Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

It's Official...I Hate Being A Lawyer

Okay I can officially say that being a lawyer is the worst p cocolawyer01/05/18
Any specifics? Maybe it's just your dept, supervisors, etc. 2breedbares01/05/18
Or maybe it is just the people who go into law in general. triplesix01/05/18
This. The people that go into law are generally very...lawy lilgub01/05/18
I am not sure what you guys mean. I am not a jerk, and I kno guyingorillasuit01/05/18
Not everyone in the legal community are jerks, but you find cocolawyer01/05/18
Regarding all the whining proles you have to deal with, what jeffm01/05/18
Leave. Get a job with the government in contracting. A GS-13 flyer1401/05/18
You think it’s easy to do that? I can’t even get intervi notreallyalawyer01/05/18
You did get an interview for a 9, you turned the job down flyer1401/06/18
I like to imagine that transactional work gets to avoid this thirdtierlaw01/05/18
Family law is the worst of the worst. Seriously. I was a tea downwardslope01/05/18
I am now. That could be true but it's still a downgrade of s cocolawyer01/05/18
CoCo, I think that sometimes I hate my work because I get to guyingorillasuit01/05/18
Wow that is pretty bad. Was the set-aside based on fraud and cocolawyer01/05/18
It was way outside of the 2-year period. The argument was "Y guyingorillasuit01/06/18
That's pretty horrific. Do a points & authorities for the co cocolawyer01/06/18
OP, at some point, your complaints begin to say more about themapmaster01/05/18
I thought about that to. Maybe I am just a depressed whiner. cocolawyer01/05/18
What I keep going back to, what would I do that I wouldn't a thirdtierlaw01/05/18
I love politics. Was actively involved on the Sanders campai cocolawyer01/05/18
I've found local politics to be super cliquish, so if you ca thirdtierlaw01/05/18
Coco, didn’t you have something lined up that was non law greenhorn01/05/18
Yeah that was me. Ultimately, they went with someone else. I cocolawyer01/06/18
I work in CA state government and this year I'm resolved to 2breedbares01/06/18
If you don't like being a lawyer than just leave. Try proper giants092401/07/18
I never minded the work. For me what made practicing unbeara thedarkscrivener01/08/18
" so that family or friends don't see me crack. I think aknas01/08/18
I don't know. I certainly can't speak for everyone but it's cocolawyer01/08/18
Coco: In JD Underground terms, at least, you're killing anothernjlawyer01/08/18
I am going on my fifth year of practice. I have made decent cocolawyer01/08/18
Amen brother. I've been in law for 10 years, practicing almo mnjd01/08/18
Yeah I see you. My wife is a stay at home to because she doe cocolawyer01/08/18
Exactly. Lots of pressure! I hope my wife wants to work once mnjd01/08/18
Be careful. My wife said same thing and has said she was pu cocolawyer01/08/18
What did you expect having 4 kids? Sorry, but "Fulfillme dopesmokeresquire01/08/18
Where to begin? I've been practicing for 12 years now. S dopesmokeresquire01/08/18
I never really knew what collection attorneys did. It seems cocolawyer01/08/18
Vohod is a collection attorney and despises it. To me, its t dopesmokeresquire01/08/18
The happiest lawyers I knew, lived off their spouse's income aknas01/08/18

cocolawyer (Jan 5, 2018 - 2:09 pm)

Okay I can officially say that being a lawyer is the worst position I can think of. I thought it was just private practice family law, but I have been working for the Department for almost a year and can now say I just hate the law.

It brings the worst out in people. It's like you are drowning in a pile of *hit, that is never ending. I really am lost now.

Reply Like (0)
2breedbares (Jan 5, 2018 - 2:13 pm)

Any specifics? Maybe it's just your dept, supervisors, etc.

Reply Like (0)
triplesix (Jan 5, 2018 - 2:18 pm)

Or maybe it is just the people who go into law in general.

Reply Like (0)
lilgub (Jan 5, 2018 - 2:45 pm)

This. The people that go into law are generally very...lawyerly.

Reply Like (0)
guyingorillasuit (Jan 5, 2018 - 4:20 pm)

I am not sure what you guys mean. I am not a jerk, and I know many people in my practice area who are not jerks. Being a litigator does not mean you have to be an [email protected] In fact, you will build a network faster if you're honest and reasonable.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 5, 2018 - 5:17 pm)

Not everyone in the legal community are jerks, but you find enough that are. Everyone knows who they are. They make the job near unbearable.

But forget that I work for DCSS now so its a bit different. Attorneys really do not approach me with a chip on their shoulder, attitude, or rudeness. They know I have more pull with a court on a support issue then they do, so it really isn't an issue anymore.

The whining doesn't stop though. I deal with tons of pro-per individuals and they just complain and complain. It's like nails on a chalk board.

