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UCL

What a great post!

I have to say, though, that I don't know anyone who loved law school and now hates practicing law. I do know people who hate practicing law, but they were the same people I knew hated law school while they were there.

I personally loved law school, and I love being a lawyer. And I do find a lot in common between what I loved about law school and my job. For instance, my job still entails reading judicial opinions drafted by thoughtful judges after reviewing decades of precedent. Except now, I get to read those cases and then go into real courtrooms and try and explain them to, not just law professors in hypothetical situations, but to real judges with real facts!

I couldn't ask for more.

ML

As someone in the bookgroup where you made the comments, I was really impressed with the obvious difference in your comments and those that had gone before. It was like the difference between a well-cooked stew and raw potatoes. The obvious thought that had gone into the comments made them more absorbable than anything else that day, and I came away having learned new juxtapositions (mercy vs. deterrence, for instance). I felt the same new respect for our legal system as I did when I served as a juror. It was the exciting feeling that, hey! I can understand this! And hey! This is a hard thing they're doing (trying to punish, deter, and protect the rest of us all at the same time, and in an evenhanded, predictable, and understandable way).
It's certainly worth a law education just to be able to lay out complex concepts this clearly, and to give laypeople this precious feeling of a bit more "ownership" of our system - the "hey, I can understand what they're trying to do here." It sounds corny but I feel a new pride in our system now, which is more enjoyable than yesterday morning's cynicism.

Machete' of Truth

In my always humble opinion, a legal education is the best training a person can have, whether or not they practice law. Some of the most successful people in media and communications went to law school. It sharpens your mind and makes you a more clear and analytical thinker, in my observation.

Adam

I am a 1L at a very small non-ABA law school. I could not get into the bigger schools. I had a good GPA in undergrad from a good state university. I am sitting here trying to studying contracts and I am having so many doubts. I can afford to go to law school but I hate it. BIG TIME. I am not even enjoying reading the cases. I guess I went to law school because I felt I had no other choice. I graduated with a poli sci degree and I have no idea what I want to do. I thought having a law degree will open up doors for me. is that really true? Im panicing, hoping I can pass, or hoping not to pass so it gives me an excuse to my friends and family that I bombed out.

Jason

Well I made it through and I hated it from the beginning of second semester on out. I hated it so much I went both summers as well to get it over with quicker, I had a brief resurrection in interest when externing for a local judge but it quickly faded when class started back. I've been practicing for 3 years now and I still hate it, I don’t hate my firm, I've actually got a great firm environment, moderately interesting work and reasonable pay, but its not fulfilling, it's not meaningful... maybe people doing state work or nonprofit policy type jobs would have a different experience but I've done Plaintiff's PI/civil rights/labor work and Defense PI/Construction Defect/Insurance Defense work and it's all just plain dumb to be blunt. The best thing i can say about my career is that I more often find myself tolerating it rather then hating it, if becoming complacent can be called a good thing. Most of the people you deal with on the other side of the v. are consistently horribly petty and fight more over a few pennies from a carrier then they would to save the lives of ten million unborn babies. Anyone that asks me about this subject, I tell them to “just say NO to law school,” the education is fine as far as being a well rounded member of the electorate goes but anyone who wants to save the world one case at a time is delusional at best about what is possible in the third branch of government. Around the third time someone asks me about it I'll give them the low down on how to survive if they insist on going. If you're content to be a brick in the wall have at it, otherwise I'd say do what you have to do to pay off bills and constantly be working on an exit strategy... but then I never wanted to be an attorney, I always wanted to get into government service and a law degree appeared to be a ticket to that at one point, not so anymore.

Matt

Well most of these comments are from US lawyers / law students. I'm from England, am 26, have a degree in English and Spanish and a postgraduate in Advertising & Marketing Communications. I've been in full time employment now for four years and work as a senior account executive for the world's largest privately owned global PR Agency. What does this have to do with this board you say? Well I've decided it isn't enough. Half of what I do bores me. It doesn't feel important. It's difficult to measure the results of PR, but the outcome of any verdict offers tangible results, favourable or not.

