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25% Of Harvard Law Students Suffer From Depression, 20% Are At Heightened Risk Of Suicide

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_ blog/2018/04/25-of-harvar massivemissive04/03/18
If it's that bad at Harvard, where outcomes are generally go rwhyan04/03/18
I was fine before law, now I’m an absolute wreck most days wearyattorney04/03/18
that's a 180 post... wasted potential is right For my sin wolfman04/03/18
I think some day someone is going to kill a bunch of law pro wearyattorney04/03/18
Agree generally. I think a lot of high achievers in high superttthero04/03/18
TITCR. wearyattorney04/03/18
Who would have ever thought that loans and competitive job e triplesix04/03/18
Why is the federal government subsidizing this? wearyattorney04/03/18
Ask Clinton, bush, and Obama. I didn't Dole out this corp we triplesix04/03/18
Agreed, but the central point that’s brought up with stude wearyattorney04/03/18
I agree the issue ain't stupid players on the macro level, i triplesix04/03/18
But let me ask you... If someone proposed pulling the fed wearyattorney04/03/18
I am sure caacks at my conservative lawl school would cry a triplesix04/03/18
What would a conservative possibly say to justify that under wearyattorney04/03/18
Conservatives, like any politician, can rationalize a specif jd4hire04/04/18
Solid write it up bro... I felt like this is self explana triplesix04/04/18
I'm sure that bad job outcomes and the nature of the profess massivemissive04/03/18
Note: People are particularly prone to depression when they loser1204/03/18
I think it’s less likely that these students are actually trickydick04/03/18
I think they are conflating depression and anxiety. Most peo jorgedeclaro04/03/18
Luckily their crippling depression prevented them from getti imoothereforeim04/03/18
This survey hardly measures incidents of depression at Harva patenttrollnj04/04/18
Agree. Not that its depression not major depressive disorde massivemissive04/04/18

massivemissive (Apr 3, 2018 - 8:30 am)

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2018/04/25-of-harvard-law-students-suffer-from-depression-20-are-at-heightened-risj-of-suicide.html


"We therefore call on all law schools to survey their own student bodies every year and release the survey data. The court of public opinion should hold them accountable.

Studies that anonymize school participants allow schools to shirk individual responsibility. Only institution-specific surveys done year to year can measure whether policy changes at each school were effective. Harvard Law School is the only law school that has taken the first step towards change with an in-depth, initial survey and other schools should do at least the same."


Did it ever occur to these people that perhaps depressed people are attracted to the legal profession? And that "imposter syndrome" is part of the process of becoming a lawyer?

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rwhyan (Apr 3, 2018 - 10:23 am)

If it's that bad at Harvard, where outcomes are generally good, imagine what it must be like at the lower-tier schools where students are stuck with six-figure debt and few job opportunities.

I originally attended a school on half scholarship, and I dropped out a few weeks into 1L because the debt load even with the scholarship made my head spin. That's all I thought about during my time there. Granted, I should have been a little more diligent before making that big of a decision, but I was young and foolish. A few years later, I attended my local second-tier school at night with my employer paying the tuition. I can't even begin to tell you how big a relief it was and how much less stressful it was the second time around.

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wearyattorney (Apr 3, 2018 - 11:22 am)

I was fine before law, now I’m an absolute wreck most days.

At some point something really bad is going to happen to me.

I think the depression in law stems from awareness and desperation. If you are smart, you know you made a really bad decision. This can knaw at you relentlessly.

Even someone who goes to Harvard Law has other, better, options.

The profession does attract people that are prone to problems for sure, but I’m not sure it’s depressed people. It attracts people who at one point in life are highly risk averse and ambitious. When you understand that you made and extremely risky decision and you are likely not to succeed and/or realize your full potential, depression sets in. It gets worse as you begin to get hit everyday with the joys and insecurities of practicing law.

There is a lot of wasted talent at Harvard law, it really is a shame.

