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(The New York Times)   Congratulations law students. You're now in the elite employment ranks of Future Starbucks Baristas, along with all those liberal arts masters degree holders   (nytimes.com) divider line 348
    More: Obvious, arts, master's degrees, University of Chicago Law School, law schools, rankings, upward mobility, class size, student debt  
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12583 clicks; posted to Main » on 31 Jan 2013 at 1:01 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-31 01:27:01 PM

I should be in the kitchen: May I ask you, or any of the other law-types here, what you do like about being a lawyer? Just asking out of genuine curiosity. Does the profession just suck overall, or is it more a matter of matching your interests/skills to the right area of law, or of newbies having unreasonable expectations? I have a friend who passed the bar about a year ago and is working family law currently, and HATES it. His interest is business law; totally different animal!


Family law is for a select few and I am not one of them.  Very few lawyers have the stomach for family law.  I suppose I like some of the things I deal with on an intellectual level, but mainly my life is measured increments of one-tenth of an hour, and frankly, I don't know too many lawyers in my generation or younger who truly like what they do and I don't think I know any who want any of their own kids to follow their footsteps into the profession.  I know I don't want my kids to be lawyers.  If they have to emulate one of their parents, then I hope it's their mother and not me.
 
2013-01-31 01:27:07 PM

Rincewind53: Actually, I'm trained to go down to the protests to act as legal observers for the National Lawyer's Guild, to protect protesters from police abuses.


This is because you are awesome, but I already knew this.

/Do you take the luggage with you, for protection?
 
2013-01-31 01:27:35 PM

Weaver95: RexTalionis: I did law because working as a programmer/IT technician seems like soul-crushing work.

Anyway, is anyone interested in hiring an IT guy who knows his way around the law?

shiat - i'm STILL looking for a job.  the IT field is pretty thin right now.


What? Dude you were looking like a year ago. I think I might have even emailed you about it.

All the vendors I talk to (Apex, Tek Systems, Infosys, Randstad, etc) say tech unemployment is way low right now.
 
2013-01-31 01:27:43 PM

Frozboz: Weaver95: RexTalionis: I did law because working as a programmer/IT technician seems like soul-crushing work.

Anyway, is anyone interested in hiring an IT guy who knows his way around the law?

shiat - i'm STILL looking for a job.  the IT field is pretty thin right now.

You're joking right?  My company is set to hire 100 IT workers of all types (programmers, DBAs, architects, infrastructure) this year, and we're turning away work we have such a high demand.  Our team alone could double in size and still not get all our work done.  I was about to get laid off last year (due to larger contractual issues between two companies), looked for a job for a week and got 2 offers, both paying 20%+ more than I was making the past two years.  I don't get where this "IT field is hurting" stuff is coming from.


I think Weaver is a nice guy and I don't know anything about his skills but there are only two reasons someone in IT is unemployed right now:

1) location - some places just suck for IT, Spokane, WA for example

2) bad at it
 
2013-01-31 01:27:49 PM

Felgraf: Rincewind53: Actually, I'm trained to go down to the protests to act as legal observers for the National Lawyer's Guild, to protect protesters from police abuses.

This is because you are awesome, but I already knew this.

/Do you take the luggage with you, for protection?


I've never had a chance to use my training. It's sad.
 
2013-01-31 01:27:49 PM

Rincewind53: Not me, I'm pretty and special and will graduate with money just raining down on me like some sort of cash bukkake.


Oh god, I see this all the time.  I work in a corporate law firm and we have young folks coming through all the time who somehow leave here to go to law school - even having seen how bad things are from the inside.  Apparently they're all snowflakes who are going to somehow beat the odds with their degrees from whatever law school would take them (not a one is going to a top tier school).  It's like watching people commit (financial) suicide left and right.
 
2013-01-31 01:28:13 PM
BUT BUT BUT  Mommy told me I should cuz I like to argue.  And it looks so cool in all those tv shows and movies....
 
