Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Top Ten (10) Reasons Not To Go To Law School
The Bar results were out this past week. For those of you who passed, congrats.
For those of you considering going to law school, go for it. I found it to be an extremely rewarding, disciplining educational experience. What you put into it is what you get out of it.
However, not everyone feels that way. Here is the opposite viewpoint: Top Ten (10) Reasons Not To Go To Law School.
"I am a former practicing attorney, graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA ) and the George Washington University School of Law (GW Law). Law school was one of the best experiences of my life and my experience practicing law has certainly been a learning experience. I quickly learned that the practice of law was not for me, but the information and knowledge garnered was exceptional. My law degree remains to be one of my biggest assets in business and as I pursue my entrepeneurial endeavors, I have been very fortunate to not have been srapped to working 100 hour weeks to pay back law school loans. Following are the top ten (10) reasons not to go to or attend law school and how each has effected my life."
1. CLIENTS: The best reason not to go to law school and not to become a lawyer is this: CLIENTS. Clients destroy the practice of law and in fact destroy the enjoyment of most businesses, however in law, clients are the worst. Clients hardly ever pay their bills, insist on running the show, though they know nothing about the law, and torment you with incessant calls and emails...
2. COST: Law school is absurdly expensive. Most of us don't realize how much money we have just borrowed until we are forced to make our first payment. It's ridiculous! Generally speaking unless your parents subsidize your studies, then plan on paying back your student loans for the rest of your life or for the next 45 years, whichever comes first. Also, whatever salary you may make with your new "firm job" will be severely cut into while making these law school payments. I am a student loan baby totaling over $120,000 for three years and these loans are strapped to my back for quite some time.
3. TOP JOBS ARE HYPER-COMPETITIVE: The top jobs at firms out of law school are some of the highest competitive jobs in the country. Sure these jobs can often offer you starting salaries of upwards of $120,000, but remember you have significant law school loans to pay back and you are competing for a job that 0.00001 percent of you will get.
4. INSANE HOURS: Practicing law is far from a 9-5pm job, in fact at the bigger firms it's far from a 9-7pm job. Breaking it down further, based on an excellent salary of approximately $120,000 per year, which can only be garnered at the larger firms, you will work approximately 70 hours a week, probably more. Over the course of the year this equals approximately $33.00 an hour. I know some retail managers that make this.
5. BILLING: For those of you who don't know, Attorneys bill each client per hour of work or even bill for partial increments of time spent on the client. Therefore, if you spend 10 hours at work, most firms require you to bill 8 hours a day. That's 8 hours of work for a client in which your firm is billing that client $300 to $750 an hour. The hours you bill are always too much for your client, but never enough for the firm. This is why extra hours and Saturday's and Sundays become important days in the office -- so you can do more billing.
6. BAR EXAM IS BRUTAL: This beast is two or three days, depending on your state of hypothetical hypotheticals and nonsensical nonsense questions that you will never be confronted with again in your life let alone career. When you fail -- and 40% of you will -- you have to do it all over again in six months.
7. YOU LEARN NOTHING PRACTICAL: Law school certainly isn't designed to teach you how to make money, however its focus is to make you think like a lawyer. Thinking like a lawyer doesn't necessarily translate to success in the real world.
8. THREE LONG YEARS/BREAKS ARE HORRIBLE: I know that college went by extremely fast, but that was college. Law school is a different beast, with a poor social scene and students who are so competitive that they do not leave the library ever.
9. SOCIAL SCENE IS PATHETIC: Law school students are competitive, anal, nerds. They certainly are not the guys and girls you had a blast with drinking, dancing and partying all night. Your new friends and classmates will live in the library and will not find much time away from their books.
10. FINAL EXAMS ARE BRUTAL: For most courses, your entire semester grade will depend on one final exam right before Christmas and one final exam right before summer break. Imagine the stress that will ride on your back as you prepare and then await your grade with no indication as to where you stand.
For the entire post, go to: Top Ten (10) Reasons Not To Go To Law School
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