Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
Oppenheim and Taft
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:43 pm

Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby Oppenheim and Taft » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:09 pm

Studying law seems like an intriguing idea to me. I understand law students and graduates will scoff at me for saying that, considering I haven't stepped foot onto a law school. I have always wanted to live in Chicago, and I'd like to attend UChicago Law (they were my "dream" school for undergrad, but I didn't get in). Problem is, I am not interested in some soul sucking, get out at midnight, divorce producing, corporate/BigLaw career. I could never do that, I value a social, family, personal life. I don't want to live to work. It seems like at these elite T14 law schools, the focus is mostly on BigLaw. Are there any routes out there for areas of law that aren't so miserable? One that has a reasonable schedule and reasonably competitive pay? (I'm not saying making $500,000 for a 40 hour work week, but a career that doesn't dominate my life). It seems like people online categorize law into "BigLaw" and "Shitlaw". What is the in between? Aren't there boutique firms that allow for a nice quality of life with good pay? Basically, what I'm asking for is the non-BigLaw paths there are out there. Are people frowned upon at T14 schools if they don't pursue BigLaw? I would like a quality family, social, and personal life, in Chicago, or another city. This can't be an impossible request, right? Or am I just naive? I'm sure owning my own firm would be the way to go, but I'd surely need experience before that. Are there any areas of law that aren't so miserable like BigLaw? When someone says they're going to law school en route to becoming a lawyer, what does that mean then? It can't necessarily mean that they're going into BigLaw, right? It's not like all law grads go into BigLaw, so I'd like to inquire as to what other areas of the law there are that can provide a nice career. I've read about the "myth" of international law. Is it true that there is no future in that? Thanks.
Last edited by Oppenheim and Taft on Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

KM2016
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:20 am

Re: Types of law that isn't soul sucking?

Postby KM2016 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:20 pm

1) 0L's aren't allowed to post here.

2) You're either on some great drugs or you're the most naive person I've ever encountered.

3) Don't go to law school.

Oppenheim and Taft
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:43 pm

Re: Types of law that isn't soul sucking?

Postby Oppenheim and Taft » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:22 pm

KM2016 wrote:1) 0L's aren't allowed to post here.

2) You're either on some great drugs or you're the most naive person I've ever encountered.

3) Don't go to law school.



1) Oops

2) Is it that naive to think that there's at least one slice of the law that doesn't involve leaving the office at midnight every night? Somewhere where I do not lead a miserable life?
Last edited by Oppenheim and Taft on Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
sublime
Posts: 15396
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Re: Types of law that isn't soul sucking?

Postby sublime » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:24 pm

..

Nomo
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 am

Re: Types of law that isn't soul sucking?

Postby Nomo » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:26 pm

For the class of 2013, 57% of law school graduates found legal jobs. Over half of those jobs paid between 40 and 65k. As this graph shows, there are very few jobs in between: http://www.nalp.org/class_of_2013_bimodal_salary_curve

Without a doubt there are many young lawyers making 50k today who will be making 100k in ten years. But there are also many lawyers making 50k who will give up on law in the next ten years.

There is no answer to which kinds of jobs aren't soul sucking. Any legal job you could name, there are lawyers who would find it soul sucking. It sort of depends on your own interests and personality. Do you want to work as part of a team or more as an individual? Do you want to advise or do you want to argue? Would you rather pour of documents trying to get a grasp of a story that involves people and their emotions or a story that involves some sort of business transaction? Do you want to produce tons of writing that is meticulously cite checked? Do you want to perform in court? How do you handle losing?

[Oppenheim: Lighten up. This is a brand new poster who is coming on here to ask questions. Of course OP is naive. It takes a while to gain the amount of knowledge that most of us on this board have. Though I'll admit that the better way for OP to start learning is to use the search function]

Oppenheim and Taft
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:43 pm

Re: Types of law that isn't soul sucking?

Postby Oppenheim and Taft » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:41 pm

Nomo wrote:For the class of 2013, 57% of law school graduates found legal jobs. Over half of those jobs paid between 40 and 65k. As this graph shows, there are very few jobs in between: http://www.nalp.org/class_of_2013_bimodal_salary_curve

Without a doubt there are many young lawyers making 50k today who will be making 100k in ten years. But there are also many lawyers making 50k who will give up on law in the next ten years.

There is no answer to which kinds of jobs aren't soul sucking. Any legal job you could name, there are lawyers who would find it soul sucking. It sort of depends on your own interests and personality. Do you want to work as part of a team or more as an individual? Do you want to advise or do you want to argue? Would you rather pour of documents trying to get a grasp of a story that involves people and their emotions or a story that involves some sort of business transaction? Do you want to produce tons of writing that is meticulously cite checked? Do you want to perform in court? How do you handle losing?

