Reason to Go to Law School #8

Another brave fan boy reader has decided to take up my “find two good reasons for going to law school” challenge.  Well, only kinda:

For your “Reasons Not to Go to Law School” challenge, I think you already
covered mine somewhere in the earlier 7. I’ve had an interest in the law
since around the 10th grade of high school (so 14ish years now). Worked in
the legal arena (law firms, state bar, Wake Co Courthouse, etc) when I was
a college dropout and genuinely enjoyed the work. Then lured by the $$$$
of going into the IP law field given my undergrad degree in computer
science. And after 1L decided I hated contracts and would derive far more
enjoyment from throwing people in prison (recognizing up front I may end
up wasting my life dealing with traffic citations).

Fire away.

@North Carolina Central University School of Law
USNews Tier 4, $20,835/yr (out-of-state), $8,097/yr (in-state)

Hold on…wait, you go where?  To justify even the $40 application fee to a school that does not report any employment data, you’re going to need two very good reasons.  And, since we can see you didn’t provide a second reason at all, we can go ahead and mark this as failed.

Also, it’s the reasons to go to law school school challenge, not the reasons not to go.  That horse has been beaten more than TTT job prospects.

But, to be fair, and because I don’t really have anything else to do, let’s break down the one reason you did give:

1. I’ve hung around lawyers a lot and it seems neato.

Well, amazingly, you actually provided the rebuttal to your own reason for going.  How very Socratic of you.  Being around lawyers, and even working in a law firm or court house, doesn’t really give you that great of an idea of what going to law school will be like, or what legal practice will be like.  Odds are you won’t see a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, like the late hours, the never ending collections calls, or the slow expansion of lawyer waistlines and ass.

The fact of the matter is being around Boomer, or older Gen X lawyers is going to give you a very false impression of what law school and legal work is like.  When the people you work around were in law school, the financial burden was somewhere around 1/4th of what it is now.  And, because the market hadn’t been so saturated, even TTT grads could find decent work.  Now, people mortgage their future for the opportunity to do electronic doc review, a job that didn’t even exist when your prior bosses were in law school.  Older attorneys are generally out of touch with that, seeing only the few younger lawyers that succeed, and not ever contemplating the ever growing mass that will circle the drain for years before dying of alcoholism.

Now, generally speaking, while your reason doesn’t pan out, it actually isn’t particularly stupid.  It seems like you did your homework, at least as much as one could hope for.  As an outsider you can’t be blamed for not having an insider’s perspective.  But, you can be blamed for not realizing that a Tier 4 school is probably a bad idea. Seriously, the hell were you thinking?

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11 Responses to “Reason to Go to Law School #8”

  1. thenambypamby Says:

    Not to urinate on your parade, but hanging out with lawyers can make the practice of law seem ‘neato’

    Especially when the non-lawyer realizes we are drunks that have no idea what we’re doing.

  2. snowmanrt Says:

    Your only hope is to do well and transfer…

  3. Larry Says:

    I would go to law school to meet a woman who can support me if I want to stay home and relax.

    Women who work are better than those who don’t. So if a woman lawyer with a good job wants to support me, please advise this website along with a recent photo and BL1Y will forward the e-mail to me.

  4. TDot Says:

    idk BL1Y…

    $25K for 3 years of law school (in-state), throw in another $2.5K for bar prep, ~$105K for 3 years of foregone wages, and let’s say $41K in accrued student loan interest (assuming a 30yr repayment schedule just to maximize the interest amount — that comes out to $173Kish, which means I’d break even in under 20 years even if I just got a rank-and-file government job in NC (the NCCU target market) paying $10K/yr more than I’d make otherwise.

    Side note re the employment data: not sure where you got the “does not report” from — I posted a graph of the employment data breakdown from NLJ at the end of June in , and the data reported for this past year is why we’re no longer listed on National Jurist’s list of the “Best Value” schools (see the last paragraph of )

    I am kinda bitter at not having an insider’s perspective though, I’ll concede that one :)

  5. bl1y Says:

    Hey, in 20 years you’ll BREAK EVEN…if that sounds like a good investment to you, full speed ahead!

    Most of us would like our lives to be better in the next 2-4 years, not 20 years later.

  6. TDot Says:

    I’ll break even on the added cost of law school, assuming a bottom-of-the-barrel government lawyering gig using cherry-picked cost data intentionally inflated by me to make the numbers as ominous as possible.

    My life will be “better in the next 2-4 years” just by virtue of me not sitting in a cubicle staring at computer code all day worried that someone in India who can barely speak English will be doing my job for $0.25/hr ;)

    Unrelated sidenote: the links in my last post didn’t show up because I threw in the brackets around them. The NLJ data I was talking about is at the bottom of my blog entry at http://www.lawdevnull.com/2010/06/spring-10-final-grades/ and the National Jurist piece mentioning NCCU’s employment stats is at http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/best-value-law-schools

  7. bl1y Says:

    Fun fact: The last three months of firm work I did was spent sitting in a shared office coding documents all day worried that someone in West Virginia who can barely interpret a statute will be doing my job for $12/hr.

    Unrelated sidenote: My spam filter automatically yanks any post with two or more links in it.

  8. Nando Says:

    TDot seems to have a problem with reality. Taking out such massive amounts of student loans will require you to find a good-paying job and to keep it for many years – just to break even in 10-20 years.

  9. law:/dev/null » Blog Archive » Is law school really worth it? My $.02 Says:

    [...] over a month ago, I shot an email to BL1Y as part of his open-ended challenge to defend reasons for going to law school.1 I wouldn’t [...]

  10. law:/dev/null » Blog Archive » Is law school really worth it? (Part II) Says:

    [...] I wholeheartedly agree, 110%. It’s why I linked to Jack Whittington’s entry on that very topic, and why the “I’d have more fun doing law” argument was central to my email to BL1Y. [...]

  11. It’s not WHAT you say, but HOW you say it « World Wide Whit Says:

    [...] not mine) BL1Y to defend the reasons for going to law school. Greg was happy to oblige him here. I had already given my own reasons on this site as to why I thought law school was worth it [...]

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