2013-01-31 01:28:35 PM

Rincewind53: Not me, I'm pretty and special and will graduate with money just raining down on me like some sort of cash bukkake.


I know you're being facetious, but you're not far wrong.  If you're an attractve female and with decent grades and have a "bubbly" personality, you'll do fine. Which only means that law careers are the same as every other career.  Minorities will do well even without good grades because the law firms are trying to "diversify" i.e. not look like a good ole boys club.
 
2013-01-31 01:28:41 PM
I went to law school in the early 90s, but one of the primary things I learned in those 3 years was that I didn't really want to be a lawyer.  After college I worked in contract management for a large construction firm, and now 20 years later I own my own construction company.  My parents still occasionally make reference to all the time and money I "wasted" on law school, but in actuality I can't think of a better educational background for my line of work. It's always nice understanding the contract better than everyone else at the table.
 
2013-01-31 01:29:07 PM
getting a kick... I worked back office support for a large DC firm for many years, that was all it took to make me decide for an MBA instead of a JD.  If you look at the hours that associates put in (at the big firms) and their salaries, I make the same but don't have to bill 2500 hours a year.
/bonus, MBA hate is only surpassed by lawyer hate.
 
2013-01-31 01:30:18 PM

Cyberluddite: vernonFL: My sister hasn't even graduated law school yet and she already has a job with the local DAs office.

I hope she's able to pay off her $100,000 in student loans quickly on that lavish $50K/year salary.

Certainly some people find good and satisfying jobs, and do it right away (hell, I did, for that matter).  But especially now, that's most definitely the exception.


Yeah, a friend graduated from a top 10 law school a few years ago, had to intern for a year or two before getting a job

/I was her date for a barrister's ball one year. Damn good party
//DAMN good party
 
2013-01-31 01:30:19 PM

kxs401: Oh man, I just love these articles.

I kind of feel guilty every time I teach an LSAT prep class.


I feel the same way every time I teach a law school class...

(For what it's worth, I try to teach practical stuff that they'll use, but...)
 
2013-01-31 01:30:22 PM
T14 or don't go.

Law students aren't doing badly. Law students at bad law schools are doing badly.

Go to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU, Chicago, Columbia, Michigan, Virginia, Penn, Cornell, Georgetown, Berkeley, or Duke, or Northwestern. Fine, maybe Texas ... maybe UCLA. But that's it!

When usually reliable top-30 schools aren't placing graduates, that's bad. When places like Illinois are cooking the books on their numbers, that's bad. When you're a 3.1/158 and someone is still offering you admission, that is BAD.

Don't go to a school that is just a law school. Don't go somewhere where the undergrads commute from their parents' homes. And don't go anywhere that has "State" in its name.
 
2013-01-31 01:31:12 PM

sigdiamond2000: vernonFL: My sister hasn't even graduated law school yet and she already has a job with the local DAs office.

Is she a young, brash rainmaker who's going to use her natural spunky charm to step on some toes and put the system on trial?


No, she's semi-good looking and has enormous tits.
 
2013-01-31 01:31:17 PM

PainInTheASP: vernonFL: My sister hasn't even graduated law school yet and she already has a job with the local DAs office.

Are you sure she said "job" and not "file"?


You forgot coffee maker and Donut runner

/kidding

/or am I O_o
 
2013-01-31 01:32:24 PM

fawlty: Rincewind53: Not me, I'm pretty and special and will graduate with money just raining down on me like some sort of cash bukkake.

I know you're being facetious, but you're not far wrong.  If you're an attractve female and with decent grades and have a "bubbly" personality, you'll do fine. Which only means that law careers are the same as every other career.  Minorities will do well even without good grades because the law firms are trying to "diversify" i.e. not look like a good ole boys club.


Yes, that's what women and minorities always have it so easy and are equity partners in all the big law firms.

OH WAIT.
 
