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Posted: 12/5/2013 4:31:46 AM EST
Just got accepted last night! So ARFCom lawyers, other than "Don't go to law school", what advice do you have for getting through it, passing the bar, or for practicing?
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:39:41 AM EST
10 Don't go to law school.
20 If you ignore #1, don't go into debt to go to law school.
30 If #2 is impossible, GOTO 10.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:40:51 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:43:54 AM EST
Just rent your first penguin suit. Buy one after you successfully chase your first ambulance.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:45:05 AM EST
Across the country last year, 46,000 newly minted law-school graduates hit the job market bearing the crushing weight of their student-loan debts.

Nine months later, only 27,000 had found full-time jobs as lawyers.

"Legal education is in crisis,” said Frank Wu, chancellor at University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. "Nobody has seen anything like this. There are too many lawyers, there are too many law students, and there are too many law schools.”



http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2021994037_lawschoolsxml.html
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:46:08 AM EST
Originally Posted By leib109:
Just got accepted last night! So ARFCom lawyers, other than "Don't go to law school", what advice do you have for getting through it, passing the bar, or for practicing?
View Quote


I'm Sorry?
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:47:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By leib109:
Just got accepted last night! So ARFCom lawyers, other than "Don't go to law school", what advice do you have for getting through it, passing the bar, or for practicing?
View Quote

Stay off of AR15.cum
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:48:19 AM EST
if you do go, work your ass off to make sure you are one of the tops in your class so you have a job when you graduate.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:48:20 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cavedog:
Across the country last year, 46,000 newly minted law-school graduates hit the job market bearing the crushing weight of their student-loan debts.

Nine months later, only 27,000 had found full-time jobs as lawyers.

"Legal education is in crisis,” said Frank Wu, chancellor at University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. "Nobody has seen anything like this. There are too many lawyers, there are too many law students, and there are too many law schools.”



http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2021994037_lawschoolsxml.html
View Quote


What is law school tuition running for an 'average' (mid tier) school?

(Med School is about $40k/year not including living expenses)
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:50:56 AM EST
I do have some connections in my hometown (name partners in some of the bigger firms), so I most likely won't have to worry about employment after graduation. Also, I got a scholarship that will bring my tuition to around $11,000 a year, so I won't come out with much debt no matter what happens.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:51:05 AM EST
Its almost impossible to do what I did. I hung out a shingle and started practicing with no prior experience. Somehow, with God's blessing, I made a career out of it. Having my brother for a law partner has been key. My advice would be to have as much fun in school as possible, and then keep an open mind when you graduate as to your career path. Plenty of doors in business can open for you with the degree. You can choose to do something with your degree other than practice law. When you graduate and pas the bar, you're not really a lawyer. When you have to chase that first client that stiff's you; then you're practicing.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:55:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/5/2013 5:01:19 AM EST by CKxx]
As a 28 year old licensed attorney working a non-law job and paying $1500/mo in loans, I'm inclined to agree with the point that you shouldn't go unless you can do so without incurring massive debt. I make enough to afford my loans, but a large portion of my classmates do not.

EDIT: If you can do it for $11,000/yr without excessive living expenses, I'd say go for it.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:56:29 AM EST
Dave Markowitz nails it. I have a friend who graduated in the top 10% of his class from a top 15 law school who has 8 years experience in his field. He's unemployed now. The legal market is currently brutal and given that law schools have been cranking out more lawyers than there are legal jobs for years now, unlikely to get better anytime soon.

If you are going to do it anyway, I'd just add:

1. Your first year is usually the critical year. You really want to be at the top of your class.
2. Pick an area of interest, preferably one that can't be outsourced or sent to a document mill, and take classes/internships/jobs that support that.
3. Litigators are about the only jobs I see open now (and only for experienced ones). Litigation is always in demand but a lot of people cannot live that lifestyle happily.

Honestly, most law schools do a shit job of training their students for the reality of legal work. So getting out into the marketplace as an intern or part-timer is going to be critical in developing your skills. Just make sure you are still pulling down top grades while you work at slave labor rates to get the education your school isn't providing.

If this post seems bitter, please realize I edited it and deleted parts about three times in order not to let my own experience unfairly bias you. Otherwise it would have been a lot darker.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:56:40 AM EST
Good luck finding a job
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:57:23 AM EST
You can look forward to a lucrative career as ARF staff.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:57:33 AM EST
Do not pull a JFK Jr when you take the Bar exam
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:58:04 AM EST
I got into law school once.
I was looking for a bathroom.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 4:58:36 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By yamaha6000:

Stay off of AR15.cum
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By yamaha6000:
Originally Posted By leib109:
Just got accepted last night! So ARFCom lawyers, other than "Don't go to law school", what advice do you have for getting through it, passing the bar, or for practicing?

