I have to say, hearing a Harvard Law student - who has a biglaw job lined up - say they would change positions with me is... very confusing. The perception of the practice of law as a prestigious career choice among non-lawyers and law students (maybe even practitioners) is just so wide. I'd imagine this is what drives most people to law school in the first place - and what brought me to create this thread.
I wasn't driven to go to law school for the prestige. Prestige is only useful as a means to an end (a job you desire); it's a completely useless end. I was driven to go to law school because I had no other career options that were going to pay me 6 figures and I don't have useful technical skills. Heck, upper five figures would've been fine. I know several people who went to work at Microsoft after undergrad with their CS or Econ degrees making around $80K, and I'd love to have their job. I just didn't major in anything that put me in that position.
I'm equally confused as to why someone who has a job where they can say:
armenazo wrote:Overall, it's very enjoyable and I feel comfortable where I'm at.... It's also very overpaid by my estimation - I make just over $100K (raised $5-7k/year, based off profitability) after overtime and bonuses are calculated. I have my own office, and am given a technology/wardrobe budget, in addition to being put on paid trips to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas for litigation technology summits...I generally enjoy what I do...Everyone treats me very professionally... lawyers (mostly boomers) have lots of respect for people who understand how to seamlessly integrate technology into their practice...I feel very comfortable where I am. Job security is basically a non-issue as I do things ... Things in my profession come easy to me... I generally find stuff like this to be fun, and everyone I work for loves me for doing it ...I'm living near my family, am happy, and enjoy what I do
would want to trade that for a $200,000-$300,000 3-year trip to law school, for the chance
to get a job that pays marginally more with much worse hours, and that you will in most likelihood get pushed out of after 3-5 years. I'm not really aware of many 1st-3rd year associates who describe biglaw as being anywhere near as pleasant as you've described your job.
Job security is a huge issue. My firm could go belly up--look at what happened to Dewey. If the economy crashes, as a young associate, I'll be at very high risk of getting cut. Plenty of HLS grads who went to work for prestigious firms had their careers destroyed in the '09 crash...when firms started hiring again, they just picked up with hiring students coming straight out. Until you start pulling in clients on your own (which really doesn't happen until much later on in your career), you're entirely replaceable.
If your issue is that you feel like you don't entirely have room to grow (don't feel challenged and are bored), or you worry that someday you'll become irrelevant (so, no job security), that is probably a decent reason to consider an alternative job (and probably fixable through some other means than law school), but I sincerely hope you aren't considering this gamble for prestige