is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

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TheZoid
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby TheZoid » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:59 am

sangr wrote:thanks again to the input

1) how much do grades matter if u fuck up 1st year (not good enough for big law). so how much do ur 2nd and 3rd yrs matter

2) is law school anything like undergrad in that if u get mediocre grades semester but do well 2nd, the upward trend allows u to be forgiven a bit


1- You interview for biglaw jobs in the fall of your second year, so 1st year is basically the only shot you get.

2- No.

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dextermorgan
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby dextermorgan » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:56 am

SHANbangs wrote:The logic of "only go to law school if you want to be a lawyer" escapes me. ITT, even if you went to law school with the sole intent of being a lawyer (you "love the law"), that won't matter if YOU CAN'T GET A JOB AS A LAWYER PERIOD.

True, but there are still people who go to law school because "it's a versatile degree."

I'm not sure why they believe that shit when something like 50% of students can't get jobs in the field they should be most prepared for.

I take it you are saying no one should go to law school, I disagree. There actually are people who do want to be lawyers, and are willing to put in the work. Is it still a gamble? Yes, but there isn't a field that isn't right now. Paying out the ass for law school is probably a terrible idea outside of a few select schools, but if you really want to be a lawyer (and have a plan) then law school is your only option until the legal world gets off it's pretentious ass and reforms the barriers to entry (not going to happen).
Last edited by dextermorgan on Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

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patrickd139
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby patrickd139 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:02 am

tfer2222 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:
sangr wrote:is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?


sangr wrote:is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?


sangr wrote:is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?


sangr wrote:is


lol I clicked on this post solely to see if someone had already pointed this out.

$$$$$$
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby $$$$$$ » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:08 am

There are plenty of alternatives, but none of them are easy to obtain. Federal Government Honors Programs are extremely grade selective (but less school selective), DOJ is 10X harder than landing biglaw. DA offices are very hard and you have to have shown a true committment to it. Those coming out of law school today have it really, really hard.

There are non-legal alternatives, but good luck getting those without a finance, engineering or accouting background. Consulting firms that recruit JD's are harder to get into than just about any law firm, Investment Banks might take a look at you if you have V5 qualifications, and I don't know enough about other trajectories to comment.

All I know is that people should be branching out from the law to diversify and build up a skill set. Are you not good at math? Maybe you should spend 6 months grilling accounting and finance, then you'll have a shot at trying to convince someone in that sector to hire you. Hedge your bets on law school if you strike out during OGI.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:28 am

I think "only go to law school if you want to be a lawyer" is the best advice. The problem on this site is that half the people never wanted to be lawyers. Instead, they either had nothing to do, wanted "prestige," or wanted a big law salary. The OPs question only makes sense to these people.

To the other half, the question sounds completely ridiculous. "Help, I didn't get big law, now what do I do!?" --uh, you could go be a lawyer?

Big law accounts for less than 5% of the legal field. THE OTHER 95% IS STILL OUT THERE.

For those economy trolls who scream: "but you can't take a job that isn't there!" -- pass the bar and put an ad in the yellowpages, i.e., go be a lawyer. If you don't think you're trained for it, quit spending all your time prepping for the mindless issue-spotters and go work pro-bono in the legal field. Take crim pro, trial ad, and advanced legal research during 3L. Do a clinic if there's a good one.

If you can't get on to a small firm after networking all of 3L, open your own shop. Within a year you'll be making money or with a firm if you are halfway competent/likable.

Go be a lawyer.

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Renne Walker
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby Renne Walker » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:38 am

sangr wrote:for those who dont make big law or who may not want big law

what is there? is it that there are no alternatives or is it that the alternatives are real shitty?

When you say “big law”, are you speaking of firm size, as in hundreds of lawyers, or are you talking about $$?

Smaller firms (i.e., 50 attorneys), frequently referred to as “boutiques” often provide the opportunity for more interesting work, but your starting pay is slightly less than $160K. I know a couple people who sidestepped the V-100 and choose this direction (they seem to like it too).

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IAFG
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby IAFG » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:24 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:I think "only go to law school if you want to be a lawyer" is the best advice. The problem on this site is that half the people never wanted to be lawyers. Instead, they either had nothing to do, wanted "prestige," or wanted a big law salary. The OPs question only makes sense to these people.

To the other half, the question sounds completely ridiculous. "Help, I didn't get big law, now what do I do!?" --uh, you could go be a lawyer?

Big law accounts for less than 5% of the legal field. THE OTHER 95% IS STILL OUT THERE.