Plus I dislike the anal retentiveness that is required. When in private practice I would typically redraft even declarations 3-4 times because the flow was off, or it was not detailed enough for my liking. Of course most opposing counsels declarations are garbage but I just couldn't do that. I dreamed about their cases. I always worried dates were being missed. I had four calendars as protection mechanisms.

So when I went to DCSS I thought that would change. It has to some extent. But the anal retentiveness is still there. I do a true 12 month calendar average not the YTD only and it requires more work. My staff always gets it wrong and calculated the YTD, forcing me to do it over.

Anyways I just don't like the aspect of the law. There is nothing interesting about it. It's just a bunch of anal retentive dbags, with dbag clients, arguing fairly stupid points, with bottom of the barrel judges that rotate so much that you never have a competent judge.

Reply Like (0)
jeffm (Jan 5, 2018 - 8:23 pm)

Regarding all the whining proles you have to deal with, what did you expect? Your world truly is governed by the motto, "Render unto Caesar." You used to think it was worrying in private practice that made you unhappy. Now, you have them by the balls and still aren't happy about it.

I can relate, but always keep it in perspective. The work, money and benefits are really pretty good. Sure beats delivering pizzas. On the other hand, UPS drivers don't do so bad.

Reply Like (0)
flyer14 (Jan 5, 2018 - 2:34 pm)

Leave. Get a job with the government in contracting. A GS-13 or higher contracting officer is paid reasonably well and you leave the legal work to a GS-13 attorney who gets paid the same amount of money as you.

Reply Like (0)
notreallyalawyer (Jan 5, 2018 - 3:41 pm)

You think it’s easy to do that? I can’t even get interviews for gs7 jobs

Reply Like (0)
flyer14 (Jan 6, 2018 - 1:25 am)

You did get an interview for a 9, you turned the job down

Reply Like (0)
thirdtierlaw (Jan 5, 2018 - 2:35 pm)

I like to imagine that transactional work gets to avoid this for the most part.

But I agree family law in particular just wears on you. I couldn't imagine doing child support issues all day long.

Reply Like (0)
downwardslope (Jan 5, 2018 - 3:47 pm)

Family law is the worst of the worst. Seriously. I was a teacher before and hated it. I couldn’t even enjoy my weekends because I hated it so much. It wasn’t like I could really switch practice areas.

Coco, aren’t you in child support or something? I had one coworker warn me at some point that it was the worst job in state government in terms of stress because literally NO ONE likes you. Period.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 5, 2018 - 6:10 pm)

I am now. That could be true but it's still a downgrade of stress from private family law practice.

Reply Like (0)
guyingorillasuit (Jan 5, 2018 - 4:15 pm)

CoCo, I think that sometimes I hate my work because I get too obsessed with my cases. A bad ruling really ruins my day, especially a ruling that completely ignores the law. I am also a family lawyer, and as we all know, most people in family law cannot afford an appeal. Whatever a judge says is final. I went to court this morning, and the other party attempted to set aside an 11 year old judgment based on a letter from someone. This is way past the statute of limitations, and the letter was hearsay. The judge didn't care that this attempt should be rejected as a matter of law. They will rule the way they want to, because they know you won't appeal. This ruling really poisoned my day. I went home right after court, instead of going to the office, and now I don't want to do any more work this afternoon.

I sometimes hate the law just like you. Still, I feel like I am actually helping people on my good days, and that is what keeps me going. If I were you, I would focus on good days, and forget about the bad ones.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 5, 2018 - 6:13 pm)

Wow that is pretty bad. Was the set-aside based on fraud and the court found when she knew or should of known about it was within the two year period? I just don't know how they can come to that ruling without that.

I don't have good days or bad days at the department. They are all just muddling days.

Reply Like (0)
guyingorillasuit (Jan 6, 2018 - 12:10 am)

It was way outside of the 2-year period. The argument was "Your Honor, I know the judgment said I had $XXX back then, which led to me owing an equalizing payment, which I never paid. I know I had a lawyer, and we both signed off. However, I never really had $XXX back then. Can I just not pay, please?" The judge then continued the hearing and asked the guy to come back with proof. I sat there thinking "what the hell just happened?"

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 6, 2018 - 4:06 am)

That's pretty horrific. Do a points & authorities for the court and a court reporter next hearing and tell the court that as a matter of law tgis court should summarily deny x request as it is past the statue of limitations to consider the request. If the judge is not receptive tell them verbatim please give me your legal rational for the record so that I can appeal tgis decision as its an egregious error of law. You will piss off your judge but I bet they back off.

Reply Like (0)
themapmaster (Jan 5, 2018 - 4:51 pm)

OP, at some point, your complaints begin to say more about you than the law.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 5, 2018 - 6:14 pm)

I thought about that to. Maybe I am just a depressed whiner. But not really I just don't enjoy it. I literally never complain about anything, even law, outside of this thread. It's kind of my venting so that family or friends don't see me crack.

