Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Non-Versatile JD, part 7 or 8 or so...I've lost count

I was running through this problem in the back of my mind recently, and DJM beat me to the punch.  Potential non-trads, take a read:


This is it in a nutshell - if you don't land pure legal employment for the various reasons mentioned here and on other blogs, the legally-related jobs that seem to be a great fit for JDs do not require a JD AT ALL.

Think about this for a minute - the whole premise is that legal knowledge and understanding is valuable.  And I would argue that it is.  So many times, problems arise due to someone not doing what they are supposed to do via contract.  They either do not comply with statutes and governmental regulations, or they default "wrongfully" due to a dispute with another party, or they don't make a good businees decision when looking at the costs of complying with a requirement vs. costs of litigation, or they don't preserve claims on appeal re: a governmental contracting body. 

So, in theory, a JD should be a perfect fit.  But no one appears to want a JD candidate, seemingly if for no other reason than the cost to employ a JD is just too high, or that the breadth of the education is not necessary relative to the specific job skills required.  In other words, the necessary skills can be learned on the job, so why pay more?

Lord knows I've tried, myself.  I finally landed a JD-preferred job years ago, and it wasn't for lack of trying.  I have and continue to look at better jobs and opportunities to leverage my JD (becuase I'm stuck with it, like it or not), but convincing the other party that it's worth it is a huge challenge.  A lot of employers can't connect the dots or otherwise see the value of a JD, as evidenced by DJM and the job descriptions that can be easily found. 

Lol skool tuition has essentially shut the doors on a whole generation of graduates who could have gone into non-traditional career paths, but for the salary level they need to survive and service loans.  Again, it isn't the 1970s anymore, costs have gone up, competition is even more fierce.

If your aren't shut out due to predictive coding, funding, or pedigree, then you're shut out due to debt.  If you have to go back to school, go for something (1) targeted to the business world job you are seeking, and (2) cheaper.  Avoid the non-versatile JD at all costs.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Law School Tuition

To follow up on a prior post. 


Apparently, you can have precise knowledge about tuition and know nothing about the quality of the education, or you can have precise knowledge about the quality of the education and know nothing about the tuition.  You just can't know about tuition and quality with high accuracy at the same time, "in reality."

So, best to just charge high tuition, then, and know that factor with exceedingly high certainty.  Affordability, quality, outcomes, etc. all become murky then, but, hey, whatever.  Versatile-JD blah-blah-blah.

It's un-frickin'-believable what people will say for a buck.   

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ten years ago...

It just dawned on me today that I began my law school misadventure ten years ago, right about now.

Yep. My wife and I had packed up and moved. My “old” career behind, going forward in a new direction. New changes, new towns, new opportunities…

…that didn’t really pan out at all. But I did get a large side helping of new debt, though, that’s for sure. “I went to law school, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt,” as they say. I’m half-way through my private loans, but I still have a long way to go on my debt overall.

I never was able to work as an attorney in private practice. Full stop. But, I’m not exactly crying in my beer over that one, either. For some that is a sore subject and a disappointing result, and I hate that people who really wanted to have that experience didn’t have it work out of them, or it became something they didn’t want after all in the long term. Shattered dreams are no fun.

For my part, the “versatile JD” result I was looking for didn’t turn out either, so I can sympathize with my fellow lawyer wanna-bees, at least in the disappointment department. While I can say I am “proud” of my technical achievement as a licensed attorney, in retrospect it was NOT worth the time, the effort, the debt, and the lost opportunity costs. While I have been (gratefully) employed, I wish I could say it was my stellar JD that made “all the difference.” Economically, I would have been better off at my old career, debt-free, no doubt about it.

My office is full of ex-private practice attorneys, as well as a few like me who "never got a start" in the first place. They are people who were forced out, people who were sick of it and looking for something else to pay the bills, a little bit of everything.

So I soldier on and try to make the best of it. While I bear some responsibility for my decision, the lol skools had their part to play in their misrepresentations, no matter how they try to deny it and foist the blame on “sophisticated consumers.”


In the “don’t take it from me, take it from him” department, Crux of Law is back blogging about his experience. Apparently, there is at least one other person besides my crazy self who would say lol skool is not for non-trads, despite the tone-deaf trumpeting of deans, administrators, and career services offices about “versatile JDs”:


Nando is three years strong and continuing on, skewering lol skools for our benfit! Just like L4L, Tom the Temp, and others inspired Nando and his message, TTR has helped me realize I wasn’t crazy either and inspired me to speak my peace, FWIW.


SubprimeJD is back, too, with a nice little piece about staying positive and moving on, one step at a time.


So, Gawd bless, everybody. Hopefully, if you are a non-trad (or, heck, regular) student and you’ve turned your back on law school, chances are extremely good that you made the best decision possible, absent money and sweet legal connections. If you took the plunge and/or are out on the other side of the whole experience, live and learn, I guess. Just don’t blame yourself – that is exactly what “they” want you to do to keep you down and out, rather than placing the accountability exactly where it belongs.