T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

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ConMan345
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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby ConMan345 » Tue May 04, 2010 6:18 pm

IAFG wrote:
ConMan345 wrote:
miamiman wrote:
IAFG wrote:i dont understand how the fact that it's a common concern makes it ok to forge ahead anyway. my point is, if you have doubts, and feel like you are going because your liberal arts degree aren't opening prestigious doors, explore law with a job, not six-figure debt.


I actually disagree with this (and strongly). Everyone I've ever known that was or is a paralegal, many of whom were on a fast-track towards law school, quickly ruled out law as a career path. They quite simply hated their job. Current attorneys I know, ones who even enjoy their job (!), admit that they, too, would probably have ruled out law if they had done paralegal work.

The fact is that baby-stepping towards law school will not, on average, inform your decision any more than jumping in head first.


I'm a paralegal/law clerk right now and I can vouch for this. I don't hate my job, but only because I get to do things an associate would do at a large firm because ours is so small. When it starts getting to me, I just think about having the attorneys' jobs and and excited for law school again.

so... it DID give you a good idea of what it's like to be a lawyer and inform your decision, then?


Haha, yeah, "this" was rather vague, I meant that it gave me a good idea of what it's like to be a certain kind of lawyer (let's not whitewash, here), but it also isn't like being a lawyer.

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ConMan345
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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby ConMan345 » Tue May 04, 2010 6:19 pm

miamiman wrote:
ConMan345 wrote:
miamiman wrote:
IAFG wrote:i dont understand how the fact that it's a common concern makes it ok to forge ahead anyway. my point is, if you have doubts, and feel like you are going because your liberal arts degree aren't opening prestigious doors, explore law with a job, not six-figure debt.


I actually disagree with this (and strongly). Everyone I've ever known that was or is a paralegal, many of whom were on a fast-track towards law school, quickly ruled out law as a career path. They quite simply hated their job. Current attorneys I know, ones who even enjoy their job (!), admit that they, too, would probably have ruled out law if they had done paralegal work.

The fact is that baby-stepping towards law school will not, on average, inform your decision any more than jumping in head first.


I'm a paralegal/law clerk right now and I can vouch for this. I don't hate my job, but only because I get to do things an associate would do at a large firm because ours is so small. When it starts getting to me, I just think about having the attorneys' jobs and am excited for law school again.


conman you doing paralegal work at a big PA firm?


No, small

Action Jackson
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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby Action Jackson » Tue May 04, 2010 6:19 pm

GATORTIM wrote:
miamiman wrote:The fact is that baby-stepping towards law school will not, on average, inform your decision any more than jumping in head first.


I totally agree with this. How many doctors were working blue collar jobs, but compelled to attend medschool by moonlighting as ER assistants. I cannot begin to fathom what its like to be the CEO of my company simply b/c I hear him on the phone occasionally and breathe the same air 8hrs/day.

Errr... nearly all MDs start as biology majors and have done some form of volunteering/work in the medical field to get their acceptance.

Law school is ridiculously easy to get into. That's good for people that want in, but has the side effect of letting in people that really shouldn't be in law school.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby GATORTIM » Tue May 04, 2010 6:26 pm

Action Jackson wrote:Errr... nearly all MDs start as biology majors and have done some form of volunteering/work in the medical field to get their acceptance.

Law school is ridiculously easy to get into. That's good for people that want in, but has the side effect of letting in people that really shouldn't be in law school.


Image

Law school provides an education that is applicable to a much larger spectrum of careers than does med school. It is extremely difficult to pinpoint who "really shouldn't be in law school" as all of us have our own reasons for attending any of which could be a complete 180 from the next.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby Rock Chalk » Tue May 04, 2010 6:27 pm

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Wed May 16, 2012 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby miamiman » Tue May 04, 2010 6:29 pm

Errr...I find it hard to believe -- rather I find it ridiculous -- that taking the temperature of inner-city kids at a volunteer clinic will suggest with any degree of accuracy whether you'll embrace one or more of the below:

(1) fighting with insurance companies for reimbursement (2) dealing with lingering malpractice concerns (3) working 16 hour days and/or (4) satisfying the insane medical documentation requirements pertaining to physicians.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby NayBoer » Tue May 04, 2010 6:36 pm

I'm a paralegal. I've written letters, emails, opinion letters, motions, statements of facts, etc. to and for clients. I do quite a bit of associate-level work, I bill hourly to clients, and I've seen some of what lawyers do. Even as an office assistant I saw some of what an attorney does.

