Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Prelaws Say the Darndest Things (Part 2)

It's time for the latest installment of "Prelaws say the Darndest Things!" As always, these are actual quotes from prelaw message boards/forums made by actual future Best Buy clerks and AFLAC sales representatives.

Save Your Yuan

I'm currently deciding between Temple and Villanova, with the hopes to transfer at the end of 1L.

I am interested in international law with an emphasis on China/Asian law. Temple has a LLM program with Beijing for an extra semester. The program is run by Mo Zhang who is known for his academic work in Chinese Law. Villanova has an LLM program in Singapore where you spend 2 years at Villanova and 1 year in Singapore, followed by work in Shanghai/Beijing. Villanova has two professors who are Fulbright scholars in China and Taiwan, but they do not specialize in Chinese law. There is no extra semester at Villanova. Temple has an International Law Journal, Villanova does not.

Yeah, and I'm interested in obtaining the super ability to leap over tall buildings in a single bounce, but even that fantasy is more realistic than your chances of landing an attorney position in international law after graduating from some 2TT with a third rate international law journal.

I guess Villanova is nice enough to throw in a worthless LLM with their worthless JD, but get a clue: Everybody and their brother wants to work in "international law" and a diploma from a school that can't crack the US News top 50 plus a year of partying in Southeast Asia isn't exactly going to put you at the front of the line for these jobs.

There aren't word to describe the foolishness of actually paying for an LLM in International Law (from Temple?!).

That's Crazy Talk!

Q: Would I be able to find a job in Colorado after passing the Bar (and attending University of South Dakota Law)?

A: depends on where you want to work. As a general rule, yeah. unless the school in unaccredited why wouldn't you be able to?

Maybe because very few people these days can find actual attorney jobs or any jobs at all with the plague of a JD on their resumes...Unless you're talking about working at Arby's - but then again, why would having an unaccredited degree hurt you?

But sure, going to a TTT in a state outside of where you want to practice shouldn't pose any problems in the future. Remember, you clearly want to look to prelaw message boards for important career planning advice.

Heckle and Jeckle Discuss the Florida Legal Market

Heckle: I have said this before, I will say it again, there are only 4 law schools in Florida worth considering, and they are UF, UM, FSU, and Stetson. In the future, I might add FIU, but not at this moment. ["Advising" a student looking at Nova Southeastern.]

Jeckle: Not me i want to work in the public defenders office or da's office so im sure most graduates of those four schools would not want to work in local government for 30-40k a year but i would to get the experience for a few years then open up a office.

I reject the notion that one would not be successful unless they go to the "top four" schools in florda. I have a friend that goes to famu and interns for a lawyer that practices criminal law in orlando and graduated from barry. He makes 250k a year handling violation of probation and other criminal cases.

Good grief! The "top four" schools in Florida? Talk about a meaningless statistic. Florida is like everywhere else. The truly elite firms still prefer T-14 students even if they're not local. U Florida will give you a chance (during good times) if you have top grades, but it certainly isn't going to guarantee you a job.

You've got to be kidding about recommending UMiami and freakin' Stetson, right!? You'd be better off hitting the Magic Kingdom in Orlando and converting your money into Disney dollars than wasting three years at those toilets.

Sadly, apparently "Jeckle" seems to believe that that PD and DA jobs are slam dunks. Actually, students who don't hit the top 10% at the "top four" schools will quickly realize that the big firm jobs aren't going to happen for them and by the time they graduate many of them would kill for stable PD and DA jobs (particularly with the public service loan forgiveness).

Oh, and you know a guy who INTERNS for a guy making $250k/year? Guess what, that's as close as you're going to get to the big bucks as well.

That Was Easy!

Rumors of people not being able to find jobs!!! OH MY GOD NO!!!!!!! So you are saying that if someone goes to law school they may not get a job? I heard that argument before and then I went to talk to the other academic programs at my school since a J.D. doesn't guarantee me anything, but it was the weirdest thing apparently M.B.A's, Clinical Psychologists, and even M.D.'s and basically every other academic program can't guarantee a job. Weird right?

Apparently just getting an education doesn't guarantee you a job. I know it is impossible to get a job handed to you if you go to a tier 4, but I came up with this WILD IDEA and sent my resumes into a few firms and actually showed up for an interview and got hired. I know it's a radical concept that you actually have to try to find a job, but that is the horrors of going to a tier 3 or 4 you have to put in an ounce of effort. As you said these t-14 student's probably didn't accept that they might have to put an ounce of effort in and of actually doing something they just female dog and moaning that nobody is handing them a job. Welcome to real life is all I can say. At the end of the day just saying I go to so and so school doesn't matter. You got to put effort in to succeed in life. Shocking concept for spoiled rich kids I know, but some people actually have to put work in.

