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Indent

Giving up a job to pursue law school. A worthwhile investment?

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I finished my undergrad a year ago and landed a permanent federal job, paying 68k. I’ve recently been promoted and earn 81k (94k cap).

I’m well positioned to climb a little bit higher, but it will probably take several years to get into a management position. Maybe even longer. 

I’ve long considered doing law school, but I’m in a good place and and pretty comfortable. It’s not my dream job... but my wrists have the golden handcuffs on. I’d likely have to give up my permanent government job to pursue a law degree.

I’m most interested in corporate law. How difficult is it to break into corporate law... and is a law degree a worthwhile investment? 

 

 

 

 

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I probably wouldn't do it at this point in time if you are only in it for the money. There are easier ways. 

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I wouldn't do it. You may not out-earn your current position until several years in to practice. You would be giving up a job with a pension, good security, good pay, and upward mobility options for something far less certain and likely much more stressful.

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2 hours ago, Indent said:

I finished my undergrad a year ago and landed a permanent federal job, paying 68k. I’ve recently been promoted and earn 81k (94k cap).

I’m well positioned to climb a little bit higher, but it will probably take several years to get into a management position. Maybe even longer. 

I’ve long considered doing law school, but I’m in a good place and and pretty comfortable. It’s not my dream job... but my wrists have the golden handcuffs on. I’d likely have to give up my permanent government job to pursue a law degree.

I’m most interested in corporate law. How difficult is it to break into corporate law... and is a law degree a worthwhile investment? 

 

 

 

 

Calculate your opportunity cost.

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These questions ignore that the lawyers who make considerably more than what you would in your current career tract work 60-75 hours/week or more

Generally I think becoming a lawyer makes sense in only two rough categories: (1) you fundamentally define yourself by your work or (2) you don't currently have an okay career trajectory. 

 

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I’m only in 1L but I notice a lot of people pursue law for the money. That’s fine and completely normal. But I think some of these people fail to realize that being a lawyer is being in a position of great power. Power to help so many people and change lives. For me money is secondary to my goal of becoming a lawyer. People need help and I want to choose the path of a lawyer to help them. But there are other paths (different careers) that are available too! 

Based on your question it seems money is an important factor in deciding whether to pursue law school. But are there other reasons why you want to become a lawyer? You say your current role isn’t your dream job, would being a lawyer fulfill that?  Do you want a career where you may help people with their legal troubles while taking a pay cut? Would you still find fulfillment in that? 

I doubt anyone here can give you the answer you’re looking for. Just follow your passion. I’d say the money you’re making right now is fantastic, and if money is the primary motive for you, then stay where you’re at. 

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1 hour ago, lawstudentmikescott said:

I’m only in 1L but I notice a lot of people pursue law for the money. That’s fine and completely normal. But I think some of these people fail to realize that being a lawyer is being in a position of great power. Power to help so many people and change lives. For me money is secondary to my goal of becoming a lawyer. People need help and I want to choose the path of a lawyer to help them. But there are other paths (different careers) that are available too! 

Based on your question it seems money is an important factor in deciding whether to pursue law school. But are there other reasons why you want to become a lawyer? You say your current role isn’t your dream job, would being a lawyer fulfill that?  Do you want a career where you may help people with their legal troubles while taking a pay cut? Would you still find fulfillment in that? 

I doubt anyone here can give you the answer you’re looking for. Just follow your passion. I’d say the money you’re making right now is fantastic, and if money is the primary motive for you, then stay where you’re at. 

This is an excellent post.

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Why have you long considered law school? What is it about corporate law that you like? Is it when you read a bunch of outdated cases that have all  been overturned by the CBCA? I love that part.

Edited by Trew
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1 hour ago, Trew said:

Why have you long considered law school? What is it about corporate law that you like? Is it when you read a bunch of outdated cases that have all  been overturned by the CBCA? I love that part.

CBCA actually just codified BCE as the standard for directors' duties. Also almost none of corporate law in practice involves looking at cases.

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I did it, and taking the financial setback was a big factor in the decision.  Ultimately, it will be around 8 years from the time I abandoned my prior income until the time where I may be earning that again, and a lot of people close to me found my plan to be crazy.  But, I knew I was at the top of my game where I was at and I felt too young to be finished my professional growth.  To me, that burden outweighed the comfortable income.  Law is attractive to me because I think the degree will open more doors to me that allow me to be continually challenged (or to settle into a comfort zone if that is what I choose) for the remainder of my career.

Only you can decide if pursuing a legal career is worth giving up your current cushy gig, but know that other people have made that decision, and each of us has our reasons behind it.  

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1 hour ago, Rashabon said:

CBCA actually just codified BCE as the standard for directors' duties. Also almost none of corporate law in practice involves looking at cases.

Yeah, that's true. But what about the issue of the corporation's consent to a conflicted transaction with a director. Section 120 now requires the transaction to be fair and reasonable to the corporation, which is the statutory remedy for all the old common law cases, in which directors were approving their unfair transactions as shareholders.

I don't think we disagree on anything here, just saying learning corporate law involves reading cases that are ultimately irrelevant (but not BCE)

Edited by Trew

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You’re in a great position one year out of your undergrad. Do you have student debt? Why not get rid of that and save some money while you decide if you really want to spend ~$65,000 on tuition alone so that you can maybe earn the same amount of money you’re making right now four years after you leave your job (depending on where you end up finding a law job).

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17 minutes ago, easttowest said:

You’re in a great position one year out of your undergrad. Do you have student debt? Why not get rid of that and save some money while you decide if you really want to spend ~$65,000 on tuition alone so that you can maybe earn the same amount of money you’re making right now four years after you leave your job (depending on where you end up finding a law job).

Most Western Canadian law schools would only set you back half of that. Although I still agree with the general sentiments that OP should stick with the job they have. Pension and job stability are nice perks. 

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Honestly, I would not go for law school unless it was your dream job

 

Law school was my lifelong dream, and I cannot live with myself if I do not go for it.

 

This is the only reason why I am giving up my job, and I am making significantly less than you. Otherwise, I would continue working if I was even somewhat satisfied with my current job.

 

I would do a bit more research if I were you, and really calculate your opportunity cost (as mentioned above). Consider the nature of the work, the hours, the income difference, time to study for the LSAT, and really think about whether you will be happier pursuing law. 

 

Do you want to do corporate law only for the income? Why did you not apply for law sooner after your undergrad? Your income may be capped in your current position, but remember that you don't work much overtime and you have sick benefits (if you are working for the government -- by "federal job" I am assuming this is the case). You can live very comfortably on your current income. 

 

I say only do it if it is really a dream/passion that you will seriously regret not pursuing. 

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You can tell by the responses in this thread that lawyers (and those drawn to  the study of law) are a risk adverse bunch. 

Is this not a job you can return to if all else fails? I’m sure the door wouldn’t be closed forever if you studied law and hated it. 

If law school is your dream then go for it. 

I gave up a well-paying job (good salary, stable, but terribly boring) and I’m already out-earning my former self. Within a few years of practice my law degree will have paid for itself. YMMV but I have no regrets

i do agree with others in that you should evaluate your reasons for going to law school. It’s a stressful gig and the grass ain’t always greener 

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