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oh shit, I think I want to be a lawyer

Clay

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,438
That’s the thing
Im starting to doubt the economics path. Only one that sounds appealing is consulting or a think tank
But how does one even get into that
Start networking. Read as many reports as you can and email the teams writing them. Most people are happy to answer questions or respond to feedback. Start becoming an expert on topics that interest you. Start practicing cleaning and analyzing data. There are a ton of interesting public datasets, learn Python or R and start playing around. Take note of interesting visualizations and learn to emulate them. See if there's any local firms that offer internships. Go to conferences and ask other people how they got started.
 

HeySeuss

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,758
Ohio
Prepare for 200k in student loans and years of doing shit work before you can even think about getting the job you want. If you go private practice you will put in extremely long hours to make enough money to pay your bills (maybe) for the first 3 years before hopefully you create a client base and start making decent money.
 

SecondNature

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,839
Well this thread is depressing. I was looking into law school as a back up plan because my current career is painful in how saturated it is (education).

Corporate law was what I was guessing. Im also doing my masters in education... Im a mess. I genuinely feel like I fucked up my life
 
OP
OP
Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Member
Mar 27, 2019
1,981
Well this thread is depressing. I was looking into law school as a back up plan because my current career is painful in how saturated it is (education).

Corporate law was what I was guessing. Im also doing my masters in education... Im a mess. I genuinely feel like I fucked up my life
This site is generally depressing, we’re like a super progressive site full of super pessimistic people.

Idk, I think I’m still gonna do it.
I just can’t visualize myself as a businessman at the business store.

Shit, while back I actually made a thread about becoming a college professor.. replies were very similar to this
 

Alcotholic

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,023
My economics professior is a Marxist (I think), but it would be too controversial for him to cover much of that, so he really talked about the contradictions within the classical school of thought compared to the Keynesian school of thought. His class covered a lot of ethical issues within economics and how it creates problems today. He actually made economics a pretty engaging subject.
 

MoosetheMark

Member
May 3, 2019
109
Please please please don't go to law school. I graduated from a T14 in 2012, probably the worst possible year to earn a JD since jurisprudence became a societal concept. I have $200,000+ in student loan debt and absolutely nothing to show for it. It's my biggest regret, and it's a mistake I'll be paying for quite literally for the rest of my life.

Basically in law school, your future is determined solely by your first year grades. After that, you go to a job fair in the summer where a firm will recruit you, or they won't. If they do, you'll have a very well paying but grueling job guaranteed after you graduate. If they don't, good luck finding a job for the remaining two years because your school will absolutely stop giving a shit about you once they realize you'll be too broke to give them alumni money.

I had A's in every subject, one B and one C+ in Civil Procedure II. That dragged my GPA down for the all important summer job fair, and even though my grades were great after that, it didn't matter. I spent three years after I graduated unemployed, doing temp lawyer work (google "document review" to get a glimpse at your potential future if you don't land a summer associateship) to pay the bills until I made a miraculous escape into the media business.

Unless you have family connections, are already rich, or can get a free ride, please don't go to law school.
 
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OP
OP
Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Member
Mar 27, 2019
1,981
also, I have a misdemeanor marijuana possession from like 7 years ago, was only 19 at the time
Would that screw things?
 

Selbran

Member
Oct 25, 2017
763
This site is generally depressing, we’re like a super progressive site full of super pessimistic people.

Idk, I think I’m still gonna do it.
I just can’t visualize myself as a businessman at the business store.

Shit, while back I actually made a thread about becoming a college professor.. replies were very similar to this
What's the point of asking for advice if you're then going to get good advice (Including from actual lawyers in here from what it sounds like) and then go "Oh well these guys don't know what they're talking about it'll be fine!"
 
OP
OP
Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Member
Mar 27, 2019
1,981
What's the point of asking for advice if you're then going to get good advice (Including from actual lawyers in here from what it sounds like) and then go "Oh well these guys don't know what they're talking about it'll be fine!"
But like, y’all are saying not to do it cause it’s hard
Or cause the student loan.
A: anything is hard. Shit, having a job i don’t want would be hard.
B: GI Bill is going to pay at least 1/2 of law school for me if I go, so that doesn’t bother me much.
 

Polaris

Member
Oct 29, 2017
144
I'd say go for it, but make sure you do your research first. I went to a law school nowhere near the top 25 but got a great scholarship and graduated with about 35K in debt which was easily paid off after a few years of frugal living. I'd also say be willing to look beyond merely practicing law, you can do quite a bit with a law degree.

If you know any attorneys, I suggest talking to them about their experience; if you don't know any attorneys I'd go out and contact some and talk about it.
 

