Stupid Question But Worth Asking

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blugirl400
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Stupid Question But Worth Asking

Postby blugirl400 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:51 pm

What exactly do lawyers do? From what I've heard any ideas about actually doing good are misplaced and idealistic. Also, I continually hear that going to law school is a horrible decision. Do law students/graduates feel this way as well? I am considering going to law school because I wanted to do animal law and because I don't really know what to do with my life (from what I've heard these are terrible reasons to go to law school). I've gone so far as to apply but don't know if I will actually go.

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dingbat
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Re: Stupid Question But Worth Asking

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:02 am

blugirl400 wrote:What exactly do lawyers do? From what I've heard any ideas about actually doing good are misplaced and idealistic. Also, I continually hear that going to law school is a horrible decision. Do law students/graduates feel this way as well? I am considering going to law school because I wanted to do animal law and because I don't really know what to do with my life (from what I've heard these are terrible reasons to go to law school). I've gone so far as to apply but don't know if I will actually go.

what lawyers do varies wildly. Some lawyers spend most of their time looking for clients.

-There are lawyers who basically draft documents - mostly simple wills, divorce, bankruptcy, etc.
-There are lawyers who spend most of their time reviewing documents - looking for errors, checking everything matches, looking for that one email where the sender gives the case away
-There are lawyers who spend most of their days researching - finding related cases and reading them, trying to figure out what the precedent is, the exact law
-There are lawyers who go to court from time to time (never "majority of their time") who spend a lot of time reading the research or the reviewed documents (see previous two), interviewing witnesses, rehearsing what they'll say in court, having an encyclopedic knowledge of the case, so They're not caught off guard but can catch the other side's mistake
-There are lawyers who spend most of their time reviewing the tax code trying to figure out loopholes
the list goes on - but most do a combination of the above

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Stupid Question But Worth Asking

Postby fundamentallybroken » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:03 am

The best way I've ever heard it: Lawyers solve problems. This may involve grueling litigation, or crazy-detailed work on corporate transactions, but in the end, it's all about solving a problem for your client. I love law school, and I love working my summers at my firm.

That said, law school is a terrible fall back plan for not knowing what to do with your life. It costs a lot of money, jobs are scarce, and the work can break you if you're not fully committed.

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dingbat
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Re: Stupid Question But Worth Asking

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:13 am

fundamentallybroken wrote:The best way I've ever heard it: Lawyers solve problems. This may involve grueling litigation, or crazy-detailed work on corporate transactions, but in the end, it's all about solving a problem for your client. I love law school, and I love working my summers at my firm.

Not always. A lot of lawyers prevent problems - telling clients what not to do, making sure that everything the client wants to do is kosher, etc.

But that's the wrong kind of "what does a lawyer do" question. It doesn't tell a prospective law student what an attorney's day-to-day activities are

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Stupid Question But Worth Asking

Postby fundamentallybroken » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:18 am

dingbat wrote:
fundamentallybroken wrote:The best way I've ever heard it: Lawyers solve problems. This may involve grueling litigation, or crazy-detailed work on corporate transactions, but in the end, it's all about solving a problem for your client. I love law school, and I love working my summers at my firm.

Not always. A lot of lawyers prevent problems - telling clients what not to do, making sure that everything the client wants to do is kosher, etc.

But that's the wrong kind of "what does a lawyer do" question. It doesn't tell a prospective law student what an attorney's day-to-day activities are


Well yeah, there is prevention - I kind of lump that in with "solving problems."

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A. Nony Mouse
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Stupid Question But Worth Asking

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:22 am

dingbat wrote:
blugirl400 wrote:What exactly do lawyers do? From what I've heard any ideas about actually doing good are misplaced and idealistic. Also, I continually hear that going to law school is a horrible decision. Do law students/graduates feel this way as well? I am considering going to law school because I wanted to do animal law and because I don't really know what to do with my life (from what I've heard these are terrible reasons to go to law school). I've gone so far as to apply but don't know if I will actually go.

what lawyers do varies wildly. Some lawyers spend most of their time looking for clients.

