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Frogman

Why law school?

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7 minutes ago, Frogman said:

They did not attend law school. Just clerical.

Yeah, then take their advice with a large grain of salt; they couldn't have done much substantive work anyway. 

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50 minutes ago, Hegdis said:

Oh we have had a few of those threads before lol. 

I think I do recall a thread like that with most responses being “i don’t regret going to law school, i don’t mind the 100k debt, and I like being a lawyer”. Anyone here feel any different?

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I have worked at two law firms now, and 80% of the lawyers at both of the law firms recommended that I shouldn’t go to law school, they said it was not worth it. They said people expect to get paid a lot but the amount of time you spend working is not worth it. It’s not a 9-5 job, it’s bring ur work home job, on trips etc 
 

but this hasn’t stopped me.. everyone has their own experiences. 

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On 1/14/2020 at 10:33 PM, Frogman said:

A lifelong friend of mine has questioned me on why I should be going to law school if I have never worked in a law firm. 

Has your friend been reading a lot of Albert Camus recently? 

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On 1/15/2020 at 9:41 AM, Turtles said:

 

There are always initially-eager law students whose inaccurate perceptions of legal practice or lack of passion lead to abandoning their studies or accruing unnecessary, life-altering debt because they weren't yet confident that law was the future they wanted, aka the "I'm in law for the money and we'll see how law school goes" kids. I don't agree that the question is inherently naive, perhaps simply decontextualized or poorly worded.

 

To "recontextualize" it a bit - how many lawyers would continue to do it if it didn't pay what it does?

When I am hiring I appreciate students with a bit of honesty.  

"So, why did you choose to study law?"

"I have an arts degree and I don't appreciate being this broke" - is a completely legit answer.  I don't need to hear about the grave injustices foisted upon your great great uncle when that evil doer Jebidiah swindled him out of his prize donkey.

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Tagger said:

Yeah, then take their advice with a large grain of salt; they couldn't have done much substantive work anyway. 

We hire undergrads/grad students to do factual work on cases. We might have a grad student in a technical area be the amanuensis for an expert/set of experts. Or an undergrad would do more general internal doc review and draft synopses of hot docs that could end up in a submission. In the course of that work they get a pretty detailed look at every part of the process and sit in at examinations/hearings.

Edited by Eeee
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1 hour ago, Eeee said:

We hire undergrads/grad students to do factual work on cases. We might have a grad student in a technical area be the amanuensis for an expert/set of experts. Or an undergrad would do more general internal doc review and draft synopses of hot docs that could end up in a submission. In the course of that work they get a pretty detailed look at every part of the process and sit in at examinations/hearings.

do you think your students liked the work your firm gave them? Did they return/ do you think they would? (if given the opportunity)

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I want to go to law school for a lot of reasons.

1. I have worked a lot of jobs and in many industries. I have found that my enjoyment or personal satisfaction with a given job is highly linked to the positive impact I can have on people or my community. I enjoy working in the service sector.

2. I think law is an area in which I could excel relative to other career opportunities given my personal abilities.

3. Law is a profession not just a job.

4. Law will give me an opportunity to make a good income and support a family. Moreover, given the other opportunities available, I think law provides a good chance to move up the social ladder.

5. I don't mind long hours or work days. In fact, I feel happy and satisfied at the end of a long day of work. 

Sure law school and debt is daunting, but daunting compared to what? It seems like in the modern economy there is more and more risk and less reward for most people seeking long-term opportunities.

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I’ve seen articling students and associates come and go in the years I worked at law firms. Their success was largely dependent on work ethic, humility, and a willingness to learn, not prior law firm experience. 

Personally, I didn’t contemplate law school until I left for a non-profit. And it’s not that I was only given menial tasks in the private sector - I did the kind of work that would also be given to students or juniors. Watching briefs, production summaries, client reports, motion records, etc. I just didn’t want to keep dealing with the same corporate clients and antiquated attitudes, among other things. 

Being support staff at a law firm may be a good way of getting your foot in the door, but it is no guarantee of future career (dis)satisfaction. Your exposure could be limited to a practice area that you may not stay in long-term, for better or worse. 

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18 hours ago, flyingfish said:

I want to go to law school for a lot of reasons.

1. I have worked a lot of jobs and in many industries. I have found that my enjoyment or personal satisfaction with a given job is highly linked to the positive impact I can have on people or my community. I enjoy working in the service sector.

2. I think law is an area in which I could excel relative to other career opportunities given my personal abilities.

3. Law is a profession not just a job.

4. Law will give me an opportunity to make a good income and support a family. Moreover, given the other opportunities available, I think law provides a good chance to move up the social ladder.

