I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

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shoeshine
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby shoeshine » Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:53 pm

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esq
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby esq » Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:23 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
You are misreading the critiques.

All of them boil down to one simple principle: does the cost of attendance line up with job prospects?

Specialty rankings mean nothing. They are signals to academics that they will be around like minded individuals. If you wanted to work in Des Moines doing environmental work and you have an environmental background, you would be much better off going to the University of Iowa than VT.

If you want to work in Hawaii, then yes, going to school locally makes sense. However, if you are paying $180,000 to attend and the school only places about 30% of its graduates in jobs that make more than $50,000, then it still does not make sense to go.

It is not about full ride or bust or HYS or bust. It is about sitting down with hard numbers, figuring out opportunity cost, loan payments, real data about job placement (which means reading the fine print about how many students actually responded to the survey, and how many of those actually gave salary data, and how many of those are employed by the law school itself) and seeing if the numbers work. If they don't work, they don't work.


^ This is on point.

As pointed out by TooOld, you need only apply the Learned Hand Formulation: Cost Benefit Risk Analysis.

As calculated above, if the probability, P, that you will be injured, L, by your law degree and 180k+ in loans outweighs the burden of not going to law school, B, you should not go to law school: (P)(L) > B. It would be unreasonable for you to take a more costly risk when you could take a less costly and adequate precaution by not going, burdensome as this may seem.

In other words, if you are (70%) likely to (Have no job, or be underemployed with 180k+ loans), the risk of law school outweighs the burden of not going: (70%)(No Job, Underemployed, 180k+ Tuition) > No Law School.

To put it in definite terms that are reasonably agreeable for you - to beat the horse dead - the Learned Hand Calculus of Risk that one should perform when contemplating whether to go to law school should look like this: The risk, (4th Tier) x (-$$$$) > The burden, (Sales 4 Life = $$). It is not reasonable to go to law school in this case.

Clear enough?

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romothesavior
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby romothesavior » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:40 pm

I can sympathize with the desire to become a lawyer and wanting to "follow your dreams" and all that good stuff. Certainly a person should not go to law school if they don't think they would enjoy being a lawyer. But don't let your "passion for the law" or your "desire to be a lawyer" drive you over a cliff with 6-figures of debt and no job. Sure, you may love writing a law review note and you may get off to class debates about the "reasonable man," but three years of legal inquiry and fascination with the law is not worth being unemployed and broke for years to come. A J.D. is a professional degree, and getting one can easily become the worst decision of your life if you are stupid about it.

Bottom line: Follow your passions, but do so responsibly and be well-informed about where your chosen path is leading you.

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stratocophic
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby stratocophic » Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:57 pm

The problem that OP has is that many people on this board dissuade people from even attending HYS. There are many people like that who probably DID strike out and are bitter--but mostly the advice is T5 sticker/T6-14 $$$ or bust, which is valid and legitimate.
TLS: talking 175/3.8s out of Harvard left and right. Sure thing chief

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swfangirl
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby swfangirl » Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:24 pm

Tbf, people do strike out at H, too. Still worth it on the whole, I think, but not irrational for someone to decide that that's still too risky at sticker.

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stratocophic
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby stratocophic » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:39 pm

swfangirl wrote:Tbf, people do strike out at H, too. Still worth it on the whole, I think, but not irrational for someone to decide that that's still too risky at sticker.
OFS, but talking someone out of H isn't something that happens with any sort of regularity on this site.

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Lawquacious
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby Lawquacious » Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:07 pm

rayiner wrote:
JoeMo wrote:Why is it that on these boards so many people talk about the bad economy and bad employment prospects? Is it because they're trying to minimize the competition for themselves? Or are they recent grads that are bitter about their own employment situation? What gives?

I'm assuming everyone on this board is trying to pursue law school or has recently done so... why not heed your own advice?

I'm just trying to get to the bottom of why choose a board for law school hopefuls to knock the pursuit of an education in law? I, for one, will not be dissuaded by these comments. I know what I want and I won't stop until I get there.


There are a lot of law students on here who are rapidly realizing how bad the employment prospects really are now that they're trying to find jobs. There are people on here going to good schools with decent employment prospects who know the risk they're taking on. There are people here who have jobs but who have friends who don't. There are people here who wanted to go to LS, then decided against it but stick around for the community.

