Why you shouldn't go to law school

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moopness
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby moopness » Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:48 pm

Edit: Good luck OP
Last edited by moopness on Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cinephile
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby cinephile » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:08 pm

moopness wrote:This isn't some game where you get to start over if you made a bad choice, this is your life and it's your responsibility to make your decisions wisely [...] That's what you get for being risk averse. You have no right to complain. It's your responsibility to create meaning in your life and if you did that by becoming a wage slave then that sucks, but again, you chose this path.


This is the most fucked up thing I've ever heard in my life. And I've been on this site for a few years so I've heard a lot. You aren't tied down to one career for the rest of your life. There ARE second acts in American lives.

I hope OP finds something public service-y that might make him/her happy and quits this job and goes for the 10 year forgiveness plan. No one has to make themselves miserable. You can absolutely start over. Start over as many times as you want -- there is NO LIMIT on PLUS loans, so you might as well take out as many as you want and rely on PSLF.

PennLaw16
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby PennLaw16 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:18 pm

I wish movie stars and musicians had a top-superstar.com so we could see them bitch about the pressures of being a celebrity and dealing with Hollywood. They'd note the absurdly high overdose/suicide rates among top stars and point to Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Whitney Houston, etc. They'd talk about how much luck is involved in making it, how many people have their hands in your pocket, how impossible interpersonal relationships become, and how empty the accolades are if you actually do make it. How your career is over and your value gone by the time you turn 40. How you're forced to do stupid films and sing stupid songs because that's what sells. How you'd rather have just stayed independent and done off-Broadway/bar gigs/midlaw.

There's no easy path to happiness. There's no "right answer". Being, what? 27 years old? And making $160 grand a year while living in a major city is pretty damn good, all things considered. At least you've got money and job security. Plenty of people -- not just McDonald's workers and roofers in Arizona -- are miserable, poor, and have zero job security.

Doing well in law school doesn't earn you happiness, it earns you options. If you want to grind, you can make a million dollars (pre-tax) over the next 5 years. More than 90% of Americans and 99% of the world will never have that option, and you can start that path in your 20s. You don't have to choose that option, but you have it. And yeah, unfortunately, it isn't fun.

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ph14
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby ph14 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:22 pm

PennLaw16 wrote:I wish movie stars and musicians had a top-superstar.com so we could see them bitch about the pressures of being a celebrity and dealing with Hollywood. They'd note the absurdly high overdose/suicide rates among top stars and point to Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Whitney Houston, etc. They'd talk about how much luck is involved in making it, how many people have their hands in your pocket, how impossible interpersonal relationships become, and how empty the accolades are if you actually do make it. How your career is over and your value gone by the time you turn 40. How you're forced to do stupid films and sing stupid songs because that's what sells. How you'd rather have just stayed independent and done off-Broadway/bar gigs/midlaw.

There's no easy path to happiness. There's no "right answer". Being, what? 27 years old? And making $160 grand a year while living in a major city is pretty damn good, all things considered. At least you've got money and job security. Plenty of people -- not just McDonald's workers and roofers in Arizona -- are miserable, poor, and have zero job security.

Doing well in law school doesn't earn you happiness, it earns you options. If you want to grind, you can make a million dollars (pre-tax) over the next 5 years. More than 90% of Americans and 99% of the world will never have that option, and you can start that path in your 20s. You don't have to choose that option, but you have it. And yeah, unfortunately, it isn't fun.


Beachbum wrote:If the standard is "because someone out there has it worse than you, you have no right to complain," then human communication as we know it would come to a screeching halt. No shit there are worse jobs (and situations) than biglaw. I would rather be getting paid six figures to work in a nice office than $20k as a roofer in Arizona. Super. But there are levels and contexts; not every comparison must be absolute. And, again, pushing the conversation in that direction is just an easy way to dismiss OP's concerns without actually engaging with them.

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moopness
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby moopness » Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:29 pm

cinephile wrote:
moopness wrote:This isn't some game where you get to start over if you made a bad choice, this is your life and it's your responsibility to make your decisions wisely [...] That's what you get for being risk averse. You have no right to complain. It's your responsibility to create meaning in your life and if you did that by becoming a wage slave then that sucks, but again, you chose this path.


This is the most fucked up thing I've ever heard in my life. And I've been on this site for a few years so I've heard a lot. You aren't tied down to one career for the rest of your life. There ARE second acts in American lives.

I hope OP finds something public service-y that might make him/her happy and quits this job and goes for the 10 year forgiveness plan. No one has to make themselves miserable. You can absolutely start over. Start over as many times as you want -- there is NO LIMIT on PLUS loans, so you might as well take out as many as you want and rely on PSLF.

It's totally fucked up but it's totally true. Just to be clear I am in no way saying you can't start a new career, but that's not starting over. A second act is hard for someone with so much debt and very little ability to pay it back without his current job. Even without all of that you're still not getting your initial investment back. OPs life is in no way over and s/he has the ability to do something they enjoy and make money and whatever, and I really hope OP finds a way to do that, but it's important that people in OPs position realize how they got into the mess they're in to begin with. It's not just because big law secretly sucks, it's because they somehow didn't realize that before they chose to pursue it.


