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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-21-2006, 09:26 AM   #21
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

An old friend/acquaintance I've lost touch with worked as a lawyer for just a year or two, then got a job with her law school helping alums find non-lawyer jobs. She was so flooded with data that she eventually set up a database & web site and became a DBA/web designer, a job she could do from home once she had a child.
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-21-2006, 11:33 AM   #22
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Originally Posted by astromeria
with her law school helping alums find non-lawyer jobs.
What kind of law school would be proud of that sort of placement service?!?
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-21-2006, 04:40 PM   #23
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Originally Posted by Nords
What kind of law school would be proud of that sort of placement service?!?
A good one! Wish mine had thought of this. You can't imagine how many law students know by the time that they graduate that they don't want to practice law. The trouble is, as someone said above, you're in too deep by the time you figure it out and you have loans to repay or mouths to feed, or both. I always cringe when I hear someone who is retiring say they think they will go to law school in retirement. My immediate response is WHY? My wife made me promise that once we graduated we didn't have to have lawyers as friends. It's really pretty easy to do given how preoccupied most of them are.

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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-21-2006, 05:24 PM   #24
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Originally Posted by setab
You can't imagine how many law students know by the time that they graduate that they don't want to practice law. The trouble is, as someone said above, you're in too deep by the time you figure it out and you have loans to repay or mouths to feed, or both.
Just have a good back up plan. Like get an undergrad degree in engineering or something.
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-21-2006, 08:46 PM   #25
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

Blueline,

Welcome, and thanks for the thoughtful post. There are a lot of folks here who have been in the same situation. Walking away from a high-status, well paying position is tough--it goes against all the conditioning that it took to put you in that position. But, I think it is evidence of self-confidence and maturity that is very uncommon.
While most of life's material rewards lie at the end of a tough road, there are a lot of tough roads that lead to places that are really crappy. Unfortunately, it's often impossible to really understand where you'll end up when you get on the road, and since everyone else seems to be trying to get on it . . .. . thus do we get trapped.

Anyway, howdy and best of luck.

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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-22-2006, 01:29 PM   #26
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Originally Posted by justin
Just have a good back up plan. Like get an undergrad degree in engineering or something.
Yeah - this also comes in handy to practice law in a niche area like intellectual property, which is what I will be doing ...
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-22-2006, 08:14 PM   #27
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Originally Posted by setab
A good one!* Wish mine had thought of this.* You can't imagine how many law students know by the time that they graduate that they don't want to practice law.* The trouble is, as someone said above, you're in too deep by the time you figure it out and you have loans to repay or mouths to feed, or both.
Well, I'll be darned. Thanks for setting me straight.

It still confounds me that a business school would spend its time finding ways to deliberately send its customers graduates somewhere else. It seems like sending new Catholic priests to devil-worshiping cults!
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-24-2006, 09:34 AM   #28
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

Nords,

I'm not sure whether you are comparing law school grads to Priests or devil worshippers. I'm not saying you are wrong in either case, I'm just saying I'm not sure. Seriously, I think it takes some level of enlightenment to help people use their education for other than traditional ends. That's why you don't see it all that much.

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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-24-2006, 01:01 PM   #29
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

Whenever I hear the song "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum I think of law school. It can still make me cry thinking of how trapped I felt. (Wrongway on a one way track) Having worked so hard to get in and get going it seemed like a non-option to not follow through.

I fell into a practice that, although busy, was not into billable hours. I soon started doing my own thing with one partner, we hit some lucky breaks and then I decided to change my life. While thinking about what to do next I started traveling a lot (with DH and his work) and realized that I wouldn't be happy as long as I lived my life based upon what others thought of me. That was a big step.

If we hadn't have been so fortunate with the monetary aspects of our lives, I would have changed careers (and looked into non-law jobs for lawyers!) but I didn't have to and that was great.



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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-24-2006, 01:25 PM   #30
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

It seems a common mistake to not figure out what your "real"* hourly earnings are for some of these "high paying" jobs.

