What is up with this semester?!

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sillyboots
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby sillyboots » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:05 am

I think law school might be the only profession I've encountered where many (if not most) people in the profession agree that the worst part was the education. Maybe I just haven't spoken to enough people, but I rarely hear doctors say how much they hated med school, or professors say how much they hated grad school, but lawyers saying how much they hated law school is common place.

This isn't to say that being in school, even law school, doesn't have its unique luxuries. But I will say just speaking with people in law school and surveying the people around me, most people in law school seem to be less happy than they were before law school, regardless of their background. Even people who left slave-labor jobs to work through law school seem to be dragging. Law school really does seem to have a damper effect, putting a cloud even over your free time. Obviously, some don't experience this, but a lot of people do.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby AVBucks4239 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:09 am

Kimberly wrote:Well, I am not out yet. I still see patients every day. But, you are right, people are different. I love the idea of medicine and I have tremendous respect for my colleagues including my nurses and medical assistants... they all provide a vital service to our society. Many of my best friends are very fulfilled in medicine. But, I am not fulfilled. I personally find it utterly depressing to listen to everyone's woes day in and day out. I find it extremely frustrating to realize anew every 15 minutes that someone is sabotaging their own health and wellbeing. But most importantly, it is painstakingly awful to work everyday in a broken system and not have the power to improve the system. Moreover, I have learned about myself that I am a systems person. Systems are my focus. Many of my colleagues could give a shit about the broken system-- some of them can't even recognize that it is broken because they are too busy pondering the best treatment approach to such and such (which bores the hell outta me). I like working with large systems, working with policy, and writing. I am pursuing health law and health policy with the same hope that we all have- to find fulfillment. I hope it works out for me this time... we shall see.

Oh just wait until you're a 1L and realize that you have five more semesters of this shit.

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InnocuousDiatribe
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby InnocuousDiatribe » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:14 am

Kimberly wrote:Get a freaking hobby that challenges you and excites you. Explore your surroundings. Do something that is meaningful to you. And, to support earlier sentiments and provide a glimmer of hope for you, law school may not be your calling but lawyering might be.... time will tell.


I interviewed with a well-respected federal district judge this past winter, and I asked her how I could balance school and life while in law school. Guess what she said:

"There is no balance. Only school. Now is not the time for new hobbies, friends, traveling. That's for after you make partner."

I'm going to have to side with beachbum on this one. I don't think anyone is trying to be a jackass. But law school is nothing like the real world, and, I imagine, nothing like med school. (I'm not going to speculate because I don't know what med school is like.)

Kimberly wrote:I like working with large systems, working with policy, and writing. I am pursuing health law and health policy with the same hope that we all have- to find fulfillment. I hope it works out for me this time... we shall see.


If you think you're going to law school to influence policy, I hope you're going to Harvard Law--in 1970. But who knows? Maybe you'll be the exception that proves the rule. If you do see problems with the system, and you really think you can make the change, I encourage you to try (really). Best of luck.

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Gettingstarted1928
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:28 am

InnocuousDiatribe wrote:
Kimberly wrote:Get a freaking hobby that challenges you and excites you. Explore your surroundings. Do something that is meaningful to you. And, to support earlier sentiments and provide a glimmer of hope for you, law school may not be your calling but lawyering might be.... time will tell.


I interviewed with a well-respected federal district judge this past winter, and I asked her how I could balance school and life while in law school. Guess what she said:

"There is no balance. Only school. Now is not the time for new hobbies, friends, traveling. That's for after you make partner."

I'm going to have to side with beachbum on this one. I don't think anyone is trying to be a jackass. But law school is nothing like the real world, and, I imagine, nothing like med school. (I'm not going to speculate because I don't know what med school is like.)

Kimberly wrote:I like working with large systems, working with policy, and writing. I am pursuing health law and health policy with the same hope that we all have- to find fulfillment. I hope it works out for me this time... we shall see.


If you think you're going to law school to influence policy, I hope you're going to Harvard Law--in 1970. But who knows? Maybe you'll be the exception that proves the rule. If you do see problems with the system, and you really think you can make the change, I encourage you to try (really). Best of luck.


I would never sacrifice my youth like that. Definitely work hard, but to say "there is no balance. Only School" is kind of ridiculous.