I'm much more knowledgeable about what it is to be an attorney than I was before I worked for firms.

And regardless, there's a difference between wanting to be a lawyer but not being 100% sure it's for you, and wanting to be a lawyer because you can't think of anything better to do.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby modestsquirrel » Tue May 04, 2010 6:51 pm

I was a paralegal at a fairly prestigious NYC IP law firm and I can attest to the fact that being a paralegal does not give prospective law students a fair look at the legal profession. While it does expose 0L's to the general personality makeup’s of lawyers it does not accurately reflect what their day to day duties as a attorneys will be. Because to be honest, most paralegals do mind numbing, menial work- even at the most well regarded law firms.
Also many posters suggested to just get a job as a paralegal to try out the profession. This is much easier said than done. Paralegal jobs are not easy to come by at top firms. The resumes that came into the office I worked out were flat out impressive.
Going to law school is a leap of faith. There is little to prepare anyone for what it is actually like to be lawyer. You can have a general idea, but you wont know until you get there. It is also nice to see someone actually being honest. The above poster does not have options. Law school is his/her best option and it is a good one, even at sticker.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby 09042014 » Tue May 04, 2010 6:53 pm

NayBoer wrote:And regardless, there's a difference between wanting to be a lawyer but not being 100% sure it's for you, and wanting to be a lawyer because you can't think of anything better to do.


QFT

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby Action Jackson » Tue May 04, 2010 7:11 pm

GATORTIM wrote:
Action Jackson wrote:Errr... nearly all MDs start as biology majors and have done some form of volunteering/work in the medical field to get their acceptance.

Law school is ridiculously easy to get into. That's good for people that want in, but has the side effect of letting in people that really shouldn't be in law school.


Image

Law school provides an education that is applicable to a much larger spectrum of careers than does med school. It is extremely difficult to pinpoint who "really shouldn't be in law school" as all of us have our own reasons for attending any of which could be a complete 180 from the next.


You're a 0L, aren't you?

Pointing to a doctor that was terrible at his job (or just sleezy, as the case may be) doesn't address the substantive point that medical schools hold applicants to a higher standard with regards to the applicants interest and knowledge of the medical profession than law schools do. For crying out loud, with only two or three exceptions law schools don't even interview applicants. Obviously, people are going to end up in law school without fully appreciating what they're getting into.

I don't know what your "larger spectrum of careers" nonsense is supposed to address, but when I referred to people that shouldn't be in law school I meant people that would live to regret going to law school. People that five years down the road up and decide they don't want to be lawyers anymore. People that went into law school having no idea what they wanted to do with their life and end up doing something they could have done with a Masters and no debt. YOU might not be one of those people, but it's not hard to run into them in law school.

And that is the fundamental difference between medical and law schools: Medical schools make sure you really need to be there. If you apply to medical schools telling them, "Well, I don't really know anything about medicine or the medical field, but this seems like a good way to make money," your ass will be shown the door.

Now, that does make it harder for people to get into medical school. You have to have an answer to the "why medical school" question, and it has to be credible. You have to have done the pre-requisites. You have to have shown some interest in medicine. With law, you just do well on the LSAT. Again, that's good for people that want to go to law school, but you end up with a larger share of people that didn't really think about why they were going to law school.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby GATORTIM » Tue May 04, 2010 7:31 pm

Action Jackson wrote:I don't know what your "larger spectrum of careers" nonsense is supposed to address, but when I referred to people that shouldn't be in law school I meant people that would live to regret going to law school. People that five years down the road up and decide they don't want to be lawyers anymore. People that went into law school having no idea what they wanted to do with their life and end up doing something they could have done with a Masters and no debt. YOU might not be one of those people, but it's not hard to run into them in law school.


I agree with much of what you said except for this. I don't know how any of us, including those that are "certain" they want to be attorneys, can predict with any degree of certainty whether we will ultimately regret having attended LS or if in 8 years we will still "want" to be lawyers.

I don't understand the assumption that if somebody goes to LS they will have X amount of debt, but if they get their Master then they will be debt free.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby yabbadabbado » Tue May 04, 2010 7:58 pm

This is absolutely on the money. If you aren't sure about law school, but are worried about the "grind" of paralegal work at a small firm, here is my advice: take a year or two off, get a job in retail or waiting tables and volunteer at your local legal aid clinic, DA/PD office, whatever, part-time. That won't give you a glimpse of biglaw but it will give a good idea about what lawyers do. If you want to see biglaw, go get a paralegal job at a big firm.

