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LegalGround >> What Does "I'm a Lawyer" really mean?


7/27/08 2:45 AM
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cycklops
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 You think my inability to spell and lack of grammar will help?
7/27/08 9:46 PM
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bflex
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"Can you got a mediocre law school and get into the upper echelon?"

Absolutely you can! I am past the second spike of the "big law" guys and I am on my own. Solo is the way to go.
7/27/08 11:37 PM
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Fake Pie
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" Is that basically everyone's aspiration, get into biglaw?"

No. About 70% or something of my school did. The rest did government work, public policy work, or non lawyer work. How many of them were by choice and how many were because they couldn't get firm jobs I can't tell you, but I know a few that turned down Biglaw. It definitely happens.

The attrition rate is also horrible. Most will either be forced out or quit within like the first 5 years. Maybe Xtina has a stat for it, I don't know the numbers. Most then end up at medium or smaller firms and on the left part of the graph. Hey, at least those guys probably paid off their loans in their Biglaw time.

"When considering the graph, can I assume that both lawyers, the median lawyer and the biglaw lawyer, could have gone to the same school but the biglaw lawyer performed better? Or am I way off?

My experience is that Biglaw hires at the top schools and at the top schools in the particular region. For example if you went to a "top" school so you could interview anywhere in the country (the major markets really) for Biglaw jobs and have a shot. They will ask you why you want to live in that particular city though (unless it is NYC or DC and you can just it's NYC! it's DC! or something douchey like that).

But if you go to a school that is good for the region, say UMD, and you have high grades, you can get a Biglaw job in MD. For example, my incoming class at my firm is half UMD and half Georgetown and is in Baltimore.

If you go the later route, you have to have higher grades than the people in the former route. It is retarded and based on "prestige" but that is the way it is.
7/29/08 9:35 AM
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None So Blind
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Edited: 07/29/08 10:39 AM
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That graph seems inaccurate, or at least their terminology on it.

The "median" score is the *middle* score, not the average score. If there are 999,999 lawyers in the country, the median score would be what the #500,000 lawyer makes, dead in the center. It is *not* the same as the mean, which is the average (what I think they were trying to indicate with the picture). If nothing else, it looks like the AUC (area under curve) is not equal on both sides, which would indicate that the median lies elsewhere.

But I have to give them credit for trying, median is better for discussing salaries compared to mean - it filters out anybody on the far end (e.g., some lawyer who makes 10,000,000 a year and blows the average out of the water disproportionately). 
7/29/08 6:34 PM
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Fake Pie
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I doubt I know as much about statistics as you, but that graph matches every other such thing I have ever read or seen and they always use median. Wouldn't you need the actual numbers to do median? Just because it looks funny does it really mean it has to be wrong? I mean it is pretty compressed.

Don't know, just asking. But that is what everyone else says the median is. Mean would be fucked for the reason you said.
7/29/08 8:41 PM
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None So Blind
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Yeah, I'm not seeing the actual numbers, and I have no reason to doubt their accuracy, it's just that one of my pet peeves is when people use inaccurate graphs ;-)

(a lot of people like to do so in order to "shade" how their numbers are interpreted, it's a subtle but effective form of mild deception)
7/30/08 2:46 AM
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Xtina
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 well that last graph was supposedly based on NALP's records of first year salaries for the class of 2006. 


here's the update for c/o 2007 (again, based on NALP records):



"The median salary in the above distribution is $65,750; the mean is $86,396. 

38% of all starting full-time salaries were less than $55,000 per year, including 18% of all jobs in private practice, 27.5% in business, and 70.0% in government (excluding judicial clerkships)."
7/30/08 1:04 PM
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cycklops
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 Thanks for all the info guys. Also, thanks xtina for the info you passed along.

Here's a question for you. Why should I become a lawyer?
7/30/08 9:30 PM
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Hiza Geri
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 Ladies and gentlemen, we have an award to dish out:

To cycklops-



Nicely done to a target audience.
7/30/08 11:03 PM
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cycklops
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Honestly not trying to troll anyone. I'm not smart enough really. I've been throwing around the idea of trying for a law degree. I'm just trying to get an idea of what it entails and is it ultimately worth it in the end.

My problem lies in the fact that I live in the middle of nowhere. I'm a 3 hour drive from any type of proper civilization but there's not a whole I can do, or am willing to do about that at the moment, because of my job. I like this job. The only real opportunity I have at getting to the bar in CA is through correspondence. I know I'm gonna take a beating for this but it's something I want to do but my options are limited.

I'm just trying to pick peoples brains.
7/31/08 5:21 PM
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Fake Pie
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Edited: 07/31/08 5:22 PM
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Unless you just really really want to be a lawyer like it is your dream or something retarded like that, then I would say no fucking way if that is how you plan on doing it. You will be on the left side of that graph. Not worth it. Definitely do not PAY for school. You will have more debt than salary.