Reply Like (0)
thirdtierlaw (Jan 5, 2018 - 6:42 pm)

What I keep going back to, what would I do that I wouldn't also be miserable doing, that also will pay the bills?

I got a job offer to join a lobbying group, but the starting pay was terrible and it looked like they worked the same hours. I probably would have loved that, but so many of the lobbyist I know appear so run down at the end of the day. I also got two fed job offers, but same boat with salary but the risk of being bored out of my mind. So what is there that won't become insufferable after awhile?

There are many days I feel the exact same as you do, so I don't blame you for venting on here. If you asked any of the people I practice with or knows me, they all think I love my job.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 5, 2018 - 6:48 pm)

I love politics. Was actively involved on the Sanders campaign. Honestly I went to law school to transition it to a political career but am left kind of in the wind to even no where to start.

Reply Like (0)
thirdtierlaw (Jan 5, 2018 - 7:23 pm)

I've found local politics to be super cliquish, so if you can work your way in with those people, bigger positions become available to you pretty quickly. Might be a good escape and if you keep the mindless gov job you can actually campaign after work hours.

Reply Like (0)
greenhorn (Jan 5, 2018 - 10:11 pm)

Coco, didn’t you have something lined up that was non law related and with the GS Warriors ? Maybe I’m confusing you with someone else, but I think it was you. What happened with that ?

I too find most law boring, but I’m a solo now and what makes it worthwhile is the freedom of being your own boss. That’s an entirely different can of worms, but the only thing keeping me in is basically being able to do what I want.

You’re in a good spot. You’re probably home at a decent hour everyday, you have good benefits, etc, etc. I think you need a hobby to give you something to look forward to every evening or the weekends.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 6, 2018 - 4:01 am)

Yeah that was me. Ultimately, they went with someone else. I waited to long as I went back and forth about compensation and cost of living in SF area.

I do come home timely. I don't stay late. Its pretty kush. Again this is how I know I don't like the law.

Reply Like (0)
2breedbares (Jan 6, 2018 - 4:33 am)

I work in CA state government and this year I'm resolved to work on non-law side projects to find more professional outlets.

Reply Like (0)
giants0924 (Jan 7, 2018 - 9:48 am)

If you don't like being a lawyer than just leave. Try property management or flipping homes. The road to success doesn't have to be the traditional path that everyone says you need to go down. It's not about what you make, it's what you keep and invest which gives you the power to walk away. That's what money does, it gives you options and choices. I say build your nest egg and then you can choose what to do with your life and be on your own terms. I have a friend who dropped out of law school and started some cab company out in LA and makes millions. He was very entrepreneurial.

Reply Like (0)
thedarkscrivener (Jan 8, 2018 - 9:19 am)

I never minded the work. For me what made practicing unbearable was dealing with other lawyers. I know not all lawyers are jerks, but there are enough to spoil to whole batch. It's one thing when it's opposing counsel. You expect that to an extent, but when you have to come in every day and deal with coworkers and bosses who are jerks too, it wears you down. I'm so happy to be out.

Reply Like (0)
aknas (Jan 8, 2018 - 10:34 am)

" so that family or friends don't see me crack.


I think this is the elephant in the room that the law school scam tries to sweep under the rug.

Every other career has options for support and intervention, but not law.

In law, the only option is to go to AA for drug or alcohol counseling. But if you're not a druggie or an alky, then you literally are on your own. There is nobody to help you.

"It's just a bunch of anal retentive dbags, with dbag clients, arguing fairly stupid points, with bottom of the barrel judges that rotate so much that you never have a competent judge.

This is correct, and you only are as good as your last case. Most of your colleagues will tell you to go have a drink with your barman and forget about it, or to take a couple percosets and forget about it, but if you're not an alky or druggy, this advice is not helpful.


So what happens when you crack? The bar will tell you to go to rehab, but if you're not an alky or druggy, it's not helpful.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 8, 2018 - 10:54 am)

I don't know. I certainly can't speak for everyone but it's a drain on your soul. Again way better in government then was at private practice but christ law sucks

Reply Like (0)
anothernjlawyer (Jan 8, 2018 - 10:58 am)

Coco:

In JD Underground terms, at least, you're killing it in life. A California government job with rock star benefits is better than what 95% of the people here (including me) can hope for.

People whine and complain in every industry. Try being a teacher and having lunatic parents screaming at you when their kid gets an A- or accusing you assault / "bullying" in order to get their kid the starting position on the soccer team. Go into corporate finance and get your head ripped off for miscalulating some interest rate (or something, I don't know anything about corporate finance).