[Oppenheim: Lighten up. This is a brand new poster who is coming on here to ask questions. Of course OP is naive. It takes a while to gain the amount of knowledge that most of us on this board have. Though I'll admit that the better way for OP to start learning is to use the search function]


Well, I had done a bit of research into law about a year ago but had written it off as too miserable for me. Granted, nearly everything I read was about BigLaw. What about smaller firms in urban areas? I'm not fantastic at public speaking now, but I can't speak (pun intended) for how well I will be in the future. I'm interested in hearing about any area of the law, but I just have no interest in some corporate career that is the center of my life.

User avatar
CicerBRo
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:42 pm

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby CicerBRo » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:46 pm

Anarchy.

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13911
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:56 pm

Work for the government. Livable pay (actually pretty decent pay in some places), livable hours.

This is not to suggest that government jobs are plentiful or easy to get, however.

User avatar
RunnerRunner
Posts: 235
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:16 pm

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby RunnerRunner » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:57 pm

There is criminal prosecution/criminal defense, most commonly done in DA or PD offices. I know a lot of people from these backgrounds that seem to really enjoy their jobs and it definitely allows space for personal life. Cases can be really interesting and you get a lot of responsibility early in your career (translation: less doc review soul sucking work). Caveats: the pay is very low for the majority of these jobs comparative to other legal jobs, and I get the sense you have to be pretty passionate about whichever side you choose (defense or prosecution) to enjoy it.

User avatar
pattonthicke
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:09 pm

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby pattonthicke » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:58 pm

OP, there are plenty of jobs that meet your qualifications. Of course, they are usually difficult to get and unavailable to the vast majority of law school graduates. Even then, you may have to work in big law for 3-5 years before you are competitive to get these kind of jobs. if you dont want to grind that hard for that long, dont go to law school (recommended course of action by the way). Yes, there are some people who will get 9-5 90-110k government jobs right out of law school, but unlike big law, it is in such a small number that people really cant predict anyone's chances, from any school, at getting such jobs. But what i can tell you is if you do biglaw, in 3-5 years you will probably be able to transition into a nice steady job that pays competitively well, unless of course, you do litigation, then you need to immediately check yourself in a doctor's office, because only the most extreme form of self-hating individuals would do that to themselves.

Nomo
Posts: 700
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:06 am

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby Nomo » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:15 pm

These podcasts might be useful: http://www.lstradio.com/iatl/

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22787
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:30 pm

pattonthicke wrote:But what i can tell you is if you do biglaw, in 3-5 years you will probably be able to transition into a nice steady job that pays competitively well, unless of course, you do litigationcorporate, then you need to immediately check yourself in a doctor's office, because only the most extreme form of self-hating individuals would do that to themselvesspend their days checking commas.

FTFY.

OP, you're asking a really broad question. It will depend a lot on what you you like to do and what you think a good income is. Lots and lots of legal jobs are non-biglaw, but that doesn't really narrow much down.

User avatar
Mack.Hambleton
Posts: 5417
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:09 am

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:33 am

Wouldn't it be smarter to gun for best vault job straight out and then have a good chance finding in house/midlaw/gov jobs after a few years

User avatar
JohannDeMann
Posts: 13830
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:25 pm

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby JohannDeMann » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:40 am

Mack.Hambleton wrote:Wouldn't it be smarter to gun for best vault job straight out and then have a good chance finding in house/midlaw/gov jobs after a few years


def not. not sweatshopping that shit up is crucial.

User avatar
Mack.Hambleton
Posts: 5417
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:09 am

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:43 am

JohannDeMann wrote:
Mack.Hambleton wrote:Wouldn't it be smarter to gun for best vault job straight out and then have a good chance finding in house/midlaw/gov jobs after a few years


def not. not sweatshopping that shit up is crucial.


But how would the exit options compare from V10/20/50 vs regional 120k firm? Odds are you're going to leave after 3-6 years anyway so why not maximize exit options

ilikebaseball
Posts: 4103
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:04 am

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby ilikebaseball » Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:26 am

Mack.Hambleton wrote:
JohannDeMann wrote:
Mack.Hambleton wrote:Wouldn't it be smarter to gun for best vault job straight out and then have a good chance finding in house/midlaw/gov jobs after a few years


def not. not sweatshopping that shit up is crucial.


But how would the exit options compare from V10/20/50 vs regional 120k firm? Odds are you're going to leave after 3-6 years anyway so why not maximize exit options

think he's implying that he plans on staying at "non sweat-shop" firm forever.

