Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Follow Up Letter to the Delusional JD Class of 2013

Reality is not always pretty. In fact, it is often brutal and harsh. This blog is about the ways things are, not the way we wish they were. So, dear lemming, you can curse my existence – but at least listen to the message. In the end, whether you take out $150K in student loans to attend law school does not add one cent to my student debt.

Look at the Student Loan Debt Clock, put out by Mark Kantrowitz. TOTAL OUTSTANDING STUDENT LOANS ARE FAST APPROACHING $850 BILLION. See, “higher education” does pay off – for the student lending cartel and school administrators. (This is counting all private and public student loans, and is not limited to law school debt.) Law grads are taking on massive debt, while facing a shrinking job market.

“The legal sector gained 300 jobs in May after experiencing losses in the hundreds during the previous month, according to the latest employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the industry has still lost 400 jobs since March, and a total of 22,200 legal jobs have disappeared since May 2009.” [Emphasis mine]

“This was not supposed to happen. The path: become a star in college, get into a top law school, make law review, then take the job at a cushy law firm (maybe after a clerkship or two). Life was supposed to be a regimented ladder to the vacation home, insulated against economic down and up cycles.

The recent wave of legal layoffs, rescinded job offers, and even bankruptcies has created the ugliest market for lawyers — particularly in Wall Street-fueled New York City — in more than a quarter century. The bankruptcy opportunities that were supposed to be anti-cyclical to the mergers-and-acquisitions work never materialized.”

So much for getting into a top school and earning solid grades, I guess. Wait, at least the ABA is starting to take some of the blame for this mess.

“Tommy Wells, president of the American Bar Association, said the increase in lawyer layoffs is partly the legal industry's fault.”

Wow! You think that may be the case, Tommy?!?! Could the fact that the ABA Outsourcing Opinion, i.e. ABA “Ethics” Opinion 08-451, allowed U.S. law firms to hire foreign attorneys and non-lawyers have any effect on lawyer layoffs here?! Is it possible that the 200 ABA-accredited law schools – with more in the works – could be producing too many JDs?!

To be fair, it is somewhat hard to fault lemmings when Sonia Sotomayor is parading at the University of Denver’s Sturm Commode of Law, and shilling for the industry:

“She encouraged the students to pursue their education even if it means going into debt.

"Education lets you fly without a plane," she said. "Get the best education you can at whatever cost it takes to pay."

However, one should remember that she earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton before obtaining her law degree from some place called Yale Law School. Also, take into consideration that college and law school was a hell of a lot cheaper in the 1970s. How many of you are going to Yale Law School? A “stubborn streak” is not going to help a TT or TTT grad, when law firms will not even look at his resume.

“Not only are college numbers spun. Some are patently spurious, says Richard Sander, a law professor at UCLA. Law schools lure in minority students to improve diversity rankings without disclosing that less than half of African-Americans who enter these programs ever pass the bar. Schools goose employment statistics by temporarily hiring new grads and spotlighting kids who land top-paying jobs, while glossing over far-lower average incomes. The one certainty: The average law grad owes $100,000 in student debt.

"There are a lot of aspects of selling education that are tinged with consumer fraud," Sander says. "There is a definite conspiracy to lead students down a primrose path." [Emphasis mine]

This is coming from a law professor, not a scam-buster. What does that tell you?!

Look at this! Recent lawyers who supplement their $1000 monthly income by selling exercise equipment and jewelry on Ebay, attorneys who work 10 hours a week for two different sole practitioners, and JDs who manage moving and storage companies.

You are free to ignore this advice. In three years, you can always “use” your law degree to sell cupcakes and pastries from the back of a truck – just as several others lawyers have done. Is it really worth it to take on $120K+ for a chance to earn $35K-$40K – if you are even lucky enough to even break into the field?


  1. But I want to learn the law! I love the law. I want to help people fight for justice and get their day in court. I must go to law school.

    [fast forward 3 years]

    I can't find a job. I can't even get an interview. Now I have $100,000 in student loans and no way to pay them off.

  2. But Nando... but Nando... but Nando.... I'm special! The rules don't apply to me! I'm a unique, magic snowflake made out of unicorn tears and dragon dreams that can't ever be affected by brutal layoffs, massive spikes in unemployment and overwhelming increases in legal outsourcing, because I am so unique and special! If you can dream it, you can do it!

  3. Everyone's a GD optimist in Amerika. Time to get your head out of your a** people. Me - contract attorney hoping not to get laid off this week, which rumors suggest might happen. Beware lemmings!

  4. But, nando, I earned a 3.8 GPA in Anarchist African American Feminist Literature from Cow Pie University. I even managed to graduate a full semester early. How dare you destroy my dreams of being an attorney in this coutry. I will go on to achieve great things. You'll see. You and your stats anf facts cannot persuade me to forget my dream of being an international human rights and environmental lawyer. I want to help foster peace in the Middle East, and a law degree from Red Sanderson's School of Law will allow me to do that.


    Look at this Pace-educated lawyer, licensed in both New York and Connecticut, who started out at $7.65 an hour at Radio Shack. As of this article, he was an assistant manager. Yes, that law degree REALLY paid off, didn’t it?!?!

    “These are the people who did everything right. They hustled for good grades in college, crammed for the LSAT, sweated through three years of law school – all to be shuttled into a cushy job that could help them pay off massive debts.

    But for 27-year-old Mike Kremen, a law degree landed him a job as an assistant manager at Radio Shack.

    Kremen graduated from Pace Law School about two years ago – right when the recession was picking up and the legal industry started to hemorrhage jobs. He’s still waiting for his first full-time legal job offer. He says he might be the only employee in the history of this White Plains Radio Shack who’s passed both the New York and Connecticut bar exams.”

    What’s that you say, lemming?! Mr. Kremen went to a TTT so he deserves this fate?! Well, check out graduate of 11th ranked Northwestern:

    “Fabian Ronisky thought he was on track last summer to become a high-powered corporate lawyer. He was an intern at a leading firm in Los Angeles, earning about $3,000 weekly. But the firm didn't offer him a permanent job.

    So Mr. Ronisky, a 25-year-old student at Chicago's Northwestern University School of Law, spent the fall sending 50 resumes to law firms and government agencies, to no avail. Now, just days shy of graduation and with $150,000 of student loans, he plans to move back to his parents' home in San Diego and sell music and movies online.

    "I wanted to use my education," he said. "But times change."

    But, YOU, first-year student will manage to do better than Mr. Ronisky, right?!?! His fate surely could not befall you, could it? Oh well, at least the deans, “law professors” and banks are taken care of in this scheme. And that’s what counts, right?

  6. Nando, haven't you heard that by 2013 the recession will be over? In 2013, the clouds in the sky will disappear to usher in a new era of economic prosperity. The market will adjust to allow starting salaries to increase to $190K/yr. At least that is what one local law school dean is saying. Every fucking week my firm receives dozens of resumes from "stellar" snowflakes that think they will become the next F. Lee Bailey. Yes these same students believe they will be pioneers in conjuring up new strategies to win that bullshit dog bite case.

