Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Law School Myth

Sometime during college I decided that I was going to be a lawyer. I had no real interest in the law but it seemed like a nice paying, respectable profession. People seem to respect attorneys. So I got an internship at a law firm, joined my college's "pre-law association, and built my resume up through Fraternity and other club activities. My LSAT(Law School Entrance Exams) scores were solid but unfortunately my GPA wasn't anything special due to my heavy party and fornication schedule. I didn't really know anything at the time and I figured that as long as I got accepted into a law school I would be golden.

A long story short...I got into a few lower tier law schools but after graduation I immediately scored a job in sales with a liquor company. My law school dreams quickly ended and my alcohol tolerance and "notch count" rapidly increased.

Fast forward to the present day.

So about 4 months ago as I was working in my horrible corporate gig (it involved attorneys and recruiting) I got the law school bug again and re-applied to many of the same shit law schools I had applied to before. I figured this would be a way to lend some credibility to my life and "give me direction". Plus I was suicidal walking from the Metro to my office every morning so I knew I had to change something. Why did I leave the liquor biz for more money?!?

I tell this story because I recently got into a few of these lower tier schools (U Baltimore, New England School of Law, Texas Tech). Well heres the nasty little secret about any non top 30-40 law schools:

When you attend a tier 2,3,or 4 law school you have to finish top 5-10 % of your class, or have an incredible connection within a major firm to leave law school and make "real" money. Many kids, like myself, get tricked into attended a lower tier law school with promises of a 90% employment rate straight after graduation, but in reality that 90% is only the people that respond to the stupid ass surveys. Most lower tier law grads struggle stuggle stuggle. Most of the these schools are simply diploma mills looking to make money. How do I know this???

Because in my corporate gig I dealt with these sad sack attorneys who are having to do temporary attorney work, owed 150K in law school loans, and couldn't find permanent work. Now in their defense, some of them choose to do temporary work (which consists of reviewing documents for 70 hours a week...very mundane work. Trained monkeys could do it), but most of them are forced into the drudgery of temp work to pay their huge law school debts.

Its only about 5 -10% of all law school grads who come out of school to plum, 140K a year jobs with big law firms. Most lawyers are taking 45 K a year jobs or doing temp work and struggling to make ends meet.

I could go ahead and attend Texas Tech, but unless I want to live and work in Lubbock or in the Texas region, I will never get a good job in any other major city. Lower tier schools will allow you to maybe find work where that school is located but not anywhere else. I met a young attorney who graduated from Golden Gate U Law in San Francisco. He had just moved to DC and was hoping I could help him find work. Well needless to say I couldn't and I'd be willing to bet hes still looking. I always just thought a law degree opened all the doors for you...this is not true.

Now that my life outlook and beliefs have changed and are constantly changing...I understand that status and titles (attorney) don't mean shit. I'm glad I dodged a bullet by not taking out a loan for 140 K and attending a law school for three more years. Unless you're going to a big dog law school or you absolutely LOVE the law and would do anything to work in it...I just don't think its worth it.

PS: I've gotten more booty being a poor, unemployed man of Richmond VA than I did as a somewhat successful corporate drone in Washington DC. It goes to show you how money, jobs and status mean nothing. My inner-game is simply becoming to tight for the rich kids to compete with.
PS II: If you are thinking about Law School check out this website. He's a disgruntled temporary attorney. Read through the links and articles. You WILL start to think twice about law school.


dchero said...

And even if you do make it as a lawyer, aren't the hours awful? If you love it, it doesn't matter, but do that many lawyers love it? Popular opinion would say that they don't.

Ava V. said...

most people definitely do it for the status symbol. they assume money = happiness, unfortunately they couldn't be more wrong.

Anonymous said...

What are currently Jack? A hobo?

You may want to reconsider the law.

Anonymous said...

This blog is getting boring quick. Ack!

John Patrick said...

Dude--- I can tell you just from reading this blog: do not go to law school. I highly doubt it is what you are looking for at this point.