Negative remarks about law school

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chrisgirl
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Negative remarks about law school

Postby chrisgirl » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:01 am

So on the web I have heard some pretty negative blogs telling people not to go to law school, that you will never get a job, and will be in a huge amount of debt...

I want to become a lawyer and work with special needs children/families and advocate work on their behalf, however just from reading the blogs it seems that I will just be in debt, work in a firm I hate and become miserable. Are there any counter arguments?

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MURPH
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby MURPH » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:08 am

Counter argument: If you want to be a lawyer that works with special needs children you must attend law school. /end thread

Alright, seriously. There are a lot of optimists on TLS. Everyone in gunning for the T14 and fighting for scholarship money. We all have big plans and we are doing a gret job of helping each other. You can find lots of advice on getting better LSAT scores, getting into better schools, negotiating scholarships, networking for jobs in school, looking for post grad work, etc. No one thinks it will be easy but you came to the right web site for help.

miamiman
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby miamiman » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:16 am

chrisgirl wrote:So on the web I have heard some pretty negative blogs telling people not to go to law school, that you will never get a job, and will be in a huge amount of debt...

I want to become a lawyer and work with special needs children/families and advocate work on their behalf, however just from reading the blogs it seems that I will just be in debt, work in a firm I hate and become miserable. Are there any counter arguments?


the counter argument is that a lot of people find tremendous satisfaction in lawyering. the reason why you hear about how miserable things are is because law, like all professions right now, is experiencing a tremendous amount of upheaval.

i'd suggest you go to a school that has a generous LRAP or on a significant scholarship to avoid the ratrace that is bigfirm life or the hypercompetitive process that feeds into it. what i've heard anecdotally -- and I have no reason to doubt it -- is the attorneys who find greatest satisfaction in their work are the ones who are committed to public interest causes like child advocacy etc. best of luck.

Miniver
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby Miniver » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:21 am

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Last edited by Miniver on Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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creamedcats
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby creamedcats » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:07 am

This website is useful as a reality check and reference for what you should expect with X X numbers, where you should apply, etc...

That said, don't be discouraged if law is your dream and you already know exactly what you want to do. Frankly, the legal profession needs fewer ravenous alphas and more people who enjoy going to work in the morning. You're already way ahead of the game and there are likely scholarships and loan forgiveness programs tailored to people like you. Research them. Get as high an LSAT score as you possibly can - even if you don't want a top school, it'll get you money other places.

Good luck!

yabbadabbado
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby yabbadabbado » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:16 am

There is a persistent myth that because a certain type of legal job involves working for the poor or because the pay is low, that these jobs are easier to get than other types of legal jobs. Another myth is that only private sector legal hiring and biglaw have been affected by the economic downturn.

Not true.

Trying to get one of those public interest type jobs is quite difficult even in a good economy, and EXTREMELY difficult right now. There weren't that many slots for new grads to begin with and now there are even less. Where do you think these nonprofits, legal aid clinics and state agencies get their funding from? They get it from federal and state governments and private donors/foundations. When the economy sucks, funding goes down/is cut off and these places cannot hire. For places that can hire, they may choose not to hire simply because they can get free labor from deferred biglaw associates or other law graduates who are willing to work for free to get something on their resume. And when the economy sucks, MANY more people apply to these types of jobs because private sector hiring has shrunk. So, you will be up against insane competition for a very small amount of jobs.

One thing you need to realize is that once you enroll in law school, the amount of debt you will be taking on is virtually certain. Whether that debt makes economic sense even if you don't get your dream job (whatever that job might be) is something you might want to think about.

Locke N. Lawded
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby Locke N. Lawded » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:25 am

yabbadabbado wrote:There is a persistent myth that because a certain type of legal job involves working for the poor or because the pay is low, that these jobs are easier to get than other types of legal jobs. Another myth is that only private sector legal hiring and biglaw have been affected by the economic downturn.

Not true.

Trying to get one of those public interest type jobs is quite difficult even in a good economy, and EXTREMELY difficult right now. There weren't that many slots for new grads to begin with and now there are even less. Where do you think these nonprofits, legal aid clinics and state agencies get their funding from? They get it from federal and state governments and private donors/foundations. When the economy sucks, funding goes down/is cut off and these places cannot hire. For places that can hire, they may choose not to hire simply because they can get free labor from deferred biglaw associates or other law graduates who are willing to work for free to get something on their resume. And when the economy sucks, MANY more people apply to these types of jobs because private sector hiring has shrunk. So, you will be up against insane competition for a very small amount of jobs.

One thing you need to realize is that once you enroll in law school, the amount of debt you will be taking on is virtually certain. Whether that debt makes economic sense even if you don't get your dream job (whatever that job might be) is something you might want to think about.


Absolutely credited. A good friend of mine from LR went to school to do public interest and was only able to get a job at the local legal aid organization after she actually procured her own funding! She reported that the deferred BigLaw associates were also making it harder for attorneys actually interested in doing public interest to break into the field...after all, who is going to spend scarce funding dollars when they can get employees, with health benefits prepaid, for free.

honestabe84
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby honestabe84 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:11 am

Miniver wrote:If you're in this for public interest work, then I'm not sure how relevant much of the information you've been reading online is. Most of the people crying over law school and their failed career prospects likely got mixed up in this racket for the money, prestige, or simply because they had nothing better to do coming out of college. Now they're all reeling hard as they're watching their dreams go up in smoke. You should really just find people who are doing the work you're interested in doing and ask them what they think.


