Crim work & transition from urban to rural

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Band A Long
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Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby Band A Long » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:37 pm

I searched around the forums for a bit on this topic but didn't get any bites. Does anyone have experience (or conjecture) on the feasibility of doing gov't (especially criminal-related) law in an urban area for a few years and then moving out to a similar position in a rural area? Are such laterals common, or do most people just start in the prosecutor's office closest to the sticks and stay there forever?

Potential scenario in my head was to try to get into Temple or 'Nova and work in crim stuff in Philadelphia to get some experience, live in the city for a while, but eventually lateral away, since I really love doing more outdoorsy stuff, enjoy the feel of a small-town, etc that is difficult to do inside the city. Or would you think it's better to skip the Philly DA route altogether and just try to apply to more rural offices in the first place? Would that be easier, or more difficult? Is city experience a big selling point for such a transition?

Also willing to generally discuss benefits of urban vs. rural crim law, school choice, etc, so any insights in those fields (e.g. "I have an uncle that is a rural ADA and he loves/hates it!" would be doubly appreciated.

sadsituationJD
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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby sadsituationJD » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:56 pm

I do a small amount of criminal law in NJ (mostly municipal court stuff). No way can ANY small law office survive solely on criminal work. Most criminals have no money to pay counsel and just beg for the P.D.

Even getting someone to cough up $500 for a traffic matter is tough. Also hardly anyone in PA (I live near the NJ/PA border) uses a lawyer for DWI since PA has a program called "ARD" that is basically a "get out of jail free" card for first-time offenders.

NJ is much tougher on DWI but almost no one can afford the fees. I stopped doing it after my last DWI client bounced 3 separate checks to me. NJ is so insanely tough on DWI that the general public pretty much know a lawyer is worthless in 99% of cases- you'll get the same deal on your own.

If by "criminal" you mean bank robbers, murders etc- hate to break it to you, but again those folks have no $$$ and mostly get the P.D. (if they don't just plead guilty right off the bat).

Basically your entire idea is a pipedream. Law school is likely a very bad choice for you. Of course, it's a bad choice for nearly everyone nowadays.

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JCFindley
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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby JCFindley » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:14 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:I do a small amount of criminal law in NJ (mostly municipal court stuff). No way can ANY small law office survive solely on criminal work. Most criminals have no money to pay counsel and just beg for the P.D.

Even getting someone to cough up $500 for a traffic matter is tough. Also hardly anyone in PA (I live near the NJ/PA border) uses a lawyer for DWI since PA has a program called "ARD" that is basically a "get out of jail free" card for first-time offenders.

NJ is much tougher on DWI but almost no one can afford the fees. I stopped doing it after my last DWI client bounced 3 separate checks to me. NJ is so insanely tough on DWI that the general public pretty much know a lawyer is worthless in 99% of cases- you'll get the same deal on your own.

If by "criminal" you mean bank robbers, murders etc- hate to break it to you, but again those folks have no $$$ and mostly get the P.D. (if they don't just plead guilty right off the bat).

Basically your entire idea is a pipedream. Law school is likely a very bad choice for you. Of course, it's a bad choice for nearly everyone nowadays.


You really are the most miserable poster I have seen in a while.

You will note the PD did NOT say private practice and there are in fact rural DAs and there are rural PDs. They do not rely on DUI suspect's checks.

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Band A Long
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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby Band A Long » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:37 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:If by "criminal" you mean bank robbers, murders etc- hate to break it to you, but again those folks have no $$$ and mostly get the P.D. (if they don't just plead guilty right off the bat).
Basically your entire idea is a pipedream. Law school is likely a very bad choice for you. Of course, it's a bad choice for nearly everyone nowadays.

I am mostly interested in the state/county side of things (i.e. be a prosecutor) so some of your points may not apply; I should have been more clear in the OP. I realize that criminal work is tough to get into but I've also heard that some of the Philly schools have a solid reputation in the tri-state area for getting into an assistant district attorney position or the like. More what I wanted to do was try to be a prosecutor within the city because I figured (more than willing to be corrected on this) that I'd get way more experience off the bat and it would make me a better candidate to lateral into a smaller, maybe county prosecutor's office, simply because I don't know if I'd like to stay in the city forever. I do realize that it's a tough world out there employment-wise but I appreciate the anecdotes and will probably pass on private practice criminal defense unless I hear differently...

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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby sadsituationJD » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:45 pm

You really are the most miserable poster I have seen in a while.


