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

Postby BmoreOrLess » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:24 am

MikeSpivey wrote:I feel for the OP, I do. Sucks to feel miserable 80% of the day, every day. But I would also note than probably 9/10 jobs that pay well have " constant pressure, people breathing down my neck, getting blamed for shit that’s not my fault" elements to them

The flip side is a low paying job that likely doesn't have near the pressures.

It's good that people can relay their experiences to help with the decision making, I think, but most have to experience it themselves to know. Tough spot for certain.


Or the super fantastic low paying jobs with similar pressure. While I do think they can be a decent landing spot for liberal arts majors, back/middle office finance jobs are the absolute worst, especially ITE.

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

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:52 pm

patogordo wrote:
cinephile wrote:
patogordo wrote:
Image


I don't know what to tell you except that my 25 year old sister started at Harvard Law this fall and gets very generous need based aid (40k/yr) despite the fact that both her parents are earning in the low six figures and neither are contributing to her education. Perhaps their stated policies are one thing and their actual practices are another. But it's a really nice feature and people shouldn't avoid applying to such school because it probably isn't as expensive as you're anticipating. It doesn't hurt to apply and wait to hear about your financial aid package.

well i started at harvard law when i was 27 and my parents make the low six figures and i didn't get a dime. so either you're mistaken or i need to firebomb the financial aid office.


I've never heard of anyone with nearly that much need-based aid unless they grew up as a ward of the state or were seriously destitute.

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

Postby patogordo » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:54 pm

someone full of shit calling out others for spreading misinformation? well that would be a tls first.

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

Postby WhirledWorld » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:37 pm

Here's why you shouldn't go to law school: http://www.xoxohth.com/thread.php?threa ... forum_id=2

Winning the law school lottery and getting one of those prized big law jobs means slaving away at 3 am and checking your mint account to see your net worth is still negative six figures. It means checking your blackberry first thing when you wake up and last thing before you go to sleep. Hell, it means setting alarms before you take a nap on a Saturday just in case you get the dreaded fire drill email. It means praying that your deal will die or case will settle before your anniversary because you haven't had quality time with your spouse in weeks. It means constantly being on edge that you're not billing enough, that you overlooked one sentence in one of a hundred thousand documents and are getting fired, that you're going to be called back into work, that your work will dry up because you're not building strong enough relationships in the office.

Yes the pay is good but it comes at a high cost. Depression and anxiety like the OP's are not the exceptions to the rule; they are the rule.

FinanceStudent28
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby FinanceStudent28 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:00 pm

AAJD2B wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:Biglaw is bad, but you're not going to find many other jobs that offer any long term prospect of rising into the higher echelon of American society without working something like it. You're alternative is what?


Being your own boss. There are ways around having to slave for others for chump pay. I intend to use BIGLAW as a stepping stone to my own individual plans. I definitely have no intention of working for someone else for the rest of my life. I want to be able to make money in my sleep and create generational wealth. Being an employee for the rest of my working years isn't going to get me there. Entrepreneurship will.

This is questionable.

1. WHy are you going to law school if you want to start your own business?

2. Being an entrepreneur is also incredibly stressful. You are solely responsible for starting your own business (most of which fail)
http://www.businessinsider.com/small-bu ... tic-2013-6
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/ ... sses-fail/

3. In addition, while the rewards are much higher, the risks are also higher. They are many people who have started their own businesses and are now penniless and working for the man. The media loves to tell us about the Steve Jobs, etc. but the failers are out there too.

4. I've seen "dont go to law school, start your own business" on TLS several times now. It's idiotic. You don't think people would start their own business if they had a solid idea and business plan?

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AAJD2B
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby AAJD2B » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:10 pm

FinanceStudent28 wrote:
AAJD2B wrote:
Theopliske8711 wrote:Biglaw is bad, but you're not going to find many other jobs that offer any long term prospect of rising into the higher echelon of American society without working something like it. You're alternative is what?


