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So yes, someone with a JD can learn to do a lot of things well with a pretty small learning curve. The world had changed during that time. So, while I do have a law degree, I am not legally permitted to represent someone in court. But the much more important reason is because I never actually wanted to. While not all areas of law are created equal in terms of how interesting they are, I find that there is a direct correlation between how interesting an area of law is and how morally questionable it is.

Do You Really Want to Become a Lawyer?

On the other end of the spectrum is the fast paced world of criminal law: interacting with cops and bad guys, trying to develop a theory of the case and a decent chance of actually going into court, but moral landmines all around. The reality of the modern legal profession is there are very few good-paying jobs.

At the end of my first semester in law school, my torts professor gave the class what he called a soapbox speech where he dropped the pretense of being an objective instructor and made his personal opinions known most of his students would argue he regularly made his opinions crystal clear. In his speech, he laid out the realities of being a modern lawyer with a few simple facts: Most lawyers make far less than what people think.

Most lawyers only practice for 5 years before leaving the profession burned out. Lawyers have some of the highest rates of alcoholism, depression and suicide of any profession. He went on to talk about the two types of students he saw every year in his classes: those who were there for the intrinsic value of the education and those who were there to become lawyers.

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They also tended to only do well and enjoy law school during the extremely difficult first year. Once they figured it out, he said, they simply cruised through to graduation because the initial challenge of the most rigorous year in academia was over. My professor had my number.

I also take a lot of pride in the fact I was able to get through something that was so insanely rigorous.


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But still, the debt I incurred means more than just that I owe someone money. Every move and decision I make in life is weighed against how it will impact my ability to pay my student loans.

law student reacts to 'don't be a lawyer'

If law school was free, I would highly recommend it to anyone who was interested. There are far more lawyers in the world than there is need for them.

Also don't go because you like "analysis," or because you want to "help."

I'm trying to go to a corporate in house role- seems so much better at least from afar. Have you considered plaintiff side litigation? The pay can be good, you're representing individuals who need help, and the firms are usually pretty small, giving you a lot of responsibility and autonomy, while having a fairly schedule. Best part is no billable hours. Hey man. I made the jump from niche law in Cincy to corporate law in Houston.

I have had a MUCH more rewarding personal life since then. PM me if you need to chat.

How to Become a Lawyer: Career and Salary Information

Jumping out of lit into in-house counsel in an industry that piqued my interest was the solution. PM for a pick-me-up. Ah, the good old quarter-life crisis. Please bring all emotional baggage with you, and check your consideration of others at the door. Only 6 months behind you. Just wait for my midlife crisis post middle of the summer! I am over doing stuff to maintain others' opinions of me. Holly shit yes. This is spot on.

What kind of lawyer do you want to be?

I'm a plaintiff-side litigator and I feel this. In addition to being a billable-hours mill, the feast or famine nature of litigation is anxiety inducing.

I'm either starved for hours, billing like 4 hours per day at best, or I'm drowning in work with no time for my family, friends, and happiness. You do spend a lot of time cleaning up toxic waste and shit.


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  • Easy mistake. It was the natural next step after completing my degree in musical clowning. Actually know a guy in law school now that ran away and joined the circus after high school. Neglecting their readings.

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    Cake Day. Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. Why do you want to be a lawyer?