Stay off of AR15.cum

Disregard this. Cop threads are great places to discuss crim pro with people who actually practice it.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:05:16 AM EST
Pulse=law skool acceptance

Good luck.


Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:08:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/5/2013 5:09:08 AM EST by oarlock]
As the judge told me when I started clerking for him. "The first 3 years you'll starve to death, after that-----You get used to it."
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:09:57 AM EST
There are very few jobs, and many of the jobs that are available only pay $40-60k. Pretty hard to live off that when you're paying over $1,000/mo in loans.

As to the advice...

1. Don't go.
2. Don't go.
3. Don't go.
4. If you disregard 1-3, make sure you position yourself to find a job. There are really three ways: 1) graduate in the top 10% of your class in a top 10 school; 2) graduate in the top 5% of your class in a top tier school; 3) graduate in the top 3% of your class in a 2nd tier school.
5. If you can't stay in the top of your class, drop out or switch to night school and start clerking early on at a firm that likes to hire from within.
6. Unless you're an evening student, you must get a summer associate position every summer.

Regarding success in school...

You don't need to read the cases. Buy the case summary books that correspond with your text books.

Don't feel like you need to outline. I made it through and did well without ever writing a single outline. There are plenty of outline banks online.

Get on a law journal and get published. You'll learn very little from the experience and it'll be a waste of time, but employers like to see that you know how to Bluebook and write well. Journal is a checkbox for employers when they're hiring.

Law school does not teach you how to be a lawyer. Take clinical classes and participate in moot court if you want to learn anything useful.

Don't live like a lawyer while you're in law school unless you want to live like a law student for the rest of your life. The debt is truly crushing.


Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:10:50 AM EST
Find a way to sue Obamacare into oblivion.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:11:32 AM EST
I just re-enrolled in Law School. I start back in January to finish my law degree. It has been a while since i was in school, but it is time for me to finish what I started. I am very excited and very scared at the same time. But my wife and kids are proud of me for doing it, so that is what really matters.

Yep Aimless, I will soon be joining your ranks.

Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:14:25 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AFARR:


What is law school tuition running for an 'average' (mid tier) school?

(Med School is about $40k/year not including living expenses)
View Quote


It varies widely. If you get into a state school, expect $15-20k. Private schools are way more expensive. George Washington in DC is about $50k, with another $27k in estimated living expenses.

Most law grads I know have between $160k and $250k in loans.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:15:19 AM EST
Great. Just what the world needs--another one.

Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:16:39 AM EST
I was asked to work in a law office and they would help me with law school, I stayed a cop, it is safer. I deal with some government lawyers making $72K, less than I do and they are dumb as a stump....
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:16:59 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By semgin:
I just re-enrolled in Law School. I start back in January to finish my law degree. It has been a while since i was in school, but it is time for me to finish what I started. I am very excited and very scared at the same time. But my wife and kids are proud of me for doing it, so that is what really matters.

Yep Aimless, I will soon be joining your ranks.

View Quote


Congrats.
Good luck, buddy.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:17:53 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TheWind:
I was asked to work in a law office and they would help me with law school, I stayed a cop, it is safer. I deal with some government lawyers making $72K, less than I do and they are dumb as a stump....
View Quote


Graduating law school isn't an indicia of intelligence; it's a measure of perseverance.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:19:54 AM EST
It's a race to the bottom in every practice area of law.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:26:23 AM EST
Cooperate to graduate!
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:29:57 AM EST
Join Law Review staff - profit! Editor of Law Review - Profit BIG time! Get some GOOD summer intern positions - Profit!

Take my word for it!
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:31:43 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:33:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/5/2013 5:34:35 AM EST by LawyerUp]
Make outlines of everything and then condense them until, by exam time, you have a flowchart full of mini-outlines with teeny tiny letters on one sheet of paper.

Also, study at Panera where you have unlimited delicious free coffee.

Those two things got me through law school.

ETA: the point of outlining, and condensing is that by the time you finish, you throw the outline away b/c you don't need - you know it.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:33:45 AM EST
Focus on getting into a niche practice that scares or confuses most lawyers...tax, environmental, patent, securities, etc. I was a general litigator/business attorney then moved into intellectual property law and got registered as a patent attorney. My competition went from 60,000 FL lawyers to a few hundred.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:36:27 AM EST
If you can get through without crushing debt, it can be rewarding.

Make sure you work at a firm/solicitor/PD/ etc every summer and during the school year if you can manage it. Don't wait tables for 3 years and expect to get a job. It really helps to know people. Everyone who gets jobs quickly has some sort of connection. Law is no different than anything else; people hire people they know and can stand to be around every day. If you are a weirdo but make straight As, people will still think you are strange, and you won't get a job.

