Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

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Kevinlomax
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Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby Kevinlomax » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:14 pm

Anyone else feel that they are just genuinely bad at law school?

I want to be an attorney, I am a little older with some work experience and I really enjoy the idea of being able to help clients...I am not in it for the money.

However, it seems like no matter how hard I try at law school I am slightly less than mediocre.

Writing assignments I score a few points below the median, getting called on in class I stumble and often don't know simple answers, mock trial I didn't make it past first round....grades are towards the bottom middle.

Sometimes I feel like maybe I am just not supposed to be a lawyer? I seem to enjoy it more than others, but I still haven't found anything at law school that I am actually "good" at. It gets pretty disheartening. Does anyone else feel this way? I am in the top 10% of LSAT scorers in my 1L class but it hasn't amounted to much in the way of law school success. I know the reason is not intelligence

BaileyJohnson
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby BaileyJohnson » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:24 pm

I am currently working as a paralegal at a small litigation firm. The principal partner at my firm isn't the smartest guy in the room. I would go as far as saying that one of our associates has more legal knowledge and is more intelligent than him. All that being said, my boss is amazing on his feet, he negotiates better than any man I have ever met and he simply gets what he wants. He went to a shitty law school and just worked his way through the ranks and eventually, opened up his own place.

On to my next point; the associate who I believe is smarter than my boss is awful on his feet and has trouble with confrontation. On paper he should be a good lawyer, but he isn't. Conversely, on paper my boss shouldn't be a good lawyer, but he is.

Hope my experience helps.

BigZuck
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby BigZuck » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:28 pm

Aren't you a 1L? Not sure you can even definitively say that you're bad at law school yet (let alone that you'll be a bad lawyer)

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Nebby
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby Nebby » Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:40 am

Though you lack experience, I think the TLS consensus is that there is little correlation. Welcome to the pyramid scheme: LSAT has no correlation with LS success & LS success has no correlation with being a good lawyer.

Intranetusa
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby Intranetusa » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:48 pm

Lawyers do a wide variety of things - negotiation, mediation, litigation, trial, business, smooching with clients, management, marketing, legal research, legal writing, technical writing, etc. Find out what you're good at. If you're not good at anything, well...maybe you should reconsider being a lawyer.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby JohannDeMann » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:13 pm

Intranetusa wrote:Lawyers do a wide variety of things - negotiation, mediation, litigation, trial, business, smooching with clients, management, marketing, legal research, legal writing, technical writing, etc. Find out what you're good at. If you're not good at anything, well...maybe you should reconsider being a lawyer.


This is pretty much accurate. If you like being a lawyer, chances are you'll be a good lawyer. It's really just a client service industry where giving a fuck will get you a long way. There are so many different types of lawyer jobs though that play off of any of the above skills. And it really only takes being good at one thing in the above to be a good lawyer. Good writers have a place in law, good shmoozers have a place in law, savvy business people have a place in law, good litigators have a place in law, people that can just balance their workload have a place in law... and it goes on and on.

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bruinfan10
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby bruinfan10 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:55 pm

pretty sure it's widely accepted that being good at law school does not mean you'll be good at practice (unless you're doing federal appellate work, and then there's some overlap). unless you're illiterate, i expect the converse is true as well.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:53 am

JohannDeMann wrote:
Intranetusa wrote:Lawyers do a wide variety of things - negotiation, mediation, litigation, trial, business, smooching with clients, management, marketing, legal research, legal writing, technical writing, etc. Find out what you're good at. If you're not good at anything, well...maybe you should reconsider being a lawyer.


This is pretty much accurate. If you like being a lawyer, chances are you'll be a good lawyer. It's really just a client service industry where giving a fuck will get you a long way. There are so many different types of lawyer jobs though that play off of any of the above skills. And it really only takes being good at one thing in the above to be a good lawyer. Good writers have a place in law, good shmoozers have a place in law, savvy business people have a place in law, good litigators have a place in law, people that can just balance their workload have a place in law... and it goes on and on.

Bolded is incredibly true and probably the number one lesson in this thread.

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twenty 8
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby twenty 8 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:55 pm

I believe this is universal….soar with your strengths. I have partners asking me to do things they struggle with, however, they are great in strategic areas I’m not yet prepared to tackle.

IMHO: Law school basically teaches you how to pass law school, period. You should know if being a lawyer is right for you after your 2L summer.

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bnazty
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby bnazty » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:03 pm

twenty 8 wrote:IMHO: Law school basically teaches you how to pass law school, period. You should know if being a lawyer is right for you after your 2L summer.

And by then you are in too deep, just like they wanted

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twenty 8
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby twenty 8 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:10 pm

bnazty wrote:
twenty 8 wrote:IMHO: Law school basically teaches you how to pass law school, period. You should know if being a lawyer is right for you after your 2L summer.

And by then you are in too deep, just like they wanted

Possibly….but keep in mind. Your 2L SA income will likely net you (est.) $25k-$30k.

olive16
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby olive16 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:27 pm

Related: I have hated almost every minute of my 3 years in LS. Will I also hate actually being a lawyer?

Persia
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby Persia » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:39 am

olive16 wrote:Related: I have hated almost every minute of my 3 years in LS. Will I also hate actually being a lawyer?


I loathed every minute of law school, but I think practicing is okay. No more endless class debates over nonsense hypotheticals. Clients come to you with actual concrete, real-world problems for you to fix. What you're doing matters to someone. It's also very nice to finally save money rather than lose it. I wouldn't say I get up every morning thrilled to go in to work, but I definitely don't hate the career.

hiima3L
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby hiima3L » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:20 am

Unequivocal NO.

I'm only a few years out, but I've had interns, co-workers, and supervisors who have run the gamut in terms of law school ranking and grades. The only trend I've noticed is that people with good grades, regardless of school, generally are smart and competent lawyers. Emphasis on generally--I've certainly met a few with incredible resumes whose work product is not very good. I've also met some brilliant attorneys who had ho-hum grades, went to TTTTs, and so on. For instance, in the same summer, we had a Yale/YLJ intern almost get fired for being such a goof-off while the TTTT student got absolutely glowing reviews from everyone.

As others have indicated ITT, different areas of law and practice require different skill sets. For instance, if you suck at writing, don't do appellate work. If you suck at public speaking, don't do jury work.

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Jordan77
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Re: Being bad at law school= being a bad lawyer?

Postby Jordan77 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:54 am

Absolutely not. Being a lawyer is all about experience. Once you have handled the same types of cases over many years, they become much easier to handle. Even if you suck initially, you will likely catch up with everyone else in your particular field.

Source: 5th year associate.




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