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Fletcher Reed

Don't go to University or Law School "Just Cause"

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 I would agree that the debt issue should be seriously considered. I've heard more than a few horror stories about law school grads who are still trying to pay off student debt into their 30s. One of the biggest warnings I got from profs who I asked for LoRs was that if I would have to go into debt to afford law school, it might not even be worth it. Although it is in no way assured that you won't be extremely successful right away and get straight to paying off your debt, law school in a way still contains aspects of its historical exclusive nature, which makes it less accessible for anyone coming from a non-privileged background. Although Fletcher's warnings don't really apply to me (as I am from said background), I wouldn't immediately dismiss them if you have A) paid for your undergrad entirely on credit; and B) plan to do the same for law school

Edited by raisinbun

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Can't we all agree that going to law school should be a goal for those who want to be lawyers, and actually like to do that work.  The amount you make, and the lifestyle you lead, are secondary considerations when it comes to deciding what will fulfill you during your many work days ahead.

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And can't we all also agree that the OP was originally trying to be a troll, was extremely successful, and now has us engaging in one of the most live threads on LS at the moment. 

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I am shocked - SHOCKED - by the amount of drunk posting you people engage in. I mean my goodness.

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Then what are you doing, going to law school?!  :wink:

 

My point was that if financial success is your main goal---law school is not the only means of achieving this. As a plumber, this guy has minimal education but makes more than both my parents combined. Since financial success is not my main goal, but rather gaining a more fulfilling, challenging career, I'll take my chances at applying.

 

Also, I'm already making a decent living as it is and have a lot to give up to go back to school, so it's a big decision to make. Something I am not taking lightly. 

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Look at all the undergrads being little shits. Pizza Hut is hiring? You twat.

 

I'm in a similar boat. I went to law school "just cause." It's turned out fine for me, but it was touch and go for a while as I tried to reorient myself towards what I could do with a law degree when I realized the practice of law was absolutely mind-numbing in terms of my personal preferences.

 

Though I do like almost everyone at my law school, so the actual school part is enjoyable to me.

OP is justified in telling us to open up a hot dog stand instead of going to law school, but we are twats and shits for giving him similar advice?

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My point was that if financial success is your main goal---law school is not the only means of achieving this. As a plumber, this guy has minimal education but makes more than both my parents combined. Since financial success is not my main goal, but rather gaining a more fulfilling, challenging career, I'll take my chances at applying.

 

Also, I'm already making a decent living as it is and have a lot to give up to go back to school, so it's a big decision to make. Something I am not taking lightly. 

 

Yeah, I was kidding ;)

 

I'm in the same boat. From the experiences I've had, I know I like the work. I'm also incredibly inept when it comes to "working with my hands" (exception: typing).

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Just sayin' my ex's dad is a plumber---he works for himself, makes 200+k /year and has a lot less stress than a lot of 'professionals' I know. Just bought a brand new porsche too. 

 

It's become politically astute to talk about how law is not necessarily a lucrative profession, and that many or most lawyers make a comfortable but relatively modest living, considering the cost of law school.  This is, of course, entirely true, and important information for aspiring lawyers and lawstudents.  It's certainly healthy to seek out your calling first, and to let money be a secondary consideration.  Absolutely.  No question.

 

With that out of the way, I drive a new Porsche, too, and I only touch human waste by accident.

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You know, Fletcher, you may have a valid perspective on the risks and difficulties inherent in pursuing a career in law.  There's nothing wrong with presenting that perspective.  But you seriously undercut any potential value in your posts here when you just spew negativity all the time.  I've left with the sense that you aren't likely to be happy with anything.  So the fact that you aren't happy with law school ... that tells me basically nothing at all.

