Veeky Forums's opinion on law school? Should I go to one in the top 100?

FastChef
FastChef

/biz/'s opinion on law school? Should I go to one in the top 100?

All urls found in this thread:
http://www.businessinsider.com/samuel-browning-and-michael-leichter-flow-chart-2013-10
New_Cliche
New_Cliche

What do you want to do with your life user? Don't fucking go to university just because of some vague notion you should.

See if it specifically gives you a boost to what your endgame is?

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@New_Cliche

Sorry, I just realised I gave no real information at all.

I'm finishing a degree in economics and politics and international relations this year and have finally admitted that I don't have the quantitative skills necessary to make it in finance so law is my next preferred route. I would be taking a postgrad class that is two years long which will give me the same credentials as someone walking out with a four year degree. Sounds weird I know but my country is different. Then I will train for a year to become a barrister at law. That is what I want to do with my life, though I understand it is long, strenuous, and uncertain in this current economic climate.

I would appreciate the views of anyone who has them.

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

@FastChef
a friend of mine passed the bar a few years ago and is set up to take over the practice she's at right now. she comes from a wealthy background, works ungodly hours, and is unbelievably connected to a shitload of important people because she hustles and networks nonstop. so yeah, make sure you're smart and ready to work hard, but also make sure you arent a complete autist and learn how to excel at human contact.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

top 100

whereismyname
whereismyname

@FastChef
Dude, what is this album called? I stumbled upon it a long time ago while shit faced, and couldn't remember the name.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

@whereismyname
Floral shoppe, never mind, I got it.

BRB, gonna go smoke some weed now. Thanks for the pleasant reminder.

farquit
farquit

@Fried_Sushi
That is what I want to do with my life, though I understand it is long, strenuous, and uncertain in this current economic climate.

Well at the risk of giving you some Oprah level advice, the simple fact is all career paths are fraught with that same insecurity and stress.

From a psychological perspective if you can imagine you that at the end of the road you'll be doing what you really want, you're more likely to persevere than if you switched to another career path in pursuit of just dollars.

That's the thing: can you, right now, switch to another career path that isn't law, that will pay you a lot of money? If not. Go do this three year stint, become a barrister. Never lose sight of your endgame.

If you can make a lot of money, seriously and honestly as yourself if it will be any harder or more stressful than if you go the law route?

Now if you have a alternative that will make you a lot of money now, and is easier and less stressful... well... then you have a really difficult decision to make that no one can make for you.

idontknow
idontknow

top 100
you fucking wish bucko
It better be top 25, on a full scholarship, or top 14 on at least a half scholarship.

The law market is so fucking cutthroat that if you're not top of your class in some of the best schools in the country, you probably won't be getting a job in law, I'm not even joking. If you do, it'll be a solo practice in bumfuck south dakota where the only cases you'll be getting are dui's and bankruptcies, and let me tell you, those won't be enough to keep the lights on, and pay back your massive loan bill.

Look into ABA disclosures on EVERY school you look into, as Law schools are legally required to tell you this information. The bar passage rate should be at least 5% higher than the state average, and Long Term Full Time employment should at least be 90%, or else the school isn't worth your time or money.

top-law-schools.com = Good profiles on most top 50 schools, with tuition cost over views and employment prospects.

thirdtierreality.blogspot.com = A blog ran by a very angry man, but he will give you a "realist's" view on law schools, just search the website and you should find about every school.

Disclaimer: this is all for American law schools, disregard if you are in Canada, Europe or the rest of the world as I do not know their legal markets

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

@Dreamworx
Floral shoppe

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

@idontknow

I'm in Europe, I would be going to the best law school in Ireland. And would probably end up practicing law in Canada in a decade's time or so.

Lunatick
Lunatick

@farquit

Basically, no. Now that I've admitted I don't have what it takes to do finance or economics at a post-grad level.

The only other option is medicine, but that's more years, awful pay for a very, very long time, and much more debt.

I think you're right and when I look at it from your perspective it makes a lot of sense to do this law school/barrister plan.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

@Need_TLC
Then disregard every piece of information I have said. Wish I could help, but good luck with your journey

idontknow
idontknow

@FastChef
As an attorney who has "made it," T14 + good grades + top law firm job: DON'T.