2013-01-31 01:32:26 PM

InfrasonicTom: BUT BUT BUT  Mommy told me I should cuz I like to argue.  And it looks so cool in all those tv shows and movies....


Actually... that was the reason my mom proposed as to why I should be a lawyer.
 
2013-01-31 01:32:48 PM

Chach: Go to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU, Chicago, Columbia, Michigan, Virginia, Penn, Cornell, Georgetown, Berkeley, or Duke, or Northwestern. Fine, maybe Texas ... maybe UCLA. But that's it!


I love when people talk out their ass.
 
2013-01-31 01:33:10 PM
"Can you imagine a world without lawyers?"

24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-01-31 01:33:15 PM

GRCooper: Cyberluddite: vernonFL: My sister hasn't even graduated law school yet and she already has a job with the local DAs office.

I hope she's able to pay off her $100,000 in student loans quickly on that lavish $50K/year salary.

Certainly some people find good and satisfying jobs, and do it right away (hell, I did, for that matter).  But especially now, that's most definitely the exception.

Yeah, a friend graduated from a top 10 law school a few years ago, had to intern for a year or two before getting a job

/I was her date for a barrister's ball one year. Damn good party
//DAMN good party


Some balls are held for barristers and some for fancy dress, but when they're held for charity they're the balls that I like best.
 
2013-01-31 01:33:30 PM

Chach: When you're a 3.1/158 and someone is still offering you admission, that is BAD


Unless of course you're a 3.1/158.
 
2013-01-31 01:33:51 PM

jst3p: GRCooper: Cyberluddite: vernonFL: My sister hasn't even graduated law school yet and she already has a job with the local DAs office.

I hope she's able to pay off her $100,000 in student loans quickly on that lavish $50K/year salary.

Certainly some people find good and satisfying jobs, and do it right away (hell, I did, for that matter).  But especially now, that's most definitely the exception.

Yeah, a friend graduated from a top 10 law school a few years ago, had to intern for a year or two before getting a job

/I was her date for a barrister's ball one year. Damn good party
//DAMN good party

Some balls are held for barristers and some for fancy dress, but when they're held for charity pleasure they're the balls that I like best.


damnitsomuch
 
2013-01-31 01:34:23 PM

fawlty: Rincewind53: Not me, I'm pretty and special and will graduate with money just raining down on me like some sort of cash bukkake.

I know you're being facetious, but you're not far wrong.  If you're an attractve female and with decent grades and have a "bubbly" personality, you'll do fine. Which only means that law careers are the same as every other career.  Minorities will do well even without good grades because the law firms are trying to "diversify" i.e. not look like a good ole boys club.


Ha ha ha, no.
 
2013-01-31 01:34:51 PM

AncientLurker: getting a kick... I worked back office support for a large DC firm for many years, that was all it took to make me decide for an MBA instead of a JD.  If you look at the hours that associates put in (at the big firms) and their salaries, I make the same but don't have to bill 2500 hours a year.
/bonus, MBA hate is only surpassed by lawyer hate.


Working in a law office has made it obvious to me that I don't want to go to law school.  I am worried I am stagnating and will be stuck here while I am trying to get my other degree and switch into an actual career, but at least I don't have $150,000-$200,000 in useless debt.
 
2013-01-31 01:35:19 PM
It's even hard to get into the military's JAG corps these days, and that was always a final refuge for young or crappy lawyers.  They went from two officer selection boards a year to one, and quite a few of the military lawyers are actually fairly competent.  One of the soldiers that works for my wife enlisted after he got turned down.  Had his law degree and everything, and was trying to go JAG when he couldn't find a job anywhere else.  They were full up, and he wound up having to enlist to wait for a slot.  Here's a guy with a J.D. taking orders from people with B.A.s and high school diplomas.
 
2013-01-31 01:35:29 PM

Rincewind53: kronicfeld: Mugato: Law school. Memorize a bunch of court case precedents and terminally boring laws and learn to argue like an asshole. Doesn't impress me.