The comments aren't there to dissuade you. They're there to educate you about the facts. If you're saying you won't listen and take account of these facts, then you don't have the right mindset to make a good lawyer.



I think this is well said, along with quite a few of the other responses. I would just add that it is hard to grasp how bad the legal market is right now--even being at solid law schools--until you've actually faced the misery of the job hunt. I'm not saying it doesn't still work out great for many ppl (or that it won't eventually for me--I certainly hope it will), but it is probably twice as hard to get a decent legal job now as it was 5 years ago (at least).

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SisterRayVU
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby SisterRayVU » Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:08 pm

Lawquacious wrote:
rayiner wrote:
JoeMo wrote:Why is it that on these boards so many people talk about the bad economy and bad employment prospects? Is it because they're trying to minimize the competition for themselves? Or are they recent grads that are bitter about their own employment situation? What gives?

I'm assuming everyone on this board is trying to pursue law school or has recently done so... why not heed your own advice?

I'm just trying to get to the bottom of why choose a board for law school hopefuls to knock the pursuit of an education in law? I, for one, will not be dissuaded by these comments. I know what I want and I won't stop until I get there.


There are a lot of law students on here who are rapidly realizing how bad the employment prospects really are now that they're trying to find jobs. There are people on here going to good schools with decent employment prospects who know the risk they're taking on. There are people here who have jobs but who have friends who don't. There are people here who wanted to go to LS, then decided against it but stick around for the community.

The comments aren't there to dissuade you. They're there to educate you about the facts. If you're saying you won't listen and take account of these facts, then you don't have the right mindset to make a good lawyer.



I think this is well said, along with quite a few of the other responses. I would just add that it is hard to grasp how bad the legal market is right now--even being at solid law schools--until you've actually faced the misery of the job hunt. I'm not saying it doesn't still work out great for many ppl (or that it won't eventually for me--I certainly hope it will), but it is probably twice as hard to get a decent legal job now as it was 5 years ago (at least).


The other thing is, and I've been thinking about it a bit, is that even if the market grows and the Euro crisis is averted and we come out of ITE, the hiring process is still going to be conservative and will never be back to what it was pre-ITE for anyone using this forum or thinking about maybe finding this forum. :(

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NiccoloA
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby NiccoloA » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:20 pm

SisterRayVU wrote:The other thing is, and I've been thinking about it a bit, is that even if the market grows and the Euro crisis is averted and we come out of ITE, the hiring process is still going to be conservative and will never be back to what it was pre-ITE for anyone using this forum or thinking about maybe finding this forum. :(



What is meant by "come out of this economy"?

If "out of ITE" means an economy like the one we had in 2005-06. Yes, legal employment will go back to that level.

I still have seen nothing convincing to suggest to me that the legal economy has structurally altered. Doc review and legalzoom do not seem like competition for people that want to make biglaw money.

What makes people think this?

Lawyers can't be offshored unless India is now specializing in American laws.

If an economy and population are growing (assuming ITE ends, America will be), then there will naturally be more contracts and disputes.

If laws continue to complicate and change (even if ITE, this will be true) new lawyers will be required.



Law is probably a relatively stable career path. However, stable career path =/= wise investment.

As others have said, school quality and cost make the risk exponential. If you can only make $40,000 out of TTT, you'll have a comfortable life IF your cost of attendance (undergrad and graduate) had been below $40,000


The problem, as I see it, isn't the career. It's what it takes to get a JD. The cost is too high for a JD, like the cost is too high for a Ferrari. For some, the investment is worth it. For others, it is not.

Depending on the state that you want to practice in, you shouldn't pay more than $60,000 for your BA+JD if you want to be totally risk averse while still being a lawyer.

If you end up doing this, you can still live comfortably, but the pressure increases as the debt goes up without significant increase in the opportunity to make more than what you will probably get - again, depending on the state, ~$45 - $60 k

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:40 pm

JoeMo wrote:
freestallion wrote:What I am curious to know is why law in particular is singled out. I know plenty of people doing things like MPPs or MPAs or Master's who cannot get jobs, and I know they paid 40k or more (per year) in tuition costs for their degrees. In this economy you can't "expect" a job out of most career choices/options -- except perhaps medicine and engineering. I'm not sure a law degree is a worse investment than say, an MPP/MA degree from a decent but not so great school. I don't know why people aren't ragging on those types of degrees instead...


