Aurora Donnelly is a solo practitioner always looking forward to the next exciting transition.
Last week I wrote about polling a number of attorneys regarding what advice they would give someone considering going to law school now. The responses were positive.
Almost everyone I asked said they consider a legal education one of the best. If, in spite of current economic conditions, someone wanted to study law and forge the path to being a lawyer, they would support that effort. The poll respondents had some qualifications, but were pretty much of one mind with their positive outlook on the subject.
Last week I continued my poll and got three resounding no’s. They all came from new graduates who recently passed the bar. These individuals have not yet practiced law and are struggling to find jobs as attorneys.
Their attitude was very different: they regretted spending the time it took to go to law school and to sit for the bar; they felt that, had they taken up some different career four years ago, they would now be well past entry level in that career; and lastly, they were quite bitter about the burden of debt, which they are now facing.
Actually, who can argue with that last issue?
It saddened me to hear their stories and to witness their current suffering, but I do believe their attitudes will change as we slowly put this financial debacle behind us. Some time in the next few years they will have a chance to practice law in some fashion, and they will change their minds.
Once they experience the practice of law, they will look at the whole experience with different eyes. The cost may never seem justified, but they will revel in the inherent intellectual satisfaction that “thinking like a lawyer” brings. The new lawyers, like the rest of us, have to get by these difficult times as best they can and be prepared for better times to come.
After practicing for a couple of years, some new attorneys will decide a career in law is not for them. But I am willing to bet even they will not consider their legal education a waste of time and money. I intend to keep track of as many as I can and see if my prediction comes true. If I am still writing this blog then, I will share their stories with you!