Excellent advice for new law students

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/16/occupy-law-school.html


You don’t have to believe they’re right, but you have to get up there and believe that we resolve disputes through zealous advocates, and believe in being that advocate.

Good luck drawing a line between your belief in advocacy and your belief in the positions of your clients. I haven’t seen many attorneys succeed without completely melting down halfway through they careers.


Here’s my advice to new law students.



That sounds like a lot of work. Isn’t it so much easier to just accept the plea deals and go home at 5 every night?

This post brought to you by everything wrong with the criminal justice system.


Some more advice for law students (or anyone really):

  1. Learn to argue every point of view for an argument (research all angles).
  2. Learn how to explain complex ideas efficiently and in plain English.
  3. Learn how to ask the right questions.

A. Grasp that the legal education system is built to funnel a tiny and select few into the maw of Big Law. Unless you know it’s going to be you, it won’t be you, but you’ll be educated for it anyway and you will pay for it anyway. Eyes open. Take at least a few courses that contribute to your practical money-earning potential in a small firm or on your own. Be the founder of a journal or program or institute, learn how to start things, how to get people to work for you, who’s worth keeping around and how to keep them, and how to get rid of ones who are not in such a way that they appreciate the dismissal and are still an asset.


Yep. For SO many enticed by the lure of “big paycheck,” law school is a trap.


IANAL:But, my ex is, and I helped her through law school. Both my brothers and their spouses are.
Consistently, the advice has been “Don’t go to law school”


Exactly. I was about to post that Ken should amend his article to say: don’t be surprised when you don’t get the job you think you’re gonna get. Also, understand that some courtrooms smell funny and there’s nothing you can do about it.


i have the feeling prosecutors have that art down to perfection.

they don’t have to believe that guy has to be guilty, but throw my best at them anyway.

Is this just saying “don’t be a lawyer” or is there a way to become a lawyer without going to law school? Can you be self taught? Are there many lawyers out there that didn’t go to law school?

I had this notion that – in Texas, at least – an attorney was anyone acting on someone else’s behalf in a legal matter (and that, moreover, anyone could be an attorney), while a lawyer is someone who’s earned a JD and/or passed the bar exam.

Apparently I was wrong but it would’ve explained why attorney advertisements featured so many unusual characters (e.g. the full page Bob Looney listing that used to run in the Austin Yellow Pages – though he did have a JD).

Yep. Pretty much “don’t be a lawyer,” but also with elements of “going to law school is, in and of itself, and unpleasant experience and likely to be a source of great debt.”

To be a lawyer, you must pass the bar exam for your state.
I will need to do some research to see if you can be self-taught, and then go to the bar, however, my feeling is you pretty much have to go to an accredited law school in order to take the Bar. (I could be TOTALLY wrong on that, but I want to say you’re pretty much barred (ha ha) from that path unless you go to school).

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