Why did you go to law school?

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blsingindisguise
Posts: 1296
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Why did you go to law school?

Postby blsingindisguise » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:03 pm

banjo wrote:
jselson wrote:I was doing a PhD in English when I decided to apply. My interests and research fell heavily within political/legal history/theory, and I'm pretty good at close reading texts. My individual field of specialization seemed to be becoming less and less relevant than when it was at its heyday in the 60s-80s, but I didn't know that 'til I after I started the program. I figured that I'd rather let literature be a hobby/pleasure for me, and move into a field with a better job market that still was square within my interests and abilities. I'm very satisfied with the intellectual and practical training I got in grad school, tho.


More or less the same for me. I also like that law has a significant impact on the world, and that the stakes are high. I also often tell aspiring academics that a year working at a law firm has shown me that the life of the mind is not confined to the academy. If you watch attorneys at oral argument on a complex litigation (not at all an unrealistic goal out of the T14), you'll find that there is a great deal of grappling with abstract ideas and vigorous interpretation of texts. I've seen hour-long argument over the interpretation of a single word in a contract. This is the real deal -- not the kind of circle-jerking you see in most seminars.


I do like that it's pretty much the only field where you can get paid real money to close-read texts.

Rollontheground
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:20 am

Re: Why did you go to law school?

Postby Rollontheground » Wed Aug 14, 2013 10:08 pm

banjo wrote:
jselson wrote:I was doing a PhD in English when I decided to apply. My interests and research fell heavily within political/legal history/theory, and I'm pretty good at close reading texts. My individual field of specialization seemed to be becoming less and less relevant than when it was at its heyday in the 60s-80s, but I didn't know that 'til I after I started the program. I figured that I'd rather let literature be a hobby/pleasure for me, and move into a field with a better job market that still was square within my interests and abilities. I'm very satisfied with the intellectual and practical training I got in grad school, tho.


More or less the same for me. I also like that law has a significant impact on the world, and that the stakes are high. I also often tell aspiring academics that a year working at a law firm has shown me that the life of the mind is not confined to the academy. If you watch attorneys at oral argument on a complex litigation (not at all an unrealistic goal out of the T14), you'll find that there is a great deal of grappling with abstract ideas and vigorous interpretation of texts. I've seen hour-long argument over the interpretation of a single word in a contract. This is the real deal -- not the kind of circle-jerking you see in most seminars.



Similar. Was in a "useless" major — Philosophy — and planning on going into a PhD for Phil or Religion. While in an MA program and looking at PhDs, I became aware of the job market, starting noticing people with Ivy Phds adjuncting, and really internalized the continued comments by my Professors (not directed at me in particular, at all) that Academia for the Humanities — especially the ones I'm interested in — is a horrible idea. Compared with TT job statistics in Philosophy and Religion and Classics, the 55% cited on LSAC is a fucking joke. — Plus, as mentioned above, you still get to play around with abstract thoughts!




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