP / other forgiveness plans that reduce the effective COA for those career paths).

But to your more general point, I don't think aiming to be a lawyer offers substantially worse odds than the usual comparison suspects of medicine and dentistry. Yes, doctors and dentists are all but guaranteed to be able to find a job that pays a good wage for the rest of their careers once they get out of school while attorneys aren't, but for some reason everyone likes to conveniently forget all of the people who spend 3-4 years in undergrad trying to get into medical school or dental school and only to fail and have to scramble to find jobs as lab technicians, pharmaceutical reps, etc. or pursue graduate education in bio / chem / etc., none of which offer job prospects anywhere on par with medicine / dentistry on average.

The curriculum for medicine and dentistry programs really begins in undergrad as both have required undergraduate courses and expect their students to come in with a fair amount of knowledge (as evidenced by the subject area grade focus and substantive entrance exams). All of those tens of thousands of kids every year who go to expensive undergraduate schools taking pre-med or pre-dental courses only to fail to get in are essentially in the same position of having spent a lot of money and time without getting a "guaranteed" job to show for it.

The medical path or the dental path doesn't become "safe" until you've already demonstrated that you're going to be pretty good (i.e. a lot better than average) at the fundamental sciences that underpin those professions than the rest of the field, and law is pretty much the same way. The legal path doesn't become "safe" until you've done well your first year of law school, proven that you're a tolerable human being during your summer internships / work experience, and then proven yourself in practice for a few years. The real difference between the paths is that the medical and dental paths start several years before the legal path does, and they do their weeding out earlier because both programs are longer (7 years minimum after undergrad in medicine and 4 (really 5 now) in dentistry).

Basically, there's no such thing as a guaranteed path to professional / financial success anywhere in America. All higher education is a risk and any career path you look at is going to be littered with people who didn't achieve what they hoped they would starting out -- law is not unique in that regard. The disillusion lawyers have isn't even unique to graduate / professional programs; there are plenty of people who spend two or three years in college with nothing to show for it but a pile of debt or who come out of supposedly "good programs" under employed. I've got several friends who majored in computer science at expensive schools thinking it was the ticket to Silicon Valley riches only to end up with a pretty stiff reality check and 40k a year jobs when they realized a couple hundred thousand other people had the same idea and it takes a lot more to stand out than simply picking a "good" major.


A lot of good points here, but one thing you are missing is that everyone must pay for undergrad (lawyers, docs, and dentists) but docs and dentists don't have to pay for their professional degrees until they know they are going to "make it." Law students must pay for at least one year of law school before the weeding out process and before they know whether or not they're going to "make it," and even after 1L most of the ones who should drop out give in to the sunk cost fallacy and continue racking up debt to get a degree that they should never have pursued and now (likely) will spend the rest of their lives paying for.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed May 06, 2015 8:30 pm

bearsfan23 wrote:The couple dozen posters who constantly complain and bitch about their jobs on here should've never gone to law school period.

You need to understand you're getting a ridiculously warped picture of the legal profession if your just looking at TLS, which accounts for about.0001% of all lawyers.

Whether or not law school is a good decision should really come down to 3 things: 1) cost, 2) school, 3) whether you want to be a lawyer/have a plan to do something with your degree. Going to law school to work 10 years at a job you hate just to pay off loans just doesn't make any sense. But if you actually want to practice law, then its different


What exactly does that even really mean, though? This profession, like most things in life, is bound together as one job artificially by a professional association. A litigator at a big law firm is not "practicing law" the way an M&A lawyer is, nor is someone in Merck's in-house litigation team doing anywhere near the same job as someone on Google's copyright team. Someone doing direct legal services practices law with an entirely different set of priorities than someone who does impact litigation (which is entirely different from the biglaw litigator). And then throw in the government lawyers, the private family practice lawyers, the ambulance chasers, etc. It's widely disparate, and I don't really feel like any of them are really bound together by a joint love of "practicing law." And we've artificially decided that you need a law degree to do some of these things. A good friend of mine, who isn't a lawyer, regularly negotiates against actual lawyers for his company's NDAs, marking them up and passing them back and forth, and he does just fine without a law degree. Considering the importance of 'industry standard' for most of those types of agreements, he probably does a better job than a random lawyer in an unrelated field would do.

