Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

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Stockton_Malone
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Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby Stockton_Malone » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:01 pm

Hello everyone, long time visitor to the TLS forums, first time poster.

I've recently been accepted to a T6 w/ $$, but I'm still having doubts about the law. I've always wanted to practice law, but I'm worried that I have a combination of traits that will prevent me from being hired in BigLaw or surviving in the corporate law world. I have diagnosed Asperger's and my main concern is that I have almost no social skills; I have tried to improve it throughout my life, but I simply cannot deal with others (even as friends) and I prefer to spend almost all my time alone. I cannot work well in groups, socialize or read other people's faces which look like blank slates to me. To my understanding, corporate law firms are incredibly cutthroat and political places and require a high degree of social skills to succeed. I am also concerned that I will be held back in my career because I'm short (I'm 5'5") and a minority (I'm half Black and half Latino).

I guess my final question would be: even with a T6 acceptance with a decent amount of money, should I pursue law given all the other factors? Thank you guys for your advice!

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laxbrah420
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:08 pm

Dude. This is only the second most prestigious law school message board and so we probably can't help you. You should really check out the more prestigious one, http://www.autoadmit.com/

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dsn32
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby dsn32 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:17 pm

0L... so take this for what you will..... but I've had managing and hiring partners tell me that there are two things they look for in an associate: someone who can write well (i.e.: a workhorse) and someone who can bring in clients. It sounds like you aren't too confident in the second one/wouldn't be interested in doing it. So you need to decide if carving out that niche doing other things for the firm is something you'd want to do and be happy doing (and if you like your odds at OCI, because you do have to interview to get the job in the first place).

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mephistopheles
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby mephistopheles » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:21 pm

thread title of the year contender

sflyr2016
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:29 pm

Stockton_Malone wrote:Hello everyone, long time visitor to the TLS forums, first time poster.

I've recently been accepted to a T6 w/ $$, but I'm still having doubts about the law. I've always wanted to practice law, but I'm worried that I have a combination of traits that will prevent me from being hired in BigLaw or surviving in the corporate law world. I have diagnosed Asperger's and my main concern is that I have almost no social skills; I have tried to improve it throughout my life, but I simply cannot deal with others (even as friends) and I prefer to spend almost all my time alone. I cannot work well in groups, socialize or read other people's faces which look like blank slates to me. To my understanding, corporate law firms are incredibly cutthroat and political places and require a high degree of social skills to succeed. I am also concerned that I will be held back in my career because I'm short (I'm 5'5") and a minority (I'm half Black and half Latino).

I guess my final question would be: even with a T6 acceptance with a decent amount of money, should I pursue law given all the other factors? Thank you guys for your advice!


Man, congrats on your efforts in getting to this point and doing this well! I am certain that there are high levels of legal work that your traits and even your preference of being alone would lend them selves well to. I would focus on the fact that you have an opportunity to attend a school many dream of attending and that you will be going with a scholarship.

I hope you go forward with your dream and not focus on what may/or may not hold you back.

Best luck!
Joe

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dr123
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby dr123 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:30 pm

weird username/tar combo bro

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Stockton_Malone
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby Stockton_Malone » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:33 pm

dr123 wrote:weird username/tar combo bro


There were no pictures small enough for TLS standards with John Stockton and Karl Malone, so I chose to go with Scottie Pippen, lol.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:58 pm

joeant wrote:
Stockton_Malone wrote:Hello everyone, long time visitor to the TLS forums, first time poster.

I've recently been accepted to a T6 w/ $$, but I'm still having doubts about the law. I've always wanted to practice law, but I'm worried that I have a combination of traits that will prevent me from being hired in BigLaw or surviving in the corporate law world. I have diagnosed Asperger's and my main concern is that I have almost no social skills; I have tried to improve it throughout my life, but I simply cannot deal with others (even as friends) and I prefer to spend almost all my time alone. I cannot work well in groups, socialize or read other people's faces which look like blank slates to me. To my understanding, corporate law firms are incredibly cutthroat and political places and require a high degree of social skills to succeed. I am also concerned that I will be held back in my career because I'm short (I'm 5'5") and a minority (I'm half Black and half Latino).

I guess my final question would be: even with a T6 acceptance with a decent amount of money, should I pursue law given all the other factors? Thank you guys for your advice!


Man, congrats on your efforts in getting to this point and doing this well! I am certain that there are high levels of legal work that your traits and even your preference of being alone would lend them selves well to. I would focus on the fact that you have an opportunity to attend a school many dream of attending and that you will be going with a scholarship.

