[00:00:00] Today is actually a fun presentation. And it's an important one because a lot of people get into the legal profession and doing this specifically because because of the fact that they, they want to. They want the benefits to go along with being an attorney.
[00:00:16] And, when I, look and see articles and so forth, I see nothing, but a lot of negative information about what it's like to practice law. And in reality, there's really an, in my opinion, from what I've seen, over the years, there's really Lots of good reasons to practice.
[00:00:34] And honestly, it's probably one of the best professions there are. If you have your head in the right place. And in terms of the money, you can make the prestige of the job the different types of work you can do, and the opportunities that come to attorneys whether it's in politics, public service and law firms or whatever there's really nothing that compares it's honestly in many cases one of the.
[00:00:58]Absolute best [00:01:00] professions. And a lot of the news that I hear about practicing law is consistently negative. I was hearing someone the other day it was a partner in a major law firm and he was saying, anybody, that's a partner in our law firm or. The associates of B become partners.
[00:01:14] Don't do things like, read online, legal tabloids that are negative about things. And you know what they are. They really avoid negative news because the news you surround yourself with about your career and about what you're doing. Really will ultimately have an impact on how successful you are.
[00:01:31] If you surround yourself with positive news, you're going to be successful. If you look at the negative side of things, you're going to be negative. You become what you think about these are like very simple messages, but it's it's true and you really do need to understand what the benefits are practicing law.
[00:01:46] And there's huge benefits. It's an awesome profession and it can actually be compared to any other profession the clearest path to being secure in your career. Meaning having something you can do over the long-term to [00:02:00] making a lot of money and also doing something prestigious and lots of people complain about.
[00:02:06]Practicing law. And a lot of those complaints are related to the ups and downs of the economy. And And then demands many times that attorneys face at the very high levels of the professional in terms of the hours you have to bill and the work you're supposed to do. And many times also the complaints are just related to general negativity, anybody that wants to be negative and say something is impossible or it's too hard, or it's not fun is going to see the world that way.
[00:02:33] And, there's certainly people that learn. To enjoy things and learn to have fun and learn to become successful. And that's just how it works. It works that way all over and every single profession honestly, that there is. And your ability to see the positive in things is really going to help you and, When the economy's bad.
[00:02:55] Oh, you know what happens typically is attorneys from the very best law schools who have the [00:03:00] very best grades, get the jobs with the best firms. And and if you don't have those credential credentials, you're not going to get the jobs for the best firms. But it's just the same thing that happens in every profession.
[00:03:10] And and th attorneys that work in the biggest firms are, often resent the demands on their time. But it's like that in every profession. Every profession we're going to be very good at it, and you're going to do very well. You're going to need to work very hard, and you're going to need to figure out how to enjoy it.
[00:03:27]If I wanted to be like an Olympic swimmer, I certainly would not want to sit in the, out in the. Water swimming back and forth five or six hours a day. I don't know what I would think about it. It just seems like a horrible thing to do, but people that become professional swimmers figure out how to enjoy it.
[00:03:41] And it's just how it works and it become, it works that way. In every profession you have to work very hard. And, law has its ups and downs with every profession. Does, being a musician has its ups and downs. You have to travel all the time. You have to give concerts, you have to spend time with people.
[00:03:57] You don't like, you have to sit in buses. Do you? There's, [00:04:00] regardless of what the profession is yeah. You're gonna, if you do on the negatives, you're going to miss the positives that go along with being an attorney or any profession. And and I believe that the positive practicing law, after having watched people do it for 20 years really far exceed most other professions.
[00:04:18]You're going to have a much better career doing this and probably any other profession you can think of. Attorneys, part of the problem with being an attorney many times is that. We're trained to find fault with everything. You find fault with your job. You find fault with other people you find fault with your opponent's arguments, you find fault.
[00:04:36] And with where you're working, you find fault yourself. And and many attorneys go into the practice because they're ambitious. And, with that ambition they've never been until they go to law school, surrounded by other people that are as ambitious as they are even.
[00:04:50] And, the worst law school is you're surrounded by very ambitious people. It doesn't matter. Just the act of going to law school makes you ambitious. You're trying to get ahead and you're trying to do something and you're [00:05:00] doing stuff that other people aren't doing most, the average college student is not going to go to law school.
[00:05:05] The average. Person you went to high school is not going to go to law school. Only people that have a lot of ambition or are willing to take on debt and want to improve themselves. They're going to go to to law school. Other people, when you're competing against them for prestige recognition, money jobs you're going to get cynical when you don't get what you want immediately.
