Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Elie fighting the scam.

Good luck and Godspeed, kind sir. https://abovethelaw.co esquirewalletsmatter07/30/18
He’s doing his part. Are you? esquirewalletsmatter07/30/18
Can't say that I always appreciate Elie's perspective, but t 6figuremistake07/30/18
Agreed. The fact that an ignorant law student advances meri esquirewalletsmatter07/30/18
It's pretty amazing that this law student states "what a law toooldtocare07/30/18
"Absent personal connections with practicing attorneys, I al wutwutwut07/30/18
Wow, that's a pretty good article. In this age of social wolfenstein07/30/18
I agree with the main premise, which is basically applicable jeffm07/30/18
Residential Real Estate Transactions. Basically no resear 3lol07/30/18
Except when you encounter mechanic's liens, encroachments an jeffm07/30/18
No. There are attorneys who can go their whole careers and patenttrollnj08/01/18
"has been consistent in opposing the scam" I can agree wi wutwutwut07/30/18
The problem with this kind of advice is that it makes underg onehell07/30/18
180. As a legal assistant, an intern, or a temp, you are the wolfenstein07/30/18
Exactly. Frankly I think people sell undergrads short with t onehell07/30/18
"Nothing they will see temping at some law firm will dissuad jeffm07/30/18
Elie sends a good message overall, but telling people to go cranky07/31/18
Most who enter LOL school suffer from special snowflake synd david6198307/31/18
esquirewalletsmatter (Jul 30, 2018 - 7:50 am)

Good luck and Godspeed, kind sir.

https://abovethelaw.com/2018/07/dont-go-to-law-school-unless/

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esquirewalletsmatter (Jul 30, 2018 - 7:52 am)

He’s doing his part. Are you?

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6figuremistake (Jul 30, 2018 - 8:44 am)

Can't say that I always appreciate Elie's perspective, but the man has been consistent in opposing the scam. The article he's responding to is written by a current law student, who hasn't had the opportunity to experience the process of finding a good job post law school - not exactly a sage who's in a position to dole out such advice.

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esquirewalletsmatter (Jul 30, 2018 - 9:15 am)

Agreed. The fact that an ignorant law student advances meritless positions shows the scam is still strong in academia.

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toooldtocare (Jul 30, 2018 - 10:45 am)

It's pretty amazing that this law student states "what a lawyer does, mostly..." without having had the burden of actually ever practicing law. The depth and breadth of the bad information never ceases to amaze me, but perhaps I'm wrong and every law student knows "what a lawyer does..."
The scam is still strong.

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wutwutwut (Jul 30, 2018 - 10:31 am)

"Absent personal connections with practicing attorneys, I always like to point out that “court” is “free.” YOU CAN JUST GO THERE. You can sit in the galley for days and days just listening to what lawyers do, how they prepare, what kinds of questions they get asked, and what seems relevant. "


Haha, yeah, I bet Mr. Mystal spends lots of time in "the galley".

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wolfenstein (Jul 30, 2018 - 11:08 am)

Wow, that's a pretty good article.

In this age of social media and open discourse, I'd sure love to be able to post thoughtful, amusing, and/or snarky comments on the portion of the author's website reserved for such activities...

Oh.

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jeffm (Jul 30, 2018 - 11:28 am)

I agree with the main premise, which is basically applicable to any job - "Learning plumbing is fun; real plumbers shovel a lot of chit." For lawyers, you can just up the price of tuition.

Of course, you are better off knowing what a lawyer's version of shoveling chit is like before spending all that money on law school. I didn't know when I went. Fortunately, I had many other jobs before law, and compared to all of them, for me, law is quite a lot better.

I disagree with this part of the article:

“Legal research,” that part where you read lots of pages and parse the difference between synonyms, is such a rare opportunity for most lawyers that it’s a GIFT when it comes around. “Holy crap, I spent the whole day thinking about the law! And I could actually bill for it. I’m so happy!” There are very few lawyers whose practice involves a high amount of what a law student has been told is “lawyering,” and those jobs are coveted. Appellate litigators, corporate structuring attorneys, tax lawyers for multi-national businesses. Sure, most law students would love to be that kind of lawyer. In related news I’d love to play centerfield for the Mets.
___________________________________________________________________

IMO, whether you are in litigation, criminal, family, probate, bankruptcy, or whatever... I am hard-pressed to think of *any* practice area which wouldn't involve routine legal research. I've been at it 25 years, and I still research all the time.

Frankly, I think most practitioners who don't research regularly tend to be sloppy, lazy procrastinators who make too many mistakes. Judges help bail them out of small messes *all the time*. It can be a real pi$$er for the attorneys who were diligent and did it right. On the other hand, when your a$$ could be in a crack over something you missed, it really is nice to have the judge's compassion.

Still, law is a profession, and it should be approached that way. Research should be a mainstay in almost every practice. Just how many times do you want your a$$ handed to you? If you don't care, law is *not* for you.


In his next paragraph, he states:

But for most lawyers, their skill is not in being the most creative legal thinkers in the world. Their skill is serving up solutions perfectly tailored to their clients specific needs and desires, and then showing up to battle having put their client’s s**t together. “Oh, you want to kill your neighbor’s tree? Um, okay, first, you need to file this complaint with the zoning board and… wait, you already cut it down? Alright… when the cops come you’re going to want to fill out this bail application and…”
__________________________________________________________

This proves my point. How many clients have you had come into your office wanting you to tell them how to legally kill their neighbor's tree? I have never had it happen, and I don't know of any lawyer who can answer this question off-the-cuff and authoritatively. Realistically, the client will never find that attorney, either. So... It's up to me.

