Going Back to School (part time)

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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby the_edge » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:50 am

thewalrus wrote:Just got accepted to do an MA in History - legal history. Going to start part time in September, and see where it goes.

Something I've always wanted to do, and with my wife in school / articling in a year, I'll have a lot of free time. Not exactly cheap - but not pricey either. And it may turn into something more if I decide to go for a PhD in a couple years.

Kind of a spur of the moment thing - but it'll be cool to get back into a classroom again.


I'd have to call you Dr. Wally :O

I guess I could call you that now? After all you're a Juris Doctor right? :lol:
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby the_edge » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:56 am

thewalrus wrote:
sombrio wrote:Hey, Walrus! I think that when I was on this site last, you were in law school (right)? How did that work out; are you leaving the law now or what? No judgments here; I'm doing the same thing myself and thought it might be cool to chat with another recovering attorney. :)


Haha, I'm always thining about leaving the law - and come really close a few times. They say 40-50% of lawyers are gone within 5 years of passing the bar. I can see why. It's the people, really, that I have a hard time with. Not the work. But it seems like its getting worse - every new generation is more uptight and type-A and "business before law" then the last. I'm working with the Alberta Gov't right now, in Environmental Law. And it's alright. But not great. Hours are long, and other lawyers are usually still a pain. So I'm also thinking a full change into something else - teaching, museum work, etc wouldn't be the worst thing. Even if it means less money.

Where are you in Southern California?


I feel the biglaw environment contributes to it. You work your ass as a slave, errrrr, 1st year associate, you're treated like furniture, and then your workload gets so bad you're entering 80 hour weeks. That is the nice part. Then you can receive random phone calls right before you hop on that plane that will take you to your best friend's wedding destination. Oh, it's your boss, he wants you to go to the office to do some BS. On a Sunday. Right before you go to the wedding. Right before the 3 vacation days you took of. You must choose between not going to your best friend's wedding as best man (thus fucking up the whole wedding) or pissing off the law firm partner. What to do?

That sort of shit makes 40-50% quit.
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby millertime » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:36 am

Easy decision. Go on your vacation and turn your phone off. If your boss won't give you a vacation it is time to quit
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby the_edge » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:48 pm

millertime wrote:Easy decision. Go on your vacation and turn your phone off. If your boss won't give you a vacation it is time to quit


I cannot speak for the guy, but he told us this happened right before the vacation so...
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby millertime » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:45 am

the_edge wrote:
millertime wrote:Easy decision. Go on your vacation and turn your phone off. If your boss won't give you a vacation it is time to quit


I cannot speak for the guy, but he told us this happened right before the vacation so...


So did he end up going on the vacation? Or was he a gutless pussy?
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby Turbojett » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:00 am

Wait, I missed something. Is no one getting sued after all?
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby sombrio » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:01 am

millertime wrote:
the_edge wrote:
millertime wrote:Easy decision. Go on your vacation and turn your phone off. If your boss won't give you a vacation it is time to quit


I cannot speak for the guy, but he told us this happened right before the vacation so...


So did he end up going on the vacation? Or was he a gutless pussy?


The point, I think, is that that kind of treatment is an industry standard.
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby the_edge » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:28 pm

sombrio wrote:
It's funny, I just had this conversation with my wife, just about finally being honest with myself and whether I'm ashamed of leaving the law (I'm not ashamed, but maybe a little afraid). A couple of years ago I would have argued with you about having the right personality to be a lawyer. Now I just know I don't, and I'm so much happier. It's like realizing that "good attorney != good/smart/hardworking person" just makes me so much calmer and happier. I don't even know what you or anyone else might get out of that, but damn does it feel good to write it out.

I guess it's no consolation for you, but at least environmental law for the government is something that contributes significantly to society. You're fighting the good fight (at least in principle). I did mostly labor and employment litigation and I was always the happiest when I was actively fighting for employees against their wrongdoing employers. I can't imagine doing something like insurance defense.

I never understood how soul-sucking a job could actually be until I set foot in a law office...