5. I don't mind long hours or work days. In fact, I feel happy and satisfied at the end of a long day of work. 

Sure law school and debt is daunting, but daunting compared to what? It seems like in the modern economy there is more and more risk and less reward for most people seeking long-term opportunities.

It's good you've put thought into it, but what seems to be missing is something like:

"I want to be a lawyer". Which for almost anyone (some rare exceptions), I think is the only good reason for anyone to go to law school.

You've bracketed this sentiment - talked about a fit for your abilities, income, being a professional, etc., but not actually said you want to be a lawyer. Maybe I'm being nitpicky (get used to it...) but you haven't actually said anything about being a lawyer or potential fields of practice (though pre-law predictions of interest or where one will end up are notoriously unreliable).

Note, my perspective is from someone who only practices law part-time (full-time other work), so don't pay undue attention to me compared to someone in FT practice.

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20 hours ago, levin said:

do you think your students liked the work your firm gave them? Did they return/ do you think they would? (if given the opportunity)

I think they liked the forensic "gotcha" part of it. Lots of it is very tedious and thankless, a lot of "accountability without authority". Yes some do return through law school and end up articling at the firm.

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21 hours ago, Rumpy said:

I don't need to hear about the grave injustices foisted upon your great great uncle when that evil doer Jebidiah swindled him out of his prize donkey.

Made me chortle - and a pretty substantial chortle, at that.

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On 1/15/2020 at 10:05 AM, levin said:

kids are so dumb. there are so many other, more pleasant ways to make $ than become a lawyer :D

Such as?  

This is most often parroted by "dumb kids" who have never actually practiced law. 

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1 hour ago, epeeist said:

It's good you've put thought into it, but what seems to be missing is something like:

"I want to be a lawyer". Which for almost anyone (some rare exceptions), I think is the only good reason for anyone to go to law school.

You've bracketed this sentiment - talked about a fit for your abilities, income, being a professional, etc., but not actually said you want to be a lawyer. Maybe I'm being nitpicky (get used to it...) but you haven't actually said anything about being a lawyer or potential fields of practice (though pre-law predictions of interest or where one will end up are notoriously unreliable).

Note, my perspective is from someone who only practices law part-time (full-time other work), so don't pay undue attention to me compared to someone in FT practice.

But that gets to the same problem as what OP suggests. How do you know you want to be a lawyer without having experienced it first? As a 0L myself, I keep hearing that law school will be like nothing I've ever experienced, and I assume the same applies to the law profession. Imo the question of "why do you want to go to law school" is, for most people, the same as "why do you want to be a lawyer".

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You don't really need a great reason to go to law school and you don't really need to know that you want to be a lawyer. I mean it helps but it's not a requirement. I am a lawyer now and I still don't absolutely know if I want to be lawyer. I know a decent amount of people who went to law school mostly because they didn't know what else to do or they didn't love what they were doing. Law schools in Ontario, collectively, take a huge amount of people and people with any academic background can apply so it's a great magnet for the aimless and the wandering (and a great place for some of them to throw away a bunch of money, sure). 

Edited by BringBackCrunchBerries
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26 minutes ago, BringBackCrunchBerries said:

You don't really need a great reason to go to law school and you don't really need to know that you want to be a lawyer. I mean it helps but it's not a requirement. I am a lawyer now and I still don't absolutely know if I want to be lawyer. I know a decent amount of people who went to law school mostly because they didn't know what else to do or they didn't love what they were doing. Law schools in Ontario, collectively, take a huge amount of people and people with any academic background can apply so it's a great magnet for the aimless and the wandering (and a great place for some of them to throw away a bunch of money, sure). 

To op:

Yea I feel like professional school can be a good choice if You don’t mind to do more work. Lawyers and doctors and both pretty stable and high pay jobs comparing to a lot of the other jobs out there (and they get social status) If OP doesn’t know what to do in life, going to professional school is not a bad idea. But if you have something meaningful you are really passionate about than defiantly give it a try. Lol it’s easier for pre meds to say that they want to be doctors bc they like to “help ppl and save lives”, it’s harder for pre laws to have a handy answer like that. But this is good, bc that makes pre laws think about it harder. I like how everyone is very honest on the law forum. 

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1 hour ago, Cheech said:

But that gets to the same problem as what OP suggests. How do you know you want to be a lawyer without having experienced it first? As a 0L myself, I keep hearing that law school will be like nothing I've ever experienced, and I assume the same applies to the law profession. Imo the question of "why do you want to go to law school" is, for most people, the same as "why do you want to be a lawyer".

You don't need to have experienced it first.

What I was thinking of - and this wasn't necessarily applicable to @flyingfish who appears to have put some thought into it - is that someone applying to law school should want to become a lawyer, not merely want to escape their current job or not know what to do after graduation so figure, why not. Given the time and money involved, and that articling and employment are uncertain.

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