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Does anyone regret going to law school?

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There's an old thread with this question, felt like it was more appropriate to start it up again. 

Question is as stated above. Please feel free to PM if you would like to share your concerns. 

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Yes. I feel like other degrees would have been more useful to incite change, or led to more productive careers.

 

Of course, I'm still in law school so my answer may change. But I'm nothing short of very cynical about lawyers and what (most) lawyers actually do.

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I don't like law school as a whole but I've enjoyed every practical aspect of it (whether it be moots, ECs, clinics or working summer legal jobs).

So I don't regret going to law school but I do regret that it takes 3 years to complete instead of 2 which in my opinion would be doable. 

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14 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Yes. I feel like other degrees would have been more useful to incite change, or led to more productive careers.

 

Of course, I'm still in law school so my answer may change. But I'm nothing short of very cynical about lawyers and what (most) lawyers actually do.

As opposed to what and who? Where do I find these world altering, intrinsically valuable and productive careers?

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I don’t regret it at all - it’s one of the best things I ever did and I’m very happy as a lawyer. I love my job and it’s given me a pretty good living. I also met my closest friends in law school and through one of them years later, my husband. 

 I think all three years of law school are important and I liked third year.

I do have days when I second-guess myself as to whether I should have stuck with pursuing medical school or whether I should have done law school in the US, but generally I have no regrets and am happy with where I am in life. 

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25 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Yes. I feel like other degrees would have been more useful to incite change, or led to more productive careers.

 

Of course, I'm still in law school so my answer may change. But I'm nothing short of very cynical about lawyers and what (most) lawyers actually do.

One thing I can say is that my job allows me to effect change and make a difference. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Constant said:

As opposed to what and who? Where do I find these world altering, intrinsically valuable and productive careers?

Doctors. Engineers. Musicians. And the list goes on.. in my mind. Which is the point - it's entirely subjective. But that's what the OP asked for.

 

To OP: I'll be clearer. I think some lawyers surely so incite change. In some fields more than others. I also think some lawyers do a great deal to enable productivity, which is great on its own merits. My own personal struggle is with figuring out if that's enough for me. It may be. I'm only in my second year.

Edited by pzabbythesecond

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A friend of mine, who is in Medical School, doesn't feel like her work is doing much in the way of world-altering either. And this was after she's done 100s of hours of clinical.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, providence said:

I don’t regret it at all - it’s one of the best things I ever did and I’m very happy as a lawyer. I love my job and it’s given me a pretty good living. I also met my closest friends in law school and through one of them years later, my husband. 

 I think all three years of law school are important and I liked third year.

I do have days when I second-guess myself as to whether I should have stuck with pursuing medical school or whether I should have done law school in the US, but generally I have no regrets and am happy with where I am in life. 

If I may ask, which schools in the US would you have applied to? Were they T14? 

Edited by Lawschoolinterest

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21 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Doctors. Engineers. Musicians. And the list goes on.. in my mind. Which is the point - it's entirely subjective. But that's what the OP asked for.

 

To OP: I'll be clearer. I think some lawyers surely so incite change. In some fields more than others. I also think some lawyers do a great deal to enable productivity, which is great on its own merits. My own personal struggle is with figuring out if that's enough for me. It may be. I'm only in my second year.

So not lawyers like this dude:

"On December 5, 2013, a preeminently honorable man, perhaps the most admired in the world, passed away. That man was Nelson Mandela, and he was a lawyer."

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It's too early in my career to say, But as a first year call, right now, I am only luke-warm on law as a career. Which is a shame because I really, really enjoyed law school. The moots, clinics, and academic aspects were all great. Obviously the free time and social life was great too haha.

We'll see what the future holds... but right now it's boring for me most days (some days are good, of course) and has very long hours in exchange for compensation that is quite good yet easily attainable in other careers. With less time spent in school and less money spent on tuition. So why would you become a lawyer?

But I am actually pretty optimistic things will get better. If I still feel this way in a year or so I'll take positive steps to make change. We're not birds in a cage, after all.