    When I walk by the local law school and see the new crop of lemmings open their obscenely expensive textbooks to discuss cases that are older than their grandparents, I sigh and think suckers (plural) are born every second. By the way, lemmings, that compilation of cases that you paid hundreds of dollars for is available for free on the internet. Why pay hundreds of dollars for some gratuitous foreword by some overpaid douche professor?

    I love how the Rutttgers Law school dean said a law degree=FREEDOM. Unfortunately, if you financed the miserable fools' errand of going to law school, you will not be FREE from Sallie Mae's long arm. Go ahead lemmings, go to law school, hang a shingle and undercut your unemployed and hapless classmates as you fight to get a $50 traffic ticket case.

  7. I don't do traffic court anymore since it's all a bunch of BS. Sounds like you're from NJ. Me too. I've done some traffic court work. It made me realize that the law is just a tax-generating racket for these municipalities. Those bigshot cops with a HS diploma need to pay for their $100,000+ salary somehow. But it's all in the name of safety isn't it? See what you have to look forward to lemmings? Traffic court! Yee-Ha!

  8. @12:39PM

    NJ muni court judges are nothing more than glorified cashiers in black robes for the municipalities. These "baby kangaroo court" judges are revenue raisers. Each time the gavel comes down, I hear "cha ching." Do you realize that there are some cops in Bergen County that make more than the NYC Police Commissioner? It is a fucking racket out here. With the oversupply of lawyers, there are some practitioners that are willing to take traffic cases for $50-$75. Back in the heyday, I would charge $1,000 for a traffic case. Those days are long gone. I shake my head whenever I hear "Little Johnny is applying to law school." I think "What the fuck for?" The gravy train left the station years ago.

    There are solos in NJ that do divorce cases for $250, immigration cases for $500 and bankruptcy cases for $500. With more lawyers being pumped into the system, expect the market value of legal services to plummet even more. But hey, if you are a lemming in law school, I am sure you will find a way to surmount the crisis in the legal market.

  9. My law school stresses the importance of networking. It also has a fax machine available for students.

    You're just a troublemaker.

  10. I, for one, was definitely thrilled to see the latest issue of the ABA Journal, which branded solo practitioners as "legal rebels" out there taking chances and changing the game, as opposed to the desperate and jobless we really are. And the article about how bad the Class of '09 is faring was particularly uplifting. It's good to know that our plight has not gone unnoticed...and that we can purchase "Legal Rebel" clothing and accessories to make a bold statement about how we' Legally?

  11. One thing that might be a minor but important tweak is to stop calling people names.

    I've probably said this before, but I stand by it. Call people pre-laws, or some word that is more neutral sounding.

    By calling people lemmings, you have automatically made it an antagonistic relationship and even if they were willing to listen to you in the beginning, will naturally be more inclined to shut you down. That is human nature. You can certainly make your arguments without the name-calling. Your underlying message is sound. Your tone may be too much and counterproductive to achieving your goal. Nobody likes to be yelled at, and nobody likes to be insulted.

    I agree that law school is too expensive and that there should be fewer lawyers created. But i think your tone is too antagonistic. Good luck with your mission.

  12. My apologies if I have offended anyone. Now get back to studying Int'l Shoe LEMMING!

  13. Drake, to retire the word "lemming", then something must replace it. I hereby propose the new phrase "economic rape victim" to refer to law school students.

  14. Don't impugn economics! Try "debt guaranteed-anal rape victim" - has the benefit of clarifying that it is gender neutral. Note that the phrasal adjective is intended.

    Brian Garner would be proud.

  15. I agree why blame the retards, I mean prelaw graduates going to law school. After all they are just following their life's dream. I have a law student in my office and me and the attorney from Harvard both told her knowing what we know now we would not go to law school, but it didn't deter her. Hopefully things turn out well, if not at least she has her looks and great admin skills.

  16. Nando

    That pic is phenomenal

    That should be the official

    "Rising 1L"

  17. Mentally-challenged, debt-soaked, anal rape victims? Is that better, mallard?

  18. Remember - the generation of students entering law school these days was raised with same mantra repeated over and over since they were in nursery school - "You can be anything you want..." This helps explain the delusional, ignore all advice to the contrary attitude these young students (in lieu of "lemmings") have.


    Prospective law students should look at the economic study of choosing to attend law school by Vanderbilt Law professor, Herwig Schlunk. According to his analysis, law school is a bad financial decision for MOST students.

    Also, in this four-page report, the ABA concedes:

    "In reality, however, attending law school can become a financial burden for law students who fail to consider carefully the financial implications of their decision."

    Maybe there is something to what these blogs have been saying about the industry, huh?

  20. There was a time when if asked, I would tell an 0L or college grad to stay away from law school. I lost a couple of friends who took the advice as an insult (i.e., "you are too stupid for law school"). I tried doing these folks a favor but all they thought was "you are just jealous." Jealous of what I asked? I am a partner at midlaw, I own a 5,500 square foot place, two cars that are each worth over six figures and most importantly NO STUDENT LOAN DEBT. Am I lucky? You bet. Was I a legal whiz kid in law school? No. Am I a good at what I do now? Sure, I worked hard (harder now than in law school) and the industry recognizes me in the field. I have been practicing over 15 years now. A lot has changed. For example, in 1998, the firm would get hundreds of resumes from TTT grads from Quinnipiac, Touro, Northeastern, Brooklyn, NYLS, etc. Now we get them from Harvard, Penn, Columbia and NYU grads. The legal profession reached critical mass decades ago.

    Going to law school today is a waste of time and money. The owner of this blog has advice that rang true 20 years ago. I went to a T25 school but I had a full ride and most importantly, I had a "rabbi" connection that hooked me up with a job even before I started law school in biglaw.

    Today, if a kid asks me for advice about law school, I tell them "sure go right ahead." I won't waste anymore breath telling people the truth so that they will only disregard your advice and call you a hater. Most kids today claim to be grown ups that wanted to be treated as adults. Fine, live your life and live up to the responsibilities created by your mistakes. Don't expect me to have sympathy or extend your hand out for a job when you graduate.

  21. What's happening,of course, is that these kids are following the course set by their parents, i.e., the Baby Boomers.

    For the Boomers, college, let alone an advanced education, WAS the ticket. In 1967, with your fresh English Lit. BA (with all due respect)a deferment from Vietnam as well as a white collar job at General Motors was yours for the asking. The Post-World War Two American economy was a relative paradise. High school dropouts scored jobs on the line at the Rouge Plant which they turned into 30 years of steady employment (not that assembly-line work is easy--it can be brutal).

    That economy here no longer exists, but the favored generation for whom this was once the reality has yet to adjust itself, let alone, adjust its expectations for the kids.

