Now I'm another T-14 jobless 3L.
Any lawyer-readers here work at a firm that's hiring?
Now I'm another T-14 jobless 3L.
Any lawyer-readers here work at a firm that's hiring?
Yeah I just got my first grade back as a 1L and it wasn't good. Maybe I should get out while I can.
Networking, writing/grading on to a journal, finishing strong, and leveraging prior experience is huge.
All as long as there is a plan to pay the hefty bills.
I know a couple weaker students who got summer jobs long before I did, because they knew the right people at the right firms.
Also, your first semester grades don't have much bearing on your final GPA. My first semester was pretty average, but it's come up every semester since then.
Chances are that you land a job through who you know, not Monster or a school's employment service.
this is the wrong advice. "Unless you hate it" is not the right measuring stick. In this environment you should really want to be a lawyer in order to take on over 100 grand in debt, and even then you should think seriously about what it means to have that much debt. And while you can certainly hustle your way into a job, there are no guarantees. Also, making law review and "developing a dynamite personality" are both really hard to do. I don't even know what it would mean to develop a dynamite personality at age 24. Certainly not the kind of experiment I'd want to wager 150k on.
And I seriously thought about cutting losses and getting out after that first semester. Dug out of the hole with some hard work. Leveraged prior work experience and networking into a good job out of school a few years back.
I stuck around out of pride - and the fact that the education was being largely cash financed.
In making your decision, don't let pride get in your way. Confront the realities of the uphill climb and your ability to pay the freight of the education. Good luck with your decision - it's a hard one.
I say stick with it. I left after my first semester and even though I have a great career, I still wish I would have finished it.
Kids, it's ok to go to Law School. Just don't treat it like undergrad.
I disagree. Avoid law school like the plague. Being a lawyer sucks unless you like being saddled with $100k in additional loans and working 12-14 hour days, 6 days a week, all the while wishing you were just about anywhere else. /s
Also, law school is much more enjoyable if you treat it as undergrad, especially if you go to a school with "interesting" coeds . . . For some reason, they seem to think lawyers are more attractive than they really are.
Work sucks unless you like being saddled with $100k in additional loans and working 12-14 hour days, 6 days a week, all the while wishing you were just about anywhere else.
Good point. Maybe I just don't like working in general. Maybe I should just stop. Can I do that? I'm thinking I'll need a good overweight and unhealthy hypnotist that could potentially die while I'm under hypnosis a la Office Space . . .
To be honest, we only care what your wife thinks. I think she has become a semi-celebrity on this board. What was her reaction to the Hoke hire? And the Kris Frost recruitment?
You made me laugh out loud and the guy in the office next to me asked what the hell I was laughing about. How do I explain that one?
FWIW, her first question after I told her that Brady Hoke was hired was: "Who?" (I think I mentioned it, but that was the same question I got from the Chick-fil-A cashier a few days ago.) She is not informed as to recruiting issues other than the Dee Hart saga and she does not appear to care about that in which I was so invested. She does, however, have a big interest in when Michigan will contract with Nike again. She's not a fan of the Adidas font on my t-shirts and I hear about it every time I wear them (which is much more often than she would like).
character that's stupid. Hey, it's just a way the profession is telling people we have too many Lawyers now go do something productive with that high powered degree. Happens in many professions. Sorry, bout that guy it's too bad he had to learn this the hard way.
There aren't a lot of other uses for a law degree, the skills themselves are transitive but a lot of employers aren't interested in someone with that specialized of an education (or at least, employers who offer salaries proportionate to law school tuition). This poor bastard wasn't carrying a debt load much higher than anyone I know who isn't on scholarship, and was working for a public defender who wouldn't hire full-time until they had bar results (a position that is pretty common across public employers, and a lot of firms outside of BigLaw). The Ohio Bar screwed this guy, and is screwing over public defender hiring.
particularly the Veterans Administration has openings all across America and the Phillipines for JDs to do benefits disposistions, or adjudicate Veterans claims. The starting pay is not bad and a job in hand is always good collateral. In some cases the Veterans Administration will pay some or all of the loans back depending on how desperate they are to get someone in that posistion. Could be a good deal all the way around. were talking at a range of $70 - 100 grand.
I'm curious... where are these VA positions posted? There's nothing on USAJobs about them. Just curious.
