Tuesday, November 8, 2011

CNN is right: Law school is a waste of time


My job has been ho hum. Working hard, making some decent money and basically just getting by. I get funny looks from strangers and co workers when they find out I am also a parlegal, and they think I should leave and get a job in a law firm. Unfortunately there are no jobs in law firms. I make more money now than most TTT and TTTT grads make their first year out of law school. I am just thankful for the job that I have, but today one of the VP's in the company had their son come and visit the office. His son is a student at one of those liberal arts colleges (Williams/Amherst/Swarthmore types) and majoring in Philosophy or some other useless major. He sat next to meet today at break and was flipping through his LSAT book and I told him that law school really isn't worth going to unless you go to a to a T14 school, because most lawyers won't make enough money to pay back their loans. I told him that I was doing better at my current job than if I had gone to a law firm.

Sadly, he is denial. All those fancy liberal arts colleges feed their students ego's about how they can do whatever they want and how they are all "special" students. Its such bullshit. I told him he should only go if he gets into a top school and it would be better for him to get a job with his dad's connections.

He really believes he will get a job making $160,000 starting from ANY law school he goes to. I told him to look at articles on the internet exposing the realities of the legal profession. As my break was ending, he came across this CNN article on his laptop. It really opened his eyes and it will probably open your eyes, too!

-The Poor Paralegal


  1. What are you complaining about? You have a job don't you? It sounds like you're still making around 50-60 k / year. For someone with absolutely zero work experience, that is not bad...

    While I don't believe the hype of with a law degree, you can do anything, become a dog catcher. There seems to be a lot of evidence supporting the fact that students are finding jobs where a JD helped them get that job. 20-25% of each graduating class it would seem.

    Would you have the job that you have if not for the law degree? Also, with IBR, you barely have to pay anything until youre making 65 to 70 k.

  2. The Liberal Arts are so important, but not in an economic sense.

    I agree that trying to add a JD to a Liberal Arts Degree is a foolish investment, given the realities of the the job market.

    Some of the best thinkers and writers in the world were selt taught or "autodidactic."

    Which is not to say that a University level education in the Liberal Arts is dispensible.

    But without a liberal education, I really think that a human being is cut off from 5 thousand or so years of human civilization, and will live an entire life without a better sense of what it is to be a human being and what his or her human potential is for mind, body and soul.

  3. Please listen to JD Painterguy.

    He is quite an authority on education.

    He got a Touro JD in the 90s, has given up on passing the bar exam, has let his debt snowball to $300k, and now paints houses to feed himself.

    So by all means, do not overlook this truly wise old man.

  4. I wish I was that kid sitting next to you, flipping through that book after finishing my Celtic Studies major. Then again, I probably would have not listened to you either. That's the thing, the big flashy ideas we have been fed our whole lives run counter to that which we are told as adults. Law school makes us rich, we think. The sad reality is, we'd be in such a better position if we just had listened to people like you in the first place.

  5. Also, JD Painterguy, you make some excellent points.

  6. I was surprised at the comments to Trunk's article. While she makes some uninformed statements, the gist of her message is accurate - there are very few legal jobs these days. I'm a lawyer, admitted in 2 states, out for about 8 years, currently unemployed. I have multiple degrees in science from good schools. Law review, yada, yada. All the people commenting on her article are either delusional law students or pre-law students. Outside of a T15 school, you deserve your plight these days if you go to law school in this economic climate. Don't cry when you can't find a job, you've all been warned.

  7. "Sadly, he is denial. All those fancy liberal arts colleges feed their students ego's about how they can do whatever they want and how they are all "special" students."

    Very true. I was in MBA class at Marquette U. I had 10 years experience, and was just hoping to tread water with my new skills. But the 22 yr olds, just out of the undergrad program, were VERY confident they'd be making $200K coming out.

    I asked him "What are you planning on doing when you graduate?" He said "I'm going to be real estate mogul." A mogul!!
    Go to grad school, and become one of the top 1000 richest in america. sheesh.
    Where do they get these ideas?

  8. I wasted a lot of time in paralegal school, then trying to find a paralegal job. I found out that many of these paralegal jobs were filled by people with law degrees.

    I think that says it all. Why waste time or money in law school?

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