[00:05:23] And a lot of people get set of cards. It's very difficult. And if you're a new graduate and or, and having a hard time finding a job, or you've been underscore for six months, there's nothing I wouldn't be surprised if you were cynical, the solution to all the sentences and many times is learning about the things like you're doing right now.
[00:05:41] And yeah. Getting something positive to aspire to, and then learning about the mistakes you've been making, and that can really help you because, you, you just need to understand that. I see a lot of times when things are very good for people they start feeling entitled.
[00:05:55]They start feeling, envious of other attorneys. They start demanding more money [00:06:00] and th the cycle just repeats itself over and over again. And and getting entitled and, believing you are entitled to a lot of stuff is not necessarily always a solution.
[00:06:10] And I'll talk a little bit about that later in the presentation, but you have to look at the positive side. When attorneys come to me and they, and I get emails. Literally every day for people telling me they regret going to law school and being an attorneys I then, you really need to start thinking about the positive things, practicing law because in the reality there's no other profession that offers many potential or as much potential as having a law degree.
[00:06:36] It doesn't matter. You know where you are, it doesn't matter. You know how smart you are. It doesn't none of this stuff, once you're admitted to the bar, you have the skills to do well. And and but you need to put yourself in the right environment and all sorts of other things, but I'd like to, get started real briefly and I'll go through 20 reasons why I think that there's really no better profession.
[00:06:57] So the first one is, [00:07:00] attorneys earn far much more money than they would otherwise. That means if you go to law school, the odds are that you're going to earn more money than if you hadn't gone to law school. It doesn't mean you're going to earn more money than every other attorney, but it does mean you're going to make more money than most other people.
[00:07:14] And the thing is almost anyone can get into some law school, graduated from law school and passed the bar exam. It's you know, it's true that certain bar exams and so forth are more challenging than others. I know people that. Haven't been able to pass certain bar exams and took them in other States, but people can pass the bar.
[00:07:32] And and so that's the case and, and, certain law schools may be more demanding than others, but who cares? Just cause you go, it doesn't matter really where you go to law school, it matters what you do with it. It doesn't matter where you're born or what kind of family you're born into.
[00:07:45] It matters what you do with it. And if you want to become an attorney, you don't need to take a lot of math and science classes in college. Like you would, if you wanted to be a doctor. You can pretty much major in anything you can major in art, you can major in ceramics, you can major in [00:08:00] Sans, credit doesn't matter.
[00:08:01] And you also don't need to become an expert in things like, spreadsheets know a lot of math like accountants and bankers and MBAs too. You don't need to do any of that stuff. It's really. Something, that's not that difficult to do. And it's a lot of work and it takes three years to become an attorney.
[00:08:18]But if you really want to, or someone really wants to, they can, but most people aren't going to do that. Most people don't have the drive to do something like that, but if you do, you can do it. And the thing about attorneys it's most of them go to college and they major in.
[00:08:33]All these liberal arts disciplines things like political science, anthropology, fashion, and boss goes don't care. Law schools is pretty, are pretty much open to anyone. And the thing is that, going to law school is actually a very smart choice because if you don't if you major in anthropology or something, your odds are getting a job paying halfway, decently.
[00:08:54]Are very slim. Your ability to get a job is going to be much greater when you have a lot degree than it would. [00:09:00] Anything it's probably actually better, easier to get a job. And if you had went on and got a PhD and and so you can take your skills by getting a law degree and that are essentially worthless in the market and you can go get a law degree and suddenly you could be making more money than if you were a tenured professor in a major American university, it's, it's great.
[00:09:21]These are some old, very old statistics, but, attorneys are, behind a few, certain medical professions and chief executives of companies, but they're ahead of almost all other types of PR professions. They do very well.
[00:09:36] And their salaries are, over a hundred thousand dollars a year. And and first-year associates it's actually more than 160. It's it just keeps going and going up. Since I've started practicing law, it's gone up by three times. It's crazy.
[00:09:49] And so attorneys earn good livings and they earn much more money than they would ever earn with the sorts of undergraduate degrees. Most of them have. And if you want to look at how negative it is there's really [00:10:00] no way of anybody to take a degree with questionable market value and go to school for three years and suddenly, triple or quadruple what you'd.
[00:10:08] What you end up making him. And I've seen people that lots of people that majored in acting in college or fashion design, or, sociology and things. And those degrees all would not translate into money in the market. But suddenly you go to a law school and you're making a lot of money and doing very well.
[00:10:26] So that's the first thing to understand is that, you have the opportunity with a law degree, depending on how you use it, how you apply it and so forth to earn a lot more than you would otherwise. So you should be happy that you're in law school or you have a law degree because you really can, if you follow a lot of the advice that I give, the next thing is, attorneys command the respect of society for the most part.
[00:10:50] I remember when I was in law school, I had grown up in in a suburb of Detroit and everyone in the suburb of Detroit thought attorneys were like the most [00:11:00] amazing things that, they were so respected and it was such a big deal. Now it's if you go into a large city it's may not, they may not be as respected, but people still are impressed with people are attorneys and in, in most areas of the country, the most esteem people and.
[00:11:14]Different towns and so forth are attorneys. And, they can be judges, they can be politicians. They, and they have important roles and the government, wherever they go high percentage, almost 50% of the people in Congress are. Attorneys about 10% of chief executive officers have been attorneys.
[00:11:32]There's just lots and lots of people that are attorneys and they go into very respected positions. And even in my own small community, I've been asked to lead, community boards and do all sorts of things because I'm an attorney, not because I practice law. Just when people find out you're an attorney, they suddenly want you to help them with thanks.
[00:11:50] And they ask you for advice all the time. For all the flack that the brush gets, when it comes down to it, people do respect attorneys, a great deal. And they do because attorneys [00:12:00] have the power to help them. And they have the power to protect them and the laws and the way people, interact and the way businesses interact are all about The law and about your ability to interpret it and argue the right side of it.
[00:12:12] And so the profession is very powerful and there's much that goes along with it that most, the average person doesn't have access to the average person doesn't necessarily understand, what's going on in the world and attorneys do once you have that, no one can ever take that away.
[00:12:30] You have the ability to figure out how things work. And there's very few professions that offer, such a rapid and guaranteed pass to, the middle-class or the upper-middle-class, even as an attorney. There's very few, maybe that doctor and a couple other things, but, you can come out of any type of environment and the worst imaginable background once you're an attorney, you're suddenly.
[00:12:52] Are very respected by society. And and that's a very cool thing. It's not something that most people have and, [00:13:00] saying you actually are a practicing attorney. It gives people even more respect saying you went to law. School is one thing. That's what I say, if you say you're a practicing attorney, that's even a big deal.
[00:13:09] And some areas of the country like Washington, DC and New York and so forth, have a lot of attorneys, however, and attorneys aren't. You can necessarily these giant areas respected as much, but for the most part, people respect attorneys and view them with a lot of distinction, and and there's just few other professions that command that level of respect.
[00:13:28] And that's something that you should always feel good about and proud about. And and I appreciate the fact that I've been in and every day. Th this is a big one, and this is something that a lot of people Really don't understand and is an extremely important part of being an attorney that, once you get along, do you really have a license to start a business?
[00:13:49] And that business is always going to be in demand depending on how you market it and it's protected from competition. So you really have a monopoly and all you have to do is announce [00:14:00] that you're an attorney and people will find them and pay you money. When I was in law school. I had people hiring me just because they found out I was in law school to do all sorts of stupid things, help them file lawsuits against people that took their dog.
[00:14:13] And , it's all sorts of work, suddenly came my way. And and that's how it is. When. You are an attorney and, you can set up an office out of your home. You can run an office, you can operate a small business, you can get some other attorneys together. And it's really not that difficult to set up your own business as an attorney.
[00:14:32]And there's plenty of demand. You may need a website and. You don't have to contact some people and do some networking, but anybody that knows what they're doing and learns about it can startup can start a law practice. I've seen attorneys. I've seen a tr I knew one attorney that you know within the space of, maybe three or four months set up this giant operation suing insurance companies for auto accident people.
[00:14:55] And you had, hundreds and hundreds of clients and he did it almost overnight. This stuff is [00:15:00] not that complex. It's, you can really get a lot of stuff going. If you think about it, you can take a tendency cases. There's just all sorts of opportunities you have for starting your own business.
[00:15:09] And no, one's going to tell you by the way, how to start your own business or how to do it because everyone's competitive, you can read about it and you can study it. And if you're interested enough, you can start your own business and having a lot of businesses, a great business. I don't know.
[00:15:22] I don't know. I tell people this all the time, but. You get what you put into it. So if you work hard, you're gonna make a lot of money. If you don't work hard, you're not gonna make as much. But if you work smart, you'll make more than if you don't work smart. If you have a good personality and develop that, you'll make more probably than if you don't, if you network, there's all sorts of things you need to do, but if you want to succeed as an attorney, you can't, and that's something, a lot of people don't understand and.
