Who's succeeding, why?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:59 pm

Coach wrote:It's because there is a 'TLS attitude' and noone wants to lower themselves to do a divorce, custody, bankruptcy , etc.


It's not that simple. Law school is expensive and people who take out loans for it often cannot afford to work at a small firm that has that kind of practice since they would suffocate beneath their interest payments. There's also the issue that can't just go solo on their own out of law school since that is difficult. And small firms aren't hiring tons of people.

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby minnbills » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:01 pm

bk1 wrote:
Coach wrote:It's because there is a 'TLS attitude' and noone wants to lower themselves to do a divorce, custody, bankruptcy , etc.


It's not that simple. Law school is expensive and people who take out loans for it often cannot afford to work at a small firm that has that kind of practice since they would suffocate beneath their interest payments. There's also the issue that can't just go solo on their own out of law school since that is difficult. And small firms aren't hiring tons of people.


+1 there are plenty of people who would love to have these jobs. They're not easy to get. All legal jobs are competitive right now.

Coach
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby Coach » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:09 pm

minnbills wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Coach wrote:It's because there is a 'TLS attitude' and noone wants to lower themselves to do a divorce, custody, bankruptcy , etc.


It's not that simple. Law school is expensive and people who take out loans for it often cannot afford to work at a small firm that has that kind of practice since they would suffocate beneath their interest payments. There's also the issue that can't just go solo on their own out of law school since that is difficult. And small firms aren't hiring tons of people.


+1 there are plenty of people who would love to have these jobs. They're not easy to get. All legal jobs are competitive right now.


It ABSOLUTELY has to be better for paying the bills than selling furniture.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:16 pm

Coach wrote:It ABSOLUTELY has to be better for paying the bills than selling furniture.


What is this even in response to?

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby minnbills » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:18 pm

Coach wrote:
minnbills wrote:
bk1 wrote:
Coach wrote:It's because there is a 'TLS attitude' and noone wants to lower themselves to do a divorce, custody, bankruptcy , etc.


It's not that simple. Law school is expensive and people who take out loans for it often cannot afford to work at a small firm that has that kind of practice since they would suffocate beneath their interest payments. There's also the issue that can't just go solo on their own out of law school since that is difficult. And small firms aren't hiring tons of people.


+1 there are plenty of people who would love to have these jobs. They're not easy to get. All legal jobs are competitive right now.


It ABSOLUTELY has to be better for paying the bills than selling furniture.


Yeah but these jobs aren't easy to get. Firms that practice in these areas want candidates with experience. Smaller firms generally don't have time or resources to train entry level people. So many people coming into these practice areas worked public interest or whatnot beforehand. You have to have some kind of experience beforehand. You either get that from another legal job or by working for no pay for a while.

User avatar
somewhatwayward
Posts: 1446
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:10 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby somewhatwayward » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:19 pm

Coach wrote:I have a business degree. Been there, blah dah-dah. I'm a teacher, more because I coach H.S. football, but still. I have no desire to be big law, to go to a TTT or TTTT or Tx10... My wife is a paralegal and her small, insignificant firm literally can't give work away and yes, they have more than enough to do so. It's because there is a 'TLS attitude' and noone wants to lower themselves to do a divorce, custody, bankruptcy , etc. For these people, I'm glad the coffee biz is good... I was simply looking to hear from "the bottom." Thank you for your replies.


When all is said and done, counting everything from big law to small firms doing Chapter 7 bankruptcies, there are at best 20,000 new legal jobs a year (including the ones that open due to people retiring) and 45,000 new JDs. No matter how hard students try in school, no matter how much they network, no matter how much flexibility they have about where they work or whether they do big law or divorce law, all 45,000 cannot get a legal job. It is not about a lack of willingness to practice certain types of law. Sure, maybe some students stubbornly insist on only corporate law to their detriment, but most students without jobs are desperate and would jump on any job opportunity.

Has your wife's firm actually solicited applications from recent law grads by posting on local schools' job websites or something? I would be shocked if they had done that and had not received at least 20 times the number of applications compared to positions they need to fill.

