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How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:48 am
by portaprokoss
?

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:57 am
by Typhoon24
Show em lawschooltrancparancy.com

If their only exposure to law was from TV or movies, maybe get them to meet and shadow a real lawyer for a couple of days.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:00 pm
by Myself
.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:11 pm
by Danger Zone
Selflessly sacrifice your own career by failing to find a job and point to yourself as an example of someone who, despite being extremely talented and smart, got fucked over by law school.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:48 pm
by NotMyRealName09
Physical and emotional violence.

You know what though? I'm highly aware of all the whatnot available out there laying out the rational case for not attending lawschool. The job market is terrible even for top graduates at top schools, lower ranked schools are diploma mills, bimodal salary distribution, yada yada. The anecdotes from disgruntled law students and lawyers fill these boards. It's all true. In the aggregate, law school isn't a great option for anyone unless you have a full or almost full ride.

And yet.....someone somewhere goes to law school and ends up succesful. Someone has a natural talent for it all, and might never know that they were destined to be a fantastic lawyer because they never tried. The world doesn't need more lawyers, but it could use more great ones. And who knows who that will be until they get out there. And don't give me the "everyone thinks they are a special snowflake" argument - I know, but SOMEONE ends up #1 in every class.

So give them all the information and let them decide. If they go and fail - they wouldn't be the first person to make a bad life choice. It's just that all this "don't go to lawschool" venom seems to come from current law students and lawyers. I sense a little self-interest in it all - less law students mean better prospects for current law students and under-employed lawyers. And I sense a little regret and resentment from those who made the decision to become lawyers and are saddened it didn't work out for them.

I don't know what percentage of newly minted lawyers would, if they could, go back and never attend lawschool. But I'm just saying, if you take marriage advice from a divorcee, take it with the appropriate grains of salt. You don't ignore it, but you know its coming from a bitter place.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:04 pm
by Danger Zone
What is this shit

NotMyRealName09 wrote:You know what though? I'm highly aware of all the whatnot available out there laying out the rational case for not attending lawschool. The job market is terrible even for top graduates at top schools, lower ranked schools are diploma mills, bimodal salary distribution, yada yada. The anecdotes from disgruntled law students and lawyers fill these boards. It's all true. In the aggregate, law school isn't a great option for anyone unless you have a full or almost full ride.

And yet.....someone somewhere goes to law school and ends up succesful. Someone has a natural talent for it all, and might never know that they were destined to be a fantastic lawyer because they never tried. The world doesn't need more lawyers, but it could use more great ones. And who knows who that will be until they get out there. And don't give me the "everyone thinks they are a special snowflake" argument - I know, but SOMEONE ends up #1 in every class.

So give them all the information and let them decide. If they go and fail - they wouldn't be the first person to make a bad life choice. It's just that all this "don't go to lawschool" venom seems to come from current law students and lawyers. I sense a little self-interest in it all - less law students mean better prospects for current law students and under-employed lawyers. And I sense a little regret and resentment from those who made the decision to become lawyers and are saddened it didn't work out for them.

I don't know what percentage of newly minted lawyers would, if they could, go back and never attend lawschool. But I'm just saying, if you take marriage advice from a divorcee, take it with the appropriate grains of salt. You don't ignore it, but you know its coming from a bitter place.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:17 pm
by McGruff
Ultimately you can't. It's apparently really hard for people to look at your their situation and say, "despite my feeling to the contrary, there's no reason to assume I'm exceptional, so whether or not this is a good choice should be decided primarily by statistics" whereas it seems relatively easy to say "okay so long as I buckle down and work hard enough to get in the top X% and learn whatever skills I need to, this could turn out really well". Go figure.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:19 pm
by hephaestus
ajax adonis wrote:Paul Campos stuff and the Vale thread should do it.

I say this as opposed to LST b/c I've found that hard data doesn't usually convince law school applicants ("i'll just work hard etc and be in the top 10"). When you show them the horror stories that unemployed grads and 3Ls go through, it helps to show them what their life could be like.