I've heard of straw men, but straw schools?

Yeah, it's like he saw The Paper Chase and thinks that's how it actually is.


www.digital-polyphony.com

Hey it's the guy from Paper Chase!
 
2013-01-31 01:35:49 PM
I graduated in 2009 and was one of the lucky ones.  The firm I was interning with offered me an associate position when I passed the bar.  There are a lot of my classmates out of work though, who have gone back for their MBA or other degrees to defer the loans...while racking up more debt.
 
2013-01-31 01:35:53 PM

Koalaesq: Yes, that's what women and minorities always have it so easy and are equity partners in all the big law firms.


Don't be foolish.  I did not say "historically."  I meant NOW and you know it.  The problem you mention is WHY the firms are responding the way they are.  And no, they aren't just handing out partnerships to new grads willy nilly.  You have to put in time for that.  But the odds of getting that first good job and paycheck are better if you meet the criteria I mentioned above.
 
2013-01-31 01:36:22 PM

PrivateCaboose: Working in a law office has made it obvious to me that I don't want to go to law school. I am worried I am stagnating and will be stuck here while I am trying to get my other degree and switch into an actual career, but at least I don't have $150,000-$200,000 in useless debt.


On the plus side, lawyer parties are hilarious because practically everyone is an alcoholic.
 
2013-01-31 01:36:55 PM

devildog123: It's even hard to get into the military's JAG corps these days, and that was always a final refuge for young or crappy lawyers.  They went from two officer selection boards a year to one, and quite a few of the military lawyers are actually fairly competent.  One of the soldiers that works for my wife enlisted after he got turned down.  Had his law degree and everything, and was trying to go JAG when he couldn't find a job anywhere else.  They were full up, and he wound up having to enlist to wait for a slot.  Here's a guy with a J.D. taking orders from people with B.A.s and high school diplomas.


Enlisted with a JD???  Why the hell not take a different kind of commission?  That really doesn't add up.
 
2013-01-31 01:38:18 PM

RexTalionis: PrivateCaboose: Working in a law office has made it obvious to me that I don't want to go to law school. I am worried I am stagnating and will be stuck here while I am trying to get my other degree and switch into an actual career, but at least I don't have $150,000-$200,000 in useless debt.

On the plus side, lawyer parties are hilarious because practically everyone is an alcoholic.


FACT.  When I left happy hour last night at 7, people were drinking pint glasses of gin and tonic.
 
2013-01-31 01:38:34 PM
I should be in the kitchen:
May I ask you, or any of the other law-types here, what you do like about being a lawyer? Just asking out of genuine curiosity. Does the profession just suck overall, or is it more a matter of matching your interests/skills to the right area of law, or of newbies having unreasonable expectations? I have a friend who passed the bar about a year ago and is working family law currently, and HATES it. His interest is business law; totally different animal!

I'd rather defend cannibal serial killers than practice family law.

I'd say a good 25% of my class (2008, very good Canadian school) are un/underemployed or have left the profession.
 
2013-01-31 01:38:49 PM

RexTalionis: PrivateCaboose: Working in a law office has made it obvious to me that I don't want to go to law school. I am worried I am stagnating and will be stuck here while I am trying to get my other degree and switch into an actual career, but at least I don't have $150,000-$200,000 in useless debt.

On the plus side, lawyer parties are hilarious because practically everyone is an alcoholic.


Sounds like IT parties!
 
2013-01-31 01:38:54 PM

PrivateCaboose: FACT. When I left happy hour last night at 7, people were drinking pint glasses of gin and tonic.


Aren't they supposed to be in pint glasses?
 
2013-01-31 01:39:12 PM

jst3p: Frozboz: Weaver95: RexTalionis: I did law because working as a programmer/IT technician seems like soul-crushing work.

