In fact, it's starting to look that way. Michigan is tough, and there is veeeery little likelihood that we'll stay in scenic South Bend.
OT: Debt from Law School at the School in Ohio leaves lawyer unfit for admission to Ohio Bar
why don't you send your contact information to Brian who can forward it to me confidentially. I don't have any openings in our legal department at the moment, but positions become available in the company all the time. I can also circulate your resume to associates in the area (Raleigh, NC).
I think going to tOSU for law school is what rendered him unfit for admission to the Ohio bar. Zing!
Since everyone is chiming in with law school advice, here's mine: don't go to law school because you don't really know what you want to do. There are better ways to figure out your future without saddling yourself with $150K in debt. And if you do go to law school, treat it like a job - especially in your first year. Bust your ass to get good grades, because that first year really matters. Finally, like many others above have posted, make sure you know what lawyers do, and that you want to do the same. I'm a litigator with the Department of Justice and I really enjoy my job, but I know many people who don't. Try and make sure that you aren't totally blindsided by what the practice of law really is once you graduate.
But probably, don't go to law school.
I think going to tOSU for law school is what rendered him unfit for admission to
the Ohio bar any bar in the country EXCEPT Ohio.
UM #9, tOSU #34 per USN&WR 2010: Yes, if you are a top 10% from both schools you are in much better shape with a degree from UM in most instances. But that top 10% from tOSU is still better off than a top half from UM getting into large firm or corporate positions straight out of school. The flip side of that is too that I got out of tOSU Law with 25k in loans, not 150k, granted it was 10 years ago. I got my thanks but no thanks letter from UM before the application deadline had come if I remember correctly. To this day the timing of my rejection I still find a bit comical. Would I have chosen to practice law instead of staying in healthcare if I attended UM...dont know. But I seriously doubt I'd be working 3-day weeks like I am now if I had.
I make a funny because, you know, it's OSU. Moritz is actually a pretty darn good law school. The problem is that it is surrounded by Ohio State University.
I actually considered OSU Law, before I settled on a slightly less hated rival.
Not offended in the least...I was just pointing out that being the big fish in a little pond can be more beneficial...something to consider unless one is sure they can be the big fish in the big pond.
Not a lawyer, but reading Third Tier Reality is always interesting. I'd recommend it for anyone looking at law school, though I'll admit the author of said blog uses slightly incideniary language.
But I can pretty much guarantee that the guy had a really poor credit rating and/or mountains of debt from non-educational sources. C&F does not ding people solely on educational debt. If that were the criteria, there would be like 6 lawyers in each state. Almost everyone graduates with a lot of debt. I have $135,000 myself and C&F didn't even blink.
C&F is designed to keep people unfit for practicing out of law. Lawyers are often called upon to handle money, segregate assets, etc. A SUPER shitty credit rating, past bankruptcies, loads of credit card debt, gambling problems etc. indicates that a person may not be able to be trusted with other people's money. Hence the C&F ding.
three times, and his student loan debt (which is deferred the first year after you graduate) had already gone into default.
two words: dental school
Maybe it's just me, but I don't feel like my orthodontist ever does anything.
*poke poke poke, scrape scrape scrape* Everything looks good here. Peace out.
That's the point, he doesn't do anything, and he rakes in the cash. That's an awesome job. As a lawyer, I have to move metric tons of paper from the left side of my desk to the right side in order to justify my paycheck. All your dentist has to do is buy a fish tank, hire a hot assistant to clean your teeth, make you cry, and then give you a toothbrush.
your orthodontist says "Peace out" after a visit? he's that cool? that's awesome.
mine doesn't even tell me when to put my pants back on.
Not so sure about that. The cost of a dental education has skyrocketed the last ten years (unless you are instate at a public school... even then it's expensive). I'm in my first year and just took out ~$80,000 for this year. Ill have 350k when I graduate including undergrad. Throw in the cost of opening/buying a practice and it does not look nearly as lucrative as I once did.
For those worried about loans, strongly consider moving back home, getting married, or moving in with your employed significant other if you can (the latter two, of course, not always an option/desire). Anything to cut the cost of living burden, which is often $15,000 per year . Significantly helped both my uncle (moved back home) and my wife (married me, probably for money as she'll undoubtedly trade up when she graduates ala Seinfeld) in regards to the debt burden.
I went to law school because I realized that I needed and advanced degree to get ahead in my career. I chose law school over an MBA because you can be a lawyer and also be a business man, but if you're only a businessman, you can't be a lawyer. I figured that having my law license would put me into a more selective employment pool. Really, I didn't have any fascination with the law, I just wanted to have more doors opened up for me.
When I got to law school, I sort of just followed the crowd and went to work for a large firm because those were the best jobs and easiest to find.
I really, really hate paying $400 per month for my loans for the next 25 years, but my income would have been more than $400 per month less if I hadn't gone to law school and I'd probably still be working just as hard trying to get ahead - I do like working hard though, so it's not that bad. However, for people who don't want to do large firm life (which I dislike, but can't imagine it is infinetly worse than corporate America), the debt would probably not be worth it.
