thanks guys

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.

law school?

yes
30
58%
no
22
42%
 
Total votes: 52

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dabigchina
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thanks guys

Postby dabigchina » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:56 am

..
Last edited by dabigchina on Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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KMart
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby KMart » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:25 am

You don't sound happy in your job and you'll graduate free of debt. Big 4 accounting and law are similar in a lot of areas, but the pay is a little more justified under law (also more unpredictable as those 80 hour workweeks don't come with seasonality like in accounting). Do you feel as though you shouldn't?

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dabigchina
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby dabigchina » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:37 am

KMart wrote:You don't sound happy in your job and you'll graduate free of debt. Big 4 accounting and law are similar in a lot of areas, but the pay is a little more justified under law (also more unpredictable as those 80 hour workweeks don't come with seasonality like in accounting). Do you feel as though you shouldn't?


Yeah the 3 years of lost income really give me pause. Also, although I'll be debt free, law school will be a decent chunk of change for my parents. Really, I would be more than happy to shell out for law school if I knew that i would come out ahead in the long run. I would hate to spend so much money and get to the same place I would have gotten without it.

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pancakes3
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:44 am

If you've got the grades for CCN/MVP, wait for the promotion for the resume line and go get an MBA.

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dabigchina
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby dabigchina » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:46 am

pancakes3 wrote:If you've got the grades for CCN/MVP, wait for the promotion for the resume line and go get an MBA.

i'm a splitter so i don't have the "grades" for them per se. my understanding is that my w/e is not exactly considered desirable experience for MBAs but very desirable for legal recruiting.

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twenty
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby twenty » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:25 am

I voted no - CCNMVPB is probably not TCR unless your parents are either ridiculously rich to where 250k is a drop in the bucket, or else they don't plan on leaving you any money when they die. It's still your money sooner or later. UCLA for free's a pretty good deal, but what you have going on right now is better, honestly.

Can you work out some kind of a part-time arrangement with your company so you can keep your job? It's tough, but not impossible. At least two people in my 1L class are doing some variety of this.

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dabigchina
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby dabigchina » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:44 am

twenty wrote:Can you work out some kind of a part-time arrangement with your company so you can keep your job? It's tough, but not impossible. At least two people in my 1L class are doing some variety of this.


i'm honestly not interested in attending any part time programs. most of the schools around me are TTTs.

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zhenders
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby zhenders » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:48 am

"The devil you know" comes to mind here, OP. If I were in your shoes, I suppose I would spend the next month -- or however long it takes, really, including making phone calls and pouring over this forum and others -- to learn as much as I could about the nature of working as an attorney, and the ways in which it may genuinely be similar/different to the work you're doing now.

I agree with an earlier poster -- it does sound like you're unhappy in your current job -- or at least dissatisfied. With that said, I think the consensus on this forum for anyone considering law school is that if you choose to go -- sticker or free -- you'd better really wanna be a lawyer, or else life can suck pretty hardcore.

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twenty
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby twenty » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:05 am

dabigchina wrote:
twenty wrote:Can you work out some kind of a part-time arrangement with your company so you can keep your job? It's tough, but not impossible. At least two people in my 1L class are doing some variety of this.


i'm honestly not interested in attending any part time programs. most of the schools around me are TTTs.


I mean switch to part time with your company and attend school full time. Is that in the cards at all?

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dabigchina
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby dabigchina » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:33 pm

twenty wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
twenty wrote:Can you work out some kind of a part-time arrangement with your company so you can keep your job? It's tough, but not impossible. At least two people in my 1L class are doing some variety of this.


i'm honestly not interested in attending any part time programs. most of the schools around me are TTTs.


I mean switch to part time with your company and attend school full time. Is that in the cards at all?


i might but i'm not really sure whether that is a good idea. I could probably get another job in accounting if wanted to after law school. my firm will only pay for my JD if i work full time and go part time.