-There are lawyers who basically draft documents - mostly simple wills, divorce, bankruptcy, etc.
-There are lawyers who spend most of their time reviewing documents - looking for errors, checking everything matches, looking for that one email where the sender gives the case away
-There are lawyers who spend most of their days researching - finding related cases and reading them, trying to figure out what the precedent is, the exact law
-There are lawyers who go to court from time to time (never "majority of their time") who spend a lot of time reading the research or the reviewed documents (see previous two), interviewing witnesses, rehearsing what they'll say in court, having an encyclopedic knowledge of the case, so They're not caught off guard but can catch the other side's mistake
-There are lawyers who spend most of their time reviewing the tax code trying to figure out loopholes
the list goes on - but most do a combination of the above

DAs/PDs can spend an awful lot of time in court - maybe not the majority of time, but it's got to be close. (Not in trial, but in court.)

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dingbat
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Re: Stupid Question But Worth Asking

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:30 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
dingbat wrote:
blugirl400 wrote:What exactly do lawyers do? From what I've heard any ideas about actually doing good are misplaced and idealistic. Also, I continually hear that going to law school is a horrible decision. Do law students/graduates feel this way as well? I am considering going to law school because I wanted to do animal law and because I don't really know what to do with my life (from what I've heard these are terrible reasons to go to law school). I've gone so far as to apply but don't know if I will actually go.

what lawyers do varies wildly. Some lawyers spend most of their time looking for clients.

-There are lawyers who basically draft documents - mostly simple wills, divorce, bankruptcy, etc.
-There are lawyers who spend most of their time reviewing documents - looking for errors, checking everything matches, looking for that one email where the sender gives the case away
-There are lawyers who spend most of their days researching - finding related cases and reading them, trying to figure out what the precedent is, the exact law
-There are lawyers who go to court from time to time (never "majority of their time") who spend a lot of time reading the research or the reviewed documents (see previous two), interviewing witnesses, rehearsing what they'll say in court, having an encyclopedic knowledge of the case, so They're not caught off guard but can catch the other side's mistake
-There are lawyers who spend most of their time reviewing the tax code trying to figure out loopholes
the list goes on - but most do a combination of the above

DAs/PDs can spend an awful lot of time in court - maybe not the majority of time, but it's got to be close. (Not in trial, but in court.)

You're right - I was thinking of trial.
Brings up another tast: filing and amending, filling out paperwork, etc.

and another task: talking, negotiating, facilitating, arguing, even mediating

to be honest, I'm mostly familiar with corporate/transactional practices, but I've worked with other kinds of lawyers too

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suralin
better than you
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Re: Stupid Question But Worth Asking

Postby suralin » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:38 am

dingbat wrote:
blugirl400 wrote:What exactly do lawyers do? From what I've heard any ideas about actually doing good are misplaced and idealistic. Also, I continually hear that going to law school is a horrible decision. Do law students/graduates feel this way as well? I am considering going to law school because I wanted to do animal law and because I don't really know what to do with my life (from what I've heard these are terrible reasons to go to law school). I've gone so far as to apply but don't know if I will actually go.

what lawyers do varies wildly. Some lawyers spend most of their time looking for clients.

-There are lawyers who basically draft documents - mostly simple wills, divorce, bankruptcy, etc.
-There are lawyers who spend most of their time reviewing documents - looking for errors, checking everything matches, looking for that one email where the sender gives the case away
-There are lawyers who spend most of their days researching - finding related cases and reading them, trying to figure out what the precedent is, the exact law
-There are lawyers who go to court from time to time (never "majority of their time") who spend a lot of time reading the research or the reviewed documents (see previous two), interviewing witnesses, rehearsing what they'll say in court, having an encyclopedic knowledge of the case, so They're not caught off guard but can catch the other side's mistake
-There are lawyers who spend most of their time reviewing the tax code trying to figure out loopholes
the list goes on - but most do a combination of the above


This is helpful. +1

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dingbat
Posts: 4976
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Re: Stupid Question But Worth Asking

Postby dingbat » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:39 am

Suralin wrote:This is helpful. +1

I probably should have thought about it before I started typing, but someone else can pick up the errors or fill in the gaps (as A Nony Mouse already did)




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