For those economy trolls who scream: "but you can't take a job that isn't there!" -- pass the bar and put an ad in the yellowpages, i.e., go be a lawyer. If you don't think you're trained for it, quit spending all your time prepping for the mindless issue-spotters and go work pro-bono in the legal field. Take crim pro, trial ad, and advanced legal research during 3L. Do a clinic if there's a good one.

If you can't get on to a small firm after networking all of 3L, open your own shop. Within a year you'll be making money or with a firm if you are halfway competent/likable.

Go be a lawyer.

Who the fuck "knows" they want to be a lawyer before they go to law school/summer/start working?

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vanwinkle
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:50 pm

IAFG wrote:Who the fuck "knows" they want to be a lawyer before they go to law school/summer/start working?

People who watched all 20 seasons of Law & Order and want to be Jack McCoy.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:07 pm

IAFG wrote:
Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:I think "only go to law school if you want to be a lawyer" is the best advice. The problem on this site is that half the people never wanted to be lawyers. Instead, they either had nothing to do, wanted "prestige," or wanted a big law salary. The OPs question only makes sense to these people.

To the other half, the question sounds completely ridiculous. "Help, I didn't get big law, now what do I do!?" --uh, you could go be a lawyer?

Big law accounts for less than 5% of the legal field. THE OTHER 95% IS STILL OUT THERE.

For those economy trolls who scream: "but you can't take a job that isn't there!" -- pass the bar and put an ad in the yellowpages, i.e., go be a lawyer. If you don't think you're trained for it, quit spending all your time prepping for the mindless issue-spotters and go work pro-bono in the legal field. Take crim pro, trial ad, and advanced legal research during 3L. Do a clinic if there's a good one.

If you can't get on to a small firm after networking all of 3L, open your own shop. Within a year you'll be making money or with a firm if you are halfway competent/likable.

Go be a lawyer.

Who the fuck "knows" they want to be a lawyer before they go to law school/summer/start working?


I both agree with you and myself. It's weird.

I don't judge people who changed their minds, but I went to law school after five years of research and a few other jobs. I thought I'd be into the career and I am. Don't know what else to say.

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minnbills
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby minnbills » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:20 pm

IAFG wrote:Who the fuck "knows" they want to be a lawyer before they go to law school/summer/start working?


Isn't this true of pretty much every field though?

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IAFG
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby IAFG » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:13 pm

minnbills wrote:
IAFG wrote:Who the fuck "knows" they want to be a lawyer before they go to law school/summer/start working?


Isn't this true of pretty much every field though?

Yes, which is why I don't think it's all that fair to criticize people for not wanting to do it anymore after they get to LS/strike out/don't get their first choice job.

I feel very lucky that it turns out I am happy with my choice, because for all my law-related WE and research and childhood full of John Grisham books, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into and it all turned out to be very different than I expected.

TheGreatFish
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby TheGreatFish » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:56 am

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:To the other half, the question sounds completely ridiculous. "Help, I didn't get big law, now what do I do!?" --uh, you could go be a lawyer?

Big law accounts for less than 5% of the legal field. THE OTHER 95% IS STILL OUT THERE.


This is exactly what I was thinking. There's so many options out there, it's kind of crazy to see people on this board acting like their lives are over because they can't get a job in big law. Most of them probably would have hated it anyway.

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twenty
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby twenty » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:02 pm

TheGreatFish wrote:
Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:To the other half, the question sounds completely ridiculous. "Help, I didn't get big law, now what do I do!?" --uh, you could go be a lawyer?

Big law accounts for less than 5% of the legal field. THE OTHER 95% IS STILL OUT THERE.


This is exactly what I was thinking. There's so many options out there, it's kind of crazy to see people on this board acting like their lives are over because they can't get a job in big law. Most of them probably would have hated it anyway.


It is over when they have 200k in law school debt.

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IAFG
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby IAFG » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:12 pm

TheGreatFish wrote:
Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:To the other half, the question sounds completely ridiculous. "Help, I didn't get big law, now what do I do!?" --uh, you could go be a lawyer?

Big law accounts for less than 5% of the legal field. THE OTHER 95% IS STILL OUT THERE.


This is exactly what I was thinking. There's so many options out there, it's kind of crazy to see people on this board acting like their lives are over because they can't get a job in big law. Most of them probably would have hated it anyway.

