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Monday, December 16, 2013

Top 20 Grad on His Law School Experience: 'A Waste of Time and an Extraordinary Waste of Money'

Law SchoolBusiness Insider, ‘I Consider Law School a Waste of My Life and an Extraordinary Waste of Money':

Business Insider has been in touch with a 28-year-old lawyer who has deep regrets about his decision to go to law school. He agreed to answer questions about the burdens of law school debt, and about what he'd do differently if he could.

This law school graduate's answers are sobering. He attended a school that's one of the top 20 in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report, and yet he struggled to find decent work.

He believes his law school tricked him into thinking he'd easily find a prestigious job after graduation.

"I consider law school a waste of my life and an extraordinary waste of money. I feel like I was duped and tricked," he says. "At the end of the day, it's my own fault for being a sucker and I learned an extremely hard lesson."

These days, he makes $45,000 and has $200,000 in education debt. He lives with his parents in Virginia, doesn't have a car, and doesn't even date. In his free time, he does contract work to try to pay down his debt.

We've published all of his answers, which include insights into when law school might actually be a viable option. He asked that we not use his real name.

(Hat Tip: Glenn Reynolds.)

Update:   Above the Law, The Lack of Law School Transparency Claims Another Victim

Legal Education | Permalink


Oh my, oh my, oh my. Had I been the interviewer, I think I would have probed a litttttttttttle bit more into this guy's answer to the first question. He says he went to law school because he wanted to be a lawyer. Yeah, nice answer, but WHY did he want to be a lawyer? Reading his Q&A, I got the distinct impression he wanted to be a lawyer so he could make $160k his first year out. Yes, there are first-year associates who work for BigLaw who make $160k. But they aren’t “lawyers”: they are very bright law grads from upper tier law schools who sit in windowless rooms and review documents for five years. That particular occupation may be “JD-required” and may pay $160k/year, but it isn’t lawyering. I guess I’d like to know what this fellow thinks first-year lawyers in BigLaw situations actually do. Methinks this guy spent too much time spent watching Boston Legal and reruns of L.A. Law.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Dec 16, 2013 11:30:07 AM

"Methinks this guy spent too much time spent watching Boston Legal and reruns of L.A. Law."

And thinking law schools didn't lie like dogs.

And that the ABA might do its job.

Ditto state Bars.

What a rube, right?

Posted by: cas127 | Dec 16, 2013 12:04:22 PM

This poor man is not unique in his bad outcome. It is the norm. That is why there is so much venom toward law faculty. Please limit matriculants to 30,000 per year, and please cap student debt at $100,000.

Posted by: Bobby Dobb | Dec 16, 2013 12:32:43 PM

The key question is the one where he is asked what he would have done if he had not gone to law school. He doesn't know. The impression the pseudo-interview gives is that law school was more of a default -- something he could do with a Bachelor of Arts degree -- than the fulfillment of a dream. I suspect this guy would be unhappy in about any job.

Posted by: TexEcon | Dec 17, 2013 10:18:47 AM