    Better get busy redecorating that room above the garage, Boomers. And, it won't be for Gramma.

  22. @5:13

    Yeah, it's too bad. When I got the bright idea to go back to law school, only one attorney friend "warned" me, but it was done in a joking matter that I misinterpreted (the "why torture yourself" approach, not the "dear God run away there are no jobs" approach).

    Oh well, at least he tried. So did you. For what it is worth, if I got the straight-skinny from someone I would have thought about it long and hard. Maybe there are others who will listen.

  23. Boomers will get a dose of reality soon enough. Just wait until their social security/401Ks evaporate, their equity in their house goes to zero based on devaluation of the currency and inability to get decent medical care due to Obama's socialized medicine. My parents are boomers and I won't have a lot of sympathy for them when the s*** hits the fan. I've tried to tell them that the world they grew up in is not the world of today, but they just don't seem to get it, i.e., why aren't you married, big house, fancy job, etc., etc. Boomers are a bunch of spoiled brats.

  24. As we become a global society thanks to Clinton Obama and hell even Bush and his wide open border bailout supporting ass, what do you expect to happen to the value of legal services and the pride and potential that comes with a law degree? Sure there are the top 5% of lawyers who went to top 10 schools who have ins and connections who make big bucks, but they are so connected had they not gone to law school they would be a CEO or some big level partner in a widget company, but those are not the everyday people who are applying to law school and becoming poor because we now let every idiot who can get loans and more often grants be a lawyer often at tax payer expense.

    There are so many law schools pretty soon we will have Nigeria School of Law, Brooklyn Campus or Sahara Desert School of Law, Palm Springs Campus filled with non citizens or the lowest of the low americans who got a scholarship based on government incentives to go at night because they had four kids with four different daddies and now want to improve themselves getting a law degree that can be used as if it was as good as any school the rest of us paid 50k a year to attend.

    As a lawyer who has practiced for 15 years, I tell everyone who even considers going to school not to bother unless you meet similar parameters as outlined in this blog. What the kids graduating face today is the same as 15-20 years ago and even before. Its no different then what I dealt with. At some point you are almost forced to try practicing because the JD gives you no other options other then Radio Shack and Fast Food. As much as I hate the bs of it, I will pretend I am successful and happy before I reapply for my high school job. How is that for a choice in life when you have a brain?

    It will get worse as jobs are outsourced and more immigrant types get accpeted to law school who will work for wages comparable to the overseas factory worker. It forces most anyone else to go solo or work for themselves and those pitfalls are discussed daily. I have been living that dream for too long. The value of my services continues to decrease and it has nothing to do with my abilities. You would think I could charge more as I get better at it and more experience, but if the prices are being driven down while everything else needed to stay in practice goes up, you have to be an idiot to even jump on that coneyer belt. Its so much easier to walk away when you have never practiced.

    If I knew then what I know now, I would have done something entirely different and with all the sound advice based on life experience out there now that is told out of honesty and not to scare competition, you have to be even crazier to take on this debt. Even 15 years ago, there was no support system based on experience and as internet dating has become more the norm, so has admitting you went to law school, cant find a decent job, and live off your parents or spouse. Its not a knock on your intelligence or ability. When I was telling everyone this 15 years ago as I lived in my parents basement with 50k in debt and no job that did not involve fries or beer, I was looked at as a failure or an idiot.

    Yes you can face all that bs after you graduate and luck in to some success and even do decent down the road, but I think the risk outweighs the reward and there needs to be some real change in the field or eventually most law practice for the everyday person will be handled by immigrants from countries whose parents lived on 3 dollars a day and who are now proud Junior makes 10 bucks an hour and has lawyer after his name.

    Life is too short. Do something else and try many things before you dig this hole you cant get out of.

  25. Dear Nando,

    I’m a writer for the New York Observer trying to get in touch but I can’t find contact info. If you’ve got time, I’d appreciate being able to run some questions by you. Any help much appreciated.

  26. The largest, richest group in American history, the Baby Boomers (whose Pell Grants were 66% of tuition and who could declare bankruptcy on student debt), who lived in a world of prosperity paid for with the blood of 50 million people who died in World War II, have gambled in Wall Street Casino, Housing Casino, et al, and lost. The Greatest Generation, who fought WWII, left the brat Baby Boomers everything, but Boomers will leave nothing but a legacy of a spoiled child, a bill. They continue to borrow like there is no tommorrow, for Boomers are consumers, the largest in history. As that group downsizes, the next genration X is half the size (via abortion on demand) and has hardly any of the money, so the Casino Ponzi Economy is over, for now. Generation Y is larger than X but more in debt and has no money. The downturn in the economy will go on for a generation. Demographics are destiny, not the "yes we can" "American" Messiah. Individuals and corporations tried to borrow their way to prosperity and lost, now nations are trying to borrow their way to prosperity. America has a 1st rate military with a third world debt, and we actually borrow billions every day because we cannot pay our bills. American's need jobs not unemployment extensions forever on more borrowed money. The class of 2013 should be told that America is a service economy, and you do not need JD's or PH'd's. More education does not make jobs magically appear. If you borrow money for school, odds are favorable that you will not be middle class, but poor. Borrowing money for school will most likely put you in a class below that which you were born. The Comming Generational storm is a book which shows America's future.

  27. 45,000 new law students opened their casebooks for the first time in the past week or so and are marveling at archaic drivel (e.g., Pennoyer v. Neff, etc.) while daydreaming about becoming as successful as Arnold Becker (from L.A. Law) or Michael Clayton. Meanwhile, the law schools are replenishing their coffers as the student loan checks clear.

    Reality check kids: Next time you are in class look around you. About two thirds of your classmates will never practice law. Of the remaining third that will, about half of them will practice shitlaw and the rest will be sprinkled in government or biglaw posts. This is a statistic that law schools are so adroit at hiding.

    If you have to wonder who in your class will live in penury, mystery solved: you will be among them.


    thought you'd like that.

  29. What's the solution? Other nations are suffering as well. Look at Spain's overall unemployment rate (20+%) and youth unemployment rate (40+%). Will it take a WWIII to change this problem?

  30. To the above poster (8:37PM):

    I thought the solution was to vote for "change." Unfortunately I and many Americans were pwned in November 2008 by a jive talking Harvard Law School grad and community organizer extraordinaire. But hey, we got an overhaul of the healthcare industry right? I am sure that will solve the global economy in the years to come.

  31. And other nations suffer less than we do from these economic downturns because they have stronger social safety nets, including universal healthcare--not the Insurance Industry Bailout we got handed.

    In any case, the problems in the legal industry are separate from--although certainly exacerbated by--the overall recession which we need to start rightly calling a Depression. These problems would exist even if the economy were overall stronger, and they started long before the whole house of cards came crashing down. The oversupply of lawyers has been a subject of discussion for at least a decade.