I hope you go forward with your dream and not focus on what may/or may not hold you back.

Best luck!
Joe


I think OP is wise to consider the risks involved and I do think there are significant risks, if the OP comes across as very socially awkward during OCI.

OP: Do you happen to know anyone who conducts interviews with people on a regular basis? If so, I would ask them if you could do a mock interview with them and get a brutally honest evaluation of how you come across in interviews. The majority of people who strike out at T6 schools are either 1) near the bottom of the class, 2) people who come across very poorly in interviews, and 3) people who bid horribly (or a combination of these three things to varying degrees). It is important you determine how you come across in interviews and see if there is a way to improve this (I've heard that acting classes might be helpful).

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nickb285
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby nickb285 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:05 pm

It's certainly possible, but you will need to put in some extra work. As the previous poster said, getting some coaching on social skills, particularly professional social skills, would be a very good idea. Beyond that you'll likely want to focus on building a skill set that's more focused on your strengths. Given that you will have a hard time networking and making connections and schmoozing, you're probably not going to bring in a ton of heavy hitter clients for a big firm. This likely means you won't be on the partnership track. However, you can still make a good living with strong analytical skills if you can improve your social skills to the point that you'll seem professional, if slightly aloof, rather than awkward. Make sure law is what you want to do before committing--it will be a lot of work in a lot of different ways--but it is possible.

Plus, if you hang out on TLS long enough, someone will probably sarcastically accuse you of having Aspergers, at which point you can make everyone feel bad. So there's that.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:38 pm

I think there are certain practice areas in biglaw where you should be OK. Also, Asperger's is pretty common among law students, so you are likely to feel less far from the center of the curve here than in other professions.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:44 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:I think there are certain practice areas in biglaw where you should be OK. Also, Asperger's is pretty common among law students, so you are likely to feel less far from the center of the curve here than in other professions.


This is potentially a dangerous assurance. If OP isn't able to interview well at all, which could very well be the case, he might be shut out of biglaw after striking out during OCI. I would think it's going to be harder for OP to "get in the door" than it will be to actually practice law. That should be what he should focus on right now--can he interview well and, if not, can he take steps to improve this problem.

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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby NYstate » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:59 pm

There are plenty of short guys in biglaw. That isn't an issue. I don't think the minority status will hurt you with getting hired either.

I think you should find another career. I can't see you getting hired or working with clients if you have such strong social issues. I'm only going off your self-description for this, but if it is as bad as you claim, I don't think you will get hired in biglaw.

Do you have any contacts or connections that can help you with obtaining a job outside of OCI?

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Stockton_Malone
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby Stockton_Malone » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:01 pm

dsn32 wrote:0L... so take this for what you will..... but I've had managing and hiring partners tell me that there are two things they look for in an associate: someone who can write well (i.e.: a workhorse) and someone who can bring in clients. It sounds like you aren't too confident in the second one/wouldn't be interested in doing it. So you need to decide if carving out that niche doing other things for the firm is something you'd want to do and be happy doing (and if you like your odds at OCI, because you do have to interview to get the job in the first place).


Richie Tenenbaum wrote:OP: Do you happen to know anyone who conducts interviews with people on a regular basis? If so, I would ask them if you could do a mock interview with them and get a brutally honest evaluation of how you come across in interviews. The majority of people who strike out at T6 schools are either 1) near the bottom of the class, 2) people who come across very poorly in interviews, and 3) people who bid horribly (or a combination of these three things to varying degrees). It is important you determine how you come across in interviews and see if there is a way to improve this (I've heard that acting classes might be helpful).


Richie Tenenbaum wrote:This is potentially a dangerous assurance. If OP isn't able to interview well at all, which could very well be the case, he might be shut out of biglaw after striking out during OCI. I would think it's going to be harder for OP to "get in the door" than it will be to actually practice law. That should be what he should focus on right now--can he interview well and, if not, can he take steps to improve this problem.


NYstate wrote:There are plenty of short guys in biglaw. That isn't an issue. I don't think the minority status will hurt you with getting hired either.

I think you should find another career. I can't see you getting hired or working with clients if you have such strong social issues. I'm only going off your self-description for this, but if it is as bad as you claim, I don't think you will get hired in biglaw.

Do you have any contacts or connections that can help you with obtaining a job outside of OCI?