I'm starting what is called in the UK a law conversion part time in September. This is for graduates who have a non-law degree and will enable me to train as a lawyer. I plan to apply to firms that specialise in dealing with media companies so I can employ my professional background.

What I want to stress most is that I don't mind the law profession sucking my blood if they pay me for it. PR in England does not pay as much as the US and becoming a lawyer opens up a whole new world - it will help me break through the 'PR earning ceiling' that I am subject to. But I am not 100% sure. Heck, I wouldn't be reading this board if I was.

I know it will be hard and there are no guarantees. And I am not driven solely by material ambitions. But I am 26, married with a mortgage and I have plans for my partner and our future and law will open up the world so we can have choices. I work hard and late and don't bring home a pay check that reflects that. So although I hear what you say about doing something you love and dropping out of law, I would say I would love to support my family in the best way I can and provide them with the greater security a life in law would give us.

Students who have not yet been out in the real world need to know that once they leave home, life is expensive, even just to get by. If you find yourself doing secretarial work and counting your pennies when you go to the supermarket, you’ll regret leaving behind the opportunity you had to become a lawyer.

That's my line on things. Would he good to hear from more UK law students / lawyers (or solicitors as we call them here) who are studying for the GDL, LPC or are on a training course.

Chastity

u are stupid!? very stay in school fool i going to be a lawyer in saty in school!?

aa

a just googled " i hate lawschool" and came across this site. I am a 2L, in the middle of exams, questioning why I ever came here. I can relate to a lot of what has been said. As for the British guy in the post above mine, I am interested to see what he will write in his second year of law school, if he will make it that far. You have a mortgage and wife and kid, and you can say "good-bye" to them after your second semester, and especially during your second year of law school. I was extremely excited about going to law school, and after suffering through the LSAT, I thought the worst was over. I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG! I have spent the past year an a half being insulted by old, HORRIBLE, rude, classless professors, sacrificed so many social gatherings that I dont even get invited anymore, stayed up nights and nights and night, and sadly learned that I can rely on a hornbook more than a "distinguished" professor to teach me what i need to know. Maybe its because Im a 2L, and I hate law school right now, times may change, but for now, i dont see the light at the end of the tunnel... i have another LONG 1 1/2 years ahead of me, followed by a grueling preparation for the bar exam, and I wont even know my results until 6 minths after the test. My life will be in limbo... If you think your " real world" sucks now, just wait until you go for your JD

Anonymous

I just finished the first semester of my 2L year. That's not quite true; I still have to turn in a paper on ERISA this week.

I utterly and totally hate my life. I so wish that I had dropped out before I ever came here and did something else with my life. I go to a tier 1 school (WI in fact). I hate my professors; it seems like they are really more concerned about their next law review article than the students who pay their salary. I have taken out all kinds of loans, and I don't want to waste another semester here.

I have no interest whatsoever in the law or the practice of it. There is no money in it unless you happen to be one of the blessed few with good grades and/or law review. The guy who said to keep working towards an escape was right. To any interested undergrads, do not go to law school. Seriously, you will hate it and the practice of law.

L

I am also a 2L and I am seriously questioning why I am still here, accumulating so much more debt, doing something I absolutely hate, looking forward to a summer in a firm I don't want to be at, and always thinking about 100 other things I would rather be doing. What's worse, my husband doesn't really understand what I'm going through. I guess it is difficult for anyone who isn't in law school to understand how reality of it all doesn't really sink in until you are well into law school, well after OCI, and it has become too late to drop out. I hate my classes, I hate my profs, I hate studying subjects I don't care about...but sadly, I'm stuck. I only wish that my husband would understand. I don't know why I didn't listen to myself and go to a culinary school instead. Someone give me some direction in life outside of law please...

anon.

