Do You Regret Going to Law School?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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Kronk
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Kronk » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:12 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Anyone who is 22-24 and is talking about not being a servant, soul-crushing debt/experience, horrible lack of options: make a note in google calendar to come back here in 10 years, whether you are a lawyer or not, and report back. I don't think many of the people in this thread know what it's like to actually hold a real job, so their criticism of the legal profession is heavily colored by not understanding that to make a very comfortable living ($100k+ lets say) you have to put up with a lot of stuff, whether you are a lawyer, doctor, banker, entrepreneur, you name it. Going to any professional school when you are 21/22 and taking out six figures in debt is incredibly stupid. You are not an adult yet and don't even know who you are.


Oh good, Preachy 30-Something XII has arrived.

enigmabk
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby enigmabk » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:26 pm

Kronk wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Anyone who is 22-24 and is talking about not being a servant, soul-crushing debt/experience, horrible lack of options: make a note in google calendar to come back here in 10 years, whether you are a lawyer or not, and report back. I don't think many of the people in this thread know what it's like to actually hold a real job, so their criticism of the legal profession is heavily colored by not understanding that to make a very comfortable living ($100k+ lets say) you have to put up with a lot of stuff, whether you are a lawyer, doctor, banker, entrepreneur, you name it. Going to any professional school when you are 21/22 and taking out six figures in debt is incredibly stupid. You are not an adult yet and don't even know who you are.


Oh good, Preachy 30-Something XII has arrived.

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sinfiery
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby sinfiery » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:27 pm

Emma. wrote:Why so? If even the good outcomes suck, doesn't that how how bad a choice law school really is?


Well, yeah. It has some merit but I don't think a lot of 0Ls are expecting to absolutely love their jobs. Especially right after graduation.

To me, it's more reinforcing a lesson of life that work kinda always sucks but isn't really that diminishing of law school specifically.

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nickb285
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby nickb285 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:29 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:high level drug dealer


dat preftige

LaBarrister
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby LaBarrister » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:43 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Anyone who is 22-24 and is talking about not being a servant, soul-crushing debt/experience, horrible lack of options: make a note in google calendar to come back here in 10 years, whether you are a lawyer or not, and report back. I don't think many of the people in this thread know what it's like to actually hold a real job, so their criticism of the legal profession is heavily colored by not understanding that to make a very comfortable living ($100k+ lets say) you have to put up with a lot of stuff, whether you are a lawyer, doctor, banker, entrepreneur, you name it. Going to any professional school when you are 21/22 and taking out six figures in debt is incredibly stupid. You are not an adult yet and don't even know who you are. If you conclude after law school that money is not that important to you, that is a totally valid conclusion. There are many things to do that are more creative, more laid back, more fun, less stressful, better control of hours. But that is not going to apply to any of the above professions, and there are very few anomalous other lucrative situations (professional athlete, movie star, win the lottery, marc cuban level of entrepreneurial success, high level drug dealer, huge amounts of inherited wealth).


I think there is a lot of truth, here.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:47 pm

Emma. wrote:
sinfiery wrote:
Emma. wrote:<-- 3L at good school. Great grades, minimal debt, lots of choices as far as jobs.

I've mostly enjoyed school and have made a lot of amazing friends, but I still regret going to law school.

Even the best options for practicing law pretty much all suck.


3Ls are more convincing about how terrible law school is when they complain about lack of jobs and soul crushing debt.


Why so? If even the good outcomes suck, doesn't that how how bad a choice law school really is?

The thing is, though, whether all the jobs suck is a really subjective thing. There are plenty of people who won't like any law jobs, but there are lots of people who will like some law jobs and maybe even some who will like lots of law jobs. Conversely, not being able to get a job at all and having a ton of debt is objectively terrible, no matter what kind of work you like to do.

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Emma.
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Emma. » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:59 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Emma. wrote:
sinfiery wrote:
Emma. wrote:<-- 3L at good school. Great grades, minimal debt, lots of choices as far as jobs.

I've mostly enjoyed school and have made a lot of amazing friends, but I still regret going to law school.

Even the best options for practicing law pretty much all suck.


3Ls are more convincing about how terrible law school is when they complain about lack of jobs and soul crushing debt.


Why so? If even the good outcomes suck, doesn't that how how bad a choice law school really is?