This poster @idontknow
is entirely correct: the market is fucked. The "Lathammed" scandal in 2009 caused a lot of hell, but the issues are bigger than that: there are too many lawyers, too many law schools, there's a downward pressure on legal fees, and no-one's doing a goddamn thing to fix any of it. Worse yet, the advent of technology (e-discovery, etc.) has made cases more labor intensive and, frankly, less fun. Things are getting worse, not better: where I practice has basically become a big musical chairs game of partners looking for "better" opportunities, and the big ticket cases we used to rely on seem to be shrinking in number and size.

Even assuming you DO avoid that crap, the lifestyle sucks. Even through high-level associateship, you don't really get to do fun work. I bill something like 11-14 hours a day on most weekdays and about 4-8 on weekends. I'd post a picture of my timelogs, but it'd probably give away where I work. I hit my minimum hours in July, and will be "high hours" bonus eligible by next week, but no-one gives a fuck or gives me any relief - in fact, they tried to take my high hours bonus AWAY one year because they wanted it to be more "fair" for people who billed half of what I did. Most annoyingly, partners seem blissfully unaware of how much it sucks to be an associate nowadays given the 24/7 nature of the practice: the fact that some courts allow you to file by midnight seems to make them think that the trial team should naturally be in the office until midnight, etc.

I've been burning the candle at both ends to get the fuck out of law - taking classes on the side, networking, etc - because I'm so desperate to get out. Once I get into the range of partner, I'll have to prepare to take out a multi-million dollar loan to buy into the firm, which I'll then have to work HARDER to pay off. I'm trying to avoid that. Alternatively, seppuku.

lostmypassword
lostmypassword

@idontknow
Fuck, well I'm just completing my degree in political science and philosophy (with a minor in criminal justice, history, and ethics) because I thought it would be useful when applying for law school.

Surely there are other uses for law degree than just becoming an attorney... r-r-right Veeky Forums?

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

@Need_TLC

Smurfit sucks, and law in NA is already saturated.

SniperGod
SniperGod

@lostmypassword
Surely there are other uses for law degree than just becoming an attorney... r-r-right Veeky Forums?
50% of law school grads are doing something other than practicing law within the first first years. While that speaks to the bleak prospects and burnout present in the practice, it also shows that people are retasking their J.D. to other things.

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

top 100
top kek, if you aren't able to get in the top 100 of any type of school you should be cleaning dishes for a living.

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

@SniperGod
Would you say it's worth attending law school if I am able to obtain a full-ride to an unranked school?

I sure as hell won't be going into debt for a law degree. Luckily, I will be graduating debt-free from my undergrad.

Spamalot
Spamalot

@Garbage Can Lid

Saturated labor market for attorneys. You might be able to impress a prospective employer with "muh lack of debt" tho

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

@Garbage Can Lid
Lol

someone has shit grades and lsat

Is top 10,000 in India good, Op?

Snarelure
Snarelure

Work at a law firm for a few weeks as a temp. Even work for free if you have to. See if you like it before wasting years on your life and 100k in debt.

My brother got the degree then discovered he did not like law.

whereismyname
whereismyname

@Poker_Star

Sutherland?

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@Garbage Can Lid
It depends on your end game. There are a few career paths where having a law degree could be a substantial advantage. Most in most cases, you're just putting yourself 3 years behind, even if you avoid the debt.

girlDog
girlDog

I know a little about the film and TV industry and am nt interested in a law career, but I was wondering what are the prospects for you law students if they want to go into specializing?

IP and Copyright law
International Co-Production Treaties
doing a Marty Singer, and protecting clients from bad publicity through threads of litigation?
Film and Television tax law (or is that more accounting?)

Surely every industry has it's own little niches?
Or is the market still saturated?

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

@girlDog
I think IP is the last field that isn't extremely over saturated, but even then the monsters that are law students are figuring that out.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

@girlDog
Film and Television tax law (or is that more accounting?)
Canadian media industry faggot here, every production company up here needs to have a lawyer on their production or else they can't get funding. Their main job is clearing content to air so we don't get sued into oblivion due to copyright infringement, slander, etc. You'll also draw up contracts between contractors/actors and the company. I personally hire a lawyer to look over any big contract I take on as well as any option agreement I enter, because holy fuck do producers ever want to fuck you over with those things. Your job with that will be to comb through the contract and explain to a writer exactly what they're getting into.