Hello everyone, thank you for your responses so far! Since alot of people have been asking about this, I have poor interviewing skills. I think I've lost several job opportunities because I don't come across well in interviews, I don't think I've ever walked out of an interview feeling confident. Also neither myself or my family have any connections at all.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:41 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:I think there are certain practice areas in biglaw where you should be OK. Also, Asperger's is pretty common among law students, so you are likely to feel less far from the center of the curve here than in other professions.


This is potentially a dangerous assurance. If OP isn't able to interview well at all, which could very well be the case, he might be shut out of biglaw after striking out during OCI. I would think it's going to be harder for OP to "get in the door" than it will be to actually practice law. That should be what he should focus on right now--can he interview well and, if not, can he take steps to improve this problem.

I agree that it's going to be hard. Just saying that he's not as far from par as he would be in relation to the general public.

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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby wisdom » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:12 pm

I would actually recommend against going if the aversion to interacting with people is as extreme as OP describes. Law is extremely collaborative at every level and requires good people skills. In most jobs, especially big firm, you're going to be working with big teams of lawyers on a case. The only jobs where you DON'T interact with your coworkers regularly and collaboratively -- i.e., solo practitioner -- then require a client base and direct client contact. Again, social skills are key (indeed, they are more important).

pastapplicant
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby pastapplicant » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:28 pm

I agree that you should listen to the advice on here.

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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:29 pm

You left out digit raich brah.

anonymous1234567
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby anonymous1234567 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:29 pm

I go to a T6, and am consistently shocked by the lack of social skills that most of my fellow students possess. I came to law school from finance, dealt with lawyers every day in that capacity, and can assure you that the interpersonal skills needed for other professional services areas are well beyond those needed to practice at least certain types of law. I say this because, if you want to make high six figures in your career and don't see yourself starting a business, biglaw, which still may be challenging, probably has much fewer impediments to success considering your circumstances than finance, consulting, and certainly corporate america. If you are above median at a T6 school you will get a biglaw job, no question (provided you bid correctly). The fact that you are a URM (which is a tremendous asset for recruiting), makes this even more of a foregone conclusion. Some big time firms make hiring decisions almost completely on grades, while others use grades as just one component of their evaluation process. Fortunately there are many firms and many practice areas within those firms, and as long as you are proactive in identifying which of those practice areas and which of those firms fit your skill set, you will have no problem. Would it be easier to break into big law if you were tall, handsome, sociable, and had connections? Obviously. Would this be true in absolutely every other area of life? Most certainly. I think you can find a home in biglaw more easily than you can in industries that offer commensurate pay. You will have to work harder than other kids, you will have to get better grades, you will have to be more proactive in planning your recruiting, but those are the cards you have been dealt, and if you have gotten this far, I am sure you can win at the game of law school. I would strongly encourage you to attend, and I wish you the best of luck.

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TheBiggerMediocre
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby TheBiggerMediocre » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:44 pm

I also have bad social skills. I have been diagnosed to be a psychopath at 15 years old and then a sociopath at 19. Therefore I had to choose law instead of medicine. :wink:

My problem is going to be proving my economical value before I get hired. So I have started planning out an impressive business plan that will destroy the competition.

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laxbrah420
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:45 pm

laxbrah420 wrote:Dude. This is only the second most prestigious law school message board and so we probably can't help you. You should really check out the more prestigious one, http://www.autoadmit.com/

Odds a thread pops up on xo bragging about his trolling?

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laxbrah420
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:46 pm

TheBiggerMediocre wrote:I also have bad social skills. I have been diagnosed to be a psychopath at 15 years old and then a sociopath at 19. Therefore I had to choose law instead of medicine. :wink:

My problem is going to be proving my economical value before I get hired. So I have started planning out an impressive business plan that will destroy the competition.

Is it normal for psychopaths to acknowledge that they're psychopaths?

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northwood
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby northwood » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:48 pm

can you defer for a year at your chosen school and work on social skills ( im not trying to be a jerk, but I cant think of a nicer way to put it)? That way you can evaluate for yourself I you think it is worth it or not

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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:50 pm

I know of some insanely bad social skills people working in either transactional or tax. I give you kudos for being self aware and willing to share this. My understanding is that there are a disproportionate number of introverts, aspergers and other personality disorders in law. I think this is actually a good professional choice for someone like you. For what it's worth, I would advise not only to find a practice area that is insulated from clients but ideally try to find a woman (assuming you are straight) who is much more socially adept than you and can help to round you out.

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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby fluffythepenguin » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:52 pm

OP, what are your career alternatives?

Pope Francis
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Re: Asperger's, URM, short, T6: Should I pursue law?

Postby Pope Francis » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:55 pm

OP, I've only got one word for you: Tax




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