Jumping into Law School out of undergrad because you can't think of anything better to do is a horrible decision. As a student about to graduate, I've met more than a few people who regretted going to law school. Whether or not you are at a top school doesn't matter. One of the smartest people I've met with regard to all this was a guy who decided to attend a top 5 school and dropped out 3 weeks into first semester. He figured out that he hated law school and got out before it was too late. Most students wont do this though. Once they are in, they stay because they want to put off facing the real world, and like someone else said, don't want to get an entry level job.

And the idea that a law degree is some kind of magic key to all sorts of career paths right out of school is bull. Right out of school, even a top school, trying to get most non-legal jobs with a law degree is exceedingly difficult. Employers are not interested because they wonder why you aren't practicing law. They will think you couldn't hack in law or are a loser/screw up and you'll be lucky to even land an interview for a lot of these jobs. If you don't want to practice law, forget about law school and go do something else.

NayBoer wrote:I'm a paralegal. I've written letters, emails, opinion letters, motions, statements of facts, etc. to and for clients. I do quite a bit of associate-level work, I bill hourly to clients, and I've seen some of what lawyers do. Even as an office assistant I saw some of what an attorney does.

I'm much more knowledgeable about what it is to be an attorney than I was before I worked for firms.

And regardless, there's a difference between wanting to be a lawyer but not being 100% sure it's for you, and wanting to be a lawyer because you can't think of anything better to do.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby Action Jackson » Tue May 04, 2010 8:03 pm

GATORTIM wrote:I agree with much of what you said except for this. I don't know how any of us, including those that are "certain" they want to be attorneys, can predict with any degree of certainty whether we will ultimately regret having attended LS or if in 8 years we will still "want" to be lawyers.


The fact that you put "certain" in quotes is the key. The majority of MDs are still MDs 10 years out of medical school. Same with Dentists, Optometrists, Pharmacists, and Nurses. PhDs that start careers (either in academia or industry) tend to stay in the field for the duration of their careers. Why are JDs different? You seem to be relying on the myth that law school opens non-legal doors -- that somehow a lawyer is qualified to do virtually anything -- while I believe the answer lies squarely in the fact that all of the schools mentioned have specific pre-requisites that require applicants to prove a level of dedication to the profession prior to entry, and law schools do not.

Do 100% of MDs stay in the medical field 10 years into their careers? Of course not, but we also don't see the kind of exodus from the field that you have in the legal profession. More importantly, you don't have the levels dissatisfaction with the fundamental of the career that you have in the legal field (ie, people outright saying they don't like the law after working in the legal field).

Requiring work experience in the legal field prior to acceptance to law school would dramatically reduce the number of applicants, but it would also mean people would have a better sense of what they were getting into.

I don't understand the assumption that if somebody goes to LS they will have X amount of debt, but if they get their Master then they will be debt free.


Maybe "no debt" was a bit of a stretch. Let's say, "dramatically less debt."

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby yabbadabbado » Tue May 04, 2010 8:04 pm

Even if you take out loans, it's possible to do many Master's programs very cheaply. Many Master's programs are tailored to working individuals and you can work while you go to school. Not true for most of the top law schools. Also, many employers offer tuition reimbursement. State school + tuition reimbursement + work = minimal debt in a lot of cases.

The hard part is getting an entry level job out of college that will allow you to do that, or putting in your time and getting enough work experience to move to the type of employer that will let you do that. A lot of 0Ls simply don't want to put in the work/time, so they never think about this.

GATORTIM wrote:
I don't understand the assumption that if somebody goes to LS they will have X amount of debt, but if they get their Master then they will be debt free.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby pugalicious » Tue May 04, 2010 8:09 pm

yabbadabbado wrote:Jumping into Law School out of undergrad because you can't think of anything better to do is a horrible decision. As a student about to graduate, I've met more than a few people who regretted going to law school. Whether or not you are at a top school doesn't matter. One of the smartest people I've met with regard to all this was a guy who decided to attend a top 5 school and dropped out 3 weeks into first semester. He figured out that he hated law school and got out before it was too late. Most students wont do this though. Once they are in, they stay because they want to put off facing the real world, and like someone else said, don't want to get an entry level job.


