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Law Career
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Menace Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Law Career
(10-17-2011 08:33 AM)joehoya Wrote:  If you actually do go to law school, and graduate without a great job lined up, let me give you a strategy that my former lawyer boss used to make bank. The beauty of it is that it will work even if you don't have a ton of experience. What she taught me was to find a small niche legal procedure that could be systematized and scaled (basically a cookie cutter formula) and do that. It won't be glamorous, but you can make bank.

Her method was to find people that were owed real estate and unclaimed investment assets from folks that had died with no declared heirs (this was 15 years ago, so the details are a bit hazy). She would find the money and the heirs, and take a commission for the job. The real beauty of her set up was that 99% of the work could be done by a legal assistant (which was my job at the time) making $10-12 per hour (she only paid me $7 or $8 15 years ago). She didn't spend more than half an hour per client, including the client interview, and would walk away with a fat check on every deal.

The real beauty was that there are tons of these little niches out there that require someone with the knowledge and/or credentials of a lawyer to exploit. She had a list of them. She only did the one mentioned above because that was all she needed to make a ton of cash.

I'm almost done with school and am working in "big law," although I have advanced degrees in other fields that make me valuable. What joehoya writes above is exactly what I always thought the real value of a law degree is. It's doing these obscure little legal services and always making sure that funds are available for payment, which is what ultimately matters. The challenge is 1) finding the one or more of these little areas, and 2) getting clients. I'm sure it's possible with hard work and ingenuity.
10-17-2011 11:34 AM
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felipeelabogado Offline
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Post: #27
RE: Law Career
This is a decision NO ONE but you can make. I worked for 5 years in technology after undergrad, made good bank even during the tech crash, however I HATED corporate America. I hated being a drone in a big company, hated having no freedom, 2 weeks vacation, 7 sick days, Managers, meetings, reports, that drained my soul like a turbo charged Dyson. At that point in my life I had a kid, mortgage on a house, car note, the whole bill of goods sold to me by the media in how to be a good American. Finally I woke up and said F-this. I wanted to start my own business, control my own destiny. I looked at alot of different ideas on starting my own company. You have to realize that nearly any business you start has high start up costs and barriers to entry. That's when I chose being a Lawyer. If you look at practicing law like starting any other business then it makes more sense. Your start up "inventory" is your legal education. I would have had a MUCH harder time getting inventory financing had I opened a furniture store, or even a convenience store. I sold my house, moved my family and went to a Tier 4 law school on a full scholarship. I graduated at the very top of my class and had several job offers at bigger regional firms making 160k year, but guess what, I declined. I was focused and I was sticking to my plan, being my own boss. I started my own firm right out of school practicing a niche area. I hung my shingle 5 years ago today and regret nothing. Am I making 160k a year, no, however every year gets better and I AM IN CONTROL. No boss except my clients, complete freedom as to when and how much I want to work, whether I take a case. The key is if you look at lawschool as a business investment and not be some stooge who is sold on the idea of "oh I should go to law school because lawyers are rich, and powerful, and only the best school will do." ITS A CROCK. By the way nearly all my friends that did go to big firms have quit. That is a brutal life 70 hours a week is a light week. The point is think for yourself, research and have a plan BEFORE you decide and it can be an awesome choice.
10-17-2011 11:46 AM
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Thatdude Offline
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Post: #28
RE: Law Career
I'm debating this shit right now. I'm still a junior but ideally I would like to attend a T-14 law school and I think I could given my grades and practice LSAT scores..(whatever that's good for), but I don't know what to do. I shadowed a lawyer a few days this past summer here in DC but man oh man, that shit was so boring it made me want to cry. The only thing I keep thinking about is the money...maybe that would change my mind. I don't know though, I just don't at this point. Great insight in this thread though, it really makes me think.
(This post was last modified: 09-27-2012 10:07 PM by Thatdude.)
09-27-2012 10:06 PM
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lavidaloca Offline
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Post: #29
RE: Law Career
If you don't like it, you won't make the money. The guys who like this stuff are the guys who kill it. I'm in law school right now. I can tell you, there are subjects and classes I thoroughly enjoy and other ones that are mindblowingly boring. But as long as you enjoy some area and practice that it's good enough. You don't gotta love corporate, commercial, estates, family etc. Getting good grades isn't as easy as you'd think in law school. It's easy if your willing to do the work. But most people are bored mindlessly by some classes i.e. constitutional law and hence, do poorly in it while theres those few guys and girls who are obsessed with the law. They literally eat, sleep and breathe this stuff and just rip every class. Personally I'd never work big law and I don't regret going to law school thus far. I have got a job though unlike many people so I can't complain. Just make sure it's for you though.
09-28-2012 12:53 AM
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JohnKreese Offline
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Post: #30
RE: Law Career
http://thirdtierreality.blogspot.com/