I saw this when I'd go to computer classes for work (I was a Fed).* Some of the private industry IT folks would enquire about what a GS12 got paid, and they didn't seem to think much of that money.* But once you asked them how many hours they actually put in for their "high pay", if they were on call, how many pagers/beepers/cell phones were attached to their belts, things didn't look so different.

My belt wasn't serving as a communications docking station, I put in my 40 hours per week and then went home (other than the occasional weekend project every 3 or so years when we were replacing servers or something like that - and I got paid overtime for that), and if something went wrong while I wasn't there, someone else could deal with it or it could just wait until I got into work the next day.* I also didn't take work home.

I also had 26 days of use or lose each year PLUS all the holidays PLUS sick leave that I could actually take if I was sick without having someone frown at me.* And I didn't have to keep leaving the class to answer some "urgent" phone call from work.

So who was getting paid more?

You need to do the same thing with commute time and expenses - roll that in as part of the overall "work experience" and see what you are really getting paid.

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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-24-2006, 01:54 PM   #31
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Originally Posted by shiny
Whenever I hear the song "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum I think of law school.* It can still make me cry thinking of how trapped I felt.* (Wrongway on a one way track)* Having worked so hard to get in and get going it seemed like a non-option to not follow through.*
There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't think about quitting, but you have captured why I didn't above. Trapped is a good description. Worse, yet, I was pretty good at it and graduated high in my class. That made it even more important I do "something with it." But as I learned later, "Something not worth doing is not worth doing well." That's why I felt 30 years was enough, actually about 30 years more than enough!

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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-24-2006, 03:05 PM   #32
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Originally Posted by The Other Michael
It seems a common mistake to not figure out what your "real" hourly earnings are for some of these "high paying" jobs.
The results of that calculation was a primary motivator to opt out of law practice and into engineering. The after tax hourly rate of pay was about the same in the two fields.
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-24-2006, 09:25 PM   #33
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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I'm not sure whether you are comparing law school grads to Priests or devil worshippers.* I'm not saying you are wrong in either case, I'm just saying I'm not sure. * Seriously, I think it takes some level of enlightenment to help people use their education for other than traditional ends.* That's why you don't see it all that much.*
I guess it depends whether they're in purgatory or in limbo?

I guess what bothers me is the thought that a school would spend time & money trying to find jobs for people who don't support the school's primary reason for existence. Presumably the school gets some sort of compensation for turning future lawyers into stockbrokers, tech support staff, or other non-lawyer fields.

But some point a law school prof/staff would have to ask: "If you're not going to take the bar exam and practice law, then why are we wasting our time with you? Stand up and give your seat to that guy!!"
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-24-2006, 11:08 PM   #34
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
That wasn't really thr thrust of my post. What I was really getting at was that I think the way we choose careers, lives, etc. seems to be more based on socially driven ideas about "maximizing one's potential", being successful, making use of one's talents, etc. I'm not saying any of those are bad things. But I think they do not necessarily equal chooosing a life that will make you happy.
I'm making a conscious choice to get into your field because I know that the pay is better. Will it make me happy? I doubt it, but it will certainly beat getting told to be happy with a 1% raise because some Indian guy can do your job for 1/4 of your pay. My thinking is that the banking systems of India and China are so badly regulated and badly run that their banking/finance industry won't be competitive with ours within the next ten years, and when their banking/finance finally start taking away finance jobs wholesale, I will be retired.
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-25-2006, 09:24 AM   #35
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Originally Posted by Nords


I guess what bothers me is the thought that a school would spend time & money trying to find jobs for people who don't support the school's primary reason for existence.* Presumably the school gets some sort of compensation for turning future lawyers into stockbrokers, tech support staff, or other non-lawyer fields.*

