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  1. #61
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    Useful skills, yes. Valuable, not really. Cheap immigrant labor and the good ole-boy system of doing things have pretty much destroyed the high-income potential for a lot of trades jobs. There's a lot of corruption in the trades businesses that people don't know about because they are insular cultures. Sure you can become a welder or plumber and make $18 an hour but in many cases, you'll be required to give $15 of that under the table in cash to some greasy fatso who runs things for at least five years if you want to keep working.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have,
    at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  2. #62
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    Mar. 24, 2012
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    Useful skills, yes. Valuable, not really. Cheap immigrant labor and the good ole-boy system of doing things have pretty much destroyed the high-income potential for a lot of trades jobs. There's a lot of corruption in the trades businesses that people don't know about because they are insular cultures. Sure you can become a welder or plumber and make $18 an hour but in many cases, you'll be required to give $15 of that under the table in cash to some greasy fatso who runs things for at least five years if you want to keep working.
    hmm maybe where you live that is true. I have family members in the trades who are doing well.

    There are plenty of law school grads with huge debts from university and looking for jobs also.

    The Op asked for feedback. I practised law for 20 yrs and so gave my feedback. You are free to give yours and I promise I won't try to debate with you about your own circumstances.
    Last edited by Crockpot; Aug. 8, 2013 at 12:46 PM.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #63
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    Are there any lawyers here that happen to practice contract law? I hope I'm refering to that correctly. I curren't work government contracting, our stuff has to go through legal reviews all the time. I'm intrigued to learn more about the legal side of what I do because I want to expand my options once I'm out of the military. I don't mean to take over the thread so please PM me



  4. #64
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    I passed on the OP's questions on to some of the junior attorneys where I work. The consensus is that they wouldn't even think of going to a school that isn't in the Top Tier (that's the top 100, not just the top 10), and that they wouldn't recommend law school to anyone who doesn't love the law.

    AirForceWife, I don't know how to answer your question, but can you talk to the lawyers who review your stuff? That's sort of how I became interested in the law - by working with the lawyers at the State Department when I was a Foreign Service Officer. They gave me good advice and held my hand through the application process.



  5. #65
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    AFW you can PM or email me. I did federal contracting for a bit when I was in private practice. I was a construction lawyer, so it was in that context.

    If your service entitles you to free law school you might consider applying for JAG because holy cow that's amazing experience!
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes View Post
    Everyone is surprised he doesn't get some interest.

    I can ask him to email me his resume and if he does I will happily pass it along.
    The one thing I will say (and I am running into this myself and most certainly ran into it applying for my current gov't job) a resume can be great but not be "what they're looking for" and be passed aside because of that. And some minor tweaking can make a big huge difference in that regard. I don't know what your friend is applying for, but let's just say it's firm litigation jobs-- they may be looking at his time in the legislature and thinking he has no applicable trial skills. There may be a way to "spin" his legislative work to make it a little more appealing/catchy. Similarly, even the order of stuff can make a difference. If he's applying for law faculty jobs, the reviewing person is going to look at pedigree and areas of interest and then move on if that isn't a match. Putting all work experience on the first page might be killing him in quick reviews. Even once he fixes the order- how he phrases his areas of interest can be the difference between getting a second look/call and going in the "no" pile-- and that's more a matter of resume strategy than anything else. So, just saying, without knowing anything about your friend, his background, and what he's trying to do-- he may be stellar but not pitching himself in a way that gets the right attention. The danger in appearing to be too much of a generalist on a resume is not fitting the mold of "we need a person to do specific XYZ" which might be like what the jobs he's applying to are geared to. Just a thought.

    Oh, and for all y'all feeling like the job market in GENERAL is sobering-- how about getting a law faculty job. GULP! Extra extra extra competitive and whoa.... is that sobering too.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  7. #67
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    I would do it all over again. I wanted to be an attorney from the time I was in elementary school. It was something I really wanted to do. Don't do it if you don't love it. Law school is expensive and it is it is truly a grind.



  8. #68
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    Thank you very much to everybody for the feedback.

    What about going to a lower Tier school with a full or very significant scholarship, and aiming and working to be at the top of the class?

    I don't want to work in BigLaw and would be fine working at a smaller firm or in a corporate situation.