Lord of Ostia

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,156
I know, but I read, well TRIED to read a professors Dissertation and it wasn't my cup of tea. Like, mathematical models and all that, don't truly interest me. id rather have to write and research about law/justice/precedents than statistics and hypothetical dynamic models
Economists do write and research about those subjects though. It doesn't sound like you are super familiar with what economists actually do, especially those that work in academia.
 

cagey

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,347
But like, y’all are saying not to do it cause it’s hard
Or cause the student loan.
A: anything is hard. Shit, having a job i don’t want would be hard.
B: GI Bill is going to pay at least 1/2 of law school for me if I go, so that doesn’t bother me much.
Law school isn't hard. It's long hours but its relatively easy compared to, say, med school.

Making a profitable and enjoyable career out of the law is hard.

And not "hard work" hard, but "you're defying Longshot odds based on luck" hard.
 

spootime

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,236
But like, y’all are saying not to do it cause it’s hard
Or cause the student loan.
A: anything is hard. Shit, having a job i don’t want would be hard.
B: GI Bill is going to yo at least 1/2 of law school for me if I go, so that doesn’t bother me much.
You haven't really laid out a compelling reason for wanting to go to law school. It sounds like you dont know what you want to do with your life and you want to go practice "economic law." I don't know what that means. A lot of people go to law school because they got a useless undergrad degree and they don't know what to do with their lives. Then they rack up 200k of debt and their life is basically ruined.

You need to explain why you actually want to go there.

Do you want to go into law to make money? Go get a computer science degree.

Do you want to go into law to help people? That's a legitimate reason to go and I respect the hell out of people who do that.
 

Parthenios

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
3,704
Step 1: Graduate law school
Step 2: Practice personal injury law
Step 3: Profit!

Even bad attorneys make a lot of money in injury law.
 
OP
OP
Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Member
Mar 27, 2019
1,981
Economists do write and research about those subjects though. It doesn't sound like you are super familiar with what economists actually do, especially those that work in academia.
To be honest I’m not that familiar.

I’ve basically been lost post high school
Shit, post middle school to be honest.

Thought I would figure it out while in the navy
But nope.

If it means anything, everyone I personally know tells me I’d be best for lawyering.
When I tell them I’m interested in politics, they say, well, aren’t most politicians lawyers?
 

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,415
did the others finish law school?


also, student debt isn't much of an issue for me, I already have an associates degree, and the GI Bill is going to pay for 4 more years of schooling
Yup they all finished

I think they regret the time wasted not really the money, if you have a free ride, go for it I guess.
 

Parthenios

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
3,704
Oh, and personal injury attorneys are one of the few remaining mechanisms for protecting the rights of the poor over the wealthy, so they're super important to society, so if you're looking for fulfillment there you go.
 

Brakke

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,212
The timing is kind of rough. The law market is actually ok right now... but when the recession hits there’s gunna be a wave of people fleeing the job market, piling into higher education, and then flooding a market that’ll be low on business.

You’re in a pretty ok spot, though. Military experience sets you apart, your attitude seems alright. Might as well take an LSAT (do it soon, most schools have already started reviewing applications and many do rolling admissions) and see what your prospects are.

I had straight A's in every subject, and one C+ in Civil Procedure II. That dragged my GPA down for the all important summer job fair, and even though my grades were great after that, it didn't matter.
Whatever actually happened here, it wasn’t one grade that tanked your job hunt.
 

vodalus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
305
Los Angeles
Don’t let other people get you down, OP. Law school is great, just don’t pay any money to go there and make sure you go to a decent one. From what I’ve read of you responding to people it seems like a decent option for you.
 

Parthenios

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
3,704
If you don't mind, what was the conclusion he drew? My understanding of machine learning isnt great but I don't see how substantive law work is at risk of automation.
A lot of legal work is surprisingly rote. A large chunk can already be completed by using an Office mail merge to fill out a standard letter or legal pleading.

Fact patterns tend to repeat in predictable ways which is right up an algorithms' alley. They won't replace all attorneys, but they will replace many of them.
 

Znazzy

Member
Aug 27, 2018
494
Well this thread is depressing. I was looking into law school as a back up plan because my current career is painful in how saturated it is (education).

Corporate law was what I was guessing. Im also doing my masters in education... Im a mess. I genuinely feel like I fucked up my life
I work in education, and I feel like it’s the complete opposite. There’s a shortage of educators nationwide. There was a short period of time when I thought about going to law school to get into educational law, but no thank you. I’ll be making six figures within 10-15 years, with summers and holidays off. Plus there’s so many different pathways you can take in education if you aren’t feeling being a teacher anymore.
 

Lord of Ostia

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,156
To be honest I’m not that familiar.

I’ve basically been lost post high school
Shit, post middle school to be honest.

Thought I would figure it out while in the navy
But nope.

If it means anything, everyone I personally know tells me I’d be best for lawyering.
When I tell them I’m interested in politics, they say, well, aren’t most politicians lawyers?
Economists study all kinds of fields. That includes things like medical policy, the general labor market, education policy and programs, there is behavioral economics, etc. Basically all fields of economics study fall into one of two camps: macroeconomics and microeconomics.

Macroeconomics is big picture, dealing with the economy as a whole (regional, national, or global economies). Most broad, national economic policy is based on macroeconomic concepts and study, and this involves things like global trade, GDP growth, unemployment rates, inflation, energy markets, interest rates, and finance.

Microeconomics is the study of the behavior of individuals or individual firms inside of a larger economy. So this would include labor economics, welfare economics, study of opportunity cost, studying the effects of taxation on populations, information economics, game theory, political economy, voting systems, behavioral economics, medical economics, education economics (a lot of these all fall under the umbrella of applied economics).

The field is actually incredibly broad with many varied areas of study.
 

shnurgleton

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,270
Boston
Do what I did, get an economics degree, work a shitty admin job, then go back to school and get a computer science degree

Still love econ and my girlfriend is a research economist but the academic life is not for me, nor is finance
 
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patientzero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,689
Go for a paralegal degree at first.

It’s an associates so it should take two years. The reason to do so is to get it, work at a firm doing in all honesty the grunt work, and see if it’s a field you feel like moving up in. It’s less up-front costs and time and get some you in the door to see the day-to-day stuff.

If you still want to pursue the field afterward then commit to further education.
 

bionic77

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,846
Step 1: Graduate law school
Step 2: Practice personal injury law
Step 3: Profit!

Even bad attorneys make a lot of money in injury law.
That’s not true.

It’s hard to make money as a trial attorney if you are not competent and determined. I don’t know any garbage PI attorneys who make a lot of money and insurance attorneys can sometimes be paid peanuts.

We could always use more trial attorneys though. Especially in criminal defense. Just don’t go into it expecting to get rich quick.
 

Clay

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,438
Do what I did, get an economics degree, work a shitty admin job, then go back to school and get a computer science degree

Still love econ and my girlfriend is a research economist but the academic life is not for me, nor is finance
Haha, that's kind of where I'm at right now. Got a masters in econ, got an extremely boring job at a commercial real estate firm basically making simple graphics and reports in Word and Excel, taught myself how to use R to automate cleaning processes, fell in love with programming but have no opportunity to use it during my day-to-day job. I would love to go back to school and get a compsci degree, I think I would love it, but I still have tens of thousands of dollars of debt from the two degrees I have now.
 

Parthenios

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
3,704
That’s not true.

It’s hard to make money as a trial attorney if you are not competent and determined. I don’t know any garbage PI attorneys who make a lot of money and insurance attorneys can sometimes be paid peanuts.

We could always use more trial attorneys though. Especially in criminal defense. Just don’t go into it expecting to get rich quick.
I know lots of garbage PI attorneys and they all make dump trucks full of cash. Though Kentucky has laws very favorable to plaintiffs' attorneys so that's a huge part of it.

The work load can be intense and I've seen some flame out and become traffic attorneys, hanging out at the court house begging to represent people for traffic tickets for $10 cash. That seems as miserable as retail work lol
 

taahahmed

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
220
New Jersey
This is not happy advice, but it's true of basically every type of graduate school (in the US--not sure where you are OP) at this point:

If you don't get into one of the top 10 schools in your field (mayyybe 25 for law), DO NOT PAY MONEY to get that degree. If you get into a lower-ranked school and they're paying for you to go, by all means go if your heart's in it. But absolutely do not blow ~200k on a degree in a field in which (generously) 50% of people will get a good, stable job after graduation.
Idk about other graduate programs but this isn’t true for medicine btw.
 

bionic77

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,846
I know lots of garbage PI attorneys and they all make dump trucks full of cash. Though Kentucky has laws very favorable to plaintiffs' attorneys so that's a huge part of it.

The work load can be intense and I've seen some flame out and become traffic attorneys, hanging out at the court house begging to represent people for traffic tickets for $10 cash. That seems as miserable as retail work lol
Well I only know PI attorneys in PA, NJ and NY. And the successful ones are at the very least competent if not downright good.

What do you mean by the ones in Kentucky being garbage and rich? I will tell younger PI attorneys to go there and strike it rich.
 

Mint

Member
Oct 26, 2017
901
Canada
Of the two people I know who went to law school wanting to be lawyers, one ended up in wills & trusts (shit money at a 5 person firm) and the other became (or is trying to become) a law professor.
 
