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Wild shot in the dark: Probably 85%+ of you tell people you’ll be “going to law school” after undergrad because…
1. It sounds cool
2. It makes you seem important, and
3. You’re trying to get laid
All 3 of those are things I can get behind, so I’m not here to burst your bubble.
I am here, however, to give you some free advice you probably won’t get elsewhere about law school. I’m a lawyer who graduated law school in spring ’16, and I wish I had been told a few things before I decided to splunk off 3 years and lots of cash on a J.D. I’m not discouraging anyone from attending law school; I’m just saying, keep these things in mind if you are thinking of going the lawyer route:
1. It’s fucking expensive
Yeah, I know — dad pays for all your tuition at your very average state school. Law school is a whole different beast, though. If you want to graduate, you’re looking at anywhere from 140k-250k, depending on where you go. You may not have an economics degree, but you don’t need one to know that’s a lot of money. Do you really want to pay those loans back for the rest of your life just because you want to attract more girls? For me, the answer was a resounding yes, but it might not be for you.
2. It’s really not fun or exciting
Drop anything you’ve seen on Law and Order or The Rainmaker (vastly underrated film). It’s almost never mic-dropping courtroom statements or awe-inspiring jury verdicts. In reality, it’s a shit ton of paperwork and dealing with whiny people all day. Granted, this depends on what area you get into, but generally you’re going to be doing a lot of reading and writing. There is a reason lawyers tend to be old white dudes and not young hot girls.
On top of that, law school is fucking awful. I turned myself into a quasi-alcoholic just to get through the first year. It’s not even that the work is that hard as much as it is that the environment, the people, the professors, and all the other shit just piles your anxiety up to unfathomable heights. I made lifelong friends in school and wouldn’t trade them for the world, but if you offered me a million dollars to do another 3 years of law school, I’d probably turn it down.
3. Have a general idea of what a lawyer ACTUALLY does
I can’t hammer this point home enough. If you really don’t know what a lawyer does, but think it sounds cool, take a day and educate yourself. I work around old dudes like 40+ years older than me on a daily basis and they are all bastions of wisdom. I know that sounds super cheesy, but it’s true. These guys have been practicing longer than I‘ve been alive. Cold call random attorneys in your area in a field you think you’d like and ask to shadow them for the day. Follow them to court, around the office, etc. and see if you could picture yourself doing that for the rest of your life. If you can’t, then this isn’t the field for you. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be an attorney; it just means maybe you’d be better in criminal law as opposed to real estate or vice versa.
Regardless, make contacts now and show these guys you’re willing to learn. If you do end up going, it can pay off in a job opportunity down the line. Hell, that’s how I got my partial gig now. I networked with this dude at a grad party and parlayed it into being his sidekick. It ain’t about the grades you make, it’s about the wrinkly hands you shake.
And lastly, if none of this sinks in, being a law student is a great intro with girls even if you hate your life, especially if your law school is at a big undergrad university. The “, Esq.” at the end of your name is pretty cool, too. It’s not all bad..
Image via Shutterstock