RJers with J.D.s, some advice please

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2009 6:42 PM GMT
    Ok guys I have a question for anyone who went through the hell that is law school and got their J.D. I'm about to finish up my 3rd year and have come to realize that I have absolutely no interest in taking a "traditional" lawyer job. The thought of sitting at a desk for 60-80 hours a week writing boring memos and trying to avoid getting sued for malpractice just doesn't appeal to my personality.

    So here are my questions: Who all here has the traditional lawyer career, and who all took their JD and found a non-traditional lawyer job? If you took the latter path, what do you do? Any advice/tips on finding good paying, non-traditional lawyer jobs would be very much appreciated. Thanks guys.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16412

    Nov 09, 2009 7:07 PM GMT
    Well sounds like you have my "ticket" so to speak....

    Finished my JD and really wasn't sure what I wanted to do.... I was interested in Oil & Gas and then got all into aviation as well and thought about being a contracts negotiator for one of our large aircraft corporations in Wichita (as my Dad had done).... but it was the parent of one of my horseback riding students that encouraged me to consider delving into the world of finance and investing. It was a natural for me since one of my undergraduate degrees is in business & finance... but the Series 7 exam ranks right there with the bar exam.... all on computer and 70% required
    for success (many fail). All went well. I was junior partner for several years, then declared my independence...

    Today I run my own investment firm, love it ..... it can be challenging, but its mine. I have about 1,000 clients. There is much cross over as well... my legal education has been very helpful with what I do here each day.

    There are many people who have law degees and go on to do something else. You must be happy and be rewarded for your efforts. Do what you find challenging.. but rewarding!

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    Nov 09, 2009 7:52 PM GMT
    Law school wasn't so hellish. What really was hellish is working as a new associate at a large law firm. You get long hours which are made longer by the fact that to get one billable hour you usually have to spend at least two hours by the clock. You get the dullest most mind-numbing stuff dumped on your desk because that's what the senior partners don't want to do. And you have no free time for your personal life, if any.

    One night I was in an endless deposition until 10:30 with a senior partner. He then said we would return to the office to analyze the depo and discuss the next moves in the case. I said No we're not. Soon after that I found myself a solo practitioner. I came to love it, especially criminal trial work. There's nothing better than being your own boss, doing something rewarding, exciting, and often fun. I've prospered, I'm happy, and I can't recommend it enough.

    Law practice is not necessarily the endless grind at the desk the OP is afraid of. After going through the huge effort to get your JD it would be a waste of energy not to at least try lawyering and see if you take to it.
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    Nov 09, 2009 9:50 PM GMT
    I hated law school but for the most part have enjoyed practicing since 1984, primarily doing estate planning type work. I started out with a large firm working horrendous hours, but learned a lot, and am now part of a boutique group and I control my hours and workload.

    Other possible avenues you might consider that would utilize your JD are being a lobbyist, working for a non-profit or working in house for a wealthy family in their family home office. Also a lot of trust officers have JDs.

    Good luck!
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    Nov 09, 2009 10:24 PM GMT
    the worst part about law school was graduating...ugh...those first jobs sucked.

    CIA loves J.D.s so does the FBI...

    did someone already say that? I dont read things longer than a few paragraphs, which is why I went into litigation, lol.
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    Nov 11, 2009 4:02 AM GMT
    thanks for all the advice guys, I appreciate the input
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    Nov 11, 2009 4:11 AM GMT
    A dear friend was a lawyer, now she's working in the music industry producing and making a killing...