Anyone considering going back to school?

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classof2014
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Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by classof2014 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:55 pm

I've thought about going back to school to pursue something I'd actually ENJOY versus bouncing around within law in hopes that I'll find something I don't hate. Unsurprisingly, the time and expense of changing careers completely is a huge deterrent for me. Has anyone thought about doing this? What career are you contemplating? Do you think you will actually act on your desire to do something else? Have you taken any affirmative steps toward that goal?

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:13 pm

If you check out the computer science thread in this same forum, you'll see a decent number of attorneys asking about coding bootcamps or obtaining a computer science/software engineering degree.Even if you Google it, you'll see the question asked on other law forums.

It's sad, because you know they're mainly in it for the money. Before it became common knowledge the the Silicon Valley was minting more millionaires than any other area, people weren't rushing to get into tech - they were rushing to get into law. Because these same people thought you could land a comfortable 6 digit job in law, with an outside shot of being a millionaire. Now they're hoping to land a comfortable 6 digit job with free lunches and climbing walls in tech, with an outside shot at being a multi-millionaire.

Does say a lot about the type of students that typically apply for law school though.

Guest

Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by Guest » Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:04 pm

It’s more for better hours than money. Anybody coming from biglaw or midlaw is looking at a massive paycut.

classof2014
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by classof2014 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:47 pm

Guest wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:04 pm
It’s more for better hours than money. Anybody coming from biglaw or midlaw is looking at a massive paycut.
Same. I have little ones and the demands of being an attorney (at least in biglaw) require that I be a parent that I don't want to be. Unfortunately, when I decided to go to law school I didn't understand the sacrifice that it would take to live out what I perceived law to be. Now that I've gone down this path, I have regret and I want more for my life. I had pure intentions when I chose law but I didn't have kids or the knowledge that I have now.

Guest

Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by Guest » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:26 pm

Yeah, I know a not insignificant number of people who would really enjoy the substance of practicing law if it weren't for the brutality of biglaw hours, and how much of a crapshoot in terms of money and time demands most exits are. No matter how much you enjoy the substance of the work, the inability to make any solid plans outside of your 20 paid vacation days sucks, and it is not common outside of biglaw. It's not a K-JD thing. I worked before law school and it didn't really prepare me for the reality of how mentally draining it is to always be expected to answer your email within 20 minutes (and usually respond to the assignment/request then and there). Sometimes I think it sucks harder when you've had a job before, because you know that the level of responsiveness they expect aren't even normal for many "demanding" careers. Which sucks, because otherwise I do like my job.

Also lol at going into it (CS, law, whatever) for the money being a bad thing. The longer I've worked, the more I roll my eyes at people who work for the sheer passion of it. Working is fundamentally trading time and skills for money. If you think you have the aptitude to break into a field where the time to money is more to your liking, go for it.

classof2014
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by classof2014 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:17 pm

Guest wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:26 pm
Yeah, I know a not insignificant number of people who would really enjoy the substance of practicing law if it weren't for the brutality of biglaw hours, and how much of a crapshoot in terms of money and time demands most exits are. No matter how much you enjoy the substance of the work, the inability to make any solid plans outside of your 20 paid vacation days sucks, and it is not common outside of biglaw. It's not a K-JD thing. I worked before law school and it didn't really prepare me for the reality of how mentally draining it is to always be expected to answer your email within 20 minutes (and usually respond to the assignment/request then and there). Sometimes I think it sucks harder when you've had a job before, because you know that the level of responsiveness they expect aren't even normal for many "demanding" careers. Which sucks, because otherwise I do like my job.

Also lol at going into it (CS, law, whatever) for the money being a bad thing. The longer I've worked, the more I roll my eyes at people who work for the sheer passion of it. Working is fundamentally trading time and skills for money. If you think you have the aptitude to break into a field where the time to money is more to your liking, go for it.
Do you have any plans to exit biglaw? Have you already? I am at such a loss because I know I could be happier doing something else but I just don’t know how to realistically make that happen while raising little ones. I feel like I’ve messed up in a big way and it’s depressibt to feel so trapped.