This is an interesting blog where the guy talks shit (literally) about 3rd and 4th-tier law schools and the shitty legal profession/prospects in general.

"In America we don't worship government, we worship God." - President Donald J. Trump
(This post was last modified: 09-28-2012 09:27 AM by JohnKreese.)
09-28-2012 09:26 AM
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Chewbacon Offline
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Post: #31
RE: Law Career
Okay guys.

SHAN here. I haven't been able to contribute much to the game forum, but perhaps I can share my experience here and contribute to the forums.

I go to a Top 14 law school (It's an ivy that punches above its rank in terms of big law placement). I went to law school because i had a shitty liberal arts major in undergrad and basically felt it was the only way I could learn a decent skill that could lead to a high paying corporate job. Moreover, one of my main goals was to go to NYC, get some good corporate law experience, and then ------> asia.

Fast forward to today. I am in the midst of recruiting season. I didn't too horribly in my first year - about median/middle of the pack relative to my class. However, I've been completely shut out of NYC (and pretty much any major big city, for that matter). Granted, I've received multiple callbacks (for those who are contemplating law school - callbacks are basically second-round/finalist interviews), but they are all big law in shitty, shitty secondary markets (for example, who wants to work in Buffalo??). Getting shut out of NYC for this summer dramatically decreases my chances of going to NYC post-graduation, and failure to achieve that dramatically narrows my options for getting to Asia. I'm now looking at alternative careers (accounting, consulting, advisory, legal compliance), or at the very least, alternative career paths (for example, secondary market law firm ----> consulting ---> asia; or JD ---> MPA ----> consulting) - just trying to brainstorm and really think 10-year long-term. I've had to significantly expand my time frame for achieving my dream of working in asia. Granted, this setback may also be a blessing in disguise - I've always been ambivalent about being a lawyer (I wouldn't have gone to law school had my school been ranked lower).

The point of my message, though, is this:
Don't go to law school unless you really, really want to be a lawyer. That is, if you have no ulterior motive - no desire to "flip" your JD to some other career - and you don't care about money, then go for it. Do it only because you truly "love the law" (which, btw, is a fucking myth - how the hell do you know whether you love practicing if you've never done it? Not even law students know what practice really means). The legal industry post-crash is in a bad place. Granted, it's better than finance, but it's still not good. And on the ten-year horizon, law and invesmtent banking are probably going to contract rapidly, because corporate clients have figured out they don't need a bunch of kids to do document review or prepare excel spreadsheets for 500 dollars/hour.

Since this is also a travel-interested community, take my experience in mind. I took a gamble in going to law school - law is a geographically confined industry - and the payoff, so far, has been as disappointing as the facebook stock. I'll probably find a way to get to asia, but it will be much, much harder than I expected.

And I go to a good school that has good prospects for NYC big law. If you aren't going to a T-14, and you care about things like living in a cosmopolitan city, getting a big firm job, and having the opportunity to travel or lateral to other countries, then law school is not even a reasonable gamble to make.
09-28-2012 10:49 AM
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Thatdude Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Law Career
(09-28-2012 10:49 AM)SHANbangs Wrote:  Okay guys.

SHAN here. I haven't been able to contribute much to the game forum, but perhaps I can share my experience here and contribute to the forums.