Agreed. I thought I wanted to go to law school straight out of college, but changed my mind and went the teaching route. So glad I waited - now I know that this is really what I want to do.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby AngryAvocado » Tue May 04, 2010 8:26 pm

yabbadabbado wrote:This is absolutely on the money. If you aren't sure about law school, but are worried about the "grind" of paralegal work at a small firm, here is my advice: take a year or two off, get a job in retail or waiting tables and volunteer at your local legal aid clinic, DA/PD office, whatever, part-time. That won't give you a glimpse of biglaw but it will give a good idea about what lawyers do. If you want to see biglaw, go get a paralegal job at a big firm.

Jumping into Law School out of undergrad because you can't think of anything better to do is a horrible decision. As a student about to graduate, I've met more than a few people who regretted going to law school. Whether or not you are at a top school doesn't matter. One of the smartest people I've met with regard to all this was a guy who decided to attend a top 5 school and dropped out 3 weeks into first semester. He figured out that he hated law school and got out before it was too late. Most students wont do this though. Once they are in, they stay because they want to put off facing the real world, and like someone else said, don't want to get an entry level job.

And the idea that a law degree is some kind of magic key to all sorts of career paths right out of school is bull. Right out of school, even a top school, trying to get most non-legal jobs with a law degree is exceedingly difficult. Employers are not interested because they wonder why you aren't practicing law. They will think you couldn't hack in law or are a loser/screw up and you'll be lucky to even land an interview for a lot of these jobs. If you don't want to practice law, forget about law school and go do something else.

NayBoer wrote:I'm a paralegal. I've written letters, emails, opinion letters, motions, statements of facts, etc. to and for clients. I do quite a bit of associate-level work, I bill hourly to clients, and I've seen some of what lawyers do. Even as an office assistant I saw some of what an attorney does.

I'm much more knowledgeable about what it is to be an attorney than I was before I worked for firms.

And regardless, there's a difference between wanting to be a lawyer but not being 100% sure it's for you, and wanting to be a lawyer because you can't think of anything better to do.


This entire thing is riddled with strawman arguments. Nobody is advocating going to law school simply because you have nothing else to do; what we're saying is that there's nothing wrong with some uncertainty going into law school. Moreover, attaining "relevant" legal experience isn't half as easy as people here have made it sound, especially ITE where even law school graduates are vying for shit jobs that typically don't require a JD (I should know as I spent several months looking). And, as others have pointed out, things like volunteering part time at a legal clinic gives one about as good of an idea about biglaw or one of the other careers most people, y'know, actually go to law school for as does watching damn Boston Legal--which is to say, it's pretty damn near worthless. One might even argue that it's about the worst thing you can do as it will probably give you an ass-backwards impression of a legal career and that could either A) deter someone who might have otherwise enjoyed a law career or B) cause someone go to law school with completely false notions of what they'll actually be doing in biglaw/clerking/whatever.

The fact of the matter is that there are very few opportunities, if any, for one to truly get a feel for most graduates of top schools will end up doing. It's entirely normal, even expected, for most incoming law students to feel uneasy about whether they will enjoy a career in the law. I don't really see what is so outrageous or ridiculous about that.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby IAFG » Tue May 04, 2010 8:47 pm

AngryAvocado wrote:This entire thing is riddled with strawman arguments. Nobody is advocating going to law school simply because you have nothing else to do; what we're saying is that there's nothing wrong with some uncertainty going into law school. Moreover, attaining "relevant" legal experience isn't half as easy as people here have made it sound, especially ITE where even law school graduates are vying for shit jobs that typically don't require a JD (I should know as I spent several months looking). And, as others have pointed out, things like volunteering part time at a legal clinic gives one about as good of an idea about biglaw or one of the other careers most people, y'know, actually go to law school for as does watching damn Boston Legal--which is to say, it's pretty damn near worthless. One might even argue that it's about the worst thing you can do as it will probably give you an ass-backwards impression of a legal career and that could either A) deter someone who might have otherwise enjoyed a law career or B) cause someone go to law school with completely false notions of what they'll actually be doing in biglaw/clerking/whatever.

The fact of the matter is that there are very few opportunities, if any, for one to truly get a feel for most graduates of top schools will end up doing. It's entirely normal, even expected, for most incoming law students to feel uneasy about whether they will enjoy a career in the law. I don't really see what is so outrageous or ridiculous about that.

i don't think it is ridiculous to be uneasy; far from it, i think it's incredibly prudent. too many people find out after law school that they are unsatisfied with law as a profession. it's wise to do whatever you can to make sure it is a good fit before spending a great deal of time and money on a J.D.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby AngryAvocado » Tue May 04, 2010 8:49 pm

Oh, I almost forgot...

And the idea that a law degree is some kind of magic key to all sorts of career paths right out of school is bull.


