How fulfilling is Law School.

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Qwerty12345
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How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby Qwerty12345 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:31 pm

People keep talking about how dissatisfied/disillusioned law school graduates can become with their degree, once they graduate. However, I wonder what is law school actually like, compared to undergrad (especially at T-14's). Are classes enjoyable? How to professors treat you? What is the in-class vibe like? Is there much texting, facebooking going on?


These are probably over-asked questions but I had no luck using the search function. Well, OK, I was too lazy to try and I'd much rather hear current opinions from members who didn't get a chance to answer these before (you can thank me later for the opportunity).

Thanks :)

dawrp
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby dawrp » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:46 pm

People don't like law school because 1) they go because they want to make lots of money, but otherwise have zero interest in the law, and/or 2) they graduate without good job prospects and alot of debt. I think the disastisfaction stems much more from the former. If you like the reasoning process that the law involves, you'll enjoy law school.

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cinephile
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby cinephile » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:00 pm

The people who seem most disillusioned with law school are the ones who came in thinking they were in love with the Constitution. If you expect it to be fulfilling, you'll be disappointed. If you expect it to be unbearably dull, then you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's all about having low expectations, just like with anything else.

luthersloan
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby luthersloan » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:03 pm

I agree with the above poster who said it really depends on who you are and why you go. I personally love law school, the 2 and half years I have spent in two different law schools have been the most interesting, intellectually stimulating, and fulfilling of my adult life. But I agree most people are board/unhappy.

flcath
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby flcath » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:26 pm

I personally feel the profession as a whole (or at least the education we receive) is unnecessary. That's not so say it's not important for a lawyer to be smart--I absolutely think it is--I just think that being smart is >>> the training/knowledge that LS gives you.

If I were a client with a complex legal issue, I'd rather be represented by a kid with 173 (LSAT) intelligence who's never been to LS than a kid who made a 156 and then went to a TT/TTT school, all else being equal. The first guy could just research the issue thoroughly, even without the paltry knowledge base provided by 1L classes (which are the only classes we all take).

Contrast that to a physician: it doesn't matter how smart you are, no one can just "figure out" human physiology and virology without specific training; a smart person can largely figure out the law, since it was written to be (relatively) sensible and logical. Arguments about how things "should be" can often prevail in the legal industry (if there's a clearly 'just' outcome, and you can articulate why it's just, then that right there is pretty much a legal argument); whereas the inefficiencies of the human immune system will never change, and have to be memorized and worked with as is.

acrossthelake
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:35 pm

I have never been as intellectually unchallenged as I am in law school taking first-year courses.

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ahduth
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby ahduth » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:26 pm

dawrp wrote:People don't like law school because 1) they go because they want to make lots of money, but otherwise have zero interest in the law, and/or 2) they graduate without good job prospects and alot of debt. I think the disastisfaction stems much more from the former. If you like the reasoning process that the law involves, you'll enjoy law school.


Yeah, I think this is it. I personally enjoyed my first semester quite a bit. I only had one professor who I found generally uninteresting, and others found her course to be fantastic - it might have been the subject matter (criminal law). And I don't know about the comments saying you learn no content. Of course very few of us will be sitting on the Judicial Conference or whatever the rule-making body is called, but procedure is foundational stuff if you want to practice litigation. Like anything else, you probably get out of it as much as your interest level dictates.

So yeah, if you're uninterested in the law overall, you're screwed. Might also be screwed if you have bad professors. Lots of variables, lots of debt. Good luck! :D

acrossthelake
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:34 pm

ahduth wrote:
dawrp wrote:People don't like law school because 1) they go because they want to make lots of money, but otherwise have zero interest in the law, and/or 2) they graduate without good job prospects and alot of debt. I think the disastisfaction stems much more from the former. If you like the reasoning process that the law involves, you'll enjoy law school.


Yeah, I think this is it. I personally enjoyed my first semester quite a bit. I only had one professor who I found generally uninteresting, and others found her course to be fantastic - it might have been the subject matter (criminal law). And I don't know about the comments saying you learn no content. Of course very few of us will be sitting on the Judicial Conference or whatever the rule-making body is called, but procedure is foundational stuff if you want to practice litigation. Like anything else, you probably get out of it as much as your interest level dictates.