I am really struggling to decide if I should continue down this path. I don't want to be a quitter, and I enjoy the school aspect to a certain degree; however, I don't really know if I want to be a lawyer all that bad. I came here more for the versatility of the degree than anything else, but I really don't know if it is worth 100K+. I know there are a lot of lawyers on the beard here, what advice would you have for someone like myself?
and the comment above it.
Thanks a lot, I appreciate the advice.
to law school for the same reason as you - because of the versatility i thought a law degree would open a lot of doors. which is true, i think, except now law schools are churning out so many lawyers there are very few jobs for anyone, especially in public interest. (and i went to a "good" law school).
if i were you i might stick it out at this point but honestly if i had to do it all over again i would have looked into a different degree, probably one in public policy.
I was in the same situation after my first year. I thought law school would be interesting and make me a more well-rounded person for whatever job I decided to pursue, and I was hoping to do something in the public interest sector.
However, I seriously considered leaving. Among other reasons, I hated focusing on the academic side 24/7. I decided to give the second year a try, but I wanted to try something different - doing something I liked. I volunteered at a legal aid office, got involved in some of the school organizations, and joined one of the school's legal clinics. It made my experience a lot better because I found that I actually cared about what I was doing.
So if you want any advice, I would say tough out that first year, and then think about what initially interested you in law school. From there, pursue activities, organizations, and opportunities that relate to those initial reasons for going.
I feel your pain. It is still worth it, but it kind of sucks. At least the interest is tax deductible. I also think the rates are variable so they should drop in July or whenever they readjust. Hopefully we can avoid massive inflation for the next ten years! :-)
At the debt load, the degree is not very versatile. You'll gain skills in critical thinking and organizing and presenting arguments, but most employers outside of some consulting groups will wonder why the heck you wasted time and money on a law degree when you aren't going to practice. I'd sit down ASAP and figure out what you want to be doing with your career, and then adjust you education/employment choices toward that goal.
If I were you, I'd cut your losses. If you hate idea of being a lawyer while in law school, you probably will hate the idea even more after you graduate. Cut your losses now and look for work. It may not sound fancy to not finish law school, but it's better than being left with the weight of paying off student loans for the rest of your life, while stuck working a job you're admittedly not sure if you'll even somewhat like.
I went to Law School, realized after the first year that I had no desire to be an attorney. I worked through the next two years, graduated, and never sat for the bar. I went back to healthcare, work 3 days/week, make more than most of my classmates I still have contact with from law school, and am happy with my decision. In retrospect, I should have stopped after year one and saved the money and wear and tear on myself. If your heart is not in it, give continuing some serious thought. Your heart not being into it will undoubtedly impact your performance as well.
With apologies to MGoLawyers, law students, pre-law types, and minors on this site who'd like be lawyers, that is a darkly humorous and wide-ranging article that I think everyone should read.
Wh...wh...what is Snoopy doing in the background of that gif?
attending. I did not enjoy the law education or the practice of law, but the legal education was crucial to my current career in commercial real estate (Space Bitches Space in a different context). I would recommend the JD/MBA combined degree however; with it you can 'write your own ticket".
At the time, law school felt like the inner circles of purgatory. Both brain and liver were elated in the spring of 1997 when it was over. Ashley's and Grizzly Peak were probably a bit sad that I graduated, as the amount of money spent on booze during those three years probably added a fourth year of tuition. Mercifully, my parents paid for it. I have no idea how I managed to pull that off, so I can't speak to the debt situation.
That said, I can give you a perspective on what it has done for me.
I was at Winston Strawn in
The degree, connections and experience have proven invaluable. I miss the 90+ hour weeks like a dog misses fleas...
day grind of the practice; it just wasn't for me. The real estate business, on the other hand is a joy; different every day, constructive (no pun intended), and fulfilling, at least for me. I use my legal education every day, all day long.
Seven years of my life flew by in about 10 minutes. The last three were stressful. Was on planes more often than pilots and working constantly. No wonder I am 38 and single!
I made the decision to leave right about the time for me to be considered for partner. My mentor told me I was nuts (and at the time she was probably right), but I just didn't have it in me anymore.
The fact is, a law school education costs $150,000 and MOST legal jobs don't pay enough to comfortably pay that off. The jobs that do, suck. I'm a 04 UMLS grad, and since I never went into BIGLAW - I've had jobs where I get to see my kids - student loans are the bane of my existence. I could almost drive two BMWs for what I pay in loans every month. I always advise against going to law school, unless you (a) know what lawyers really do everyday (drudgery) and (b) you get some great scholarship.
...but right now, the legal market is beyond brutal, ESPECIALLY in Michigan.
