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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Skye
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Skye » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:53 pm

I spent a part of this week at my SA firm for some initial guidelines. Everyone was in a good mood (they had just won a headline case). However I learned that that one of the SAs was not invited back. Kind of a big deal since they only recruit 4-5 2L SAs a year. So I can imagine that we’ll soon be hearing from someone that law & LS sucks and they regret ever having taken the LSAT.

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Kronk
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Kronk » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:56 pm

Skye wrote:I spent a part of this week at my SA firm for some initial guidelines. Everyone was in a good mood (they had just won a headline case). However I learned that that one of the SAs was not invited back. Kind of a big deal since they only recruit 4-5 2L SAs a year. So I can imagine that we’ll soon be hearing from someone that law & LS sucks and they regret ever having taken the LSAT.


I know there is a tendency to think that everyone that regrets law school just ended up unemployed and is bitter, but that really isn't the case. I got an SA, I got offered a job, I have several job opportunities now, and I still regret it. It's just not the kind of work I want to do. It's fine though--it'll be a job just like anything else. I just had higher hopes of having a job I actually felt fulfilled by, and as it turns out fulfillment will still come fromt other stuff--mountain climbs, family experiences, etc. So do I regret going to law school? To me, that reads more like "do you regret wasting three years of your life to be just as fulfilled as you would've been anyway?"

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Lasers
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Lasers » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:02 pm

Kronk wrote:
Skye wrote:I spent a part of this week at my SA firm for some initial guidelines. Everyone was in a good mood (they had just won a headline case). However I learned that that one of the SAs was not invited back. Kind of a big deal since they only recruit 4-5 2L SAs a year. So I can imagine that we’ll soon be hearing from someone that law & LS sucks and they regret ever having taken the LSAT.


I know there is a tendency to think that everyone that regrets law school just ended up unemployed and is bitter, but that really isn't the case. I got an SA, I got offered a job, I have several job opportunities now, and I still regret it. It's just not the kind of work I want to do. It's fine though--it'll be a job just like anything else. I just had higher hopes of having a job I actually felt fulfilled by, and as it turns out fulfillment will still come fromt other stuff--mountain climbs, family experiences, etc. So do I regret going to law school? To me, that reads more like "do you regret wasting three years of your life to be just as fulfilled as you would've been anyway?"

you're right. i think there are generally two groups that regret law school: those with bad or unlucky outcomes and are unemployed or unhappily employed, and those that thought law was something it wasn't and are naturally unfulfilled.

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Skye
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Skye » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:11 pm

Kronk wrote:
Skye wrote:I spent a part of this week at my SA firm for some initial guidelines. Everyone was in a good mood (they had just won a headline case). However I learned that that one of the SAs was not invited back. Kind of a big deal since they only recruit 4-5 2L SAs a year. So I can imagine that we’ll soon be hearing from someone that law & LS sucks and they regret ever having taken the LSAT.


I know there is a tendency to think that everyone that regrets law school just ended up unemployed and is bitter, but that really isn't the case. I got an SA, I got offered a job, I have several job opportunities now, and I still regret it. It's just not the kind of work I want to do. It's fine though--it'll be a job just like anything else. I just had higher hopes of having a job I actually felt fulfilled by, and as it turns out fulfillment will still come fromt other stuff--mountain climbs, family experiences, etc. So do I regret going to law school? To me, that reads more like "do you regret wasting three years of your life to be just as fulfilled as you would've been anyway?"

+1. I can relate. LS is certainly not everyone's first choice. As someone once told me, nobody really starts off wishing to be a salesperson (but yet, there they are)... maybe that holds true for a number of Law Students.

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Kronk » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:15 pm

For me it was more

1) I thought that law school would allow me to work for public interest orgs and government agencies trying to help people, and the inane law stuff would just be the medium for that, but then realized it's all just inane shit, and lawyers really don't do that much to help people at are--or at least there are far better careers for it.