So yeah, if you're uninterested in the law overall, you're screwed. Might also be screwed if you have bad professors. Lots of variables, lots of debt. Good luck! :D


I find the material interesting, but the challenge level low. Sure, there's the curve, but that's not the type of challenge I'd categorize as intellectual or fulfilling. Learning the law doesn't require the same sort of struggle. In undergrad, I loved reading different research articles and trying to piece together the experimental results into a coherent proposal of the mechanism. There's a little bit of that in law with reading cases, but I don't feel like the same sort of search for truth. (Although, I suppose whether you think the law can do that at all depends on which theory of law you proscribe to).

taxguy
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby taxguy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:37 pm

In my humble opinion, law school gets a LOT more interesting in the second and especially third years where you can take electives that you really want to take. Sadly, however, those grades don't matter much, and most people simply slide through the last two years.

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ahduth
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby ahduth » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:40 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
ahduth wrote:
dawrp wrote:People don't like law school because 1) they go because they want to make lots of money, but otherwise have zero interest in the law, and/or 2) they graduate without good job prospects and alot of debt. I think the disastisfaction stems much more from the former. If you like the reasoning process that the law involves, you'll enjoy law school.


Yeah, I think this is it. I personally enjoyed my first semester quite a bit. I only had one professor who I found generally uninteresting, and others found her course to be fantastic - it might have been the subject matter (criminal law). And I don't know about the comments saying you learn no content. Of course very few of us will be sitting on the Judicial Conference or whatever the rule-making body is called, but procedure is foundational stuff if you want to practice litigation. Like anything else, you probably get out of it as much as your interest level dictates.

So yeah, if you're uninterested in the law overall, you're screwed. Might also be screwed if you have bad professors. Lots of variables, lots of debt. Good luck! :D


I find the material interesting, but the challenge level low. Sure, there's the curve, but that's not the type of challenge I'd categorize as intellectual or fulfilling. Learning the law doesn't require the same sort of struggle. In undergrad, I loved reading different research articles and trying to piece together the experimental results into a coherent proposal of the mechanism. There's a little bit of that in law with reading cases, but I don't feel like the same sort of search for truth. (Although, I suppose whether you think the law can do that at all depends on which theory of law you proscribe to).


Yeah, as far as the challenge of doing well in school itself, I think there may be too many people who grind out the curve, and in the end memorizing shit just isn't interesting. But whatever the challenge level, you need to find the actual principles and reasoning that underpin the law interesting, or you're going to have a bad time of it, I'd think.

And we're free to wander off and read as many cases and law review articles as are cited in our casebooks really. There's enough shit to read about Erie to last a decade.

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Veyron
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby Veyron » Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:57 pm

Extremely unfulfilling since it is essentially worthless unless you want to be a law professor. However, if you can do clinics I understand that those are pretty sweet.
Last edited by Veyron on Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mrtoren
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby mrtoren » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:55 pm

dawrp wrote:People don't like law school because 1) they go because they want to make lots of money, but otherwise have zero interest in the law, and/or 2) they graduate without good job prospects and alot of debt. I think the disastisfaction stems much more from the former. If you like the reasoning process that the law involves, you'll enjoy law school.

Exactly. You have extremely privileged kids who expect easy, six figure salaries upon graduation...when they find out they actually have to work and earn less than that, they become depressed and suicidal. Others go to law school merely because its prestigious...but they don't have an ounce of interest in it.

What you expect going in impacts your attitude once you're out. Especially for those who want BigLaw.

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Grizz
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby Grizz » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:16 am

I Internet through most of my classes, class is meh, most of it's not on the final, and it won't prepare you to be a lawyer. So in that respect unfulfilling, but I knew it was gonna be like that. Just want a jerb.

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CactusPuppy
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby CactusPuppy » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:46 am

flcath wrote:I personally feel the profession as a whole (or at least the education we receive) is unnecessary. That's not so say it's not important for a lawyer to be smart--I absolutely think it is--I just think that being smart is >>> the training/knowledge that LS gives you.

If I were a client with a complex legal issue, I'd rather be represented by a kid with 173 (LSAT) intelligence who's never been to LS than a kid who made a 156 and then went to a TT/TTT school, all else being equal. The first guy could just research the issue thoroughly, even without the paltry knowledge base provided by 1L classes (which are the only classes we all take).

Contrast that to a physician: it doesn't matter how smart you are, no one can just "figure out" human physiology and virology without specific training; a smart person can largely figure out the law, since it was written to be (relatively) sensible and logical. Arguments about how things "should be" can often prevail in the legal industry (if there's a clearly 'just' outcome, and you can articulate why it's just, then that right there is pretty much a legal argument); whereas the inefficiencies of the human immune system will never change, and have to be memorized and worked with as is.


I tend to agree with this.