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spleenworship
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby spleenworship » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:32 am

Gettingstarted1928 wrote:
Kimberly wrote:
beachbum wrote:For all of you wide-eyed, totally-can't-wait-for-law-school-lol 0Ls: this is not the thread/forum for you. Though we sure do appreciate your advice on law school.


FYI, I have been through something at least equally as painful- Medical school AND residency- my perspective counts at least a little bit. So thank you for your jack-assness but it is misplaced.


It's so funny how different people are. If I had what it took to get into a mediocre med school, I would have done it. The profession seems so much more fulfilling than law. Why did you get out?


I talked to a lawyer the other day who has an MD. He is much happier doing med mal (plaintiffs side) than medicine.

They are very different jobs.

All the same, if I spent 7-12 years of my life getting an MD and I was unhappy, there is no way in hell I would go back to school for 3 years. I'd just save up a shitload of money and retire.

Kimberly, I also feel you shouldn't really comment. It just isn't the same. I also question how happy you would be as a lawyer... very few lawyers actually influence policy. You should do it because you actually like the day to day things lawyers do: research, reading, writing, finding solutions to problems (most of them as simple), and advocating for them.

I worked in allied health before law school and while I would never go back, I didn't enter law school solely to leave, but rather because I actually wanted to be a lawyer. Make sure that is what you want.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby AVBucks4239 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:43 am

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Last edited by AVBucks4239 on Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kimberly
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby Kimberly » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:47 am

Law school is not like med school in terms of content. I can't comment on how to write an exam or how to learn the rules or spot the issues or write the outlines; but, do you think the depression, the questions of whether or not you have chosen the right course for your life, the creeping regrets that you may be sacrificing your youth and/or lots of financial resources for something you are unsure of, are not common? They are common. That is the place of shared experience from which I offered advice. Obviously, just like I can't know what it is like to get a divorce or be diagnosed with cancer-- things I am often in the position of giving advice about-- I can't know what it is like to be a law student. This fact does not mean that there are not some elements of shared experience that we can all learn from. I felt bad for OP and I didn't want OP to lose hope... I was therefore only hoping to offer a nugget of hope and perspective from my own experiences. That said, anyone is welcome to disregard any of my unwelcome comments.

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ThreeRivers
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby ThreeRivers » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:57 am

< wide-eyed pumped to start 0L

This thread is depressing :(

I'll go back to lurking now lol

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reformed calvinist
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby reformed calvinist » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:02 am

sillyboots wrote:I think law school might be the only profession I've encountered where many (if not most) people in the profession agree that the worst part was the education. Maybe I just haven't spoken to enough people, but I rarely hear doctors say how much they hated med school, or professors say how much they hated grad school, but lawyers saying how much they hated law school is common place.

This isn't to say that being in school, even law school, doesn't have its unique luxuries. But I will say just speaking with people in law school and surveying the people around me, most people in law school seem to be less happy than they were before law school, regardless of their background. Even people who left slave-labor jobs to work through law school seem to be dragging. Law school really does seem to have a damper effect, putting a cloud even over your free time. Obviously, some don't experience this, but a lot of people do.


seek and ye shall find, etc. Plenty of professors I've gotten to know (mainly young, nontenured) will freely bitch about the stresses of grad school. I imagine med school is no different. People always find a way to feel miserable and persecuted. Law school is not hard content-wise. Med school is probably more difficult. Healthcare isn't contracting like law though, and there's none of this T14 obsession with med schools, so that's got to take the edge off. Everyone likes to preach and bitch about the uniqueness of their misery. Whatever.

But yeah, fuck law school.
Last edited by reformed calvinist on Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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NYC Law
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby NYC Law » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:02 am

portaprokoss wrote:This semester is rough. I love the intellectual challenge and I love the law, the way of thinking and solving problems. But I hate law school, law students, and law professors. I've really started to resent cold-calls, chronic hand-raisers, and people who cross-their arms and snort when other people talk. The people are walking yin-yangs of ego and insecurity; what would they do without law school?

I'm starting to feel like the law is a rat race that nobody wins. I have family members and family friends who graduated top of their class from top law schools and have been extremely successful in big law or big gov. Some are obscenely wealthy. Some have made an "impact" on the law. They're all unhappy. The only happy lawyer I know is an equity partner who agreed to postpone his retirement on the condition that he work 100% out of his home and not deal with other lawyers.