    I'd like to eventually be able to financially support having a horse - but I don't need to be showing year round on the A circuit. Being able to ride regularly, lesson, and maybe do some local showing would be plenty. Even if this is the 5 or 10 year goal and doesn't happen immediately.

    I don't have a science degree but I do have a degree in Photography and am interested in copyright and IP law.

    I am not interested in nursing or any kind of medical field.

    Thanks again!
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

    www.sararoxannephotography.com
    www.facebook.com/sararoxannephotography



  9. #69
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    Do not go to law school now. There are no jobs unless you have family or political connections. It's really sad actually. The schools keep cranking out grads, and there is simply no where for them to go.

    That said, I enjoy what I do. I also work in the public sector. The only reason why I am recommending to not to be become an attorney is the dismal job market.

    You know who makes great money? Plumbers. Good luck OP
    Unrepentant carb eater


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #70
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    I'm not an attorney, but have a lot of contact with them both personally and professionally. I also applied to and was accepted to law school, but declined to go after deferring for a year because the job market tanked and I didn't want to shoulder the debt. Please OP, pay attention to what people are saying in this thread. Even if you go to a lower tier school on a scholarship and are in the top 10% of your class, you will be, I believe, very disappointed in the salary you can command after investing 3 hard years of your life and lots of $$$.

    Read Above the Law (www.abovethelaw.com) very very thoroughly - they have lots of great insights into the current legal environment.

    You would be better off going to library school (especially if you specialize in something like bioinformatics) or taking an MIS degree or becoming certified in Project Management - you'll make more in any of those job areas than your average run of the mill attorney.

    Probably not a bad idea to find a career counselor in your geographic area or even go the library and ask to see gov't statistics about the up and coming fields and jobs that pay well.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #71
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    May. 18, 2000
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    Arizona
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    I am not a lawyer. I a law librarian that does a lot of research for our attorneys. I do a pretty good job with that and am always told a should go to law school. I don't because I don't have the personality traits necessary. Do you? Your resume and interests are in creative fields. How are you with details, time constraints, rules, procedures, confrontation? Every lawyer I know is very precise, logical, detail oriented, confident, and enjoys constant challenges. This is true no matter what area of law they chose. It seems with your art degree and interest in photography logic and detail may not be where your strengths lie. Have ever taken an aptitude personality test?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #72
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    There has been some great feedback here and am not sure I can add to it, but here goes anyway! I went to a state school because I did not plan on moving and local grads could work locally. I did graduate With Honors. However, I am not bigfirm material and that was clear to everybody. I ended up with federal govt and it was a GREAT job. Decent pay, good hours, great benefits and wonderful coworkers. Of course there were down sides: govt is not well run, offices are not always very nice, technology is not the latest, etc.

    I now work for a privately owned trust company and a whole bunch of us have law degrees. The knowledge and the thought process gained from a legal education can be used in many ways, not just practicing law.

    I have had a satisfactory career after law school, but not sure I would do it again. It is hard, time-consuming (you pretty much have to give up having a life)and often drudgery. I paid my own way, and because I went to a local school, had very little debt. And that is one reason I found my career satisfactory. I did not have to make 6 figures to make loan payments.

    I think the idea of being fluent in a second language is excellent. I think those with that skill will be more readily employable in our more global society.

    Good luck with whatever you do! Just be happy.



  13. #73
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    Every time I take the personality test it comes back executive/lawyer/judge (ENTJ). I've taken it four times over a period of 20 years. I worked for the police right out of HS, was a military officer, and now, we'll see what the future holds. I took a practice LSAT without studying and timed it. I exceeded the average score for the most competitive law schools in my area. I am still researching the field and pondering, however, because of the dismal job prospects.
    Where the short cows roam.

    War veteran



  14. #74
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    Jul. 21, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by two sticks View Post
    What about going to a lower Tier school with a full or very significant scholarship, and aiming and working to be at the top of the class?
    I went to a top 100 school, was on the editorial board for my year of Law Review, and graduated cum laude. Scholarships?? We were just happy to get admitted!

    I don't know about scholarships. One of my best buddies, who graduated in the top 10 of our class - as in 10 students, not 10% - got waitlisted for admission for 4 years before he was admitted.