PennLaw16 wrote:There's no easy path to happiness. There's no "right answer". Being, what? 27 years old? And making $160 grand a year while living in a major city is pretty damn good, all things considered. At least you've got money and job security. Plenty of people -- not just McDonald's workers and roofers in Arizona -- are miserable, poor, and have zero job security.

Doing well in law school doesn't earn you happiness, it earns you options. If you want to grind, you can make a million dollars (pre-tax) over the next 5 years. More than 90% of Americans and 99% of the world will never have that option, and you can start that path in your 20s. You don't have to choose that option, but you have it. And yeah, unfortunately, it isn't fun.


Measuring your happiness by how much you earn seems very empty to me. Sure, you make more than most people on the planet, sure you don't have to deal with genocide or civil war or disease or whatever the hell horrible things 99% of the world has to deal with. But honestly, simply living a better life than other people doesn't mean that you should automatically be content with yours. That's soulless and meaningless, and at that point you're just living for the purpose of comfort.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:17 pm

El Pollito wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Also, if you think you can work 2200+ hours (honestly) and maintain your body in good physical shape (assuming you have *any* semblance of a family or social life that takes up *any* amount of time that could even remotely be considered normal), you're kidding yourself. I have had significant health problems crop up since working in biglaw, and I'm definitely not the only one at my firm with biglaw-induced health problems.

It's really not that hard to take care of yourself in biglaw.


It depends on your hours, office location and social/family life. I'm not the kind of associate who says, "Sorry, Mr. Partner. I can't help you because I always go to the gym at XYZ time and can't be bothered to answer your email for the next two hours." And, tbh, those kinds of associates are really annoying when you're in trial prep mode.

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moopness
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby moopness » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:25 pm

Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:And, tbh, those kinds of associates are really annoying when you're in trial prep mode.


There are actually associates who do this? Would figure they'd be fired/too scared to pull that kind of shit.

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sublime
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby sublime » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:27 pm

..

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Dafaq
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby Dafaq » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:29 pm

You guys have come up with the perfect message to rightsize applications.

Become a lawyer and rack up $250K in debt while subjecting yourself to three years of grueling law school so you can suffer through fourteen hour days while ignoring your family and subjecting yourself to callous and disrespectable bosses as you face impossible deadlines and the never ending pressure to win unwinnable cases for irrational clients. Then there is the constant doubting of your job security.

If enough OLs buy into this, I won’t have to worry about being fired because there would be no one around to replace me. Pure genius on your part.

NYstate
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby NYstate » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:36 pm

Dafaq wrote:You guys have come up with the perfect message to rightsize applications.

Become a lawyer and rack up $250K in debt while subjecting yourself to three years of grueling law school so you can suffer through fourteen hour days while ignoring your family and subjecting yourself to callous and disrespectable bosses as you face impossible deadlines and the never ending pressure to win unwinnable cases for irrational clients. Then there is the constant doubting of your job security.

If enough OLs buy into this, I won’t have to worry about being fired because there would be no one around to replace me. Pure genius on your part.


No associate is worried about being replaced by someone still in law school or any 0L. You will never catch up experience wise.

You have no idea what you are talking about.

Also, biglaw doesn't fight unwinnable cases, except possibly for pro bono work. If the case is unwinnable, you find a different solution. The clients are excellent, sophisticated business people, not irrational fools. Many of the partners are great people but they are also under pressure. Oh, and by the way, they can do the work without you. So, yes, if you get fired, your boss can handle your work.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:41 pm

sublime wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:Also, if you think you can work 2200+ hours (honestly) and maintain your body in good physical shape (assuming you have *any* semblance of a family or social life that takes up *any* amount of time that could even remotely be considered normal), you're kidding yourself. I have had significant health problems crop up since working in biglaw, and I'm definitely not the only one at my firm with biglaw-induced health problems.

It's really not that hard to take care of yourself in biglaw.


It depends on your hours, office location and social/family life. I'm not the kind of associate who says, "Sorry, Mr. Partner. I can't help you because I always go to the gym at XYZ time and can't be bothered to answer your email for the next two hours." And, tbh, those kinds of associates are really annoying when you're in trial prep mode.



Really? This comes up? I figured that if any associates wanted to work out they would just do it in the mornings prior to getting to the office.


There are definitely people who try harder than I do to work out every morning. It's possible to have a nice workout schedule when your work allows it, but there can be long stretches (4-6 weeks) where you're absolutely slammed (at least in my practice group) and barely have time to stay alive. If I really tried as hard as I could to stay in shape, I could probably exercise regularly (meaning 4+ times per week) probably 60% of the days during an average year (if I extrapolated based on how my time has been at the firm so far).

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sublime
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby sublime » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:45 pm

..

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Dafaq
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby Dafaq » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:47 pm

NYstate wrote:
Dafaq wrote:You guys have come up with the perfect message to rightsize applications.