You know, now that I think about it, with that kind of experience and especially if you get a MA in something even quasi-related, would you be kind of a prime candidate for an environmental law professor? Or maybe something related in undergrad? How much do you know about going from lawyer to professor in general? My long term aspiration is to be a college professor somewhere, but I'm still trying to figure out what exactly the JD counts for. I understand that most professors have a MA in their subject area and that a JD is potentially at least close to the value of a MA if you want to teach law/politics/etc. But there has to be the worst glut in the world of underqualified candidates to be liberal arts professors. I have to think a former attorney who has a JD, practice experience, and teaching experience would be a pretty strong candidate though.


You know how taekwondo mcdojo teachers always SCREAM and act all "badass" and have lots of theatricality? It's funny how when someone walks into a real MMA gym that has fighters that try to make it into the UFC, everyone is so.... chill. The mcdojo teachers all have some hidden insecurities, so they act all extreme to hide the fact that they could not fight a way out of a paper bag.

What does this have to do with leaving the law (and with the part I highlighted in bold) ? I feel lawyers are a bit like those mcdojo teachers. Everybody sulks in secret and feels the despair of having an unfulfilling job where people actually crack jokes about the lack of work-life balance and basically admit that they don't give a dime about their associates (for example: http://abovethelaw.com/2015/04/biglaw-f ... e-balance/ ) , while hiding that insecurity by doing things such as judging people who chose to leave the legal profession. Some people act as if it's "embarassing" for someone else to leave the profession and do something else, even if that is more fulfilling and leads to a happier life.

Currently, I am in a law-related job, I do legal interpretation and analysis for a big corp. It comes with its own set of drawbacks (mainly, big corps are evil, etc etc) but it's still legal (just not in a traditional way) and it feels very different to the usual law firm job. I am actually making good money, better than many of my peers. Who do I bring this up? I went to an alumni reunion and I couldn't believe how much of an asshole many ex-classmates and even some of my former teachers were. Many conversations went like this:

Dude: hi!
Me: hi! :)
Dude: I am an associate for herp, derp and hurr LLP. so uhhhh. Where do you work?
Me: Oh! I'm a a policy analyst for Acme, Inc.
Dude: So uuuhhh, you're not in a firm? Like, You're not doing legal work?
Me: Well, it's a legal analyst job and *gets interrupted*
Dude: Like uuhh, so nice to meet you, like, it was great and uhhhh, good bye
***reunion ends, dude hops into his beaten up Toyota Tercel, my porsche is parked right next to his car***

Yup, the dude in a Tercel was being judgmental to me. The dude who works longer hours, is treated like furniture, and earns less than me. But hey, he is an associate you know? In a law firm, so he is obviously the man. After that whole thing I decided that alumni reunions were just pissing contest where insecure people try to feel superior to others and vowed to avoid the next one :mrgreen:

I guess my point is, don't let others make you feel bad about making a move, if you can, and it's feasible, and you'll make similar (or more) money, then why not? If it will make you happy, the joke's on them.
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby the_edge » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:29 pm

millertime wrote:
the_edge wrote:
millertime wrote:Easy decision. Go on your vacation and turn your phone off. If your boss won't give you a vacation it is time to quit


I cannot speak for the guy, but he told us this happened right before the vacation so...


So did he end up going on the vacation? Or was he a gutless pussy?


The latter :o
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby the_edge » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:32 pm

sombrio wrote:
millertime wrote:
So did he end up going on the vacation? Or was he a gutless pussy?


The point, I think, is that that kind of treatment is an industry standard.


Exactly: http://abovethelaw.com/2009/10/quinn-em ... ry-always/
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby thewalrus » Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:23 pm

the_edge wrote:
sombrio wrote:
It's funny, I just had this conversation with my wife, just about finally being honest with myself and whether I'm ashamed of leaving the law (I'm not ashamed, but maybe a little afraid). A couple of years ago I would have argued with you about having the right personality to be a lawyer. Now I just know I don't, and I'm so much happier. It's like realizing that "good attorney != good/smart/hardworking person" just makes me so much calmer and happier. I don't even know what you or anyone else might get out of that, but damn does it feel good to write it out.

I guess it's no consolation for you, but at least environmental law for the government is something that contributes significantly to society. You're fighting the good fight (at least in principle). I did mostly labor and employment litigation and I was always the happiest when I was actively fighting for employees against their wrongdoing employers. I can't imagine doing something like insurance defense.

I never understood how soul-sucking a job could actually be until I set foot in a law office...