There are many different types of lawyers one can be, but the road to one that fits you might be blocked, and you might be unhappy with the options available. And it's difficult to know whether you'll truly like most of these things until it's a bit too late.

Caveat: I love my job, but I wouldn't say I love "practicing law". Toss me into most other legal jobs and I'd be an unhappy camper. I'm just lucky to have landed in one that fits me really well, but I can't say it was my motivation for going to law school.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed May 06, 2015 11:06 pm

Yeah -- rather than wanting to "practice law," it's probably more accurate to say that you should actually want to "do something that you need a JD to do."

TTTooKewl
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby TTTooKewl » Wed May 06, 2015 11:08 pm

Ty for the insightful post KidStuddi.

This thread took an unexpected turn to the informative

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed May 06, 2015 11:13 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
bearsfan23 wrote:The couple dozen posters who constantly complain and bitch about their jobs on here should've never gone to law school period.

You need to understand you're getting a ridiculously warped picture of the legal profession if your just looking at TLS, which accounts for about.0001% of all lawyers.

Whether or not law school is a good decision should really come down to 3 things: 1) cost, 2) school, 3) whether you want to be a lawyer/have a plan to do something with your degree. Going to law school to work 10 years at a job you hate just to pay off loans just doesn't make any sense. But if you actually want to practice law, then its different


What exactly does that even really mean, though? This profession, like most things in life, is bound together as one job artificially by a professional association. A litigator at a big law firm is not "practicing law" the way an M&A lawyer is, nor is someone in Merck's in-house litigation team doing anywhere near the same job as someone on Google's copyright team. Someone doing direct legal services practices law with an entirely different set of priorities than someone who does impact litigation (which is entirely different from the biglaw litigator). And then throw in the government lawyers, the private family practice lawyers, the ambulance chasers, etc. It's widely disparate, and I don't really feel like any of them are really bound together by a joint love of "practicing law." And we've artificially decided that you need a law degree to do some of these things. A good friend of mine, who isn't a lawyer, regularly negotiates against actual lawyers for his company's NDAs, marking them up and passing them back and forth, and he does just fine without a law degree. Considering the importance of 'industry standard' for most of those types of agreements, he probably does a better job than a random lawyer in an unrelated field would do.

There are many different types of lawyers one can be, but the road to one that fits you might be blocked, and you might be unhappy with the options available. And it's difficult to know whether you'll truly like most of these things until it's a bit too late.

Caveat: I love my job, but I wouldn't say I love "practicing law". Toss me into most other legal jobs and I'd be an unhappy camper. I'm just lucky to have landed in one that fits me really well, but I can't say it was my motivation for going to law school.


Not to mention you can't really know what practicing law entails until you start working. There are like 3000 different practicing law jobs.

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rouser
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby rouser » Thu May 07, 2015 10:51 pm

It's crazy how exhaustive attorneys make their interview process for low-end legal jobs. I guess it makes sense to find the best person and take advantage of the diluted pool, but wow some of the application processes just make me smile a bit. Couple of recent ones I had (jobless 3L/T50/Median): state trial-court 'clerkship' that pays $20/hr. Told during interview they're interviewing at 4 schools (including Michigan), plan to interview 50 people for first round, then invite back about 8 for round two. Other recent one was entry-level compliance; first, it took about 8 hours to complete the full application process (which included LSAT-style logic game questions, uncompensated travel, etc). Then I was told at end of interview they would be interviewing for about another month and a half (they proceeded to phone-reject me within 24 hours).

mirage1287
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby mirage1287 » Sat May 09, 2015 2:45 am

bearsfan23 wrote:The couple dozen posters who constantly complain and bitch about their jobs on here should've never gone to law school period.