I am sitting in class right now--at least this law school has wireless. I am smack in the middle of the 2nd semester of 2L. I hate law school. I hate the stupidly enthusiastic people in my writing classes--who memorize which page of the bluebook certain rules are on. who cares? Just before this class I was on the phone with my father--telling him what a surreal experience it is to be hemorraging (sp) future funds while hating every single moment of what I am doing. I am not interested in the study or practice of law. I am here because everyone told me--"you can't go wrong with a law degree!" I knew I didn't want to be here from day one, but I stayed, and now I am up to my ears in debt (still future). I should have followed my mind and my heart to culinary school--just like the poster before me. Undergrads, beware--other people's idea and expectations only get you so far.

anon.

I am sitting in class right now--at least this law school has wireless. I am smack in the middle of the 2nd semester of 2L. I hate law school. I hate the stupidly enthusiastic people in my writing classes--who memorize which page of the bluebook certain rules are on. who cares? Just before this class I was on the phone with my father--telling him what a surreal experience it is to be hemorraging (sp) future funds while hating every single moment of what I am doing. I am not interested in the study or practice of law. I am here because everyone told me--"you can't go wrong with a law degree!" I knew I didn't want to be here from day one, but I stayed, and now I am up to my ears in debt (still future). I should have followed my mind and my heart to culinary school--just like the poster before me. Undergrads, beware--other people's idea and expectations only get you so far.

 --

I am a 2nd semester 1L at a top ten law school. I am in the top half of my class. The teachers here are great and we are all gauranteed $120k+ jobs if we want them. Only problem: the law is the law no matter what school you go to. And if you're like me -- an English major who likes movies, books, and music -- you will find little of interest in legal subject matter. I find all the various areas of the law tedious, boring, uninspiring, and mind numbing. I'm not stressed out (I study seldom and make good grades), I'm just bored and empty and stuck. This school seems to be preparing me for a life of tedium. To any undergrads considering law school: think long and hard. If you're interested in anything creative, imaginitive, or artistic DO NOT go to law school. Law school is for boring smart kids who don't have much personality or creativity -- just lots of ambition. Law school doesn't "open more doors" or "look great on a resume" -- it railroads you into a life of 80+ hour a week tedium. I wish someone had told me this when I was a senior in college.

 --

I am a 2nd semester 1L at a top ten law school. I am in the top half of my class. The teachers here are great and we are all gauranteed $120k+ jobs if we want them. Only problem: the law is the law no matter what school you go to. And if you're like me -- an English major who likes movies, books, and music -- you will find little of interest in legal subject matter. I find all the various areas of the law tedious, boring, uninspiring, and mind numbing. I'm not stressed out (I study seldom and make good grades), I'm just bored and empty and stuck. This school seems to be preparing me for a life of tedium. To any undergrads considering law school: think long and hard. If you're interested in anything creative, imaginitive, or artistic DO NOT go to law school. Law school is for boring smart kids who don't have much personality or creativity -- just lots of ambition. Law school doesn't "open more doors" or "look great on a resume" -- it railroads you into a life of 80+ hour a week tedium. I wish someone had told me this when I was a senior in college.

I have just started law school and I've realized right away I hate it. I'm getting out at some point and was wondering if anyone knows how soon I can do that? Am I in for the year, or can I leave after exams in December?

SARAH

Thank you so much everyone. I cried and broke a hole in my wall tonight with my book. All these dramatic failure stories made me realize how much time I'm wasting complaining about law school. After reading what everyone said I feel great. Now I know why I'm here. I'm not going to mope and complain anymore. I am reminded now that half of my class will do just this and drop out. If I tought it out I'll be writing my own blog- Why I should stop complaining and tough it out in law school! I feel like outlining my cases and kicking some ass. Thanks!

Andrew

I dropped out 3 months into my first year. I was actually doing well when I was there. I was understanding things, and "getting it." But it all seemed unnecessarily confusing. What made me most angry was learning how the lawmakers, the judges, and the lawyers were all in on a big scam to make the law as complicated, delayed, and inefficient as possible.

It made me angry that simple english could not be used, and that the legal system uses code language to obscure what's actually going on. The more inefficiency, the more lawyers, the longer chargeable hours. The whole inefficiency is built into the system. Who actually 'wins' a lawsuit? Usually the guy who has enough cash to get his lawyer to keep the paper shuffling going on!