Law is a miserable business. Do you really think in this economy that clients are lined up to pay $$$ for a DWI or traffic matter?

DWI has become a "mill" practice anyway, in NJ there are a few big mills that have the phone book's back cover ad, high Google Adwords hits, etc. And even for them, times are tough and most clients are on payment plans for piss-ant $2500 retainers. I recently got a paypal merhchant account so I could take credit cards, but then I lose a % for those fees as well (a 1500 paypal retainer comes out to like 1450 after the fees).

My personal experience with about an appearance a week in municipal court in NJ is that, on average, 95% of the defendants are pro se. I had a lady come up to me last week and beg for representation for a 2nd offense shoplifting charge, and I told her I'd do it for $400. She couldn't even come up with $100 so I told her "no dice." I also had to withdraw recently on a pot possession case after the client paid $200 towards a $750 fee and then had no more $$$ because his car blew its head gasket.

You simply have no idea how brutal it is out there, even for older, established shitlaw offices. No one has any money. I can hardly even get clients on conditional discharges because they can't pay the program fees- lot of them are just opting for 30 days in county and a guilty plea since they're out of work anyway.

This is reality kids, not a "Law & Order" episode.

EDIT: What's even worse is many cannot even afford the copying & lab fees for the discovery. To get a copy of the video for a traffic stop, plus lab testing of the the drugs and copies of police reports etc runs about $100. To make matters worse, the judges ding every indigient fee-waiver application. I can't even prepare a defense without these items, so nowadays I try to just include them in the retainer fee, which sucks because you're already making basically peanuts off these rinky-dink cases.

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JCFindley
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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby JCFindley » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:31 pm

sadsituationJD wrote: This is reality kids, not a "Law & Order" episode.


I have no illusions that it is rough out there. It is rough in almost every career field right now and who knows when it will turn around.

There are in fact DA and PD jobs out there though and they are stable if not wealth inducing. There are ways to make a living doing something you like assuming you like law. (which is not a given mind you.)

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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby sadsituationJD » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:28 pm

There are in fact DA and PD jobs out there though and they are stable if not wealth inducing. There are ways to make a living doing something you like assuming you like law. (which is not a given mind you.)


Stable? ROTFL!:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0 ... en_co.html

and

http://articles.philly.com/2010-08-14/n ... ewer-cases

BTW Camden is the #1 most dangerous city in the United States, and even they laid off a shitload of DA's. As the economy continues to worsen, more and more of these jobs will get slashed, because cutting these paper-pushers is politically painless. Most "crimes" are nonsense BS like drug possession, shoplifting etc anyway. Easier and cheaper to just say fuck it and pay the valuable employees like garbage men, road departments, etc. You know, people who do real and productive work, not churn bales of useless shitpaper.

Besides, locking people up is a net loser for society since prisons cost big $$$ to operate. You also have to live with yourself being part of an unjust, retarded legal system that serves no one's interests and accomplishes nothing.

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Band A Long
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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby Band A Long » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:38 pm

I know there's a lot of competition for these jobs, I'm just trying to see if anyone's familiar with a city-to-rural lateral move as a prosecutor.
sadsituationJD wrote:Besides, locking people up is a net loser for society since prisons cost big $$$ to operate. You also have to live with yourself being part of an unjust, retarded legal system that serves no one's interests and accomplishes nothing.

Well obviously it'd be better if we just didn't have anyone committing crimes or something :?

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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby sadsituationJD » Sun Aug 05, 2012 11:50 pm

People laugh about pot possession, but like it or not it is a "crime" and every single day people are arrested, booked, and appear in municipal court to be fined (and sometimes imprisoned) merely for possession. It's not a joke.

What I'd like to see is a drastic reduction in the # of police on the roads. Most cops are lazy, stupid thugs who are grossly overpaid for what's essentially a bullshit job. It's funny to see these knuckleheads earning 2X or 3X what most attorneys do with only a high school diploma. Oh wait, they "risk their lives" and shit.

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eandy
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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby eandy » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:23 am

I don't have experience with PA, but lateraling from city to rural is going to be a matter of your experience. Generally, a horizontal big city office may make it more difficult for you because a rural office is much more likely to require that you have the ability to do all parts of a case without assistance. A big city vertical office would be easier to move to rural with less experience. If you have more than to 2-3 years experience, lateraling to a rural area is probably nbd no matter what structure your old office.

Also, Philly DA is really competitive. I wouldn't assume to start there.