You need to understand you're getting a ridiculously warped picture of the legal profession if your just looking at TLS, which accounts for about.0001% of all lawyers.

Whether or not law school is a good decision should really come down to 3 things: 1) cost, 2) school, 3) whether you want to be a lawyer/have a plan to do something with your degree. Going to law school to work 10 years at a job you hate just to pay off loans just doesn't make any sense. But if you actually want to practice law, then its different


This is a pretty ironic post because the majority of TLS seems to actually skew towards overly optimistic law school students or 0-3 year attorneys who realize they have no idea what's in store for their future. The reality is that you don't get the full picture of what being a lawyer is like until you're actually a lawyer. And then you realize that it's a profession that most people aren't suited for, either psychologically, intellectually or personality-wise. That's why you see so many unhappy lawyers. As someone who wanted to be a lawyer since before high school, the reality of the profession is a far cry from what most people imagine.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Sat May 09, 2015 1:59 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
bearsfan23 wrote:The couple dozen posters who constantly complain and bitch about their jobs on here should've never gone to law school period.

You need to understand you're getting a ridiculously warped picture of the legal profession if your just looking at TLS, which accounts for about.0001% of all lawyers.

Whether or not law school is a good decision should really come down to 3 things: 1) cost, 2) school, 3) whether you want to be a lawyer/have a plan to do something with your degree. Going to law school to work 10 years at a job you hate just to pay off loans just doesn't make any sense. But if you actually want to practice law, then its different


What exactly does that even really mean, though? This profession, like most things in life, is bound together as one job artificially by a professional association. A litigator at a big law firm is not "practicing law" the way an M&A lawyer is, nor is someone in Merck's in-house litigation team doing anywhere near the same job as someone on Google's copyright team. Someone doing direct legal services practices law with an entirely different set of priorities than someone who does impact litigation (which is entirely different from the biglaw litigator). And then throw in the government lawyers, the private family practice lawyers, the ambulance chasers, etc. It's widely disparate, and I don't really feel like any of them are really bound together by a joint love of "practicing law." And we've artificially decided that you need a law degree to do some of these things. A good friend of mine, who isn't a lawyer, regularly negotiates against actual lawyers for his company's NDAs, marking them up and passing them back and forth, and he does just fine without a law degree. Considering the importance of 'industry standard' for most of those types of agreements, he probably does a better job than a random lawyer in an unrelated field would do.

There are many different types of lawyers one can be, but the road to one that fits you might be blocked, and you might be unhappy with the options available. And it's difficult to know whether you'll truly like most of these things until it's a bit too late.

Caveat: I love my job, but I wouldn't say I love "practicing law". Toss me into most other legal jobs and I'd be an unhappy camper. I'm just lucky to have landed in one that fits me really well, but I can't say it was my motivation for going to law school.


I think you entirely missed bearsfan's point.

As I understand it (and this is a personal pet peeve of mine) there is an unfortunately large number of law students who don't actually want to practice ANY type of law. Those students fall into a whole bunch of categories, everything from "I went to law school because my degree in Spanish Literature only qualifies me to work as a barista" to "I was told that a JD will open the same doors as an MBA!" You don't even have to take my word for it - we see these posts all the time on these forums.

So yes, there are MANY kinds of lawyers and the "practice of law" is very broad. But that doesn't acknowledge the mass of students who apply to law school each year and are truly uninterested in ALL forms of practicing law.

I'm wholly sympathetic to the guy who wanted to be an ADA and unfortunately graduated law school during a government hiring freeze - he's screwed and probably working as a lawyer in a job that he hates, even though there may be a different version of "lawyer" wherein he'd be happy. But the guy who just went to law school because it was his "backup" when his journalism degree didn't pan out...? I think that's a real problem, and that's what bearsfan was talking about when writing that prospective students should consider:
whether you want to be a lawyer/have a plan to do something with your degree

xiao_long
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby xiao_long » Sat May 09, 2015 3:35 pm

I'll just chime in and say that comparing law schools to medical programs is in a way inappropriate.

