Why is Law so under appreciated nowadays, especially compared to other profesions?

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Acidy
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Specifically I'm talking about the position of a Barrister.

The demand for newly qualified Law graduates is undoubtably in excess of the amount of positions that are available by corporate firms/chambers. I think therefore, it is perhaps agreeable that only the brightest get in. In addition, to even gain an interview, an applicant would be expected to have graduated with the highest honours from a target/semi target university.

By a stark contrast, Doctors, the profession which everyone seems to make a lot of fuss about are employed regardless of the honours they've achieved (obviously excluding a 3rd). This indifference can be extended to the medical school they went to.


The main question I'm asking, (I'm not a lawyer or Doctor, obviously) is why is there a lack of appreciation for those in the legal profession compared to other professions which are much more accessible, and perhaps even easier.

I'm genuinely curious about this despite how inevitably bitter this post comes across.
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RumpeIstiltskin
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Because so many people want to do law and there's a limited number of training contracts available at city firms and substantial cuts to legal aid means its not as viable to offer pupilages so there's not many available.

Compared to medicine there's far fewer places to study medicine since its only really the top universities which offer it commpared to law which is offered at pretty much every university. Also you don't need a law degree to go into the legal profession so there's all the top graduates who took the option of doing a degree in something like history or english, which are easier to get the top grades in, to compete with which wouldn't be the case with medicine.

I don't think there's really a lack of appreciation for the legal profession compared to other professions.
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tengentoppa
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Everyone loves doctors, but a lot of lawyers get a bad rep for defending criminals, charging high legal fees etc. and are seen as parasites. A shame, but that's life.
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Sesshomaru24U
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Because Doctors are far more beneficial than lawyers. By far. I'm sure a medical degree is far harder than a law degree. Lawyers were over-appreciated to begin with.
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_Fergo
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(Original post by Sesshomaru24U)
Because Doctors are far more beneficial then lawyers. By far. I'm sure a medical degree is far harder then a law degree. Lawyers were over-appreciated to begin with.
Do you, by any chance, want to study medicine?

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Lawinqski
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(Original post by tengentoppa)
Everyone loves doctors, but a lot of lawyers get a bad rep for defending criminals, charging high legal fees etc. and are seen as parasites. A shame, but that's life.
This.

Still gonna be a lawyer though
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neal95
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corporate law all the way
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precious maro
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(Original post by Acidy)
Specifically I'm talking about the position of a Barrister.

The demand for newly qualified Law graduates is undoubtably in excess of the amount of positions that are available by corporate firms/chambers. I think therefore, it is perhaps agreeable that only the brightest get in. In addition, to even gain an interview, an applicant would be expected to have graduated with the highest honours from a target/semi target university.

By a stark contrast, Doctors, the profession which everyone seems to make a lot of fuss about are employed regardless of the honours they've achieved (obviously excluding a 3rd). This indifference can be extended to the medical school they went to.


The main question I'm asking, (I'm not a lawyer or Doctor, obviously) is why is there a lack of appreciation for those in the legal profession compared to other professions which are much more accessible, and perhaps even easier.

I'm genuinely curious about this despite how inevitably bitter this post comes across.
Ain't nobody gat time fo dat


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Crazy Jamie
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The reason why lawyers are 'under appreciated' compared to doctors is actually quite simple.

Whilst the majority of people are not medically trained, the medical profession is a known quantity. When we get sick, doctors make us better. And obviously we're quite happy when doctors make us better, so we hold them in high regard as professionals who are extremely beneficial, as they solve problems that we could not solve ourselves. This is enhanced in the UK because most of that treatment is 'free' in that it is paid for by taxes, so we also don't associate medical treatment with upfront cost.

The situation with lawyers is very different, because in reality most people who require the assistance of lawyers come out of the system feeling in some way aggrieved. Why? Because legal disputes are adversarial by their nature, so unlike the area of medicine where you only ever have doctors working in your best interests, with law there is also a lawyer working against you. In addition, even those who succeed in litigation are rarely entirely happy with the outcome. That's because they have still had to use time and resources disputing something that they believe should have gone there way in the first place.

The result is that you have two parties in litigation. The one that loses feels that the system has betrayed them and that their lawyers didn't do a good enough job (lawyers that they have still had to pay for). On the flip side, the one that wins feels aggrieved at having to spend money on lawyers to secure an outcome that they feel they were entitled to anyway. So actually nobody is happy.

And so we have a situation where lawyers are under appreciated simply because the system within which they work is one that tends to bring out negative feelings in people in some manner more than it does bring positive feelings, and even when people are happy with the outcome they tend to feel aggrieved at having been forced to go through the system anyway. The result is that society develops an inherent bad feeling towards lawyers, hence the under appreciation.
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Genocidal
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1. Doctors save lives lawyers don't. Instantly more respect for doctors there.
2. A lot of lawyers are nothing but parasites who will happily defend criminals to the death and take on nonsense compensation cases just because they think they can make a quick buck over someone pretending to be suffering from 'emotional distress' because the ice cream man ran out of flakes.
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Le Nombre
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(Original post by Genocidal)
1. Doctors save lives lawyers don't. Instantly more respect for doctors there.
2. A lot of lawyers are nothing but parasites who will happily defend criminals to the death and take on nonsense compensation cases just because they think they can make a quick buck over someone pretending to be suffering from 'emotional distress' because the ice cream man ran out of flakes.
If you wanted to make a quick buck or indeed any sort of meaningful money whatsoever, you would not do defendant crim work, nor since the loss of success fees would you do claimant PI.

If you're going to post in the Law forum at least have some idea what you're talking about.

OP, what Crazy Jamie said, the bill is up front, it's highly unlikely you get everything you want and there's always a lawyer on the other side too.

Also, in both transactional and contentious work, there will probably be times you act against your own morals in order to get the best result for a client.
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russellsteapot
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I think Crazy Jamie said it quite well.

The only thing I'd add to that is that law still has a very snobby, inaccessible reputation, perhaps due to the general lack of accessibility in the criminal justice system as a whole, and the historical snobbery of major firms selecting newbies from very limited backgrounds. To most people I think it speaks more of prejudice and easy rides for good connections than of the talent rising to the top.
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OMGWTFBBQ
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Because they are expensive
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MagicNMedicine
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Surely its all do to with the supply and demand dynamics.

The demand for doctors is much higher than the demand for barristers. Far more of us are going to need a doctor in our lives than a barrister.

I wouldn't say law is under appreciated though? If you make it as a barrister you get very well paid and its still quite a glamorous position.
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cambio wechsel
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I think a lot of people have misintepreted the question. He isn't asking "do doctors really do a more socially useful job than lawyers (such that they are deserving of more respect)?" Rather, it seems to be "since so few of the people who want to be lawyers are able to be, shouldn't we regard becoming a lawyer as a real achievement, whereas medical graduates have a comparative shoo-in?"

But the question asked misses the point anyway.The doctoring business is at least as selective as lawyering, it's only that the sort for this happens before, rather than after, university and qualification.
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FergieD
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(Original post by Acidy)
Specifically I'm talking about the position of a Barrister.

The demand for newly qualified Law graduates is undoubtably in excess of the amount of positions that are available by corporate firms/chambers. I think therefore, it is perhaps agreeable that only the brightest get in. In addition, to even gain an interview, an applicant would be expected to have graduated with the highest honours from a target/semi target university.

By a stark contrast, Doctors, the profession which everyone seems to make a lot of fuss about are employed regardless of the honours they've achieved (obviously excluding a 3rd). This indifference can be extended to the medical school they went to.


The main question I'm asking, (I'm not a lawyer or Doctor, obviously) is why is there a lack of appreciation for those in the legal profession compared to other professions which are much more accessible, and perhaps even easier.

I'm genuinely curious about this despite how inevitably bitter this post comes across.
I think (But I could be wrong) that your referring to the way medical students/doctors are automatically considered "high-achieving" people, where as law students/lawyers aren't?

I think it's because medicine is automatically very selective (Only the top University offer it, they are all massively over-applied - I think the average is like 10 applicants to each place, and even after than many specialities are very very competitive)

In law, you do have some very competitive chambers - and I think most people who understand both systems hold doctors and high achieving lawyers in the same regards (From a how much of a middle class professional are you point of view) But getting onto a law degree isn't automatically very hard, and getting employed as a lawyer isn't automatically very hard.

tl;dr - ALL doctors have to go through alot of very competitive processes to get where they are, whereas only SOME lawyers have to go through equally competitive processes.
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
I wouldn't say law is under appreciated though? If you make it as a barrister you get very well paid and its still quite a glamorous position.
This is a good point to make, because actually the general ill feeling within society towards solicitors doesn't extend nearly as far to barristers. If you ask a person in the street whether they would prefer to be represented in a legal dispute by a barrister or a solicitor, nearly all will say a barrister, despite the fact that relatively few people actually know the difference between the two professions. Rightly or wrongly, there is certainly a higher level of inherent respect for barristers than there is for solicitors.
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MagicNMedicine
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(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
This is a good point to make, because actually the general ill feeling within society towards solicitors doesn't extend nearly as far to barristers. If you ask a person in the street whether they would prefer to be represented in a legal dispute by a barrister or a solicitor, nearly all will say a barrister, despite the fact that relatively few people actually know the difference between the two professions. Rightly or wrongly, there is certainly a higher level of inherent respect for barristers than there is for solicitors.
I actually think there's a fair bit of respect for solicitors too....I think most people respect the law in general and the law when its in terms of 'righting wrongs'.

The bad feeling towards law IMO comes more from the fact that often when you encounter the law either in a corporate or personal capacity you feel like you are being done over. People won't mind paying money to access someone's high level of skills but the way legal processes are set up often seem like parts of the process (which add time delays) exist just for members of the legal profession to earn extra fees for the sake of it just for signing a few extra papers or sending something off somewhere else to get signed by a different party.
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Le Nombre
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(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
This is a good point to make, because actually the general ill feeling within society towards solicitors doesn't extend nearly as far to barristers. If you ask a person in the street whether they would prefer to be represented in a legal dispute by a barrister or a solicitor, nearly all will say a barrister, despite the fact that relatively few people actually know the difference between the two professions. Rightly or wrongly, there is certainly a higher level of inherent respect for barristers than there is for solicitors.
Think that's probably because people feel when they use barristers they really want the best and have a lot personally invested in the litigation, so don't mind the cost so much as transactional stuff where lawyers are more likely to be seen as an annoying necessity who delay things and get in the way.

Suspect this is also in part because conveyancing is probably the most common reason people have contact with lawyers and they feel it's a bit of a mick take being billed by the unit when they don't necessarlily care that much about the lawyer being involved. Also, if you hate the other side's lawyer in stuff like employment or family it's probably their solicitor as they're the one signing most of the letters, turning up to mediations etc.
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Sesshomaru24U
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(Original post by *Stefan*)
Do you, by any chance, want to study medicine?

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Yes haha. I suppose I am a bit bias, but can you honestly say that a subjective subject which is not based on empirical evidence is better then one that is?
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