  32. Sorry, Nando, totally off topic...but, did you see this re your alma mater, Drake?

  33. i did evrything rite!

    i got a 2.5 gpa in collidge!

    i got a 143 on the lsats!

    i got into Zeke's Akademy o' the Laws, oustide of Paducah, Kintucky!!

    And im still only workin as a associate at Kravath, makin only 430K my secind year!!!

    WHY GOD WHY!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Graduated from the worst fourth tier law school in Texas (Marshal)three years ago. I had to send out over 20 applications to be offered 3 jobs and am only making 48,000. I didnt go to law school to only make three times the poverty level!

    I think it is terrible that law schools dont warn people that when you graduate you are lucky to land a job where you make under 4k a month. After my student loan payment, a couple of nice cars for my wife and myself, a tiny 3,500 sq ft 4 bedroom, 2 private school tuitions for the kids, there is not even enough left over for us to take a good vacation.

    It is ridiculous! I did not go to law school to have to live next to plumbers and liquor store owners either. I had thought that i would at least be able to afford a sprawling ranch outside of town, but instead i have to live in a gated community in the city because i cant even afford the mortgage on a ranch.

  35. I feel for current law school students and recent grads. As a boomer, I lived through a situation that was similar to the current one. (But, if the economy continues to sour, it may be significantly better than the situation in a few years.) I graduated high school during the 1973 recession and I couldn't find a job. So I did what everyone said was the right thing and went to a public university (and lived in my car for months a few different times - even during the sub 20 degree winter - and ate out of garbage cans because students were not eligible for governmental assistance like food stamps, even ones like me who also worked 30+ hours a week but did not always get paid because some of the employers folded or just wouldn't pay), only to graduate at the time of another recession (1976). I finally found a job with another employer who paid me but often several weeks late (so that I kept getting hit with late fees). More living in my car. Yeah, those were fun times. Being a boomer was so easy and wonderful. (It generally was for early boomers but not for people my age.)

    So I went to a top law school, thinking that would be my way out of poverty. It was, but like many here, the only way to finance that was to work 30+ hours a week - virtually none of it in the law field, most of it unskilled one-time jobs - while in law school (plus summer work with law firms) and take on a lot of debt. (It's miniscule in absolute terms compared to the amount now but it was almost four times my pre-tax salary after I graduated. So it was a big burden, especially because my husband had only slightly less debt and made less than I did.)

    I went to a top law school, was an editor of the law review plus a more specialized law journal, and graduated in the top 25% of my class. I was very lucky (and very relieved) to get a job at a mid-sized law firm. Like now, law firms were downsizing, not adding new attorneys. Sure, some people in my class (and the class before mine) got great jobs but many didn't get any law-related job at all (and most of us were willing to work almost anywhere).

    That was 27 years ago. We were the classes that the article was alluding to when it said "The recent wave of legal layoffs, rescinded job offers, and even bankruptcies has created the ugliest market for lawyers . . . in more than a quarter century." It sucked.

    And, as many of you realize, you will be tainted for life.

    "In one recent study, [Lisa Kahn] found that, . . . for every one-percentage-point increase in the national unemployment rate, the starting income of new graduates fell by as much as 7 percent; the unluckiest graduates of the decade, who emerged into the teeth of the 1981–82 recession, made roughly 25 percent less in their first year than graduates who stepped into boom times.

    But what’s truly remarkable is the persistence of the earnings gap. . . . Seventeen years after graduation, those who had entered the workforce during inhospitable times were still earning 10 percent less on average than those who had emerged into a more bountiful climate."

    Peck, "How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America", The Atlantic (3/10)

    When the economy picks up, most employers will prefer to hire those who just graduated than those who have been un- or underemployed during the recession.

    A friend of mine who graduated from a top 10 law school in 1982 (and did reasonably well there - top third of his class) found a corporate job. Unfortunately, that job was eliminated and he is still (in 2010) picking up any scraps of legal work than he can find. His wife, who works as a legal secretary (and did not go to law school), has done far better than he has. She's lost her job due to layoffs and bankruptcies (of the firm) too but it's been much easier for her to find new jobs.

  36. SeTTTon Hall Law voted America's most ROTTEN TOILET!

  37. All prospective law students should be forced to watch this video:

  38. Sorry, here's a better link:

  39. Recent grad here to deliver an agry disjointed rant. I can't begin to describe the mental turmoil that haunts me every single day of my post-grad apocalypse. I was a top student at a TTTT and now I'm unemployed and living with my parents. Every interaction I experience / observation I make serves as a stark reminder of how destitute my future has become. I can't even get a job at a fucking department store. No money, no interviews, little hope. At least I've developed a serious alcohol problem! Relatives are completely fucking clueless. They spout platitudes and look at you like you're fucking retarded. Hey Uncle Jeff, I'm sure life has been real tough jerking off at the state's expense for the past 25 years. Fuck you. Can't even look at facebook anymore. Why do all these people get to have happy lives (e.g., buy houses, get married, have careers, have children, etc.), while I waste away in failure. I worked my fucking tail off in LS and now have realized that the last three years of my life were for nothing. I'm really suprised there haven't been more suicides. I've tried to dissuade 0Ls from taking the plunge--they DON'T listen. Literally, I've been told "I don't want to hear that." These kids are FUCKED. Good luck you stupid pieces of shit.

  40. There have been some great, piercing comments on this blog entry. For instance, if you attend law school, the risks FAR outweigh the rewards. Taking on $150K for a very remote chance to earn $160K as a first year associate in a Biglaw firm is just one example of this behavior. (With the use of foreign lawyers and non-lawyers on American legal discovery, you can be assured that fewer Biglaw firms will offer $160K starting salaries to train recent U.S. lawyers.)

    In fact, by going to law school, it is FAR MORE LIKELY that you will: (a) not ever practice law; (b) work as a solo or in a small toiletlaw firm, making $35K-$45K; (c) leave the practice of law after a few years - for various reasons; and (d) not be able to repay your student loans and your bills, mortgage/rent, and other obligations.

    Baby Boomers benefitted from the U.S. bombing the hell out of Europe and Japan. Therefore, we were able to produce and manufacture on a large scale with no real overseas competitors. People were able to land decent jobs with a high school diploma. To be fair, some of this work could be back-breaking. However, there is something to be said for having a steady job for 30+ years.

    For those who went to college, the future felt limitless. Tuition was low. One of my teachers at Third Tier Drake told me that his tuition - for one year - at Duke Law School was about $3,000. A person could work his way through college also. My wife’s father went to Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. His yearly tuition bill was about $800, and books were less than $100 for both semesters combined. I will note that he was also an out-of-state student. He only has a Bachelor’s degree, and is now a bank president. In fact, he has always been a bank executive since he earned his degree.

    We can see that KSU is still a bargain for undergrad: $6,228 for two semesters for a Kansas resident, and $16,520 for a non-resident. However, it seems that most students will need to take out student loans to attend school here. How many kids could earn a B.S. from this public school and land a job as a bank executive today? The last time I talked to him, I told him flatly that he believes in “higher education” because for his generation, it really did lead to a better life and more opportunities. This is no longer the case.