Yes, the "up or out" process starts much earlier in medical programs. But once you get your foot in the door (i.e. admitted), it's pretty much all downhill from there. We never hear about medical students dropping out because of poor grades or "striking out" during OCI. The only real risk is if you find out you don't enjoy being a medical professional, but in terms of job security there's nothing comparable. As my doctor friend likes to say, "You have to actively try to fail med school. Getting in is the hardest step."

On to law school. Getting admitted to a top law program is only the first step. Then you have to do well, very well during 1L. Then you have to hope the economy doesn't sour and you don't screw up during your interviews. Then you have to hope you do well enough summering to get a full-time offer. Then you have to pray to God that you can survive Biglaw for at least a few years to pay off your debt. We know the work is notoriously brutal, and unlike doctors, you don't get the satisfaction of knowing that you're actually helping people. If you're honest, you'd probably feel like another replaceable cog in the machine; a cash cow that's being worked to death and eventually slaughtered when you're no longer profitable for the firm.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat May 09, 2015 4:54 pm

But I think people's point is that for med school, getting good grades in UG and getting into med school is basically the equivalent of getting good grades in 1L and not striking out at OCI. I'm sure there are people who burn out of residencies, and that part of medical school is brutal and much less well-paid than biglaw. And I'm not sure any satisfaction of helping people makes up for a lot of the administrative/bureaucratic nightmare side of medicine, and a system where the actual doctors usually spend 10 minutes or less with each patient (obviously not surgeons or the like, of course). Probably somewhat better job security once you're established somewhere, and I agree that they're hard to compare because they're very different, but I don't think medicine is as much of a slam dunk as you suggest.

xiao_long
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby xiao_long » Wed May 13, 2015 11:59 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:But I think people's point is that for med school, getting good grades in UG and getting into med school is basically the equivalent of getting good grades in 1L and not striking out at OCI. I'm sure there are people who burn out of residencies, and that part of medical school is brutal and much less well-paid than biglaw. And I'm not sure any satisfaction of helping people makes up for a lot of the administrative/bureaucratic nightmare side of medicine, and a system where the actual doctors usually spend 10 minutes or less with each patient (obviously not surgeons or the like, of course). Probably somewhat better job security once you're established somewhere, and I agree that they're hard to compare because they're very different, but I don't think medicine is as much of a slam dunk as you suggest.


Agreed. Medicine isn't a slam dunk; it's a layup. Law, by contrast, is a free throw - and the player at the line is none other than Wilt Chamberneezy.

auds1008
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby auds1008 » Wed May 13, 2015 4:48 pm

mirage1287 wrote:
bearsfan23 wrote:The couple dozen posters who constantly complain and bitch about their jobs on here should've never gone to law school period.

You need to understand you're getting a ridiculously warped picture of the legal profession if your just looking at TLS, which accounts for about.0001% of all lawyers.

Whether or not law school is a good decision should really come down to 3 things: 1) cost, 2) school, 3) whether you want to be a lawyer/have a plan to do something with your degree. Going to law school to work 10 years at a job you hate just to pay off loans just doesn't make any sense. But if you actually want to practice law, then its different


This is a pretty ironic post because the majority of TLS seems to actually skew towards overly optimistic law school students or 0-3 year attorneys who realize they have no idea what's in store for their future. The reality is that you don't get the full picture of what being a lawyer is like until you're actually a lawyer. And then you realize that it's a profession that most people aren't suited for, either psychologically, intellectually or personality-wise. That's why you see so many unhappy lawyers. As someone who wanted to be a lawyer since before high school, the reality of the profession is a far cry from what most people imagine.