But some point a law school prof/staff would have to ask:* "If you're not going to take the bar exam and practice law, then why are we wasting our time with you?* Stand up and give your seat to that guy!!"
Why pick on law school?* Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people graduate with degrees in education, engineering, business, even medicine, and never use their education in a manner which is the conventional progression of their training.* Who knows why in all cases?* What makes me smile a little is the fact that the question goes a little against one of the main thrusts of this web cite.* Isn't this a discussion group about breaking away from the conventional notions about retirement?* Making a dying, working until 65 and then taking SS, living pay check to pay check, collecting things, consumption compulsion.* All these "normal" activities are scrutinized.* Why, then, does it seem strange that we would also look at the training that got us to some of these concepts.* The programming began long before we got to the job market.* I don't ever remember a guidance counselor asking me "what would make you happy in life."* All I remember is, "You're a good student.* Do you want to be a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer when you grow up.* They all make lots of money."* Maybe there should have been some other alternatives presented.* I'm not trying to be harsh or critical of you, Nords, just reflective.* *I hope to have lots of time left and I don't want to repeat the same mistakes now that I have time to think.

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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-25-2006, 10:27 AM   #36
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

I think my legal training comes in handy from time to time in personal and professional situations. I also get paid more as an engineer because I have a law degree. The clients I have who are lawyers also appreciate my law degree. I have a network of 300+ classmates, most of whom are attorneys.

My critical thinking and reasoning skills got better. My writing ability increased. My public speaking and negotiating skills are much sharper. I have a very good grasp of "how the world works" that my engineer peers don't really have.

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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-25-2006, 12:14 PM   #37
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

Around here folk are always talking about having time to do stuff for themselves around the house, etc to help save money. Well, having that handy law/accounting degree I can do lots of things for myself and family that we would have to pay for or worry about. So, it is good knowledge to have (no learning is a waste of time IMHO)

But.. like setab says, even lawyers need to be given the option of changing their minds/ moving in a different direction. Just because you go and do well in law school doesn't mean that you are MEANT to be a lawyer, only that you are certified to be one!
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-25-2006, 12:40 PM   #38
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Why pick on law school?* Hundreds, maybe thousands, of people graduate with degrees in education, engineering, business, even medicine, and never use their education in a manner which is the conventional progression of their training.* Who knows why in all cases?
Oh, I agree & no offense taken, but I'm amazed at the philosophy of an institution that goes to great effort (and considerable expense) to produce a product that is later thrown away or, at best, used in a manner totally inconsistent with its original purpose.

Kinda like FedEx investing in paperless transmissions of their packages. Whoops, bad example.
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-25-2006, 01:02 PM   #39
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

What is practicing law? Unless you are a litigator, it is hard to draw the line between what is a law career and what is not.

I can go for months without once looking up a statute or interpreting it.

Because of the blurry edges it is easy to end up with a job which doesn't look very law related. Because of the blurry edges, it is hard for lawyers to police unauthorized practice of law. Realtors write purchase agreements. Accountants give tax advice. Accountants give employment practices advice. Etc.

One of our lawyers in our firm gave it up to buy and sell commercial properties. Negotiating deals as a lawyer was mighty fine training for negotiating his own deals. Preparing offering circulars for others was fine training in preparing investment offerings for his own investors.

My law school friends have a variety of careers with me the only one working at a law firm.


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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos
Old 04-25-2006, 01:12 PM   #40
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Re: Fred's musings seem partiularly apropos

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Originally Posted by BunsOfVeal
I'm making a conscious choice to get into your field because I know that the pay is better. Will it make me happy? I doubt it, but it will certainly beat getting told to be happy with a 1% raise because some Indian guy can do your job for 1/4 of your pay. My thinking is that the banking systems of India and China are so badly regulated and badly run that their banking/finance industry won't be competitive with ours within the next ten years, and when their banking/finance finally start taking away finance jobs wholesale, I will be retired.*
I hate to tell you this, but you are making an unfounded assumption. Yes, most of the nations we outsource to won't have the financial system to do all the stuff the US financial system does, but many of the jobs are already starting to go over there. For example, most of the big Wall St. banks already farm out a lot of the basic financial modelling, etc. to Indian MBAs.

Unless you can do high value added work and stay on top/constantly upgrade your skills, it doesn't matter what you do: you will be vulnerable to competition from foreign labor.
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