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On pursuing a career as a lawyer.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by SchoolzSoKewl, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. SchoolzSoKewl

    SchoolzSoKewl Yeah!

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    Alright, so I've basically had my life planned out for a while, do well in school (I am), get into a goodish college (I will), major in some social science, then go to law school.
    But, then I read this article.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/business/09law.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3
    The article is about law schools inflating the number of post grads who are employed after law school. :sad:
    Is it worth going to a law school? Is a career as a lawyer even viable if one isn't coming out of a top law school with the top grades? Can anyone predict how the job market for lawyers is gonna look in 2020ish? Is anyone here a lawyer, anyone have lots of lawyer friends? Discuss the prospects of law school students!:goodjob:



    About me, and why I worry.
    I'm only in high school right now, fairly capable and confident in my abilities. But I'm not getting into Harvard or Yale, in short I'm not outstanding, I'm your average public school salutatorian :)cry:) who will probably end up with 2100-2200 SAT (based on le PSAT).
    Do I need to come from a top notch school for my undergrad and go to a top notch law school for a chance at success?
    What other career choices should I consider? I only really excel in English and Social Studies, I'd love to be a high school teacher, but I would really like to live an upper middle class lifestyle.:crazyeye:
    I don't have anyone else to ask for advice on this, besides my uncle who's a lawyer, but he's a lot smarter than me (and condescending) and doesn't like me..
     
  2. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    what state do you live in? Because the top 5 or so state schools in the country put you in top caliber for graduate school. My friend went to UCLA and got into Columbia's law school. He is still waiting to hear from Harvard/Yale last I heard. Also, the top small liberal arts schools are probably better geared to getting you into graduate (law) school--it's a lot easier getting letters of rec if you have a class of 20 than 250.
     
  3. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    The market for law ebbs and flows. It was bad when I got out in 1995. It was great from 1997 to 2006 and then started to crash. The law school stats are very misleading, so do not believe them. Getting into a top 14 law school opens all sorts of doors. Being in the top 10% at a lesser law school opens plenty of doors. Not in those categories? You may have to kick down some doors.

    I went to SMU, which usually ends up ranked around 50th. It's a good school if you want to work in Dallas and finish your first year in the top 20%. I finished the first year in the middle of the pack, graduated into massive debt, didn't get licensed until 10 years later, but now have my own solo practice. I was one of the lucky ones. A good portion of my graduating class from 1995 isn't practicing law at this point.

    Grades and LSAT are both important for getting into a decent law school. I had crappy undergrad grades (2.7), but a lights out LSAT (top 2%). I was very lucky to get into SMU. Many lesser schools rejected my application. The 4 hours on the LSAT cannot bail out 4 years of bad grades, but it can certainly ruin 4 years of good grades.
     
  4. SchoolzSoKewl

    SchoolzSoKewl Yeah!

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    I live in Florida, I go to a nice public school in the suburbs. I might just go to University of Florida if I don't get scholarships out of state. I'd like to go to a small liberal arts school, but the really good ones like Reed and Davidson seem like they're exclusively for Rhodes Scholars and geniuses. UCLA is my dream school, but I know UCs don't give out money for out of state kids.. :(
     
  5. Karalysia

    Karalysia Deity

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    Bro, I'm going to level with you. It's honestly not worth it.
     
  6. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Florida is a good enough undergrad school. It doesn't close any doors assuming your grades and LSAT are high enough.
     
  7. SchoolzSoKewl

    SchoolzSoKewl Yeah!

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    Work that keeps you busy, money, and all the connotations that come attached to that word, lawyer. That's not worth it? Not to mention four years of fun majoring in English or History!!

    Really!? That's awesome, I didn't think it was! I can go there for free, and I would never let my grades slip. This is very encouraging, I'm smiling. :)
     
  8. Zack

    Zack 99% hot gas

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    This is a good thing?
     
  9. Karalysia

    Karalysia Deity

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    Let me elaborate on why it's not worth it:

















    1. Debt, unless you're brilliant or go to a mediocre (Tier 3-4 school) you aren't going to get a hefty scholarship or a free ride. The T14 almost certainly not. Have $150,000 in debt really constrains your job prospects because to pay it off you can't really do public interest or civil rights like you may have your heart set on. You may have to "sell out" and end up doing something like tax law, contracts, and BigLaw. You are also not going to get your dream salary of $100,000 unless you graduated from a T14 or Tier 1 and are willing to work 80-100 hours a week.
    2. There are no/fewer jobs. The legal market, is overstuarated, there are too many law schools, too many law graduates too few jobs for them.
    3. Law school is hard, this may go without saying but you'd be surprised. I have a friend who got into Fordham. A really good law school. Well she dropped out even before 1L exams, she just couldn't take it. A lot of people have misconceptions about what law school is going to be like but you're going to have to do hundreds of pages of reading, hours of studying, especially for 1L exams which are incredibly important and then spend your summers on internships and externships.
    4. Also you'll be competing against douches. They want to be lawyers. What do you expect? It's sort of like being in elementary school again expect you can drink.
    5. Which brings me to substance abuse which is higher in law than most other professions.

    Read this thread: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3301274



     
  10. SchoolzSoKewl

    SchoolzSoKewl Yeah!

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    Who likes to be bored with their work?
    I feel like stress and success go hand in hand, a lot of the time at least.
     
  11. Zack

    Zack 99% hot gas

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    You're seeing this as black and white.
     
  12. Karalysia

    Karalysia Deity

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    Also let me say that I am currently applying for law school and I regret it ever day and hate myself bitterly.
     
  13. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    If you everything right as an undergrad and in law school, you will be bored with your work for 3-5 years.

    I'm not bored, but that is because I am my own boss and can pick and choose a variety of work. A Big Firm (the "reward" for doing everything right) will give you a very narrow range of tedious work.
     
  14. Yui108

    Yui108 Deity

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  15. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    Um. Stop? If you hate the idea before you are even accepted, then it's not going to get any better.
     
  16. Karalysia

    Karalysia Deity

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    Don't be ridiculous. I've put too much effort into this to stop now. Yes I'm aware that it's the sunk cost fallacy but I don't care. But I've made it my personal mission to talk everyone I know considering law school out of it. I've already succeeded in making 3 people reconsider.
     
  17. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    Ha ha! You have to pay tuition! :yeah:
     
  18. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    So three years from now, when you're $120,000 in debt, and you're fighting to get a job that pays $50,000 a year, will it be any better? How about in 20 years? 30?

    If you don't want to be a lawyer, then don't go to law school. What you've already put into it is absolutely nothing compared to what you're going to have to in the coming years.
     
  19. Karalysia

    Karalysia Deity

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    No no you don't get it I want to be a lawyer. I just don't want to pay for law school but alas we all do what we must in life.
     
  20. SchoolzSoKewl

    SchoolzSoKewl Yeah!

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    I'm not. Don't worry, I'm sure I'll get really pissed off about long work hours at some point in my life.

    Your answers scare me a little, maybe not enough. But you did show me a lot of good information, and I will be reading that thread very closely, thank you. :)
    But I know when to work hard, I'm not going into this thinking I'm a genius and law school's going to be a breeze. I am so aware of how average I am, and how much harder I'm going to have to work.
    I still feel like I won't be as frustrated as the funny pictures say I will.
    Tedious work does not bother me one bit, I can have fun taking hours of notes. I can entertain myself, and stay on task. But who knows, you could be right, it could be a lot more tedious than I imagine, and it probably is. Still, I hesitate to toss my ambitions out the window.
     

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