bizzybone1313 wrote:(1) Assuming one is going to attend a good law school, one will most likely be making less money with only a BA/BS than what could be made with a JD. This money adds up fast. One is wasting money on rent living in a city where one most likely does not plan to settle down. That money adds up quickly too. Instead of putting money towards a house or getting closer to buying a house after law school, one is wasting money on rent in some random city. This has real effects on one's ability to retire at a young age.
(2) Juggling the LSAT with a full time job is something that I found impossible and I strongly discourage future readers of this thread from doing. If you absolutely must work for a while before returning to law school, study for the LSAT full time and get it out of the way first and then go work.
(3) It delays one's entry into the career that one actually wants to do. Working in a job that does not align with one's goals in life is a really miserable experience. I was making $60K doing management consulting, but I quit to study for the LSAT, because I knew I was just wasting time not doing what I really wanted to do with my life. My goal is to practice immigration, plaintiff side employment or civil rights law. This has been my goal since my sophomore year in college and I strayed away from this goal by working in a job that was not remotely close to this.
(4) After about a year of solid WE, getting additional years of work experience probably doesn't give a significant bump at OCI. Maybe it does-- but I have read a lot into this and it seems that law firms care a whole lot more about legal experience rather than some random WE. I can imagine this actually being the case. Most companies are looking for someone that fits exactly what they are looking for and do not stray too much from certain skills.
Here's your rebuttal. I technically work in Management Consulting (my company subcontracted me to a bank) and I disagree a lot with your 4 points.
1) This is the one that I disagree with the least. However, a lot of people need work experience to pay off undergrad debt. I'm going to go into grad school with no UG debt after graduating with about $55k worth. The time is also valuable for a lot of people who aren't sure of what they want to do. I feel like the biggest reason why people mistakenly go to law school is because they haven't had any exposure to the real world and know nothing about what they actually want to do long term. In many cases, it's worth the investment of losing out on a couple years of post-JD earnings to figure out what you really want to do. Also, only 21% of law school grads get jobs that pay 60K, so after undergrad, you were actually better off than the majority of law school grads.
2) I don't think studying for the LSAT with a full time job is impossible. Throughout my life, I haven't been a very good standardized test taker (2060 SAT with a 610 on Verbal) and I was able to get a very disappointing 170 on the LSAT (was PTing around 175) and a 780 on the GMAT while working. It just requires a lot of discipline. If you can't handle a 50 hour a week job and a 100 question multiple choice test at the same time, how do you expect to handle 1L or an 80 hour a week BigLaw job while having a wife and kids one day?
3) Most entry level professional work requires the same skills. Investment banking analysts, management consultants, and BigLaw associates all need the same "office worker" skill set to be successful. With the market for lawyers being so bad, I think having experience in an office job before being a BigLaw SA can be the difference between getting no-offered and getting a full-time offer. In a world where people get no-offered because they forgot to CC someone in an e-mail once, pretty much any office work experience is very valuable. Also, working at a larger company can expose people to problems that they could gear their education towards. In college, I didn’t even know about the industry that I’m working in and now I’m going to go to grad school to learn how to improve my industry.
4) I'm a 0L so I can't speak to what law firms want, but what I can say is that one year of work experience really isn’t enough for you to make your judgments. Most firms won’t let people make any kind of a decision until about two years in. MBA programs typically prefer 3 or 4 years of work experience. If you can get promoted in that time, that’s even more valuable. Saying “I worked at a Big 4” doesn’t say much because tons of people do that and many don’t succeed in a corporate workplace. You’re basically showing that you can interview well. Saying “I was promoted at a Big 4” shows that you can survive a corporate environment and excel at what you do. That’s what’s actually valuable.