In the end, I wish I would have followed my dreams of becoming a a naval engineer or a marine biologist, but I did what everyone told me to do - get ahead. If that's what you want to do, then go to law school, work your butt off, treat it like a job, and continue working your butt off to give your family a more affluent life. If you're content with a less lavish lifestyle, go study coral of the coast of Austraila - or create a kick ass blog about sports at the best university in the world!
EDIT: I just realized that the OP did not ask for lawyers opinions on the subject, but we've become so opinionated that almost all the responses are lawyers opinion on whether or not to go to law school. Hah!! At least it's Friday and I get to watch the Red Wings kick Columbus' ass in hockey tonight (with my d-bag brother in law who is an annoying osu fan)!
That's not bad at all, is it? Depending on your rate/loan duration, isn't that like $30k total in debt? If you land the large firm salary then that should be a quick repay, no?
I forgot about another loan that is normally an additional $150/month, but I pre-paid it through this October with last year's tax refund. So it'd be like $550/month.
My law school debt right now is around $85,000. I clerked during school and was super frugal. Debt from fucking off catches up to you.
I'd like to pay it off as quickly as possible, but there also mortgage payment, car payment, kid expenses, etc. My paycheck is a joke after all the deductions for taxes, saving for retirement, and HSA/medical, so an extra $400to $550/month post-taxes is very much appreciated.
That's not too bad, really. I graduated with over $150k from UMLS and am paying around $1580 a month in loans. It's tough, but I don't regret it. I actually like being a lawyer more than law school, although the hours suck (work at a midsize firm, but still have to bill 2100+ per year, even though our salaries are below BigLaw numbers, which leads to some internal grumbling).
Damn, that is a lot.
Assuming 4 weeks off per year for vacation and sick time, you're looking at a 44 hour week of BILLABLE hours. Which surely equates to probably 55-60 hours a week.
Not all that uncommon in high paying jobs, but it hurts.
No matter what kind of school you attend, you do need to have a realistic plan for what you are going to do afterwards and how you are going to meet your financial obligations, whatever they may be. Even then, having a few back-up plans is smart. A lot of people don't realize that legal jobs are scarce and that "having a law degree" by itself doesn't make you a marketable commodity.
I was on a plane a couple months ago talking to someone that works for a state bar association (in a Big Ten state) and they told me that only about 40% of their law graduates have legally related jobs six months after graduation. That's a sobering statistic.
go for it. enough small and mid-size practices out there with good hours, good pay.
Here's an idea for you law students about some current "hot" and "cold" areas of practice:
Hot: Patent/Trademark, healthcare, government contracting, bankruptcy
Cold: Securitization and other sophisticated secured transactions, commercial real estate
For government contracting, what type of law would you specifically study? Would it be mostly related to contracts. (Note that I have no idea what most of law school curriculum consists of, so feel free to dumb it down.)
Honestly, from experience, the courses you take do not correlate to a career. In law school, you basically learn a work ethic, how to research and think critically, and how to write. I practice in the corporate bankruptcy area and my bankruptcy course in law school was about worthless. If you want to do government contracting (where lawyers with that skill are in HIGH demand), you'll really want to focus on getting an internship in the area during both summers. Agree to work for free, if you have to!
Interesting. Not a lawya, but I've basically worked my entire professional career in government related things. Not that I have a professional career. Digression over.
You are correct though. Government contracts and purchasing is huge right now. Definitely a place to get into if you're already in law school (or planning to go).
Most important thing is to intern or work in the area you want to work in. There are so many applicants out there for each position that firms can be really choosy and will seek to minimize their hiring risk at all costs. Figure out what you like, intern in it (for free if you have to), and you'll be ok.
With patent prosecution, you know all your deadlines far in advance. You can plan accordingly and actually, you know, have a life outside the office.
(So I've been told, anyway. I'll find out for sure this summer and report back.)
though it's client-dependent in some cases (i.e., if client waits until the deadline to provide instructions, you may get stuck, but stuck in this case means staying in the office an extra hour).
trademark is very difficult to get into.
Even with patent prep. & pros., there is still the difficulty of having the right technical/scientific background. Many lawyers do not have the necessary technical/scientific background to sit for the patent bar. There is also a strong preference in patent for candidates with additional degrees (Ph.D. or M.S.).
don't plan on practicing patent law unless you have a science or engineering degree.
also, the masters and phds are more important for the chemical, bio-, etc., arts. patent law job market is friendlier with electrical (ee, cs, ce) and mechanical arts, you'll be fine with a bachelors
Our patent guys when I was at IBM were pretty sharp, and we threw a lot of pretty exotic stuff at them. So if you enjoy that kind of a challenge, patent law might be good for you. It's extremely detailed, though, which I hate. That is of course why I'm not an engineer anymore.
Clients have an idea of how much they want to pay per action, and that's all they'll pay. As such, a lot of my prosecution buddies are working their asses off and not able to bill for anything. They work like 4 hours and end up billing 1, since the clients are starting to have the power to pay whatever they feel like.
generally the case with big domestic clients (IBM, Microsoft, etc.), known for being "cheap" on the prosecution side, and it's not uncommon for some firms to take on the less-profitable prosecution work to secure the litigation work.
foreign clients (which are the big u.s. filers outside of IBM) still pay top dollar, though during the economic downturn fixed-cap fees have become more prevalent.