Anyway, is anyone interested in hiring an IT guy who knows his way around the law?

shiat - i'm STILL looking for a job.  the IT field is pretty thin right now.

You're joking right?  My company is set to hire 100 IT workers of all types (programmers, DBAs, architects, infrastructure) this year, and we're turning away work we have such a high demand.  Our team alone could double in size and still not get all our work done.  I was about to get laid off last year (due to larger contractual issues between two companies), looked for a job for a week and got 2 offers, both paying 20%+ more than I was making the past two years.  I don't get where this "IT field is hurting" stuff is coming from.

I think Weaver is a nice guy and I don't know anything about his skills but there are only two reasons someone in IT is unemployed right now:

1) location - some places just suck for IT, Spokane, WA for example

2) bad at it


I responded before I saw yours and frozboz's posts, but we're all pretty much in synch. If you have experience in IT, contact one of the hundreds of body shops and they will have you working in a matter of days at a reasonable rate. Most are able to find you work locally.

Of course, if you suck you'll be out on your ear within the week but that's easy to avoid by not sucking.
 
2013-01-31 01:40:51 PM

RexTalionis: PrivateCaboose: FACT. When I left happy hour last night at 7, people were drinking pint glasses of gin and tonic.

Aren't they supposed to be in pint glasses?


It was basically a pint glass of gin with a splash of tonic.  VOM.
 
2013-01-31 01:41:13 PM

fawlty: Koalaesq: Yes, that's what women and minorities always have it so easy and are equity partners in all the big law firms.

Don't be foolish.  I did not say "historically."  I meant NOW and you know it.  The problem you mention is WHY the firms are responding the way they are.  And no, they aren't just handing out partnerships to new grads willy nilly.  You have to put in time for that.  But the odds of getting that first good job and paycheck are better if you meet the criteria I mentioned above.


No, I do not know it, I categorically dispute it. There might be some idiot partner out there who's floored by a big pair of tits, or some huge firm that'll hire a minority to look good, but to say that it increases the odds for women and minorities to any degree is an absolute fallacy. Women and minorities are still shunted to the side, by and large, and law is STILL a good ol' boys club. Maybe you don't see it, but I do.
 
2013-01-31 01:41:36 PM

Marine1: InfrasonicTom: BUT BUT BUT  Mommy told me I should cuz I like to argue.  And it looks so cool in all those tv shows and movies....

Actually... that was the reason my mom proposed as to why I should be a lawyer.


Mine had the same advice.  Fortunately, I discovered the Internet and realized that you can argue all you want for free, with no credentials, leaving whenever you want, and you can still sleep at night.
 
2013-01-31 01:41:58 PM

kwame: Chach: Go to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, NYU, Chicago, Columbia, Michigan, Virginia, Penn, Cornell, Georgetown, Berkeley, or Duke, or Northwestern. Fine, maybe Texas ... maybe UCLA. But that's it!

I love when people talk out their ass.


You're right, I probably should have stopped after Penn.
 
2013-01-31 01:42:59 PM

doyner: Chach: When you're a 3.1/158 and someone is still offering you admission, that is BAD

Unless of course you're a 3.1/158.


They're not doing you a favor when you wind up jobless and a quarter mill in debt three years later.
 
2013-01-31 01:43:07 PM

doyner: devildog123: It's even hard to get into the military's JAG corps these days, and that was always a final refuge for young or crappy lawyers.  They went from two officer selection boards a year to one, and quite a few of the military lawyers are actually fairly competent.  One of the soldiers that works for my wife enlisted after he got turned down.  Had his law degree and everything, and was trying to go JAG when he couldn't find a job anywhere else.  They were full up, and he wound up having to enlist to wait for a slot.  Here's a guy with a J.D. taking orders from people with B.A.s and high school diplomas.

Enlisted with a JD???  Why the hell not take a different kind of commission?  That really doesn't add up.