[In response to somebody having the gall to complain that getting job with J.D. can be difficult...Perish the thought, I know.]

Oh, so all this time, I just had to send in a resume, get an interview, and show up for the said interview. Well, why didn't somebody tell me?!

Yes, this is great advice, prelaws. Dump a ton of money into a bottom of the barrel degree and just assume that sending in your resume to a few firms will get you interviews and inevitably a job offer.

Definitely ignore the number of students who have mass mailed their resumes to firms to receive nary a response back. Don't pay any attention to the fact that there are virtually no entry level attorney positions listed on most job boards - but plenty of paralegal and legal assistant positions available. Just having determination should be more than enough!

Pearls Next to Swine

No tier 4 is going to fail out half their class or do anything much differently than any other school. Is Touro Harvard not even close! If you go to a tier 4 you won't have people chasing you down for a job, but if you put the work in you will get a job somewhere. You probably won't sit on the Supreme Court or Work in Big law, but if you want to a lawyer then Touro will be fine. You won't be living a jet-setting lifestyle, but not many lawyers do no matter what school they go to.

Well, there's actually a pearl of wisdom in this field full of dung. It's true you'll hardly have access to a life of wealth and ease regardless of which law school you attended. But going to Touro vs. Harvard isn't a question of big law vs. small law. It's a question of big law vs. washing cars and changing addresses several times a year to avoid your creditors.

If you want to be a lawyer, getting a degree from many tier 1 schools isn't enough to secure a serious law job. You're a fool if you think you'll get anywhere with a degree from TTTouro, a TTT among TTT's.

Esq. Never: Brilliant Financial Adviser

I need a financial aid consultant because I need to understand what's the best strategy to maximize my situation and get the best aid. I am working and don't have time to figure this all out and I'm under time pressure to get it done.

Allow me to provide some free assistance. Do you have a pulse? If you answered "yes", whichever school to which you've been accepted will be more than happy to accept your virtually guaranteed Stafford and GradPLUS loans to cover the entire cost of tuition and fees.

But here's the best financial advice I can offer. You have a job. Presumably it pays your bills. Once you graduate law school, landing a decently paying job could very likely no longer be an option. You will also owe money to pay for your worthless degree. Please keep your current job and forget about law school.

There. I just saved you hundreds of thousands of dollars and from the possibility of you throwing yourself in front of a train one day.

Hear No Evil

Well, for starters, anyone with the name "lawschoolblows" is obviously biased. Continuing that thought, anyone who finds their way onto a thread for happily admitted new students who are trying to make friends and get excited for their first year at law school CLEARLY needs something else to do with their lives. Shame on you for your negativity and for giving unsolicited opinions that were clearly not asked for nor socially acceptable in this situation. So I am going to disregard most of the comments "lawschoolblows" just made.

[NB: I did not make the post in question using the moniker "Lawschoolsblows".]

Yes, shame on him for trying to save you from a life of debt and despair. Did you have the same attitude when the police officer visited your high school to warn you about the danger of tanking up and wrapping your car around an oak tree?

Just as the prom season inevitably leads to a bunch of drunken hooligans having their remains scraped off the pavement with a giant spatula, the start of a new law school year also features a flood of these naive 1L twits skipping into career perdition.

Blind Leading the Blind

Q: I am trying to decide between The University of Richmond (sticker) and The University of Baltimore (8K/year if I maitain at least a 3.25). Some things to consider....

I want to got into IP law

I would like to work in the D.C. or Richmond area after graduation

My Parents live in Richmond so I could live at home if I went to U of R.

Richmond being private is ~33k/year, Baltimore would be ~34/year the first year, but ~24K the last 2 years once I get residency.

Richmond is 86th in the Rankings, Baltimoire is a T3 school

A: I did campaign fund raising in Richmond a few years back (over 50% of our donors were attorneys), and while this is somewhat anecdotal, I found Richmond extremely well represented at all of the firms there. I would see Richmond and UVA and not much else at most of the firms. Additionally, the alumni network at Richmond seemed particularly active and engaged. I don't think this completely answers your question and I can't speak to anything about DC, but if you want to practice in Richmond going to school there seems like a good choice.

Let me get this straight. One goober is seriously considering choosing between paying full price at a school that's barely in the second tier and taking a measly 8k scholarship from an abysmal TTT. The other chump is egging him on by guessing that some of the attorneys at some fundraising event went to Richmond (likely years ago)?

I can hardly comment on this. All I can say is that at least con artists like Bernie Madoff had to put some effort into their scams. I mean the law school hucksters can't even say their scam is a challenge. Even shooting fish in a barrel has to be more difficult than relieving law school lemmings of their tuition dollars.

