Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Future in the dusty basement?

Some months ago, I had a conversation with someone who asked nighthawk01/23/18
"Juris Doctorate" LoL. wutwutwut01/23/18
"Big litigation"? If you're doing "big litigation" you are a therewillbeblood01/23/18
If OP is in a major city (metro area > 2 million) then OP ha flyer1401/23/18
Debt is a major consideration as is the quality of his progr 6figuremistake01/23/18
3 months from now: "Cooley's Dean of Admissions told me anothernjlawyer01/23/18
You probably did. But he also clearly has no idea what "big thirdtierlaw01/23/18
"Don't waste your time with explanations. People hear what t isthisit01/23/18
Before and during law school I really enjoyed shows like "Su shikes01/23/18
Well maybe there are "some" lawyers living like what you see thirdtierlaw01/23/18
Oh stop, it's not always a dusty basement. Sometimes it' patenttrollnj01/23/18
What is “big litigation?” Does he mean getting paid l shuiz01/23/18
nighthawk (Jan 23, 2018 - 10:53 am)

Some months ago, I had a conversation with someone who asked about going to law school.

Prospective student: I want to go to law school. Do you agree that it is a good idea?

Nighthawk: It might be a good idea but you should do your homework first. See if the realities of law school and lawyer life is right for you. Make an informed decision.

PS: I want to go because have an interest in big litigation. I would really enjoy the drama of the courtroom.

NH: I get the sense that you believe that a law degree is an automatic ticket to an upper middle class lifestyle. That is not necessarily the case. Do not assume that if you work hard then things will just fall into place. Not only is practicing law not easy, just getting any sort of job is not easy. It may be a rough road. As long as you understand what you’re getting into and, after doing your homework, you feel it is for you, then go to law school. You can check out JDU if you want to read about all that is negative with law school and the law profession.

2 weeks later

PS: I’m on the fence about law school. JDU makes it like no one can ever succeed in law school. I feel that I can be an exception or that perhaps JDU makes it much worse than it seems.

NH: You’re an adult and can make a decision for yourself. You can definitely succeed and have a great career, it just may not be as easy as holding a piece of paper that says Juris Doctor on it.

PS: I think that law school is the right career path for me. I’ll make it work.

Did PS just punch his ticket to the doc review basement?

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wutwutwut (Jan 23, 2018 - 11:29 am)

"Juris Doctorate"

LoL.

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therewillbeblood (Jan 23, 2018 - 10:57 am)

"Big litigation"? If you're doing "big litigation" you are almost never in the courtroom, with the possible exception of for motion hearings. And obviously, you're not hitting the arguing part until you're 7+ years in, usually.

Definitely doc review or insurance defense.

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flyer14 (Jan 23, 2018 - 11:02 am)

If OP is in a major city (metro area > 2 million) then OP has a chance of winding up in doc review (but still with a good chance of winding up either in garbagelaw or unemployed).

If OP is not in a major city, garbagelaw is almost a certainty.

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6figuremistake (Jan 23, 2018 - 11:35 am)

Debt is a major consideration as is the quality of his program. Even if you land a $180k a year job, carrying a $250k debt load is a burden to bear. If you miss the BigLaw boat (which seems to be what he wants), its absolutely devastating. If he can minimize his debt, leaving school without a solid job will be less catastrophic, but it could still be a waste of time.

He needs to understand that there are cutoffs for BigLaw. If he's at HYS, "Big Litigation" is probably his for the asking. A little further down, as long as he's in the top 50%, he'll likely by okay. Anything much further down, he's going need to be in the top 10 - 20%. If he isn't a scholarship student, though, what makes him think he'll be a top student?

Plus, does he want to go into "Big Litigation" because he truly knows what that entails or is it just something that sounds good to him theoretically? From his description, it sounds like his research is probably based more on media than actual experience.

If he is able to get into a good program with a scholarship that minimizes the debt and he hits a high enough class rank to succeed in OCI, I guess he'll get what he wants (as long as he's more realistic about what BigLaw litigation entails). If, however, he thinks he can just pay full fare at some second tier school and plan on landing BigLaw, he clearly didn't do his research and will be pretty disappointed with his prospects (and financial status) regardless of whether he ends up in the doc review tank.

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anothernjlawyer (Jan 23, 2018 - 12:02 pm)

3 months from now:

"Cooley's Dean of Admissions told me I'm an exceptional candidate! It's the second-best law school in the country! My grandmom is co-signing my loans, so I'm all set!"

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thirdtierlaw (Jan 23, 2018 - 12:23 pm)

You probably did. But he also clearly has no idea what "big litigation" actually looks like. I'm sure he watched the show suits and decided that was what it's like to be an attorney. I'm in garbage law litigation so I actually step foot in the courtroom. "Big litigation" to me would be torture. It'd be all the stuff that I hate doing, but more of it and dragged out for much longer.

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isthisit (Jan 23, 2018 - 1:23 pm)

"Don't waste your time with explanations. People hear what they want to hear."

Harvey Specter

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shikes (Jan 23, 2018 - 6:20 pm)

Before and during law school I really enjoyed shows like "Suits" and "Boston Legal". After I became a real attorney I sort of despise them. Not sure if its because they set terribly unrealistic goals for people to bait them into lawschool or because deep down I believe at least SOME lawyers get to live the way the shows portray and I'm not one of them.

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thirdtierlaw (Jan 23, 2018 - 9:03 pm)

Well maybe there are "some" lawyers living like what you see in suits. However what the show leaves out is the decades of 70-80hr weeks, missed family functions, etc. The most unrealistic part of the show was how whenever it was dark there was nobody in the building except the main cast. The show doesn't show the associates reading blog posts about how a good "lifestyle hack" for biglaw is to keep an extra suit at the office, get a gym membership near the office, and bring a pillow to put under your desk. So that way if you're working late, you can sleep under your desk, go to the gym and shower in the morning, and change into your other suit. Yea... I'll stick with garbage law.

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patenttrollnj (Jan 23, 2018 - 9:24 pm)

Oh stop, it's not always a dusty basement.

Sometimes it's a dusty old conference room. You'll have a great view of the parking lot.

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shuiz (Jan 23, 2018 - 10:14 pm)

What is “big litigation?”

Does he mean getting paid lots of money to have an interesting job arguing important cases?

Not impossible, I guess.

But if he wants “courtroom drama” he’d probably be better of applying with some public defender agency.

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