I go to a Top 14 law school (It's an ivy that punches above its rank in terms of big law placement). I went to law school because i had a shitty liberal arts major in undergrad and basically felt it was the only way I could learn a decent skill that could lead to a high paying corporate job. Moreover, one of my main goals was to go to NYC, get some good corporate law experience, and then ------> asia.

Fast forward to today. I am in the midst of recruiting season. I didn't too horribly in my first year - about median/middle of the pack relative to my class. However, I've been completely shut out of NYC (and pretty much any major big city, for that matter). Granted, I've received multiple callbacks (for those who are contemplating law school - callbacks are basically second-round/finalist interviews), but they are all big law in shitty, shitty secondary markets (for example, who wants to work in Buffalo??). Getting shut out of NYC for this summer dramatically decreases my chances of going to NYC post-graduation, and failure to achieve that dramatically narrows my options for getting to Asia. I'm now looking at alternative careers (accounting, consulting, advisory, legal compliance), or at the very least, alternative career paths (for example, secondary market law firm ----> consulting ---> asia; or JD ---> MPA ----> consulting) - just trying to brainstorm and really think 10-year long-term. I've had to significantly expand my time frame for achieving my dream of working in asia. Granted, this setback may also be a blessing in disguise - I've always been ambivalent about being a lawyer (I wouldn't have gone to law school had my school been ranked lower).

The point of my message, though, is this:
Don't go to law school unless you really, really want to be a lawyer. That is, if you have no ulterior motive - no desire to "flip" your JD to some other career - and you don't care about money, then go for it. Do it only because you truly "love the law" (which, btw, is a fucking myth - how the hell do you know whether you love practicing if you've never done it? Not even law students know what practice really means). The legal industry post-crash is in a bad place. Granted, it's better than finance, but it's still not good. And on the ten-year horizon, law and invesmtent banking are probably going to contract rapidly, because corporate clients have figured out they don't need a bunch of kids to do document review or prepare excel spreadsheets for 500 dollars/hour.

Since this is also a travel-interested community, take my experience in mind. I took a gamble in going to law school - law is a geographically confined industry - and the payoff, so far, has been as disappointing as the facebook stock. I'll probably find a way to get to asia, but it will be much, much harder than I expected.

And I go to a good school that has good prospects for NYC big law. If you aren't going to a T-14, and you care about things like living in a cosmopolitan city, getting a big firm job, and having the opportunity to travel or lateral to other countries, then law school is not even a reasonable gamble to make.



Wow thanks a ton for your insight man. I appreciate that shit and I hope things do eventually work out for you as I'm sure they will. From reading the replies on this thread and a few other places on the internet I don't think it's looking like the move for me. I'm just glad I'm figuring it out while I'm still in school.
09-28-2012 02:09 PM
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Sherman Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Law Career
One thing to consider is that the cost of law school has gotten truly frightening. It’s a lot more than when I went to school. You are going to be a slave to debt for years which is going to take up your youth pulling long hours and weekends. Also obtaining partner is becoming a thing of the past. The large firms have developed a two tired partner structure with the new partner being little more than a glorified employee. Another option is to get a teacher’s license and some experience. If you are a licensed teacher you can teach in any country (and not just English) and could end up making a comfortable salary teaching in a pussy paradise with three months’ vacation.

Rico... Sauve....
09-28-2012 02:45 PM
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Merenguero Offline
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Post: #34
RE: Law Career
(09-28-2012 02:45 PM)Sherman Wrote:  One thing to consider is that the cost of law school has gotten truly frightening. It’s a lot more than when I went to school.

Very true. I have been out of law school for ten years and even then, I was $100,000 in debt when I graduated. It is probably very common nowadays to be $150,000 to even $200,000 in debt at the time of law school graduation. This is not even including any debt incurred during undergrad. Luckily, I did not incur any debt during undergrad. I did go to a college full of grenades, though, so I guess I suffered enough. When I was in law school, there were people in my class who were able to get through school without investing much money. I'm talking about a total of $24,000 for all three years of law school without incurring any debt. They were able to do this by getting in-state tuition at a state law school and living with their parents. Now, even state law schools are much more expensive than they previously were. You can still get through it without incurring a six-figure debt if you attend a state law school and have some kind of living arrangement which is either very inexpensive or free.
09-28-2012 03:48 PM
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Roustabout Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Law Career
Let me reiterate a lot of what has been said above. I've been practicing for 15 years. I graduated from a top 50 law school (now it's top 30). I was not at the top of my class. It has been a tough career choice. The market is oversaturated with lawyers and should remain so for the next 5 years or so. Prior to going to law school, do yourself a favor and go work for a law firm. Be a paralegal, runner, anything, just do it to get an understanding as to what lawyers do on a day-to-day basis. It's vastly different from what you see on TV. I never did that.