Alumni Connections: The Last Refuge of a Loser

Considering they're all about evenly ranked, yeah, alumni is probably the biggest factor. Fact is that employers tend to hire from their own school, and there are probably more people with AU degrees in DC than with WF or GM. Also, AU has extensive internship/externship opportunities (much more so than GM), so you could network while a student.

However, I think Wake is significantly cheaper than American, both in terms of tuition and CoL. For me personally this would be a huge factor, but you seemed to place the most emphasis on working DC so the "safest" bet among those three is almost certainly American.

If you get to the point where you're banking on alumni to help you get a job, you've already lost. (You're also likely working at a place that requires you to wear a paper hat.)

What if...I Destroy My Life?

I don't think I'd be necessarily unhappy in San Diego, but I know that I'd be happier in San Francisco. And that's where weighing the debt versus the preference comes into play.

Plus, and I didn't mention this, Cal Western has a stipulation put on the scholarship and their curve is pretty tough (they drop the bottom 20% out of their 1L, which probably helps to keep their bar passage rate up with the T1/T2 schools). I'm not sure how to consider this, I know I have the dedication and ability that should keep the scholarship, but there is always the "what if". If I had to pay tuition at Cal Western, and I knew that now, I'd absolutely choose USF.

[Choosing between Cal Western vs. University of U. San Francisco]

"The 'What If?' " [???] If you go to one of these schools, it's really not a question of IF you'll come to hate your station in life; it'll be just be a question of the degree to which you hate it.

ABA - They who are about to die, salute you!


  1. Hahahahahaha!!!!

    Great stuff. There are STILL people that go to law school? I mean seriously? Seriously?

    I went to law school back in 2005 so I have a bit of an excuse. I had a science background and figured I'd do IP myself, because allegedly that was rare.

    Bull fucking shit, IP is saturated too. Maybe not as badly as the other fields, but then again the demand was never as high as the other fields either. Think about it, exactly how many new inventions are there a year anyway? And of those, why would the major ones need new attorneys since they should have enough experienced attorneys already since there aren't that many inventions to begin with?

    Not to mention the patent bar is actually, you know, difficult, but easily passable if you pay for a prep program. Meaning pretty much anybody can pass it if they really want to. And enough people do.

  2. Great post. I think this should be a regular routine.

  3. These 0Ls really cannot handle the truth.

    I started a thread over at TLS entitled: "It's not too late to rethink this whole endeavor" and here were some well-reasoned, thoughtful replies:

    "I just don't get all of these "law=worst career ever" posts. Honestly, if you're going to come on here and just be exuberantly negative about law, at the very least you should offer up some other viable options. I mean cmon, sure law isn't doing well right now..but is it because of the career itslef or is it just indicative of the economy as a whole? Maybe I'll go to law school and I won't find any work but guess what... 90% of my friends that graduated from undergrad this year w/decent grades all in different fields cannot find ANY work either and they're moving back in with their parents. My handful of friends that found work were either 1.pharmacy or 2.engineering...both of which I would not be very good at. I mean honestly what do you propose that all of these law school applicants that don't get accpeted to YHS do instead of going to law school? Please...I'd LOVE to hear some advice on this. What career should we be looking into instead of law?"

    "I challenge all of these naysayers to offer some constructive advice for once instead of just coming on here and being like "don't go to law school, you'll make more money doing something else" and yet they never say what this "something else" is. please share this secret wisdom that law school applicants, along with the rest of the unemployed in this country must be missing. What is this secret career that has no risk, positive return on investment and job security?"

    "Well shit. I guess since TTTGrad told me I'm going to be screwed and hate my life in three years I guess it must be true. I suppose I better give up on a career I've been looking forward to for years and go send that withdrawal email now."

    "Wow, this guy must be a BLAST to hang out with. lol. we're all going to die, we're not going to make it.........we're all grown ups and can determine our own paths. all careers, decisions come with risk. best to all of you who have decided to jump in. i hope it pays dividends for all of you, no matter your goals."

    Still not getting it....well, at least I can sell them some bar review!

  4. I'm a laid off BigLaw environmental associate. Why did I get laid off after bringing in $1.2 million in business after 2 years being an associate? Well, hmmm, maybe because the partners wanted to keep their slice of the pie and us associates were getting in the way. Yep, all the first and second years at my mid-firm were let go in 2008. Seriously, this is a very shitty field. I sent out over 589 resumes, networked until I was sore in the chest and contacted all sorts of recruiters. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. My little brother is an '09 Columbia law graduate - unemployed. If you have a chance, please listen to us and run from this career.

  5. The same is true for anyone who believes education will give them their dream career. Delusion loves company. It is the only company any of these budding lawyers could ever be hired at!!! Delusion inc. is always hiring as long as there are fools with other peoples money to spend!

