What color is your parachute for lawyers

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boogienights110
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What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby boogienights110 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:44 pm

I'm a 1L and I feel like I'm learning a lot of theory but not so much real lawyer stuff. Is there a list of books that will help me learn what what I want to do with this JD? Actually one single book recommendation would work. Thank You!

MinEMorris
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby MinEMorris » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:30 pm

Sorry, you're going to have to give more info before anyone can point you to any resources. What kind of law do you want to practice? Do you want to join a firm? Big firm, small firm? Transactional work or litigation? Do you want to hang up your own shingle? Are you considering being a public defender or district attorney?

The kinds of tasks you'll be doing, and thus what sort of preparation will help you, depends on your answers to these sorts of questions. Generally speaking, since you're a 1L you have plenty of time to worry about preparing yourself for actual legal work. Right now you should concentrate on learning the theoretical stuff and developing your research/writing skills.

boogienights110
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby boogienights110 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:15 pm

MinEMorris wrote:Sorry, you're going to have to give more info before anyone can point you to any resources. What kind of law do you want to practice? Do you want to join a firm? Big firm, small firm? Transactional work or litigation? Do you want to hang up your own shingle? Are you considering being a public defender or district attorney?

The kinds of tasks you'll be doing, and thus what sort of preparation will help you, depends on your answers to these sorts of questions. Generally speaking, since you're a 1L you have plenty of time to worry about preparing yourself for actual legal work. Right now you should concentrate on learning the theoretical stuff and developing your research/writing skills.

I suppose this is my point though. I don't know what a day in the life of a transactional attorney looks like versus that of a litigator. I have no frame of reference as I have no attorney family members, and I don't want to trust whats written in fiction about litigators. For instance does a transactional attorney wake up and start writing memos and contracts for their partners/research work? Does a litigator wake up and start crafting arguments to place in his brief and go to the jailhouse to interview the prisoner? I just have no idea.

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piccolittle
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby piccolittle » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:22 pm

boogienights110 wrote:
MinEMorris wrote:Sorry, you're going to have to give more info before anyone can point you to any resources. What kind of law do you want to practice? Do you want to join a firm? Big firm, small firm? Transactional work or litigation? Do you want to hang up your own shingle? Are you considering being a public defender or district attorney?

The kinds of tasks you'll be doing, and thus what sort of preparation will help you, depends on your answers to these sorts of questions. Generally speaking, since you're a 1L you have plenty of time to worry about preparing yourself for actual legal work. Right now you should concentrate on learning the theoretical stuff and developing your research/writing skills.

I suppose this is my point though. I don't know what a day in the life of a transactional attorney looks like versus that of a litigator. I have no frame of reference as I have no attorney family members, and I don't want to trust whats written in fiction about litigators. For instance does a transactional attorney wake up and start writing memos and contracts for their partners/research work? Does a litigator wake up and start crafting arguments to place in his brief and go to the jailhouse to interview the prisoner? I just have no idea.

Let's start with why you want to be a lawyer at all. That should probably narrow it down some.

boogienights110
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby boogienights110 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:33 pm

I want to help good people win and beat bad guys.

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Yukos
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby Yukos » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:45 pm

boogienights110 wrote:I want to help good people win and beat bad guys.


Oh boy.

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prezidentv8
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:47 pm

Yukos wrote:
boogienights110 wrote:I want to help good people win and beat bad guys.


Oh boy.


Precisely my thoughts.

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suralin
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby suralin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:51 pm

boogienights110 wrote:I want to help good people win and beat bad guys.


LOL. OP: I want to help good people win people whom I want to help and beat bad guys those whom I want to beat.

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LeDique
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby LeDique » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:59 pm

My parachute is golden. Just like my shower.

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cinephile
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby cinephile » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:03 pm

In all honesty, you probably don't want to be a lawyer.

But check with your school's CDO. Ours has a book on MBTI types and what field of law each type should do. After completing the Myers-Briggs assessment I was disappointed, but unsurprised, to find that my type is told to avoid the legal profession.

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suralin
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby suralin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:11 pm

cinephile wrote:In all honesty, you probably don't want to be a lawyer.

But check with your school's CDO. Ours has a book on MBTI types and what field of law each type should do. After completing the Myers-Briggs assessment I was disappointed, but unsurprised, to find that my type is told to avoid the legal profession.


The Myers-Briggs test/assessment seems like a flame to me. So did you actually follow that advice (to avoid the legal field)?

boogienights110
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby boogienights110 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:16 pm

I'm sorry if I have offended or confused you guys! I'm just looking for a book that's similar to what color is your parachute, specific to lawyers...laying out the fields, so I know what each actually entails. Thanks!

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justonemoregame
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby justonemoregame » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:21 pm

Do an amazon search for "legal jobs"

Volforlife
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby Volforlife » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:27 pm

boogienights110 wrote:I'm sorry if I have offended or confused you guys! I'm just looking for a book that's similar to what color is your parachute, specific to lawyers...laying out the fields, so I know what each actually entails. Thanks!