JunkTop
JunkTop

Going to one outside the top 5 (top 10 at a push) is like paying for a gigantic dunce hat in disguise.

Recruiters will laugh at you.

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

@whereismyname
It's called "Ching chong - the edgening"

JunkTop
JunkTop

@Fried_Sushi
I want to run for a public office, but I could do that without a law degree.

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

@JunkTop
I want to run for a public office
Not to be harsh, but that's not really a realistic career goal. It's not plausible to expect that you'll be able to make a livable income any time in the near future, even if you do everything correctly. I think you're being a little bit naive here, unless you're skipping some steps.

cum2soon
cum2soon

It is a pretty good way to become a lawyer or judge if you go to a tier 1 school. If you go to a T14 school it is a pretty good way to get an upper middle income job fairly early (either at biglaw, management, or banking). It is a pretty good prelude to working in government if you go to a top 100 or local school. It is awful or at the very least less than optimal for anything else.

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

@idontknow
I still find it surprising how theres such a glut of law school grads, given how expensive and supposedly difficult law school is.

Methnerd
Methnerd

No one can give you decent advice without knowing what country you're in and what your stats (undergraduate institution, undergraduate GPA, qualifying test scores) are. Hell, even if you were American and you told me that you had a 3.8 in a liberal arts major from an Ivy-tier undergrad and 170 LSAT, I wouldn't say "do it" or "give up on it" until you had acceptances and scholarship offers in hand. And, as I'll elaborate on a little further down, even getting into a top school with a generous scholarship isn't a guarantee of success.

If you were in America, I'd tell you to work as a paralegal at a big law firm to see if you like it (a lot of the big firms here hire people right out of college for two-year stints). And read this: http://www.businessinsider.com/samuel-browning-and-michael-leichter-flow-chart-2013-10

@Garbage Can Lid
Would you say it's worth attending law school if I am able to obtain a full-ride to an unranked school?

No, because that school will almost certainly have strings attached to the scholarship like "keep above a 3.5," and then they'll deliberately put you in classes where you're competing against everyone else with that scholarship, so half of you will lose your scholarship.

@girlDog
"IP" is too broad, but patent law is doing well right now.

@cum2soon
I graduated from a T14 school last year (just finished a comfy as fuck A3 district clerkship, disappearing into the ravenous maw of big law next month, fingers crossed that I don't have a psychotic break in the first month or anything), and there were a lot of people in my class who'd botched their first year with $150K in debt working for $30K-$50K a year at public interest or local prosecutors' joints, despite their dreams of big law. So not even T14 is a sure thing.

Snarelure
Snarelure

@Need_TLC
Also, law school isn't hard, but law school classes are graded on a curve, and beating that curve in every class is hard.

Skullbone
Skullbone

Most attorneys I am acquaintances with seem absolutely miserable

cum2soon
cum2soon

@Methnerd
"IP" is too broad, but patent law is doing well right now.

I meant as in trademark, book rights, adaptation rights, licencing characters, merchandising from films and tv

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

@Need_TLC
Which type of law do you want to practice? It can be harder to make the change than you'd think. Both countries are common law (excluding Quebec), but they've evolved differently enough that you'll be pretty uncomfortable for awhile.

@Snarelure
Pretty much this, intern at a firm for a few months. A friend got me an internship as an undergrad, I ended up developing such a disdain for office life I dropped my degree all together and found the highest paying trade possible (better than most white collar jobs here). I've ended up putting myself on course for a buy in and started doing well for myself in real estate. All the while being debt free and working 40 hours a week.
tl;dr Don't pigeon hole yourself, you've got options if you're smart about how you approach this.