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cigarman
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby cigarman » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:43 pm

A tax attorney is generally more "fun" than working in tax. It seems to more varied not the exact same drudgery every day. I voted you should go to law school. BUT , you must go to a good tax school and basically major in being a tax lawyer. Its insane to throw away your current job unless you improve your skills in that area. Then get a quality tax LLM and sell out to big accounting. They pay around $125,000 to start for Tax LLMs from a good school in a good market. They will love your background and its not as billing driven as biglaw.
* however, my entire answer is different if you make more than $80,000 a year now. You have to improve your income potential maybe 40K a year to pay all the tuition costs/debt and still have a positive opportunity cost.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby JohannDeMann » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:54 pm

if you really hate your job, go to NYU and take a ton of taxes. go big law and then go in house. probably looking at about 5-6 years total to end up in house making on the low end of good money (way below Big 4 partner, but significantly more than you are making now).

edit the 5-6 years includes 3 years of law school.
Last edited by JohannDeMann on Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mgschiet
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby mgschiet » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:10 pm

Your age shouldn't be a factor at this point. I'll be 31 when I finish law school. I've always heard that your 20s are for exploring and figuring out what you want to do with your life. If you're not happy with accounting, go do something else. Life's too short.

Note that I'm not saying "Go to law school." That's ultimately your decision. But at 25, you're WAY too young to feel like you're stuck in a career.

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smaug
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby smaug » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:15 pm

It's up to you, but the combination of your parents be thrilled and willing to help pay, the fact that you seem unhappy, and the fact that being a tax lawyer seems like it is (comparatively) cushy at some places and you'd be really desirable for that, makes me think you can go if you want to.

But, if you don't want to go, don't go.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby UnicornHunter » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:23 pm

It sounds like you're 3-4 years away from making it in-house, at which point you'll have a relatively stable job with upward mobility and decent hours/benefits. Conversely, if you go to law school, you're 3-4 years away from the bar exam and being a first year associate. I would stick it out in accounting, you've already made it through the shittiest years.

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dabigchina
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby dabigchina » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:42 pm

JohannDeMann wrote:if you really hate your job, go to NYU and take a ton of taxes. go big law and then go in house. probably looking at about 5-6 years total to end up in house making on the low end of good money (way below Big 4 partner, but significantly more than you are making now).

edit the 5-6 years includes 3 years of law school.


I'm surprised you on on board Johan. I was expecting you, delg, df, And fat duck to come in here and tell me law sucks and nobody should ever consider law.

Jason Taverner wrote:It's up to you, but the combination of your parents be thrilled and willing to help pay, the fact that you seem unhappy, and the fact that being a tax lawyer seems like it is (comparatively) cushy at some places and you'd be really desirable for that, makes me think you can go if you want to.

But, if you don't want to go, don't go.


This makes me feel a little better. What places do you mean? Firm work or in house?
TheUnicornHunter wrote:It sounds like you're 3-4 years away from making it in-house, at which point you'll have a relatively stable job with upward mobility and decent hours/benefits. Conversely, if you go to law school, you're 3-4 years away from the bar exam and being a first year associate. I would stick it out in accounting, you've already made it through the shittiest years.


No upward mobility. In house tax accounti jobs are few and far between. I would more or less stay at the same level I exit at. Accounting in house recruiting has quirks of its own.

Cogburn87
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby Cogburn87 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:32 pm

Voted no based on point #4 alone. Don't go unless you have strong understanding of what the practice of law is like day after day, especially if your current job is boring and detail-oriented and you find that aspect of it to be a turn off.

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KMart
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby KMart » Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:39 pm

Cogburn87 wrote:Voted no based on point #4 alone. Don't go unless you have strong understanding of what the practice of law is like day after day, especially if your current job is boring and detail-oriented and you find that aspect of it to be a turn off.

Maybe you should email tax attorneys and ask them what their day to day is? Generally some will be happy to either give you an email or meet with you. It's also pretty easy just to mass mail them with a quick email asking.