I think this is true. I have also found lst to be ineffective because people hate the idea of being a statistic, and always think they'll overcome bad odds.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:53 pm
by Gorki
Honestly at this point if they are still gung ho to go you cannot stop them. The Atlantic, WSJ, and even CNN are making it an almost biweekly obligation to post "law school is a racket" articles. Students I know entering school do not really grasp that these loans have to be repaid, until about the end of 2L when the all turn into insufferable alcoholics w.depression.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:08 pm
by dowu
What's wrong with being an insufferable alcoholic with depression?

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:26 pm
by Gorki
dowu wrote:What's wrong with being an insufferable alcoholic with depression?

Nothing. I am one of them. But Joe Average McGunnerson does not even conceive of such an outcome. . . Until Feb of 1L.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:33 pm
by ironman467
I'm very happy with my current job as a JD graduate (waiting on bar results).

That being said, I'm extremely confident that I could have attained a relatively similar amount of success and salary without the last 3+ years of stress (well 1L and bar exam were stressfull...and the wait still is).

Being a lawyer is just not a great job and it is a pretty bad financial investment, IMOP. Even if you go to H/Y/S and are law review, then you get stuck in the big law cycle of never ending non happiness.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:37 pm
by dowu
ironman467 wrote:I'm very happy with my current job as a JD graduate (waiting on bar results).

That being said, I'm extremely confident that I could have attained a relatively similar amount of success and salary without the last 3+ years of stress (well 1L and bar exam were stressfull...and the wait still is).

Being a lawyer is just not a great job and it is a pretty bad financial investment, IMOP. Even if you go to H/Y/S and are law review, then you get stuck in the big law cycle of never ending non happiness.

But the questions remains; will you be happy in most jobs? What about te lack of upward mobility? What about that prestige?

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:52 pm
by Pretzel_Logic
Busting out my debt numbers helps. Or saying that although I actually want to practice law and would be good at it and I still question my decision to go this route, and plenty of my classmates didn't have the "actually want to practice" part in hand.

I convinced a friend of mine not to go mostly because I was pretty brutal about how much she was going to hate it. She only wanted one itty bitty niche and I explained all the incredible dominos that would have to fall into place to make that happen. She was already on the fence, and was not the most studious of souls (although she's smart as hell, just not type A-motivated), and had actually met real lawyers. I basically told her how much school sucked and how bad the market is and she ultimately decided not to go.

However...I've known plenty of other people super pumped up about law school and obviously had no idea what lawyers actually do all day and they were hopeless. You just gotta let those ones go.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:55 pm
by ironman467
dowu wrote:
ironman467 wrote:I'm very happy with my current job as a JD graduate (waiting on bar results).

That being said, I'm extremely confident that I could have attained a relatively similar amount of success and salary without the last 3+ years of stress (well 1L and bar exam were stressfull...and the wait still is).

Being a lawyer is just not a great job and it is a pretty bad financial investment, IMOP. Even if you go to H/Y/S and are law review, then you get stuck in the big law cycle of never ending non happiness.

But the questions remains; will you be happy in most jobs? What about te lack of upward mobility? What about that prestige?

Those are some fair points. I think most people are not happy with their work and it is indeed rare for people to find work that makes them happy.

There are some benefits - the prestige of saying I do what I do is pretty solid with lawyers and lay people. My upward mobility prospects are solid as well. Being an Esq. opens lots of doors.

But I'm not sure the benefits outweigh the negatives. And I went to school for free and have 0 debt from UG or law school.

If I am looking for a good ROI - law school isn't a good stock to buy right now for 95% of people. If you have a full ride, it is. If you have a family firm that is sound and has a long term book, it is. If you are JFK Jr. and can afford to go and fail the bar 34848 times, it is.

Its not for everyone and people need to think realllllly hard before taking the plunge.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:57 pm
by Gorki
ironman467 wrote:I'm very happy with my current job as a JD graduate (waiting on bar results).

That being said, I'm extremely confident that I could have attained a relatively similar amount of success and salary without the last 3+ years of stress (well 1L and bar exam were stressfull...and the wait still is).

Being a lawyer is just not a great job and it is a pretty bad financial investment, IMOP. Even if you go to H/Y/S and are law review, then you get stuck in the big law cycle of never ending non happiness.


