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Hello Folks!  (and yet another question)
Old 04-13-2005, 08:05 PM   #1
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Hello Folks!  (and yet another question)

Well I did some posting before introducing myself, but I thought I should. I don't mind getting too specific about my life, so here we go...

I am 22 years old, just graduated college (UCLA), and am currently living in the Los Angeles area. The year in the real world I've been spending has made me realize a couple of things. It was amazing how the easy concept of ownership=wealth eluded me. I've done a lot of reading, and just observing, and realized I want to build my net worth through ownership and make my goal retiring by the time I am 45. So my vast wandering through cyberspace helped me happen upon this site, which has been very helpful so far.

Now...as far as the question. I am about to enter law school in the fall. I was a political science major, so this is the logical progression. But the 100k price tag plus the sheer amount of attorneys out there and competition for jobs makes me wonder if this is going to put a huge damper on my ER dreams. I mean, I would learn so much about law, one of the pillars of society, but I don't know.

Law is one of the things I am interested in ( I was never a science guy at all, so medicine was always out of the question). The other is learning about the things that are talked about here, such as mutual funds, investing, stocks, etc... finance, I guess. Wondering if I should further my education in this area instead...

Anyways, and advice from the wise sages of this board will be much appreciated, now and in the future.

Hello, and thanks!
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Re: Hello Folks! *(and yet another question)
Old 04-14-2005, 07:35 AM   #2
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Re: Hello Folks! *(and yet another question)

A politician, a lawyer, and a financial advisor. Whew. Welcome to the board, but I'm not sure that you're going to be welcome anywhere else!

If you're not absolutely burning with desire to go to law school then you shouldn't do it, at least not until the desire is there. (The LSAT alone would answer that question, right?) It'd be even worse to be drowning in homework and realizing that you're paying (perhaps even student loans) for the privilege.

Martha_M knows more than I do about this, but I cynically suspect that attorneys are a growth industry (and not just at her firm). The problem isn't that there are so many attorneys in the world as it might be that you're one fish in a very big pond of them. Maybe you need to find a smaller pond.

Another option would be to take a job working with lawyers and then find some aspect of the avocation that interests you. That'd be more of a school motivator. Doing it in Martha's field would give you plenty of financial experience...

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Re: Hello Folks! *(and yet another question)Nords'
Old 04-14-2005, 10:21 AM   #3
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Re: Hello Folks! *(and yet another question)Nords'

Nords' counsel is wise.

But, don't forget that there are many other things to do with a law degree than practice law. (In fact, I think I recall a story in the ABA Journal once saying that more than half of law school graduates end up doing something else.)

In my case, I took undergraduate training in poly sci and journalism, added the law degree, and undertook a career in public relations. It worked well and doors opened for me that would not have but for the legal training.

In most major PR firms today in fact the persons who practice investor relations, crisis communications and (yes) lobbying often have legal training. Those positions typically don't pay as well as being a partner in a major law firm but the compensation is not bad and the hours are much better. It can also be a lot of fun.

Best wishes.

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Re: Hello Folks!  (and yet another question)
Old 04-14-2005, 04:05 PM   #4
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Re: Hello Folks!  (and yet another question)


It's difficult to think about telling someone else what to study or what career to pursue... but I don't regret going to law school and becoming a lawyer. It's the field I will ER from soon at 42. Don't forget about the option of working for yourself. That's what I did after about seven years of working for others, building some of my own work on the side. If I want to, it will be easy to work some part time hours in the future.

All the best to you with making your decisions.
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Re: Hello Folks!  (and yet another question)
Old 04-15-2005, 04:46 AM   #5
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Re: Hello Folks!  (and yet another question)

Pretty soon the lawyers here are going to outnumber the code monkeys!

Don't have much to add to the good advice above. One really nice thing about going to law school is the flexibility in choice of career. Of my friends from school, I am the only one that went the law firm route.

I also know a number of lawyers who are trust officers at banks or brokerage houses. This might be an option as well.
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Re: Hello Folks! *(and yet another question)
Old 04-15-2005, 05:03 AM   #6
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Re: Hello Folks! *(and yet another question)

One of my good friends is a lawyer and a CPA (a very powerful combination). He is
a very bright guy. He never worked in "accounting" and no longer practices law, but he is still working
(full time). He picked up a couple of businesses that
he enjoys running, I don't know if he is making any
money but I do know he is enjoying himself, which is the
whole point IMHO.

JG
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Re: Hello Folks! *(and yet another question)
Old 04-15-2005, 05:25 PM   #7
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Re: Hello Folks! *(and yet another question)

Do what you think you want and then consider ER. If you choose unwisely be flexible & willing to change careers. I am dropping a boat load of money on an MBA degree but I love business and that comes before my ER plans.
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Re: Hello Folks!  (and yet another question)
Old 04-15-2005, 05:58 PM   #8
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Re: Hello Folks!  (and yet another question)

You know, the lawyers in my legal department here at acme megacorp are a real happy, cool bunch, as they were at my last job. There is a phrase, "everybody hates congress but loves their congressman". Well, these guys do a good job fighting for us, are appreciated, and work much closer to a 9 to 5 than they might at a law firm. My Dad was a lawyer and worked for the IRS, I never stood too close to him until he retired for fear of lightning.....
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