Become a lawyer and rack up $250K in debt while subjecting yourself to three years of grueling law school so you can suffer through fourteen hour days while ignoring your family and subjecting yourself to callous and disrespectable bosses as you face impossible deadlines and the never ending pressure to win unwinnable cases for irrational clients. Then there is the constant doubting of your job security.

If enough OLs buy into this, I won’t have to worry about being fired because there would be no one around to replace me. Pure genius on your part.


No associate is worried about being replaced by someone still in law school or any 0L. You will never catch up experience wise.

You have no idea what you are talking about.

Also, biglaw doesn't fight unwinnable cases, except possibly for pro bono work. If the case is unwinnable, you find a different solution. The clients are excellent, sophisticated business people, not irrational fools. Many of the partners are great people but they are also under pressure. Oh, and by the way, they can do the work without you. So, yes, if you get fired, your boss can handle your work.

Chill. It was all in jest.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:50 pm

sublime wrote:
Biglaw_Associate_V20 wrote:
There are definitely people who try harder than I do to work out every morning. It's definitely possible to have a nice workout schedule when your work allows it, but there can be long stretches (4-6 weeks) where you're absolutely slammed (at least in my practice group) and barely have time to stay alive.


Thanks for the response. That makes sense.

Do you have any impressions of how the work/life balance differs at secondary market biglaw? For example, the secondary market I plan to target has billable reqs of around 1850. How different would something like that be compared to NYC biglaw?


Yeah, for sure. Every hour you're not working is like 1.5-2 extra hours of your time (at least for guys like me) because you don't need as much time to decompress/relax after dealing with stupid biglaw shit all day. I suppose there are some Type A weirdos who are go go go all the time and use every spare moment to accomplish the most optimal activity possible. I personally just want to chill, maybe drink a beer or talk to my wife (or any other non-lawyer) instead of going to the gym.

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Postby MistakenGenius » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:54 pm

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sparty99
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby sparty99 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:26 am

Oh, boo hoo. You graduated from Harvard and got a job paying $160,000 and you can't take it. Bitch, please. You worked in management consulting. What were you expecting? You have the job that most law students dream of. You make 3x the average American worker. You are the reason why people should go to law school. If you want to quit, quit. But you are in the gig that we all want.

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moopness
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby moopness » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:52 am

sparty99 wrote:Oh, boo hoo. You graduated from Harvard and got a job paying $160,000 and you can't take it. Bitch, please. You worked in management consulting. What were you expecting? You have the job that most law students dream of. You make 3x the average American worker. You are the reason why people should go to law school. If you want to quit, quit. But you are in the gig that we all want.

:roll:

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sublime
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby sublime » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:54 am

..

sparty99
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby sparty99 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:06 am

sublime wrote:
sparty99 wrote:Oh, boo hoo. You graduated from Harvard and got a job paying $160,000 and you can't take it. Bitch, please. You worked in management consulting. What were you expecting? You have the job that most law students dream of. You make 3x the average American worker. You are the reason why people should go to law school. If you want to quit, quit. But you are in the gig that we all want.



That's the point. Is the "prize" worth it in most circumstances?


Yes it is.

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sublime
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby sublime » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:16 am

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PennLaw16
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby PennLaw16 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:27 am

sublime wrote:
sparty99 wrote:Oh, boo hoo. You graduated from Harvard and got a job paying $160,000 and you can't take it. Bitch, please. You worked in management consulting. What were you expecting? You have the job that most law students dream of. You make 3x the average American worker. You are the reason why people should go to law school. If you want to quit, quit. But you are in the gig that we all want.



That's the point. Is the "prize" worth it in most circumstances?


That really depends on what you want out of life and what your alternatives are. But yes, by and large, I'd say graduating from Harvard Law and taking an entry-level position that starts at $160,000 annually is worth taking out $120,000 of debt and attending 3 years of classes at one of the finest institutions in the world. I imagine something like 99.99% of the world's population would sign up for that membership.

I don't know what some of y'all expect. Finishing top third at a top 10 law school doesn't entitle you to win life by 27 years old. Financial security, a rewarding job, manageable stress, adequate free time -- these are goals that people toil in thankless work for 50 years to achieve. And the vast majority never actually do achieve them all.

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sublime
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby sublime » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:32 am

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patogordo
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby patogordo » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:23 am

lol @ 120k debt. sticker at Harvard is closer to 300 with interest

PennLaw16
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby PennLaw16 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:03 am

NeedAnExit wrote:I graduated from HLS in 2013 and started working in biglaw in October. After 1L, I had 8Hs and 2Ps, and had my pick of firms. I chose a firm that has a great reputation for my field and is also known to be a “good” place to work (ie, not as brutal as Cravath). I had about 120k debt at graduation. I had the option of going into a federal government honors program, but decided against it because I wanted to quickly pay off my debt and get a broader experience than I would have gotten in government.

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patogordo
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby patogordo » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:16 am

yea he's lucky




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