I also agree with this sentiment. I know someone quite well that has an MBA and MPA and can't get a job. Yet no one seems to be talking about those dismal prospects.

But I do agree with the other poster that it might perhaps be due to the fact that so many people seem to think that they're going to end up in BIGLAW with 160k associate positions out of law school like was the case 10 years ago.

I think for those of us that really have a passion for the law & academia and are willing to go to law school without the false hopes that we're guaranteed work after law school then we should do it no matter how much people are trying to dissuade us.

Plus we are not guaranteed that the economy won't turn up in a few years time and our law degrees could prove useful again.


In the word of the third century greek philosopher arastophlanees- "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?"

A "passion for academia" should play NO part in your decision to go to law school. You sound like a doey eyed 0L/1L who does not realize that 95% of the "Academic" stuff you learn in law school is completely irrelevant to the actual practice of law.

If you love academia go get a phd.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:42 pm

NiccoloA wrote:
SisterRayVU wrote:The other thing is, and I've been thinking about it a bit, is that even if the market grows and the Euro crisis is averted and we come out of ITE, the hiring process is still going to be conservative and will never be back to what it was pre-ITE for anyone using this forum or thinking about maybe finding this forum. :(



What is meant by "come out of this economy"?

If "out of ITE" means an economy like the one we had in 2005-06. Yes, legal employment will go back to that level.

I still have seen nothing convincing to suggest to me that the legal economy has structurally altered. Doc review and legalzoom do not seem like competition for people that want to make biglaw money.


What makes people think this?

Lawyers can't be offshored unless India is now specializing in American laws.

If an economy and population are growing (assuming ITE ends, America will be), then there will naturally be more contracts and disputes.

If laws continue to complicate and change (even if ITE, this will be true) new lawyers will be required.



Law is probably a relatively stable career path. However, stable career path =/= wise investment.

As others have said, school quality and cost make the risk exponential. If you can only make $40,000 out of TTT, you'll have a comfortable life IF your cost of attendance (undergrad and graduate) had been below $40,000


The problem, as I see it, isn't the career. It's what it takes to get a JD. The cost is too high for a JD, like the cost is too high for a Ferrari. For some, the investment is worth it. For others, it is not.

Depending on the state that you want to practice in, you shouldn't pay more than $60,000 for your BA+JD if you want to be totally risk averse while still being a lawyer.

If you end up doing this, you can still live comfortably, but the pressure increases as the debt goes up without significant increase in the opportunity to make more than what you will probably get - again, depending on the state, ~$45 - $60 k



The other part of the problem is that there are no jobs. If you come out of a TTT making 40k you are damn lucky.

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sdwhodat
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby sdwhodat » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:06 pm

Haha, bankruptcy, tax law, and criminal law have an alright outlook in this economy (they might not have great paying jobs, but there will probably be jobs).

Bankruptcy because people are going bankrupt, tax law because they will try to cheat on their taxes, and criminal law because when the economy goes rotten, the crime rates will rise, lol.

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NiccoloA
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby NiccoloA » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:53 pm

Nicholasnickynic wrote:The other part of the problem is that there are no jobs. If you come out of a TTT making 40k you are damn lucky.


No doubt. I'm assuming post-ITE though

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JoeMo
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby JoeMo » Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:56 pm

Nicholasnickynic wrote:
JoeMo wrote:
freestallion wrote:What I am curious to know is why law in particular is singled out. I know plenty of people doing things like MPPs or MPAs or Master's who cannot get jobs, and I know they paid 40k or more (per year) in tuition costs for their degrees. In this economy you can't "expect" a job out of most career choices/options -- except perhaps medicine and engineering. I'm not sure a law degree is a worse investment than say, an MPP/MA degree from a decent but not so great school. I don't know why people aren't ragging on those types of degrees instead...


I also agree with this sentiment. I know someone quite well that has an MBA and MPA and can't get a job. Yet no one seems to be talking about those dismal prospects.

But I do agree with the other poster that it might perhaps be due to the fact that so many people seem to think that they're going to end up in BIGLAW with 160k associate positions out of law school like was the case 10 years ago.

