Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Please post in this forum if you have any questions about law school or legal employment but have not yet entered law school.
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hlsbound
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Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by hlsbound » Thu May 17, 2018 8:34 am

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Last edited by hlsbound on Mon May 28, 2018 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

notlegaladvice
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by notlegaladvice » Thu May 17, 2018 9:28 am

why do you want to be a lawyer?

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UVA2B
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by UVA2B » Thu May 17, 2018 9:55 am

notlegaladvice wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 9:28 am
why do you want to be a lawyer?
This.

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pancakes3
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by pancakes3 » Thu May 17, 2018 10:03 am

you could always *not* attend HLS and attend another school at a more manageable price point while still fulfilling your bigfed goals

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Thu May 17, 2018 10:14 am

Your post raises so many questions, OP.

If you're freaked out about debt, don't go to HLS. Which other T6 or T13 offers did you turn down?

Also it's not on us to tell you why you should be a lawyer. Only you can answer that. If you weren't already doing the research and talking to lawyers to learn what they do and why they do it, you should start now and consider withdrawing before classes start if you don't like what you hear.

Re: depression/anxiety, I'm assuming this isn't well-managed by medication? Lots of lawyers and law students, including biglaw lawyers, struggle with depression and/or anxiety. I definitely had trouble with anxiety in law school. I survived (with medication). But you have to make a personal decision whether you're willing to put up with navigating this same issue for yourself. Attorneys in any position, even bigfed, deal with stress and pressure. The attorney jobs that aren't at all stressful are not exactly growing on trees or even apparent on the face of the job description.

LawSSS2
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by LawSSS2 » Thu May 17, 2018 10:40 am

+1 to all of this, but I would also suggest giving it a week or two. If you did take the time to think things through more thoroughly than your post implies, you might just be going through a bit of buyer's remorse. Take a step back. You have a few months to reach out to lawyers, Harvard alumni and others currently employed in the type of law you might be interested in, before you have to make a completely final decision. Take the summer to think it over, but do not take on the debt unless you are 100% sure this is what you want to do. Whatever you do, do not take Harvard just because its Harvard.

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jingosaur
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by jingosaur » Thu May 17, 2018 10:51 am

I'm basically you 4 years in the future except I did NYC big law. I took out about $190k in loans to go to law school and I have about $160k left around 1 year out (but working only 8 months). I pay $1280 per month on student loans. PM me and I can talk more about what doors law school opens and closes, but my general comment is that HLS really only helps for being a lawyer unless you get a consulting or banking job directly out of law school. Once you're in Biglaw or Bigfed, that is your job and the only ways out are the exits that people discuss on this site.

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Nony
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by Nony » Thu May 17, 2018 11:07 am

If you suffer from depression/anxiety, I don't think not being in biglaw is going to make law significantly better for you. Being an idealist arguably makes the work you do more stressful, not less.

But in any case you're never actually committed. You can always change your mind. You can always look for other options (contrary to public belief, there are lots).

brut
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by brut » Thu May 17, 2018 11:55 am

if you don't want to be a lawyer, don't go to law school. it's as simple as that.

fwiw, my moderate/severe anxiety was a factor in my decision not to accept my biglaw offers. i was very concerned about maintaining work-life balance. after some candid conversations with first year associates at my firm, i concluded that returning to biglaw would jeopardize the progress i was making in addressing my mental health issues. this was not the only reason i declined biglaw, but was a big one.

in my current job, i have the space/flexibility i need to thrive: i work standard hours (40ish hours a week), often from home, and although i'm passionate about the work, the work environment is very low pressure. over the past year i've been able to focus on self-improvement, and have developed a bunch of new hobbies and even started dating again (i'm in my first relationship in years). i'm very happy and my anxiety is under control; i attribute this, in part, to my decision to forego biglaw.

ymmv of course, and i don't mean to suggest that people with mental health issues should not go to biglaw. but this is what worked for me.

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Johannes
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by Johannes » Thu May 17, 2018 11:57 am

Public service loan forgiveness for govt work should ease the debt burden significantly. 10 years repaying 6-8% of your salary and then remaining loans forgiven.

I became a lawyer basically for the same reasons as you - no other options. It’s fine enough.