Gorki
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:41 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby Gorki » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:29 pm

Coach wrote:
IAFG wrote:What do you mean by "median" work? Are you talking about the "median" salary reported by NALP (in the $70-80k range IIRC)?


Anything less than the "dream..." From reading many articles online and this forum among others, I get the impression that $70-80k is not even a goal, little-lone say $50-60k. Aside from money, "median" could also reference the desired status that one may have percieved while going through the process. Rather than being a big name in the law world, they just pay the bills doing 'petty' P.I. and bankruptcy type stuff.


lol @ biglaw junior associates being "big names" in the law world... realistically you need to be a major circuit CoA judge, SCOTUS justice, named partner at a powerhouse, or academia at HYSCCN to quality as a big name in the law world.

.... on the other hand, Joe Average Public (95% + of population) probably views the local injury/bankruptcy law TV guy as the big name in law... Ironic, b/c the guy prob makes good cash, but does not have biglaw clients, and more often than not did not go to t14.


EDIT: I call BS on your story about the firm your wife working at having too much work... Unless you live in some remote area. We have recent grads working in shitlaw firms (talking taking really ethically questionable cases from clients who have questionable ability to even PAY the lawyers) for 9-12/hr as "attorney assistants" ffs.

Coach
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby Coach » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:44 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:
Coach wrote:I have a business degree. Been there, blah dah-dah. I'm a teacher, more because I coach H.S. football, but still. I have no desire to be big law, to go to a TTT or TTTT or Tx10... My wife is a paralegal and her small, insignificant firm literally can't give work away and yes, they have more than enough to do so. It's because there is a 'TLS attitude' and noone wants to lower themselves to do a divorce, custody, bankruptcy , etc. For these people, I'm glad the coffee biz is good... I was simply looking to hear from "the bottom." Thank you for your replies.


When all is said and done, counting everything from big law to small firms doing Chapter 7 bankruptcies, there are at best 20,000 new legal jobs a year (including the ones that open due to people retiring) and 45,000 new JDs. No matter how hard students try in school, no matter how much they network, no matter how much flexibility they have about where they work or whether they do big law or divorce law, all 45,000 cannot get a legal job. It is not about a lack of willingness to practice certain types of law. Sure, maybe some students stubbornly insist on only corporate law to their detriment, but most students without jobs are desperate and would jump on any job opportunity.

Has your wife's firm actually solicited applications from recent law grads by posting on local schools' job websites or something? I would be shocked if they had done that and had not received at least 20 times the number of applications compared to positions they need to fill.


Im not trying to imply they have enough "spare" work to sumplement an entire firm or anything like that but yes, when one their buddies wont or cant take a case they end up posting it. From what I understand they end up cutting their pocket to do it this way though. Not sure on the specs of that.

Coach
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby Coach » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:54 pm

Gorki wrote:
Coach wrote:
IAFG wrote:What do you mean by "median" work? Are you talking about the "median" salary reported by NALP (in the $70-80k range IIRC)?


Anything less than the "dream..." From reading many articles online and this forum among others, I get the impression that $70-80k is not even a goal, little-lone say $50-60k. Aside from money, "median" could also reference the desired status that one may have percieved while going through the process. Rather than being a big name in the law world, they just pay the bills doing 'petty' P.I. and bankruptcy type stuff.


lol @ biglaw junior associates being "big names" in the law world... realistically you need to be a major circuit CoA judge, SCOTUS justice, named partner at a powerhouse, or academia at HYSCCN to quality as a big name in the law world.

.... on the other hand, Joe Average Public (95% + of population) probably views the local injury/bankruptcy law TV guy as the big name in law... Ironic, b/c the guy prob makes good cash, but does not have biglaw clients, and more often than not did not go to t14.


EDIT: I call BS on your story about the firm your wife working at having too much work... Unless you live in some remote area. We have recent grads working in shitlaw firms (talking taking really ethically questionable cases from clients who have questionable ability to even PAY the lawyers) for 9-12/hr as "attorney assistants" ffs.


