Bad Ideas, Job Searches, Law Schools

If You Don’t Want to Be a Lawyer, Don’t Go to Law School

Now that law schools have been forced to be more transparent about the true employment opportunities for law school graduates, many prospective law students have changed their tunes and have decided not to pursue degrees that may come at a very high cost with very little chance of reward in the job market.

Other prospective law students, however, are diehards for the cause. They’ll go to law school no matter who advises them otherwise, and no matter how many warnings they’ve seen. Why? Because they, of course, being the very special snowflakes that they are, will be able to overcome the harsh realities of the job market. I think that’s just precious.

Even knowing that only 56% of the class of 2012 were able to get jobs as attorneys, these people aren’t worried about employment statistics like that, because they DON’T WANT TO BE LAWYERS. I’ll pause here for a second so you can digest that statement and try to comprehend it.

Now let’s try to figure out why the hell these people want to go to law school in the first place….

According to a new study from Kaplan Test Prep, in a survey of more than 200 pre-law students, 50% said they planned to use their law degree in a non-traditional legal field, and of that 50%, more than half (58%) said the current job market factored into their decision. That. Is. ABSURD. These people know upfront that the chances of their becoming practicing lawyers are about 50/50 at this point in time, but they’re so desperate to go to law school that now they’re talking themselves into “non-traditional” jobs.

I’m sorry to say this, but there can only be so many law bloggers in this world. But wait, there’s more:

Forty-three (43%) percent of survey respondents overall said they plan to use their law degree to pursue a job in the business world rather than in the legal world—which helps explain why 42% said they’d likely pursue an MBA if they weren’t already pursuing a JD.

I wonder if these people know that broadcasting statements like this to the world is the equivalent of watching a train wreck in slow motion. You’re going to law school because you want to work in business? Let me guess: you’re not very good with numbers, so you think you can use a law degree to leverage your way into a business setting. In case you weren’t aware, and it seems that a good 43% of you weren’t, here’s a newsflash for you: a law degree won’t magically impart knowledge about accounting and finance.

The best part of this is the fact that these prospective law students claim they’re not motivated to go law school because of the money, but because of their passion for the law. Seventy-one percent of them say the main reason they’re applying to law school is “to go into a career I am passionate about.” Really? I find it hard to believe that you’re so passionate about LAW that you want to want to go to LAW school so you can use your LAW degree in a non-traditional job that’s only marginally related to the LAW.

But hey, I suppose we can be thankful that 43% of them said they’d be likely to “postpone or alter their plans” to attend law school if they don’t get the financial aid packages they think they deserve. You know, because they’re also very passionate about not being poor when they graduate and start looking for that elusive non-traditional job.

I sincerely hope these people realize how silly they look.

Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Adapting to the Current Realities of the Employment Landscape for Lawyers, Half of Pre-Law Students Say They Plan to Use their Law School Degree in a Non-Traditional Legal Job [Kaplan Test Prep]

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