LS, thus far, seems like it is just a professionalization + socialization process. I don't feel that LS adds much training and it is certainly not there to add knowledge (any average person can google a statute). Thus a school's selectivity ranking becomes immensely important to employers because there is a pre-selection based on "intelligence" (LSAT, GPA).


---

As for professors... mine were pretty worthless this last semester. "Morticians of the legal profession." Really miserable and devoid of care.

mr.undroppable
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby mr.undroppable » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:14 am

I graduated from a T14, working at a biglaw firm in NYC, fairly satisfied with my experience in law school but that's largely because I didn't expect nor seek out fulfillment from it. I basically treated it as a 3 year vacation with two months a year of work (finals).

Law school isn't fulfilling at all because it isn't designed to be fulfilling. Even if you 1L/2Ls think it's fulfilling now, you'll realize it's mostly a credentialing sham and may end up disillusioned upon graduation. The bar exam is so goddamn easy that it doesn't help separating the people who can get work done and the losers. So this elaborate credentialing system was created that requires three years of the most productive years of your life, lot's of money and competitive exams that bear no relation whatsoever to the actual profession to sort people out. Law school is a joke, only people who think that their opinion matters to others (you're wrong) enjoy it and those are almost uniformly depressed with the actual practice of law when they basically get told to review documents and proofread shit that the more senior people write for at least the first couple years of practice (go visit other sites with more practicing attorneys for proof of this). The only people I know who managed to keep their sense of fulfillment are those who are dead set on becoming academics and returning to law school as professors where they will have a captive audience with no choice but to listen to them bloviate on obscure, ultimately meaningless, issues.

The practice of law can be fulfilling once you get senior. But don't make the mistake and see law school as an end in itself, it's a stepping stone, don't let it trip you up or make you depressed. Have fun, get good grades and be sure to cultivate interests outside of law school where you can get fulfillment. It's not healthy to base your sense of self on how some ancient professor, decades away from being useful to anyone outside of law school, chooses to dole out grades.

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CactusPuppy
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby CactusPuppy » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:18 am

mr.undroppable wrote:I graduated from a T14, working at a biglaw firm in NYC, fairly satisfied with my experience in law school but that's largely because I didn't expect nor seek out fulfillment from it. I basically treated it as a 3 year vacation with two months a year of work (finals).

Law school isn't fulfilling at all because it isn't designed to be fulfilling. Even if you 1L/2Ls think it's fulfilling now, you'll realize it's mostly a credentialing sham and may end up disillusioned upon graduation. The bar exam is so goddamn easy that it doesn't help separating the people who can get work done and the losers. So this elaborate credentialing system was created that requires three years of the most productive years of your life, lot's of money and competitive exams that bear no relation whatsoever to the actual profession to sort people out. Law school is a joke, only people who think that their opinion matters to others (you're wrong) enjoy it and those are almost uniformly depressed with the actual practice of law when they basically get told to review documents and proofread shit that the more senior people write for at least the first couple years of practice (go visit other sites with more practicing attorneys for proof of this). The only people I know who managed to keep their sense of fulfillment are those who are dead set on becoming academics and returning to law school as professors where they will have a captive audience with no choice but to listen to them bloviate on obscure, ultimately meaningless, issues.

The practice of law can be fulfilling once you get senior. But don't make the mistake and see law school as an end in itself, it's a stepping stone, don't let it trip you up or make you depressed. Have fun, get good grades and be sure to cultivate interests outside of law school where you can get fulfillment. It's not healthy to base your sense of self on how some ancient professor, decades away from being useful to anyone outside of law school, chooses to dole out grades.



This is great.

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Veyron
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby Veyron » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:24 pm

mr.undroppable wrote:I graduated from a T14, working at a biglaw firm in NYC, fairly satisfied with my experience in law school but that's largely because I didn't expect nor seek out fulfillment from it. I basically treated it as a 3 year vacation with two months a year of work (finals).

Law school isn't fulfilling at all because it isn't designed to be fulfilling. Even if you 1L/2Ls think it's fulfilling now, you'll realize it's mostly a credentialing sham and may end up disillusioned upon graduation. The bar exam is so goddamn easy that it doesn't help separating the people who can get work done and the losers. So this elaborate credentialing system was created that requires three years of the most productive years of your life, lot's of money and competitive exams that bear no relation whatsoever to the actual profession to sort people out. Law school is a joke, only people who think that their opinion matters to others (you're wrong) enjoy it and those are almost uniformly depressed with the actual practice of law when they basically get told to review documents and proofread shit that the more senior people write for at least the first couple years of practice (go visit other sites with more practicing attorneys for proof of this). The only people I know who managed to keep their sense of fulfillment are those who are dead set on becoming academics and returning to law school as professors where they will have a captive audience with no choice but to listen to them bloviate on obscure, ultimately meaningless, issues.