MPmaster
MPmaster

@idontknow
lit or corp?
also you BILL those hrs on average? damn son

farquit
farquit

@lostmypassword
not particularly useful for applying, no
potentially useful for certain courses

re: other uses for a law degree, sure, but you have to keep in mind that a lot of non-practicing JDs are in jobs they could get w/o a law degree
it really depends on your interests. i'm hard pressed to think of many jobs outside of law where it would be worth it to pursue a JD considering the debt and three years of opportunity cost

@Garbage Can Lid
nah, i wouldn't go to an unranked school if you paid me. as stated ad nauseum itt, there are just too many law school grads, TTT grads are boned

w8t4u
w8t4u

@Snarelure
yea working at a firm before LS is TCR

@girlDog
idk what the market is like, but i did work for a summer at a firm w/ one of the best copyright practices in the country, and found it discouraging
that kind of work is sexy so lots of ppl want to do it; i met people who joined the firm to do soft IP but ended up mostly doing commercial/securities lit b/c there wasn't enough work to go around
maybe the story is different at a specialty firm, but i'd doubt it's that easy to find a place paying market
(but that's just the experience of one law student in NY (not CA) w/ zero real experience so take w/ a huge grain of salt)

hairygrape
hairygrape

@JunkTop
top 5/10 isn't a thing in law
law is top 3/6/14
outside of that no one really agrees

@JunkTop
yea don't go to law school to be a politician, imo

@Methnerd
i cosign all of this

@Skullbone
i cosign all of this

MPmaster
MPmaster

@cum2soon
Out of my class of 350, I don't know anyone who's doing this sort of thing. As a rule of thumb, the sexier a practice is, the harder it is to get work in it, like @w8t4u
said. Maybe it's different if you go to UCLA, but I doubt it.

Like I said, do a gig as a paralegal at the type of firm you want to work for as a lawyer. I expect you'll discover that it's a lot more detail-oriented and mundane than you expect.

But also remember that, no matter what kind of law you have to practice, your first year requirements are going to be mandatory. Those requirements are going to be some sort of variation on: criminal law ("what qualifies as murder," not Miranda-type stuff, that's a completely different course), torts ("the coffee was too hot"), property (bullshit), constitutional law (this course will almost certainly only be about separation of powers, the commerce clause, plus the Eleventh and Fourteenth amendments. If you want the sexy amendments, you take an upper level course), contracts, civil procedure, and legislation/regulatory law. Prior knowledge from your industry will give you zero advantage in these... and the first year is the only year that matters in law school.

You see, the August before your second year starts, your school will hold a massive career fair for private firm employers. You'll do a bunch of speed interviews at your school, and if an employer likes you then you interview at the employer's office. If you do well in both those interviews, you get an offer to work at that firm for the summer after your second year. Unless you botch it completely, your second year summer will lead to an offer to come back to the firm for full-time employment after graduation.

tl;dr, most private employment is dependent on doing well your first year, in generic classes that everyone has to take and that your previous employment is unlikely to help you with, unless you were a paralegal and you rock civil procedure or something.

Evilember
Evilember

@FastChef
My problem with law is, at least in America, lawyers are a dime a dozen; hell they're probably even less than that now
We have way too many lawyers in this country, the town that would have one Atticus finch by luck now has 20. Too many people heard about the money and now more and more people keep trying to go to law school. Someone going to one of the top 100 law schools that isn't in the top 10 is basically dog shit

RumChicken
RumChicken

Just fucking get your cpa. Why the fuck do law only? Go learn accounting and youll get a job. Then do law if you really want to.

Accounting is not quantitative. It's a drone profession but there's a demand and youll get some money

TreeEater
TreeEater

@Need_TLC
Is Law School really that hard though?

Most of they people I knew who wanted to law school when I was in college were stupid and lazy idiots who didn't know what to do with their bullshit easy liberal arts degree.

I'm sure if your smart and motivated and used to taking hard courses than law school isn't too bad, but I guess those people don't go to shit tier law schools.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

Try being a paralegal first to see if you REALLY enjoy law. It'll save you time and a shitload of money.

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

@TreeEater
depends

it's not hard to pass (virtually everyone does)

it is hard in the sense that you'll be on a curve w/ everyone else
so getting, for example, an A grade (top 10%) is relatively hard

the material you need to learn to get a JD is not hard
esp so at lower-tier schools that are less theory heavy

but if you want a rigorous academic experience, you can make LS hard
you can conduct research for professors, you can start to publish, you can be a TA for a doctrinal course, you can become an articles editor, you can choose demanding theory-heavy courses

tl;dr not hard, but hard to do very well, and you can make it hard regardless

Lunatick
Lunatick

@Ignoramus
@TreeEater
Law school isn't hard. No one gets below a C in anything.

Doing better than everyone else and beating the curve is hard.

Booteefool
Booteefool

$URRE$

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