What encourages you to attend law school among all the negativity?

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dabigchina
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Re: What encourages you to attend law school among all the negativity?

Postby dabigchina » Wed May 20, 2015 3:58 am

JohannDeMann wrote:I'll agree to a certain extent here. But the point you are missing is the luck that put that 1st year and 3rd year in their respective positions and one was set up to fail and the other thrive. You would be a fool to believe that if you put those same 2 people in 50 other practice groups, the same person comes out ahead in even 30-35 of them. Just as your skills and whether or not you are good at an exam was up to perception in law school, the same applies for practice. So much of law just comes down to partner preference. Certain people work well with others - your flaws can be covered by other on the team, certain projects require certain skills so maybe you just get lucky and people think you're an all star year 1 but you really haven't been exposed to your weakness yet, maybe your midlevels can cover for you, maybe you work the same schedule as a certain partner so everytime he calls you are in your office and he thinks you're really diligent and always working like him because he works 9-9 and you are there at 8:30 pm when he calls but the partner that works 5-5 would think you are a bum sleeping in everyday, maybe you and your partner are both procrastinators so he doesn't realize that as a weakness, maybe you are just calm and chill all the time and they like that, maybe you are always worried about every detail and they like that, etc. The point is partner preference is going to range and vary by a lot. Yeah some people generally suck, but for the most part - everybody's working on a similar plane of intelligence and in the same sort of world here.
As far as your basketball analogy a more appropriate analogy would be Josh Smith - The Detroit Pistons one of the worst teams in the league cut Josh Smith and many thought he would be done in the NBA. He went to the Houston Rockets and was the most important player in the most important game of the Western Conference semifinals. That's the same with law. That 3rd year that will get forced out by your firm may go on to another firm and become partner. The amount of delusion on this website of people who think they are prodigy paper pushers is astounding.

I'm just a 0L but this makes perfect sense from what I have seen of Corporate America.

DecisionMaker100
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Re: What encourages you to attend law school among all the negativity?

Postby DecisionMaker100 » Wed May 20, 2015 10:55 am

The monies.

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mi-chan17
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Re: What encourages you to attend law school among all the negativity?

Postby mi-chan17 » Wed May 20, 2015 10:56 am

djbatista wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
djbatista wrote:I agree, but if your assessment of benefit/risk is "bad idea because it doesn't work out for some other people" then you're completely taking yourself and your own potential our of the equation.

And we're back to the fuzziness. What does this even mean?


If you don't understand this I won't bother going any further into it.


I think I understand what you're saying, but I think you're not understanding why what you're saying sounds ridiculous to anyone who has gone through law school. I'm not saying that knowing yourself isn't valuable in law school, or that there aren't some things you can use it to predict, but you can't use it to predict how well you will do in law school.

You're essentially saying that, "yes, sure, law school is an awful idea for lots of people, but I know that I have potential and drive and I'm willing to work for my dreams." The problem is that every person in your class is saying that same thing. Just about everyone goes to law school saying, "I'm going to work hard and be in the top 10%." 90% of those people will be wrong. That's just the math of it. And no matter how well you think you know yourself, you can't know if you'll be in that 90% or not.

Doing well in LS isn't really about hard work - hard work is the expectation, not the exception. Most of your classmates are planning to work hard. It's not about intelligence - to the minimal extent we have a way of measuring that, your class will have similar GPAs/LSAT scores to yours. It's about how well you can take a law exam and whether you're better at law exams then your classmates. The problem is that, because you've never taken a law exam, and neither have your classmates, there's no real way to predict how you will do on them. Some very smart, passionate, hardworking people turn out to have trouble with law school exams. Some people are okay at law exams, but they're in classes with people that are better at them. Some people who work less and went to law school because they didn't know what else to do will be innately awesome at law school exams. That's where luck comes in.

So we have to take the "you" factor out of the equation, because even you can't know how well you'll do, so how the heck can we? We have to look at how the average student will do, as a result, and the average person will be around median, give or take. They will have whatever opportunities are available from their school at median. At any school outside the T14, those opportunities typically do not include biglaw. It would be foolish and irresponsible of TLSers to give advice that didn't take that and the average cost of attendance into account.

blsingindisguise
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Re: What encourages you to attend law school among all the negativity?

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed May 20, 2015 11:23 am

mi-chan17 wrote:You're essentially saying that, "yes, sure, law school is an awful idea for lots of people, but I know that I have potential and drive and I'm willing to work for my dreams." The problem is that every person in your class is saying that same thing. Just about everyone goes to law school saying, "I'm going to work hard and be in the top 10%." 90% of those people will be wrong. That's just the math of it. And no matter how well you think you know yourself, you can't know if you'll be in that 90% or not.


About two weeks into 1L first semester, new friend and I are talking and he's like "Yeah I met so-and-so at a meet and greet, she works for Davis Polk, she makes so much money!" And I was like, "you know you have to be like top 5% or maybe top 10% at most to get a job like that, right?" And he's like "Come on, how hard can it be to make top 10%, we're smart, and we're gonna work our asses off" and I'm like "Uh..."