He didn't take another commission because it isn't quite as easy as it sounds, especially these days.  The military is trying to downsize, so, if you just went to college, no ROTC, no Green to Gold, you most likely aren't going to be able to show up and get a commission.  It's easier and more likely to get sent to OCS by enlisting first.  But even that's getting harder.  My wife's assistant is a brand new prior enlisted 2nd Lt. fresh from OCS and OBC.  His OCS class had 150 enlisted students all with their degrees, but only needed 85 to get their commissions.  You could make it all the way through to graduation, and if they had too many people left, you would be sent back to your old unit as an enlisted to try again later.  This is not 2008-2009, when they were offering officers cash incentives to stay in, they have all the bodies they need and then some.
 
2013-01-31 01:43:24 PM

RexTalionis: PrivateCaboose: Working in a law office has made it obvious to me that I don't want to go to law school. I am worried I am stagnating and will be stuck here while I am trying to get my other degree and switch into an actual career, but at least I don't have $150,000-$200,000 in useless debt.

On the plus side, lawyer parties are hilarious because practically everyone is an alcoholic.


A lawyer party with family law attorneys becomes a game of "Whose client is most likely to appear on Maury". Some of the best stories out there. Like the 5 witness, 3 day trial over who got custody of the dog.

/sometimes I love the law.
 
2013-01-31 01:43:58 PM

markie_farkie: whistleridge: ADA

[img1.fark.net image 54x11]   There's an ADA job opening in Texas now.


Uh...I think I'll wait a few days.
 
2013-01-31 01:44:49 PM

doyner: Chach: When you're a 3.1/158 and someone is still offering you admission, that is BAD

Unless of course you're a 3.1/158.


No, it's especially bad for the 3.1/158. As others have said, most people shouldn't go to law school and ESPECIALLY shouldn't go to a school outside the top 10. A school that would take a 3.1/158 will cheerfully take $45k a year from their students is going to have a terrible graduate unemployment rate, and probably crappy graduation and bar passage rates as well. A student with those stats is almost certainly better off not going to law school.
 
2013-01-31 01:45:02 PM
The country needs to go back to apprenticeships like electricians, machinist, masons, carpenters, auto mechanics and such.
You probably won't eat steak every night, but you wouldn't starve either.
 
2013-01-31 01:46:27 PM

RexTalionis: PrivateCaboose: Working in a law office has made it obvious to me that I don't want to go to law school. I am worried I am stagnating and will be stuck here while I am trying to get my other degree and switch into an actual career, but at least I don't have $150,000-$200,000 in useless debt.

On the plus side, lawyer parties are hilarious because practically everyone is an alcoholic.


The only actually useful thing I learned in law school is how to be a high-functioning drunk.
 
2013-01-31 01:46:59 PM

borg: Mugato: Law school. Memorize a bunch of court case precedents and terminally boring laws and learn to argue like an asshole. Doesn't impress me. farking Bush managed to get a law degree, ffs. Sure there was nepotism involved but he still made it to class.

Bush II flunked out of Law School, his brothers/sisters have law degrees.  I think your best bet is to specialize in one small area of law and become an expert in that I have a friend who makes a comfortable living  just writing wills and trust  he only works about 25 hours a week.


Bush applied but didn't get into UT Law.

Mugato: Law school. Memorize a bunch of court case precedents and terminally boring laws and learn to argue like an asshole. Doesn't impress me. farking Bush managed to get a law degree, ffs. Sure there was nepotism involved but he still made it to class.


W didn't have a law degree. He got an MBA.
 
2013-01-31 01:47:41 PM
 
2013-01-31 01:47:51 PM

Mugato: Law farking Bush managed to get a law degree, ffs. Sure there was nepotism involved but he still made it to class.


No, he didn't.

George H. W. Bush only went to Yale for undergrad

George W. Bush went to Yale for undergrad and then to Harvard for Business
 
2013-01-31 01:47:59 PM
The upside is you get to say "I'm in law school"
/panty dropper
/whores
 
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