Preface: I am 0L

Don't know of such a book. I was put into contact with lawyers in a nearby metro area by reaching out to professors with connections. Sitting down to talk with actual professionals who could detail what their particular area of work entails was very informative and helped me to know what different practice areas are generally like at different levels. So, maybe try that.

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cinephile
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby cinephile » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:32 pm

Suralin wrote:
cinephile wrote:In all honesty, you probably don't want to be a lawyer.

But check with your school's CDO. Ours has a book on MBTI types and what field of law each type should do. After completing the Myers-Briggs assessment I was disappointed, but unsurprised, to find that my type is told to avoid the legal profession.


The Myers-Briggs test/assessment seems like a flame to me. So did you actually follow that advice (to avoid the legal field)?


Actually, I found it to be pretty spot on. And even if it weren't, 1L + my 1L summer job + 2L so far have told me that this is not good for me emotionally and I do pretty crappy work when I'm not into it. So yes, I do intend to quit at the end of this year (waiting to hear back about jobs).

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suralin
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby suralin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:32 pm

Volforlife wrote:
boogienights110 wrote:I'm sorry if I have offended or confused you guys! I'm just looking for a book that's similar to what color is your parachute, specific to lawyers...laying out the fields, so I know what each actually entails. Thanks!


Preface: I am 0L

Don't know of such a book. I was put into contact with lawyers in a nearby metro area by reaching out to professors with connections. Sitting down to talk with actual professionals who could detail what their particular area of work entails was very informative and helped me to know what different practice areas are generally like at different levels. So, maybe try that.


+1. Do informational interviews.

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suralin
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby suralin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:36 pm

cinephile wrote:
Suralin wrote:
cinephile wrote:In all honesty, you probably don't want to be a lawyer.

But check with your school's CDO. Ours has a book on MBTI types and what field of law each type should do. After completing the Myers-Briggs assessment I was disappointed, but unsurprised, to find that my type is told to avoid the legal profession.


The Myers-Briggs test/assessment seems like a flame to me. So did you actually follow that advice (to avoid the legal field)?


Actually, I found it to be pretty spot on. And even if it weren't, 1L + my 1L summer job + 2L so far have told me that this is not good for me emotionally and I do pretty crappy work when I'm not into it. So yes, I do intend to quit at the end of this year (waiting to hear back about jobs).


Ah I see, that's perfectly reasonable. Yeah, I think I've seen your posts in the Alternative Careers thread. Good luck!

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:08 pm

Suralin wrote:
cinephile wrote:In all honesty, you probably don't want to be a lawyer.

But check with your school's CDO. Ours has a book on MBTI types and what field of law each type should do. After completing the Myers-Briggs assessment I was disappointed, but unsurprised, to find that my type is told to avoid the legal profession.


The Myers-Briggs test/assessment seems like a flame to me. So did you actually follow that advice (to avoid the legal field)?

Funnily enough, my MBTI type comes up as the QUINTESSENTIAL lawyer type. So far, so good - hope that continues to work out...

On-topic, OP, my school gave out this book when I started: http://www.amazon.com/Official-Guide-Le ... 0159003911 - it's certainly not perfect (at all), but it's something to look at.

boogienights110
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby boogienights110 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:27 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Suralin wrote:
cinephile wrote:In all honesty, you probably don't want to be a lawyer.

But check with your school's CDO. Ours has a book on MBTI types and what field of law each type should do. After completing the Myers-Briggs assessment I was disappointed, but unsurprised, to find that my type is told to avoid the legal profession.


The Myers-Briggs test/assessment seems like a flame to me. So did you actually follow that advice (to avoid the legal field)?

Funnily enough, my MBTI type comes up as the QUINTESSENTIAL lawyer type. So far, so good - hope that continues to work out...

On-topic, OP, my school gave out this book when I started: http://www.amazon.com/Official-Guide-Le ... 0159003911 - it's certainly not perfect (at all), but it's something to look at.

lol I just bought a copy of this used on amazon 5 minutes before you posted. Thanks though, at least I know I made the right(ish) decision!

MinEMorris
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby MinEMorris » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:32 pm

I'm sorry if I have offended or confused you guys! I'm just looking for a book that's similar to what color is your parachute, specific to lawyers...laying out the fields, so I know what each actually entails. Thanks!


Sorry, while I've seen books go into varying detail about what different areas of the law entail for a lawyer practicing within them, I'm not aware of one that thoroughly catalogues the possibilities.

As a starting point, I think it's important to be aware that the possible uses for an attorney are practically endless. Basically, any time that the law is involved, a lawyer might be useful and thus may be hired. That lawyer maybe giving advice as to how to best do something (e.g. structure a deal) or avoid something (e.g. tax fraud), representing someone in court, ensuring that a person or business is in compliance with the law, helping to draft documents/items of legal significance (legislation, motions, law review articles, contracts, communications between parties that may lead to litigation, etc.), adjudicating a dispute, teaching people the law, selecting a jury, so on and so on. Often, a single legal assignment requires engaging in many of these activities. For example, litigating a claim on behalf of a client. You may negotiate with the other side, write motions to the court, be the actual trial lawyer in court, write a settlement agreement (essentially a contract), select a jury, do legal research to support the people working on the case, etc. etc. In some cases one lawyer does all of these tasks (e.g. a solo practitioner in a personal injury case), and in other cases you have different attorneys that specialize in each separate task and it's virtually all they do. Heck, in some situations the case is so huge that even those tasks can be subdivided (e.g. one group of attorneys writes the procedural argument in the motion to dismiss and another group of attorneys writes the Copyright Act Section ____ argument). These extremes and everything inbetween are possibilities.