Nobody said anything close to the JD is a magic key to all sorts of careers, let alone right out of school. The point I've seen made is that you aren't necessarily stuck as an attorney for the rest of your life just because you have a JD. Hell, more than half of the law school graduates I've spoken with currently do something that is, at best, tangentially related to legal practice (venture capitalist, undergraduate law professor, several corporate in-housers who are basically upper-level managers, etc.). That's not at all to say that the world is your oyster as long as you have a JD, and you're going to have to put in at least a few years of legal work, but there are plenty of career paths that have people ending up in positions that have little or nothing to do with the law. Do I think you should go to law school if you have no interest in actually practicing law? No, absolutely not. But I don't think you're screwed for the rest of your life, either, if it turns out that you don't particularly care for it.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Tue May 04, 2010 8:54 pm

The fact that you put "certain" in quotes is the key. The majority of MDs are still MDs 10 years out of medical school. Same with Dentists, Optometrists, Pharmacists, and Nurses. PhDs that start careers (either in academia or industry) tend to stay in the field for the duration of their careers. Why are JDs different? You seem to be relying on the myth that law school opens non-legal doors -- that somehow a lawyer is qualified to do virtually anything -- while I believe the answer lies squarely in the fact that all of the schools mentioned have specific pre-requisites that require applicants to prove a level of dedication to the profession prior to entry, and law schools do not.

Requiring work experience in the legal field prior to acceptance to law school would dramatically reduce the number of applicants, but it would also mean people would have a better sense of what they were getting into.



False. My sister is a dentist. What showed her "dedication" to the field? A major in biology and one talk with her dentist. She knew what she was getting into as much as any law student. I imagine nurse/pharmacist programs are similiar.

Edited to add:

THe other people stay in thier field because they have no choice. What the hell else are you going to with a degree in dental sciences or nursing?
Last edited by Nicholasnickynic on Tue May 04, 2010 9:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby miamiman » Tue May 04, 2010 8:55 pm

IAFG, noone, including AA and myself, is arguing against trying to make as educated and holistic an analysis of whether to attend ls. What I am at least arguing, and what it appears others have done as well, is to suggest that prelaw jobs of any stripe - and those pertaining to the legal realm specifically - are not a good indicator of future happiness, fit, or success in the law.

Law school, at day's end, is a gamble, both financially, and more relevantly, on yourself.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Tue May 04, 2010 8:56 pm

miamiman wrote:IAFG, noone, including AA and myself, is arguing against trying to make as educated and holistic an analysis of whether to attend ls. What I am at least arguing, and what it appears others have done as well, is to suggest that prelaw jobs of any stripe - and those pertaining to the legal realm specifically - are not a good indicator of future happiness, fit, or success in the law.

Law school, at day's end, is a gamble, both financially, and more relevantly, on yourself.

+10

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby GATORTIM » Tue May 04, 2010 9:03 pm

Action Jackson wrote:
GATORTIM wrote:I agree with much of what you said except for this. I don't know how any of us, including those that are "certain" they want to be attorneys, can predict with any degree of certainty whether we will ultimately regret having attended LS or if in 8 years we will still "want" to be lawyers.


The fact that you put "certain" in quotes is the key. The majority of MDs are still MDs 10 years out of medical school. Same with Dentists, Optometrists, Pharmacists, and Nurses. PhDs that start careers (either in academia or industry) tend to stay in the field for the duration of their careers. Why are JDs different? You seem to be relying on the myth that law school opens non-legal doors -- that somehow a lawyer is qualified to do virtually anything -- while I believe the answer lies squarely in the fact that all of the schools mentioned have specific pre-requisites that require applicants to prove a level of dedication to the profession prior to entry, and law schools do not.

Do 100% of MDs stay in the medical field 10 years into their careers? Of course not, but we also don't see the kind of exodus from the field that you have in the legal profession. More importantly, you don't have the levels dissatisfaction with the fundamental of the career that you have in the legal field (ie, people outright saying they don't like the law after working in the legal field).

Requiring work experience in the legal field prior to acceptance to law school would dramatically reduce the number of applicants, but it would also mean people would have a better sense of what they were getting into.

I don't understand the assumption that if somebody goes to LS they will have X amount of debt, but if they get their Master then they will be debt free.


Maybe "no debt" was a bit of a stretch. Let's say, "dramatically less debt."


I would argue that the typical LS applicant and attorney is more of a Renaissance Man than are med students and doctors. Its not that I think a JD is going to open a myriad of opportunities, but rather the type of person that is drawn to LS and the legal profession is perhaps more likely to seek out opportunities that they may not have even considered upon entering LS.