If you rock the LSAT or something and can get into a nice school then you might want to think about it. You have kids to worry about IIRC.

Just IMHO of course.

Oh and the CA is very hard and people from schools like ones that would do "correspondence" for a JD typically do not pass it. But hell I probably failed it too.
7/31/08 9:07 PM
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Hiza Geri
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Edited: 07/31/08 9:09 PM
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 On the off chance you're legit:

THAT is why I became an attorney.
7/31/08 9:12 PM
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Hiza Geri
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for those who want more info
8/1/08 9:41 PM
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cycklops
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 WIth that officer that ate the brownies, why did you become a lawyer?

Fake Pie,
I'm on the low end of the right side of that chart right now. With a JD it'll bet me farther to the right, and that's basically what I'm looking for. I'm gonna be doing graduate work no matter what and I felt that the JD would prove better in the long haul over the masters in my field.
8/1/08 10:59 PM
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Hiza Geri
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Edited: 08/01/08 10:59 PM
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 Look, friend, you have over 7400 posts... the next will make 7500. You are an ugly troll, albeit a pretty good one.

Again, on the off chance that you are for real (much like fairies and unicorns), if you didn't get my last posts, DON'T plan on being a lawyer.

Just take your damn troll medal and pedal off.

8/1/08 11:04 PM
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cycklops
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 See, I'm retarded when it comes to this. Are you just messin with me? Do you actually think I'm making this up? If there were a way to make you believe me or a way to show that I'm sincere, let me know. All I have at the moment is my word. This is the last time I'll address my sincerity on this one. I was actually serious as to the pros and cons of getting that JD at this juncture of my career/life. Take it or leave it.

As far as all thos posts? Back in 2003 when I found this site I was always talking about fighting, now...
8/2/08 11:00 AM
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salyer36
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Edited: 10/16/10 11:19 AM
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edit
8/2/08 3:07 PM
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pfsjkd
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I know cyklops personally and he is NOT a troll.  Nothing he's said here could even be considered trolling.  He's asked valid questions, explained his situation, and been respectful to everyone here, you included, Hiza.
8/2/08 8:08 PM
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Hiza Geri
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 Nothing I said was disrespectful; I honestly think he is a troll.  I think he is a very good one.  I'm not being disrespectful at all.  As one who plays with language, I appreciate another who does.

If not, and he is asking other people to tell him why he should be a lawyer, then he doesn't need to bother going to law school.  Likewise, if you don't get why I enjoy criminal defense, after viewing my posts.....  That is just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions... 

Perhaps going to visit a local attorney or three, watching a local trial (civil or criminal), or contacting the local bar association would provide him with MUCH better answers than receiving what he has gotten from people who may very well NOT be attorneys, gone to law school, passed the bar, practiced law...blah, blah.

 

8/2/08 8:29 PM
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pfsjkd
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 I honestly think he is a troll. 

You're honestly incorrect.  You're whole argument seems to revolve around the 'why should I become a lawyer?' question because up until that point you seemed to take him seriously.  Pretty weak evidence of trolling.  And if it were a troll (which it's not), it would be pretty weak trolling at that.

If he had said something like, 'Do lawyers pull lots of sluts?' or 'I was thinking about becoming a lawyer because of this one episode of Law & Order. . .' then you might make a better argument.
8/2/08 9:13 PM
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cycklops
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 thanks pfsjkd. There really are no other reasons to this than what I've stated.

After thinking about it, I realized I have been to court a few times, between state and federal stuff, and thought that their work was somewhat slow and tedious but interesting nonetheless. I'm assuming there must be a certain amount of satisfaction involved knowing that you've put forth the effort and then there's an outcome.

The bottom line is, it interests me on some level so I'm gonna give it a shot. I have no illusions that I'm gonna be F. Lee Bailey in 2 years either.

Help me understand this though, every person I've spoken to about this that happens to be alawyer says "Don't do it" yet there they are, doin the lawyer thing. Why?
8/3/08 8:35 AM
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Hiza Geri
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pfs - OK. I'm not going to argue with you about it. I'm sorry if subtlety isn't your game.

cyclops - Good luck!
8/3/08 12:18 PM
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pfsjkd
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 I'm sorry if subtlety isn't your game.

LOL!!  Dude, I've been on this site since '98.  I've seen more trolls come and go than a dog has fleas.  I'm pretty sure I can spot a troll.  Particularly when it might be somebody I know personally and have talked to about this very subject face-to-face.
11/1/08 1:20 AM
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cycklops
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Just read through this again. Some good stuff here. Still pluggin away at it.
11/3/08 9:09 AM
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seg
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 I do the lawyer thing because I don't know what else I would do where I could make the same amount of money.  I love the intellectual challenge of the law, but being a lawyer ain't like LA Law.  Tremendous pressure to bill hours, market for new clients, etc.  Then you get the joy of getting stiffed by your clients when you send them a bill.  I think it is the least rewarding of the major "professions."

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