Like a lot of people, I got a useless undergraduate degree. Not knowing what to do next, I went to law schoold b/c I heard you could do a lot of things with a law degree. Unless you graduate from Harvard, Yale, Stanford or a Top 10 lawschool, I believe your career choices are limited to practicing law, and the thought that you can "do a lot of things with a law degree" is bullshit. Also, don't forget, unless you want to take multiple bar exams, you will be limited to practicing in one state. The law is not a portable profession.

If you are going to do it, the one area of the law that I would recommend would be patent law. However, in order to get into this, you need a background in the hard sciences or engineering. There exist a separate bar exam for patent lawyers. In order to take it, you must have completed a certain number of science and mathematics courses (google patent bar requirements). I would guess that only 10 to 20 percent of law school students possess this background. Thus, competition is not as great in this area.

Best of luck in your choice, but do not go into it blindly.
09-28-2012 04:33 PM
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Lemmo Offline
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Post: #36
RE: Law Career
Don't do it unless you have a scholarship. It is impossible to predict what the legal market will look like by the time you'd graduate but the chances that you'd land a job that would pay enough to justify the expense and the time is currently almost zero. Things are sufficiently bad that there will likely be a huge oversupply of lawyers (i.e., a lot of competition for every job) for many years.

I've been in biglaw for over a decade so I was lucky to get in while it was still a bit of a gravy train. Now, I see a lot of top tier Ivy league resumes from junior associates being sent to second tier firms. Plus, even if you land a job, you'll be the first on the chopping block if there is another down turn (saw a lot of 1st year associates get canned after 6 months on the job back in 2008-9). So even IF the economy improves and IF you get hired by a top firm (the only law jobs that pay a lot to new grads) and IF you manage to survive any layoffs, you'll have acquired $150K+ of debt for a job where salaries are stagnant and bonuses are declining, where you spend 2000+ hours/year shuffling paper and where partnership prospects have disappeared. Best case scenario would getting a job at a top NYC firm but once you factor in taxes and expenses, it seems it would take you at least 5 years just to pay off your debts.
09-28-2012 06:24 PM
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Lemmo Offline
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Post: #37
RE: Law Career
(06-16-2010 02:34 PM)Samseau Wrote:  Well guys, you sold me; the new stats for law schools are out this summer and the situation sucks beyond belief. Time to get out of this shit while I'm ahead.

Not sure what I can do at this point, but at least it won't be 3 years with 100K wasted. What a fucked up world I was born into.

Good choice. Keep in mind that law school is not particularly challenging. You can always do it later if it becomes a more rational choice. It is probably best done later in life anyway when you have a higher capacity for boredom and more interesting youth oriented fields are closed to you. Most students at the top law schools have at least a few years of experience before studying.
09-28-2012 06:32 PM
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Neo Offline
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Post: #38
RE: Law Career
I read through part of this thread and it seems that a lot of guys are considering law as a career and want to know about law school.
(This post was last modified: 02-06-2016 04:24 PM by Neo.)
09-29-2012 03:57 PM
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Chewbacon Offline
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Post: #39
RE: Law Career
Lemmo,

Any thoughts of alternative career paths for T-14 JDs?

Btw, it's good to know that someone in big law is on this site and understands game. Most of the dudes I know in law school are a bunch of betas, and even the few guys with a modicum of social skills have beta ideals. It's honestly why 4s and 5s at my school think they are 8s and 9s.
09-29-2012 05:20 PM
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Lemmo Offline
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Post: #40
RE: Law Career
(09-29-2012 05:20 PM)SHANbangs Wrote:  Lemmo,

Any thoughts of alternative career paths for T-14 JDs?