I'm a 3L. I attend a top-25 law school. I'm on pace to graduate magna cum laude. I'm Editor in Chief of one of the legal Journals. I'm on the moot court board. I have four years of pre-law school work experience in a respectable position. And I'm personable, damnit. And I can't get an interview, let alone a job.
As a result, this is my current Student ID picture:
Did you do as I suggested and network with certain individuals?
Haven't heard back, but I'm assuming everyone is still digging out from under the pile o' stuff that develops over Christmastime. I'll follow up again if I don't hear anything soon.
I spent all last semester combing the Midwest for summer jobs, and wound up finding one with a firm in Indy. If you have an interest in talking strategy, drop me a line at jaloh [at] nlaw [dot] northwestern [dot] edu
Find some UMich alums at law firms, ask whether they read the 'blog, and show them your point total. When they put that together with your other outstanding credentials, they'll hire you on the spot.
I'd personally conclude that you have some seriously high bandwidth/capacity, which is obviously good.
I'm starting in a BigLaw firm next year, and I credit a lot of that lucky break from talking college football in my interview/summer associate job and meeting some great UMich alumns.
I graduated law school in May 2007 from a school that, at the time, was top 25. I got my first job in October of that year after basically 2 years of panic, and got it over the other candidates mainly because I told the partner who interviewed me that I could play shortstop or third base on the softball team. Turns out he was the shortstop and felt like he was too old to keep it up, and wanted to move to third base. This kind of random thing actually happens. To be quite honest, I'd probably have done the same thing if I were choosing between equivalently qualified candidates.
Holy Crap Blue! You are more depressing then the coaching search.
That's gonna be my signature for a while. Well played.
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.
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.
I thought income-based repayment was only for those who had taken out their loans in the past 2 years(?).
i graduated law school in may so perhaps it wasn't an option for those before me.
Well no wonder you like your job... you clearly get paid to sit on MGoBlog all day.
with one caveat. If you read the NYT story, it said that despite maybe the top 10% of a law school class getting a "big law" job, most people who go to law school think they will be in the top 10%. It's not that easy. Everyone in law school is competitive and it's not just as easy as saying, "Well, I think I want to be in the Top 10%." It's a real sacrifice and, as the math dictates, 90% of people wont make it... That's just FWIW.
Best of luck, though. Things will pick up soon.
I would generally advise against law school. I had a good time because I was earning my third degree from Michigan, and I was at the bar 5-6 nights a week. A lot of my friends who were getting their MBAs at Ross at the time kept saying they wished they were in law school The reality, though, is that they will be rich one day, and I never will unless I abandon law. Yeah, I had one more year of additional "college" than they did, but now I'm a fucking lawyer.
It's a way to stay in college, but there are other--better--ways to do that too.
MBAs are for sobers.
all the damn time - its all lawyers. That explains why there are 500 post threads arguing about what the real meaning of 7-6 or whether when DB says, "I didn't offer him the job." he actually means he DIDn't offer the job OR that he didn't offer THE job.
I just passed the CA bar exam and am starting my own solo practice out the gate b/c of the bad job market. There are plenty of people who need lawyers if you are willing or able to find them and you are focusing on the right markets.
By the traditional measures of 'job markets', its a historically bad one for new lawyers looking to be hired. My advice is sit and talk to as many real lawyers as you can before law school or early in the process to see if you really want to do it - law school does not equal law practice. If you do, then go to law school and be the best lawyer you can in whatever area you want and don't worry about the money. If you are looking for the best pure economic investment $ vs. salary $, then immediately drop out of college, go to trade school to become a plumber or join the military or start your own business.
Likewise, a 4.0 gpa, at a top-tier school where you are Exec Editor of law reivew and president of the math club is wonderful, but it only matters for your first or second job. After that people only care about what you've done as a professional.
or you can do 4 years of full time military JAG service and then 4 years of reserves and the military COMPLETELY PAYS YOUR LOANS OFF IN 3 YEARS!
Sort of wish I would have done that. Stupid wifey...
I did the Army JAG internship and was offered commission into the Army and Air Force. However, at the time (2001) they were only offering to repay a measly $25,000 after 4 years of service. Compare that to the big firm offer I had it was financially suicide to go the JAG route. Of course, I would love to have done it but I would be seriously hurting financially.
Do they now offer full repayment?
I was talking with a 3L the other day at a bar event and she said that you serve full time for 4 years, then you do 4 years of reserves, but they pay all loans off in 3 years. It blew my mind.