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Always Credited
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby Always Credited » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:17 am

honestabe84 wrote:
Miniver wrote:If you're in this for public interest work, then I'm not sure how relevant much of the information you've been reading online is. Most of the people crying over law school and their failed career prospects likely got mixed up in this racket for the money, prestige, or simply because they had nothing better to do coming out of college. Now they're all reeling hard as they're watching their dreams go up in smoke. You should really just find people who are doing the work you're interested in doing and ask them what they think.


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blsingindisguise
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:43 am

That's not an unworthy goal, but ask yourself very seriously whether it's that you want to be a LAWYER for special needs children and their families, or just that you want to HELP special needs children and their families and imagine being a lawyer is somehow a better way to do so. There are lots of ways to help the people you want to help in fields like education, social work, occupational therapy, etc. Is there something about the legal work that particularly appeals to you? Do you even have any sense of what kind of legal jobs in that field do or don't exist? (if not you should do research and talk to people who do it).

Other than that, if you decide to do it just make sure to keep your debt low because you will NOT make very much money doing this assuming you get a job.

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romothesavior
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:47 am

Always Credited wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:
Miniver wrote:If you're in this for public interest work, then I'm not sure how relevant much of the information you've been reading online is. Most of the people crying over law school and their failed career prospects likely got mixed up in this racket for the money, prestige, or simply because they had nothing better to do coming out of college. Now they're all reeling hard as they're watching their dreams go up in smoke. You should really just find people who are doing the work you're interested in doing and ask them what they think.


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While I do think it is generally true that most JDUers fit this mold, there are lots of people who do not. We cannot paint with overly broad brushstrokes and blame the victims. Many top school people who worked hard, got decent grades, and did the legwork have still had trouble.

honestabe84
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby honestabe84 » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:17 am

romothesavior wrote:
Always Credited wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:
Miniver wrote:If you're in this for public interest work, then I'm not sure how relevant much of the information you've been reading online is. Most of the people crying over law school and their failed career prospects likely got mixed up in this racket for the money, prestige, or simply because they had nothing better to do coming out of college. Now they're all reeling hard as they're watching their dreams go up in smoke. You should really just find people who are doing the work you're interested in doing and ask them what they think.


TITCR

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+Infinity x2.


While I do think it is generally true that most JDUers fit this mold, there are lots of people who do not. We cannot paint with overly broad brushstrokes and blame the victims. Many top school people who worked hard, got decent grades, and did the legwork have still had trouble.


That's not what we're saying. I think what he/she meant is that there are a bunch of naive 20 somethings out there who have watched too much TV and movies and think that they're going to have the life of a rock start as a lawyer. Basically, they think their life is going to consist of fascinating work and will be making loads of money. They also have yet to realize that lawyers are a dime a dozen and that they won't be this powerful person that they so desperately want to be and that everyone thinks they will be, because you know, lawyers are soooo unique and intelligent. Many prospective law students are just a bunch of kids who don't know what else to do with their life (or they can't find a job in the economy), so they figure 'I'll just go to law school, make loads of cash, marry a supermodel, and end each day sipping cocktails at my country club.' When they graduate with this sense of entitlement, they become extremely upset that their entire plan is destroyed and they find themselves wearing a JCPenny suit and doing doc review at age 50 (not that there's anything wrong with JCpenny - That's all I'll be able to afford in the area of law I want to practice). What I'm getting at is that if you are going into this profession for mainly the money or prestige, you deserve everything that comes to you.

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romothesavior
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Re: Negative remarks about law school

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:44 am

honestabe84 wrote:That's not what we're saying. I think what he/she meant is that there are a bunch of naive 20 somethings out there who have watched too much TV and movies and think that they're going to have the life of a rock start as a lawyer. Basically, they think their life is going to consist of fascinating work and will be making loads of money. They also have yet to realize that lawyers are a dime a dozen and that they won't be this powerful person that they so desperately want to be and that everyone thinks they will be, because you know, lawyers are soooo unique and intelligent. Many prospective law students are just a bunch of kids who don't know what else to do with their life (or they can't find a job in the economy), so they figure 'I'll just go to law school, make loads of cash, marry a supermodel, and end each day sipping cocktails at my country club.' When they graduate with this sense of entitlement, they become extremely upset that their entire plan is destroyed and they find themselves wearing a JCPenny suit and doing doc review at age 50 (not that there's anything wrong with JCpenny - That's all I'll be able to afford in the area of law I want to practice). What I'm getting at is that if you are going into this profession for mainly the money or prestige, you deserve everything that comes to you.


Again, I agree with you to an extent, but to say TLS doesn't have a "blame the victim" attitude is ridiculous. And quite honestly, I think people who started at a T14 2-3 years ago in order to land money or prestige were perfectly justified. Are you telling me a ~median kid at a T14 in the class of 2010/2011/2012 who got deferred/no-offered "got what was coming to him?" When that kid went into law school, he could have expected big law served on a platter. And don't forget that a lot of it is simply blind luck; if you had an offer to Firm A and Firm B and took the offer at Firm B, but then were no-offered or deferred thanks to the economy, I'll bet you'd be kicking yourself for not taking Firm A. You just wound up with bad luck.

I get what you guys are saying. Many students are totally incompetent when it comes to getting a job. But not everyone who is getting no-offered or can't find work is a mouth-breathing, socially inept, lazy bum at median at a T2. I'm not trying to refute your point... I'm simply cautioning everyone to keep this in mind.




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