Sunday, March 9, 2014


I worry sometimes about sounding naive about the practice of law. Especially in this economy, you should not go into law unless you have done all the research you can. For years now I have followed blogs, looked at statistics and talked to practicing attorneys.

  • Job prospects for new attorneys are . . . bad. Very very bad. 
  • Job prospects for experienced attorneys are almost as bad. 
  • The starting salary of new attorneys are dropping and were never really as good as people thought they were. 
  • Tuition rates for law school has risen completely out of control and the debt you gain by going will never, never go away. Bankruptcy? Psssh, not for student loans. 
  • Law schools are graduating too many JD students for the jobs available.  
  • Biglaw jobs are considered the holy grail of law but they are far and few between. Even if you do get one, your life will suck and you will hate yourself. 
So why are so many people going to law school????? I think a lot of it is that people have a natural tendency to think that bad things won't happen to them, only to other people. Which is ridiculous. I have always gotten good grades but that doesn't mean I automatically assume I will continue to get good grades in law school. I will be competing with my fellow students and they ALL had good grades in college. Sure, I will strive for the top ten percent but I have a ninety percent chance of not making that goal. If I do not get above median grades, then I will have a much harder time finding a job. If I can not find a job, I will not be able to pay back my loans and I will not be able to assist the elderly in improving their quality of life at the end of their life. 

Tangent time:
I think that the last few years of a person's life should be the time of their life when they get to stop worrying about the rat race of America. Isn't that why most people look forward to retiring? Far too often, the elderly are dealing with all the normal worries of food, shelter and clothing, along with declining health, declining mobility AND an increased chance of abuse or neglect. It is not easy to have to rely on someone else for your basic needs but many elderly people need to. And when that person they are relying on fails, they often do not have the ability to turn to others for help. Dementia, physical disabilities and lack of knowledge of resources, trap them into a downward spiral they can not get out of. This is not okay. 

End rant. Back to law and law school. I am trying to minimize the risks of law school by keeping my loans and my expectations low. I am aware that I could make more money in another career but money is not my end goal. If my debt is lower, I will not have to chase the jobs that make the most money and will hopefully have the luxury of finding a job I love, even if the pay is low. I also exclusively looked at schools that offer some form of hands on training in elder law. I am hoping that this will give me an opportunity to graduate with at least a few of the skills I will need to use in practice. 

Am I making law school a good risk? Well no, I don't think law school can be a good bet with this legal market. However, I am hoping that I am able to at least make it less of a risk. 

Give me three years and I'll let you know how it worked out for me. 

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