Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hindsight is 20/20

Hello All!

I have been inspired by the attention this article has recently received and have decided to start my own "scamblog" to discourage people from applying to law school. If I can discourage one person from applying to law school, I will consider this time well spent.

For some context, I just finished my second year of law school at a second tier school in a second tier city. My experience finding summer jobs has been dicey. While I have found employment both summers, both jobs are unpaid and not in the city where I hope to some day live. Work study has enabled me to squeak by (by which I mean I can manage my rent and not much else) and the sad part is that I am well aware this puts me among the more fortunate of my classmates, many of whom have not been able to find anything law-related for their resumes. Paying jobs are a myth - I know of very few people from my school who have found jobs that pay actual salaries this summer, and that includes several people who are on Law Review.

There are many reasons not to go to law school - crushing debt, bleak job prospects, the lies law schools tell. I will get into all of those reasons but for my first post I want to focus on something that does not quite fall under the "scam" heading. Too many people go to law school for the wrong reason. I was one of those people.

A year out of college, I was a starry eyed Ivy League grad who saw the world through rose-colored glasses. The economy had not collapsed just yet, I was working in a big city and I was caught up in the idea that tons of opportunity was at my fingertips. I had no desire to ever step foot in a classroom again. And then came the pressure. My parents convinced me that law was my meal ticket, not my B.A. in English. Numerous people, in fact, convinced me that there was nothing else one COULD do with such a degree, except for law school. Despite the fact that I had finally established some semblance of financial stability (a decent job, no more credit card debt and a dent in my undergraduate loans, albeit a small dent), I threw caution to the wind, took the LSAT, applied to law school, and ended up at a second tier school in another city. Lo and behold: more debt, more interest, a collapsed economy and years spent studying something that interests me less than watching paint dry. It's not that I exactly went in blind - I had read blog posts, and saw how bleak the job prospects were and how low the professional satisfaction was. But I let myself get caught up in the moment, turned on those rose-colored glasses I am famous for and followed the current.

Some nights, when I can't fall asleep, I think of how simple my life was before I started law school. I know it could not have stayed quite that carefree forever. But I wish I could go back to that time and choose differently, follow my instincts, and just wait things out in my dead-end but stable job until I found something I really enjoyed. These nights when I can't sleep I pray that it is not too late for me - that I will find SOME kind of professional life that will make me happy outside of law. No one understands my misery in this field - not my parents, not my friends... even some of my classmates are puzzled by it. But when I read the other blogs, I somehow don't feel quite as alone in this mentality.

So I might be shouting into the wind, but hopefully someone will read this and reconsider lawschool. Failing that, maybe some other unhappy and disappointed law student or recent grad will read this and not feel quite so alone.


  1. Another scamblogger? The more, the better.

    Be sure to add my blog to your blogroll so that your fans can track the rest of the community.

  2. Also, it's good to see another scamblogger with a "prestigious" degree. It helps shatter the myths.

  3. Done!

    That's what I figure - the more, the better. I've seen a bunch of posts that don't take the scambloggers seriously and it is so frustrating to watch people who don't know what they're talking about dismiss them. I figured the more there are, the harder they will be to dismiss. Hopefully the movement can get some traction.

  4. Welcome, Rose,

    Your contribution to the scamblogosphere is needed, as is every new voice that emerges as this movement takes shape.

    Yours is among several new blogs begun just this week, and it seems as though a new one pops up every day...that should be raising red flags for prospective law students.

    There are still a lot of 0Ls out there who refuse to heed the warnings from the scambusters, but little by little, we're getting word that we are saving some from committing themselves to a life of debt slavery and mindnumbingly boring work.

  5. Interesting. I wonder what it is about that particular post that hit a nerve.

  6. It must be that it was written by a professor and not a student/recent grad.

  7. Rose, Esq. I have added you onto my blogroll. The fact that you went to an Ivy League university WILL help us shatter the myths about those who "don't make it" in law school. It can be frustrating to deal with trolls and lemmings who apparently - in their own mind - know the industry better than current law students, JDs, lawyers and experienced practitioners. However, it is also quite fun to poke holes in their arguments.

    It is good to have you on board. Welcome. Now, we are adding onto the list of crusaders who are willing to take on this filthy industry. There will be more to come, as many JDs from the Class of 2010 realize they have a law license and NO job prospects.

  8. Rose,
    There are several of us who understand some of your misery, even though we aren't part of your daily life. Don't feel alone.


  9. Thanks for the add, and I'll add you to my list, too. I think you're the first recognized law student scam blogger of this ring.

    Is dropping out of law school on the table for you? The decision could be as simple as calculating your loan repayments per month if you dropped out now vs. loan payments if you go through with the JD. You will really stick it to the industry this way by telling them that you're done giving away your money.

    I regret attending my TTT law school, and I also regret ignoring the warning signs about the JD job market.

  10. Welcome to the club. I'm sorry you are so miserable in school. If you try to make it as a lawyer, things only get worse. I was blind to the scam until upon graduation, reality forced me to confront the true value of my endeavor.

    Ive added you to my blogroll. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

  11. What advice do you have for recent college grads with no job opportunities (not even dead-end ones)? I too regret some of the decisions I've made. I graduated a year ago with a bachelor's degree in marketing and still can't find a job (other than a few internships). If you don't mind me asking, what job were you able to get out of college? Is there any chance you could return to that industry after graduation?

    I hope things work out for you!

  12. really good post here, and excellent resources here for those seeking to go into law school and take that route. I actually feel that less people will be disapointed if more do research before going into the field. A lot of being happy and able to get a job at the right law firms is research and seeing if it is a place that is suitable.

  13. Which "second tier" law school did you go to? Going to an Ivy League makes no good impression on me - you could have rich parents or have half-assed your classes which would be why you're at a second tier school. Complaining about how hard/bad etc your "toilet" law school was makes no impression on me as you haven't explained it yet.

    As for those who attend schools not in the top 50-75 school - everyone knows that those schools suck and that getting a good job (or even a job in general) is based on who you know. So I'm interested in knowing where your school was located, what sort of internships/externships you did, and your specialization.

    I'm not trying to be rude, I really want to know details, because I know quite a few lawyers who are happy with their jobs/lives/school.