Aug 13, 2018
2,259
Man I was an engineer and I hated it but now I’m a patent attorney and work like 30 hours a week from home and it’s amazing with 100k+. I also had a horrible GPA from engineering 3.0 But balled on lsat and got into amazing school so that helps. Having a real degree like yours in undergrad definitely looks good too. The others are right you really just need to do well your first year
 

Parthenios

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
3,704
Well I only know PI attorneys in PA, NJ and NY. And the successful ones are at the very least competent if not downright good.

What do you mean by the ones in Kentucky being garbage and rich? I will tell younger PI attorneys to go there and strike it rich.
The way my PI lawyer friends/acquaintances have explained it, the way insurance laws work here essentially guarantee a settlement for a plaintiff assuming s/he wasn't at fault, no mediation or trial necessary for most claims. My understanding is that Florida is similar but even more lucrative.

(I am not a lawyer but hopefully I'm within the margin of error on this)
 

ecnal

Member
Oct 27, 2017
73
If you don't mind, what was the conclusion he drew? My understanding of machine learning isnt great but I don't see how substantive law work is at risk of automation.
Highly dependent on the type of task currently.

AI is already promising in narrow use-cases -- like reviewing legal documents, contracts, NDA's, etc. Depending on the type of law, there are certainly some practices that are more at risk than others, but it's not like AI is on the brink of replacing humans litigating complex securities cases, for example.

Additionally, even though AI might be better than a human lawyer at reviewing legal documents, that doesn't necessarily coincide with replacement and job loss. In many cases it will simply make human lawyers more efficient and allow them to focus their energies on other complex tasks.
 
Aug 13, 2018
2,259
I will!
currently still finishing my bachelors, need about 4 more semesters, so ill def start prepping/researching more

test taking has always been a strong suite of mine, so I like that a lot rides on that.
Awesome woot good luck. I used these 3 books and took 10 practice tests. It’s a really fun test if you like logic puzzles. Yeah and it’s about 50% of what they look for at law school with gpa
The PowerScore Digital LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible https://www.amazon.com/dp/0991299221/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_TMAEDb4K5NZKZ
 

benj

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,314
everyone saying be prepared to “hustle and work” doesn’t that go for anything worth doing?

I’d rather hustle and work for something I prefer than anything else.

Honesty my life has been pretty easy, I had joined the navy looking for a challengw, and I ended up in a pretty cushy job working with the Air Force.. idk, I don’t care if it’s gonna be hard
Starting a business is hard, being an engineer is hard, finance is hard
Like, wtf is easy?
When people tell you some line of work is incredibly hard, you should listen to them. "Isn't everything hard?" is not a great response. No, not everything is the same amount of hard. Making a living as a lawyer in the States is incredibly demanding. If you think you might want to do it, try to get work as a paralegal, learn what being a lawyer is actually like, and position yourself for a particular job after law school if you do decide to attend.

As it is, right now, no, law school doesn't sound like a great fit, because it doesn't really sound like you understand why it's a challenging line of work right now—or why so many people are cautioning you against it.
 

SecondNature

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,839
I work in education, and I feel like it’s the complete opposite. There’s a shortage of educators nationwide. There was a short period of time when I thought about going to law school to get into educational law, but no thank you. I’ll be making six figures within 10-15 years, with summers and holidays off. Plus there’s so many different pathways you can take in education if you aren’t feeling being a teacher anymore.
any advice for me? In Canada teaching jobs are terrible

Supply work is fine. But permanent seems unlikely until i hit my 40s... What else can I venture into?
 
Apr 24, 2018
994
The timing is kind of rough. The law market is actually ok right now... but when the recession hits there’s gunna be a wave of people fleeing the job market, piling into higher education, and then flooding a market that’ll be low on business.

You’re in a pretty ok spot, though. Military experience sets you apart, your attitude seems alright. Might as well take an LSAT (do it soon, most schools have already started reviewing applications and many do rolling admissions) and see what your prospects are.



Whatever actually happened here, it wasn’t one grade that tanked your job hunt.
It seems to be hit and miss all over the place from what I've seen anecdotally and read. I had a strong interest in law school, but my dad begged me to never go down that path (he's a lawyer). My dad's friend has a son that had Cornell undergrad and NYU (which I believe is a top tier law school, or close to it) had great grades and couldn't get anything. He was always told he was the runner up from several jobs.

He wound up working for some sort of union of some kind and making less than $80k in NYC from what my dad told me. It's been a couple years and he still hasn't transitioned to a law firm as he always intended.

I have a second cousin who went to George Washington and got some sort of a clerkship fairly easily in the Washington DC area. I don't know the exact details, but my dad said she should be making great money once her clerkship ends.