You know, now that I think about it, with that kind of experience and especially if you get a MA in something even quasi-related, would you be kind of a prime candidate for an environmental law professor? Or maybe something related in undergrad? How much do you know about going from lawyer to professor in general? My long term aspiration is to be a college professor somewhere, but I'm still trying to figure out what exactly the JD counts for. I understand that most professors have a MA in their subject area and that a JD is potentially at least close to the value of a MA if you want to teach law/politics/etc. But there has to be the worst glut in the world of underqualified candidates to be liberal arts professors. I have to think a former attorney who has a JD, practice experience, and teaching experience would be a pretty strong candidate though.


You know how taekwondo mcdojo teachers always SCREAM and act all "badass" and have lots of theatricality? It's funny how when someone walks into a real MMA gym that has fighters that try to make it into the UFC, everyone is so.... chill. The mcdojo teachers all have some hidden insecurities, so they act all extreme to hide the fact that they could not fight a way out of a paper bag.

What does this have to do with leaving the law (and with the part I highlighted in bold) ? I feel lawyers are a bit like those mcdojo teachers. Everybody sulks in secret and feels the despair of having an unfulfilling job where people actually crack jokes about the lack of work-life balance and basically admit that they don't give a dime about their associates (for example: http://abovethelaw.com/2015/04/biglaw-f ... e-balance/ ) , while hiding that insecurity by doing things such as judging people who chose to leave the legal profession. Some people act as if it's "embarassing" for someone else to leave the profession and do something else, even if that is more fulfilling and leads to a happier life.

Currently, I am in a law-related job, I do legal interpretation and analysis for a big corp. It comes with its own set of drawbacks (mainly, big corps are evil, etc etc) but it's still legal (just not in a traditional way) and it feels very different to the usual law firm job. I am actually making good money, better than many of my peers. Who do I bring this up? I went to an alumni reunion and I couldn't believe how much of an asshole many ex-classmates and even some of my former teachers were. Many conversations went like this:

Dude: hi!
Me: hi! :)
Dude: I am an associate for herp, derp and hurr LLP. so uhhhh. Where do you work?
Me: Oh! I'm a a policy analyst for Acme, Inc.
Dude: So uuuhhh, you're not in a firm? Like, You're not doing legal work?
Me: Well, it's a legal analyst job and *gets interrupted*
Dude: Like uuhh, so nice to meet you, like, it was great and uhhhh, good bye
***reunion ends, dude hops into his beaten up Toyota Tercel, my porsche is parked right next to his car***

Yup, the dude in a Tercel was being judgmental to me. The dude who works longer hours, is treated like furniture, and earns less than me. But hey, he is an associate you know? In a law firm, so he is obviously the man. After that whole thing I decided that alumni reunions were just pissing contest where insecure people try to feel superior to others and vowed to avoid the next one :mrgreen:

I guess my point is, don't let others make you feel bad about making a move, if you can, and it's feasible, and you'll make similar (or more) money, then why not? If it will make you happy, the joke's on them.


Haha yeah - I got that treatment when I left the law to work with the government in Legislative Planning. Some of the resulting pressure was the motivating force behind me going to the Feds in the end. Actually enjoyed the Feds, kinda.

Here's what I've found. 90% of 'legal environments' (ie law firms, in house shops, government gigs) are the same. Populated by the same kind of people. With the same kinds of pressures. The current place I'm working feels just like a private firm - late nights, stressed out superiors, pissed off clients, billable targets, competition for high profile cases, etc.

If you're lucky - really lucky - you can find a place where the people are cool and the work is somewhat interesting. For me, aboriginal law was sort of like that - a really good group of people. I was also on one massive file with plenty of senior lawyers above me taking the stress off the work I did. I had discreet tasks in the bigger picture. It was far more like a regular job. I left it because I was an idiot. The problem is, of course, that that wasn't a regular legal job. I left that job and ended up here - where it's entirely like a firm.