Btw, it's good to know that someone in big law is on this site and understands game. Most of the dudes I know in law school are a bunch of betas, and even the few guys with a modicum of social skills have beta ideals. It's honestly why 4s and 5s at my school think they are 8s and 9s.

A lot of the alternative career paths dried up when the economy tanked. There are still some potential interesting options but they are very low paying - FBI, JAG, Foreign Service. I know quite a few people who ended up in i-banking, consulting or in finance roles at hedge funds but I doubt that is a realistic option for people coming up now - you'd probably need to enter in a legal role and try to move to a business role later. if you can develop foreign language skills, you will separate yourself from the pack and have a chance at firm and in-house jobs overseas, which will usually have many of the same drawbacks as Biglaw in the US but are IMHO more interesting than working in NYC and can be very lucrative if an expat package is provided. You are also less replaceable (but also potentially less mobile) than the cogs in the firm's US offices.
09-29-2012 06:40 PM
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Post: #41
RE: Law Career
(03-29-2010 03:07 PM)kingkong Wrote:  I get the strong impression that law school is pretty much a racket.

http://www.calicocat.com/2004/08/law-sch...g-lie.html
http://www.halfsigma.com/2006/06/wall_street_jou_1.html

I know four people who went to good law schools and now have nothing to do with law, and never profited from it. It was a big waste of their time and money as best I can tell. I only know a couple lawyers who have lucrative jobs, and I don't think they even like it.

Law school only makes sense if you're smart enough to graduate in the top third from a top five school. And if you're smart enough to do that, you're smart enough to do lots of other lucrative things that don't suck as much as working at a large law firm.

Evidence is strong that professional services such as law will be in a bear market for years. There is huge overcapacity built up in boom times. The big profits are gone and not coming back.

I would advise you don't go to law school and figure something else out.


I second this. You are about 90% likely to screw up your life by going to law school. This isn't the 80s anymore. Don't do it.
09-29-2012 06:56 PM
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lavidaloca Offline
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Post: #42
RE: Law Career
If you have a good connection and not your uncle's buddy type of connection. I don't see how law school can be that bad of choice. But the price of law school is way different in America than here. Our whole degree in Canada costs about the same as 1 year at an American law school.
(This post was last modified: 09-29-2012 07:27 PM by lavidaloca.)
09-29-2012 07:26 PM
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WestIndianArchie Offline
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Post: #43
RE: Law Career
Do anything else, just not law.
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09-29-2012 09:58 PM
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lavidaloca Offline
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Post: #44
RE: Law Career
Keep in mind, Archie and other lawyers on the board that the legal market is very different from country to country. In Canada over 90% of students get jobs afterwards and something like 1/7 associates make partner. Hours are a lot less as well with minimum billing usually between 17-1800 hours. Yes, pay is less but still over 100k. In the US anyone can go to law school. You have hundreds of law schools. There are single law schools that graduate more law students in 1 year than graduate in the most popular legal market, the province of Ontario per year.

