This blog is about living the American Dream at the dawn of the new millennium! I am a nameless, mid-20s, bottom 150 Law School Graduate who finds himself marginally attached and awash in a sea of overeducated but underpaid, indentured peers who feel, and were, duped by the promise of a better life through debt and modern chemistry. Let's get to the point. The Law School Industrial Complex is a scam that has destroyed a generation out of greed. Vendettas were once legal and the pursuit of one was seen not only as moral, but necessary. This newly minted lawyer is going to continue the practice. DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL YOU MORONS! Ce qui suit est ce qui reste!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Prospective Law Students: YOU ARE NOT RUDY!!!!

Hello 0L or Zero Lemming as I like to call you,

As you know by your obsessive calendaring, it's the last week of April and that means you should be getting your Law School ransom notes acceptance letters soon if you haven't already.

The opening salvo of my blog has been fairly accurate harsh and cynical, and hopefully humorous, but for good reason. Everyone who engages in an argument can/does/should exaggerate in certain ways.  But, I am in no way a negative Nelly by nature (alliteration quadruple word score).

I am was a dreamer. And let's get one thing clear, even for those of us in tremendous debt and still unemployed, things could be a hell of a lot worse (see below):



The purpose of this and other law school scam busting blogs is not to kill your dreams.  Do not make the fatal mistake of conflating your life dreams with attending law school.  The two are diametrically opposed for 99.99% of the 0L population.


In other words, YOU ARE NOT RUDY:




Go check out the list of REASONS NOT TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL at Barely Legal (a blog I unfortunately didn't discover until I was a 3L at which point I said in a small and broken prayer of a voice, "Well...Fuck").

I was a combination of several of them [ Numbers 7  / 10  / 6  / 1  are particularly accurate & I still feel the scar of No. 7 ]  like many 0L's now contemplating signing up to attend law school.  The difference between when they first made that list & now is that you can add FINANCIAL SUICIDE to the list.

What I have learned, from bitter experience, is that Law School is actually a gigantic obstacle to accomplishing your true dreams.  It's not a vehicle to get you there.  In fact, like me and many others, you'll probably find that you won't even be able to get back onto the path/career/job that you were on before attending law school. 



IT'S NOT TOO LATE FOR YOU! SAVE YOURSELF!
RUN AWAY!

I have friends who have graduated from every Tier, including the hallowed T-14s.  Every single one that I have talked to feels the same way that I do (even those who have legal jobs).  At best, they feel stuck.

At worst, they feel that their assholes are sore from repeated unconsented to raping more lost than ever before.  Many of us have to resort to a daily regimen of anti-depressants/anti-anxiety/marijuana/copious amounts of cheap booze/all of the above just to get by on a daily basis (but that's for another post).

As I said earlier you're not Rudy when it comes to Law School,

YOUR NAME IS TOBY!




The above clip is also what you should emotionally prepare yourself for should you make the disastrous decision to attend Law School & how I feel about the experience.  Also, if you have a problem with me using Roots as a metaphor for attending spiritual prison Law School -



*Sidenote, If you want to get a great insight on being a new, black J.D. in today's world check out:

I won't go so far as to call myself a   rape victim by having "earned" the J.D. degree, see below.



It helped make me who I am today (whoever the hell that is).  I do think going to law school was a colossal mistake that I could have avoided and will suffer the consequences for a long time coming.  It probably could have been avoided if I had a single solitary person or source make me reconsider.  BUT LITERALLY NOBODY I talked to about it or whose opinion I valued said anything but "Great choice!"

My life, such as it is now, is an ongoing attempt to survive snatch victory from the jaws of defeat/learn from failure/hold on hope/find strength in pain. Don't make my mistake. If you've read any of the scambusting blogs on my sidebar or any of the others I've missed, you don't get an excuse. You have probably chosen to fuck your life.

But right now, YOU still have the chance to take the time and money you would waste spend & live an incredible, extraordinary, remarkable, memorable, consequential life for at least 3 years or more.  You won't limit your options by attending law school.

There is one sentence from a puff piece article featured in the infamous US News & World Report Ranking Issue, several years back when I decided to go to law school, that will haunt me forever:

"The law degree is the Swiss army knife of graduate degrees. You can do anything with it." 

No it's not.  I found out that when you get a law degree it traps you in the law.  It doesn't work like a Swiss army knife and let you do whatever you want.  Lay people don't get it and the other lawyers are just as miserable as you trying to scratch out a living with all they have (all they have being that crappy Esq. at the end of your name).  If you get a job in today's world, probably at McDonald's or Burger King if you're lucky, no one will look to you for anything other than your legal two cents.

There are a lot of people who would be fine with that kind of pigeonholing if their earning potential made up for it.  But what about when you're making less money than everyone else?  Not that money is the only thing that matters, but it makes a hell of a difference when the loan sharks come knocking.  It makes a hell of a difference when you decide to try and start your own business, start a family, or do something really crazy like try to sustain a romantic relationship with your new found shackles. 

If you really feel like you must to go to law school right now...take a breath and think about it one last long hard time...Unfortunately, Law Schools abound and aren't going anywhere.  If you do finally decide to go, they'll be there ready and willing to take everything you have/rob you blind accept you with open arms.





But my advice is to go live your real dreams, don't take them out back and pull an Old Yeller on them...and wear sunscreenIf reading anything on this or the other pages helps prevent someone from making the mistake I did, it was more than worth it.

4 comments:

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  2. Everyone thinks that they will beat the odds, be the exception to the rule, and find success! My previous conception of law school was that the top students got the top jobs, and the bottom half got jobs in government or some job in the law that paid better than they would have made with a BA alone. But it's really a dogfight for the few JOBS that are available. It's not a question of where in the law you'll work; it's a question of whether you get a job or not.

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  3. Exactly. It's magical thinking. You show someone numbers, figures, and trends. Give them anecdotal evidence. But still the Zero Lemming says..."I'll be different" or "Well that's just your opinion...YOU must be a loser, fucked up, etc."

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  4. Good sports analogy. This is not "Rudy", "Hoosiers" or any other inspirational Horatio Alger-esque tale. Second tier sewers, third tier commodes, and fourth tier piles of trash are not the equivalent of a "mid-major" college basketball team like Butler. Those men showed that they could compete with ANYONE in college basketball and usually get the better of them. (Ask Duke if they EVER want to play Butler again.)

    The reality is that grads from schools such as Villanova, Temple, Drake, Creigton, et al. are fighting uphill against JDs from Harvard, U. of Chicago, Stanford. Who knows? Maybe the students at these lower-ranked schools are better prepared to practice law; many of these schools do have more hands-on clinical programs. However, MOST of them will never get the chance to prove themselves - as MOST will not get hired on by law firms.

    Law - more than any other "profession" - is obsessed with prestige/pedigree. Where you went to school matters. Your class rank matters very much to potential employers. That said, even attending several schools in the T14 is a risky proposition. NOTHING is guaranteed to these kids. The legal market is SHRINKING - thanks to the cockroaches on the ABA Standing Committee on "Ethics and Professional Reponsibility" and advances in technology. Why hire some Ivy League JD for $160K, when you can outsource American discovery work to foreign attorneys AND non-lawyers. See ABA "Ethics" Opinion 08-451.

    And, yes, Life's Mockery does a great job in providing the perspective of a recent black attorney. Thanks for adding your voice to this cause!

    Nando

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