I guess the point of that rambling is that the legal profession really is 90% one way. If you don't like having to work like that you shouldn't be a lawyer. If you luck into a good job with good people don't assume it'll last. I'm on the verge of getting out - and it'll be for good.
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby Turbojett » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:27 am

That's sorta the reason i never went to any high school reunions--except mostly it's because I'm just a piddly little layman who bounces from one shitty job to the next.
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby the_edge » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:56 pm

thewalrus wrote:
the_edge wrote:
sombrio wrote:
It's funny, I just had this conversation with my wife, just about finally being honest with myself and whether I'm ashamed of leaving the law (I'm not ashamed, but maybe a little afraid). A couple of years ago I would have argued with you about having the right personality to be a lawyer. Now I just know I don't, and I'm so much happier. It's like realizing that "good attorney != good/smart/hardworking person" just makes me so much calmer and happier. I don't even know what you or anyone else might get out of that, but damn does it feel good to write it out.

I guess it's no consolation for you, but at least environmental law for the government is something that contributes significantly to society. You're fighting the good fight (at least in principle). I did mostly labor and employment litigation and I was always the happiest when I was actively fighting for employees against their wrongdoing employers. I can't imagine doing something like insurance defense.

I never understood how soul-sucking a job could actually be until I set foot in a law office...

You know, now that I think about it, with that kind of experience and especially if you get a MA in something even quasi-related, would you be kind of a prime candidate for an environmental law professor? Or maybe something related in undergrad? How much do you know about going from lawyer to professor in general? My long term aspiration is to be a college professor somewhere, but I'm still trying to figure out what exactly the JD counts for. I understand that most professors have a MA in their subject area and that a JD is potentially at least close to the value of a MA if you want to teach law/politics/etc. But there has to be the worst glut in the world of underqualified candidates to be liberal arts professors. I have to think a former attorney who has a JD, practice experience, and teaching experience would be a pretty strong candidate though.


You know how taekwondo mcdojo teachers always SCREAM and act all "badass" and have lots of theatricality? It's funny how when someone walks into a real MMA gym that has fighters that try to make it into the UFC, everyone is so.... chill. The mcdojo teachers all have some hidden insecurities, so they act all extreme to hide the fact that they could not fight a way out of a paper bag.

What does this have to do with leaving the law (and with the part I highlighted in bold) ? I feel lawyers are a bit like those mcdojo teachers. Everybody sulks in secret and feels the despair of having an unfulfilling job where people actually crack jokes about the lack of work-life balance and basically admit that they don't give a dime about their associates (for example: http://abovethelaw.com/2015/04/biglaw-f ... e-balance/ ) , while hiding that insecurity by doing things such as judging people who chose to leave the legal profession. Some people act as if it's "embarassing" for someone else to leave the profession and do something else, even if that is more fulfilling and leads to a happier life.

Currently, I am in a law-related job, I do legal interpretation and analysis for a big corp. It comes with its own set of drawbacks (mainly, big corps are evil, etc etc) but it's still legal (just not in a traditional way) and it feels very different to the usual law firm job. I am actually making good money, better than many of my peers. Who do I bring this up? I went to an alumni reunion and I couldn't believe how much of an asshole many ex-classmates and even some of my former teachers were. Many conversations went like this:

Dude: hi!
Me: hi! :)
Dude: I am an associate for herp, derp and hurr LLP. so uhhhh. Where do you work?
Me: Oh! I'm a a policy analyst for Acme, Inc.
Dude: So uuuhhh, you're not in a firm? Like, You're not doing legal work?
Me: Well, it's a legal analyst job and *gets interrupted*
Dude: Like uuhh, so nice to meet you, like, it was great and uhhhh, good bye
***reunion ends, dude hops into his beaten up Toyota Tercel, my porsche is parked right next to his car***

Yup, the dude in a Tercel was being judgmental to me. The dude who works longer hours, is treated like furniture, and earns less than me. But hey, he is an associate you know? In a law firm, so he is obviously the man. After that whole thing I decided that alumni reunions were just pissing contest where insecure people try to feel superior to others and vowed to avoid the next one :mrgreen:

I guess my point is, don't let others make you feel bad about making a move, if you can, and it's feasible, and you'll make similar (or more) money, then why not? If it will make you happy, the joke's on them.


Haha yeah - I got that treatment when I left the law to work with the government in Legislative Planning. Some of the resulting pressure was the motivating force behind me going to the Feds in the end. Actually enjoyed the Feds, kinda.

Here's what I've found. 90% of 'legal environments' (ie law firms, in house shops, government gigs) are the same. Populated by the same kind of people. With the same kinds of pressures. The current place I'm working feels just like a private firm - late nights, stressed out superiors, pissed off clients, billable targets, competition for high profile cases, etc.