Being your own boss. There are ways around having to slave for others for chump pay. I intend to use BIGLAW as a stepping stone to my own individual plans. I definitely have no intention of working for someone else for the rest of my life. I want to be able to make money in my sleep and create generational wealth. Being an employee for the rest of my working years isn't going to get me there. Entrepreneurship will.

This is questionable.

1. WHy are you going to law school if you want to start your own business?

2. Being an entrepreneur is also incredibly stressful. You are solely responsible for starting your own business (most of which fail)
http://www.businessinsider.com/small-bu ... tic-2013-6
http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/ ... sses-fail/

3. In addition, while the rewards are much higher, the risks are also higher. They are many people who have started their own businesses and are now penniless and working for the man. The media loves to tell us about the Steve Jobs, etc. but the failers are out there too.

4. I've seen "dont go to law school, start your own business" on TLS several times now. It's idiotic. You don't think people would start their own business if they had a solid idea and business plan?



You're not getting me. I already have a young business, and a law degree including the experience I intend to gain in BIGLAW will expand and propel my business. Not to mention add to my networking base. My plans are unique to my own. I have a very specific goal here.

Thanks.

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

Postby beachbum » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:18 pm

AAJD2B wrote:You're not getting me. I already have a young business, and a law degree including the experience I intend to gain in BIGLAW will expand and propel my business. Not to mention add to my networking base. My plans are unique to my own. I have a very specific goal here.

Thanks.


Law degree --> networking. Boom. Generational wealth, bro. High five.

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

Postby hdunlop » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:22 pm

I heard writing it BIGLAW is evidence of strong entrepreneurial spirit.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:35 pm

AAJD2B wrote:My plans are unique to my own.

Mind. Blown.

The amazing thing is that this person hasn't started law school yet.

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AAJD2B
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby AAJD2B » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:57 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
AAJD2B wrote:My plans are unique to my own.

Mind. Blown.

The amazing thing is that this person hasn't started law school yet.


Since when is being a law student a prerequisite to having a vision and knowing what I want to do with a law degree?

I think I am ahead of the curve unlike many law students who enter law school because it's the best thing to do with a liberal arts education.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:25 pm

AAJD2B wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
AAJD2B wrote:My plans are unique to my own.

Mind. Blown.

The amazing thing is that this person hasn't started law school yet.


Since when is being a law student a prerequisite to having a vision and knowing what I want to do with a law degree?

I think I am ahead of the curve unlike many law students who enter law school because it's the best thing to do with a liberal arts education.

Because you are so many years away from achieving whatever it is you hope to accomplish. I get that your plans are unique to your own and all, but it's hard to believe these next few years won't be a waste.

Theopliske8711
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby Theopliske8711 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:40 pm

So much boostrapping in here. I just can't handle it. I'm sure all the Boomers she describes her plan to respond with "You get em, girl!"

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

Postby kartelite » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:50 pm

AAJD2B wrote:
You're not getting me. I already have a young business, and a law degree including the experience I intend to gain in BIGLAW will expand and propel my business. Not to mention add to my networking base. My plans are unique to my own. I have a very specific goal here.

Thanks.


Good on you - people here love to hate. Remember that people who go to law school are usually highly risk averse (and cynical!) and can't sympathize with the entrepreneurial spirit. There are many routes besides BigLaw associate --> partner/in-house/mid-law/failure at life. Look at the people who started ATL and other websites/online businesses or guys like Matt Levine - they wouldn't be able to do what they do without a legal background. Most people in the profession have been on a very straight and narrow path their whole lives and don't know how to take the blinders off. I just found out last week that a few people in my current firm (not my group, but I always hear them yapping) have law degrees and they're in their late 20s...they went to lower T1 schools, don't do legal work (tax, so the background helps) and still pull in six figures with pretty cushy hours.