Judging by your helping good people vs. bad people comment, it sounds like your main attraction to law is basically a sense of justice. People who feel that way tend to be most attracted to litigation or criminal justice because it is the most adversarial of all of the legal areas. I think a good start for you would be to narrow down your search by thinking about what areas of "justice" you feel most passionate about. Is it people being unfairly deported? Pollution? Unfair labor conditions? Criminals getting away with crime? The lack of representation for underprivileged criminal defendants? Apparent violations of constitutional rights? etc.

Once you have a good sense of that, you can start thinking about what you would most like to do in those areas. For example, lets say you want to help underprivileged criminal defendants. Maybe you want to have a hand in drafting new legislation related to criminal laws, in which case you can look up attorneys involved in this area and see what career paths they had to take to get there. Maybe you like public speaking and the vibe of being in trial, in which case an obvious choice would be being a public defender, and you can look up what they do and what it takes. Maybe you're shy but would like to make legal arguments, such as criminal appeals for the underprivileged. Then you can look up Appellate Defenders and see what paths they usually took to get there.

TLDR: search your soul, then search the area of law and match the jobs with your personality and interests.

boogienights110
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby boogienights110 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:41 pm

MinEMorris wrote:
I'm sorry if I have offended or confused you guys! I'm just looking for a book that's similar to what color is your parachute, specific to lawyers...laying out the fields, so I know what each actually entails. Thanks!


Sorry, while I've seen books go into varying detail about what different areas of the law entail for a lawyer practicing within them, I'm not aware of one that thoroughly catalogues the possibilities.

As a starting point, I think it's important to be aware that the possible uses for an attorney are practically endless. Basically, any time that the law is involved, a lawyer might be useful and thus may be hired. That lawyer maybe giving advice as to how to best do something (e.g. structure a deal) or avoid something (e.g. tax fraud), representing someone in court, ensuring that a person or business is in compliance with the law, helping to draft documents/items of legal significance (legislation, motions, law review articles, contracts, communications between parties that may lead to litigation, etc.), adjudicating a dispute, teaching people the law, selecting a jury, so on and so on. Often, a single legal assignment requires engaging in many of these activities. For example, litigating a claim on behalf of a client. You may negotiate with the other side, write motions to the court, be the actual trial lawyer in court, write a settlement agreement (essentially a contract), select a jury, do legal research to support the people working on the case, etc. etc. In some cases one lawyer does all of these tasks (e.g. a solo practitioner in a personal injury case), and in other cases you have different attorneys that specialize in each separate task and it's virtually all they do. Heck, in some situations the case is so huge that even those tasks can be subdivided (e.g. one group of attorneys writes the procedural argument in the motion to dismiss and another group of attorneys writes the Copyright Act Section ____ argument). These extremes and everything inbetween are possibilities.


Judging by your helping good people vs. bad people comment, it sounds like your main attraction to law is basically a sense of justice. People who feel that way tend to be most attracted to litigation or criminal justice because it is the most adversarial of all of the legal areas. I think a good start for you would be to narrow down your search by thinking about what areas of "justice" you feel most passionate about. Is it people being unfairly deported? Pollution? Unfair labor conditions? Criminals getting away with crime? The lack of representation for underprivileged criminal defendants? Apparent violations of constitutional rights? etc.

Once you have a good sense of that, you can start thinking about what you would most like to do in those areas. For example, lets say you want to help underprivileged criminal defendants. Maybe you want to have a hand in drafting new legislation related to criminal laws, in which case you can look up attorneys involved in this area and see what career paths they had to take to get there. Maybe you like public speaking and the vibe of being in trial, in which case an obvious choice would be being a public defender, and you can look up what they do and what it takes. Maybe you're shy but would like to make legal arguments, such as criminal appeals for the underprivileged. Then you can look up Appellate Defenders and see what paths they usually took to get there.

TLDR: search your soul, then search the area of law and match the jobs with your personality and interests.
Wow this post was very thoughtful. Thanks for the information. I think I'll look these things up like you said!

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suralin
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby suralin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:43 pm

OP, this is a pretty good online resource: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1143.htm#practice_areas

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atcushman
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby atcushman » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:08 pm

"guerrilla tactics for getting the legal job of your dreams"-decent

boogienights110
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby boogienights110 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:28 pm

Suralin wrote:OP, this is a pretty good online resource: http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1143.htm#practice_areas

Wow you guys are really helpful! Thanks!

boogienights110
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Re: What color is your parachute for lawyers

Postby boogienights110 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:29 pm

atcushman wrote:"guerrilla tactics for getting the legal job of your dreams"-decent

I definitely check this out.




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