The thing is, though, whether all the jobs suck is a really subjective thing. There are plenty of people who won't like any law jobs, but there are lots of people who will like some law jobs and maybe even some who will like lots of law jobs. Conversely, not being able to get a job at all and having a ton of debt is objectively terrible, no matter what kind of work you like to do.


That's fair. I thought the thread was asking for our subjective response about whether we regretted school. I wasn't trying to claim that every law job sucks for every possible person, just that in my opinion the options you get even when everything goes right are still pretty shitty.

I certainly don't disagree that there are many worse outcomes than mine, but I'd suggest people considering law school really try to find out what practicing law is actually like before adopting a "all jobs suck, how bad can biglaw really be?" mentality.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:06 pm

Emma. wrote:
That's fair. I thought the thread was asking for our subjective response about whether we regretted school. I wasn't trying to claim that every law job sucks for every possible person, just that in my opinion the options you get even when everything goes right are still pretty shitty.

I certainly don't disagree that there are many worse outcomes than mine, but I'd suggest people considering law school really try to find out what practicing law is actually like before adopting a "all jobs suck, how bad can biglaw really be?" mentality.


Can you go into more detail about what makes the good law jobs so shitty?

I'm sure its stuff we've heard before and is part of TLS CW, but its always good to hear different perspectives.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:00 pm

Emma. wrote:That's fair. I thought the thread was asking for our subjective response about whether we regretted school. I wasn't trying to claim that every law job sucks for every possible person, just that in my opinion the options you get even when everything goes right are still pretty shitty.

I certainly don't disagree that there are many worse outcomes than mine, but I'd suggest people considering law school really try to find out what practicing law is actually like before adopting a "all jobs suck, how bad can biglaw really be?" mentality.

Oh, sure, people should definitely do their homework, I agree with that. And I get what you mean about the subjective answer - I just read your earlier post as saying that all legal jobs are (objectively) shitty, rather than that you don't like legal jobs (subjectively). The latter totally makes sense. (I find it telling, though, that you said "how bad can biglaw really be," when biglaw isn't the only kind of legal job out there.)

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby portaprokoss » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:04 pm

To those who think law isn't that bad, or that we're just spoiled whippersnappers who don't know what it's like in the real world, go to your law library. If your library is anything like mine, there will be a shelf with 40 or 50 titles along the lines of:

*****************************
Running from the law: Why Good Lawyers are Getting Out of the Legal Profession - Deborah Arron

The Lawyer's Myth: Reviving Ideals in the Legal Profession - Walter Bennett

The Destruction of Young Lawyers: Beyond One-L - Douglas Litowitz

Lawyers, Money, and Success: The Consequences of Dollar Obsession - Macklin Fleming

Law v. Life: What Lawyers are Afraid to Say About the Legal Profession - Walt Bachman

The Lost Lawyer: Failing Ideals of the Legal Profession - Anthony T. Kronman

How Lawyers Lose Their Way: A Profession Fails Its Creative Minds - Jean Stefancic and Richard Delga
*****************************

Find that shelf. Grab a book at random, just grab any one. Open to the first chapter, which will undoubtedly be titled something like "The Problem." Read it.

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Emma.
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Emma. » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:08 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:(I find it telling, though, that you said "how bad can biglaw really be," when biglaw isn't the only kind of legal job out there.)


I'm well aware that biglaw isn't the only option. I'm lucky to be in a position where I have a lot of options potentially open to me. That statement was meant for the (many) folks who are considering taking out a huge amount of debt for law school in the hopes of landing biglaw to pay it off. For a lot of those people, biglaw is the only viable option.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:34 pm

Emma. wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:(I find it telling, though, that you said "how bad can biglaw really be," when biglaw isn't the only kind of legal job out there.)


I'm well aware that biglaw isn't the only option. I'm lucky to be in a position where I have a lot of options potentially open to me. That statement was meant for the (many) folks who are considering taking out a huge amount of debt for law school in the hopes of landing biglaw to pay it off. For a lot of those people, biglaw is the only viable option.

True.

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sinfiery
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby sinfiery » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:37 pm

Emma. wrote:I'm well aware that biglaw isn't the only option. I'm lucky to be in a position where I have a lot of options potentially open to me. That statement was meant for the (many) folks who are considering taking out a huge amount of debt for law school in the hopes of landing biglaw to pay it off. For a lot of those people, biglaw is the only viable option.