FWIW I know a managing partner of big 4 who worked a lot with taxes and always wishes he would go back to law school and do tax law. Not sure what he knows about the market or what not, but just some added info.

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quiver
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby quiver » Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:14 pm

KMart wrote:
Cogburn87 wrote:Voted no based on point #4 alone. Don't go unless you have strong understanding of what the practice of law is like day after day, especially if your current job is boring and detail-oriented and you find that aspect of it to be a turn off.

Maybe you should email tax attorneys and ask them what their day to day is? Generally some will be happy to either give you an email or meet with you. It's also pretty easy just to mass mail them with a quick email asking.

FWIW I know a managing partner of big 4 who worked a lot with taxes and always wishes he would go back to law school and do tax law. Not sure what he knows about the market or what not, but just some added info.
Yeah, I agree with this. Law school is a big decision for you and you should get as much info as possible. Between drafting the email, mass emailing it, and talking to people, you can be on much surer footing--no matter the decision--in just a handful of hours.

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BizBro
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby BizBro » Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:52 pm

I probably would not go unless I got substantial $ at a T14. I would lateral out of big 4 after I made manager though.

anon52319
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby anon52319 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:54 pm

Have you considered deferring enrollment at your top choice to do an internal transfer within your firm for a year? You could leverage your current position and salary to check out a different service line that is most likely more interesting than preparing tax returns. It generally isn't difficult to do, and you could get a better idea of what your options are and what you want to do in the long term.

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dabigchina
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby dabigchina » Sun Mar 29, 2015 5:29 pm

Cogburn87 wrote:Voted no based on point #4 alone. Don't go unless you have strong understanding of what the practice of law is like day after day, especially if your current job is boring and detail-oriented and you find that aspect of it to be a turn off.


i probably could have said that better. i have a high level understanding of what tax attorneys do day to day.

tax opinions:
1. deal team/audit team (if big4) comes to you with question about whether income is considered x or y. they would really like it if it were more likely than not to be considered x.
2. you pull a bunch of cases that kind of have a similar fact pattern
3. you write a memo presenting these cases, concluding that the income is more likely than not to be considered x or you draft request for private letter ruling hoping the IRS sees it your way

due diligence:
you look through their tax returns/other filings and make sure there aren't any glaring issues that will fuck the client over (ie: the blown DCL election that my DD team missed)

from what I have seen, it seems interesting. i even got to draft a private letter ruling request. however, it's not my job so i don't really know if i would enjoy it after doing it every single day for 20 years. for instance, if it turned out that i don't do a lot of substantive research and instead moved commas all day long i would probably hate it.

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dabigchina
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby dabigchina » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:23 pm

anon52319 wrote:Have you considered deferring enrollment at your top choice to do an internal transfer within your firm for a year? You could leverage your current position and salary to check out a different service line that is most likely more interesting than preparing tax returns. It generally isn't difficult to do, and you could get a better idea of what your options are and what you want to do in the long term.

i already feel like i'm already going to be way too old as a 29 year old first year associate. i can definitely tell i don't have as much energy as i used to as a 22 year old staff. i can't imagine pullng all nighters as a 30 year old first year associate.

also, i'm hesitant to switch service lines because its going to fuck up my promotion. ultimately the biggest sticking point is how little money i make right now for busting my ass. bus drivers in my city make as much money as me with better benefits.

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twenty
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby twenty » Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:07 pm

But won't that change pretty quickly? It seems like you're past the hardest part of your career path already.

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dabigchina
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Re: Should I even go to law school

Postby dabigchina » Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:37 pm

twenty wrote:But won't that change pretty quickly? It seems like you're past the hardest part of your career path already.

it depends. compensation in accounting is much less of a lock step than law. once you make manager the raises/promotions become much more of a crapshoot. this is even more true in industry.

i could get 10% raises annually from now on and get promoted every 3-5 years, or i could get 2% and get promoted never.




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