That is the salary but with living expenses and a bunch of other non-taxable income it currently is around 65k. Law students who go into JAGC report the highest job satisfaction of any new lawyers as well. It is much more competitive now though because of all the law firm refugees trying to get anything they can.
I should have done it. But it was tough to pass up the 6 figures staring at me in the face. No one told me how truly sh-tty billing 2000 hours a year can be though. Dammnit.
i think the Ohio Bar was well within their rights to do this BECAUSE it was a character and fitness issue. the item specifically notes
Although the applicant lives with his nine-year-old daughter and her mother in the mother’s home and contributes minimally toward the household expenses, he has been unable to make any payments on his student loans, which began to come due in July 2009. He has also been unable to meet his credit-card obligations since approximately December 2008, and one creditor has obtained a default judgment against him.
he stopped making credit card payments. further, he claimed he was going to file bankruptcy in January but still hadn't done it by May. this means he was being disingenuous when he claimed the debts would not be an issue in his filing.
this is a horrible example to use as bars not understanding the current debt situation. this case looks like a guy who tried to take advantage of what he perceived as loopholes to skirt serious issues, namely that he had accrued debt in a variety of ways that he had taken no steps to address. i graduated law school too and never let my credit card bills go unpaid like him. further, i never claimed i was handling it and then spent 5 months not.
he was denied admission for the simple fact he shows, in his non-legal life, character elements that would easily parallel those of an attorney who fails to file motions, claims he did and continues to collect fees for cases he stopped work on months before. happens all the time. hell, one of my professors at Michigan got nailed for it 2-3 years ago.
I'm really hoping to get into one of the Ph.D programs in engineering I am applying to to avoid paying for a masters. Student loans suck and theres no way I would go into a PhD program if I had to pay for it.
When do you find out if you're admitted? What are your top choices?
My realistic choices are:
My dream shot school (like UM was for undergrad):
Univ of Washington
Not a bad plan. I settled on paying for a masters just because I hate doing research, but I knew I didn't have the skills/resume to get the kind of job I ultimately wanted. PhD programs with funding make a ton of sense if that's your thing.
People say to network but rarely tell you how. Here's how:
If you have access to Martindale-Hubble, which you should if you're in law school, you can do searches of attorneys by undergrad education, law school education, practice area, and city of employment. Make a list of 5-10 cities, then search for Michigan undergrad/law degree-holders in those cities in the practice areas you want.
Once you have that list, send emails to them asking for an "informational interview" asking them how they got to where they are, how they conducted their job search, and informing that you're asking because you feel like you have something in common with them (Michigan interest, desire to work in their city, interest in their practice area). That will start to build your network. After the informational interview, ask if they'd be willing to give you comments/notes on your resume. Most will accept and then you've passed your resume along. If there's something worthwhile on it, you may get unsolicited (yet, in a way, solicited) offers to pass it on. If you don't get these, thank the person very much for his or her time (via hand-written thank you note), and ask them to keep you in mind if they hear of anything. Then follow-up in a month or two to update on your search progress.
Law school is insanely expensive but, in the long run, pays off. Just understand that it's a decade or two post-graduation that you get the payoff. The odds are (read: 95%) you're not going to impress anyone as a baller lawyer when you're 30. Maybe when you're 50, but at that point, you (rightly) wont care.
Commercial real estate is where it's at - especially if you want to be really skinny.
he was denied admission because his unwillingness to be honest about his debt, or pay those whom he owed, would easily lead him to doing this
I echo those who wish they would have gone into JAG. I interned at the Pentagon with the Air Force after my 2nd year and had an amazing time. You get great experience in several areas of the law, don't have to bill anyone, future employers love it and they repay your loans.
I seriously rethought law school on the first day after we had to do this scavenger hunt type expedition of legal research and some d-bag ripped out the page from the final book we had to locate. I treated it like a job, played intramurals almost every day for an extra 3 years of my life and had a great time. The first semester is by far the most important, but like anything else a good connection and knowing how to talk to people can get you what you want.
The question I have is then, how much is the economy picking up? I'm a recent grad on my way to law school with a lot of friends already there, and when my 1-3L friends and I talk about job prospects, they always mention the crash and how the legal market lags behind in the pick up. For those just heading into law school, when we talk about employment, we're talking about speculating what job prospects will be three years from now (given they don't get OCI). For those attorney's on this board, do you see things heading in an upward trend? Or just not getting worse?