Only until their debt is paid off!

After that, they can pursue all the other avenues a JD + no debt offers too!

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Kronk
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Kronk » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:38 pm

People on this forum like to forget LRAP / IBR / PSLF exists.

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sinfiery
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby sinfiery » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:42 pm

Kronk wrote:People on this forum like to forget LRAP / IBR / PSLF exists.

Dunno if I'd feel comfortable relying on Congress not to get rid of/significnatly alter PAYE for the 20 years I would be on it.


timbs343 made a good point about how it isn't necessarily true that those who entered the program before the changes congress makes would still be eligible for the full payment of debt after 20 years.

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Kronk
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Kronk » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:46 pm

sinfiery wrote:
Kronk wrote:People on this forum like to forget LRAP / IBR / PSLF exists.

Dunno if I'd feel comfortable relying on Congress not to get rid of/significnatly alter PAYE for the 20 years I would be on it.


timbs343 made a good point about how it isn't necessarily true that those who entered the program before the changes congress makes would still be eligible for the full payment of debt after 20 years.


Of course not. They could end the program if they wanted. But that would be pretty unprecedented. Also it would be 10 years on PSLF. Not as scurry.

I also think (especially with the schools I believe you have been accepted to) that you're underestimating what LRAPs looked like pre-IBR. They were pretty solid at a lot of schools, but tremendous at HYSB. Michigan was good as well, I think both Columbia and NYU very solid too. Even before IBR existed, actually, I calculated that if I worked in government or PI it would actually be cheaper for me to attend Berkeley at sticker than Virginia with 30K/yr, for instance.

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sinfiery
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby sinfiery » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:51 pm

Kronk wrote:Of course not. They could end the program if they wanted. But that would be pretty unprecedented. Also it would be 10 years on PSLF. Not as scurry.

I also think (especially with the schools I believe you have been accepted to) that you're underestimating what LRAPs looked like pre-IBR. They were pretty solid at a lot of schools, but tremendous at HYSB. Michigan was good as well, I think both Columbia and NYU very solid too. Even before IBR existed, actually, I calculated that if I worked in government or PI it would actually be cheaper for me to attend Berkeley at sticker than Virginia with 30K/yr, for instance.

Yeah, I definitely am. I haven't even bothered to research them yet considering the TLS CW of how getting a job that qualifies for those programs are much harder to get than biglaw, even from HYS.

Gonna look into it

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Kronk
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Kronk » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:54 pm

sinfiery wrote:
Kronk wrote:Of course not. They could end the program if they wanted. But that would be pretty unprecedented. Also it would be 10 years on PSLF. Not as scurry.

I also think (especially with the schools I believe you have been accepted to) that you're underestimating what LRAPs looked like pre-IBR. They were pretty solid at a lot of schools, but tremendous at HYSB. Michigan was good as well, I think both Columbia and NYU very solid too. Even before IBR existed, actually, I calculated that if I worked in government or PI it would actually be cheaper for me to attend Berkeley at sticker than Virginia with 30K/yr, for instance.

Yeah, I definitely am. I haven't even bothered to research them yet considering the TLS CW of how getting a job that qualifies for those programs are much harder to get than biglaw, even from HYS.

Gonna look into it


There used to be a pretty amazing thread on here comparing all the LRAPs. It's kind of moot with IBR at the moment though, because almost every law school has shifted to a program where you get on PSLF and then instead of paying the 10% of your salary that you would normally owe the government, the school pays it for you. So you end up paying nothing.

But you might want to do a forum search. Also, those jobs that qualify aren't quite as hard as you might've heard. Although they're certainly not easy. Just depends. City Attorney office? Scarce. Public defender / DA? Very, very easy to get.

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sinfiery
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby sinfiery » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:00 pm

Kronk wrote:There used to be a pretty amazing thread on here comparing all the LRAPs. It's kind of moot with IBR at the moment though, because almost every law school has shifted to a program where you get on PSLF and then instead of paying the 10% of your salary that you would normally owe the government, the school pays it for you. So you end up paying nothing.

