Students will soon be flocking to their institutes of learning, whether the student is a first grader learning to read and write or a Ph.D candidate drafting her dissertation in molecular biology and the absorption rate of fat by mice in hopes of solving diabetes in humans (which my crazy-smart sister got her Ph.D in a number of years back).
This summer, Bowie & Jensen hired a summer intern/worker/helper/runner who will be starting his first year of law school at the University of Baltimore in September. He’s a smart kid with a good work ethic and should do well in law school.
During a conversation about the resignation of Dean Closius (which is a blog best left for those more knowledgeable about the subject than myself), the discussion turned to the topic of the current economy and the practice of law — i.e. if there are no law jobs, why go to law school?
In a comment to an earlier blog on Generation J.D., Jill hit the nail on the head when she wrote that even if told there were a high likelihood she wouldn’t have a job a full year after graduating and passing the bar, her “hubris would have blinded [her] into believing that all of those attorneys who couldn’t find jobs were doing something wrong.”
The “would you do it again?” question comes up more often when I am with a group of attorneys/friends. The responses fall into three categories:
- a minority love the practice of law and would certainly do it again
- a larger group love what the practice of law permits them to do (i.e. it’s a decent living and what else would I do?)
- a majority say they would not have chosen to subject themselves to three years of the Socratic method and discussion of the commerce clause to only end up reviewing documents in a small, overcrowded conference room for a case that has nothing to do with the United States Constitution.
(This unscientific survey involves practitioners approximately 8 to 10 years out of law school, with a proportional mix of private practice, government, and non-profit workers, whose incomes widely vary.)
I am uncertain how the numbers of years of practice adversely affect one’s perception of the practice of law, though I have met a number of jaded older attorneys in comparison to jaded younger attorneys.
Why is there a majority of lawyers that wish they could rewrite the past? Is it the “L.A. Law/Ally McBeal/Law & Order/whatever new attorney show that is out there that allows a case to be filed and a trial to be scheduled the following day without the need for discovery” effect? I don’t know.
For me, the answer to “would I do it again?” is both easy and complex. There are moments when the practice of law invigorates me (usually after a big win or a great settlement) and times when the level of frustration with the entire system leads me to curse my decision.
The bottom line is that I usually enjoy the practice, love the fact that I am able to use my degree to help others through pro bono and various state and local bar association activities, and, but for law school, I would never have met my wife (who was a year behind me at Maryland). In hindsight, and based on the last reason alone, I have come out ahead.