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:21 pm

Guest wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:04 pm
It’s more for better hours than money. Anybody coming from biglaw or midlaw is looking at a massive paycut.
I think you underestimate how much software engineers make at good tech companies. Which is pretty common for people not around big tech companies or in certain cities. The high end is much higher than in biglaw or midlaw, and it's not even close. I know non-executives/non-management software engineers in E8/T8/Partner/Principal who's annual pay would blow a Partners at a law firm away. When you take about management/execs, you're taking well into 8 digits, and these aren't C-levels or Founders (in which case then you're talking huge but we're not going to go into those ridiculously obscene numbers which definitely would blow any law partners pay away). People like to think the tech millionaire is a very rare thing, but it's far more common than people not in the industry what to believe:

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/tech ... 5rich.html

http://www.businessinsider.com/rest-and ... ley-2017-7

The middle is close when taking into account stock bonuses, and once you've made or passed Senior SWE/SDE III/E5/T5, depending on the stocks, can again be much higher. There are also the non-SWE roles as discussed in the computer science thread that pull the overall salaries of tech workers down, but are still well paid (6 digits, but without the bonuses and large stock kicks).

Also, most of the post I've seen, are from ex law school gunners who want to work at the big name Silicon Valley companies, and so, in those cases they aren't taking "massive pay cuts." If you're talking about some tester job in the midwest or south, or implementer versus what an average attorney in NYC makes, then sure.

Guest wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:26 pm
Yeah, I know a not insignificant number of people who would really enjoy the substance of practicing law if it weren't for the brutality of biglaw hours, and how much of a crapshoot in terms of money and time demands most exits are. No matter how much you enjoy the substance of the work, the inability to make any solid plans outside of your 20 paid vacation days sucks, and it is not common outside of biglaw. It's not a K-JD thing. I worked before law school and it didn't really prepare me for the reality of how mentally draining it is to always be expected to answer your email within 20 minutes (and usually respond to the assignment/request then and there). Sometimes I think it sucks harder when you've had a job before, because you know that the level of responsiveness they expect aren't even normal for many "demanding" careers. Which sucks, because otherwise I do like my job.

Also lol at going into it (CS, law, whatever) for the money being a bad thing. The longer I've worked, the more I roll my eyes at people who work for the sheer passion of it. Working is fundamentally trading time and skills for money. If you think you have the aptitude to break into a field where the time to money is more to your liking, go for it.
I know quite a few high ranking software engineers at elite tech companies, they definitely considered programming and technology a hobby before majoring in it in college. They were all programming even before taking their first class in high school.

Also, the 20 minute email answer thing isn't unique to law. In fact, having worked in both industries, I can tell you that turnaround time on email, texts, pings, and internal messageboards are far quicker in tech (by the minute, and often times within a minute on internal boards).

Plus, you're competing mostly against liberal arts majors who couldn't cut it in their Math 200 classes or get past linear algebra. In tech, you're competing against STEM majors from around the world. I'd way rather compete against Stephanie the K-JD who majored in Gender Studies and went to Duke who thinks billable hours are the worst thing ever, than Lee from a top Engineering school in China, who got his Engineering Masters at Stanford just to make his visa go quicker, or Vihaan who needs the job to not have to go back to India. Majority of you that think your biglaw hours are so rough, wouldn't last at Tencent or Alibaba.

There are more ways to coast in tech because there aren't billable hours, but that's only if you're good or you don't want to rise up beyond the Senior level/III/E4. Plus it's harder to get fired because there just aren't that many good programmers. So it's too much trouble to replace you if you've shown competency. If you're trying to rise up though, then you're either doing a lot of work and delivering a lot of code, or just intellectually better than everyone else and solving problems quicker. But for a decent amount of people, they struggle a lot just hoping to make senior or SWE III so they don't lose their job. For them, they're putting in just as many hours and doing extremely intellectually challenging work.

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haus
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by haus » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:48 am

I would like to point out that many if the people referenced in the above NYTimes and Business Insider articles Likely owe a significant portion of the wealth to the growth in value of company stock.

If you look at where the stock price is for many known companies (especially the tech sector) it is hard to imagine that the next 10 years will look like the last 10 years. I would not be surprised to see a small number of startups shoot the moon, but I suspect even a larger number to flop.

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:21 am

haus wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:48 am
I would like to point out that many if the people referenced in the above NYTimes and Business Insider articles Likely owe a significant portion of the wealth to the growth in value of company stock.
Wow, really, you think? You just pointed out something the article stated.

Being surprised at or pointing out growth in stock and criticizing software engineers for their stock kicks is akin to criticizing PI attorneys for contingency fees or "pointing out" that biglaw partners bill corporations $1000 by the hour. What's your point? That stock kicks are amazing? That it's amazing a startup can mint 1000+ new millionaires at IPO when some of them started out in apartments or dorm rooms?
If you look at where the stock price is for many known companies (especially the tech sector) it is hard to imagine that the next 10 years will look like the last 10 years. I would not be surprised to see a small number of startups shoot the moon, but I suspect even a larger number to flop.
Typically large amounts of money is more rare than small or no amounts of money, just like in every single profession large riches takes a combo of luck or smarts. You've just basically said something similar to, "But an attorney won't win all their lawsuits!"