I think for those of us that really have a passion for the law & academia and are willing to go to law school without the false hopes that we're guaranteed work after law school then we should do it no matter how much people are trying to dissuade us.

Plus we are not guaranteed that the economy won't turn up in a few years time and our law degrees could prove useful again.


In the word of the third century greek philosopher arastophlanees- "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?"

A "passion for academia" should play NO part in your decision to go to law school. You sound like a doey eyed 0L/1L who does not realize that 95% of the "Academic" stuff you learn in law school is completely irrelevant to the actual practice of law.

If you love academia go get a phd.


Why not pursue a JD if you have a love of all things academic? Loving academia just makes putting up with the time you spend on any one degree bearable because you actually enjoy the learning process and all that it entails.

Being passionate about the law and specifically the area of law that I want to practice is the reason that I am going to law school. I don't see any problem with that and I don't think it's up to you or anyone else to try and point out the inefficiencies in that statement because the truth of the matter is that there are jobs out there. The problem is those jobs are made for a particular type of lawyer and you'll never find out if you are that lawyer unless you go to law school.

Go ahead, tear this to shreds because I know that's what you'll intend to do. But at the end of the day, the point of my original post was to say, who are you to play detractor? Who are you to try and convince someone else that they should not pursue something? and lastly, who the fuck are you to tell me that I haven't done enough research about the current state of the legal profession and my chances within it?

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ahduth
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby ahduth » Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:38 pm

NiccoloA wrote:Lawyers can't be offshored unless India is now specializing in American laws.


India and the US are both common law countries. Very little reason you can't have Indian lawyers doing American legal work.

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romothesavior
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby romothesavior » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:09 pm

Lol @ going to law school for a "love of all things academia." All of the academic stuff you learn in law school, you you can learn in a treatise or something. Or go check out the zillions of YouTube videos of law-related lectures if you want to get your academic fix. There are plenty of reasons for going to law school. A burning passion to learn about the law is not worth the time and money. This is a professional school.

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SisterRayVU
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby SisterRayVU » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:17 pm

NiccoloA wrote:
Nicholasnickynic wrote:The other part of the problem is that there are no jobs. If you come out of a TTT making 40k you are damn lucky.


No doubt. I'm assuming post-ITE though


It seems like pre-ITE, there was overhiring and over lavishness. Didn't they used to take SAs around town on limos and take them out on the town and have CBs while getting box seats at baseball games? You didn't have to worry about getting an offer rescinded or getting laid off because it didn't happen. I think it's safe to say that things like that aren't going to happen again and you won't see such rampant hiring even if we went back to early 2000s level simply because there wouldn't be enough jobs to warrant it.

Things will get better but it won't be like they were for a very long time.

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JoeMo
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby JoeMo » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:53 am

romothesavior wrote:Lol @ going to law school for a "love of all things academia." All of the academic stuff you learn in law school, you you can learn in a treatise or something. Or go check out the zillions of YouTube videos of law-related lectures if you want to get your academic fix. There are plenty of reasons for going to law school. A burning passion to learn about the law is not worth the time and money. This is a professional school.


Clearly, you can't read.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:05 am

This thread is just incredibly lulzy. And now that we've gotten on to "a love of academia" as a reason to go to law school, it has completely jumped the shark.

Similarly, a passion for a certain area of the law is great and everything, but unless that area of the law is personal injury or personal bankruptcy, I wouldn't go to law school because of it. And if your passions are actually in those areas, I'd watch fewer Peter Francis Geraci commercials.

It's professional school. "Who are [we] to serve as detractors"? "[We]" are apparently people with the ability to do basic risk-reward calculations.

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JoeMo
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby JoeMo » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:15 am

ToTransferOrNot wrote:This thread is just incredibly lulzy. And now that we've gotten on to "a love of academia" as a reason to go to law school, it has completely jumped the shark.

Similarly, a passion for a certain area of the law is great and everything, but unless that area of the law is personal injury or personal bankruptcy, I wouldn't go to law school because of it. And if your passions are actually in those areas, I'd watch fewer Peter Francis Geraci commercials.

It's professional school. "Who are [we] to serve as detractors"? "[We]" are apparently people with the ability to do basic risk-reward calculations.