If you're the kind of person who cannot be content unless he's #1, you will never find satisfaction in the law. If you're top-5%, you'll wish you were #1. If you're #1, you'll be bitter that you weren't at Yale. If you're at Yale, you're be bitter that your scholarship wasn't higher . . . ad nauseum. People come to law school b/c it's the ultimate intellectual cock-measure, but only one person has the biggest cock; and that person still wishes theirs was bigger. What makes so sickening is it's all so thinly, thinly veiled. You're obliged not to acknowledge it, obliged to be polite, be a good sport about the whole thing. But everyone knows what's behind the veil.

/rant


+1. Well put.



Dear Gentle OP,

Law School is byzantine pointless exercise. You're beginning to realize it. Your reaction is normal. Don't worry: there is life after law school, and for many, practicing law is much better. Your summer experience may provide some hope.

Yours, etc.,

Advice Dog


IDK about this. Every practicing attorney I spoke to urged me not to go to law school. They all said it's a horrible profession and you spend all day dealing with extremely grimy attorneys. It's just a shit profession, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Anyone who knows what lawyers actually do, and says they like it are a damn liar. It's a job you put up with because it pays higher than average.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby reformed calvinist » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:09 am

NYC Law wrote:
portaprokoss wrote:This semester is rough. I love the intellectual challenge and I love the law, the way of thinking and solving problems. But I hate law school, law students, and law professors. I've really started to resent cold-calls, chronic hand-raisers, and people who cross-their arms and snort when other people talk. The people are walking yin-yangs of ego and insecurity; what would they do without law school?

I'm starting to feel like the law is a rat race that nobody wins. I have family members and family friends who graduated top of their class from top law schools and have been extremely successful in big law or big gov. Some are obscenely wealthy. Some have made an "impact" on the law. They're all unhappy. The only happy lawyer I know is an equity partner who agreed to postpone his retirement on the condition that he work 100% out of his home and not deal with other lawyers.

If you're the kind of person who cannot be content unless he's #1, you will never find satisfaction in the law. If you're top-5%, you'll wish you were #1. If you're #1, you'll be bitter that you weren't at Yale. If you're at Yale, you're be bitter that your scholarship wasn't higher . . . ad nauseum. People come to law school b/c it's the ultimate intellectual cock-measure, but only one person has the biggest cock; and that person still wishes theirs was bigger. What makes so sickening is it's all so thinly, thinly veiled. You're obliged not to acknowledge it, obliged to be polite, be a good sport about the whole thing. But everyone knows what's behind the veil.

/rant


+1. Well put.



Dear Gentle OP,

Law School is byzantine pointless exercise. You're beginning to realize it. Your reaction is normal. Don't worry: there is life after law school, and for many, practicing law is much better. Your summer experience may provide some hope.

Yours, etc.,

Advice Dog


IDK about this. Every practicing attorney I spoke to urged me not to go to law school. They all said it's a horrible profession and you spend all day dealing with extremely grimy attorneys. It's just a shit profession, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Anyone who knows what lawyers actually do, and says they like it are a damn liar. It's a job you put up with because it pays higher than average.


But what is it that lawyers "do"? Blanket identifiers are rarely useful. It sure seems like every lawyer I speak to is miserable, but I would think the misery of Biglaw/biggov/small law etc. are different in their own ways. If you don't try to differentiate it or slap some concrete on the abstractions, we're just playing misery poker. Which is the point of TLS. So...carry on?

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NYC Law
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby NYC Law » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:17 am

reformed calvinist wrote:
But what is it that lawyers "do"? Blanket identifiers are rarely useful. It sure seems like every lawyer I speak to is miserable, but I would think the misery of Biglaw/biggov/small law etc. are different in their own ways. If you don't try to differentiate it or slap some concrete on the abstractions, we're just playing misery poker. Which is the point of TLS. So...carry on?


The general process of reading very technical things, copying and pasting things all day, or just having to read a very large bulk of documents is fairly common regardless of the type of law. There are always outliers, but assuming you aren't a special snowflake, you'll be doing those tasks most of the time. All while having to deal with some of the worst people known to man on a daily basis. Enjoy.