    In the United States, the highly educated lumpenproletariat consists of millions. I refer to them as such, because this group will never achieve class consciousness. Everyone prefers to believe - or give the false impression of being - a member of the "middle class."

    Reality check: if your liabilities exceed your net worth, you cannot honestly say that you are "middle class." Life, indeed, is too short – and more education DOES NOT make jobs magically appear. Too bad this sound advice will largely fall on deaf ears.

  41. The law schools plain and simple just don't teach one how to practice law. They were not designed to put kids out on the street to "practice law" solo. The social contract was, formerly, I believe (not having experienced it myself, of course): "new graduate, we will hire and train you, and in exchange for that, you will work like a rented mule." Expecting someone to go it alone straight out of school is essentially suicide, absent ingredients some may have, like preexisting valuable contacts or significant experience in a related non-law field, perhaps insurance or accounting. That is why medical school has these things called internships and residencies and such. They are for a reason.

  42. Even if you land a $160K gig out of law school, those jobs are NOT, I repeat NOT, stable. One day one of the partners will stop by your office as your going about your business. He'll tell you that things aren't working out for various reasons, e.g., inferior work product, low hours, not partnership material, firm is cutting back, etc., and give you six months (generous) to find another job. This is a common occurence in BigFlaw (I'm sure others can chime in as well). The bottom line is you may not be able to land on your feet making a comparable salary. This is what happened to me after 3 years of BigLaw. Now I labor away as a contract attorney doing menial scut work for low pay, no benefits, no respect and no job security (but that's already a given). I wouldn't go to law school now. It's too expensive. As Nando has repeated stated, (paraphrasing), unless you have rich parents who are footing the bill, or you are politically connected, you are basically screwed. I graduated in the early 2000's and I'm screwed, but the class of 2013 ... you're really screwed. Good Luck!

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  44. My secretary's 16 year old son wants to be a lawyer. She is against the idea as she has seen firsthand what a miserable profession this is. She asked me if I would talk some reality to her son. Today I took her son to a downtown biglaw firm where one of my law school buddies is a partner. My friend was able to show us the "dungeon" where the contract attorneys are posted. It was a windowless sweltering hellhole these contract attorneys were in. My friend told the 16 year old kid that these attorneys once had big aspirations and now get paid a pittance with no health benefits. We then passed by an associate's office who had apparently worked at the office through the Labor Day weekend and smelled as if he hadn't showered in days. With dark circles around his eyes and the specter of death behind him my friend asked the kid: "guess how old that 3rd year associate is?" "45" answered the kid. "He is only 29" responded my buddy.

    Well after our field trip the kid was silent and looked quite demoralized. My secretary called me earlier tonight to thank me. Apparently her son does not want to be a lawyer anymore. I told my secretary that her son was a bright young man for recognizing what he saw today. Nando, I now know what it feels like to save a soul. It feels great. Keep up the good work.

  45. nando @ 9/7

    For the most part, it was the Silent Generation (those born between 1925 and 1945), who benefited from post-WWII lack of foreign competition , not the Boomers. Some of the early Boomers benefited but not most Boomers.

    You seem to think that your FIL's experience (of not needing to take out loans and getting a good job upon graduation) was typical for Boomers. All the Boomers that I know took out loans to go to a public university. Most of us worked and took out large loans. The loans were very small in today's terms but they were large given the economy at the time. E.g., the loan that I took out to attend a very cheap state university was about the same amount as my parents had paid (purchase price) for their house 15 years before I graduated from college. I worked 30 or more hours a week while in college so I wouldn't have to borrow as much. Otherwise I would have owed even more. Everyone I knew, except Vietnam vets and a few rich kids, owed at least as much as I did. Most owed more.

    Jobs weren't plentiful either. The US economy was subject to many recessions following WWII. There were recessions in 1945, 1949, 1953, 1958, and 1960 - 61. The people who graduated from around 1962 or 63(?) through 1969 were lucky (although I'd bet that many who graduated in 1969 were either underemployed or laid off shortly after they were hired). They graduated into a long period of growth.

    Those of us who graduated in the 1970s or early 1980s (most of the Baby Boomers) weren't as lucky. There were recessions in 1969- 1970, 1973 - 1975, 1980, and 1981 - 82. I doubt that unemployment disappeared quickly following these recessions. I know it didn't for the 1973 - 1975 recession because few of my friends who graduated from college around that time (1975 - 1977) could find work. Like many of you, we weren't just looking for work in our fields. We were looking for any work. After looking for over a year, I found a job paying slightly more than minimum wage. But it really paid less than minimum wage because, while I was paid for working 40 hours a week, I was expected to work 60. And I was glad that I found that job working for less than minimum wage. Some of my college friends couldn't find any job.

    The recession may have been over officially but few were hiring most college grads. Doctors, engineers, and nurses did well. Some teachers did OK, but many local school districts were downsizing, not adding new staff, because there were fewer kids to teach. Some accountants did OK, but they didn't make much and their jobs were often temporary. My friends who'd majored in business, computer programming, science (except those who became doctors), social science, or the humanities struggled to find jobs. And that was after the recession had ended.

    The early to mid-1980s were even worse. Many people who went to the top law schools couldn't find work. The only people I knew who found legal jobs from law schools that were ranked around 50 - 75 worked as paralegals or legal secretaries. At least half of them had worked as paralegals or legal secretaries before they had gone to law school (and incurred a boatload of debt). (NB: This was from a small and biased sample because I met them while I was working as an attorney. But none of them regretted their decision to work as paralegals or legal secretaries. They told me that they were doing better than many of their classmates and their jobs were more secure.) I'm sure that there were exceptions and some people got much better jobs, but those were the exceptions.

    By the late 1980s, the economy had recovered and, with a couple of fairly brief exceptions, did well until 2007. But Gen X, not the Boomers, were the primary beneficiaries of that period. They were the ones who graduated into a booming economy, not the Boomers.

  46. Baby Boomers are the largest richest group in America, and they are also the fattest. Boomers grew up with mommy at home and daddy working. A key understanding of that generation is that they never take blame, have a victim mentality, and are selfish to the core, (ie, spoiled children.) This is also the first generation with bumper stickers that state they are spending their children's inheritance. "La, la, la, la, la, live for today" is their theme song. Boomers are the generation that could declare bankruptcy and wipe out student debt. Boomers are the generation that got divorced and remarried more than any generation. Their legacy is abortion and divorce. They did drugs when they were young and now want drugs for everything, viagra to keep it up and pot for medical reasons. Boomers are the generation that inflated every market they bought into during their life cycles. Wall Steet Casino from 1982 low to 2000 top is nothing more than Boomer 401K money needing a place to invest ( I am sorry, I meant gamble.) Why is the year 2000 at Dow 10000 the relative top? Because that group was at their prime earning years. The last 10 years was housing ATM money and credit card borrowing. Generation X as a group did not participate in buying McMansions and SUV's. A Baby Boomer is a consumer. They grew up in a post WW II consumer economy. They will borrow and borrow to keep their lifestyle. The Greatest Generation left their kids an inheritance; Baby Boomers will leave their kids a bill. Research generational groups and demographics for the facts, and for the future. Demographic trends are destiny. On a personal note, I was raised by a Greatest Generation grandmother, a Silent Generation father, and a Baby Boomer mother. All three generations lived up to their learning from their childhood understanding of the world. The grandmother was a saver and made sure I had an inheritance, the father was a hard worker, and the mother was a spender. As a generation X, I learned the best lessons from my grandmother, and today I am debt free. The rule, however, will be that unless things drastically change, generation X and future generations are not going to have the lifestyle that Baby Boomers lived.