Id like to say that being a lawyer is not only about making the money even if you are in debt - if you are practicing law because you have a passion for it you respect it and you enjoy the end goal of your job which is helping clients with their issues, that is where you should be getting your satisfaction but if you go in to it because you want to make money then yes you will be miserable doing something that does not mean much to you and making no money you will end up really psychologically damaging yourself and your soul - so I advise to enter into this field only if you have a passion for it and respect what being a lawyer represents in the end of the day - that being helping others with their legal problems. You should also be fascinated with law and how the legal system works and how your efforts can help set precedences etc etc

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Id like to say that being a lawyer is not only about making the money even if you are in debt - if you are practicing law because you have a passion for it you respect it and you enjoy the end goal of your job which is helping clients with their issues, that is where you should be getting your satisfaction but if you go in to it because you want to make money then yes you will be miserable doing something that does not mean much to you and making no money you will end up really psychologically damaging yourself and your soul - so I advise to enter into this field only if you have a passion for it and respect what being a lawyer represents in the end of the day - that being helping others with their legal problems. You should also be fascinated with law and how the legal system works and how your efforts can help set precedences etc etc

 

This is the kind of thing people say before any exposure to law and it only makes sense then.

 

It sounds almost like trying to convince yourself this is a perfect move for you without any risks. Of course you will be happy as a lawyer, because you are fascinated with law. I can tell you though, I know a lot more people that are unhappy with entering the legal profession that started with your perspective than I know that started with something closer to Fletchers. Reality is assuredly going to conflict with this type of outlook. Reality is not necessarily going to conflict with thinking of the legal profession as a pretty good albeit sometimes tedious career.

 

Actually this kind of thing reminds me of this:

 

I am actually not jaded about law school. It was a good decision for me. But there wasn't any certainty that it would be and if you are piling on a lot of debt there is a lot of risk.

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People have the wrong idea about university education. A a degree is a piece of paper. You have to make it worth something. It's always been that way and it always will. 


 

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Id like to say that being a lawyer is not only about making the money even if you are in debt - if you are practicing law because you have a passion for it you respect it and you enjoy the end goal of your job which is helping clients with their issues, that is where you should be getting your satisfaction but if you go in to it because you want to make money then yes you will be miserable doing something that does not mean much to you and making no money you will end up really psychologically damaging yourself and your soul - so I advise to enter into this field only if you have a passion for it and respect what being a lawyer represents in the end of the day - that being helping others with their legal problems. You should also be fascinated with law and how the legal system works and how your efforts can help set precedences etc etc

 

In defence of the massive run-on sentence, there's a balance. This poster is articulating one side, and Fletcher is articulating the other. Neither are completely wrong, and neither are completely right.

 

Run-on sentence, hang on to this view because it will help guide you through law school in the sense that you'll be less likely to buy into the "everyone else wants an OCI so I must want one too" sort of trap that can just depress the hell out of you. But also be aware that law is a job as well as a (potential) passion - and you are going to have long, crappy, really boring days just like at any other job.

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 But also be aware that law is a job as well as a (potential) passion - and you are going to have long, crappy, really boring days just like at any other job.

 

As a 0L, I'm going to law school in the hopes that at least 10% of my days at work will be non-boring. Right now, 99% of my days are so tediously boring that I want to claw my eyes out. I figure it can only get better from here.

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In defence of the massive run-on sentence, there's a balance. This poster is articulating one side, and Fletcher is articulating the other. Neither are completely wrong, and neither are completely right.

 

Run-on sentence, hang on to this view because it will help guide you through law school in the sense that you'll be less likely to buy into the "everyone else wants an OCI so I must want one too" sort of trap that can just depress the hell out of you. But also be aware that law is a job as well as a (potential) passion - and you are going to have long, crappy, really boring days just like at any other job.

 

I have to disagree Hegdis, an overarching passion for "the law" does not prevent you from falling into the "biglaw trap". Your passion needs specificity to be able to do that. I don't mean that you have to be able to say "I want to be a criminal lawyer", I mean that you need to be able to identify (even if you can't say it out loud) what you want from your career beyond being a lawyer.

 

You are right to compare it to what Fletcher is saying, neither one of them is saying very much. Being positive without substance is not all that different from being negative without substance. 

