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Why you shouldn't study law (from lawyers themselves) Watch

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    Choosing to study Law? Okay... it's your choice and no one else's. However I'm going to tell you how much you're probably going to regret this...
    Firstly, everything I'm about to say is the truth, I'm not going to ******** my way through this, there's no point. So don't bother arguing... My parents went to a Russell group University and have been lawyers for over 23 years now.

    I'm also going to put things in blatant terms because I know of so many people that suddenly get up one morning and go," oh you know what Mum! I want to do law!!!"

    There's no point... Honestly there's really no point...
    It's true about what they say, if you don't go to a Russell group university, there's a 95% you'll be stuck looking for a paralegal job for at least 1 to 2 years. In fact you'll probably just end up getting an admin job with the police, NHS, etc (I know this happens btw, parents told me at first, then friends went to university and realised they weren't lying" So... what if you get lucky and strike a paralegal position at a law firm?! I mean those papers aren't going to photo copy themselves for the next 3 years are they? You'll be on 16,000 max for 3 or 4 years until and IF they offer you a training contract... (To train you up in a specific area of law) (Many firms actually fire you just before the contract is due... and you know why? Because they can! So congratulations on spending those last few years as an admin assistant! 90% of law firms use the "we've gone internal trick" - meaning they've gave it to another paralegal somewhere amongst the business) HOWEVER... you also don't get to choose which area of law you study in... aha now why would a law firm accompany your desires? Noooo, that's way to expensive, they train you where they need you (and it's only 95% of the time in one seat - meaning it's only one area of law you get trained in). And if you oppose? Well sorry but the competition to get the paralegal jobs are so fierce.. you'd be an idiot to reject it!

    Anyway so that training contract finishes after 3 years and your wage goes up and you're officially a FEE EARNER. YIPEE!. Now unless you're in a really boring area of law (which is also fully occupied by Cambridge and Oxbridge students) like corporate(most of the firms are based in London)... you won't be earning more than 35000 (outside of London), unless you move onto a managerial position which is near never. Oh and once you hit the ceiling, you're wage won't increment. And nearly everyone hits the ceiling because once they get there, they're waiting for the 50 year old woman who plans to retire at 80 to step down from manager of 3 DEPARTMENTS. Which does happen. haha there's no individual managers for each department. Why would they do that when they can spend money on just one person? (You've got to remember Law firms are literally and I mean literally only interested in generating money. You'll have targets every single week... if you book a holiday, but they want you, they'll say something along the lines of "I know your off, but we really need you, and we'd just be really unhappy and upset if you couldn't rearrange) - meaning that if you didn't, they'd make your life hell. By now I bet you're thinking this is just one but hurt kid that didn't get into law or he's just iterating stories about one run down law firm.... But I'm not, and if you still think law is the place to go... then continue reading...

    The stress of the job is unreal, the clients you deal with will literally make you cry. Not one person in my friends or parents law firm hasn't cried. Imagine, you're in court to make some fees for your company (literally that's what it boils down to) and then all of a sudden your client does something crazy like lie to the judge....(an example of many scenarios) Now you've not only got to live with the responsibility of losing(Which angers your firm massively, I mean you took it to trial, and that promotion prospect has gone for a LONG time), but your client, who looks helplessly at you as he or she realises what they've done and pleads to you for help. What exactly are you going to do? Apart from tell them that they've just gone and got themselves a record. AKA life basically over...

    You'll also most likely hate your bosses. They'll be ex fee earners but will have literally lost any sense and not know a thing you'll talk to them about. The management course you can go on as a lawyer (which is basically unheard of) is very extensive, and when you've stopped file handling and earning fees for 6 months, you forget A LOT. Stepping onto this course is also very risky because one false move and you're out of a job... Think about it, they'll almost certainly be no management jobs out there, never mind for your area of law!!! The reason I told you that once you've done your training contract, you'll be stuck with that area of law is because many people wouldn't be able to afford to go out and find another paralegal position, hence going back to 16000 a year again. Then spend another 10+ years getting to the ceiling... This is because of things such as family commitment etc....

    Ask any lawyer to tell you if they had their chance back in the day again, what would they do?.... please, ask them.... because I can almost guarantee they wouldn't say. "WELL LAW'S GREAT AND I'D GO RIGHT BACK IN". The subject is so deceiving. 95% of what you learn in university is never touched upon again! Working for a law firm as a fee earner has nothing to do with it!!! The subject itself, every lawyer will say is great! But when it comes down to job prospects, you have no idea of the regret you'll have afterwards. Oh and also one last thing aha... Car injury And Fraud... that whole area of law is going under either next year or the year after. So you guys are gonna have to compete with 20,000+ experienced, knowledgeable lawyers applying for paralegal jobs left, right and centre. It will be ugly and hence why so many lawyers are trying to get out of it now while they can...