If you're lucky - really lucky - you can find a place where the people are cool and the work is somewhat interesting. For me, aboriginal law was sort of like that - a really good group of people. I was also on one massive file with plenty of senior lawyers above me taking the stress off the work I did. I had discreet tasks in the bigger picture. It was far more like a regular job. I left it because I was an idiot. The problem is, of course, that that wasn't a regular legal job. I left that job and ended up here - where it's entirely like a firm.

I guess the point of that rambling is that the legal profession really is 90% one way. If you don't like having to work like that you shouldn't be a lawyer. If you luck into a good job with good people don't assume it'll last. I'm on the verge of getting out - and it'll be for good.


What was the place you were working on that had the doe eyed girls? That was the aboriginal law one?
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby the_edge » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:02 pm

Turbojett wrote:That's sorta the reason i never went to any high school reunions--except mostly it's because I'm just a piddly little layman who bounces from one shitty job to the next.


Alumni reunions made me realize how ugly human nature is.

First they were about being "better than others" because of the college/uni you're going (check - no one can look down on me on that)
Then the years pass and it becomes about what kind of job you got (check - see above)
Now even more years have passed and people are finding even new ways to try to look down on others! Turns out that apparently using a built-in biological function your body is supposed to have (genitals!) means you're somehow superior... now all the douches are measuring dicks (not literally) because they have kids, especially the women. "Oh look! I have a kid now! I am so accomplished, I have a kid!!!".

It just never ends... next thing you know it will be about their kids' accomplishments instead of their own, and next thing you know in some alumni reunion people will measure dicks about what university or even job their kids have.

Screw reunions lol
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby thewalrus » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:13 pm

the_edge wrote:What was the place you were working on that had the doe eyed girls? That was the aboriginal law one?


Nah man - that was environment. I'm working for them, now, but as a lawyer.
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby thewalrus » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:28 pm

the_edge wrote:
Turbojett wrote:That's sorta the reason i never went to any high school reunions--except mostly it's because I'm just a piddly little layman who bounces from one shitty job to the next.


Alumni reunions made me realize how ugly human nature is.

First they were about being "better than others" because of the college/uni you're going (check - no one can look down on me on that)
Then the years pass and it becomes about what kind of job you got (check - see above)
Now even more years have passed and people are finding even new ways to try to look down on others! Turns out that apparently using a built-in biological function your body is supposed to have (genitals!) means you're somehow superior... now all the douches are measuring dicks (not literally) because they have kids, especially the women. "Oh look! I have a kid now! I am so accomplished, I have a kid!!!".

It just never ends... next thing you know it will be about their kids' accomplishments instead of their own, and next thing you know in some alumni reunion people will measure dicks about what university or even job their kids have.

Screw reunions lol


You know - I'm not sure if its human nature, or one of human nature's responses to the world we've created. If that makes any sense. I know a lot of people who don't buy into the typical lifestyle. Or, if they do, they don't feel the need to act superior about it. I tend to look at the people that act superior - that brag about their kids / school / job / car /etc. - do so, ultimately, because they're really insecure. And I think they're insecure because our world excels at making people feel that, no matter what they do, they'll never measure up to some arbitrary social standard - whether it's the 6 figure income, the BMW, the 2.5 kids, or the massive house.

And I think we all feel that pressure - it's just that some people respond differently to it. I mean, shit, in my own case that pressure to 'have' the trappings of success is still weighing on my mind when I think about going back to school.

How do you explain leaving a job as a lawyer, with a pension, to go back to school?
Are you sure you really want to have to sell your sports car, and start spending less?
What'll happen when you go to a reunion - how do you explain this decision?

It's crazy - but if you let yourself be defined by those sorts of worries and concerns, I think it's a natural next step to become insecure. And after that it's pretty easy to become that person who's constantly going on about how great their life is.
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby the_edge » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:08 am

thewalrus wrote:It's crazy - but if you let yourself be defined by those sorts of worries and concerns, I think it's a natural next step to become insecure. And after that it's pretty easy to become that person who's constantly going on about how great their life is.


Wow, this is so true...
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Re: Going Back to School (part time)

Postby millertime » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:53 am

Lol. So how great is your life Wally?


;)
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