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I have to disagree Hegdis, an overarching passion for "the law" does not prevent you from falling into the "biglaw trap". 

 

No, but as I said, it can make you less likely to fall into it. 

 

Completely agree with the rest of your post.

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Ten years later, a very large contingent of my high school peers who went to University are still in someway attached to their parents financially.  Some of them are still living at home, some are still get some financial help from their parents to make ends meet along with their student loans.  In contrast, the friends of mine who went off to learn a trade or even do a 2 year college program are in a far better position.  Most of them own homes, cars and are well on their way to a great financial life. 

 

But please, to any 0L, before you accept your offer of admissions just go to the web site of every community college in your area and see what they have to offer.  At least in Toronto, there are plenty of fantastic year long programs designed for those who already have a degree to get some practical experience so they can get a job in certain fields.  A couple of my friends went this route and they are doing very well for themselves.  For example, one of my peers graduated in 2009 from University with a Philosophy degree and then did a 1 year long finance related program at Seneca College which he graduated from in 2010.  He is now making $75,000.00 per year which is more than a lot of my law school friends will be making even as a first year associate.  

 

First off, I totally agree that university is too often portrayed as a Golden Ticket - its not. If find it curious, however, that you are attempting to inject some realisim into the debate about the value of a university degree while simutaniously presenting an uncritical, almost idealized, vision of the trades.

 

I think people need to realize that that path is also not a garunteer of success or a satisfying career. Certainly it is less of an investment (both financially and time-wise) and you are of course more likley to find a job related to your degree/diploma/whatever than a BA or BSci student, but its not the sure thing you portary it to be. I live in/around Edmonton and pleanty of my friends who went to trade school are having difficulty getting apprenticeships.

 

Of course you can always go to the Promised Land of the Oil Patch. My friends who have done that are certainly "well on their way to a great financial life." However, ALL of them are not enjoying their quality of life. And I am not for a moment saying you have to be a lawyer/doctor/buiness executive to have a good quality of life. And you also do not need a university degree for it either. But the reality is for a lot of trade work you are trading quality of life for that "great financial life." Lots people luck out and get an apprenceship with a small buiness or independant contractor and may be looking at a long, fullfilling career. But many end up having to start out in the Oil Patch where a lot of the work is. My friends that are doing this look forward to 12+ straight working days punctuated by monthy flights between Edmonton and Fort Mac. They live in camp for weeks at a time and work long days, outdoors.

 

Even if you don't go "up north" its not easy. My dad is a carpenter and worked for a local construction company. He travelled all over the province because you had to go where the projects were. He never broke into managment and was stuck in the same job doing dangerous, difficult work away from his family. He started his own contruction buiness. He has one other guy working for him and does pretty well now. But running your own buiness is most definitely not a low-stress career.

 

I am not trying to suggest that trades are bad or even that most people in the trades have a tough time at it. I just want to point out that a trade, like every career, is what you make of it. I think most people tend to compare their job unfavorably to other jobs. Lawyers, law students and people from lawyer families know the ins and outs of the profession. They see how the job is potrayed in the media. They know that in the public mind it is idealized. And they know how disconectted this ficitionalized and idealized version of the profession is from reality. But they only have an outsiders view of other jobs. I think professionals tend to idealize the trades, just as a lot of people tend to idealize doctors and lawyers. People focus on the positive aspects of the job they don't have (trades: no student debt, good pay, better employment prospects) without really considering the negative aspects of the job (trades: manual work, dangerous/unhealthy work enviroment, travel). I know my family does this with "university jobs" (doctors, lawyers, teachers). 

 

So what I'm trying to say is that we need to realize that all jobs have their pros and cons. People need to decide what things they really want out of their career and what shitty things they are willing to put up with. I don't think the default position should be "trades are the best path to a good-paying job" any more than "university is the way to an important, fullfilling career."

Edited by TheLastBestWest
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