    You might find some private scholarship - you know, like some art student who got killed in a horrible car wreck on her way to take the LSAT so her folks endowed a scholarship in her name - for which you're eligible. I only knew one person who went to law school on a scholarship and she fit some really narrow criteria for one of those privately endowed ones.

    My advice? Pick the law school that serves the area you want to live in. Unless of course you want to live somewhere like Chicago or NYC where there's lots of them. When I went to law school, South Carolina only had one school. If you didn't graduate from there, nobody would hire you. Made the choice pretty simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by dbtoo View Post
    I am not a lawyer. I a law librarian that does a lot of research for our attorneys. I do a pretty good job with that and am always told a should go to law school. I don't because I don't have the personality traits necessary. Do you? Your resume and interests are in creative fields. How are you with details, time constraints, rules, procedures, confrontation? Every lawyer I know is very precise, logical, detail oriented, confident, and enjoys constant challenges. This is true no matter what area of law they chose.
    Very insightful post. I'm constantly accused of always being a lawyer. My husband says I cross-examine him when I think I'm just showing interest by asking him questions about what he just said! And I am always surprised when my friends and family tell me I've just had a confrontation with someone when I thought I was having a conversation!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #75
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    Lower tier schools do offer scholarships to woo good students. So do new schools/ schools in high competition markets. I know students going to school on full or almost full rides. That turns job prospects around entirely upon graduation. It's not for everyone, but it's something to think about. Not everyone wants to go biglaw. And if you have no debt and are more free in terms of salary... Options look very different.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  16. #76
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    To give a little more context to my post in light of the evolution of the conversation:

    I attended a top-100 law school and finished in the top 25 (or 15?) percent of my class (I don't remember exactly where, as its been more than a decade since I graduated). I hated law school, I think in large part because the administrators and faculty members were all miserable, and that really permeated the atmosphere there. (That, and as someone else mentioned, the other students. Law school does attract a certain personality type. I made some wonderful friends, but by and large, law students are pretty insufferable.) My school's primary concern seemed to be trying to boost its rankings. Indeed, it was one of the schools caught falsifying admissions figures, among other issues. And one of the deans was later arrested at a brothel.

    Prior to graduation, I did find a job in a related field and was successful in that. Many of the friends with whom I graduated eventually took jobs at firms, often after doing doc review or other menial work for months while job hunting, and most were (and are) miserable living the law firm lifestyle. Especially in today's economy. As others have mentioned, laterals and non-equity partners are perpetually in danger of losing their jobs in a bad economy. Make rain or you could be in trouble.

    If I had to do law school again, I would choose a more regional school and try to be a star there. Friends who went to lower-ranked schools seemed to have better experiences than I did, in my estimation because those schools weren't so desperate to climb the rankings ladder. And I do have one friend who went to a third-tier school, was on law review there, and was hired by BigLaw in NYC. She hated BigLaw and is now at a mid-size firm, and still miserable, but working somewhat better hours. She hopes to exit the field altogether in the near future.

    A law degree is of course useful, and putting Esq. behind your name in a letter can help get things done, but I wouldn't do it again. I didn't need to spend three years and a lot of money being miserable to work in my field.


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  17. #77
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    What if the higher ranked school specializes in fields you aren't as interested in? Is the name that much better?
    Where the short cows roam.

    War veteran



  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by microbovine View Post
    What if the higher ranked school specializes in fields you aren't as interested in? Is the name that much better?
    What is the specialty field? What is it you want to do?

    Work at a big firm? Prestige of the school may outweigh a specialized program.

    Teach at a law school? Uh, better just call it a day with Yale and be on law review

    Clerk for SCOTUS? Ditto

    Work for a small firm doing an area of practice that's pretty broad/not hugely uncommon? I'd go to the best VALUE school in the area I wanted to land

    Start a practice in small city Y doing your specialty which no one else does? I'd suggest going to the regional school with the best contacts/program in the area and some expertise in that area

    Work in the Hague? Well, I suppose if you find the one school with the ICJ training program and summer clerkships, you'd better go there even if the rest of us have never heard of it

    It all depends!
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  19. #79
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    This infographic just came across my Facebook feed via my law school, and it's kind of funny . This kind of stuff actually matters to some people (like, apparently, my law school).

    Which Law Schools' Grads Run Big Law?



  20. #80
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    P.S. To the poster who suggested lawyers aren't creative, I was mortally offended See infographic above



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