I can't speak for everyone, but in the situations I know of, the firms have become so desperate for work that they basically let the clients name the price. (Foreign included)
In any event, I'm doing litigation. Kinda curious if I could get a better pay/hours worked deal in prosecution, but would need to pass the patent bar first.
I can only speak for my experience. I graduated UM with a CS degree and a poor GPA (3). I got into a tier I law school (GW) due to a strong LSAT. I graduated law school with a poor GPA (3). Easily found work at a small IP practice, required little effort (though it's a different time). Working finally got me focused. About 14 months ago, the small practice tanked because the big client pulled out. the small practice was doing what you said above, i.e., groveling to clients essentially letting them set the price. I was lucky to have established good relations with the big client, and that carried me to a big prosecution practice one year ago. tough economic times for a few months where there was very little work and we did offer clients discounts. about april that ended, and we've been busy as hell.
difference in lifestyle btwn small and large practices is crazy. small firm i was making great money working a max of 40 hours a week. big firm pays more, but i have to put in 50 hours a week and travel some. overall can't complain. best part of this job is exposure to some really cool technologies that do find their way to consumer market, like digital multimedia broadcasting, 3D tv, optical storage media, etc.
For what it's worth, I attended UMLS, and it was the best 3 years of my life, both socially and intellectually. I loved the sense of community living in the law quad. I loved that I got to witness the Braylon game. I loved eating all my meals with big groups of friends in the dining hall. I loved that our flag football team kicked everybody's ass, including the undergrad frats. And the UMLS brand name allowed me to grab a good job with smart people I enjoy working with (I was lucky, I got in right before the hiring dropped off a cliff). My total debt was around $140K, but I paid off all my private loans (~90K) in 2.5 years and am carrying 50K in fed loans only because I'd be semi-foolish to pay it off (it's about 1% APR, and I'm doing better than that just sticking the cash in an online savings account). There is something to be said for living well below your means for a few years (or forever). I make a really good salary. I ride the bus every day.*
*(I don't own a car. But if I were a car owner and was a vanity-plate kinda guy, I'm pretty sure my UM plate would say "MOXIE". Come back to school, Tater)
The way Sopwith describes paring down the loans is the way to do it. Knocking out the higher interest private loans is the key.
Lesson 1, don't go to law school at that school in ohio. Lesson 2, Don't go to law school.
I will say that there are tons of kids who hate law school and hate the idea of practicing law after going thorugh law school.
But not every job sucks. If you work at a big firm in Chicago/New York/D.C. etc, then yea you are going to work a billion hours. I work in a midsize city and at my firm no one is at there desk past 530 except on rare occasions. The hours aren't that bad at all, 50 hours a week probably. If you like legal work, you don't have to sell your soul and never see your family to do it.
One more thing. Your first year grades matter a ton. Do everything you can to get good first year grades, it's huge. If I hadn't had good first year grades I wouldn't have gotten my job. I also wouldn't have made law review, which was also huge in getting my job. Take first year SOOOOOOOOOOOO seriously.
by Robert Miller.
It is a fantastic guide to navigating law school.
Are you hiring?
Don't think that I haven't contemplated killing you, showing up to your firm when you are supposed to start, and hoping no one notices...
Seriously, unless you really want to be a lawyer, don't go to law school. I graduated from a tier-one school, had decent grades and a ton of experience, and I am currently a "volunteer attorney" (and doing that at least 40 hours a week) and living with my parents for the foreseeable future. It's tough to get a legal job in Michigan right now.
And like others have said, work like crazy first year, because digging out of the GPA hole is NOT easy -- I know from experience.
Regarding the original post, sucks for that guy, but Above The Law isn't always the most accurate place to read about things.
You gotta get out of Michigan, if possible. Michigan firms are too closely tied to the automotive industry. The economic everywhere else is turning around and there are jobs to be found, especially if your credentials are strong. You might have to take another bar exam (which definitely sucks) but such is life. You can always move back to Michigan after a few years when you realize practicing at a firm sucks and you decide to leave like the majority of us.
Any idea of what markets are hot? Particular firms to check out, even if I'm one of the 3Ls that gets treated as if I have leprosy?
I went to law school here in Ohio. It is a miserable job market. However, if you are planning on being top of your class its still a good profession to land a job. Otherwise, unless the economy bounces back soon, I suggest you do something else besides law school. My loans are astronomical and I wasn't top of my class, so my salary is miniscule and i am part of the working poor. Just my two cents.
in interviews i cranked my knowledge of the law, my ability to network professionally, argue persuasively and research thoroughly. i'm working a job that i enjoy and know my degree will be the tipping point in the event of looking for another job. plus i can take the bar any time. it's all about using it properly. not to mention you can sign up for income based loan repayment where if you make mid-30k salary (worst case scenario), your loan payments around 500/month... which is really not that bad. not to mention that all outstanding debt disappears after 20 yrs of income-based repayment also.