Also, this current tech boom where riches are so common isn't a new thing. Though not as frequent, the 1990s saw a lot of software engineers having similar financial success with equally as impressive companies. There just wasn't the other stuff that caught the media's attention (climbing walls, free gyms, free food all the time).

Okay? And that takes away from all the multi-millionaires tech mints and all the perks of being a software engineer?

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haus
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by haus » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:07 am

As jobs went away in the crash that followed the 90s tech boom, so did many of the perks for those jobs that remained. Time will tell what becomes of the current jobs and their perks hold up if they are not backed by ever increasing stock prices and venture capital.

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:57 pm

haus wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:07 am
As jobs went away in the crash that followed the 90s tech boom, so did many of the perks for those jobs that remained. Time will tell what becomes of the current jobs and their perks hold up if they are not backed by ever increasing stock prices and venture capital.
Yes, I'm sure the future market has no interest in such things as self-driving cars. Or everyone will suddenly decide to get off Crackbook and suddenly stop their addiction to their phones, just like how every corporation suddenly stopped using Windows and personal computers.

Law though, especially biglaw's business model. That's as solid a business model as concrete :roll: :lol:

I'm just curious, how much does society value the law firm you work at? So Microsoft (mainly became dominate in the 1990s) was valued at $747 billion at a point this year. Google (founded in the 90s) $754 billion.

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haus
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by haus » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:14 pm

Fuzzy,

I am not at a law firm, I work at a large IT Company (as a computer geek doing InfoSec work). I have been in the industry for a quarter century. I do not think that the industry is going to dry up and blow away. I am simply pointing out to anyone who is enticed by the specific examples of odd excess as something that they want to partake of should be aware that the world they might find may not match the expectation.

P.S.

Yes there are giants (I work at one) but there was also: AOL, Novell, IBM (ok they are still big, but working there no longer has the pull it did back in the day), MySpace, Flooze, Netscape, Yahoo, Microstrategy, 3Com, GeoCities, Blackberry, Palm, Handspring, Iridium (although the replacement Iridium is showing signs of life), Broadcast.com, Global Crossing....

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:21 pm

haus wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:14 pm
Fuzzy,

I am not at a law firm, I work at a large IT Company (as a computer geek doing InfoSec work). I have been in the industry for a quarter century.
Oh, my apologies, I thought you were strictly a Lawyer. You actually have credibility.
I am simply pointing out to anyone who is enticed by the specific examples of odd excess as something that they want to partake of should be aware that the world they might find may not match the expectation.
The industry is driven by people that want to be partake in that odd excess. The enormous amounts of investment money, the number of billionaires in the Valley (and multi-millionaires), the thousands of startups trying to make it big.

Without the odd excess you wouldn't have software engineers leaving their cushy, high-paying jobs and perks to work for just that potential of excess. How many law firm partners do you see leaving to work for maybe the promise of future pay 3-4 years down the line?

There's also the passion to innovate and make your mark on the industry that drives the brilliant technology behind the money, but for a lot of people they want their fame and billions. That's why they suffer through the 100 hour weeks of startup life. Chaos Monkeys is a great book about the chase for money and influence in the SV. If you're in industry and have any interest at what drives start-ups, it's a must-read.
Yes there are giants (I work at one) but there was also: AOL, Novell, IBM (ok they are still big, but working there no longer has the pull it did back in the day), MySpace, Flooze, Netscape, Yahoo, Microstrategy, 3Com, GeoCities, Blackberry, Palm, Handspring, Iridium (although the replacement Iridium is showing signs of life), Broadcast.com, Global Crossing....
A lot of those companies on your list are worth several times more than the world's biggest law firms. At their peak the money they brought in wasn't even in the same stratosphere (many of their early Execs/Devs and early employees don't even stick around long enough for the bust, they're retired with millions). Even now, when people think of them at near death or the perfect examples of a tech bust, some of those companies either bring in far more revenue or are still valued in the billions despite being forgotten.

You know why our industry prints money Haus? It's because people need us. People need the attention they get on Facebook, there's no other platform like it. Corporations need Excel, there's nothing out there for them to replace Windows with - it would cost them billions to even try to start doing it.

People don't need their specific law firms, there are thousands of small firms and non-law firms that provide people the exact same services. Corporations don't need their big law firms, they can replace it with any other big firm that offer the exact same services. Anyone that thinks their law firm is somehow different than that other law firm is delusional.