2) I thought the litigation process would be a little more creative in crafting arguments, but it's just regurgitation. Anyone can research and throw up old case law onto a page. So basically, as long as you can write well and are intelligent, you don't need to be a lawyer or go to law school to do it. You could take a one semester course in how to write a brief, read a case, and do legal research and then start working in an office and be just as good as 3 years of law school and bar prep. So I feel like a fraud in that sense.

I will say that I think there is potential that looking back, 10 years out, I'll be happy that I did it. Who knows. I just know that as of now I believe the above, which makes it a waste of time.

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:20 pm

Kronk wrote:For me it was more

1) I thought that law school would allow me to work for public interest orgs and government agencies trying to help people, and the inane law stuff would just be the medium for that, but then realized it's all just inane shit, and lawyers really don't do that much to help people at are--or at least there are far better careers for it.

2) I thought the litigation process would be a little more creative in crafting arguments, but it's just regurgitation. Anyone can research and throw up old case law onto a page. So basically, as long as you can write well and are intelligent, you don't need to be a lawyer or go to law school to do it. You could take a one semester course in how to write a brief, read a case, and do legal research and then start working in an office and be just as good as 3 years of law school and bar prep. So I feel like a fraud in that sense.

I will say that I think there is potential that looking back, 10 years out, I'll be happy that I did it. Who knows. I just know that as of now I believe the above, which makes it a waste of time.


I loled. I would say someone going to law school with this mindset is basically 100% likely to regret going to law school.

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Kronk
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Kronk » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:21 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
Kronk wrote:For me it was more

1) I thought that law school would allow me to work for public interest orgs and government agencies trying to help people, and the inane law stuff would just be the medium for that, but then realized it's all just inane shit, and lawyers really don't do that much to help people at are--or at least there are far better careers for it.

2) I thought the litigation process would be a little more creative in crafting arguments, but it's just regurgitation. Anyone can research and throw up old case law onto a page. So basically, as long as you can write well and are intelligent, you don't need to be a lawyer or go to law school to do it. You could take a one semester course in how to write a brief, read a case, and do legal research and then start working in an office and be just as good as 3 years of law school and bar prep. So I feel like a fraud in that sense.

I will say that I think there is potential that looking back, 10 years out, I'll be happy that I did it. Who knows. I just know that as of now I believe the above, which makes it a waste of time.


I loled. I would say someone going to law school with this mindset is basically 100% likely to regret going to law school.


ELABORATE.

ETA: Sorry. ELABORATE, dipshit.

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Skye
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Skye » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:24 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I loled. I would say someone going to law school with this mindset is basically 100% likely to regret going to law school.

Seriously, you sound like someone who needs a hug. Why so gloomy?

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:15 pm

Skye wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I loled. I would say someone going to law school with this mindset is basically 100% likely to regret going to law school.

Seriously, you sound like someone who needs a hug. Why so gloomy?


I'm not gloomy at all. In my view, the law isn't founded on equity, fairness, or justice; it is organized to facilitate efficiency, certainty, and above all economic interests. So I don't think it is very likely someone would graduate law school and feel genuinely empowered to change the world. It would be much easier to feel that way as an emergency EMT, nurse, counselor, youth group leader, drug rehabilitation counselor, many other things.

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby bjsesq » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:27 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
Skye wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I loled. I would say someone going to law school with this mindset is basically 100% likely to regret going to law school.

Seriously, you sound like someone who needs a hug. Why so gloomy?


I'm not gloomy at all. In my view, the law isn't founded on equity, fairness, or justice; it is organized to facilitate efficiency, certainty, and above all economic interests. So I don't think it is very likely someone would graduate law school and feel genuinely empowered to change the world. It would be much easier to feel that way as an emergency EMT, nurse, counselor, youth group leader, drug rehabilitation counselor, many other things.


IB Coase and blahblahblah

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby keg411 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:30 pm

I'll try to put it in non-douche terms: if you have a soul/are going to law school to "help people," or make a difference, you're probably going to be disappointed.

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Kronk
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Kronk » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:33 pm

LOL. that is such a funnier answer than I thought I was going to get.

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Nelson » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:45 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I'm not gloomy at all. In my view, the law isn't founded on equity, fairness, or justice; it is organized to facilitate efficiency, certainty, and above all economic interests.

Easy on the Posner. That stuff will go straight to your head.

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:26 pm

Nelson wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I'm not gloomy at all. In my view, the law isn't founded on equity, fairness, or justice; it is organized to facilitate efficiency, certainty, and above all economic interests.

Easy on the Posner. That stuff will go straight to your head.


ha. Well basically, if someone with a J.D. were to make a list of the most important functions of the law "helping people" would be nowhere in the top ten. It's not impossible to help people as an attorney, but I think there is a very high chance of disillusionment plus there aren't many jobs doing that sort of work.

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Kronk » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:26 pm

At this point I'm not sure if Hutz is aware that The Law doesn't make the laws.

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:53 pm


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Kronk
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Kronk » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:57 pm


hiima3L
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby hiima3L » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:04 am

I would say upwards of 90+% of law students have no idea what the practice of law is really like and what career opportunities are realistically available. I was probably average in terms of cluelessness. I had a decent idea of what I'd be doing, but I absolutely underestimated just how abysmal the legal market was/would become/is and how critical it is to go to a top school in this prestige-obsessed profession.

But at a job where I'm very happy. I have 0 idea what I'd be doing otherwise, and I'd probably be very broke. So, I don't regret it, but, admittedly, my answer would be different had I graduated jobless and in shittons of debt like the overwhelming majority of my class.

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby chadbrochill » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:13 am

hiima3L wrote:I would say upwards of 90+% of law students have no idea what the practice of law is really like and what career opportunities are realistically available. I was probably average in terms of cluelessness. I had a decent idea of what I'd be doing, but I absolutely underestimated just how abysmal the legal market was/would become/is and how critical it is to go to a top school in this prestige-obsessed profession.

But at a job where I'm very happy. I have 0 idea what I'd be doing otherwise, and I'd probably be very broke. So, I don't regret it, but, admittedly, my answer would be different had I graduated jobless and in shittons of debt like the overwhelming majority of my class.


How are 0L's supposed to know tho? I'm not intentionally being ignorant, I've tried to literally read anything available on the realities of law practice but the consensus is that LSAT is nothing like law school which is nothing like law practice (hence I'm not even privy to knowing what should dissuade me about law). For those with regrets, what would you could go back and tell yourself the summer before attending law school?

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:26 am

chadbrochill wrote:
hiima3L wrote:I would say upwards of 90+% of law students have no idea what the practice of law is really like and what career opportunities are realistically available. I was probably average in terms of cluelessness. I had a decent idea of what I'd be doing, but I absolutely underestimated just how abysmal the legal market was/would become/is and how critical it is to go to a top school in this prestige-obsessed profession.

But at a job where I'm very happy. I have 0 idea what I'd be doing otherwise, and I'd probably be very broke. So, I don't regret it, but, admittedly, my answer would be different had I graduated jobless and in shittons of debt like the overwhelming majority of my class.


How are 0L's supposed to know tho? I'm not intentionally being ignorant, I've tried to literally read anything available on the realities of law practice but the consensus is that LSAT is nothing like law school which is nothing like law practice (hence I'm not even privy to knowing what should dissuade me about law). For those with regrets, what would you could go back and tell yourself the summer before attending law school?


Good question. And that's the weird part for me too.

Math majors know what math is like. ...And if they end up being an actuary or doing some kind of applied math work, they'll already have an idea of whether they're good at it and enjoy it.

Same for English majors who go into writing positions, for example.

Same for engineers............

I've been struggling to try to understand what law is like too. What isn't the training and entrance exams more reflect of the real world of law? ...Why not just make it an undergrad degree?

Is this the only profession where you plop down $100K to maybe get a legal job and have no idea what it's really like?