Most people feel lukewarm at best about their jobs anyway. I don't think there's a damn thing wrong with going to law school to get biglaw and not wanting to do just "go be a lawyer" if you miss it. In fact, I know a fair few JDMBAs with exactly that mentality: they bid on a handful of firms that they would actually be excited about working for and panned the rest. Now, of course JDMBAs are going to have an easier time of finding a backup to law, but that's not really relevant to the question of if someone should finish their JD if they miss biglaw.

shadowgirl618
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby shadowgirl618 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:04 pm

sangr wrote:what about small local firms? that may do anything from immigration, small business, family law, etc.

do they not hire fresh grads?


Small local firms sometimes do hire new grads, but they often want students from top law schools (like most employers do...). Some don't, but you definitely have to do your research on the firm before you go. Small firms don't train you so you really have to learn it on the spot - some people take depositions or draft motions as early as their first day of work.

I know quite a few that want to do public interest work as well - no matter where you go, the job market isn't great, so you really have to stand out and be different and ready to take on whatever work they have for you.

The best thing to do is to get experience while you're in law school so you learn some of the basics of how a firm or office works - firms often hire legal interns, companies often have internships, and externships are also an option.

Ultimately there are alternatives to big law - big law is just attractive because of the pay, and because big firms have the resources to train you so it's a great place to launch your career right out of law school.

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spleenworship
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby spleenworship » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:45 pm

Small local firms hire you... if you network, and you work hard, and they are doing reasonably well that year.

So, yeah... It is about as hard to get as biglaw, but for entirely different reasons.

timbs4339
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby timbs4339 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:49 pm

1) The debt. The debt. The debt. It's huge and it isn't mitigated by packing up and moving to small-town Ohio and doing law out of a bowling alley for less money. You need biglaw or a PSLF qualifying job to pay it down within a reasonable timeframe. TLS often recommends lower ranked schools- just with a lower cost.

2) Successful non-legal jobs often require a legal job beforehand. Spend a couple years in finance/corporate in NYC and jump over to the client side as a banker. Work a legal job in DC and move into to public policy and then political consulting. The JD is necessary but not sufficient. What the law schools don't tell you is that it's also necessary to have a JD that's from a school that can put you into jobs that may lead to viable non-law careers.

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typ3
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby typ3 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:18 am

Or move to a rural area in a rural state and make bank off of farming accidents and trust and estates... There are attorneys looking for succession plans in these areas and the pay is over 6 figures for most of the successful ones.

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dr123
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby dr123 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:43 am

timbs4339 wrote:1) The debt. The debt. The debt. It's huge and it isn't mitigated by packing up and moving to small-town Ohio and doing law out of a bowling alley for less money. You need biglaw or a PSLF qualifying job to pay it down within a reasonable timeframe. TLS often recommends lower ranked schools- just with a lower cost.

2) Successful non-legal jobs often require a legal job beforehand. Spend a couple years in finance/corporate in NYC and jump over to the client side as a banker. Work a legal job in DC and move into to public policy and then political consulting. The JD is necessary but not sufficient. What the law schools don't tell you is that it's also necessary to have a JD that's from a school that can put you into jobs that may lead to viable non-law careers.


um, is there any truth to this? Or are you just talking out of your ass?

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Lawquacious
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:51 am

IAFG wrote:LRAP-eligible jobs (for which you would be more qualified with some years of biglaw experience).



No, you would not be more eligible for the LRAP qualifying jobs after biglaw. To the contrary. One thing biglaw can actually hurt you for is if you want to do legit public interest work (which is a nemesis to biglaw).

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Lawquacious
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:52 am

patrickd139 wrote:
tfer2222 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:
sangr wrote:is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?


sangr wrote:is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?


sangr wrote:is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?


sangr wrote:is


lol I clicked on this post solely to see if someone had already pointed this out.



I think someone beat you to it broheim.

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dr123
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby dr123 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:53 am

Yea, I dont see how biglawl can help with legal aid. Big lawl experience isnt gonna help you representing someone in an eviction proceeding for example

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Lawquacious
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby Lawquacious » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:53 am

BruceWayne wrote:5. This is simply not the time to be in law school. I'm sorry but it's not.




Yeah, although the rest of the job market is horrendous too. We are in a second Depression is the economic reality, even if the rich wankers controlling the media and econ/finance academia have done a good job of disguising this.

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typ3
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby typ3 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:58 am

Lawquacious wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:5. This is simply not the time to be in law school. I'm sorry but it's not.




Yeah, although the rest of the job market is horrendous too. We are in a second Depression is the economic reality, even if the rich wankers controlling the media and econ/finance academia have done a good job of disguising this.

+1 it's a depression.

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HarlandBassett
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Re: is there seriously no real alternatives to big law?

Postby HarlandBassett » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:16 am

bizzybone1313 wrote:Is our children learning? -President George "Dubya" Bush

8)




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