Law firms operate on the whims of their clients. Great tech companies operate on the whims of their leaders. You don't like your data being shared? Go fuck yourself, you're still using the platform. You're unhappy with the cost of productivity software? Switch systems, oh wait, you'd lose billions trying. That's why you don't need to worry about the stability of our industry. It's only going to move more this way as companies like Facebook continue to grow its user base and as major corporations continue to rely more on Cloud.

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beep
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by beep » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:59 am

:roll:

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:16 am

beep wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:59 am
:roll:
Good luck getting a reply to your question about UI/UX bootcamps. :lol:

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beep
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by beep » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:37 pm

beep wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:59 am
:roll:

WhatIsThis

Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by WhatIsThis » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:47 am

FuzzyDunlop wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:21 pm
Guest wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:04 pm
It’s more for better hours than money. Anybody coming from biglaw or midlaw is looking at a massive paycut.
I think you underestimate how much software engineers make at good tech companies. Which is pretty common for people not around big tech companies or in certain cities. The high end is much higher than in biglaw or midlaw, and it's not even close. I know non-executives/non-management software engineers in E8/T8/Partner/Principal who's annual pay would blow a Partners at a law firm away. When you take about management/execs, you're taking well into 8 digits, and these aren't C-levels or Founders (in which case then you're talking huge but we're not going to go into those ridiculously obscene numbers which definitely would blow any law partners pay away). People like to think the tech millionaire is a very rare thing, but it's far more common than people not in the industry what to believe:
Man, you're insufferable.

What the original poster stated is correct. If you're in biglaw (or in the senior associate ranks of midlaw), you're likely taking a massive paycut to start as an entry level programmer (yes, even at a big tech company). If you come into a place like Google, your best case scenario is probably earning $110k-$130k with $20k or so of additional comp. That's not bad money at all, but you're most than likely in SV/SF which is about as expensive as NYC. Assuming you do some coding bootcamps and what not and don't actually go and spend several years getting a degree (and thus losing out on years of income), you'd be jumping from the new $190k+$15k first year salary ($205k all in) to $130k-$150k all in. That's a 25%-35% pay cut. If you're a mid level or senior associate with all in comps in the $300k-$400k range, you're potentially taking a 50%+ pay cut.

Also, there are far more law firm partners than there are unicorn tech workers making 7 digits. The vast majority of people who end up at even high end shops like FB, Google, etc. are going to level out in the $250k area in their mid-late career. It's cool that the coding savants and those who got in on the ground floor of a startup are earning high 7 figures, but it's pretty clear that no lawyer on this forum reading posts about changing careers via coding boot camps falls into or is going to fall into either of those categories. Or, if they do, it's going to be by getting stock options from coming into a startup as their first GC.

Tech millionaires aren't rare, but nor are millionaire lawyers. Quite frankly, being a millionaire isn't rare at all these days. If you work 20 years making $150,000/yr. on average, you've got a good shot at having amassed over a million dollars in assets after taxes and expenses.

I have no clue why you seem to loathe lawyers or at least the "type" in this profession, but it's really not very becoming, especially when considered in conjunction with your weird liberal arts diatribe and SV worship.

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Slippin’ Jimmy
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by Slippin’ Jimmy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:30 pm

WhatIsThis wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:47 am
I have no clue why you seem to loathe lawyers or at least the "type" in this profession, but it's really not very becoming, especially when considered in conjunction with your weird liberal arts diatribe and SV worship.
Because he's a STEM Lord *tips fedora*

FuzzyDunlop
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by FuzzyDunlop » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:25 am

WhatIsThis wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:47 am
FuzzyDunlop wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:21 pm
Guest wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:04 pm
It’s more for better hours than money. Anybody coming from biglaw or midlaw is looking at a massive paycut.
I think you underestimate how much software engineers make at good tech companies. Which is pretty common for people not around big tech companies or in certain cities. The high end is much higher than in biglaw or midlaw, and it's not even close. I know non-executives/non-management software engineers in E8/T8/Partner/Principal who's annual pay would blow a Partners at a law firm away. When you take about management/execs, you're taking well into 8 digits, and these aren't C-levels or Founders (in which case then you're talking huge but we're not going to go into those ridiculously obscene numbers which definitely would blow any law partners pay away). People like to think the tech millionaire is a very rare thing, but it's far more common than people not in the industry what to believe:
Man, you're insufferable.