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scifiguy
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:36 am

Also quick question:

When people say they feel unfulfilled by law. Are you guys talking about just career fulfillment or life fulfillment?

I know there is some overlap, but I think if a person is trying to be fulfilled in life primarily through a career, then they've probably got too narrow of a view of life and will probably end up quite disappointed. Careers aren't supposed to be a proxy for those other things we all crave and need, such as relationships and fun and exploration, etc.

I think this could be wear a serious danger exists with law. If you get biglaw and work 80 hours/week, then your whole life is practically dedicated to law (a job). ....If you don't and have massive debt, then you'll possibly be miserable that way from having lack of work. But for those who do make it and then end up disliking what they do.....if they're the type that placed an enormous amount of emotional investment into law and maybe don't have a balanced life, where they have friends, hobbies, and good relationships with others, then I think there can be huge disappointment.

I think people need balance in life. No career will be able to fulfill all of one's needs. I've known a humanities Ph.D. student who seemed to be the type that derived his self-worth and identity from his work. He went through bouts of anxiety and depression from having a very competitive nature. He liked what he did, but put so much of his ego, identity, worht, and meaning into it.

He's unemployed now withtout a job after getting his Ph.D. And I don't know if he's coping well. He stopped talking to friends....got paranoid about being competitive....and didn't invest in other areas of his life. And when his one area of life he put something value into failed him, then it became hard for him.

I wonder if law has students like that?

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Scotusnerd » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:46 am

People who place their self-worth on their job exist everywhere. It's a (somewhat) fallacious way of thinking, and it creates pretty miserable people.

I'm assuming career fulfillment. If you're trying to get life fulfillment from your job, you need to seriously reevaluate your goals. Those two should not be confused, unless you enjoy being miserable and making others miserable by your misery.


Also...English majors do not go into writing positions. The vast majority teach. And trust me, nothing you do can prepare you for teaching.

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby jetsfan1 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:35 am

How are 0L's supposed to know tho? I'm not intentionally being ignorant, I've tried to literally read anything available on the realities of law practice but the consensus is that LSAT is nothing like law school which is nothing like law practice (hence I'm not even privy to knowing what should dissuade me about law). For those with regrets, what would you could go back and tell yourself the summer before attending law school?


+1 this is why 0Ls like myself read this site and consume information about law school at nauseum bc it's one of the biggest decisions of our lives, and can't be taken lightly. Problem is, at lead it seems to me, that we won't really know until we go to school/start practicing.

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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby hiima3L » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:46 am

chadbrochill wrote:
hiima3L wrote:I would say upwards of 90+% of law students have no idea what the practice of law is really like and what career opportunities are realistically available. I was probably average in terms of cluelessness. I had a decent idea of what I'd be doing, but I absolutely underestimated just how abysmal the legal market was/would become/is and how critical it is to go to a top school in this prestige-obsessed profession.

But at a job where I'm very happy. I have 0 idea what I'd be doing otherwise, and I'd probably be very broke. So, I don't regret it, but, admittedly, my answer would be different had I graduated jobless and in shittons of debt like the overwhelming majority of my class.


How are 0L's supposed to know tho? I'm not intentionally being ignorant, I've tried to literally read anything available on the realities of law practice but the consensus is that LSAT is nothing like law school which is nothing like law practice (hence I'm not even privy to knowing what should dissuade me about law). For those with regrets, what would you could go back and tell yourself the summer before attending law school?


Intern at a firm, talk to lawyers, read about the practice, the market, etc. Talk to law students and recent grads. I find it very difficult to believe that anyone considering law school today understands just how truly god awful the legal market is right now.

If I could go back, I would have retaken the LSAT and would have tried to go a better school. (I was under some unique circumstances where I couldn't have taken as much time as I wanted, but I would have at least retaken it once.) I can't emphasize it enough. The school you go to (and of course your grades there) will largely dictate your future career.

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Skye
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Skye » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:55 am

GPA/LSAT = School. Grades = Employment. Equation for Nobel Prize.




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