UnionThug
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by UnionThug » Thu May 17, 2018 12:32 pm

Johannes wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 11:57 am
Public service loan forgiveness for govt work should ease the debt burden significantly. 10 years repaying 6-8% of your salary and then remaining loans forgiven.

I became a lawyer basically for the same reasons as you - no other options. It’s fine enough.
This is assuming PSLF is still an option. A bill currently in the house would scrap it for loans after July 2019 which would be the majority of OPs time in law school.

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Thu May 17, 2018 12:37 pm

UnionThug wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 12:32 pm
Johannes wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 11:57 am
Public service loan forgiveness for govt work should ease the debt burden significantly. 10 years repaying 6-8% of your salary and then remaining loans forgiven.

I became a lawyer basically for the same reasons as you - no other options. It’s fine enough.
This is assuming PSLF is still an option. A bill currently in the house would scrap it for loans after July 2019 which would be the majority of OPs time in law school.
The master promissory note that OP signs at the beginning of law school (i.e. this fall) would still apply and OP's loans would still qualify even in her 2L and 3L years, assuming there is grandfathering. Not sure how there wouldn't be grandfathering, since it strikes me as a bit unkosher for Congress to unilaterally invalidate a contract between an individual and the federal government.

hlsbound
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by hlsbound » Thu May 17, 2018 1:35 pm

HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 10:14 am
Your post raises so many questions, OP.

If you're freaked out about debt, don't go to HLS. Which other T6 or T13 offers did you turn down?

Also it's not on us to tell you why you should be a lawyer. Only you can answer that. If you weren't already doing the research and talking to lawyers to learn what they do and why they do it, you should start now and consider withdrawing before classes start if you don't like what you hear.

Re: depression/anxiety, I'm assuming this isn't well-managed by medication? Lots of lawyers and law students, including biglaw lawyers, struggle with depression and/or anxiety. I definitely had trouble with anxiety in law school. I survived (with medication). But you have to make a personal decision whether you're willing to put up with navigating this same issue for yourself. Attorneys in any position, even bigfed, deal with stress and pressure. The attorney jobs that aren't at all stressful are not exactly growing on trees or even apparent on the face of the job description.
Yea I turned down a 1/2 scholarship at CCN and a full ride at a T13. I think those bridges are burned, unfortunately.

I definitely have my reasons for why I want to do this kind of work. I'm just in a "valley" right now and was hoping for some reinforcement about this career track, thus making my decision feel a bit less stupid.

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Thu May 17, 2018 1:46 pm

Those bridges aren't burned unless you said "fuck you and your T13 trash" when you turned them down. If you want to wait, wait and reapply. You'll probably get money again.

Why are you in a valley? Everything in your original post is stuff you already knew before you made the decision. What changed?

lolwat
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by lolwat » Thu May 17, 2018 4:39 pm

Won’t bother with what you “should have” done, but if you’re willing to wait a year you can reapply and you should get plenty of money from t13s again since you got it the first time.

I never bothered to answer for myself the first couple questions you’re asking. Ans I just YOLO’d on the debt thing, when I made that decision, I guess. But I honestly think that you don’t have to have an answer. But if you don’t, you need to be pretty confident that you’d be okay if you ended up not liking law. I may be happier in one of the parallel universes where I didn’t go to law school, but who knows. I do know I’m pretty happy doing what I do here.

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Johannes
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Re: Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Post by Johannes » Thu May 17, 2018 7:41 pm

UnionThug wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 12:32 pm
Johannes wrote:
Thu May 17, 2018 11:57 am
Public service loan forgiveness for govt work should ease the debt burden significantly. 10 years repaying 6-8% of your salary and then remaining loans forgiven.

I became a lawyer basically for the same reasons as you - no other options. It’s fine enough.
This is assuming PSLF is still an option. A bill currently in the house would scrap it for loans after July 2019 which would be the majority of OPs time in law school.
There have been bills pending to this affect for half a decade now. Acting based on current law rather than something congress might do (they’ve done like 3 things in a decade now) is the standard approach here. Plus it’s definitely not going anywhere before mid terms, which is enough to get the OP here in with an executed Note.

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