I have no reason to fabricate a story I otherwise would know nothing about. During the summer they pay me to do "document server' work, basically courier, for them and I have literally stood there while another firm/atty. would turn away cases I was sent with for them to look over. And I'm not talking about nice, fancy law offices, etc. Im talking about going to a buddies, nephews apt. to give the kid a friggin' hand-out. I'm positive all of you have much more knowledge on all this than I do. I'm simply offering a different perspective than I see here 97% of the time.

2xHarvard
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:06 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby 2xHarvard » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:23 pm

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you want to be a lawyer, there is no way to do so but to go to law school (except for, where, Wisconsin? where you can test on?) As with any sort of career preparation, there's a risk that a person starting out won't find work at the end of the education or training.

One possibility is to consider working for the government. I work for the Army and love it. Among my officer basic course classmates were graduates of all levels/types of law school, work experience, and personality. The same is true of those working at the State Attorney's Office where I interned both law school summers. There is no one right model or path for a person seeking legal employment.

And there are no guarantees in life....which suggests that one needs to enjoy law school for the journey and not just the destination!

User avatar
Icculus
Posts: 1421
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby Icculus » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:30 pm

bk1 wrote:
Coach wrote:5. Do you feel your education choices are holding you back?

Going to a lower ranked school will hinder your choices. Taking on a lot of debt for a higher ranked school creates a lot of risk though. I'm fairly sure that I would have had more options had I gone to a better school.


Well you should have thought about that in undergrad...slacker.

I haven't read all the responses but I agree with this in particular. I know there is constant debate about how much is too much to spend, but as someone who is paying full freight for a T14 I think the financial risk is worth it for the increased opportunity. Granted I was a splitter so even where I got scholarship money it wasn't that much.

Coach
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby Coach » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:34 pm

2xHarvard wrote:Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you want to be a lawyer, there is no way to do so but to go to law school (except for, where, Wisconsin? where you can test on?) As with any sort of career preparation, there's a risk that a person starting out won't find work at the end of the education or training.

One possibility is to consider working for the government. I work for the Army and love it. Among my officer basic course classmates were graduates of all levels/types of law school, work experience, and personality. The same is true of those working at the State Attorney's Office where I interned both law school summers. There is no one right model or path for a person seeking legal employment.

And there are no guarantees in life....which suggests that one needs to enjoy law school for the journey and not just the destination!


Yes!

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby FlanAl » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:09 pm

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183482

this thread might have some answers.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:29 pm

I don't understand why you posed this question if you've already decided you know what the answer is. I think you're wrong, but you don't seem very open to being persuaded so... why are you here?

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18402
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby bk1 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:27 pm

Icculus wrote:Well you should have thought about that in undergrad...slacker.

:(

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby Bronte » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:39 pm

FlanAl wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183482

this thread might have some answers.


I was thinking the same thing. OP, you should read this thread before you talk about the TLS mentality. Despite the title and inauspicious start, this thread ended up having some great stuff about non-big law options.

In general, people who don't do big law or highly desirable government and public interest work (think DOJ, SEC, ACLU, etc.) but do end up getting a JD required job are going to be working at small regional firms (often with one to twenty attorneys) or state government jobs. If you look at the true employment statistics of lower ranking schools, you'll see that most of those that do get jobs go to very small firms.

I don't know what else you want us to tell you.

Coach
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:29 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby Coach » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:30 am

IAFG wrote:I don't understand why you posed this question if you've already decided you know what the answer is. I think you're wrong, but you don't seem very open to being persuaded so... why are you here?


I'm not sure what I'm "wrong" about. I have only given my experience in response to other post. By no means do I believe my experience/knowledge of the workforce is the norm. I'm not debating something I know nothing about and that is why I asked the question(s). I was merely looking for what the reality of most law school grads must be. There have been statistics given on this thread that have essentially verified what I beleived, which is that there is a pulse outside of TTT, big-law, etc. Specifically, I was trying to hear from those people and immediately the thread got side tracked to the general TLS rhetoric.

FlanAl wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183482

this thread might have some answers.


This is the type of stuff I was looking for. Thank you.