I believe that many of us on here are highly intelligent and able to adapt to the ebb and flow of our economy. I am going to LS to become an attorney; however, if I decide a decade from now that I no longer want to be an attorney, what difference does it make.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby mwazaumoja » Tue May 04, 2010 9:05 pm

pugalicious wrote:
yabbadabbado wrote:Jumping into Law School out of undergrad because you can't think of anything better to do is a horrible decision. As a student about to graduate, I've met more than a few people who regretted going to law school. Whether or not you are at a top school doesn't matter. One of the smartest people I've met with regard to all this was a guy who decided to attend a top 5 school and dropped out 3 weeks into first semester. He figured out that he hated law school and got out before it was too late. Most students wont do this though. Once they are in, they stay because they want to put off facing the real world, and like someone else said, don't want to get an entry level job.


Agreed. I thought I wanted to go to law school straight out of college, but changed my mind and went the teaching route. So glad I waited - now I know that this is really what I want to do.


I did come to law school straight out of college, and that's only because I didn't get any of the teaching jobs I'd wanted. I think I was about 3 months too immature to start law school when I did, and a year off from school probably would have helped me quite a bit.

So despite going against the advice most people int this thread have given, I think it correct.

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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby AngryAvocado » Tue May 04, 2010 9:12 pm

miamiman wrote:IAFG, noone, including AA and myself, is arguing against trying to make as educated and holistic an analysis of whether to attend ls. What I am at least arguing, and what it appears others have done as well, is to suggest that prelaw jobs of any stripe - and those pertaining to the legal realm specifically - are not a good indicator of future happiness, fit, or success in the law.

Law school, at day's end, is a gamble, both financially, and more relevantly, on yourself.


I'm inclined to agree, but I will say that I do see some value in a (very) select few pre-law jobs. I mean, if you're dead set on biglaw and you have the opportunity to work as a paralegal in a huge firm where they tend to treat paralegals as pseudo-associates, I'd probably recommend that person to take the position. It's just that, for the vast majority of pre-law jobs, what you're doing is so far removed from what you'll likely be doing as an attorney that it's (at best) worthless and (at worst) counter-productive. The few that are worth it are often so rare and/or competitive that finding such a job is nigh impossible for the vast majority of prospective students.

Action Jackson
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Re: T6 Law school - hard for lib art grads to regret?

Postby Action Jackson » Tue May 04, 2010 9:14 pm

Nicholasnickynic wrote:
The fact that you put "certain" in quotes is the key. The majority of MDs are still MDs 10 years out of medical school. Same with Dentists, Optometrists, Pharmacists, and Nurses. PhDs that start careers (either in academia or industry) tend to stay in the field for the duration of their careers. Why are JDs different? You seem to be relying on the myth that law school opens non-legal doors -- that somehow a lawyer is qualified to do virtually anything -- while I believe the answer lies squarely in the fact that all of the schools mentioned have specific pre-requisites that require applicants to prove a level of dedication to the profession prior to entry, and law schools do not.

Requiring work experience in the legal field prior to acceptance to law school would dramatically reduce the number of applicants, but it would also mean people would have a better sense of what they were getting into.



False. My sister is a dentist. What showed her "dedication" to the field? A major in biology and one talk with her dentist. She knew what she was getting into as much as any law student. I imagine nurse/pharmacist programs are similiar.

Excluding that your sister -- a single anecdotal case -- can be written off as an exception, the mere fact that she had a biology degree already narrows down the applicants to the profession. Having studied biology, she showed an interest in the human body and it's workings. Now what if dental schools had the same requirements as law schools (namely, no requirements other than a degree)? Do you think letting History majors and Fashion majors into Dental school would lead to higher or lower long term satisfaction in the dental field?

Edited to add:

THe other people stay in thier field because they have no choice. What the hell else are you going to with a degree in dental sciences or nursing?


Tell employers that their training gave them "problem solving" and "analytical" skills that can be broadly applied, just like lawyers do. Again, the myth is that legal education gives a lawyer some kind of special, magic training that lets them do anything. That just doesn't happen. You see lawyers long term doing all kind of non-legal things because they didn't want to be lawyers anymore, not because they had skills that opened other doors. The only argument a dentist couldn't make that a lawyer could is the experience in "public policy" that a lawyer has, and that would be offset by the dentist's specific knowledge of dentistry (relevant for something like dental devices).




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