KDP wrote:I don't really think there is any question that from a pure investment standpoint that it does not make financial sense to go to law school. The job market is just saturated. Although I would never want to work in a firm environment, I doubt that if I did that there would be many opportunities open to me even with a proven track record and a book of business. ( if I have to bring my own business why would I want to go in the first place).
I still glance over the classified section of the Bar publication. I always laugh at the jobs that want 20 plus years of experience, you bring your own clients and they want to see your law school transcripts! That doesn't sound like anywhere I would want to work. If it were me I would want to see someone's tax returns. After all, are we trying to impress everyone with how smart some professor thought we were 20 years ago or are we trying to get good results for our clients and make a good living at the same time? I'll take the guy who made B's and C's, has happy clients and generated seven figures in fees consistently for the last five years. The guy with all A's and law review that billed $300K but I had to pay him $175K plus provide all his support staff can go work for the big firm where they can have lunch with all the other "smart" people and think about how much better than me they are. Not all people in big firms are like that but I can assure you that there are enough of them to perpetuate the stereotype.
Practicing law is great, but it is not for the faint of heart. You can make up for a lot with sheer determination, stubbornness, tenacity and the refusal to take "No" for an answer.
It's great you have a practice. I don't know why you're so gung ho about transcripts and entitlement complexes at these firms. I'm sure people's lunch conversations focus much more on work, children and the weather than they do about how smart they all are. Again, my only point was about weighing statistical probabilities. Your chosen career path is in no way inferior, and I'm glad it worked out for you, but it's most rational when there is no debt as you already mentioned. If your clients are everyday people, academic prestige markers are far less relevant to success.
Insofar as stuttering is concerned, a client signing a contract with you is based almost exclusively on their individual judgment and word of mouth from friends/associates. It would probably have a bigger impact if it required unanimity from a larger group or if individuals were making a selection based off the perceived preferences of others. Most people are open minded, but psychological studies routinely demonstrate the vast majority of people consider themselves to be more open minded than the average person. The result of this is a person is more likely to be closed minded when making a decision on behalf of someone else than when making a decision for themselves.
Your stutter is also the type of thing that lays all its cards out on the table at once so its impact fades over time. For example, most atypical characteristics aren't as apparent up front. Once you pass a certain point, its impact becomes increasingly less pronounced as people become used to it and don't make presumptions based off of it. It's a unique trait in that it's something most people have done at one time or another so tend to perceive it as a more intense version of the emotions that would cause a fluent speaker to stammer as opposed to simply a genetic predisposition to process language in the right hemisphere of the brain.