It's a chit-law matter, but obviously, it has enough importance to justify a paid-for, authoritative answer. Trees even give rise to litigation. That's the only reason anyone ever wants to get rid of their neighbor's nuisance tree. If he's serious enough to spend some jack to find out how to get rid of the tree, I'm seriously going to enjoy practicing some chit-law. ;-)

I'm being facetious. I no longer want to litigate stuff like that and pass on it these days. However, the principle remains. There is money to be made researching the law. That's what lawyers are supposed to do.

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3lol (Jul 30, 2018 - 12:56 pm)

Residential Real Estate Transactions.

Basically no research ever necessary. Peak filling-out-forms law.

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jeffm (Jul 30, 2018 - 3:42 pm)

Except when you encounter mechanic's liens, encroachments and protrusions, gaps in the chain of title, etc. Putting aside matters of title, you also have to handle disputes which arise from time to time.

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patenttrollnj (Aug 1, 2018 - 1:34 pm)

No. There are attorneys who can go their whole careers and never once log into Lexis or Westlaw.

Certainly, it depends on the practice area and the caliber of firm one works at, as well as the type of client one is working for. I certainly do NOT want to imply that all lawyers are like this, or even that the majority of attorneys never do legal research. However, there are attorneys out there who never (or rarely) do.

If you want an example, just consider career document review attorneys. How much research do they do? Plus, DR is one of the main depositories for many law school graduates, so it's not a small number.

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wutwutwut (Jul 30, 2018 - 12:42 pm)

"has been consistent in opposing the scam"

I can agree with that.

But the only problem I see with this whole thing is, Elie's employing the student who wrote the article, which he published* on ATL, and which he is now vociferously attacking.

There's something vaguely straw-mannish about it.

*Unless I'm wrong, Lat has pretty much turned over editorial control to Elie.

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onehell (Jul 30, 2018 - 3:57 pm)

The problem with this kind of advice is that it makes undergrads think they will learn what lawyers do if they intern or temp before LS, and that if they like it, they should go.

I did that, and it only made me want to go to LS all the more. Lawyers are often very good at "fake it till you make it" type imagery; they have to look well put-together and in-control at all times no matter how much they may be falling apart on the inside; it's one of the things that makes the profession so toxic. So from the perspective of a lowly intern or temp, it looks like they must be leading pretty awesome lives. They have an office with a door, they show up every day in nice suits and they seem to generally just be on the ball and well put-together. The things they give you to work on are things you only sortof understand, but they look cool enough that it seems you would make a lot of money and be well-respected doing it.

So now, I don't repeat this old chestnut. Unless they happen to become actual social friends with someone they intern or temp for, they'll just get the same glossed-over image that clients see. So instead, I tell them to spend some time on lawschooltransparency and look at the cold, hard numbers about what it will cost and what it might pay.

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wolfenstein (Jul 30, 2018 - 4:04 pm)

180. As a legal assistant, an intern, or a temp, you are the equivalent of a serf or a landless peasant in a feudal system, and instead of dissuading you, this channels all all your ambition into becoming one of the "aristocracy," meaning an attorney. You know what would really open your eyes? Working at an insurance company (litigation) or an i-bank (deals) and seeing just how little the lawyers are worth/thought of by those who pay their bills... but very few will have that opportunity, and even there the fake it till you make dynamic is hard for a naive young person to see past.

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onehell (Jul 30, 2018 - 4:26 pm)

Exactly. Frankly I think people sell undergrads short with this kind of advice. People think that once they learn that reality is not like TV that this alone will convince them to steer clear.

Well, they may be naïve but they're not THAT naïve. They aren't expecting Law & Order; they just want a real adult job and their liberal arts degree from Directional State U doesn't provide them with any other clear path to one. Nothing they will see temping at some law firm will dissuade them from the idea that it's at least better than being a Starbucks barista. In short, the advice ignores what they will perceive because it fails to take into account what they would be comparing it against.

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jeffm (Jul 30, 2018 - 7:37 pm)

"Nothing they will see temping at some law firm will dissuade them from the idea that it's at least better than being a Starbucks barista."

Imagine that. All one has to do is work at Starbucks to know lawyering is easier money with much better potential. The price of tuition is an important factor, but that's not the point. These temps see easy money. Client walks in and gives a guy a check to do work at $300 an hour. Starbucks compares to this? Not even close.

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cranky (Jul 31, 2018 - 1:46 pm)

Elie sends a good message overall, but telling people to go sit in court and observe doesn't give them full picture of what it's like to practice law. I don't go to court all the time, and plenty of attorneys never see the inside of a courtroom. What's more important is that would-be lemmings know how bad the job market is, how plenty of law grads are jumping to get jobs that pay less than $50k a year, how you could be saddled with over $150k debt and have no job options, and how even if you are one of the few who gets a cushy, big firm job, in five years or less, you will likely get laid off, fired, or pushed out the door, or get stressed & burned out & leave voluntarily, not making partner.

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david61983 (Jul 31, 2018 - 2:58 pm)

Most who enter LOL school suffer from special snowflake syndrome and are convinced they'll get a top flight job. They also have people in the admissions office telling them that even in the slight chance they don't get one of those jobs they can always hop on PAYE or IBR and never repay their loans. They see it as a win win situation.

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