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wolfman (Apr 3, 2018 - 12:37 pm)

that's a 180 post... wasted potential is right

For my sins, I know A LOT of people who went to HLS or comparable law schools following an Ivy undergrad (which hasn't helped me at all professionally btw)

Quite a few seem incredibly unhappy (and one actually committed suicide); exactly ONE is a BigLaw partner that seems quite happy with his life; the other relatively happy folks used their T6/BIgLaw pedigree to get into something else (like private equity, in-house, govt or politics)... yes, all of these came from upper-middle-class families; there are two exceptions, guys who had blue-collar roots: one lasted a few years in BigLaw before leaving to take a GS-11 fed job (he has since moved up and seems to be doing well) and the other one... oh yeah, that's the guy who killed himself. I am not kidding - this may be anecdata but it is true anecdata.

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wearyattorney (Apr 3, 2018 - 1:01 pm)

I think some day someone is going to kill a bunch of law professors. I AM NOT ADVOCATING FOR THAT. I DONT THINK ANYONE SHOULD DO THAT BECAUSE ITS UNETHICAL AND ILLEGAL AND THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION IS TO FOCUS ON SELF IMPROVEMENT AND HEALING, NOT VIOLENCE.

From an analyitical point of view though, it’s only inevitable, especially as they continue to admit people with questionable backgrounds to stay a float. The “oh yeah we screwed you, hahahaha, you should have known better than to trust us” legalisms and formalisms work with normal people.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I was out with my buddy from LS and we saw a former professor. My friend was like “I make
less money than when I was 18 working at the deli. I make 500 dollars a week.” The professor replied “at least you have a job, other people don’t even have a job” with a big fat I [email protected] you smirk. Normal people just get mad and walk away. However, one day, I am sure of it, one of these conceited idiots is going to do that to the wrong person, and a mass killing is going to ensue.

The news is going to blame it squarely on guns or some such thing, without addressing the government induced mess that’s happening right now.

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superttthero (Apr 3, 2018 - 1:08 pm)

Agree generally.

I think a lot of high achievers in high school, and even college, never made the decision for themselves. Their parents raised them "well" and not going into a respectable profession was failure.

By the time they achieved it or failed at it, they finally thought to ask themselves if that's the life they wanted. I think at some level, the depression comes from not actually making the choice, even though the ability to stop and do so was always there. Subconsciously, you are kicking yourself for being on cruise control while someone else had the wheel or gave you detailed directions. That's why even so many success stories are depressed or battling anxiety.

If the world was sane, the first year of law school would be working for money or for free at a non-profit as a paralegal or under an attorney in some other capacity, but then application rates would plummet even further, but in reality the only goal of law schools is to get kids to sign on the line that is dotted while not losing accreditation.

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wearyattorney (Apr 3, 2018 - 4:16 pm)

TITCR.

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triplesix (Apr 3, 2018 - 12:59 pm)

Who would have ever thought that loans and competitive job environment would have an adverse effect on liberal artistes well-being. That precentage goes up the lower you go down the totem pole, however once you exit top 100, the rate declines again bc idiots too stupid to care haha

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wearyattorney (Apr 3, 2018 - 1:04 pm)

Why is the federal government subsidizing this?

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triplesix (Apr 3, 2018 - 1:17 pm)

Ask Clinton, bush, and Obama. I didn't Dole out this corp welfare package but I am paying for it via taxes and interest :(

Modern democracy.

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wearyattorney (Apr 3, 2018 - 1:21 pm)

Agreed, but the central point that’s brought up with student loans is about deadbeat and/or irresponsible borrowers.

No one is bringing up the real issue: unlimited federally funded student loans.

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triplesix (Apr 3, 2018 - 1:25 pm)

I agree the issue ain't stupid players on the macro level, it is stipid game that benefits corporate/educational interests, not stupid players.

But in US we don't shame corporate welfare, we celebrate it. While blaming broke idiots for the issue.

