Monday, July 8, 2013

Attack of the Special Snowflake Excuses (They know, but go)

Good news and bad news. The good news is I think we won Round One. By "we", I mean those like RAB and Adam B, and all the others who have spoken on the false promises of the student-loan debt + J.D. outside of HYS combination. We have now established a new view, that law school is an uncertain thing to pay your time or money for.

But that has not stopped the influx of suckers. Recently a "hot girl", or attractive young woman, told me that she was in fact an upcoming 1L law student. Before I could react in horror, she said she worked at a law firm already as a legal secretary and would be having an attorney position waiting for her when she graduated. She then added that "law school is a really bad idea otherwise".

So she knows, but goes. I think even until quite recently the 1L would have been far more cheery and oblivious to reality than today. The message of the legal economy has sunk in, but as noted elsewhere, there are still over 48,000 new law students each year. They are still going; now, however, they have excuses. I feel there will be more excuses, perhaps 48,000 of them: "dad" runs a firm, special experience, full tuition scholarship, etc. Every special snowflake has a father who is a hiring partner, (or doesn't care about money "that much"), it seems, just like every anonymous man on the internet is over six feet tall. The unfortunate fact is that there is some truth behind all of their excuses: a hot girl with a job lined up may be safe. But there are still twice as many graduates as new jobs available, and that does not take into consideration the declining standards and income as the profession is inundated with too many job-seekers. The Special Snowflakes, it seems, are still going; they just now need to make up an excuse to except them from the horde of other clueless suckers. Then they get to feel good in the short-term! That is what life is about.

Experience is harsh teacher, but a patient one. Whatever your excuse, 0L types, consider whether it is merely wishful thinking.

38 comments:

  1. One of the hardest things to overcome is the fact that EVERYONE thinks they will be in the top half of the class and thus won't be part of the 50% unemployed. If prospective students are honest with themselves, I bet almost all of them imagine themselves graduating in the top 25%. Not only is this mathematically impossible, but it ignores the fact that all your classmates are probably within a few LSAT/GPA points of each other.

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    1. What worries me is that we're still even having these discussions!

      Any law student attending a school outside the Top 10 in this day and age (or Top 25 with some serious family connections) is showing that they can't understand some very basic logic and math.

      And who would want to hire somebody so lacking in basic reasoning skills, so ignorant of the facts, and so willing to take a life-changing risk with such a small chance of success?

      It's a variation of the Groucho Marx quote: "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member." (Or words to that effect.) Because I - and many others - wouldn't want to hire anybody who was foolish enough to attend a low-ranked law school, as the very fact that they attended that particular school shows that they are lacking what I'm looking for in an attorney.

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    2. The real problem with the legal profession is that it has become feminized. The majority of new attorneys are women. Originally only men could practice law. Even when women were admitted to the bar, the profession was still masculine and the vast majority of lawyers were men. The tide has turned. Women are the new lawyers (Cohen, Atlantic, 2013). When women flock to a profession, it gets stained as feminine and the pay plummets.

      Why does this phenomenon happen? Why is their a wage gap? Because women don't like to do real work. They like to gossip, get involved in drama, and sleep around. How many women machinists, welders, plummers, oil rig workers are there compared to their male counterparts? Women are perfectly suited for HR work, sales, clerical, and escort services positions NOT law. Also consider that, on average, women have 7 points of IQ lower than men (Jones, The Guardian, 2005). The average woman cannot function at the same intellectual level as the average man, coupled with an adversion to hard work. The law is no longer a noble profession. It's in the same category as secretaries, hair dressers, and kindergarten teachers pay wise. JD is a girly degree. Might as well get a PhD in Women's Studies to go with it.

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    3. @6:46. Wow, sir. (Or ma'am.)

      This had me laughing.

      There's also: Bradwell v. State of Illinois, 83 U.S. 130 (1873). Maybe Justice Bradley knew something we no longer do?

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  2. "So she knows, but goes."

    This is what 90% of stupidity is. The accident caused by drinking and driving? The driver knows that it's dumb, but does it anyway because it won't happen to him. The pregnancy caused by blowing your load into your chick just that one time? You knew it would happen but you did it anyway. Walking away from Vegas $1000 lighter than when you went into the casino? You knew that would happen but did it anyway.

    And like you say, the same goes for law school. People know that it's a bad fucking deal but they do it anyway. People are universally able to understand the risks, but universally unable to see themselves suffering the consequences.

    I think that people have known that law school was a shit bet for years and years and years, and that is nothing new. That battle was won a long time ago. The battle, like you say, is trying to make sure that people understand that they WILL lose by going to law school.

    The debate should not be whether it's risky or not, because snowflakes will always see that as a glass half full and think that they are being offered a chance of success if they work hard enough.

    The message should really be that by attending law school YOU WILL FAIL. No percentages, no possibility of success, it's universally a bad fucking deal. But then the problem becomes that we all look too crazy and nutty because some people do succeed and prove us wrong, and then everyone thinks we're idiots and lying.

    We need to find a balance between making law school look like the shit sandwich it really is, and making ourselves look too hardline.

    We can't save everybody.

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  3. I know this is a cruel (and perhaps sexist) thing to say, but this young woman would be better off not going to LS and spending all her time looking for a wealthy older man to marry, and preferably getting pregnant (love is fleeting but child support is forever...). Here in Silicon Valley there are lots of guys in the 45-55 age group who have money and who are looking for good-looking, reasonably smart, low maintenance women (without mental baggage or kids) to marry and have a family. Many of them are quite honest about what the relationship is: I get a fertile young woman who goes along with the program, she gets a comfortable life.
    After all, the main reason to go to LS is to make money and live comfortably. You can achieve the same end by "marrying up," with much higher chances of success. And if you do find a wealthy man, maybe he will indulge your desire for "prestige" and pay for you to go to law school, as a hobby.
    So it's better to got to yoga class, join a bicycle club or tennis club, or network with techies, VCs and realtors than to waste time, money, youth and fecundity in LS.
    (Btw, I have also heard about younger guys, 35-45, who marry older wealthy women ("cougars), so unemployed young male lawyers can try this too.)

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    1. Sexist, yes, but smart. I think back and remember myself as a 20-something guy, and, damn, what a loser. Any by any objective account I was actually a winner. Good salary, etc. But in terms of maturity, no way. Any woman (including my wife) should have told me to get lost, and taken up with an older man.

      Now that I'm a bit older, however, I look at most young women and say Blech. Guys aren't much better, most being shallow or effete. Don't know how women stand these semi-twinks.

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    2. "love is fleeting but child support is forever"

      actually, child support is 21 years (or 18 if you're in a better state than NY)

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  4. Hot girl? Does she expect to stay hot until retirement age? It does not matter how good she looks. Even with perfect looks, she will not be able to compete with young nubile 20 and 30 somethings when she gets older. That is the way it is. Age for women lawyers especially is a losing game, no matter how good the woman looks. Age is a losing game because of up or out and the dearth of jobs for older lawyers generally, and much worse so for women.

    Also, getting hired as a lawyer from a legal secretary position? Highly unlikely unless one is romantically involved with someone in power at the law firm or has business. Paralegals may be hired in the same firm, but legal secretaries rarely are after going to law school.

    This woman is in another world - a world or unreality. The experienced lawyer job market is much worse than the entry level job market. More than two thirds of all law school graduates in the United States are either "lost" lawyers or solos, and the number gets worse every year.

    Hers is special snowflake syndrome to the utmost degree. The "job" she has is not likely to pan out and she is not likely to be able to hold on to a lawyer job, if she is lucky enough to get such a job, for any significant length of time because the acute lawyer oversupply and up or out method of hiring which produces drastically more entry level jobs than experienced jobs for lawyers.

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    1. Given the current market, what are the chances that her current firm will even need another associate when she is finally admitted to practice in 3+ years?

      I only know of two cases in which employment is more or less guaranteed.

      1) Employer pays for law school part-time while student contiues working for said employer. This may not guarantee any additional pay or a new position when the student graduates, but at least the student still has a job.

      2) Government agency or military service sponsors student through law school with a contract for employment at graduation. These programs are rare and are generally for those who have already performed very well in a non-law capacity for said agency or service.

      Unless she is in one of these positions, the job she thinks she has lined up is no job at all.

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    2. Some female attorneys still look hot at retirement (late 50s). Remember that the hotness only needs to last until they've got that partnership. After that, they can get fat or have kids or turn lezbo or whatever they want and nobody cares. The pervs who run the firm will be busy brushing up against the new female hires at the photocopier to notice.

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    3. It does not help looking good in one's fifties in terms of getting and holding on to a job. Many women lawyers in their fifties look terrible, and some still have jobs. Many unemployed women lawyers look great. No matter how good you look, it is a losing game trying to compete with younger lawyers for a woman in his or her fifties. Up or out sets a different set of rules - hundreds of thousands of dollars of portable revenues brought in to the firm. If you cannot do it, you are busted, no matter how good you look. If you can do it, you are golden, no matter how bad you look. Making partner is not enough. You need to generate lots of business to stay partner and no amount of looks will make up for the missing business.

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  5. The suckers keep the law schools in operation, along with the federally-backed student loan $y$tem. Just as the deadbeats, dolts and gambling addicts keep the casinos flush in cash.

    The lemmings rely on confirmation bias, in making the foolish decision to attend law school. They think that since they excelled in undergrad then they will do the same at Third Tier Baltimore or $eTTon Haul. These people are CONVINCED that they will crack the top 10 percent of their class. Apparently, they don't realize that roughly 90 percent of the class is also seeking this goal. Even the alcoholics and potheads are committed to studying their asses off.

    Plus, essay grading is a crapshoot. How often do students and JDs receive an A grade, when they read half of one parsed case during the entire semester - while also getting a C in a course that they knew cold?

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    1. If I could only explain grading to potential law students....

      It's not like HS or college (or the LSAT), where getting everything right earns you a good grade. At least at my "Tier 1" trap school, almost everyone gets the right answers but our strict curve mandates no more than 10% can get an A and no more than 20% can get an A-. So basically 70% of the smart, hard-working students are going to be disappointed.

      And it's not a matter of working hard or being smart. Everyone I know at my school is smart and works hard. Professors have to find little ways to differentiate between all the right answers on the essay exams, and these differentiations rarely have anything to do with actual understanding of the material. In one class, I was very prepared and thought I aced the final...C+. In another class, I put in very little effort and faked my way through it...A.

      To decide before law school that you will be in the top __% is foolish. It's like entering a marathon with a hundred other runners with the exact same qualifying times and being sure that you will finish in the top 10.

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    2. Very true. There is very little difference in GPA between say top 5% and top 15% at most law schools. But employers will view 5% versus 15% as very significant, esp. if you did not graduate from a T13 school.

      In law school, I worked my ass off in some courses and received a C. I got an A in the two courses I spent the least time and effort on. Go figure.

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  6. You guys still don't get it. Some people want to be lawyers and want to take their shots no matter what the odds.

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    1. Many current law students are not trying to be lawyers so much as they think law school is the road to help them advocate for some pet political or social cause.

      Many students at my school don't seem to care about the the job market, because they didn't come for money...they came to fight for [insert political cause] or to help [insert group of downtrodden people].

      Unfortunately, very few people actually get to argue important political or constitutional matters, and those that do are established, successful lawyers from top schools. The rest will end up unemployed or working miserable jobs that have nothing to do with the noble social causes that drove them to law school. Oh, and they will have incurred six-figure debt and financed law profs' lavish lifestyles along the way.

      I guess a few will end up in legal aid or public defense fighting for the poor and downtrodden, but after a few weeks they will realize that 99% of their clients have legal troubles for a reason.

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    2. The public service jobs are very difficult to get, and in any event do not justify borrowing six figures from an economic standpoint. State, county, and local governments are broke, and just aren't hiring to much of an extent. People who do have these jobs are staying in them, due to the relative job security and good benefits. When such a job is open, they get hundreds of applications from experienced lawyers.

      I have known several lawyers who worked for private non profits like the ACLU and SCHR. Almost without exception, they either were trust fund babies, or had high earning spouses/domestic partners who didn't mind paying most of the bills. The ones who did not fit in either category lived pretty much in poverty--no car, an apartment with 3 roommates, living on rice and beans, etc.

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  7. I would suggest that we refrain from misogyny and instead focus on the fact that irrespective of her looks, law school is almost certainly a TERRIBLE FUCKING DECISION for this young woman.

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    1. And I suggest that you stop trying to throw big words around and realize that hot chicks are far more successful than ugly ones because rich and successful men like to bang hot chicks more. That's why Cryn Johannsen is still single and poor - have you seen her profile photo? She looks like she has a massive, deformed head!!! But yes you are right law school is a terrible decision for that young woman. She would be far better off working as a paralegal or secretary in a firm and finding a sad lonely partner who wants to bone her over his desk. That's the only way she'll be successful in law. Being the bitch of a partner (whore who he marries) is far better than being a partner's bitch (associate attorney).

      Misogyny? Not here. Just factology.

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    2. Law is misogyny. It's a man's world, where girls are housekeepers for cooking and pussies for fucking. I'm amazed that any female wants to go into such a disgusting environment, with mystery fingers prying at her puss at every opportunity. Mmmmm. I'm hardening. But I'm a male lawyer who interviews guys just to cover up the fact that I'm only really looking to hire a pretty young girl who will bring in some fucking clients. Some douchebag redhead dweeb with law review on his resume doesn't bring in the clients like a sweet blonde in a tight skirt. Looks = dollars. Dudes, never forget that if you were cunted/titted, you'd be far more employable.

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  8. Before I could react in horror, she said she worked at a law firm already as a legal secretary and would be having an attorney position waiting for her when she graduated.

    Whoever told her that was just trying to get into her pants. Or what was really said was "Be sure to get in touch with us in the spring" or similar noncommittal BS, and she heard it as a promise of future employment.

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    1. Being a legal secretary means that your job is to make your attorney money; being an attorney means your job is to generate clients that make you money. Just because you have a job doing the first thing does not mean you can survive doing the second thing. Secretary to attorney isn't a "promotion"; it is a different beast entirely. It's not about processing papers; it's about generating clients.

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    2. ^^This^^ I know paralegals who went to law school thinking "I was awesome as a paralegal--now time to make the big bucks I saw the associates earning!" Unfortunately, success as a paralegal does not translate to success at academic hide-the-ball in law school nor does it mean you have the business hustling skills to stay employed in private practice. Most of them are worse off after law school and should have kept their paralegal jobs.

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    3. Yes, I once knew someone at a patent law firm. She worked as a paralegal making very little. She saw that the TTT patent lawyers around her made marginally more dollars and they talked like the 27 year old experts they were, so she went to a toilet law school.

      She worked for a while as a family law clerk in LS but then came right back to the patent law firm ... as a paralegal!

      I told her dumb ass not to go to law school too. I warned her. You think she'd have known in 2008 that it was a scam, but she thought she was a special snowflake.

      I wonder how she feels now? Does she drink Popov and Nighttrain every evening in her tiny studio apartment? Does she wonder which thrift store dress she's going to wear to her Starbucks date? Is a can of tuna her special meal?
      Or does she cling pathetically to her worthless degree, happy that her parents are telling their friends all about their lawyer daughter and the big firm she works at.

      Who knows. All I know is that I want this colossal waste of time and money that is the law school scam to end.

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    4. "Be sure to get in touch with us in the spring"

      Ah, yes. When you just don't have the heart to tell a bright, eager young-mind that they are f***ed.

      Better to peddle false hope than crush someone's aspirations? I wish someone would have "leveled" with me eleven years ago, that's for certain...

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    5. That's just the problem; hardly anyone in our politically correct society has the spine to tell young students (or older non-trads) that the sky is not the limit. There is this little thing called reality to deal with. Not everyone can be a lawyer. Not everyone can be an astronaut. Not everyone can be a movie star.

      Unfortunately, the federal government will loan gobs of money to anyone to study anything, even if there is no chance that person will be able to use their studies to contribute to society or pay back the borrowed money.

      These students' dreams will be shattered when they graduate anyways...why can't people do the humane thing and tell them the hard truth BEFORE they get into six-figure debt?

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    6. You could try reasoning with her. Ask why should this firm keep an job open for her for three whole years, when their are many experienced lawyers looking for work right now. That if they valued her services that much they would pay for part of her tuition.

      You could point out that this was probably just a casual remark that she has blown out of all proportion. When she shows up in 3 years time nobody will give her a job and since this was a uncorroborated verbal promise she won't have any recourse. But I doubt you'd break through her armor-plated wall of self-delusion.

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  9. Checked a few websites and many, if not most, law schools are still taking apps. American is taking apps for 2013 "until further notice." Like maybe until midway through the first semester?

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    1. As long as the government-backed student loan checks clear, I would imagine they might take applications all the way through finals.

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    2. "Step right up, ladies and gents, step right up for Open, Rolling Enrollment!"

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  10. "Recently a "hot girl", or attractive young woman, told me that she was in fact an upcoming 1L law student."

    There is, in fact, a demand for attractive young female associates at law firms, to serve as eye candy for clients and senior partners. If you can combine looks with the guile of Machiavelli, you might even be able to stay once the looks start fading. If not, you'll get bounced as soon as a younger, hotter law school graduate becomes available.

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    1. I'm not even hot and I've been solicited by half the partners in my small firm (two out of four). Male lawyers are fucking dirty.

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    2. Or maybe that and lonely. And we have to deal with clients all day.

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  11. post pics of the hot girl.

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  12. A lot of the problem is that in law --like the Olympics-- everyone can try-out for an event by forming a private campaign and then campaigning in some of the qualifying events.

    Theoretically, it's open to all who put together an effort. It's certainly prestigious to say, "I'm campaigning to represent the US in the Olympics." The cool part is that you get 'status' and 'prestige' in many people's eyes right off the bat. Tonight, you and some buddies can vow to form a campaign to buy a bobsled and campaign in various events, hoping to eventually win the Committee's nod to represent our country at the Games. You can be on your way to the Olympics tonight. Tonight, you can psychologically link yourself to the gold medals and legendary athletes the population largely knows by heart.

    Law school's like that. So is solo practice.

    Whether you're truly Olympic material, an athlete, can withstand the grueling competition... let alone become part of the team finally selected by the Committee to represent our country, is a whole other issue. There are only a very select few people who can actually go to the Games to compete, and even of these, it's only about 10 or so events that really get the fame and the big endorsements afterwards. (Bob sledding, sailing, fencing, etc. stay pretty much out of the public eye).

    But at the front end, you sure can get some social mileage by saying "I'm doing an Olympic campaign."

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