I second this. You have to really want to be a lawyer to be able to mentally put up with all the BS that goes on in the legal world. One big thing I came to realize is that the legal industry is a service provider, which is very different from what I had imagined. Your client is your boss (at least in most biglaw settings), and so your advice (even though it's right) can sometimes be ignored. Your work also isn't necessarily acknowledged. It's good and bad, and I think you'll need the right personality to fit into this profession.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed May 13, 2015 7:28 pm

xiao_long wrote:I'll just chime in and say that comparing law schools to medical programs is in a way inappropriate.

Yes, the "up or out" process starts much earlier in medical programs. But once you get your foot in the door (i.e. admitted), it's pretty much all downhill from there. We never hear about medical students dropping out because of poor grades or "striking out" during OCI. The only real risk is if you find out you don't enjoy being a medical professional, but in terms of job security there's nothing comparable. As my doctor friend likes to say, "You have to actively try to fail med school. Getting in is the hardest step."

On to law school. Getting admitted to a top law program is only the first step. Then you have to do well, very well during 1L. Then you have to hope the economy doesn't sour and you don't screw up during your interviews. Then you have to hope you do well enough summering to get a full-time offer. Then you have to pray to God that you can survive Biglaw for at least a few years to pay off your debt. We know the work is notoriously brutal, and unlike doctors, you don't get the satisfaction of knowing that you're actually helping people. If you're honest, you'd probably feel like another replaceable cog in the machine; a cash cow that's being worked to death and eventually slaughtered when you're no longer profitable for the firm.


Once you do have a few years of experience in biglaw though, things usually get significantly better for you. I mean, nothing really compares to med school in terms of guaranteed job security, but you can make six figures for the rest of your life after a few years in biglaw as long as you work hard and don't burn too many bridges.

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FSK
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby FSK » Wed May 13, 2015 7:30 pm

Med school is not a reasonable comparison. It last 4 years, with 4 years residence, and the work is god damn disgusting. We're just hittin keys and pushin' paper.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby JohannDeMann » Wed May 13, 2015 7:45 pm

flawschoolkid wrote:Med school is not a reasonable comparison. It last 4 years, with 4 years residence, and the work is god damn disgusting. We're just hittin keys and pushin' paper.


If my kid really wanted to be a doctor I would be pretty meh about it. The payout is there, but the job isn't good either. And it's definitely not a great outcome for people that aren't very committed to it. Working for the government and big banks in generic corporate roles are where everyone should go if you want job security and a steady paycheck. If you want to make money and do something cool, tech is where it's at.

I'm not jealous of my accountant friends or doctor friends. I am jealous of people married to doctors or lawyers, engineers, government lawyers, and people in generic corporate America jobs. If my 16 year old self knew how much I'd be working now, I would have def got in the tech field.

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BiglawAssociate
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby BiglawAssociate » Mon May 25, 2015 7:53 pm

For rich kids, dat "prestige"

For poor kids, they are dumb

I will say though that I met more rich kids in law school than I ever have in my entire life (even having gone partly to private school). So law school is good for networking.

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alphasteve
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby alphasteve » Mon May 25, 2015 8:45 pm

I liked to argue, so I thought it would be a natural fit.



Nailed it.

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haus
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Re: Why the fuck does anyone go to law school?

Postby haus » Mon May 25, 2015 8:54 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:If my 16 year old self knew how much I'd be working now, I would have def got in the tech field.

The tech field is not bad. Although a lot of main stream positions are getting squeezed pretty hard, few companies are great long term employment prospects because tech (for most) is considered a cost center and is suspect to radical changes and outsourcing at a whim. Making the switch over to InfoSec is better (better pay, less likely to be outsourced, and depending on the speciality more interesting work). Although some people who transition over chafe at always being on call. For those at big enough/regulated enough industries the policy groups on security teams manage to get many of the benefits while holding onto bankers hours.

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basedvulpes
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