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Band A Long
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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby Band A Long » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:34 am

eandy wrote:I don't have experience with PA, but lateraling from city to rural is going to be a matter of your experience. Generally, a horizontal big city office may make it more difficult for you because a rural office is much more likely to require that you have the ability to do all parts of a case without assistance. A big city vertical office would be easier to move to rural with less experience. If you have more than to 2-3 years experience, lateraling to a rural area is probably nbd no matter what structure your old office.

Also, Philly DA is really competitive. I wouldn't assume to start there.

Thanks for the info, I wasn't really aware that offices were split into the vertical/horizontal type of organization. Do you have any suggestions for background reading on that? As for philly DA — I wasn't sure if it was harder or easier to get in there, since on one hand it seems like they'd have the most slots and established relationships with schools like Temple or 'Nova. Is it significantly more difficult to get into the Philly DA's office then to land a gig with a different county prosecutor's office right off the bat out of law school? Maybe I've got my priorities mixed up (still 0L so I'm not super well-informed, just trying to get a handle on things).

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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby JCFindley » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:55 pm

Here are a couple of threads that may be of interest to you if you haven't found them already OP. I am an 0L myself so don't have a lot of answers for you but am generally interested in the same subject. I do know that in at least a couple states that the PDs are state employees and as such can transfer around the state making the big city to small town move pretty easy.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=188153

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=155423

sadsituationJD wrote:
There are in fact DA and PD jobs out there though and they are stable if not wealth inducing. There are ways to make a living doing something you like assuming you like law. (which is not a given mind you.)


Stable? ROTFL!:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0 ... en_co.html

and

http://articles.philly.com/2010-08-14/n ... ewer-cases

BTW Camden is the #1 most dangerous city in the United States, and even they laid off a shitload of DA's. As the economy continues to worsen, more and more of these jobs will get slashed, because cutting these paper-pushers is politically painless. Most "crimes" are nonsense BS like drug possession, shoplifting etc anyway. Easier and cheaper to just say fuck it and pay the valuable employees like garbage men, road departments, etc. You know, people who do real and productive work, not churn bales of useless shitpaper.

Besides, locking people up is a net loser for society since prisons cost big $$$ to operate. You also have to live with yourself being part of an unjust, retarded legal system that serves no one's interests and accomplishes nothing.


Eor, what profession would you suggest that is so much better? Using Camden as an example of the economy and job prospects in "Middle America" USA is a novel approach BTW. Personally, I like to use the stats and jobs from East St Louis but Camden works equally well.

You have got to be an absolute joy to be around IRL.

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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby sadsituationJD » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:14 am

Eor, what profession would you suggest that is so much better? Using Camden as an example of the economy and job prospects in "Middle America" USA is a novel approach BTW. Personally, I like to use the stats and jobs from East St Louis but Camden works equally well.



Physical therapy is the same length of time as law school, and is in high demand. Starting salaries are in the 70 K range, which is much, much more than most entry-level associate positions in shitlaw. After a few years it's actually very common to clear 100 to 120 K. Most non-biglaw lawyers today are never sniffing anything close to that. My adversary right now on a construction case is 52 years old and work for a big insurance defense mill, and makes a whopping 72,500 after 20 years of practice. This is for a 50+ hour week.

For the most part, law is a poor-paying gig. This is an interesting read on solo practice:

http://lawpracticestrategy.com/one-solo ... s-reality/

She sums up pretty well the typical "day in the life" of a solo. I also have taken trades and other items in return for legal work, and earn what most of you would consider a pretty lousy income considering I'm more than 10 yrs out of law school. My GF is in school for physical therapy, and I'm just trying to hang on awhile longer until she graduates and then start another business. A client of mine retained me to manage some rental properties, and I may just turn to property mgmt. full time. I also have a catering business on the side with my brother-in-law, we do BBQ pitmaster type cooks for weddings and parties. Just whatever I can do to hustle a buck. For me, law school was an expensive mistake.

The licensed trades such as plumbing and electrical also offer higher pay and a much greater likelihood of entreprenuerial success as opposed to "hanging a shingle" in shitlaw, which is what many recent grads are reduced to doing nowadays. If people with 10+ years experience are failing, why does anyone here think they'd be able to swing it as a newbie?