Cogburn87
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby Cogburn87 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:58 am

kartelite wrote:Good on you - people here love to hate. Remember that people who go to law school are usually highly risk averse (and cynical!) and can't sympathize with the entrepreneurial spirit. There are many routes besides BigLaw associate --> partner/in-house/mid-law/failure at life. Look at the people who started ATL and other websites/online businesses or guys like Matt Levine - they wouldn't be able to do what they do without a legal background. Most people in the profession have been on a very straight and narrow path their whole lives and don't know how to take the blinders off. I just found out last week that a few people in my current firm (not my group, but I always hear them yapping) have law degrees and they're in their late 20s...they went to lower T1 schools, don't do legal work (tax, so the background helps) and still pull in six figures with pretty cushy hours.


Yeah. You definitely cannot start a gossip blog in this day and age without a law degree.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby prezidentv8 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:15 am

Cogburn87 wrote:Yeah. You definitely cannot start a gossip blog in this day and age without a law degree.


If only someone could figure out all of the things that you could do with a law degree that you can't do without one.

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

Postby beepboopbeep » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:33 am

prezidentv8 wrote:
Cogburn87 wrote:Yeah. You definitely cannot start a gossip blog in this day and age without a law degree.


If only someone could figure out all of the things that you could do with a law degree that you can't do without one.


More importantly, the things you can't do with a law degree that you can do without one. Like not be in 6-figure debt.

worldtraveler wrote:I've never heard of anyone with nearly that much need-based aid unless they grew up as a ward of the state or were seriously destitute.


I dunno. Turned down ~30k/y need-based at CLS with one parent making 50k (I guess that's seriously destitute to some). If both are unemployed, would believe 40k/y aid (though I think CLS probably soft caps need-based around half-tuition; if jbagel's right, sounds like HLS does too).

... though that's obviously pretty far from the scenario posted above with both parents making 100k+. Clearly BS or some other factor we're not hearing.

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

Postby kartelite » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:56 am

beepboopbeep wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:
Cogburn87 wrote:Yeah. You definitely cannot start a gossip blog in this day and age without a law degree.


If only someone could figure out all of the things that you could do with a law degree that you can't do without one.


More importantly, the things you can't do with a law degree that you can do without one. Like not be in 6-figure debt.

worldtraveler wrote:I've never heard of anyone with nearly that much need-based aid unless they grew up as a ward of the state or were seriously destitute.


I dunno. Turned down ~30k/y need-based at CLS with one parent making 50k (I guess that's seriously destitute to some). If both are unemployed, would believe 40k/y aid (though I think CLS probably soft caps need-based around half-tuition; if jbagel's right, sounds like HLS does too).

... though that's obviously pretty far from the scenario posted above with both parents making 100k+. Clearly BS or some other factor we're not hearing.



I dunno about other schools, but you can have a $5 million house and $2 million in a 401k and Yale will still max you out on need-based grants if you don't have any other assets, regardless of your income.

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

Postby patogordo » Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:09 am

kartelite wrote:I dunno about other schools, but you can have a $5 million house and $2 million in a 401k and Yale will still max you out on need-based grants if you don't have any other assets, regardless of your income.

The expected parental contribution is calculated based on the information in the Need Access application. The Need Access methodology for measuring parents' relative financial position is based on the concept of "available income." Available income is defined as that income available to the family to meet its economic needs after deductions from the parents' total taxable and nontaxable income for the following: U.S. income and social security (FICA) taxes; state and other taxes; medical and dental expenses; employment allowance (if appropriate); elementary and secondary tuition expenses; and minimum living expenses.


what?

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

Postby kartelite » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:44 am

patogordo wrote:
kartelite wrote:I dunno about other schools, but you can have a $5 million house and $2 million in a 401k and Yale will still max you out on need-based grants if you don't have any other assets, regardless of your income.

The expected parental contribution is calculated based on the information in the Need Access application. The Need Access methodology for measuring parents' relative financial position is based on the concept of "available income." Available income is defined as that income available to the family to meet its economic needs after deductions from the parents' total taxable and nontaxable income for the following: U.S. income and social security (FICA) taxes; state and other taxes; medical and dental expenses; employment allowance (if appropriate); elementary and secondary tuition expenses; and minimum living expenses.


what?


Okay, but that's a "parental contribution" only applicable if you're 28 or younger. That's not everyone, my bad, my research was mostly for my own circumstances. Once you hit 26, which is when most people are in law school, parental contribution starts being reduced. HYS all have something similar to the following:

If the student is 29 or older on December 31st of the academic year for which the student is applying for financial aid, no parental contribution will be expected. Parents’ information does not need to be submitted to Need Access or to the Law School.

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

Postby patogordo » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:50 am

dude said his sister was 25 and getting 40k/yr

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

Postby kartelite » Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:23 am

patogordo wrote:dude said his sister was 25 and getting 40k/yr


That does seem a bit off. My brother went to HBS at 25 and got over 30k/yr though (need-based), and I don't think they considered our parents' income. He was making six figures when he entered, but due to UG debt basically had no assets. Obviously HBS and HLS probably have different practices, but I've seen anecdotes on TLS of people being "offered" money at HLS after they informed the school of competing offers elsewhere. My guess is that schools adhere to "official policy" most of the time, but do on occasion deviate. It is just as likely that the "need-based aid" was actually a loan, and any hearsay here basically becomes a big game of telephone.

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AAJD2B
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby AAJD2B » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:45 am

kartelite wrote:
AAJD2B wrote:
You're not getting me. I already have a young business, and a law degree including the experience I intend to gain in BIGLAW will expand and propel my business. Not to mention add to my networking base. My plans are unique to my own. I have a very specific goal here.

Thanks.


Good on you - people here love to hate. Remember that people who go to law school are usually highly risk averse (and cynical!) and can't sympathize with the entrepreneurial spirit. There are many routes besides BigLaw associate --> partner/in-house/mid-law/failure at life. Look at the people who started ATL and other websites/online businesses or guys like Matt Levine - they wouldn't be able to do what they do without a legal background. Most people in the profession have been on a very straight and narrow path their whole lives and don't know how to take the blinders off. I just found out last week that a few people in my current firm (not my group, but I always hear them yapping) have law degrees and they're in their late 20s...they went to lower T1 schools, don't do legal work (tax, so the background helps) and still pull in six figures with pretty cushy hours.


Thanks kartelite. It's unfortunate to see some law students and lawyers take a myopic view of the profession. Worker bee mentality.

Cogburn87
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby Cogburn87 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:21 am

AAJD2B wrote:
Thanks kartelite. It's unfortunate to see some law students and lawyers take a myopic view of the profession. Worker bee mentality.

Worker bees can leave.
Even drones can fly away.
The Queen is their slave.

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

Postby beachbum » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:28 am

AAJD2B wrote:
kartelite wrote:
AAJD2B wrote:
You're not getting me. I already have a young business, and a law degree including the experience I intend to gain in BIGLAW will expand and propel my business. Not to mention add to my networking base. My plans are unique to my own. I have a very specific goal here.

Thanks.


Good on you - people here love to hate. Remember that people who go to law school are usually highly risk averse (and cynical!) and can't sympathize with the entrepreneurial spirit. There are many routes besides BigLaw associate --> partner/in-house/mid-law/failure at life. Look at the people who started ATL and other websites/online businesses or guys like Matt Levine - they wouldn't be able to do what they do without a legal background. Most people in the profession have been on a very straight and narrow path their whole lives and don't know how to take the blinders off. I just found out last week that a few people in my current firm (not my group, but I always hear them yapping) have law degrees and they're in their late 20s...they went to lower T1 schools, don't do legal work (tax, so the background helps) and still pull in six figures with pretty cushy hours.


Thanks kartelite. It's unfortunate to see some law students and lawyers take a myopic view of the profession. Worker bee mentality.


Please remember us little people when you inevitably strike it big with your law degree/gossip blog.

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

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:39 am

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Last edited by Blessedassurance on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.




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