Those casebooks are even more disgusting. Not designed to help you at all, just to make you constantly re-invent the wheel. The actual laws are no better, have these idiots ever heard of..... BULLET POINTS? What's with all the runon sentences? What about some pictures or diagrams?

-----
http://www.partyofthefirstpart.com/images/hallOfShame/golden_gobble_first.pdf
Where is the INFORMATION it talks about on the top? Oh yeah its BURIED under piles of redundant, useless, archaic words and 16th century grammar.

I just didn't want to be part of all the lying, all that unnecessary paperwork with zero creativity and zero innovation. My solution: Close down 80% of the nation's law schools, beginning with the most elite and let the dinos gradually go extinct. Eventually there will be no choice but to make things simpler. :)

Starting_1L_2008

Sarah's post was quite funny. :)

I agree that you should think long and hard before going to law school and you certainly need to be acquainted with the legal profession (e.g. take a couple law-related courses, talk with lawyers, etc.). Studying and doing what you hate is horrible.

However, a certain dose of realism seems to be lacking in the typical profile of a law school drop-out. This became very clear to me when I read this: "And if you're like me -- an English major who likes movies, books, and music -- you will find little of interest in legal subject matter. I find all the various areas of the law tedious, boring, uninspiring, and mind numbing."

I like movies, books, and music, too. Most people I know love them (although nowadays learning about new things via Internet has somewhat replaced the books). These things are hobbies! And you're comparing having fun with doing hard work.

If you are a dreamer/artist who likes movies, books and music, then the list of "tedious, boring, uninspiring, and mind numbing" things in life doesn't stop at the legal subject matter. Doctors study and work very hard in order to earn the due respect for saving people's health (and their six-figure salaries). Teachers work very hard and deal with mind-numbing elementary schoolers, grading their 2+3=5 (boring!) tests. Engineers work in miserable conditions with "mind-numbing" numbers, charts, and graphs to make a building stand straight(how uninspiring!). I wonder if the nurses find it inspiring to deal with injuries or bodily wastes. I could go on and on.

I got the impression that some of you cannot discern the difference between a "hobby" and a "job." Nobody will pay you for watching movies, smoking pot, reading books or numbing your minds with beer. My children told me once "We want to make games for a DS when we grow up." I thought that an adult's understanding of the professional world and the job market should be more developed than that of a nine-year old's. If somebody DOES pay you for reading books, you will complain that the books you have to read (or movies to watch) for your publisher are numb-minding and boring - because most books ARE and because reading a book you don't like when you don't feel like reading will produce the same emotion as working on a legal case.

What you want in life is not X over Y; you want to choose to have fun 24/7 over working 40-80 hours a week. I could advise you to drop school altogether, get married, and have your spouse support you, but then you will have to raise your kids and do the house chores; and raising children, cleaning, and doing laundry are mind-numbing and uninspiring, too.

The bottomline is you want to do nothing in life, to pursue your hobbies whenever it's convenient for you, to have someone else take care of the boring chores and dirty jobs while the bills somehow get paid.

If you think that there are jobs out there that resemble hobbies, you are very wrong. I was in the music production business for years; only 1% of my work was creative, the rest was manufacturing - finding technical solutions to produce the desired sound (trust me, extremely mind-numbing and boring, most of the time).

If you like movies, books or music, you better be able to create them, go through the pain of producing them, be able to market them and fight with the fierce competition and the "gods" in the publishing/show business. Creation and consumption of goods are two different things. I love cheese, but don't wish to buy a cow and make my own cheese.

If you guys change your attitude, you might realize that nobody likes studying and working, but they are part of the job description and requirements. It's interesting that law school seems to attract a lot of this fun-loving profile of people. I believe this phenomenon is not accidental. As Chastity wrote, "I was extremely excited about going to law school, and after suffering through the LSAT, I thought the worst was over," most prospective students see the LSAT as a ticket for a three-year ride that will take them to easy and big money. And as soon as they realize that the money is not easy (and often not as big as they expected either), the motivation dries out. After getting their degree in Liberal Arts at age 22, they had a choice to start working for $25-35,000 or go to law school and make $100,000 at age 25. The "correct" option seemed obvious. The only problem is: nobody ever told them how hard it would be.