No, that's not accurate. First of all, you're taking a blip of what I said and turning it into this "the love of academia is the only reason why I'm going to law school"... which is not what I said. It's actually not even close. I simply said that loving academia makes any type of school that much more enjoyable.

Additionally, you have no idea the type of research or quantification of risk that anyone else on this board has undertaken. Thus you are not the indicated person to try and deter anyone from going to law school.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:19 am

JoeMo wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:This thread is just incredibly lulzy. And now that we've gotten on to "a love of academia" as a reason to go to law school, it has completely jumped the shark.

Similarly, a passion for a certain area of the law is great and everything, but unless that area of the law is personal injury or personal bankruptcy, I wouldn't go to law school because of it. And if your passions are actually in those areas, I'd watch fewer Peter Francis Geraci commercials.

It's professional school. "Who are [we] to serve as detractors"? "[We]" are apparently people with the ability to do basic risk-reward calculations.


No, that's not accurate. First of all, you're taking a blip of what I said and turning it into this "the love of academia is the only reason why I'm going to law school"... which is not what I said. It's actually not even close. I simply said that loving academia makes any type of school that much more enjoyable.

Additionally, you have no idea the type of research or quantification of risk that anyone else on this board has undertaken. Thus you are not the indicated person to try and deter anyone from going to law school.


/impliedfacepalm.jpg

ToTransferOrNot wrote: This thread is just incredibly lulzy.

xyzbca
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby xyzbca » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:11 am

1. Who are we to detract? We are people who hold a perspective on law school which can only be gained through experience. It hasn’t crossed your mind that, as 0L’s, many (most?) of us used the same rationalizations you are spouting off and we now realize how full of sh!t we were?

Like you, I had substantial work experience in corporate America prior to LS. I wanted to “do something more interesting and complicated.” By attending LS I killed off a career with a stable employer who paid me a salary most non-biglaw attorneys would be happy to have. My class percentile is in the single digits, I made LR, I will be graduating from law school debt free and I have a summer associate position in 2012 at a market paying firm that is generally considered one of the two leading firms in its market. I tell you this so that you understand I have absolutely no reason to be bitter (and I am not bitter) about law school. All of that said, I can tell you right now that law school was an incredibly stupid risk on my part. I feel a sense of relief that things have worked out so far.

2. The strong reactions you are getting to your idea of going to law school because of a “passion for the law & academia will make it more enjoyable” should tell you that there is a significant flaw in your reasoning. As TTON said, law school is a professional school. It is not a three-year fantasy trip to Costa Rica to “find yourself.” Nor is law school a three-year discussion on interesting topics which relate to our fundamental rights and freedoms. As others have already said, if you really are interested in the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake you need to find a different graduate program.

You go to law school to secure the minimum credential necessary to practice law. That’s all law school promises you.

3.
Additionally, you have no idea the type of research or quantification of risk that anyone else on this board has undertaken. Thus you are not the indicated person to try and deter anyone from going to law school.


LOL. I remember when I used to say stuff like that when people tried to talk me out of law school.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:18 am

JoeMo wrote:
Nicholasnickynic wrote:
JoeMo wrote:
freestallion wrote:What I am curious to know is why law in particular is singled out. I know plenty of people doing things like MPPs or MPAs or Master's who cannot get jobs, and I know they paid 40k or more (per year) in tuition costs for their degrees. In this economy you can't "expect" a job out of most career choices/options -- except perhaps medicine and engineering. I'm not sure a law degree is a worse investment than say, an MPP/MA degree from a decent but not so great school. I don't know why people aren't ragging on those types of degrees instead...


I also agree with this sentiment. I know someone quite well that has an MBA and MPA and can't get a job. Yet no one seems to be talking about those dismal prospects.

But I do agree with the other poster that it might perhaps be due to the fact that so many people seem to think that they're going to end up in BIGLAW with 160k associate positions out of law school like was the case 10 years ago.

I think for those of us that really have a passion for the law & academia and are willing to go to law school without the false hopes that we're guaranteed work after law school then we should do it no matter how much people are trying to dissuade us.

Plus we are not guaranteed that the economy won't turn up in a few years time and our law degrees could prove useful again.


In the word of the third century greek philosopher arastophlanees- "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?"