I think it's important to not let a few years of law school or practice spoil you. A new practice area or firm or working outside of private practice are all examples of things that could see law do a total 180. Who knows!

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24 minutes ago, pzabbythesecond said:

Doctors. Engineers. Musicians. And the list goes on.. in my mind. Which is the point - it's entirely subjective. But that's what the OP asked for.

 

To OP: I'll be clearer. I think some lawyers surely so incite change. In some fields more than others. I also think some lawyers do a great deal to enable productivity, which is great on its own merits. My own personal struggle is with figuring out if that's enough for me. It may be. I'm only in my second year.

This lawyer any better:

 

"Mahatma Gandhi is widely recognized as a leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India who employed nonviolent civil disobedience, inspiring movements for civil rights across the world."

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Just now, Constant said:

This lawyer any better:

 

"Mahatma Gandhi is widely recognized as a leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India who employed nonviolent civil disobedience, inspiring movements for civil rights across the world."

It depends what change you are referring to. Are you referring to "changing" the world through the political scene in Canada? Because you don't need a law degree to run for office. 

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17 minutes ago, Lawschoolinterest said:

If I may ask, which schools in the US would you have applied to? Were they T14? 

I had scholarship offers from Harvard, Yale, Columbia and a few others - my top choice was the University of Chicago or Northwestern. 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Constant said:

So not lawyers like this dude:

"On December 5, 2013, a preeminently honorable man, perhaps the most admired in the world, passed away. That man was Nelson Mandela, and he was a lawyer."

If you reread my post carefully you'll realize you haven't really provided anything of substance with either this or your next post.

Edited by pzabbythesecond

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, providence said:

I had scholarship offers from Harvard, Yale, Columbia and a few others - my top choice was the University of Chicago or Northwestern. 

How long ago was this? When I was considering US schools, and currently, HLS (and Y and S, I believe) didn't/don't offer merit scholarships. 

I considered NYU on full tuition scholarship, but  I'm happy where I ended up, going to ls in Canada. 

Edited by QuincyWagstaff
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3 minutes ago, QuincyWagstaff said:

How long ago was this? When I was considering US schools, and currently, HLS (and Y and S, I believe) didn't/don't offer merit scholarships. 

I considered NYU on full tuition scholarship, but  I'm happy where I ended up, going to ls in Canada. 

Over a decade ago. It was need-based aid for some of the schools. I'm wrongfully calling them scholarships in those cases, you're right. 

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I wouldn't say I regret going to law school. A law degree is extremely versatile and can lead to many careers other than practicing law. It's somewhat unfortunate but also comforting to know that most people who start out in law eventually transition into another field down the line (government, corporate, etc.). It's nice to know the option is there and that you aren't pidgeonholed with a J.D. 

However, the structure of law school needs to change, drastically. Its practical components are by far the most valuable, but also the least accessible. Coming out of law school, most people have no idea what they can expect to actually do as a practicing lawyer. I think most would agree that law school does little to prepare you for the working world, and that is where change is most needed.

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Posted (edited)

I don’t regret going to law school... but there are a few things that I know I’ll HATE about being a lawyer and I almost wish that I had been warned. 

1. There is a lot of politicking and schmoozing! (Perhaps this is specific to larger firms? Private practice?) I wish I could sit down and just do my work without having to worry about racking up face time with the right people at the firm, going to 1 million networking events and making small talk while awkwardly eating messy food with one hand, etc. I just Feel like there is a lot of emphasis on having these insincere interactions with people and I don’t like it... I guess part of it will come in handy once I need to worry about client development but agh.... I find it exhausting and there is a LOT of it  

2. Lack of separation between work and home life: listen I don’t mind working hard. I’ll work for 14 hours a day if I have to but once I go home I’d like to turn my brain (and email) off. Not the case with law.. this was a stressor that I hadn’t foreseen

Tldr; I like law but some aspects of practice will take some getting used to 

Edited by healthlaw

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Posted (edited)

Those with Suits-infused notions of what practicing is like probably will. I would be surprised if many who have a clear picture before going to law school as to what practicing and being a lawyer entails would.

Edited by ToLawAndLetLaw
Clarity
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