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wearyattorney (Apr 3, 2018 - 1:32 pm)

But let me ask you...

If someone proposed pulling the federal guarantee, do you think conservatives would oppose it or do you think liberals would say it’s racist to do so? I’ve been following this movement a long time, and it seems like that’s what is constantly used.

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triplesix (Apr 3, 2018 - 1:50 pm)

I am sure caacks at my conservative lawl school would cry a river just the same despite being free marketeers.

I am sure a lot of jdu liburals would support it.

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wearyattorney (Apr 3, 2018 - 4:17 pm)

What would a conservative possibly say to justify that under conservative principles?

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jd4hire (Apr 4, 2018 - 12:21 pm)

Conservatives, like any politician, can rationalize a specific agenda even though it goes against the heart of their supposed ideology. For conservatives, see - opposition to legalization of marijuana (states rights/ liberty), gay marriage (states rights/ liberty), continued expansion of defense budget (small government except when policing gays and building up the military), pro-free market (unless it means supporting the defense industry with government dollars), claiming to be a party of moral values (supporting President who was previously a Democrat, pro-choice, third-marriage with extra-marital affairs for all three).

The same holds true for liberals.

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triplesix (Apr 4, 2018 - 12:24 pm)

Solid write it up bro...

I felt like this is self explanatory... This whole left/right circle jerk is just a charade. Stupid idealogies are for politicians and proles, real people do real politik, work with facts as they are. Trying to fit facts into an idealogical narrative is called propaganda.

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massivemissive (Apr 3, 2018 - 1:23 pm)

I'm sure that bad job outcomes and the nature of the profession have ill effects on law students from non-elite schools and lawyers. But those factors don't explain why law students from Harvard are depressed.

My guess is that it's a combination of the personality type that is attracted to law and being surrounded by uber competitive peers.

But none of that explains why law schools need to be held accountable for the depressed state of ivy league professional students.

By the way, if you've ever visited Harvard law school, you might notice that they have an ice skating rink constructed every winter to help the students relax that is transitioned every spring into a volleyball park. It's just for law students.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2004/1/16/law-students-lace-up-their-skates/

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loser12 (Apr 3, 2018 - 1:34 pm)

Note: People are particularly prone to depression when they have a disappointment. A lot of Harvard Law students probably saw it as a dream come true, and once there realize it's just a lot of boring work and unattractive women. Plus, they probably noticed it wasn't an automatic ticket to getting laid. Hence, depression.

The losers at bottom feeding schools didn't necessarily expect to be high status from the start.

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trickydick (Apr 3, 2018 - 2:10 pm)

I think it’s less likely that these students are actually more susceptible to mental illness than the fact that people who have no real problems have the luxury of complaining about minor issues...like depression.

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jorgedeclaro (Apr 3, 2018 - 2:14 pm)

I think they are conflating depression and anxiety. Most people at Harvard have been high achievers since junior high. Absent true genius, that means some smarts and a butt load of constant work with no serious mistakes. At the point they hit HLS, they are going on at least a decade of mistake-free work and once against surrounded by and competing with people who are also going on a decade of mistake-free work. It’s tough on the physche to be wound up 24/7 for 10 years.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/12/the-silicon-valley-suicides/413140/

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imoothereforeim (Apr 3, 2018 - 3:18 pm)

Luckily their crippling depression prevented them from getting out of bed and doing anything. Thus very few suicides were actually committed by this group.

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patenttrollnj (Apr 4, 2018 - 1:05 am)

This survey hardly measures incidents of depression at Harvard Law. It was a survey conducted by students, with some input from the campus mental health service. At best, it merely screens for depression. It does not diagnose it. That can only be done in a clinical setting.

I don't doubt there is real depression among lawyers and law students, but this is not an accurate scientific measurement of it.

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massivemissive (Apr 4, 2018 - 9:43 am)

Agree. Not that its depression not major depressive disorder that is supposedly being measured.

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