Grades don't matter that much unless you don't have connections or you expect to make 6 figures when you graduate. I went to a 3rd tier law school, never studied, went fishing a lot, made Bs, worked every summer and made connections. Guess what? I got a decent job because I clerked every summer and did a good job.

If you are a good writer, it will help immensely. So many people graduate with good grades because they live in the library, but they get to the real world and can't write worth a shit.

My last piece of advice is to find an area of the law you enjoy. If you like what you do, you will be better at it than the other people in the field who don't have a passion for it. Once you get that first job and people recognize that you can hack it, doors will open.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:36:30 AM EST
Well this guy is dog and determined to provehe is an idiot, already getting his employer a couple of lawsuits`
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:37:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By leib109:
Just got accepted last night! So ARFCom lawyers, other than "Don't go to law school", what advice do you have for getting through it, passing the bar, or for practicing?
View Quote

Drink as much as you can, have as much sex as you can get. Party hard, do ridiculous things. Don't worry about failing the exams because apparently there's no work available anyway, so you might as well have some great memories for your money
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:39:35 AM EST
My advice is to get involved in everything you can possibly have time for and still excel with grades. Become president of this or that, or at least on a committee of this or that. Try to do internships with a judge or law practice after the first year for free or very little pay and do your best at that internship. Get involved with volunteering at some local school or some type of community service. If you have a lot of free time in the next few years during school you are doing something wrong. Seriously. Be involved. Be interested. Be the best.

This is what my firm looks for.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:39:51 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 40xb-shooter:
Sorry but we don't need anymore lawyers in this country.
View Quote


Well if there were less laws and less cops out on the street citing people
for malum prohibitum bullshit we could probably do with a hell of a lot
less lawyers. So one might also say we don't need any more cops
in this country.

OP - If I had to do it over again I wouldn't be a lawyer. The job is nothing
like you think it is based on perception, and it's nothing like you will think
it is based on law school. Unless you are truly passionate about the law
and cannot see yourself in any other profession think twice.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:43:07 AM EST
Good luck OP.

My wife graduated top of her class from a top 10 or 15 school, has taken 4 BAR's, and worked at a few large firms. Times are different for sure, but when I met her in the mid 2000's, just under 3 years out of law school, she was making north of $150K/yr ( I think she was billing 2200 or 2400 hours a yr.). Had she stayed, should most certainly would've made partner and IIRC, the other partners are pulling down about $500K/yr. Since then she has went on to starting her own practice, and now eventually doing other things outside of law.

What I'm getting at is work your arse off, and it'll pay dividends. She still gets offers to this day, 7 years later, every time she talks to her old bosses at the firm. She is a great attorney, worked her ass off in the beginning, and they realized it.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:48:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/5/2013 5:51:26 AM EST by DiscoVolante]
I should clarify my previous post. Grades are important to the extent that you need to be on the better side of the bell curve. Some people find law school to be extremely difficult and struggle to get through it. These are the people who fail the bar or burn out. It's really a big game. If you are an intelligent person and can understand fairly complex concepts better than most people, you will do well. Try to do well, but don't become a drone. Personality combined with decent grades will carry you a long way. I don't make nearly as much money as a lot of lawyers do, but I also live where the cost of living is low, I enjoy my job, and I don't work 100 hours a week.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:50:28 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DiscoVolante:
Try to do well, but don't become a drone. Personality combined with decent grades will carry you a long way.
View Quote


This first sentence is, politely, bullshit.

You need the best grades possible to even get considered for anywhere near a good job in this economy.

I can't count on both hands the number of friends I had in law school who thought they just had to get the diploma, regardless of their GPA.

Doc review and shitty insurance defense jobs are the norm for them.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:51:31 AM EST
Originally Posted By leib109:
Just got accepted last night! So ARFCom lawyers, other than "Don't go to law school", what advice do you have for getting through it, passing the bar, or for practicing?
View Quote


Given those parameters, I've got nothing.

Actually, I can offer some advice on the law school part. After that, you're fucked unless you're a superstar at a good school and/or have connections to get yourself a job. On the law school part, here are some general observations:

1. There will be a lot of crazies there. Ignore them and their "OMFGBBQ!!1!" neurotic habits. If they're in the library for 18 hours and it's not the night before an exam, they're crazy. This kind of behavior is NOT what will get you success in law school.

2. I realize this is hypocritical of me, but anyone there who tries to tell you how to do it or to use this system or that system is probably wasting your time.

3. I hope you can write really well under time pressure. That's pretty much all that matters. Study habits, the quality of your outlines (if you even make them), etc. really are a distant second to that critical skill.