Guess which one of us wound up in the top 10%.

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djbatista
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Re: What encourages you to attend law school among all the negativity?

Postby djbatista » Wed May 20, 2015 11:25 am

mi-chan17 wrote:
djbatista wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
djbatista wrote:I agree, but if your assessment of benefit/risk is "bad idea because it doesn't work out for some other people" then you're completely taking yourself and your own potential our of the equation.

And we're back to the fuzziness. What does this even mean?


If you don't understand this I won't bother going any further into it.


I think I understand what you're saying, but I think you're not understanding why what you're saying sounds ridiculous to anyone who has gone through law school. I'm not saying that knowing yourself isn't valuable in law school, or that there aren't some things you can use it to predict, but you can't use it to predict how well you will do in law school.

You're essentially saying that, "yes, sure, law school is an awful idea for lots of people, but I know that I have potential and drive and I'm willing to work for my dreams." The problem is that every person in your class is saying that same thing. Just about everyone goes to law school saying, "I'm going to work hard and be in the top 10%." 90% of those people will be wrong. That's just the math of it. And no matter how well you think you know yourself, you can't know if you'll be in that 90% or not.

Doing well in LS isn't really about hard work - hard work is the expectation, not the exception. Most of your classmates are planning to work hard. It's not about intelligence - to the minimal extent we have a way of measuring that, your class will have similar GPAs/LSAT scores to yours. It's about how well you can take a law exam and whether you're better at law exams then your classmates. The problem is that, because you've never taken a law exam, and neither have your classmates, there's no real way to predict how you will do on them. Some very smart, passionate, hardworking people turn out to have trouble with law school exams. Some people are okay at law exams, but they're in classes with people that are better at them. Some people who work less and went to law school because they didn't know what else to do will be innately awesome at law school exams. That's where luck comes in.

So we have to take the "you" factor out of the equation, because even you can't know how well you'll do, so how the heck can we? We have to look at how the average student will do, as a result, and the average person will be around median, give or take. They will have whatever opportunities are available from their school at median. At any school outside the T14, those opportunities typically do not include biglaw. It would be foolish and irresponsible of TLSers to give advice that didn't take that and the average cost of attendance into account.


Great post. I think I see more of the other perspective now. Still I feel that if you're committed to it sometimes it's a risk that must be taken. For example there are many smart people who will get into good schools, but simply not get scholarships. Should all of these people not pursue a law career when many of them will be successful? That's what I'm getting at.

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mi-chan17
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Re: What encourages you to attend law school among all the negativity?

Postby mi-chan17 » Wed May 20, 2015 12:28 pm

djbatista wrote:Great post. I think I see more of the other perspective now. Still I feel that if you're committed to it sometimes it's a risk that must be taken. For example there are many smart people who will get into good schools, but simply not get scholarships. Should all of these people not pursue a law career when many of them will be successful? That's what I'm getting at.


I understand where you're coming from. I'm not going to pretend that I didn't take at least two substantial risks in law school that went against advice on TLS. What I am going to tell you, from my hypocritical standpoint, is that it is impossible to know beforehand if these risks will pay off. There is absolutely no way to know if any of those hypothetical people will be successful. That's the problem we're running into.

Sure, if there was some way to know that an individual person would be successful, they should totally go to law school. But there is no way. There's just not. There are smart people at "good" schools every year who don't manage to figure out how to master law school exams. So while I can't say with absolute certainty that every single person who goes to a T50-T20 (randomly selected cutoffs) at sticker is irredeemably screwed, I can say with quite a bit of confidence that they will not all end up in biglaw. In fact, I'd be willing to bet the majority of them don't. Sure, maybe a few of them will hit it big and live the dream of paying down sticker debt by selling their soul for 80 hours a week (though whose dream that should be, I don't know). Definitely possible. Is it likely for any specific person? Absolutely not.

TLS can't see into the future and know which outcome you, or any 0L, will have. Which why it gives the advice it does, to minimize the risks. TLS advises applicants about the average outcome, because that's all any applicant can really count on no matter how smart they may be. The average outcome for someone paying sticker outside of the T14 is a substantial debt burden that will weigh them down for 25 years (or more, depending on what happens to IBR/PAYE), and the majority won't have biglaw to pay it off. I don't know how you're defining 'successful,' but assuming you mean 'biglaw' it's simply not true that "many smart people paying sticker at good schools" will be successful. The majority of people going to non-T14s at sticker will not get biglaw. Indeed, the majority of law students paying Any price for a non-T14 will not get biglaw.

I won't forecast the future and say you, or any 0L, specifically will not be successful. I also can't say that you will be. I can say that the average outcome isn't optimal for people paying sticker outside the T14, and that there's no need to rage against TLS providing you with that information and making recommendations accordingly.

If your life will be irredeemably incomplete if you don't go to law school, then do what you have to do. Don't be hurt that TLSers generally can't agree with that choice, though.




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