  47. I am one of those people who you are trying to warn about going to law school. However it seems you are talking about students who go into excessive debt.

    What about if you go to a state school - University of Missouri - Columbia or Kansas City for me for example,

    - and you always intend to Stay in Missouri or Illinois,

    -tuition is 14k a year, without considering you are fairly certain you can aquire some scholarship. so 45k in debt.

    Would the downside be as crippling as going to say St. Louis University or John Marshall, expensive privae schools with 100k in debt?

    I am under no illusions of grandeur. My role model is one of the three lawyers in my small town of 5000. He has a decent house, and put 3 kids through private high school and then notre dame. He has a small 3 man practice, but it was enough to live comforably, take a vacation to another country every year, golf every week, and put kids through school.

    Something liek that is fine for me. If I do better than that, its a bonus.

    So considering my aspirations, would a law degree from Public U with relatively low debt be that bad?

  48. As long as you understand the negative ramifications of the JD, just in case the practice of law doesn't work out for you.

    It must be kept in mind that, for otherwise unconnected people, the JD is a CRIPPLER in the non-law world. IF you don't like the practice of law and pursue a non-law career, keep in mind that non-law employers LOATHE the JD. They are highly suspicious of JD-holders who aren't practicing law. There are no bonus points or value added by the JD to your resume in the non-law employment world. Those bullshit stories you will find from law school apologists/shills/trolls about how "valuable" a JD is across-the-board are just that--utter bullshit. The JD is valuable outside law ONLY for those who have preexisting successful non-law careers or significant and valuable personal contacts and connections.

    Those are the caveats. Otherwise, your idea about pursuing a low-debt degree to practice in an area you have seemingly scouted out and are familiar with sounds reasonable to attempt. I sincerely wish you success.

  49. Lizzy, don't go to law school. If you must, go cheap. Is your role model going to hire you when you graduate? Probably not. Have you ever heard of living expenses? I don't what the COL is in the areas you are talking about, but expect to flush at least an additional $10k a year down the toilet. If in a city, at least $15k. And that's living off scraps. Oh and then there's the 3 years of earnings you will sacrifice on top of the rest.

  50. I taught as an Adjunct at a NYC area tier 2 law school and was not asked to return purely because I told the kids that if they did not find themselves in the top half at the end of the year they should drop out immediately. Moreover, I told them that their grades were the only thing to focus on in school. Apparently, the school would rather that I perpetuate the touchy feely myth that if you're a good guy, a job will land in your lap, despite having a 2.8 from TTT.

    They offered to have me teach a different class and I told them to go fuck themselves and that I would not participate in perpetuating a fraud upon society and upon these unsuspecting impressionable kids.

  51. Lizzy, I attended Third Tier Drake on a full-tuition scholarship. Prior to moving out to Des Moines, I had saved up about $7,000 from my job. My wife was employed full-time while I went to law school.

    That being said, my wife - armed with a Master's degree - was not able to earn more than $31K per year. I typically only made about $4,000 a year. We lived frugally, and did not have any kids. We both owned used, reliable cars. And I still took out $37K in additional student loans for law school.

    I know PLENTY of people who took out $120K+ to attend the Drake University Insurance Defense and Court-Appointed List Preparation Academy. The reality is that UMKC is a third rate law school. (However, some faculty members at Third Tier Drake are graduates of UMKC's law school.)

    Will you be living with your parents? You seem to think that all of your student loan debt will be due to tuition. You MUST take living expenses, insurance, books, food and gas into account - when considering law school. These expenses are largely out of the school's control. However, scholarships do not cover these expenses. I hope you take this advice seriously. I write this blog as a person who was fortunate to minimize his law school debt.

  52. lizzy,

    Have you worked at a law firm (preferably the type you'd like to practice at)? Can you live at home or have someone else (e.g., spouse) pay your living expenses while at law school?

    What are your other options now? Do you have a good job now? Do you have good connections for future business in the geographic area in which you'd like to practice? Have you talked to the 3Ls at UMKC or UMSL? Is it feasible for you to do so?

  53. I won't respond to most of the long string of unsupported ad hominems @11:17 AM except for this part, since it is relevant to this blog: "Boomers are the generation that could declare bankruptcy and wipe out student debt."

    This is true. We could, but only after paying for seven full years on our 10-year loans. (Any period in which the loan was not fully being paid down, e.g., deferment or skipped payments) was not counted toward the seven years. (Sometimes the loans were five-year loans because the lenders were savvy and didn't want to risk the borrower declaring bankruptcy but IIRC - and it's been a long time - we could at least sometimes consolidate those with the 10-year loans through Sallie Mae so I'll treat all loans as 10-year loans for simplicity. All my loans were 10-year loans.) The other catch was that the clock on your UG loans (or other prior loans) reset when you took out new educational debt. E.g., I'd paid on my UG loans for a 3-4 years before going to law school. But because I'd borrowed more for law school (and those loans were consolidated - I don't think I had an option about that), the clock on my UG loans was reset to seven full years of payments after I'd graduated from law school.

    So, yes, we could declare bankruptcy for 30% (or less, see my UG example) of our loans if we weren't working somewhere that would fire us or otherwise severely punish us for declaring bankruptcy. And that was better than never having the option to have your loans discharged via bankruptcy without showing undue hardship. (You can still have your student loans discharged via bankruptcy if you can show undue hardship, just as you could then. Those rules have not changed.)

    I'm on your side here. People my age (e.g., boomers) were misled by the same rhetoric that aspiring lawyers hear now. And, like many of you, many of us were crushed by the debt. You are turning away potential allies when you direct ad hominem at a whole generation.

  54. "You are turning away potential allies when you direct ad hominem at a whole generation." Our only allies are those who understand that the fundamental problems afflicting the current 18-35 generation are radically different than those faced by 50-65 year olds in the 1970s.

    Your last paragraph makes me think that you don't really get it. No one here would dispute that people have been crushed by student loan debt in the past, and no one in their right mind believes law school has always been a one-way ticket to those 100k jobs for everyone.

    The problem really is generational and demographic. A 5-minute look into social history and a cursory understanding of supply and demand would show this. The problem is that 95% of baby boomers don't wish to think, and would rather believe that everyone with a BA and a JD who can't find a good job is lazy or a defective human being.

    In 1975, a BA/JD was a relative golden ticket for 95% of the population. Today, it just isn't. Neither is a BA by itself. Or an MBA. Or a Master's in many fields. But none of the baby boomer's seem to want to open their eyes about this and so they keep telling us to work harder and go get more education and that the problem is with US.

    It's not, and it never has been. In 1975, a high school education could start someone on a career as an office manager or a factory worker, a good living. It doesn't today because the Baby Boomers have systematically farmed every gosh-darned field that they can overseas while showing absolutely no concern for the long-term well-being of the country. Meanwhile, they take up a significant portion of jobs by working until they die ("but I need more for retirement, wah wah wah") while hypocritically calling all of us young'uns - who collectively have SIGNIFICANTLY more education than the Baby Boomers - a bunch of lazy worthless whatevers.

    Well, fuck them, and fuck you if you don't understand where the anger comes from (which, from your response, I'm not sure you do). You're really only our ally if you hire a young JD, refuse to work with anyone who farms work overseas, and actively help expose the law school fraud.

  55. "You are turning away potential allies when you direct ad hominem at a whole generation." Our only allies are those who understand that the fundamental problems afflicting the current 18-35 generation are radically different than those faced by 50-65 year olds in the 1970s.

    Your last paragraph makes me think that you don't really get it. No one here would dispute that people have been crushed by student loan debt in the past, and no one in their right mind believes law school has always been a one-way ticket to those 100k jobs for everyone.

    The problem really is generational and demographic. A 5-minute look into social history and a cursory understanding of supply and demand would show this. The problem is that 95% of baby boomers don't wish to think, and would rather believe that everyone with a BA and a JD who can't find a good job is lazy or a defective human being.

    In 1975, a BA/JD was a relative golden ticket for 95% of the population. Today, it just isn't. Neither is a BA by itself. Or an MBA. Or a Master's in many fields. But none of the baby boomer's seem to want to open their eyes about this and so they keep telling us to work harder and go get more education and that the problem is with US.

    It's not, and it never has been. In 1975, a high school education could start someone on a career as an office manager or a factory worker, a good living. It doesn't today because the Baby Boomers have systematically farmed every gosh-darned field that they can overseas while showing absolutely no concern for the long-term well-being of the country. Meanwhile, they take up a significant portion of jobs by working until they die ("but I need more for retirement, wah wah wah") while hypocritically calling all of us young'uns - who collectively have SIGNIFICANTLY more education than the Baby Boomers - a bunch of lazy worthless whatevers.

    Well, fuck them, and fuck you if you don't understand where the anger comes from (which, from your response, I'm not sure you do). You're really only our ally if you hire a young JD, refuse to work with anyone who farms work overseas, and actively help expose the law school fraud.

  56. @5:16 PM

    "The problem is that 95% of baby boomers don't wish to think, and would rather believe that everyone with a BA and a JD who can't find a good job is lazy or a defective human being."

    If you read my posts above, you'll see that I don't think that at all, nor do the people I know who are around my age, especially people with JDs. Many of my classmates, who went to a top law school, could not find any legal work (and I'm including contract work, document prep, and similar low-level jobs) even if they had done well in law school but were below the top 10% of the class. I can't speak for my entire generation because that would be arrogant and silly.

    Most of the people I know who got BAs could not find secure jobs in the 1970s. Those jobs weren't there and no one wanted to hire most people with UG degrees because we were either "overqualified" or "lack[ed] experience". (It was supply and demand, as you say. There were far too many workers competing for *any* work - no matter how temporary or poorly paid - in an economy that was essentially in a recession for almost the entire 1970s. I see a similar situation for people coming out of law school or UG now.)

    I don't agree that in 1975 people who had a HS or UG education and did not have good connections could get a job as an office manager. I'm sure that a few did but those were the exceptions. Most of us would take *any* job we could find. Some HS grads could get factory jobs but not people with UG degrees because we were "overqualified". (Again, I'm sure that there were exceptions but they were exceptions, not the rule.)

    I think you're right that people (including but certainly not limited to boomers) assume that if you have a JD degree, you should (easily) be able to find good jobs. People (mostly the Greatest Generation and the Silent Generation but also other Boomers) assumed that about people my age when we couldn't find good jobs as lawyers (or any decent job, whether law-related or not) too.

    I thought that perception was one of the things this blog was fighting against. If so, I think that perception is widespread among the general public and is not limited to any particular generation. Fighting among different age cohorts of people who have been misled into believing that a JD (especially from a good school) was a ticket to good jobs instead of a ticket to a mountain of debt harms that cause. That's a set up for a divide and conquer strategy by those who wish to perpetuate the perception that a JD is the ticket to a good life.

    (BTW, I'm in no position to hire anyone so if that's a non-negotiable demand, I guess you only want successful lawyers as your allies. That seems very counterproductive to me since your natural allies would tend to be those who are not in that position.)


  58. Thanks for all your comments guys.

    Ok, here is the entire lowdown on my situation. Basically, I want a "prestige" job with upside potential. I currently work at a small environmental engineering company with the lofty title of "staff scientist". In reality i make just 30k, and cant advance in the company unless I drum up clients.

    Most of my family is doctors and nurses, and all my famiy's social cirle is doctors, so I feel the crushing expectation to "excel". However, I just could never get the enthusiasm for medicine. On the positive side, they are very supportive and will pay for a lot of my education. My folks make total about 150k in a small town practice, but I got siblings, my dad has got to retire some day etc, so I cant just drop 150k bill in his lap either.

    I did have one grandpa who was an attorney. He was just a house counsel, not rich, but was respected by all, and when he died, an entire cathedral filled with former clients, politicians, business people came to pay respects. I never forgot that. Could that be me one day?

    As for contacts, there is the lawyer in my town who does well, as I said who we are friendly with. Our church is very tightly knit. My dad advertises in the church bulletin for example. Our close fiends are all doctors, and they are very close to the administration of their respective hospitals. My dad could also recommend me to patients, and they all listen to him. However, we have no direct connection to law firms. Even then, could this be parlayed into some kind of practice?

    In addition, my soon to be fiance just became a nurse. just 30k though, but I assume will get more with more experience.

    So there is my financial situation. Although I dont lose sleep over my financial situation, I dont want to waste 50k of my folks money, and most importantly 3 year of my life and lost income on something which will get me nothing in the end.

    however, if from the situation above, if I might be able to join a small practice or make my own in a small town, would going to law school be worth it? I heard that while in cities there is a glut of lawyers, small towns are actually decreasing in lawyers as old ones retire. As for UMKC, I dont know if that matters in small town. The judges, lawyers, and doctors in my area are from mostly 3rd/4th tier places, and they make good money like my dad. I guess because nobody wants to come to a rural area. I know I sound like I am trying to convince myself in spite of what you guys are saying. Still, is what I am proposing so unreasonable or so unlikely?