  6. Posted elsewhere, but still fits the bill:

    "Have you ever seen the 1980s movie “Ice Pirates”? There is a scene where two captured pirates are tied down on a conveyor belt leading towards a pair of metal chompers that rip their balls off and turn them into eunuchs to work in the houses of the rich folks. Nobody informs them of this, so the whole time they’re moving down the conveyor belt, they’re getting shaved and pampered and are cracking jokes, only vaguely aware of the screams off in the distance every 15 seconds or so.

    This is you. You’re jumping on the conveyor belt in search of prestige, trying to ignore the screams of the 3Ls leaving the law factory and running into the buzz saw of the oversaturated workplace. Your only hope is that those $150,000+ tuition steel jaws somehow decide not to rip you to shreds — a hope shared by every single other law student sure that they are the special one that will escape where all others have failed. Every single current or prospective law student thinks they will be the one that lands the sweet job and the prestige. They all end up screaming at the end."

  7. Prelaws are asking all the wrong questions and missing the most fundamental one:

    Should I go to law school?

    Answer in the negative and it will save you from all the other trivial questions posted here and a lifetime of debt and misery!

  8. To the posting about getting a job in Colorado: The Denver area is an exceedingly difficult one in which to get an attorney job just out of law school; has been since the late 70's. That would apply right now even for a local law school grad.

  9. this is a smug blog...not much time on your hands huh? time to copy and paste sub-par questions from young people with naivete...so odd...young people that are naive. you don't have a lot of friends either do you? And if you do...you probably think they like you don't you?

  10. 2:04

    No, I wouldn't really characterize this blog as "smug". I actually try to use a lot of self deprecating humor, and I think the bulk of my posts are either informative or genuine attempts to discourage folks from going to law school.

    I'll concede this series is a bit snide, and I would prefer to be able to talk these kids out of making a mistake. But once they get this far in the process, they refuse to listen even to polite, reasoned warnings, so I'm having a little fun with them.

    It doesn't really take much time, and sadly thanks to law school, I do have plenty of time on my hands; though the job search certainly is time consuming as I've elaborated in other posts.

    Interestingly, you seem to have the time to read a post in which you're not really interested and then reply with a smarmy and insipid comment. If you're a pre-law, you'll learn the truth soon enough. If you're a law school apologist/profiteer, your crimes are certainly worse than mine.

  11. Ohhh SNAP!! Good answer, Esq. Never. These soon-to-be-desperate OneLs deserve mockery, and yes also some pity, for ignoring good advice and willfully throwing their lives into a toilet of despair.

    I am still laughing about the OneL who might go to U of Baltimore and wants to work in DC.

    Excuse me while I scream with laughter while pounding my head on the desk.

    Are you frakking KIDDING me??? Hey, Baltimore is my hometown and I love it, but even I can tell you that the U of Baltimore is a real sh**thole. I find its ranking at 86 highly suspect; are you sure it's not 186?!! Its reputation here is a joke, I can assure you.

    And the competition from other schools is too tough. Students from U of B will be competing with grads from real Maryland schools like the University of Maryland Law School(T2 if I'm not mistaken), Johns Hopkins (which offers a joint degree with its SAIS program--really tough to get into--and Stanford--yeah, good luck competing with those grads!). Not to mention DC schools like Georgetown, American, and GWU.

    Oh, and Baltimore? Again, I love it, but it's a crime-ridden, dirty, overly developed city that's losing its charm to ugly new yuppievilles and has become ridiculously expensive city to live in, given its, erm, amenities, like the highest murder rate and heroin addiction rate in the country.

    Yeah--swell idea!

  12. smarmy and insipid, perhaps. you smug? most definitely. dancingopossum...did you just say "ohh SNAP!!" -another friendless clown I'm sure. I enjoyed reading your blog actually. That's why i wrote the post. I felt I had an opinion about it and I wrote a comment. I really "pound my head on the desk" like dancingopossum when i do write these comments. I'm sure you can agree most people leaving comments on blogs are persons dying to be heard by SOMEBODY. I just felt affected by your blog. Take it as a complement. You're just smug and I'm predicting that you're not a whole lot of fun to be around. Can't hate on me for having a theory. I'll be awaiting your reply, no doubt, which will a much more eloquent and morally sound theme -that I'm sure of.

  13. You have an odd way of complimenting people, my friend, but I appreciate you reading the blog.

  14. I do agree w/the whole following your dreams thing. For all some of you know, they may have their own plans to evade the bill collectors. People work for a long time to work in the entertainment industry as well. Know how hard THAT is??? I sense you've not had a lot of family members die having done very little in life. I don't think it's my place to tell anyone what to do or be a dream killer but alerting people of the truth is necessary since everyone knows it's hard to become famous but not so much about the legal industry. If they choose to ignore the facts, that's on them. You really don't have a pony in the race unless YOU'RE co-signing the loans or something.


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