User avatar
Icculus
Posts: 1421
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby Icculus » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:13 am

bk1 wrote:
Icculus wrote:Well you should have thought about that in undergrad...slacker.

:(


You're too sociable for one of those T10 schools. I regret my undergrad performance because of the impact it had on my getting any scholarship money.

utlaw2007
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:49 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby utlaw2007 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:46 pm

FlanAl wrote:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183482

this thread might have some answers.


This.

I contributed to this thread. But in short, it is possible to start your own practice right out of law school. It's not easy, but it is possible.

In general, whether there is life outside of biglaw, etc. depends on the region you are working. If you are in Texas, the answer is yes. But we have a great economy. I cannot speak for other regions.

User avatar
Uncle.Joe
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:40 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby Uncle.Joe » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:27 pm

TrialLawyer16 wrote:
TheThriller wrote:
rayiner wrote:When you meet a recent law grad in a good job, don't just take that single data point. Ask him what his friends are doing.

There are non-T14 folks in my associate class. But out of 100+ associates, there are maybe half a dozen who didn't go to a T14.



Yikes

+1


How is this yikes? Go to lawschool transparency and look at NLJ250 for non T14 schools. Outside of the top 20 your generally looking at about 10% of the class. Its a bloodbath out there.

User avatar
TheThriller
Posts: 2285
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:12 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby TheThriller » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:49 pm

Uncle.Joe wrote:
TrialLawyer16 wrote:
TheThriller wrote:
rayiner wrote:When you meet a recent law grad in a good job, don't just take that single data point. Ask him what his friends are doing.

There are non-T14 folks in my associate class. But out of 100+ associates, there are maybe half a dozen who didn't go to a T14.



Yikes

+1


How is this yikes? Go to lawschool transparency and look at NLJ250 for non T14 schools. Outside of the top 20 your generally looking at about 10% of the class. Its a bloodbath out there.


Yikes

6lehderjets
Posts: 226
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby 6lehderjets » Tue May 28, 2013 3:16 pm

.

User avatar
nickb285
Posts: 1500
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:25 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby nickb285 » Tue May 28, 2013 3:28 pm

6lehderjets wrote:.


Sweet necro.

User avatar
scifiguy
Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:41 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby scifiguy » Tue May 28, 2013 3:41 pm

rayiner wrote:And even if you do everything right, there is still risk. Some people end up bottom 1/4 even though they fully understand the highly stylized and game-able game that is 1L. Some people get good grades, hustle, and for reasons outside their control still come up short on the job search. But if you did what I said and went to a top school, that risk should be bearable if frightening.



What % of people are doing this at T14 law schools? Are there a significant portion of law students (particularly at top schools) who just don't focus on grades too much, nor the job search process and "waste" time doing "unimportant" other stuff?

I guess my question is if everyone is trying hard and playing by the same book (the advice you give above), then in the end is it still not in one's hands whether you land a biglaw job or not? ...I guess I figured most people who got into a T14 would know how to "play the game." If I'm wrong, then that's great to hear!

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Who's succeeding, why?

Postby IAFG » Tue May 28, 2013 5:31 pm

scifiguy wrote:
rayiner wrote:And even if you do everything right, there is still risk. Some people end up bottom 1/4 even though they fully understand the highly stylized and game-able game that is 1L. Some people get good grades, hustle, and for reasons outside their control still come up short on the job search. But if you did what I said and went to a top school, that risk should be bearable if frightening.



What % of people are doing this at T14 law schools? Are there a significant portion of law students (particularly at top schools) who just don't focus on grades too much, nor the job search process and "waste" time doing "unimportant" other stuff?

I guess my question is if everyone is trying hard and playing by the same book (the advice you give above), then in the end is it still not in one's hands whether you land a biglaw job or not? ...I guess I figured most people who got into a T14 would know how to "play the game." If I'm wrong, then that's great to hear!

Lots of people are shockingly bad at finding a job. I am not saying that everyone without a job didn't do a good job looking for one or that it's their fault. But as you see your cohort make really bizarre, self-destructive choices, you'll feel differently about this whole idea of what it means to be employable from a T14.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: houritsu and 6 guests