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eandy
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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby eandy » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:23 am

Band A Long wrote:Thanks for the info, I wasn't really aware that offices were split into the vertical/horizontal type of organization. Do you have any suggestions for background reading on that? As for philly DA — I wasn't sure if it was harder or easier to get in there, since on one hand it seems like they'd have the most slots and established relationships with schools like Temple or 'Nova. Is it significantly more difficult to get into the Philly DA's office then to land a gig with a different county prosecutor's office right off the bat out of law school? Maybe I've got my priorities mixed up (still 0L so I'm not super well-informed, just trying to get a handle on things).

Here is a really helpful blog post by a current prosecutor about horizontal and vertical prosecution. Not every office will fit one style exactly. For example, I worked in a mostly vertical office this summer where the case belong to one prosecution from start to finish. However, there was an appellate division to handle appeals, so you didn't do that yourself. There were also a couple of attorneys assigned to grand jury and preliminary hearings (though you had the option of doing those yourself if you wanted--people usually did that only on really important cases where they want to see for themselves how the grand jury reacts or want to preserve any testimony themselves for trial).
Like I said, I don't know much about DAs offices in Pennsylvania. I do know, though, that Philadelphia DA interviews nationally.
The pros of working in a big office are better training and experience, with some prestige to move around with, but the cons are that you won't get the depth of working in a more rural office. I hope that makes sense.

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Band A Long
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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby Band A Long » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:37 pm

Thanks eandy, you've been super helpful. Can you add the link though? :P

That's fairly worrying to think that the Philly DA is so broad with their applications. I guess I can't help but have a little bit of sadsituationJD's frustration rub on off on me here. I feel like I'm really committed to the subject and would really love prosecution more than other areas of the law, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot if that's as much as a pipe dream as it's starting to sound like. Would a DA's office like that (or one you have experience with) buck the trend that I've read about where public work tends to not take ranking/prestige as centrally as other opportunities in law might? My thought was to try to go to a cheaper school like Temple with this in mind, but perhaps I'd be accidentally sorting myself right out of their interview pile. Thanks again!

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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby MartianManhunter » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:19 pm

Band A Long wrote:Thanks eandy, you've been super helpful. Can you add the link though? :P

That's fairly worrying to think that the Philly DA is so broad with their applications. I guess I can't help but have a little bit of sadsituationJD's frustration rub on off on me here. I feel like I'm really committed to the subject and would really love prosecution more than other areas of the law, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot if that's as much as a pipe dream as it's starting to sound like. Would a DA's office like that (or one you have experience with) buck the trend that I've read about where public work tends to not take ranking/prestige as centrally as other opportunities in law might? My thought was to try to go to a cheaper school like Temple with this in mind, but perhaps I'd be accidentally sorting myself right out of their interview pile. Thanks again!


Please do not listen to or be discouraged by sadsituationJD in re: future prosecutorial work. His comments are mostly off the mark. You are not attempting to be a solo practitioner. Read the threads JCFindley linked to. This may be the link eandy was referring to: http://prosecutorsdiscretion.blogspot.c ... -your.html

My experience is limited to prosecutorial offices in the Bay Area, but the practice from city to city can vary wildly. I'm mostly familiar with horizontal offices with specialized sections, including an appellate division, rather than vertical ones. Some of the more prestigious/national DAs offices care about prestige, but the mantra repeated over and over from every prosecutor I've ever met is that experience matters most. This is especially true for younger attorneys seeking to make the move to a DAs office early in their career. While in law school take trial ad/do mock trial, intern/extern at a local DAs office and try to get into court. Post-law school it's likely that the question will be whether the quality of the experience you got at the big city office (what kinds of cases, etc.) matches with the needs of the office you're applying to. It's definitely a feasible career path.

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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby sadsituationJD » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:36 pm

My experience is limited to prosecutorial offices in the Bay Area, but the practice from city to city can vary wildly. I'm mostly familiar with horizontal offices with specialized sections, including an appellate division, rather than vertical ones. Some of the more prestigious/national DAs offices care about prestige, but the mantra repeated over and over from every prosecutor I've ever met is that experience matters most. This is especially true for younger attorneys seeking to make the move to a DAs office early in their career. While in law school take trial ad/do mock trial, intern/extern at a local DAs office and try to get into court. Post-law school it's likely that the question will be whether the quality of the experience you got at the big city office (what kinds of cases, etc.) matches with the needs of the office you're applying to. It's definitely a feasible career path.


Sure, and taking some guitar lessons from the dood down the street makes being a rock star a "feasible career path" lol. To call DA office jobs "competitive" would be like calling becoming the shortstop for the NY Yankees "competitive."

