How did you KNOW that law was for you?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
orion

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How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby orion » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:47 pm

Hello,
Apologizing for the long-winded post in advance.

I'm currently in my last year of undergrad, and in the process of applying to law school. However, I have been thinking hard about whether law school is the right path for me. I have the personal goal of earning a terminal degree, and with my major/education, it boils down to either earning a JD or PhD. I don't think I have the passion to pursue 5+ years of political science research (my major), even with my 4.0 major GPA. I'd enjoy teaching college courses more than conducting research, honestly. The shaky job market for PhDs and relatively low pay/ROI are really deterring me from pursuing that path.

My parents are pushing me to go K-JD, or to take a year off to sit at home and do LSAT prep 24/7 (if I don't get into my goal schools). They think my academic motivation will be curtailed by taking time off after graduating college. I'm hesitant to disregard their wishes and take time off, since they have graciously offered their assistance with financing my higher education. In their eyes, it's better for me to have a JD and decide to do something else afterwards, rather than going into the job market without a JD. They hoped I'd make it to medical school, but that's definitely not the path I want to take.

I have significant experience interning in county legal administration, as well as federal law and law enforcement agencies. At this point, I know that I would hate to work in civil law. The only thing spurring me through law school is the chance to work in federal law, or tolerating a job in BigLaw because of the high financial compensation. My main interests seem to lie in being a prosecutor (hopefully AUSA) or working in federal law enforcement, but I realize this is quite a difficult path. I'm not sure if I will end up there, and I'm also not sure if I'll be happy practicing any other kind of law. I'd also be getting paid less than desired if I chose to work for the government. A job in law enforcement (rather than practicing law) is a big no-no to my family, and while it would be awesome to work for an alphabet agency, I'm turned off by the low pay, difficulty in getting a job, and lack of stability (relocation, danger, etc.)

I understand I'm playing with a very limited deck of cards here, considering my goals/preferences. I've done a ton of career research, and reached out to as many people as possible. I'm constantly advised to work in law enforcement, law, or being a company CEO (lol). I was wondering if any of you could offer me some insight regarding my situation. Additionally, I'd appreciate it if you could share your reasoning for attending law school, and if you think it was worth it.

Thank you so much, I appreciate it immensely.

JohnnieSockran

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Re: How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby JohnnieSockran » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:15 pm

Go the CEO route. I hear they are paid pretty well.

But all in all, I'd say law school isn't a great idea and you may need to start working on the path of figuring out what you want to actually do and standing up to your parents (unless they'll fully finance your JD and living expenses for 3 years--in that case take the money and aim for biglaw and if you hate it, at least you saved up some $$$$ to buy yourself a Ferrari and become the Mike Lowry of law enforcement (Bad Boys II reference)).

orion

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Re: How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby orion » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:17 pm

JohnnieSockran wrote:Go the CEO route. I hear they are paid pretty well.


I think my chances of winning the lotto are higher lol

jackdanielsga

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Re: How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby jackdanielsga » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:44 am

orion wrote:My parents are pushing me to go K-JD

I have significant experience


Warren Buffett ran away from home and hitchhiked for a short period of time. He turned out okay.

If you're averse to being on your own in this world, maybe just wait for your parents to purchase you a company that you could demonstrate your prowess at being the CEO of. I am sure after tolerating a few years of that your parents can help you decide what'll be the best next step.

nixy

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Re: How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby nixy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:49 am

I actually don’t think federal pay (for lawyers anyway) is low at all. Lower than big law, sure, but being lower than the highest-paid jobs doesn’t mean the pay is low.

jackdanielsga

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Re: How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby jackdanielsga » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:02 am

nixy wrote:I actually don’t think federal pay (for lawyers anyway) is low at all. Lower than big law, sure, but being lower than the highest-paid jobs doesn’t mean the pay is low.


That's public information too, isn't it?

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totesTheGoat

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Re: How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby totesTheGoat » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:26 am

orion wrote:I'm currently in my last year of undergrad, and in the process of applying to law school. However, I have been thinking hard about whether law school is the right path for me. I have the personal goal of earning a terminal degree, and with my major/education, it boils down to either earning a JD or PhD. I don't think I have the passion to pursue 5+ years of political science research (my major), even with my 4.0 major GPA. I'd enjoy teaching college courses more than conducting research, honestly. The shaky job market for PhDs and relatively low pay/ROI are really deterring me from pursuing that path.


Take 2 or 3 years off, work a real job, live in your own apartment, and pay your own bills. You're in serious need of the real world experience your parents are so desperate to shield you from. Law school and grad school don't just disappear when you turn 25.

Then, after you've gotten out from your parents' shadow and established yourself as an adult, and not as a child being led around by the nose by your parents, you'll be able to answer your own questions after doing a bit of research. Oh, and NEVER do a PhD in Poli Sci. EVER. Unless you are independently wealthy. Their job prospects make law school look like a sure thing.

My parents are pushing me to go K-JD, or to take a year off to sit at home and do LSAT prep 24/7 (if I don't get into my goal schools).


:roll:

They think my academic motivation will be curtailed by taking time off after graduating college.


That's utter bullshit. You can tell them I said that, and I'm quite happy to defend it. I took 2 years off and worked a real job before starting law school. I know plenty of other people who took more time off than me. In aggregate, they outperformed their K-JD peers, often while supporting a family and working hard jobs on the side. One thing that taking time off does (when you actually start up your life, rather than living in your parents' basement "studying the LSAT 24/7" :lol: :lol: ) is develop a sense of ownership in your academic outcome that doesn't exist when you're still mentally and emotionally a child because your parents are helicoptering over you trying to live vicariously through you.

I'm hesitant to disregard their wishes and take time off, since they have graciously offered their assistance with financing my higher education.


"Thank you for all of your great support and advice, but I believe that I will be in a better position to make an informed and successful decision about my future education after taking a couple years to establish myself as an adult by working, living on my own, and paying my own bills. If you still want to financially support my future education, even though I am taking a path different from your advice, I will be quite grateful! If not, I still thank you for your support so far and will find my own way to finance my educational goals."

In their eyes, it's better for me to have a JD and decide to do something else afterwards, rather than going into the job market without a JD. They hoped I'd make it to medical school, but that's definitely not the path I want to take.


:roll: :roll:

nixy

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Re: How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby nixy » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:28 am

jackdanielsga wrote:
nixy wrote:I actually don’t think federal pay (for lawyers anyway) is low at all. Lower than big law, sure, but being lower than the highest-paid jobs doesn’t mean the pay is low.


That's public information too, isn't it?


Yup. Just google GS scale (for most federal agencies; some have different pay scales).

gaddockteeg

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Re: How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby gaddockteeg » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:26 pm

I'm a federal lawyer. Worked in big law before this.

I didn't know law was for me until about a year ago when on I realized on a Sunday, that I was excited to go back to work on Monday. I was working on a trial at the time.

Up until that point, I really just lived for the weekends.

orion

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Re: How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby orion » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:48 pm

Thank you all for providing excellent food for thought.

Kafka Esquire

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Re: How did you KNOW that law was for you?

Postby Kafka Esquire » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:06 pm

i thought the law was for me. later it was validated. then i knew



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