User avatar
Clearly
Posts: 4165
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby Clearly » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:01 am

Just a heads up, starting a firm isn't the way to go for not making your job your life, in fact starting any business is pretty much the definition of exactly how to make your job your life...

krnpridejk
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:40 pm

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby krnpridejk » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:00 am

pattonthicke wrote:OP, there are plenty of jobs that meet your qualifications. Of course, they are usually difficult to get and unavailable to the vast majority of law school graduates. Even then, you may have to work in big law for 3-5 years before you are competitive to get these kind of jobs. if you dont want to grind that hard for that long, dont go to law school (recommended course of action by the way). Yes, there are some people who will get 9-5 90-110k government jobs right out of law school, but unlike big law, it is in such a small number that people really cant predict anyone's chances, from any school, at getting such jobs. But what i can tell you is if you do biglaw, in 3-5 years you will probably be able to transition into a nice steady job that pays competitively well, unless of course, you do litigation, then you need to immediately check yourself in a doctor's office, because only the most extreme form of self-hating individuals would do that to themselves.


If you don't mind, could you please list some examples of those government positions that pay 90-110k for freshly minted lawyers!?
I'm a 0L intending on entering a T14, and i'm not naive enough to go to law school aiming for such unpredictable and impossibly difficult-to-obtain position, but I could always dream on~^^

User avatar
swampman
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby swampman » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:43 am

krnpridejk wrote:
pattonthicke wrote:OP, there are plenty of jobs that meet your qualifications. Of course, they are usually difficult to get and unavailable to the vast majority of law school graduates. Even then, you may have to work in big law for 3-5 years before you are competitive to get these kind of jobs. if you dont want to grind that hard for that long, dont go to law school (recommended course of action by the way). Yes, there are some people who will get 9-5 90-110k government jobs right out of law school, but unlike big law, it is in such a small number that people really cant predict anyone's chances, from any school, at getting such jobs. But what i can tell you is if you do biglaw, in 3-5 years you will probably be able to transition into a nice steady job that pays competitively well, unless of course, you do litigation, then you need to immediately check yourself in a doctor's office, because only the most extreme form of self-hating individuals would do that to themselves.


If you don't mind, could you please list some examples of those government positions that pay 90-110k for freshly minted lawyers!?
I'm a 0L intending on entering a T14, and i'm not naive enough to go to law school aiming for such unpredictable and impossibly difficult-to-obtain position, but I could always dream on~^^

SEC enforcement starts off around there. Other federal gov jobs (eg, DOJ) would put you in that range after a clerkship and a year on the job. But yes, you are extremely unlikely to get those jobs.

User avatar
Poldy
Posts: 917
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 12:17 am

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby Poldy » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:28 pm

I know it isn't a typical result at all but I have a relative who is approximately five years out of law school. He started around $50k doing family/criminal law and is now a partner making north of $200k. Probably works sixty hours per week, give or take ten. He loves his job.

From what I've seen (as a 0L with nothing but anecdotal evidence to support it), if you don't want big law you have to be willing to pay your dues for several years at a low wage. Even then I don't think there is any guarantee of ever making it big.

User avatar
rinkrat19
Posts: 13911
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:38 pm

There are prosecutors offices that start entry-levels above $70k and can get above $100k in 2-3 years. Gotta find a locality that pays its public employees well.

User avatar
MarkfromWI
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:54 pm

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby MarkfromWI » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:06 pm

krnpridejk wrote:
If you don't mind, could you please list some examples of those government positions that pay 90-110k for freshly minted lawyers!?
I'm a 0L intending on entering a T14, and i'm not naive enough to go to law school aiming for such unpredictable and impossibly difficult-to-obtain position, but I could always dream on~^^


Going JAG in one of the military branches will put you pretty close. Given all of the free medical/dental insurance, tax-free housing allowance, loan repayment programs (AF and Army only), etc. you're pretty close to 100k in years 2-4, with year 1 being somewhere in the neighborhood of 65-70. They also give 30 days vacation every year on top of federal holidays, and they're pretty adamant about making sure you use it.

Whether or not the military is right for you, well, that's another story.

User avatar
twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby twenty » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:41 pm

We give people Columbus Day off.

Columbus Day.

Government has to be the best gig ever. Top level agencies go up to GS-15 (some will even include an administrative "16" but that's pretty rare), and even terrible agencies go up to 14s.

User avatar
Mack.Hambleton
Posts: 5417
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:09 am

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:08 pm

how long does it take to get to GS15 tho

User avatar
twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Types of law that aren't soul sucking?

Postby twenty » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:20 pm

Agencies that go to 15s usually start their people off at 11s, so 11 (year 1), 12 (year 2), 13 (year 3) 14 (year 4), 15 (year 5).

Some (but not many) "15s" agencies start people off at 9. But you skip over 10, for whatever reason, so then it goes 9 -> 11 -> 12-> 13-> 14 -> 15.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests