A Scam Blogger Finally Gets It Right: “We went to law school for easy paychecks – not to actually become real lawyers!”

This morning Keith Lee directed me to a a post written by a law school scam blogger telling anyone who decided to offer productive advice to young lawyers to just go away. I normally ignore “law school scam blogs”, which are usually stupid blogs filled with juvenile rants about the legal profession, written anonymously by disgruntled, underemployed, lawyers using toilet humor.

However, I was shocked that “The Forgotten Attorney” actually got it right on why they are so angry:

Some people hoped to win the biglaw lottery and lost. Others went because they had a choice between law school, getting a McJob or becoming a commission only insurance salesman and law school seemed a hell of a lot easier and more respectable. But most people just wanted to be glorified and highly paid employees. Basically, a large number of us should not have gone to law school in the first place and if given the opportunity, will leave the profession in a heartbeat.

You can’t motivate these people. They want to escape. They want revenge or justice as they see it. They don’t want to learn the ropes on their own. They don’t want to observe court hearings. They don’t want mentors. They don’t want to go to networking events and probably can’t afford to go either. They are angry and bitter and in my opinion, rightfully so.

Exactly.

Many people went to law school because they wanted a big paycheck and a fancy sounding job. They didn’t want to actually become lawyers, let alone good ones – they wanted to look like lawyers, impress their friends with a fancy sounding degree, and of course and make the money they think good lawyers make.

It all looks so cool on TV, right?

So it comes to no great surprise that they are deeply disappointed to learn that law is a profession, and it requires a lot of work to build a practice, build a worthwhile skill set, and develop a reputation. It’s kind of a bummer to learn that a law license alone is not a ticket to easy money, a cushy job, or the guarantee of an upper-middle class lifestyle. A license to practice law is just an opportunity to maybe one day develop into a good lawyer that people want to hire.

And you know what’s the absolute worst?  When they learned that becoming good at being a lawyer, one that people actually want to hire, requires a lifetime of dedication to learning and improving your craft.

So unfair!

But now they can’t be bothered to learn the craft by finding a mentor, watching a court hearing, or engaging in civic participation. That stuff is boring and it will take forever. No, they want a job, an easy one, with a big paycheck. And they want it right now. Regardless of how much value they add to a client or employer, and they are not interested in doing the work it takes to get there.

And when they can’t have all that in a nice, gift wrapped box, moping on the internet will have to do. Because the problem couldn’t possibly be them. It’s the law schools’ fault, the state bar’s fault, it’s the profession’s fault, and the boomer’s fault.

It’s everyone’s fault but theirs… it couldn’t possibly be their fault.

11 Responses to A Scam Blogger Finally Gets It Right: “We went to law school for easy paychecks – not to actually become real lawyers!”

  1. John says:

    Don’t forget the roles the banks and lenders played in dangling those tempting green things in front of the aspiring rich person. It’s their fault, too!

  2. Nawp says:

    When Villanova straight-up lies, yes, they straight-up lied. Tautologies are not usually difficult to figure out, but boy, you’re not doing so well, huh?

    Explains why you went to law school. MATH HARD.

    • No, silly, I went to law school to become a lawyer. Not the guarantee of a six figure income.

      And yeah, it’s not always easy, prestigious, or lucrative, but I get to spend my time representing clients and advocating for them.

      I’ve never believed the practice of law was nothing but wearing a fancy suit, drinking fine liquor, and collecting a big paycheck. And I’m sure as hell not dumb enough to be tricked by someone, like a career office, who might have implied otherwise.

      Sorry if you were?

  3. The saddest part about all of this is that many of these same people (despite their best efforts—or lack thereof) are still out there “practicing law” and “representing” people.

    If they are not willing to fight for a job, they are definitely not going to fight for their clients.

    • This, times like a million.

      And you know what? Even if they got a job in biglaw they would suck at it. Litigation, by and large isn’t a 9-5 job. It requires fighting like hell for your client whether you’re in a solo shop or a firm with hundreds of other attorneys. Making the extra effort.

      The notion that biglaw lawyers show up, punch a clock, and then maybe take a big fancy lunch while discussing how prestigious their law degree is with their colleagues is a joke. Most biglaw attorneys work just as hard as everyone else. Otherwise they get fired.

      The people who aren’t willing to make any extra effort to find work are probably sucky lawyers, too.

  4. Having gone to law school in the 80s-90s, it was difficult not to desire the role of well-groomed, whiskey-swilling kids-in-private-school image. But, thankfully, my immature 20-something self matured and, now, I’m grateful for my law degree, for my time at the big city law firm, and, most importantly, the ability to work for myself. A path may have been chosen for the wrong reasons, but the track was good and my maturity finally caught up!

  5. JIM says:

    Safe to say the number of people hiding out in law school has only increased with the recession!

  6. lawmrh says:

    I get your point about some scam bloggers and their scatological humor but you’re painting with too broad a brush.

    There are plenty of so-called scam bloggers actually using data and considerable erudition to cut through the Legal Establishment Bullshit. They’re making the strong case that all those Lemmings who matriculated into law school and are now heavily-indebted, jobless and yes, bitterly angry, do have some righteous blaming to do beyond merely looking at the mirror and saying ” Mea culpa, I am a dumb shit” and moving on,

    For every toilet tier law school critique, there’s http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/reform/issues/
    and http://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpress.com/
    or the now signed-off law school professor, Paul Campos, at “Inside the Law School Scam.”

    I’m all for personal responsibility, etc., but I can’t conceive you’re saying there isn’t plenty of fault to be laid at greedy law schools, complaisant state bars and the anachronistic profession — not to mention the ABA and our federal government-created student loan crisis, Privately-held student loan debt has now surpassed 1 trillion dollars. And you want a fast breaking story about law school greed, try, http://wallstreetonparade.com/2013/06/nyu-channels-wall-street-new-documents-show-lavish-pay-perks-and-secret-deals/

    This point-of-view, however, is sadly reminiscent of all those smug ‘I busted my ass for mine’ folks only too quick to give a pass to the banks, Freddie and Fannie, and Wall Street for the Great Recession’s financial meltdown while preferring instead to pounce on the melon heads of all ‘the dummies’ who used mortgage bank-created ‘liar’s loans’ to buy homes they couldn’t afford.

    Hey, but that’s the story of life and our pecking order human nature.

    – Mo at http://lawmrh.wordpress.com/

  7. lara scott says:

    Yes, I agree. As he saying says, “all greatness in the world comes with a passion.” It is also similar when it comes to enrolling to a law school. If you decide to go to law school because you want money and ego, you better not pursue it. If it is only money that motivates you, you rather quit as it will not lead to success.

  8. Heidi says:

    Many recent law graduates I know started out wanting to be lawyers because they wanted to change what little they could of what they saw as an unjust system or rather help people who weren’t as well equipped to deal with the legal wranglings and bureaucratic red tape. Perhaps the people YOU know are the money hungry vultures and I concede I have also met my share but the majority I know had their hearts in the right place and were not deluded into thinking they were going to make six figures right out of law school. The real problem is when a law student has to take an absurd amount of student loans out, work hard all three years, take a month or two off to study for the bar, and then upon successful completion of all the above, they are right back to square one with their earning potential. Would you say the same of doctors? How about CPAS? At the very least a law degree should be as valuable as advertised.

    • Guess what? Building a law practice is hard. So you can either cry about how your law school duped you, or you can start trying to build a practice. I don’t think the former is very productive.

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