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InnocuousDiatribe
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby InnocuousDiatribe » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:19 am

ThreeRivers wrote:< wide-eyed pumped to start 0L

This thread is depressing :(

I'll go back to lurking now lol


If it makes you feel any better, despite what I wrote earlier, I love law school.

Granted, it's stressful and hard work, but you still find studying law immensely rewarding if you immerse yourself in it, engage the material, and are okay with (or can learn to be okay with) being confused 95% of the time. If you're the type to think to yourself "What If" scenarios for fun, you may find law school to be fun too.

You also have to sort of realize that none of this stuff is going to matter when you leave law school (or the final for the class, for that matter--until the bar exam anyway). You aren't really learning "law," you're just mentally mastur---ing... the material. I think the only classes I've learned actual law in were my legal writings and an atypical civil procedure class, where the professor actually made us file pleadings and affidavits, rather than learn stream of commerce issues. All IMHO.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby reformed calvinist » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:26 am

I guess the thing that drives me crazy about these types of discussions is the uniqueness argument. Especially the presumption that the misery is somehow greater than med school. There is the whole greater stability thing, and the fact that the average med student likely has better job prospects. But that seems to be more perspective. Med school is going to result in a lot of late, lonely, assbreaking nights before you get to a steady and manageable lifestyle. Doctors deal with people all the time, lots of miserable and insufferable people, and there's a shitload of paperwork nightmares. But again, at least they don't have the whole T14 thing-job prospects seem pretty good. If you tough it through med school you'll probably land ok. Law is completely different, so you might as well not pay $200k and 3 years of your life for the privilege. But being stressed, overworked, miserable, soulcrushed? Sorry, lawyers don't have the monopoly on that.

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NYC Law
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby NYC Law » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:44 am

reformed calvinist wrote:I guess the thing that drives me crazy about these types of discussions is the uniqueness argument. Especially the presumption that the misery is somehow greater than med school. There is the whole greater stability thing, and the fact that the average med student likely has better job prospects. But that seems to be more perspective. Med school is going to result in a lot of late, lonely, assbreaking nights before you get to a steady and manageable lifestyle. Doctors deal with people all the time, lots of miserable and insufferable people, and there's a shitload of paperwork nightmares. But again, at least they don't have the whole T14 thing-job prospects seem pretty good. If you tough it through med school you'll probably land ok. Law is completely different, so you might as well not pay $200k and 3 years of your life for the privilege. But being stressed, overworked, miserable, soulcrushed? Sorry, lawyers don't have the monopoly on that.


You're right, they dont. No one said they do. There's a reason high paying jobs are high paying.

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L’Étranger
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby L’Étranger » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:46 am

NYC Law wrote:You're right, they dont. No one said they do. There's a reason high paying jobs are high paying.


This.

And to build on that idea - the high salary that law school grads (still) command is why it's hard to offer sympathy to whiny-sad law students. This is not a career path that was thrust upon anyone, and the majority of us knew the risks going in. Stay positive. It's a better way to live.

LSATNightmares
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby LSATNightmares » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:39 am

I've been feeling a bit this way too this semester. Initially, I thought maybe it was just the winter weather giving me blues this far north. We also have more work this semester. But I'm wondering if I'm burnt out after giving it my all last semester. I'm starting to find people more annoying this year. I try to keep things like grades, internships, and special honors quiet, but I've heard people I know brag about what they got. I became so depressed a couple of weeks ago, I decided I needed to change my approach. I decided to join the Christian group here at the law school. I never went in the past because I was so worried about grades. That helps bring perspective. I'm also trying to take more breaks at home by getting into some good TV series. But no matter what, I think many people are in the same boat.

69Coronet
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby 69Coronet » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:47 am

I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling like this...

Last semester I burned the candle at both ends, studied, read, memorized, etc. I networked a bit, felt positive about my prospects for exams and potential employment. Then I did far worse on my exams than I wanted to, and now here I am, over a month into second semester. Technically, I still have a chance to improve my grades because all but 1 grade was on a midterm, which are only worth 25% of my final grades, so if I knocked it out of the park come finals, I could be alright.

However, after breaking my back to try and do well last semester, I am sort of floundering around now trying to figure out what the hell to do and change about my studying habits. I went and met with professors and most of them were either surprised I didn't do well or told me that I really just must not have been dedicated to the material enough. That doesn't get me anywhere.
I managed to nab an internship with a 1st Circuit Court of Appeals judge, which was basically the only bright spot for me of this entire shit-streaked 1L year thus far, but getting the internship has done nothing for my confidence in my ability to get a job in the future.

Instead, my sub-par grades, the gunners who still raise their hands and want to answer every question, those same gunners and other misc shitheads bragging about their spectacular grades, professors cold-calling and wanting to know stupid minute details of every case, 250+ pages of Con Law reading per assignment, a legal writing professor who isn't teaching me to write, and a contracts professor who lectures himself in circles combine to make me feel depressed/angry/hopeless on a daily basis, which really sucks, because I am usually a pretty positive person. Everyone around me has always called me an optimist.
I have started making a habit out of taking the first train home and playing Grand Theft Auto IV for a half an hour or so every day. It helps me get rid of some aggression/allows me to be a fictional badass for a few minutes. Then I can usually drag myself over the hump to go back to studying.
I've also let networking go by the wayside, so that I haven't reached out to some of the contacts I was ready to get in touch with to try and make some connections during this first part of the second semester since there is less work now than there was during exam period in December/November. :roll:

Seriously, fuck law school. I shoulda majored in econ and went to work at one of the financial firms here in the city. I've got friends I graduated with who are doing that and already doing pretty well for themselves, while I am here in law school wondering if I'll ever have employment.

I will say though, it feels good to have others who feel the same way I do. Its like a support group or something. It actually feels good to have gotten this all off of my chest... On that note, I'm off to read for contracts...

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AVBucks4239
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby AVBucks4239 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:33 pm

ThreeRivers wrote:< wide-eyed pumped to start 0L

This thread is depressing :(

I'll go back to lurking now lol

Don't get me wrong, I love law school. But, prospective students with rose-colored glasses need a reality check before getting here. You're not going to change the world with a law degree.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby reformed calvinist » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:42 pm

AVBucks4239 wrote:You're not going to change the world with a law degree.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby AVBucks4239 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:33 pm

reformed calvinist wrote:
AVBucks4239 wrote:You're not going to change the world with a law degree.

Touche.

LawMan20
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby LawMan20 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:36 pm

AVBucks4239 wrote:
reformed calvinist wrote:
AVBucks4239 wrote:You're not going to change the world with a law degree.

Touche.


No, he's not a douche; he's just a realist. People need to realize that they most likely won't have a significant effect on the world, regardless of what career they pursue.

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johansantana21
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby johansantana21 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:37 pm

LawMan20 wrote:
AVBucks4239 wrote:
reformed calvinist wrote:
AVBucks4239 wrote:You're not going to change the world with a law degree.

Touche.


No, he's not a douche; he's just a realist. People need to realize that they most likely won't have a significant effect on the world, regardless of what career they pursue.


lol.

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NYC Law
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby NYC Law » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:43 pm

johansantana21 wrote:
LawMan20 wrote:
AVBucks4239 wrote:
reformed calvinist wrote:You're not going to change the world with a law degree.

Touche.


No, he's not a douche; he's just a realist. People need to realize that they most likely won't have a significant effect on the world, regardless of what career they pursue.


lol.

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Gettingstarted1928
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Re: What is up with this semester?!

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:51 pm

reformed calvinist wrote:I guess the thing that drives me crazy about these types of discussions is the uniqueness argument. Especially the presumption that the misery is somehow greater than med school. There is the whole greater stability thing, and the fact that the average med student likely has better job prospects. But that seems to be more perspective. Med school is going to result in a lot of late, lonely, assbreaking nights before you get to a steady and manageable lifestyle. Doctors deal with people all the time, lots of miserable and insufferable people, and there's a shitload of paperwork nightmares. But again, at least they don't have the whole T14 thing-job prospects seem pretty good. If you tough it through med school you'll probably land ok. Law is completely different, so you might as well not pay $200k and 3 years of your life for the privilege. But being stressed, overworked, miserable, soulcrushed? Sorry, lawyers don't have the monopoly on that.


The degree of interaction is going to depend on the field, though (e.g., family doctor vs. surgeon).




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