I am at this point too. I realize that the "preftige" of law is had by about ~30 people aged 60 or older who argue in front of SCOTUS and run major firms. Everyone else is just a cell in a spreadsheet column for costs. You can help XYZ, Inc. negotiate their lease with Big Real Property Holdings, LLC... Or represent/defend in the case of John Doe v. Random Major American Corporation, D. Random State USA... I guess if that is prestigious, then okay. Could be replaced in a single day and no one would know. Is it true of most jobs? Well, yeah. But most jobs do not require a 3 year degree in relatively obscure topics related to the field at hand at ~$20,000 min per year.

It sounds cliche to say this but do not go to law school unless you know for sure you want to practice law. By that I mean, go to your local district/county court on DWI day and watch those attornies. That is where an overwhelming number of new law grads will end up, even from non-TTTs.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:01 pm
by Danger Zone
ironman467 wrote:If I am looking for a good ROI - law school isn't a good stock to buy right now for 95% of people. If you have a full ride, it is.

Nah, brudder. Dat opportunity cost.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:09 pm
by smaug_
Have them talk to lawyers.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:28 pm
by OneMoreLawHopeful
Danger Zone wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:You know what though? I'm highly aware of all the whatnot available out there laying out the rational case for not attending lawschool. The job market is terrible even for top graduates at top schools, lower ranked schools are diploma mills, bimodal salary distribution, yada yada. The anecdotes from disgruntled law students and lawyers fill these boards. It's all true. In the aggregate, law school isn't a great option for anyone unless you have a full or almost full ride.

And yet.....someone somewhere goes to law school and ends up succesful. Someone has a natural talent for it all, and might never know that they were destined to be a fantastic lawyer because they never tried. The world doesn't need more lawyers, but it could use more great ones. And who knows who that will be until they get out there. And don't give me the "everyone thinks they are a special snowflake" argument - I know, but SOMEONE ends up #1 in every class.

So give them all the information and let them decide. If they go and fail - they wouldn't be the first person to make a bad life choice. It's just that all this "don't go to lawschool" venom seems to come from current law students and lawyers. I sense a little self-interest in it all - less law students mean better prospects for current law students and under-employed lawyers. And I sense a little regret and resentment from those who made the decision to become lawyers and are saddened it didn't work out for them.

I don't know what percentage of newly minted lawyers would, if they could, go back and never attend lawschool. But I'm just saying, if you take marriage advice from a divorcee, take it with the appropriate grains of salt. You don't ignore it, but you know its coming from a bitter place.

What is this shit


It's basically my life.

I had severe family problems during undergrad and graduated with a GPA in the 2.2 range. I'm not a URM, so even after I scored a 175 on the LSAT, I was never going to get into the t14. Given my LSAT score, I figured I had a good shot at law school nonetheless, and I'm not terribly risk averse. I got into two law schools in the "top 50" and figured that I would drop out if my grades were terrible after the first semester. I ended up in the top 10% of my class, and I have a job at a v20 waiting for me when I graduate.

It's impossible for me to say "If I could do it all over again I wouldn't go..." because I absolutely would do it all over again. For some percentage of us, it's going to work out, even though we didn't go to the t14.

So, when someone says "I'm thinking of going to law school," I'm not going to talk them out of it, that would deny them the chance that I had. With my UGPA, going to the t14 just wasn't an option for me, but that's not the same thing as saying "You'll never be a lawyer," and claims to the contrary ignore my life. So, instead of talking someone out of going all together, I'd rather point out how difficult it is, and encourage them to set a realistic goal for when they should be prepared to drop out.

Re: How do I convince someone NOT to go to law school?

Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:43 pm
by Tiago Splitter
OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:So, instead of talking someone out of going all together, I'd rather point out how difficult it is, and encourage them to set a realistic goal for when they should be prepared to drop out.

If NMRM09 had added this caveat to his post it wouldn't have come off sounding so ridiculous. As it stands his post sounded like something a TTT dean would say to get people to go, and that always sends off alarm bells on TLS. Anyone thinking about going somewhere with mediocre employment stats needs to keep the cost very low and be willing to drop out quickly. Unfortunately it might be harder to convince people to drop out than it is to get them to avoid going altogether.