You are not going to get a job in a DA office. There are literally like 2500 applicants for every position. Hell, I myself applied 2 years ago to become a municipal court prosecutor in a rural NJ county (Warren), which only has court 2 nights a week. The job paid 35 K a year. They had 271 applicants for the position, many of whom were attorneys with 20+ years experience.

Also remember that DA offices often hire under URM/Affirmative Action guidelines, so if you're a white guy the odds of getting a DA job (which are already extremely slim) are reduced to essentially zero.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, but its the truth. And as I told you, the idea of doing criminal law in a private practice setting is likewise absurd, unless you want to cover municpal court cases per diem for a big DWI "mill" (which I have occassioanally done) for like $200 an appearance. The "mills" don't fight cases BTW, you just beg the DA for the minimum sentence/license suspension, tell the client its a great deal etc., put the plea on the record, and then bounce and wait for your crappy little paycheck. You are never going to get enough DWI/criminal work on your own to survive, since the mills spend 50 K or more a year on ads and Google adwords campaigns, etc, and even they have everyone on payment plans or borrowing 10 different relative's credit cards to scrape up 2500 to pay you via PayPal. That's the straight dope.

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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby ksllaw » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:46 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:I do a small amount of criminal law in NJ (mostly municipal court stuff). No way can ANY small law office survive solely on criminal work. Most criminals have no money to pay counsel and just beg for the P.D.

Even getting someone to cough up $500 for a traffic matter is tough. Also hardly anyone in PA (I live near the NJ/PA border) uses a lawyer for DWI since PA has a program called "ARD" that is basically a "get out of jail free" card for first-time offenders.

NJ is much tougher on DWI but almost no one can afford the fees. I stopped doing it after my last DWI client bounced 3 separate checks to me. NJ is so insanely tough on DWI that the general public pretty much know a lawyer is worthless in 99% of cases- you'll get the same deal on your own.

If by "criminal" you mean bank robbers, murders etc- hate to break it to you, but again those folks have no $$$ and mostly get the P.D. (if they don't just plead guilty right off the bat).

Basically your entire idea is a pipedream. Law school is likely a very bad choice for you. Of course, it's a bad choice for nearly everyone nowadays.


Hi, SadsituationJD

You may want to take a look at this thread for suggestions on improving small law firm practices:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183482&start=175
(See Page 8 - 6th post from the bottom by utlaw2007)

I can't attest to its accuracy or feasibility for others, but it's just one perspective that had some seemingly helpful tips to explore (again, I'm not a lawyer and don't have experience, but the conversation on Pg. 8 did seem to provide some ideas for discussion and improvement of small law businesses).

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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby sadsituationJD » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:29 pm

Hi, SadsituationJD

You may want to take a look at this thread for suggestions on improving small law firm practices:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=183482&start=175
(See Page 8 - 6th post from the bottom by utlaw2007)

I can't attest to its accuracy or feasibility for others, but it's just one perspective that had some seemingly helpful tips to explore (again, I'm not a lawyer and don't have experience, but the conversation on Pg. 8 did seem to provide some ideas for discussion and improvement of small law businesses).



I just really don't think you truly appreciate how bad things are out there for most practicing lawyers. This is a good read:

--LinkRemoved--

I love this quote:

Websites create the expectation that people can get $1000 of legal representation for $12,97. They teach that lawyers desperately want to give away their advice for free. The message is lawyers are fungible, or that no one wins anyway, so why bother paying money when you can lose just as well for free.


It's hard to comprehend how much the average joe hates lawyers. Most folks would rather burn $500 in their fireplace than hire a lawyer for a DWI or real estate closing. Hell, I'm doing a deal right now representing the buyer of an 85 K property in NJ. The seller refuses to hire a lawyer even though I recommended one who charges only $500. Instead he bought some kind of online "kit" and is sending me quitcliam deeds and other irrelevant, improper nonsense by the bushel, making this whole deal 100X harder.

And this is the "career" you want to enter? Really, gang? Of all the gigs out there, you think this is the best choice?

Wake up already. Everything sucks right now, but law sucks worse than just about anything else.

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Re: Crim work & transition from urban to rural

Postby ksllaw » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:35 am

sadsituationJD wrote:I just really don't think you truly appreciate how bad things are out there for most practicing lawyers. This is a good read:

--LinkRemoved--

I love this quote:

Websites create the expectation that people can get $1000 of legal representation for $12,97. They teach that lawyers desperately want to give away their advice for free. The message is lawyers are fungible, or that no one wins anyway, so why bother paying money when you can lose just as well for free.