The UK may be different as well and other areas.
(This post was last modified: 09-30-2012 02:04 AM by lavidaloca.)
09-30-2012 02:02 AM
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germanico Offline
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Post: #45
RE: Law Career
As a law school graduate, Id wish Id spent those years doing something more important like meditating in a cave.
09-30-2012 04:34 AM
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Post: #46
RE: Law Career
In the past, I heavily flirted with going to law school given that I speak 6 languages and wanted to get into international law. Even applied and got the application package ready to be sent which I'm sure I would have been accepted as I met with the dean of the faculty I was applying at at the time. But things happened, met some lawyers, both at my previous jobs and from people I know even on my trips, specially in Brasil and Asia, with some local and expat lawyers and the overwhelming message from all of them was don't do it. Way too much stress, too many hours, and mentioned above, working for or with despicable and amoral clients. Reading the comments in here as well as on the various law forums out there, I get the feeling I did the right choice by not going to LS. I might still go in the future but not to practice in big law but rather to assist me in my current business, specially if I decide to proceed heads on with consulting in China...
09-30-2012 02:56 PM
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RE: Law Career
10-01-2012 08:31 AM
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Merenguero Offline
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Post: #48
RE: Law Career
I believe my opinion as to whether it is a good idea to go into the legal profession differs from that of most of the posters here and quite possibly from that of most of the legal community. I wrote in another post that I don't regret anything I have ever done. This is entirely true. If I could go back to high school or college in the same years in which I was in high school and college, I would definitely not have changed my decision to go to law school. If I were in high school or college now, as opposed to many years ago, I may not make the same decision which I made. I am basing this on my observations that the legal market for new law school graduates seems to be far worse and much more competitive than it was when I was just starting out. Because I entered the profession when I did, I was able to get my foot in the door pretty easily and make some of the contacts which I needed to make in order to be successful when the time came to start my own practice. If I were entering the profession now, or three years from now, or seven years from now, I believe it would be much more difficult and may not be worthwhile. A better idea may be to get a college education, which I believe everyone should get, and focus on starting a business.

It is often discussed how saturated the legal market is and how many highly qualified attorneys at major law firms burn out after a few years or even less than that. What is not frequently discussed is that many people who have excellent credentials are simply not functional and may not be successful in any setting. The world is full of people who are extremely impressive on paper, but have no real talent. There are things that the college that a person attends, the LSAT score that a person receives, the grades a person earns, the law school that a person attends, and the bar exam do not begin to measure. Don't get me wrong. There are thousands, if not millions, of lawyers in the world, Barack Obama included, who have excellent credentials and have the other qualities which are needed to be highly successful in the world and who capitalize on their abilities. There are also plenty of those people who are simply not functional. There are many top trial lawyers who are either sole practitioners or at small firms who have less than top educational backgrounds who are multi-millionaires. Those people are making the most of what they were given. I equate this to a guy who has looks, intelligence, is successful, both financially and in other ways, but is completely unsuccessful with women. In my opinion, guys like that are not functional. We then have Roosh, who I believe by his own admission, is not a male model, does not have GQ style, and whose financial circumstances would not lead him to be confused with a member of the Kennedy family anytime soon. He does, however, have some qualities which make him successful with women, some qualities which have nothing to do with looks, money, style. He is making the most of what he has which is what I believe I do in a professional sense. My resume is very average or even below average, but I am much more successful than many people who have top credentials.

(09-29-2012 09:58 PM)WestIndianArchie Wrote:  According to a poll by the American Bar Association, lawyers were asked if they could do it all over again, and choose whether or not to go to law school, 50% said no, they wouldn't go to law school.

I read a statistic similar to this in the past. I don't doubt for a second that it is accurate. I also read a statistic that a much higher percentage of Hispanic lawyers than non-Hispanic lawyers whould choose to go to law school if they could do it all over again. I'm sorry to bring race into to this discussion, but I believe it is relevant here. Almost 100% of my clients are Hispanic and that has been the case for almost the entire time I have been practicing law. The lawyers with whom I associate are all either Hispanic or are fully fluent in Spanish. Among them, there may be a higher percentage who like what they do. There are some areas of the law which have more growth than others. Patent law has been discussed above. My field is providing bilingual legal services to Hispanic clients. In my opinion, this is a hot area of the law and will be for years to come. I am fully aware that this particular market has become saturated in recent years, more in some cities and states than others. In my opinion a fully bilingual lawyer who is competent, hard working, and who treats people well will have a bright future, not only now, but for many years to come. There are parts of this country which are dying for bilingual lawyers, two which come to mind are the Atlanta area (specifically Gwinnett County) and North Carolina. There are many, many underrepresented Hispanic people in those areas.

I stated in another thread that I plan on retiring pretty soon at a very early age. This is entirely true. I do not plan on retiring because I am dissatisfied with my legal career or I think I made a mistake by going into law. I plan on retiring because I would like to move to a warmer climate with better talent and concentrate on my favorite hobby of approaching topless girls on Miami Beach. I spent a full week of every month doing that last year and I obviously believe that it was time well spent.
10-01-2012 10:04 PM
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