But you might want to do a forum search. Also, those jobs that qualify aren't quite as hard as you might've heard. Although they're certainly not easy. Just depends. City Attorney office? Scarce. Public defender / DA? Very, very easy to get.

Looking into it, thanks. Always nice to have more options going into this whole thing.

qwertyboard
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby qwertyboard » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:23 pm

How much of a gamble is going to a top 13 LS and ending up with 60k in debt? I have some ties in the market where I want to practice (high profile executives etc) but no job lined up after graduation.

edit: I know how much is 60k but from what I've read in this thread I might be a bit too comfortable with the idea of 60k.

Yossarian79
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Yossarian79 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:48 am

Kronk wrote:
sinfiery wrote:
Kronk wrote:Of course not. They could end the program if they wanted. But that would be pretty unprecedented. Also it would be 10 years on PSLF. Not as scurry.

I also think (especially with the schools I believe you have been accepted to) that you're underestimating what LRAPs looked like pre-IBR. They were pretty solid at a lot of schools, but tremendous at HYSB. Michigan was good as well, I think both Columbia and NYU very solid too. Even before IBR existed, actually, I calculated that if I worked in government or PI it would actually be cheaper for me to attend Berkeley at sticker than Virginia with 30K/yr, for instance.

Yeah, I definitely am. I haven't even bothered to research them yet considering the TLS CW of how getting a job that qualifies for those programs are much harder to get than biglaw, even from HYS.

Gonna look into it


There used to be a pretty amazing thread on here comparing all the LRAPs. It's kind of moot with IBR at the moment though, because almost every law school has shifted to a program where you get on PSLF and then instead of paying the 10% of your salary that you would normally owe the government, the school pays it for you. So you end up paying nothing.

But you might want to do a forum search. Also, those jobs that qualify aren't quite as hard as you might've heard. Although they're certainly not easy. Just depends. City Attorney office? Scarce. Public defender / DA? Very, very easy to get.


On the similarity of the LRAPs, yes and no. It's certainly the case that post-IBR, things have converged across schools somewhat, but you still have situations where some schools have phenomenal LRAPs to supplement IBR (the T3, NYU, Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern), and others have, frankly, shit -- including places like Texas that are just outside of the T14 and should really offer something more.

sf_39
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby sf_39 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:09 am

portaprokoss wrote:To those who think law isn't that bad, or that we're just spoiled whippersnappers who don't know what it's like in the real world, go to your law library. If your library is anything like mine, there will be a shelf with 40 or 50 titles along the lines of:

*****************************
Running from the law: Why Good Lawyers are Getting Out of the Legal Profession - Deborah Arron

The Lawyer's Myth: Reviving Ideals in the Legal Profession - Walter Bennett

The Destruction of Young Lawyers: Beyond One-L - Douglas Litowitz

Lawyers, Money, and Success: The Consequences of Dollar Obsession - Macklin Fleming

Law v. Life: What Lawyers are Afraid to Say About the Legal Profession - Walt Bachman

The Lost Lawyer: Failing Ideals of the Legal Profession - Anthony T. Kronman

How Lawyers Lose Their Way: A Profession Fails Its Creative Minds - Jean Stefancic and Richard Delga
*****************************

Find that shelf. Grab a book at random, just grab any one. Open to the first chapter, which will undoubtedly be titled something like "The Problem." Read it.


I don't think anyone would deny law jobs being enjoyable and "worth it" is debatable and there's certainly arguments to be had but citing the fact people wrote books about the topic doesn't make it a clear cut answer. I'm sure I can find books about why law jobs are worth it, just like we can find books on both sides of any major argument.

sf_39
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby sf_39 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:12 am

Kronk wrote:People on this forum like to forget LRAP / IBR / PSLF exists.


I can understand why it's not as discussed and can understand the risk of relying on it as your sole means of paying back the debt. But given the current political climate it seems unlikely congress will be able to overturn it and even some people on the right don't like to take away promises that the government has already made.

I also think the tax hit can be overstated. The actual raw number dollar does look big if you project a small to moderate salary for 20 years starting with 6 digit debt, but if you discount that figure 23 years into the future it's not that bad and looks more manageable.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Tom Joad » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:15 am

No yet.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:42 am

Opposite of regret. Law school was a great decision for me - probably the best one I could possibly have made, career-wise.




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