It's hard to comprehend how much the average joe hates lawyers. Most folks would rather burn $500 in their fireplace than hire a lawyer for a DWI or real estate closing. Hell, I'm doing a deal right now representing the buyer of an 85 K property in NJ. The seller refuses to hire a lawyer even though I recommended one who charges only $500. Instead he bought some kind of online "kit" and is sending me quitcliam deeds and other irrelevant, improper nonsense by the bushel, making this whole deal 100X harder.

And this is the "career" you want to enter? Really, gang? Of all the gigs out there, you think this is the best choice?

Wake up already. Everything sucks right now, but law sucks worse than just about anything else.


SadsituationJD,

You sound like you've had it rough (and possibly even wounded in your heart) and yet you also sound passionate and even caring (in a kind of tough love sort of way - trying to warn people of the legal industry through "horror stories"). I wonder? Is it possible that perhaps some of your "failures" were simply NOT your fault? Perhaps you experienced things that were beyond your control. I can't be sure, since I don't know you well enough, but just speculating and asking...Perhaps people lied to you or people treated you poorly in your jobs or you literally were just in a very unlucky situation.

On the other hand, perhaps there were some areas or things you COULD or SHOULD have done or known? Again, I'm not sure and only speculating here. I often find that when I "fail" at something that I find that there are usually a mixture of things that I realize were not my fault and also things that I could/should have done or known to do. And the process I have from there is to go through the pain of acknowledging my mistakes, forgiving myself of areas that were not my fault, and ultimately jotting down new life lessons to learn from and to improve on the next go around. Even better, too, is learning from the mistakes and successes of OTHERS (so we can avoid traps to begin with). ...But it's this process of learning and growing and not letting failure be permanent that defines many successful people in life. Many great inventors or businessmen FAILED many times before making it. But each time they failed the went through the pain of learning and improving on those mistakes and got stronger!

I sense (again, I'm speculating here) from reading your posts and tone and heart that you maybe need to first learn to forgive yourself (and there's nothing to even forgive in this case, but more like learning to say "hey, that wasn't my fault and I shouldn't have to feel bad about it") of things that were NOT your fault. Don't let those things hurt you.

But, also, ..and this is just as important...don't let it make you cynical to where you either project or "leak out" your wounds onto others. Your way of talking to others on these forums is to bring out and emphasize all of the negative aspects of law and highlight all the things that can go wrong (and without a properly healed self and perspective, you have to be careful and consider that your advice may actually not be what's best for others and may harm them). And the way you describe things also is sometimes filled with a kind of loathing almost (I'm not sure of that's the right word?) for all the people you've encountered in law (your descriptions of them and putting them down by name-calling and pointing out all the negative characteristics - realize that some of the "ghetto" people you label may have been born into extreme poverty from early in life and didn't have the same opportunities as many of us "regular" middle-class folks).

That's wrong. We ought to love our fellow human beings and never lose sense of each other's humanity. You may have some work to do in your heart in this area. ...Yet, I know you also speak in such a negative way as a form of "tough love" ...to get people to take notice of the serious problems with law school and the legal economy. But, what I'm saying is to not do it in a way that's offensive....I'm not sure perhaps of what the best way to do it is, but I think your stories and approach cross the line at times. And I worry about you as a person too.

I ask you to also do this:

1.) Take the opportunity to learn from whatever errors you made in your experiences - it may take a bit of time to reflect and tease them out - and jot them down and make sure you don't do them again and find what you could have done differently to improve. And do share those things to help others!!! I know you're a passionate person.

2.) Take a look at the link I provided above in that earlier post. And LISTEN. I know you have a lot of personal pain and your own story (many stories actually, lol) to tell, but try to listen (w/o the hurt and with a fresh perspective) to what utlaw2007 is saying! Don't speak, but just listen!! And read through that thread bit by bit and ask yourself if perhaps you may not be able to do some of the things he (and others) have suggested for creating a successful solo/small firm practice (I'm not saying it absolutely will, b/c I'm not a lawyer and don't know as much, bu I'm saying it's got some interesting suggestions that I think you'd benefit from CAREFULLY thinking about - I'm serious).

You are better than this and you don't have to let past hurts or failure become permanent in life or define you as a human. 8) Good luck to you and may God bless you!




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