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Journalism to Law?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by spud, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. spud

    spud Member

    Anybody around these parts ever make the transition from sports at a college rag to law school? Or from the journalism world to law period? I understand law is a pretty popular decision for journos post-grad, and I just now decided that I'd at least check it out, what with this business all but folding and all. At the very least I'd have a law degree when looking for work afterwards... if there's any left to be had. Right?

    Anyway, anybody in here make the switch? Advice? The 4/5 hours of tedious reading per day worth it to max out that salary in place of something you'd rather be doing a little bit more? The reason I might be skeptical of this move is because I don't have a job lined up right now, but I'm not sure. Anything at this point would help, because I'm having those "pre-grad" jitters.
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I'd highly recommend you save a LOT of money. Law schools strongly suggest that you not work a job during your first year of law school. And I don't think they're doing that because they're old fashioned.
  3. Only go if you can get into a top-shelf school - or one that's considered the leader in whatever market you're interested in working in.

    Otherwise, the attorney job market can be just as frustrating as any other business. A large portion of law schools are a ripoff.

    The LSAT is a bitch. If you're just getting around to this now, I would suggest taking it in September and using the summer to study. Aim high. Like sky-high. Don't think you can just prep on the side, get a mediocre score and then cash in your golden ticket. If you do go this route, this will be the most important test you ever take. It's worth the effort to do well - and you can do well if you prepare yourself with the right materials and use them the right way.

    PM me if you have any other questions.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I know several who are doing or have done it. I know several others who will be doing it soon...

    Considering the usual move is journalism to unemployment, I would say this would be a better move...
  5. Danny Noonan

    Danny Noonan Member

    I'm all for anything that'll better your lot in life. I knew a sportswriter who covered preps by night and law school by day and turned out very well for himself. Also knew someone who worked a copy desk, finished her work load by 11, and did nothing but study for law school on the desk until her shift ended at 1 every night. This was a well-paying paper, too.
  6. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i was a sports writer. i'm now a lawyer. there are many of us on this site. by "many" i guess i mean that i can think of four sportswriters-turned-lawyers.

    as with any job, there are pros and cons of being a lawyer. there are times when i'd rather be out covering a game - or even watching another painfully dull football practice - than practicing law. there are other times that make me glad i'm a lawyer and not a sports writer anymore.
  7. Clever username

    Clever username Active Member

    You are certainly not the only one.

  8. Grohl

    Grohl Guest

    I've made this switch. I would not advise going to law school just to do something else. Go only if you know what type of work you want to do with a law degree, or maybe if you have a general interest in the law. If you don't at least have that general interest in the law -- enough that you'll be interested by at least some of the topics you cover in your first year of law school -- and are doing it just so you can get a graduate degree, I'd say it's a bad idea. Law school is VERY expensive, and it's not easy. (Work your ass off the first year; it's the most important.) And the job market for lawyers is not so hot at the moment, especially for those who aren't from the very top schools or at the very top of the class at other schools. The big salaries you hear about aren't representative of the industry as a whole, either. Furthermore, even if you are one of those people who gets the big salary, you might be sacrificing quality of life -- working hours for young associates at big law firms can be insane.

    All that said, I'm glad I made the switch, because I'm enjoying being in school again and there are areas of the law that fascinate me, and in which I can see myself practicing. But it's not for everyone, and probably not something to do on a whim, or with a vague idea that the degree will help your job prospects down the line.
  9. butch

    butch Member

    Just got around to reading the previous journalism-to-law thread, and I was surprised to see that JOB SECURITY was only briefly mentioned as a reason for looking into law school. It seems job security is more important than worrying about whether you'd be working a lot of hours or making a lot of money. For me, even if you're working 50-hour weeks and making $50K/year as an attorney with a pretty high job security, it's still a helluva lot better than working 40-hour weeks and making $30K/year as a journalist worrying that your job may be eliminated when the paper misses budget by millions again.
  10. Also, let me make sure you realize something. The entire admissions process is based almost entirely on your numbers (GPA/LSAT). Don't convince yourself otherwise. Don't convince yourself that you'll make up for it with your stunning extracurriculars, your work experience and your tear-jerking essays. It doesn't work that way. I'm not being cynical. It just doesn't. They figure if you want to be there as badly as you claim in your essay, then you would put in the time to do well on the LSAT - or in your classes.

    These schools get thousands upon thousands of applications. It's a very cold-hearted process. They will tell you otherwise, of course, because the more applications they receive, the more $$ they get (and it looks good in the U.S. News & World Report rankings).

    I REPEAT: Do NOT think that your resume and essays are getting you into a good law school. Your LSAT and GPA are. I cannot emphasize this enough, because during the process, you will often want to convince yourself otherwise, and you will have plenty of help doing so.
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