4. Law professors fall into two general categories - young gunners who are trying to move up the academic ladder (i.e., from a crap school to a top 50 to a top 20) and old ones who are at that school for good. The young ones will fuck with you on exams, nothing you can do about it other than know the material and write well. The good news is that everyone else is equally fucked, and it's on a curve. The old ones can be heavily scouted and you can gain advantage by doing so. They will recycle old exam questions (learn about these from library exam archives and older students), and they will use hypos from commercial outlines and other such shortcuts. So, go to their office for "office hours" sometime a week or two before the exam, and see what's on their desk and bookshelf. Talk to them about whatever and observe these things. Good old fashioned but legitimate/ethical espionage.

Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:55:29 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dbrowne1:
3. I hope you can write really well under time pressure. That's pretty much all that matters. Study habits, the quality of your outlines (if you even make them), etc. really are a distant second to that critical skill.
View Quote

The biggest help I had in school was going to a seminar on how to write a law school exam. Nothing I did helped me more than learning what to do with an essay question.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 5:59:28 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By badfish274:


This first sentence is, politely, bullshit.

You need the best grades possible to even get considered for anywhere near a good job in this economy.

I can't count on both hands the number of friends I had in law school who thought they just had to get the diploma, regardless of their GPA.

Doc review and shitty insurance defense jobs are the norm for them.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By badfish274:
Originally Posted By DiscoVolante:
Try to do well, but don't become a drone. Personality combined with decent grades will carry you a long way.


This first sentence is, politely, bullshit.

You need the best grades possible to even get considered for anywhere near a good job in this economy.

I can't count on both hands the number of friends I had in law school who thought they just had to get the diploma, regardless of their GPA.

Doc review and shitty insurance defense jobs are the norm for them.


I didn't say regardless of GPA. You need to do well enough to get your foot in the door, but (and this is just my experience) once you get that first job and do well with it, the grades won't matter as much. My goal was never to clerk for a fed judge or work in a white shoe firm. Certainly if that is the endgame, grades are much more important. South Carolina also has a very small, tight knit legal community, so my experience is likely much different than yours. I'm just trying to tell the OP not to sweat over every little thing, or he will burn out. I know plenty of people who worked on journals and failed the bar or couldn't find a job.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 6:01:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By leib109:
Just got accepted last night! So ARFCom lawyers, other than "Don't go to law school", what advice do you have for getting through it, passing the bar, or for practicing?
View Quote


Sorry. As a current law student, all I've got for you is "don't do it." Seriously, just don't do it.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 6:01:53 AM EST
When you get out maybe you can dispute a $29.00 credit card charge of my credit report. Or is that too soon?
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 6:04:01 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By cavedog:
Across the country last year, 46,000 newly minted law-school graduates hit the job market bearing the crushing weight of their student-loan debts.

Nine months later, only 27,000 had found full-time jobs as lawyers.

"Legal education is in crisis,” said Frank Wu, chancellor at University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. "Nobody has seen anything like this. There are too many lawyers, there are too many law students, and there are too many law schools.”



http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2021994037_lawschoolsxml.html
View Quote



Getting like that with nursing around here also.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 6:04:09 AM EST
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 6:12:15 AM EST
1) I hope you like reading. You will be doing tons and tons of reading.
2) The point is not to remember all the little details of a case. The point is to read the details, and sum up the logic of the argument.
3) The fundamental skill they are trying to teach is how to create a good logical argument under stress. A clear logical argument that may lead to a different conclusion than they are expecting is fine. A shitty logical argument that leads to the conclusion they are expecting is bad.

I am not in law school. This advise is a combination of talking to my dad (who did go to law school) and talking to my friends who chose to pursue JD's instead PhD's.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 6:15:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/5/2013 6:17:21 AM EST by Fella]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By davewvu86:


Graduating law school isn't an indicia of intelligence; it's a measure of perseverance.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By davewvu86:
Originally Posted By TheWind:
I was asked to work in a law office and they would help me with law school, I stayed a cop, it is safer. I deal with some government lawyers making $72K, less than I do and they are dumb as a stump....


Graduating law school isn't an indicia of intelligence; it's a measure of perseverance.


I get a kick out this quote. I had a 35 year old law graduate working for me for awhile while he took his bar exam.

Dumbest bastard i've ever met but he'll stick with a problem. Some small job that a normal person might spend 6 hours trying to figure out and finish, he'd gladly spend 3 months if I let him. Finally had to cut him loose, he wasn't smart enough to be our shop guy (mowing, unload a few trucks, clean up). His main reason for termination was him always getting hung up on something and wrapping up insane amounts of time rather that just asking me about it.

I know smart lawyers but this guy was just a very determined one.
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