    Thanks again all for the feedback.

  59. lizzy,

    I think you should talk to the attorney that you're friendly with. What does he think about your prospects as a new attorney in that town? Are there enough clients to support another attorney? How likely is it that other (new) attorneys might move to the area? How much would you need to spend to develop your practice? How long would that probably take? Are your contacts likely to provide enough work to support you? If not, how might you develop new contacts? (This last question could be helpful for your current job if you decide not to go to law school.)

    Talk to your doctor friends as well. Do the hospitals you refer to send much work to local outside attorneys or is it done in-house (or, e.g., sent to a law firm outside the area)? Do the administators that your friends are close to make those decisions or does someone else (e.g., someone at a central corporate location if the hospital is affiliated with other hospitals)? How much influence would your friends be likely to have over such decisions? (Try to read between the lines here because they may think that they have more influence than they will.) If the hospitals send it to outside firms, how likely is it that they'll ditch those firms to send some of the work your way? How much work would you be likely to get from them? How much would you be likely to make from that work (i.e., is it low-margin sporadic work or high-margin frequent and regular work to use the two extremes)?

    Could you become a hospital administator (e.g., by getting an MBA)? Would that work for you?

    Are you still in touch with the politicians and business people who attended your grandfather's funeral? If not, have you tried contacting them? (I'd do this both for your current job and in trying to decide whether you should become an attorney.)

    It would be good to talk to 3Ls at the law school you'd most like to attend or at least the law school that would be the most convenient for you to visit (preferably married ones who are in a similar financial situation to yours but any 3Ls will give you a better idea than you have now). You may not care if they got job offers, but they will have a good idea about the actual expenses that you're likely to incur if you go there. (Don't forget that tuition, books, and living expenses go up each year.)

    Why do you think it would be easier to generate clients as an attorney than it is as staff scientist?

    IMO your situation is better than the average law student's. It's worth investigating whether law practice might work out for you but I hope you don't apply to law schools until you've done a lot of legwork to give yourself the best possible chance of success. I'd also look at other possible careers (and investigate them just as thoroughly) and try to develop clients in your current job. (You'll probably need to do a lot of that as an attorney so it's good practice if nothing else.) Good luck!

  60. thanks so much for putting time into your response! those are a lot of good questions and I got to do the legwork like you said before making the jump. - I had not even thought of being a hospital admin and getting an MBA.

    I started realizing though from reading your reply, so many things I didnt think of...
    Basically it seems, the way to succeed in anything is to be clever to spot opportunities, and have the moxy to hustle and find clients. If I have no idea how to do that at my current job, it will be just the same when I am a lawyer.

  61. Did it ever occur to you that the reason that that cathedral filled had nothing to do with the fact that your grandfather was an attorney? If your looking for respect, you're fooling yourself to believe that the general public will respect you more for being a lawyer. People hate lawyers. They really do.

  62. Law school is a waste of time, particularly if you go to a shitty law school. You will only get a job if you are in the top 5% at the end of the first year, period, maybe 10% and/or you have connections that will get you the job. Even these days connections mean less because everyone is using theirs and even the connected have to stand in line.

    Law degrees are like assholes, everybody's got one.

    Having said that, if you have an engineering degree (M.E. or E.E.) or a physical science degree, you should be, notice I say "should be" ok because no one has that talent.

    Most lawyers have Poly Sci, English or some other uttlerly useless discipline. good luck,

  63. lizzy,

    Finding clients is an important part of most professions. And one that you generally get no training for in school and little, if any, help with after you begin working (whether you're an attorney, an engineer/scientist, an accountant, or a business person).

    But, IMO, you are in a better position than most to learn this skill. Talk to the attorney in your town. Best case scenario is that he's had more work than he can handle for at least a few years (and expects that to continue) and he hooks you up with/gives you leads to people who might be able to give you business in your current job. He might even be interested in hiring you/throwing you some work if you get a JD or in mentoring you about bringing in clients if you stay in your current job. Worst case scenario is that his workload/client base has been declining (and he expects that to continue) and he has no idea about who might need the services of your environmental engineering firm. At least you'll have that information and can make a better judgment about what to do now.

    Talk to the doctors (as suggested above) but try to get them to set up an informational interview with one (or more) of the hospital administators or provide an introduction to her/him. Prepare for this interview by learning whatever you can about the job before you talk to the administator. You can tell the hospital administator that you're thinking about going either into hospital administration or law and see what they think about those options. Are there jobs available as a hospital administator in your geographic area? What's their typical day like? How much of their job involves getting new business for the hospital and how much involves other things? (Find out what those other things are likely to be before the interview so that you can ask more informed questions - I can't be more specific in my suggestions bc I don't know the field.) Would an MBA be the best route or would some other degree be strongly preferred (e.g., a degree that focused on hospital administation)? Would your UG degree help you? (If it would, they may be or know of potential clients for your current job, so that would be a good lead, but you might also find out that some parts of hospital admin could be a good fit for you.) Do they know of any jobs in the medical field where you could use your UG degree, possibly with a few years of additional training (e.g., some of the non-MD specialties in radiology)? You'd probably have to worry less about bringing in new business if that's a possiblity (but make sure that's accurate before you go into that field!!!!).

    I think you have some good potential leads, both for finding out about non-engineering careers and for possibly bringing in work to your current firm. I would pursue them so that, whatever you decide, you're relatively well informed about your options. Again, good luck!

  64. Have to agree with 11:44 Lizzy. The problem with law is the substantial DOWNSIDE of the JD if law doesn't work out for you personally. It overqualifies you for everything else in the "civilian", or non-law, world. Whereas medicine, nursing and the allied health fields all seem to have fairly strong demand curves. PLUS, there's the absolute glut of non-elite JD's out there. Also, do not underestimate the fact law schools do not, repeat, DO NOT prepare you to practice law. In law school, you will be studying bullshit age-old nonsensical case law that your "professor" finds interesting. Law school sucks, it really does.

    In short, ask yourself if you want to be an attorney NO MATTER WHAT, or, if you just love the IDEA of being an attorney, somewhat more for status reasons than your actual understanding of what the job really is. Are you ready for 2 a.m. calls from annoying bubba clients regarding mom's estate, as they fight over the riding mower? Of crazy people in the throes of bitterly contested divorces? If it is for status, beware, as law lost its lustre a long time ago. Back in the day, a bar card shown to court personnel brought you into the fast lane and around the metal detector. Not no more, kiddo. You stand in line with all the civilians now and open your stuff up too. I sense a concern by you in there regarding family and what they think of you success-wise. Recognize that law is a cutthroat gig, not to be entered into frivolously or for any other reason than actually wanting to be a lawyer. Best of luck.

  65. Let's not forget that Sotomayor probably didn't pay a dime anyway - she is an affirmative action lightweight -



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