interested in pursuing a law degree

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Comments (8)

danalauren in Massillon, Ohio

99 months ago

I graduated with a bachelor's in education (2006) and was considering going to law school; since it's a crazy expensive investment and a lot of work, I wanted to get a feel for job opportunities after. I'd hate to commit 3 years of my life and thousands of dollars to end up spending months and possibly years on sites like this looking for work :) Any thoughts?

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marker1 in Saint Paul, Minnesota

86 months ago

There aren't any.

Firms are hemmoraging attorneys right now, and it's going to take 5-10 years to work through the glut of new lawyers on the market.

Don't go to law school.

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fishmox in Washington, District of Columbia

86 months ago

between a law degree path and that of a BS in Paralegal Studies, would you say the latter were a better choice ?

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Disgruntled in Vienna, Virginia

65 months ago

Please do not go to law school unless you do not want to do anything else with your life other than practice law. There are too many law schools with too many graduates fighting for too little jobs against too many unemployed attorneys. Do not believe the law schools' "employed after 6 months" numbers, as they are said to include any type of employment, even those outside of the law.

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Disgruntled in Vienna, Virginia

65 months ago

In case you wanted the abbreviated version: do not go to law school, it is a waste of time and money.

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LS graduate in Chicago, Illinois

64 months ago

I'll tell you what I tell every person I meet who asks me whether or not he/she should go to law school. DO NOT DO IT (at least not right now). I think 75 - 80 % of former law students who graduated within the past 5 - 7 years will agree with this sentiment. There are just too many new attorneys with too few available jobs. Unless you are going to go to a top notch law school and graduate at least in the top half of your class, or are sure that you'll graduate in the top tier of your class (trust me, it ain't easy to do) at a tier 2 LS, you most likely won't find a job coming out of school. I found one that got my foot in the door about 7 months after I graduated, and I had to work my butt off to find it. Most non-big law firms are taking advantage of this situation by low balling desperate recent graduates. And, unless you are unusually wealthy or your parents are willing to drop over a 100 G's on you, you'll be coming out with a ton of debt that is not dischargeable in bankruptcy. So, the outlook is this this: You graduate with debt larger than most home mortgages, you most likely won't find a job right after school, if you find one at all, and when/if you do, your salary is going to be junk. Don't believe me or anyone else on here? Do a quick google search of unemployed attorney blogs. One interesting thing about law school graduates is they're generally decent researchers and writers who are born with the desire to air out their grievances. You'll learn a lot from these blogs.

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janeausten in Castle Rock, Colorado

54 months ago

Unfortunately, the legal market is still contracting. When you get a specialized degree like a j.d. You are cursed. I have found it impossible to get a nonlawyer job because I am either overqualified or underqualified. Unless you go to a top 20 law school and graduate at the top 10%-20% of your class, be prepared to move back home with your parents after you graduate.

I have two years of experience and applied to an entry level job that paid almost nothing in Denver. The interviewer told me that they received 80 applicants who were willing to make 40,000 per year and had a lot more experience than me. Very sad.

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Rude Awakening in Birmingham, Alabama

49 months ago

I know that I am 50 months late on a response, but I'm sure there are others asking the same question. To those people, I would highly suggest taking seriously all the responses above. I believe janeausten, particularly, hit the nail on the head. The legal profession is at a low. If the market has ever been this low it was decades ago.

The J.D. is a curse. Your life after graduation from law school likely follows this trajectory:
1) New graduate. Study for the Bar. You're looking at about $600+ per testing. Many people are repeat test-takers. The Bar is brutal. The essay portion is subjective and can be the difference between a pass or fail.
2) Once you're licensed, you're going to want a law job. The big, medium, and small firms are generally cutting people. So your other option is...
3) Practice alone until you find a law job. At this point you are literally learning on the job. Here you learn lawyering. Other lawyers teach you this. You'll spend another $1,000.00 or more for your legal research tools. You also have Bar dues, CLEs, local Bar dues, and maybe insurance. Plus you're getting the clients who don't want to pay. They'll either use you and stiff you or not hire you at all. It's the paper chase.
4) You find a non-law job. This is hard. You're underqualified to get a law job and overqualified for everything else. You could choose to not put your law degree on your resume which means you have to account for the 1+ year of employment gap.
5) You try again to get a law job. You're still underqualified.
6) You consider going back to school. That's more debt.
7) You can try the government, but you're again fighting with your lack of experience as you compete with highly experienced lawyers who got cut from the law firms discussed above.
8) Then you're left wishing you never went to law school. At that point you keep updating resumes and find yourself on the computer telling prospective law students not to go to law school.

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