What the original poster stated is correct. If you're in biglaw (or in the senior associate ranks of midlaw), you're likely taking a massive paycut to start as an entry level programmer (yes, even at a big tech company). If you come into a place like Google, your best case scenario is probably earning $110k-$130k with $20k or so of additional comp. That's not bad money at all, but you're most than likely in SV/SF which is about as expensive as NYC. Assuming you do some coding bootcamps and what not and don't actually go and spend several years getting a degree (and thus losing out on years of income), you'd be jumping from the new $190k+$15k first year salary ($205k all in) to $130k-$150k all in. That's a 25%-35% pay cut. If you're a mid level or senior associate with all in comps in the $300k-$400k range, you're potentially taking a 50%+ pay cut.

Salaries? Only peasants talk about salaries, stocks are where the real money is :lol: He's actually talking about "first year salary", he probably still pays for lunch and still takes cabs. Please go to a Palo Alto bar and talk about your "salary", the area is short on comedians :lol:

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Nony
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by Nony » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:47 am

Peasant here, asking you to not be an elitist jerk.

Guest

Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by Guest » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:17 am

The great thing is that according to the CS thread, this guy switched from programming to law. I can't imagine what a ray of sunshine he must be at work...

app
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by app » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:01 pm

FuzzyDunlop wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:21 pm
haus wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:14 pm
Fuzzy,

I am not at a law firm, I work at a large IT Company (as a computer geek doing InfoSec work). I have been in the industry for a quarter century.
Oh, my apologies, I thought you were strictly a Lawyer. You actually have credibility.
I am simply pointing out to anyone who is enticed by the specific examples of odd excess as something that they want to partake of should be aware that the world they might find may not match the expectation.
The industry is driven by people that want to be partake in that odd excess. The enormous amounts of investment money, the number of billionaires in the Valley (and multi-millionaires), the thousands of startups trying to make it big.

Without the odd excess you wouldn't have software engineers leaving their cushy, high-paying jobs and perks to work for just that potential of excess. How many law firm partners do you see leaving to work for maybe the promise of future pay 3-4 years down the line?

There's also the passion to innovate and make your mark on the industry that drives the brilliant technology behind the money, but for a lot of people they want their fame and billions. That's why they suffer through the 100 hour weeks of startup life. Chaos Monkeys is a great book about the chase for money and influence in the SV. If you're in industry and have any interest at what drives start-ups, it's a must-read.
Yes there are giants (I work at one) but there was also: AOL, Novell, IBM (ok they are still big, but working there no longer has the pull it did back in the day), MySpace, Flooze, Netscape, Yahoo, Microstrategy, 3Com, GeoCities, Blackberry, Palm, Handspring, Iridium (although the replacement Iridium is showing signs of life), Broadcast.com, Global Crossing....
A lot of those companies on your list are worth several times more than the world's biggest law firms. At their peak the money they brought in wasn't even in the same stratosphere (many of their early Execs/Devs and early employees don't even stick around long enough for the bust, they're retired with millions). Even now, when people think of them at near death or the perfect examples of a tech bust, some of those companies either bring in far more revenue or are still valued in the billions despite being forgotten.

You know why our industry prints money Haus? It's because people need us. People need the attention they get on Facebook, there's no other platform like it. Corporations need Excel, there's nothing out there for them to replace Windows with - it would cost them billions to even try to start doing it.

People don't need their specific law firms, there are thousands of small firms and non-law firms that provide people the exact same services.
Corporations don't need their big law firms, they can replace it with any other big firm that offer the exact same services. Anyone that thinks their law firm is somehow different than that other law firm is delusional.

Law firms operate on the whims of their clients. Great tech companies operate on the whims of their leaders. You don't like your data being shared? Go fuck yourself, you're still using the platform. You're unhappy with the cost of productivity software? Switch systems, oh wait, you'd lose billions trying. That's why you don't need to worry about the stability of our industry. It's only going to move more this way as companies like Facebook continue to grow its user base and as major corporations continue to rely more on Cloud.
there is a lot that's true in this post, but i think the argument about need (bolded comparison) is apples to oranges.
people don't need their specific law firms, but they also don't need a specific website or tech corporation like facebook if something better comes along. myspace was a thing before facebook came along.
wouldn't people need some form of legal services as long as their are laws and government?
the need for it may not expand but it may also not diminish greatly.

tikal
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Re: Anyone considering going back to school?

Post by tikal » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:44 pm

classof2014 wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:55 pm
I've thought about going back to school to pursue something I'd actually ENJOY versus bouncing around within law in hopes that I'll find something I don't hate. Unsurprisingly, the time and expense of changing careers completely is a huge deterrent for me. Has anyone thought about doing this? What career are you contemplating? Do you think you will actually act on your desire to do something else? Have you taken any affirmative steps toward that goal?
YES! I'm switching to law librarianship and am starting my MLIS degree.

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