A "passion for academia" should play NO part in your decision to go to law school. You sound like a doey eyed 0L/1L who does not realize that 95% of the "Academic" stuff you learn in law school is completely irrelevant to the actual practice of law.

If you love academia go get a phd.


Why not pursue a JD if you have a love of all things academic? Loving academia just makes putting up with the time you spend on any one degree bearable because you actually enjoy the learning process and all that it entails.

Being passionate about the law and specifically the area of law that I want to practice is the reason that I am going to law school. I don't see any problem with that and I don't think it's up to you or anyone else to try and point out the inefficiencies in that statement because the truth of the matter is that there are jobs out there. The problem is those jobs are made for a particular type of lawyer and you'll never find out if you are that lawyer unless you go to law school.

Go ahead, tear this to shreds because I know that's what you'll intend to do. But at the end of the day, the point of my original post was to say, who are you to play detractor? Who are you to try and convince someone else that they should not pursue something? and lastly, who the fuck are you to tell me that I haven't done enough research about the current state of the legal profession and my chances within it?



i never told you not to go, or told you you haven't done enough research. I just said I think going to law school for academic purpsoes is a bad idea.

Kimberly
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby Kimberly » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:30 am

I think advice to consider PhD rather than JD is actually very legitimate. If you are hell bent on actually doing REAL client-based legal work with contracts, briefs, transactions, etc then you may be less inclined to pursue PhD work. But, if you love to write, argue, pontificate, research, and create new ideas, then go get a PhD in POLICY!!!!! It would be SOOOOO FUN!!! And, they might even PAY YOU to participate in the program! And, do you realize how awesome it is to get paid to write about your ideas? Further, when you want something a little more legal-esque, you can write a grant! This is a very legit alternative if you think you can get into a top school with $ and are a little more risk averse! Finally, you get your phd and realize that, "damn, I still think I really want to be a lawyer and do REAL client-based legal work".... well, now you have a PhD and you will surely get into a top program and increase your chances of gainful employment upon graduation.... And, you have a fallback now!

Kimberly
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Re: I'm not flaming but I have a legitimate question...

Postby Kimberly » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:37 am

Kimberly wrote:I think advice to consider PhD rather than JD is actually very legitimate. If you are hell bent on actually doing REAL client-based legal work with contracts, briefs, transactions, etc then you may be less inclined to pursue PhD work. But, if you love to write, argue, pontificate, research, and create new ideas, then go get a PhD in POLICY!!!!! It would be SOOOOO FUN!!! And, they might even PAY YOU to participate in the program! And, do you realize how awesome it is to get paid to write about your ideas? Further, when you want something a little more legal-esque, you can write a grant! This is a very legit alternative if you think you can get into a top school with $ and are a little more risk averse! Finally, you get your phd and realize that, "damn, I still think I really want to be a lawyer and do REAL client-based legal work".... well, now you have a PhD and you will surely get into a top program and increase your chances of gainful employment upon graduation.... And, you have a fallback now!


Another TLS'r wrote this a few minutes ago on another thread.... thought I would post it here to balance my starry-eyed perspective:

As someone finishing up his PhD, I can say that the vast majority of students in the humanities just don't get how bad the academic job market is when they enter grad school. When I started I remember the occasional guy or girl getting a tenure track position at places like Chicago or Michigan. While there are exceptions to every rule (a few friends got TT at Baylor, Villanova, Houston, and Holy Cross last year), now people are lucky to get tenure track positions at schools you have never heard of. For every person w/ TT at a place like Villanova, I know someone who either has been on the post-doc/visiting professorship circuit for 4 or 5 years or took a job oversees in places like Singapore or Dubai (I'm not kidding). I unfortunately know lots of people coming out of top 10 programs w/ a couple of publications in major journals who are now on their second post-doc, uncertain of whether they will have employment next year. I even know a couple of guys who are now living at home with their parents. One of my best friends here did his JD at Yale before going to grad school (passing up a job at Jones, Day) and left to practice law last year right before finishing his PhD b/c the academic job market is so bad. This New Yorker cover about sums it up:

http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/i ... ouse/24202

That being said, as someone who went to graduate school simply b/c he wanted to learn more, a decent graduate stipend is more than enough to live off of. Thus even after I realized that I have little desire to be a life-long academic, I had the freedom to decide that I wanted to finish my Ph.D. without going into debt.




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