The practice of law can be fulfilling once you get senior. But don't make the mistake and see law school as an end in itself, it's a stepping stone, don't let it trip you up or make you depressed. Have fun, get good grades and be sure to cultivate interests outside of law school where you can get fulfillment. It's not healthy to base your sense of self on how some ancient professor, decades away from being useful to anyone outside of law school, chooses to dole out grades.


TITCR.

Flanker1067
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby Flanker1067 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:35 pm

^^^^ That is probably the most accurate thing ever written on TLS.

luthersloan
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby luthersloan » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:51 pm

mr.undroppable wrote:I graduated from a T14, working at a biglaw firm in NYC, fairly satisfied with my experience in law school but that's largely because I didn't expect nor seek out fulfillment from it. I basically treated it as a 3 year vacation with two months a year of work (finals).

Law school isn't fulfilling at all because it isn't designed to be fulfilling. Even if you 1L/2Ls think it's fulfilling now, you'll realize it's mostly a credentialing sham and may end up disillusioned upon graduation. The bar exam is so goddamn easy that it doesn't help separating the people who can get work done and the losers. So this elaborate credentialing system was created that requires three years of the most productive years of your life, lot's of money and competitive exams that bear no relation whatsoever to the actual profession to sort people out. Law school is a joke, only people who think that their opinion matters to others (you're wrong) enjoy it and those are almost uniformly depressed with the actual practice of law when they basically get told to review documents and proofread shit that the more senior people write for at least the first couple years of practice (go visit other sites with more practicing attorneys for proof of this). The only people I know who managed to keep their sense of fulfillment are those who are dead set on becoming academics and returning to law school as professors where they will have a captive audience with no choice but to listen to them bloviate on obscure, ultimately meaningless, issues.

The practice of law can be fulfilling once you get senior. But don't make the mistake and see law school as an end in itself, it's a stepping stone, don't let it trip you up or make you depressed. Have fun, get good grades and be sure to cultivate interests outside of law school where you can get fulfillment. It's not healthy to base your sense of self on how some ancient professor, decades away from being useful to anyone outside of law school, chooses to dole out grades.


Hmm. As I read this it occurs to met that I should probably just bite the bullet and try to become a law professor.

Qwerty12345
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby Qwerty12345 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:57 pm

I see. I think this comes from my probably very naive idea that the material and questions you find in LS are somewhat similar to the LSAT material (ie. flaws of an argument, parallels between ideas, logic reasoning, ect...). I find LSAT studying highly enjoyable (when bored, I do LSAT mock questions for fun). What degree, if law school doesn't, would involve exercising and developing that type of thinking?

Thanks

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glitter178
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby glitter178 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:03 pm

honestly, for me so far, i find that it isn't fulfilling simply because there is no feedback for 4-5 months on how you are doing. I don't mind working hard, but the hardest thing is that you may be working really hard but not working "right" and all of your efforts could very well be in vain.

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cinephile
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby cinephile » Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:19 pm

Qwerty12345 wrote:I see. I think this comes from my probably very naive idea that the material and questions you find in LS are somewhat similar to the LSAT material (ie. flaws of an argument, parallels between ideas, logic reasoning, ect...). I find LSAT studying highly enjoyable (when bored, I do LSAT mock questions for fun). What degree, if law school doesn't, would involve exercising and developing that type of thinking?

Thanks


The LSAT was 1000x more enjoyable than any law school material. Imagine reading pages of an opinion of a judge who has a tenuous grasp of the English language and then try to figure out the point of all that. Then go to class the next morning and have your prof tell you that Cardozo was wrong and try to forget everything you read the night before.

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NYC Law
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby NYC Law » Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:28 pm

As previously stated, the key is low expectations. I can't stand legal dramas, I have no desire to ever be in a courtroom, and I'm hoping for as much dry material as possible. It aggravates me when professors get too theoretical. So far I'm enjoying law school. If you've so much as seen the movie legally blonde I'd imagine you're in hell once LS starts. My experience has been pretty good. Read a little, eat, watch It's always sunny in Philly, workout, sleep, repeat. Just scared as shit for grades/jerbs. But that's law school.

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:02 am

cinephile wrote:The LSAT was 1000x more enjoyable than any law school material.
Lies!

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D'Angelo
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Re: How fulfilling is Law School.

Postby D'Angelo » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:44 pm

did you like high school? because then you'll love law school!




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