Law school is hard because the material can be boring, difficult to understand and time consuming, and the exams are stressful. Every rewarding profession is hard in its own way: physically, emotionally, psychologically or mentally. If you want it easy, don't enter the legal profession.

Starting_1L_2008

Actually, what I meant to say in my first sentence was that Andrew's post was quite funny.

Will

I agree with a lot of what you said, Andrew.

But also...you come off like a prick. Get the hell over yourself. It is holier-than-thou people like you that help make law school so horrible.

Will

Whoops, and I meant Startin_1L, not Andrew.

Jack

I hate law school, its stressful, tedious, and downright terrible, tasteless, and bland.

To anyone in law school hating it, drop out and get your PHD or masters in something that moves you. If you find something your good at and have a passion for it, it can never be replaced.

I have met many lawyers who simply love prosecuting/defending criminals, drafting briefs for political asylums, and even defending corporations.

As for the others, they are likely miserable...

I mean would you rather teach philosophy to undergraduate for 40-70K+, write articles you like, and work 30-40 hours a week, learn a different language, socialize and go out, have an interesting life, and have ample time to teach abroad and travel

OR

Would you like to work in 60-120 Hour job, get paid from 70-150K+, sure you will have very nice things, but whats the point of bleeding dry if you rarely get to play?

If you like law do it, if your unsure, ask yourself what you like, then do it, going to law school is something you can always do later in life.

As for me, I am not sure. I want to drop out, but something is holding me back, I think its fear of prusuing my dreams because they have been discredited, devalued, amd abused by my parents and family for the last 5 years. Please don't end up like me, in the last year of law school I learned to hate myself, family, and friends.

I have turned from a person who used to love everything, each day, into a machine who dreads the passing of each minute of this summer because it brings me closer to my 2L semester.

(I am also doing really well in school, and have two good jobs as 1L this summer, one that pays well, and another that is very presitgous)

T J N

Oh law school. The experience others tell you requires a "palpable bite," in order to truly get the flavor of. Well, I just begun my second year. I did fine first year, spent a summer abroad studying with a supreme court justice (fantastic experience!), and now am hit with the reality that November is coming up fast and I have that one more chance to apply to a different program. Personally, I would love to be either a professor or a psychologist (with a private practice), yet am skeptical of my chances as a law professor because I am not on law review and go to a tier 2 school. Life occurred and I ended up in law school, however today I got an interesting fortune cookie and decided to re-evaluate this path again. One more week until the deadline ends to receive 80% tuition back upon withdrawal.

It breaks down like this as I see it:

-tempting to stay b/c of the sunken costs, the nicety of the j.d. and just being able to say you accomplished something quite challenging

-tempting to leave so you can follow what your heart's desire is and not worry about the compounding interest mixed with the fact that the average legal job is a quick wake up call (to most) of crippling mediocrity

Shayla

I'm in law school at a tier 1 school and I love it. Yes it is hard, but it is so rewarding to know that oneday I will be the person people look to to help them solve their problems. Law is what makes the world go around. I love being a part of it.

Steph

I have been in law school since August 2008. I graduated with a high GPA in Management and decided what the heck I'll go to law school. My brother is highly motivated by school and pushed me to go, so I went. I havent had any difficulties with law school just the fact that i dont believe its right for me. I have been looking at an MBA in Marketing because I enjoy business/marketing and I dont think I can see myself becoming a lawyer espically when I have no passion towards it at all. I'm nervous what my parents and brother will say to me, but I dont want to suffer through if I know I want to do something else. I did law school for the money and now I dont even care about the money I want to be happy doing something I love. I've never lived on my own and I would like to move to a different state to get my MBA. I think it will be a great learning experience. My head is telling me to stay, but my heart is telling me this just isnt me. Help.

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