There’s an article over on the ABA Journal’s website today called “How Law Schools Can Produce Happier Students and Satisfied Lawyers.” We recommend reading through the comments section. It’s a good glimpse at one of the biggest problems with the legal profession today — namely, that there are too many lawyers who don’t belong here.
Far too many people go to law school who shouldn’t. Plenty go into the law who shouldn’t. Is it any wonder that they wind up unhappy and dissatisfied?
If you’re going to law school by default, because you can’t think of what else to do with your life, then please don’t. Anybody who spends a hundred grand (or gets that much into debt) just to “find himself” has seriously bad judgment. And judgment is sort of a basic prerequisite to the practice of law. It’s one of the most important things any legal employer is looking for. Please go away. Now.
If you’re not doing well in law school, then get out. Seriously. Your first job is going to depend hugely on your grades. And your subsequent jobs will depend on that first job. And legal employers do care about your grades, even decades later, believe it or not. You’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of minimal job satisfaction. Also, contrary to popular belief, law school actually is a good preparation for the practice of law. The kinds of questions you’re flubbing on your exams require precisely the kind of issue-spotting and thoughtful analysis that you’re going to have to do every time a new matter crosses your desk. You’re actually going to have to continue learning and applying new areas of law constantly, throughout your career. If you haven’t figured it out by the end of your 1L year, then save yourself the money and a lot of frustration and find something else to do with your life.
If you find law school too stressful, then get out. Law school is stressful for everyone, that’s normal. But if you’re finding (more…)