Another lawyer is a d!ck? Who cares? It's not like he's going to beat you up on the playground in front of the girls after school. If you did your job, (i.e., didn't badly miss timelines, etc..), there's no consequence a d!ck lawyer can really inflict on you.

If I recall correctly, you're maybe 5 or 6 years out of school. The further out you get, the easier it gets to deal with difficult people. You become competent enough that you know you didn't screw up (the fear of which is where 95% of law-related stress comes from, in my opinion), and you learn how to efficiently deal with difficult people. You don't personalize it, you don't get frustrated, no matter how ridiculous the outcome may be, and you severely limit the amount of whining you'll listen to from any one person.

The practice of law can be absurd. But your paycheck, benefits, and ability to support your family aren't. If you had to sing nursery rhymes for 8 hours a day to support your family, you'd realize it was ridiculous, but you'd play the game and do it anyway. Sometimes, it helps to think of law the same way.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 8, 2018 - 11:21 am)

I am going on my fifth year of practice. I have made decent money and from the DCSS standpoint I know most everything that I will ever run into for this position. I am not nervous about the law I am however non confrontational by nature.

Reply Like (0)
mnjd (Jan 8, 2018 - 11:02 am)

Amen brother. I've been in law for 10 years, practicing almost 4. It just seems to get crappier with every day. Made good money this year and wife gets to stay at home with my four kids, but I am at the lowest point I have ever been at in my life.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 8, 2018 - 11:31 am)

Yeah I see you. My wife is a stay at home to because she doesn't want to work. Wifes lack of working in my opinion only adds to the misery. You get even more nervous about losing your job as everyone will starve/lose everything.

Reply Like (0)
mnjd (Jan 8, 2018 - 11:35 am)

Exactly. Lots of pressure! I hope my wife wants to work once all kids are in school. 3 more years! Then maybe, just maybe, I can take some risk and try to do my own thing or leave law altogether. Think I am going to start to learn code like many have suggested. I don't know, it's hard going to work everyday where there is no fulfillment.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 8, 2018 - 12:09 pm)

Be careful. My wife said same thing and has said she was putting together her resume for the past year. It's a stall tactic. They are waiting until the gap is so large in thier resume they will be unemployable

Reply Like (0)
dopesmokeresquire (Jan 8, 2018 - 2:47 pm)

What did you expect having 4 kids?

Sorry, but "Fulfillment" and "having 4 kids" means you don't get to be fulfilled. You take the job that lets you earn the most.

Also, if your kids are in school then there is no excuse for the SAHM thing anymore. At that point, she isn't pulling her weight in the household, and leaving the household at risk if can YOU lost your job. It's just irresponsible and lazy on her part, and enabling on your part if you allow it.

Reply Like (0)
dopesmokeresquire (Jan 8, 2018 - 12:18 pm)

Where to begin?

I've been practicing for 12 years now. Started as a lowly associate in a family law firm, then became a pd, then had my own practice, joined up with another firm as a contractor, then became the managing partner at that firm which is where I am now. My name is on the door.

The first job sucked because family law sucks, and i knew nothing about practicing law. Oh, and the boss was sociopathic screamer. Terrible office politics.

The PD job sucked because of the caseload, but by that point i could deal with clients. The worst part was the intra-office politics and inter-office politcs of a government agency. Crazy boss too. Money was better than the first job though

Solo practice- I liked it. No office politics. Only interaction was with clients and court. I made money fairly quickly, but the drawback as always was the always preset fear of a bad month.

Current set up-No office politics. Just me and my secretary. OF course, there is always the clients that don't pay and the specter of bad month but much less because i have institutional clients. More fixed expenses at current gig, and more of traditional brick and mortar practice.

It's important to know your dealbreakers and what causes the most misery. For me, it was dealing with co-workers, bosses and the Office Politik. I hated it, and I haven't dealt with it in 5 years. And i WILL NEVER deal with again. I put myself on the path to excise that from my life. I succeeded.

I'm at the point where, for me, it doesn't get much better than this. And still 49% of time it sucks and I want leave the law lol. My current dream job is I am a independent contractor collection attorney driving around screwing over debtors and getting default judgments.

Reply Like (0)
cocolawyer (Jan 8, 2018 - 12:22 pm)

I never really knew what collection attorneys did. It seems pretty cut and dry

Reply Like (0)
dopesmokeresquire (Jan 8, 2018 - 2:09 pm)

Vohod is a collection attorney and despises it. To me, its the easiest area of practice and mostly cut and paste. OF course, if you are working for someone else it would suck. Also, the deadbeats sucks, but i rather enjoy making their life miserable.

Reply Like (0)
aknas (Jan 8, 2018 - 1:09 pm)

The happiest lawyers I knew, lived off their spouse's income, hung a shingle as a hobby, and spent their spare time attending free real estate seminars for fun and profit.

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread