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

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:42 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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Blessedassurance
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:52 am

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

Postby hdunlop » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:54 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.


For what it's worth, in my view there's less wrong with your vision than in how you project it. Talking about "generational wealth" and the rest of the stuff in that first post that cracked me up implies a certain (rather unattractive) worldview, and on the Internet (and in many regards in real life) words have much more impact than who's saying them.

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

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:45 pm

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.


Not trying to hark on this, but your numbers commanded at least $50K in merit. I think need helped you get up to nearly half tuition, but it certainly wasn't 30k/year just from need-based - maybe some combination of half and half or 2/3 merit 1/3 need. Who knows what they do in the financial aid office...

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

Postby bloustbloust » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:05 am

I'm your year and have worked in two smaller (30+ attorneys) firms since graduation, which is not common for someone only out a year and a half. A different boss, set of co-workers, etc., can make all the difference in the world man. Don't be afraid to quit the cause of your unhappiness for less money. You think you need more money for the "success" of your life. However, your life will not be successful if you are not happy. Hang in there until you figure out how to be happy, and then go for it. Don't look back.

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Young Marino
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Re: Why you shouldn't go to law school

Postby Young Marino » Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:52 am

Working in corporate America blows. I consider myself lucky to have found the type PI I love early so I'm putting all my effort towards that beforeI even start law school. As in the words of the great Bob Dylan: "What is money? A man is successful if he gets up in the morning and sleeps at night while doing what he loves in between the two" BigLaw can suck it. I can't imagine selling my soul for 80 hr work weeks with no time for anything but make rich assholes richer. The six figure salary isn't worth it man. Not all the bs you have to deal with to get that

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

Postby ThinkNegative » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:02 pm

jbagelboy wrote:I know absolute highest need based grant at Stanford is $36,000 per year for a single person, and Harvard is less. So by very basic deduction, even for an orphan or someone with broke unemployed crack addict parents, $40k/yr is literally impossible from HLS.

They do award some other scholarships to a very rare few (there are people on full tuition scholly at HLS, but its not via their standard need based program).


Know a single person with MOAR than 40k in need-based here at SLS but the person has unusually difficult family circumstances. So generally wouldnt bank on that. And yes, HLS seems to be stingier with need-based aid. Otherwise cosign

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

Postby EijiMiyake » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:34 pm

I read these xoxohth posts and couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry.


xoxohth wrote:*Just when you're at your breaking point, near a literal meltdown, you open mint.com. You don't know whether to feel good or awful. Your paycheck got deposited. A solid sum. Then you look at your net worth. Negative. 6 figures. A single tear begins to run down your cheek.*

*Another email from [Senior Associate] pops up*





xoxohth wrote:
I think we've handled everything on this for now. But you should stop by [Jr. Partner's] office ASAP. He needs a junior for another deal that's heating up. I'll tell him you're stopping by. Thanks.




xoxohth wrote:(it is 1am, and Miserable Associate looks out his window to see a crowd of tourists leaving a bar, laughing. The temptation to open said window and jump out is almost overwhelming)

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

Postby Otunga » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:21 pm

EijiMiyake wrote:I read these xoxohth posts and couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry.


xoxohth wrote:*Just when you're at your breaking point, near a literal meltdown, you open mint.com. You don't know whether to feel good or awful. Your paycheck got deposited. A solid sum. Then you look at your net worth. Negative. 6 figures. A single tear begins to run down your cheek.*

*Another email from [Senior Associate] pops up*





xoxohth wrote:
I think we've handled everything on this for now. But you should stop by [Jr. Partner's] office ASAP. He needs a junior for another deal that's heating up. I'll tell him you're stopping by. Thanks.




xoxohth wrote:(it is 1am, and Miserable Associate looks out his window to see a crowd of tourists leaving a bar, laughing. The temptation to open said window and jump out is almost overwhelming)


Hmm - makes 200k debt at UVA sound appetizing.

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

Postby prezidentv8 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:09 pm

Young Marino wrote:As in the words of the great Bob Dylan: "What is money? A man is successful if he gets up in the morning and sleeps at night while doing what he loves in between the two"


Yes, but remember: Bob Dylan is a literal rock star.

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

Postby Learn_Live_Hope » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:18 pm

Otunga wrote:All the people trying to convince the guy he has it great relative to the majority of people in other jobs...perhaps you're right, but that still probably understates just how unreasonable and miserable some biglaw supervisors/partners appear to be. As many have pointed out, dissatisfaction, depression and resentment are widespread in the profession, significantly in biglaw. As it stands, I don't see OP as particularly entitled. If people are being assholes, we shouldn't just accept it because "that's work" or "that's life". Instead, the profession should more openly discuss the problems inherent to being a biglaw associate, instead of accepting things as they're established and having others go through bullshit for the sake of tradition, or because "that's the way things are".

Granted, this spiel isn't meant to single out biglaw. As has been stated in the thread, other professions have similar practices and give their workers similar experiences. So what if someone is making a lot of money? That doesn't justify mistreatment, and it shouldn't make the worker receiving that big paycheck complacent. Shaming the guy because he has a large salary understates and removes attention away from how absurd biglaw practices to new associates seem to be.

If it's accepted by the majority of people that you have to go through the motions and get treated with disrespect to advance your career, even if it's only for a few years, then that's reason alone to think about that mindset a little more.

I'm not saying OP shouldn't appreciate his salary. He should. And also, I'm not saying he shouldn't stick to his job, as getting those loans taken care of has to be his main priority given the salary he won't be receiving for a long time. It's just that calling him whiny or ungrateful presents a situation where his complaining is unwarranted. I don't see how it is if what I've heard (on TLS, in a paper documenting the problems posted earlier in this thread, etc.) about biglaw has truth to it.


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

Postby PennLaw16 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:38 pm

Young Marino wrote:As in the words of the great Bob Dylan: "What is money? A man is successful if he gets up in the morning and sleeps at night while doing what he loves in between the two"


I aspire to one day have a net worth of $80 million and tell other people that money is irrelevant.

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

Postby Theopliske8711 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:46 pm

PennLaw16 wrote:
Young Marino wrote:As in the words of the great Bob Dylan: "What is money? A man is successful if he gets up in the morning and sleeps at night while doing what he loves in between the two"


I aspire to one day have a net worth of $80 million and tell other people that money is irrelevant.


Not to mention one of the most artistically fulfilling careers any human can ever hope to have...

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

Postby NeedAnExit » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:58 pm

Update: I had a 2014 clerkship land in my lap last week. One of my professors got a line on the surprise opening during the last week of February, I submitted my application the same day, judge called me on last Monday, I flew out to interview on Wednesday and got the position, and been walking around with an ear to ear smile ever since. Obviously I'll have to deal with post-clerkship employment, but that's a conversation for a few months later.

To those of you that posted something like "suck it up" - I agree that those with more mental fortitude would do better. But, as someone that 1) succeeded in, and even enjoyed working at, a professional services firm prior to law school that had its fair share of fire-drills and late nights, and 2) was relatively unphased by 1L, I just find it hard to believe that I am all that much wussier than most of my classmates. But it's certainly possible.

To those of you that responded that the money allows you to do things for yourself/family that are important and that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do: paying sticker at HLS now would run you over 200+ in debt. BEST case scenario, that is 0 savings for 4 years in biglaw while you pay it off. And you probably won't last that much longer than 4 years before taking a paycut. So what are you really able to buy?
Last edited by NeedAnExit on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby FinanceStudent28 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:05 pm

NeedAnExit wrote:Update: I had a 2014 clerkship land in my lap last week. One of my professors got a line on the surprise opening during the last week of February, I submitted my application the same day, judge called me on last Monday, I flew out to interview on Wednesday and got the position, and been walking around with an ear to ear smile ever since. Obviously I'll have to deal with post-clerkship employment, that's a conversation for a few months later.

To those of you that posted something like "suck it up" - I agree that those with more mental fortitude would do better. But, as someone that 1) succeeded in, and even enjoyed working at, a professional services firm prior to law school that had its fair share of fire-drills and late nights, and 2) was relatively unphased by 1L, I just find it hard to believe that I am all that much wussier than most of my classmates. But it's certainly possible.

Congrats on your job

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

Postby Theopliske8711 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:10 pm

NeedanExit,

Congrats dude, honestly! And best of luck in the future.

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

Postby MikeSpivey » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:03 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:NeedanExit,

Congrats dude, honestly! And best of luck in the future.


Yea that is awesome. Kudos! Happy for you!

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

Postby heythatslife » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:13 am

To the OP: Congrats! Would you change the title of the thread now, or do you still feel this way?

Side note: Not to beat a dead horse but the theoretical maximum for grant aid at HLS is 35k assuming 0 student asset and EFC. At least, that what they explained to me in my FA package a few days ago.

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

Postby NeedAnExit » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:36 am

I think I still feel this way. I got extraordinarily lucky - I knew the right professor, had some things on my resume that the judge really liked, and had the right grades from the right school. For the majority of people in biglaw, these things will not be true (and for the corporate folks, clerking isn't even a useful exit anyway.)

As far as aid, I got 0. I entered law school at 24 with about 65 k in savings + retirement accounts. My parents made approximately 70k combined, had relatively insubstantial retirement savings, but were sitting on a million dollar house (that they had purchased 20 years earlier for 150k). If I had blown all of my money on hookers and coke prior to law school, I'm guessing my aid number would have been much higher.
Last edited by NeedAnExit on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby Theopliske8711 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:24 am

Needanexit,

If you could provide some of us 0Ls with tips on how you cultivated a relationship with a professor that led to this, that would be great. I mean, at some point, it's just the case of being personable, but any kind of advice from graduates in this regard would be great. Who knows, some (many?) of us may find ourselves in your situation eventually.

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

Postby NeedAnExit » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:16 pm

I think the best way is to start RAing for a professor early on (your first or second year), and continue to do it throughout law school. You don't need to get an A+ or anything in the class - just tell him/her that you enjoyed the class, are interested in the subject, and want to RA.




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