    Oh and some smarty pants think they can open their own law firm and make dollah!!! Well as long as you have millions of pounds in your bank account for the insurance that's needed, well I'm sure you'll be fine... (yes millions) - so forget about it

    Oh for the future judges out there! You won't get one judge under the age of 50 in the whole of England!! So GL with that!!! the wage is also dropping for them too. (2 judges will also never make the same decision when it comes to cases such as family, fraud or anything like that - which brings about ethical issues...)

    Barristers? Don't even bother, you're self employed and so many get the bar qualification yet less that (0.00001%) of applicants get the job. To be honest don't even think of becoming a renowned barrister unless you have family already in the business. It's what a lot of law boils down to... the people you know. And to do that you need experience or a lucky family member. Something only 1/10000 law undergraduate has. Internships are also never heard of nowadays unless you get to a Russell group university and even then, they're still incredibly competitive.

    After you're degree grades don't matter also, you may even have some friend in a law firm that you think can get you in... but the reality is, is that you're friend will be extremely lucky to get you some unpaid voluntary work for a no more than a week part time.

    That's my rant done now anyway. Anyone who disagrees, can come back to me in 3/4 years time and tell me how wrong I was, okay? no please do, it'll be a right laugh.

    P.S: Guys if you're using law as a degree to get into something else, then go for it. I know that the degree for other areas can be quite useful, (why so many lawyers become teachers/engineers) (ADVICE: Don't go or come into law school big headed, you'll still barley know anything about the real world of law)
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    J-SP thoughts?

    (I imagine that we'd post similar things with regard to the law firm/recruitment aspect of the post, but I suspect that it will sound more authoritative coming from you)
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    (Original post by JohanGRK)
    J-SP thoughts?

    (I imagine that we'd post similar things with regard to the law firm/recruitment aspect of the post, but I suspect that it will sound more authoritative coming from you)
    I would prefer J-SP to start with the claim that all lawyers cry. I think it is an important point best not overlooked.
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    So its a rant from someone who is embittered?
    Nobody forces people to stay.
    Plenty of people enjoy it.
    Plenty of people enjoy very good remuneration from it. I would think the harder job is the person who works for min wage in a shop or on the factory floor?
    Sure JSP can deal with it in detail.
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    Thanks guys for leaving it to me to respond ..

    But I love the "my parents are lawyers, so I must know the whole industry inside out and know what I am talking about" attitude....

    So here is a whole list of things that are factually incorrect about this post:

    - There aren't enough Russell Group law grads with 2.1s to fill the number of TC places. The 95% chance figure has been picked out of some illogical obscurity and makes no sense. Plenty of non- RG grads are working as solicitors and barristers.

    - Plenty of paralegals are earning more than £16k in their first few years. I know many who were earning up of £40k thanks to hourly rates and overtime

    - As part of a training contract, you have to complete three distinct areas of law, and so only being in one niche seat for the entire time is factually incorrect and impossible. You could only do "one seat" if you proved you covered three areas of law within it.

    - Why on earth would a law firm train you up in an area of your choice? They are a business and so will obviously recruit those who are interested in the work that they do!

    - A training contract is typically 2 years not 3

    - Plenty of NQs outside of London earn more than £35k

    - Many law firms work on a fairly (outdated in my opinion) PQE model which means your salary and progression is actually fairly structured. It doesn't really work in the "managerial" type way that you are suggesting.

    - No Managers for each department? Hmmmm.... sounds very different to the very structured management system I have seen in the various law firms I worked for.

    - Stress in law is rife, but maybe your friends and parents' law firms are just s***e places to work. Sure I have cried plenty of times when I worked in law firms, but the idea that EVERYONE cries is hilarous.

    - "You will most likely hate your bosses" - yes, I am sure there are plenty of lawyers who do. But then I have known many lawyers to follow their bosses when they move to other firms because they liked working with them so much. This is not uncommon.

    - "The management course you go on as a lawyer" - urghhh what? It isn't heard of as it doesnt exist. Unless you mean the LPC which is not a management course, but a practical legal educational course.

    - No one is ever "stuck" in one area of law. I have known Finance lawyers go into Litigation. It is rare, but it does happen

    - A law degree is not designed to help you directly with the career. As you have stated, many study law and go into other professions. So you can easily forget a lot of your law degree because you will never use it. But the same could be said for most subjects.

    - You don't need millions of dollars to set up a law firm. Although some upfront capital will be needed, a lot of lawyers are turning to self-employment thnsk to the gig economy.

    - The figure for those going to the bar is more than 0.0000001% (or whatever it was). It is difficult, but nowhere near than difficult

    - Your degree grades matter A LOT. In fact, that will be far more important than who you know

    And you can come back to me when you have spent the best part of two decades working in law firms and recruiting trainees and paralegals.

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    Further, there are plenty of judges who are under the age of 50. Lord Reed was appointed to the Supreme Court at the age of 55, and at the time of appointment he had 14 years of being a judge under his belt. Unless the man had access to a DeLorean ...
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    Aspiring lawyers please disregard everything above, pursue your ambitions.

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    A family of lawyers: My uncle is a lawyer at the supreme court and principal of law at an institution, 2 of my sisters study law and my brother is a Conveyancing solicitor.

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    What about studying a science degree and doing a law conversion to become a patent attorney? Is this pointless? Do you have to go through the whole process of paralegal, reaching the ceiling etc?
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    (Original post by !play)
    I know that the degree for other areas can be quite useful, (why so many lawyers become teachers/engineers
    So many lawyers become engineers? Really? I'm an engineer and I've never met a single one. To do so they would have to have a suitable background in Maths and Physics (e.g. A levels) and then do an engineering degree so the fact they studied law is completely irrelevant.
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    (Original post by Compost)
    So many lawyers become engineers? Really? I'm an engineer and I've never met a single one. To do so they would have to have a suitable background in Maths and Physics (e.g. A levels) and then do an engineering degree so the fact they studied law is completely irrelevant.
    You first I guess... that’s because there are more than one areas of engineering. I know people who have gone into computer and civil engineering with law degrees. I told you in the OP that I’m not here to lie to you...
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    (Original post by Kayleighm18)
    What about studying a science degree and doing a law conversion to become a patent attorney? Is this pointless? Do you have to go through the whole process of paralegal, reaching the ceiling etc?
    That’s a quite specialised area of law. Again, places are very limited. The closest department could be 100+ miles away. Don’t believe me? Check for yourself (and that’s if they’re hiring...)
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    (Original post by adamantacademic)
    Aspiring lawyers please disregard everything above, pursue your ambitions.

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    A family of lawyers: My uncle is a lawyer at the supreme court and principal of law at an institution, 2 of my sisters study law and my brother is a Conveyancing solicitor.

    If you have a general interest in law, then yes. If you’re doing it for the ‘money/prestige’, then you’re gonna have a bad time.
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    Going to uni isn't just about getting a job at the end of it it's about studying something you enjoy. The days of going to uni for the sole reason of doing a degree that has a definite career path are far behind us.
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    (Original post by !play)
    You first I guess... that’s because there are more than one areas of engineering. I know people who have gone into computer and civil engineering with law degrees. I told you in the OP that I’m not here to lie to you...
    I’m sure there are people who have converted, just in the same way there are engineering grads who converted to law. They will be a minute fraction of the number of people in their respective professions though, and to say it is common is not necessarily a lie, just deluded.
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    (Original post by adamantacademic)
    Aspiring lawyers please disregard everything above, pursue your ambitions.

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    Show


    A family of lawyers: My uncle is a lawyer at the supreme court and principal of law at an institution, 2 of my sisters study law and my brother is a Conveyancing solicitor.


    Why reject advice that’s being given to you. I said in the OP that I have no reason to mislead you. I’m telling you how it is. When you call law a dream, you’re lying... to so few is it anything close to a dream. It changes constantly, so many people are being laid off. It’s a joke. If you show the post to a solicitor, they’ll most likely agree with me. Try it. I mean to be honest all you need to ask them is, “do you like your job”...
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    (Original post by Rintintin)
    I'm going to reply to one bit of your rant, because I don't think it's entirely right and it could be hurtful to future applicants. For what it's worth, I have no problem with rants about degree subjects or career paths - I'm moving from academia to law and I probably wouldn't have entirely encouraging things to say to people who aspired to be a professor!

    I take issue with some of the things you say about becoming a barrister.
    In particular, I've done a few mini-pupillages, plus I've attended open evenings at the inns of court. I really think the profession is quite different from what you describe.

    You said:

    "Barristers? Don't even bother, you're self employed and so many get the bar qualification yet less that (0.00001%) of applicants get the job. To be honest don't even think of becoming a renowned barrister unless you have family already in the business. It's what a lot of law boils down to... the people you know. And to do that you need experience or a lucky family member. Something only 1/10000 law undergraduate has. Internships are also never heard of nowadays unless you get to a Russell group university and even then, they're still incredibly competitive."

    1) Yes, most barristers are self-employed. But why is this a mark against being a barrister? Many people like the flexibility of time that this gives you. It also means you are your own boss. There's nothing inherently wrong with being self-employed. Furthermore, there are increasing numbers of employed barrister positions.

    2) The number of applicants who get a pupillage ('the job' straight out of bar school is around 35%. This is not great, but it's not as bad as some other professions (like academia, where up to 400 people can chase one job). The people who are least likely to get a pupillage are people with poor qualifications (a 2:2, with no extenuating circumstances). Unfortunately, the bar school doesn't screen off such applicants or discourage them from applying; and in some cases such individuals make up half of the students at bar school. From what I've heard, if you are a good public speaker, and have a good degree you have every chance.

    3) OK, let's assume it's true that you can only become a renowned (famous?) barrister if you have family in the business. So what? You can still become a competent, well-paid, successful-by-any-standards barrister without any family connections.

    4) As for the emphasis on family connections, the Bar is changing. The inns of court now literally have millions of pounds of scholarships to get working class, non-white, female, disabled, and gay applicants into the Bar. Large law firms are hiring the best of the best, no matter their background, and the Bar is having to catch up with this new reality. For what it's worth, the vast majority of the barristers I met had no family background in law - particularly the young people.

    5) I probably take the biggest issue with you saying that barrister internships are never heard of, and that they are incredibly competitive. I'm first in my family to go to uni. I have no background in law. I went to a state school. I applied to barrister internships (or mini-pupillages as they're called) completely in the dark, with very little hope. I got rejected by some, yes, but I also got accepted to multiple mini-pupillages. To say they're 'never heard of' is not true. Go on the website of any barrister chamber, search for 'mini pupillage', and you will see the dates when you can apply along with an application form. There are thousands of internships available each year, across every conceivable area of law.

    If you are the first in your family to go to uni, came from a state school, qualified for free school meals,etc, you can apply for mini pupillages through the PASS scheme (https://www.innertemple.org.uk/becom...involved/pass/)

    When you're in the PASS scheme, they apply to over 60 chambers for you (and you're guaranteed to get at least one mini pupillage). Plus, they give you transport costs and funding.

    Do you only get a mini-pupillage if you go to a Russell group uni? No. Many chambers disregard what university you go to, and only look at your current grades and relevant experience. They are more interested in what you say in the application form, or covering letter.
    An excellent post from the other thread. Unsurprisingly, it hasn't been responded to. More or less emblematic of the discussion so far.
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    (Original post by !play)
    Why reject advice that’s being given to you. I said in the OP that I have no reason to mislead you. I’m telling you how it is. When you call law a dream, you’re lying... to so few is it anything close to a dream. It changes constantly, so many people are being laid off. It’s a joke. If you show the post to a solicitor, they’ll most likely agree with me. Try it. I mean to be honest all you need to ask them is, “do you like your job”...
    People have got the right to reject your opinion. It’s flawed, misleading and most worryingly unhelpful.

    If I showed this thread to most solicitors I know they’d be laughing. There might be more who find some kind of connection to what you are saying, and I suspect these might be in family law/criminal/immigration law areas going by what you have put in your posts. But I’ve met some of the most inspiring solicitors in those areas who would agree it is a tough market to work in, but could inspire even he most cynical of people that it would be worth it if it truly is your dream.
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    (Original post by J-SP)
    I’m sure there are people who have converted, just in the same way there are engineering grads who converted to law. They will be a minute fraction of the number of people in their respective professions though, and to say it is common is not necessarily a lie, just deluded.
    Listen when law graduates realise their fate after law school. And how 500+ of them will be fighting for the same abundant position. I know of many many people that have changed careers from law due to the fact that they’ve not been able to secure a job from months or even years of applying. Without the experience, you’re literally nothing to them. The law subject has barely anything to do with the real life aspect, as discussed before. You said before that you hired candidates? So you’ll know that 500+ people with the same qualification will be hard to distinguish. I know and I’m being serious, many law firms that hire based on the name, layout or structure of the CV. You know why? Because they can...

    I’ll discuss this further when I reply to you directly. But what really made me laugh was when you told me paralegals can be earning 40k...I mean... really?!!
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    (Original post by JohanGRK)
    An excellent post from the other thread. Unsurprisingly, it hasn't been responded to. More or less emblematic of the discussion so far.
    There’s other threads on this? 😡
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    (Original post by JohanGRK)
    An excellent post from the other thread. Unsurprisingly, it hasn't been responded to. More or less emblematic of the discussion so far.
    Jordan, I’d love to be able to reply to all expected comments simultaneously and instantly. Unfortunately I can’t... give people time
 
 
 
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