[00:15:46] There's no barrier to entry for most professions, but for being an attorney in order to give legal advice and to talk to people, you need to have a license you need to you, people will. You need to take CLA to stay an active [00:16:00] license.
[00:16:00] And and you're really protected against competition. And you can move into areas where there's not a lot of other attorneys and that'll help you do work. So there's all sorts of benefits to being a, an attorney and the things you can do with your law degree that other people don't have.
[00:16:16]And in terms of business and. Even in my particular job, which I think is interesting, I receive calls not often, two, three, sometimes four times a year from attorneys that are retiring in various areas of the country. And they could live in a area where there's just not a lot of other attorneys and just in their small towns all over the country.
[00:16:36] And they may be the only attorney in town and they're old. And if I was, frankly, if I was in if I wanted to make money with a law degree and I didn't want to work for a law firm, I would probably start calling around to attorneys that are in their seventies and eighties and ask them about taking over their practice.
[00:16:52] And you would be surprised at the reception you get, because there's a lot of people like that, looking for people to do that. It's just a very [00:17:00] active market for that sort of thing. And and you can set up a business with very little competition and do quite well. If you if you want and or take over an existing business, there's just so much opportunity and there's not a lot of people don't want to do it.
[00:17:14]You can only even get government subsidy sometimes to start, if you're going into a a rural area. And the interesting thing about practicing law is that. Only 2% of law practices are in rural areas, even though that one fifth of the population lives in those areas.
[00:17:30]You can open something in a rural area and be even more respect or the only attorney in the area. And, it's just, there's lots and lots of opportunities, South Dakota, for example, passed a law, offering attorneys and annual subsidy to work and live in the States, rural areas.
[00:17:44] Just it's funny. There's so much opportunity out there if you know where to look for it and you need to look and not a lot of people do. The next thing is that attorneys have an opportunity to work with important clients and very interesting people. The work itself can be very interesting and you can work [00:18:00] with important or interesting people.
[00:18:01] And. The first few weeks after I got my law license, I was working I worked with for North who was doing work for a case with North of Grumman. And and and I remember being in a I'm in their headquarters, looking through a bunch of documents about a classified summary that they built.
[00:18:17] And so sold this, some South American government and then, worked on motions over that for the next 12 months, which was a lot of fun. And there's just not a lot of professions where you'll get to do that kind of work for these sorts of clients. As cookies you might practice in law, whether your clients, the government, or a corporation or an entrepreneur, you get the opportunity to work for and advise very important people.
[00:18:38] And you can often help shape national rural events. And it can be very exciting and gratifying to participate in things like that. It's just a very. Fun thing and people enjoy it. And the other thing is you can also represent individuals and I think that individual are even more interesting because you've learned about human behavior.
[00:18:59]You [00:19:00] can often under, better understand yourself when you understand their problems and. And you're helping people at very important times in their life that are important to them. And and there's just not a lot of other professions where you're going to get access to this sort of thing early in, in your career.
[00:19:16]You're helping shape people's lives and you're helping shape the direction of companies and all sorts of things. The other thing that's interesting about practicing law is that, when you practice law, you have the ability to transition between and among all sorts of venues, meaning, you can work in different practice settings.
[00:19:32]You can start out in the government and go to a law firm or you can go and house, you can start your own practice. You can work as a law professor, and there's so many different opportunities and settings that attorneys that I find see attorneys in, it's just. Crazy. I see when I look at resumes each day, I'm absolutely amazed at how many different places, attorneys find themselves practicing law.
[00:19:53]Like an example would be Kathleen Sullivan. She began her career as a constitutional law professor, then Harbor. And then she [00:20:00] became the Dean of Stanford day. She's a partner where she's representing all these different big companies. And the, her career has gone from.
[00:20:07]Academia to a great law firm to, courtrooms boardrooms. And so she just bouncing all over and having a very fun time. And that's like that for every professional. The other thing that attorneys have that a lot of people don't is they have the ability to really make major changes inside.
[00:20:23]As an attorney, you can represent people that you know are underprivileged. You can help free people that may have been convicted of something that shouldn't have been you can help change laws. You can empower different groups of people. You can even influence the function of entire governments and there's really no other profession where you can do those kinds of things.
[00:20:44]It's just there's nothing like it. And and you can use it to help shape. What happens in society and, one of the things I think is interesting is the ABA is public interest, law links page. It has all of these different things that you can do and civil rights and human rights law a lawyer [00:21:00] can get involved and, help with alternative parenting initiatives or they can, help people in Haiti or, assist at risk youth.
[00:21:07] There's just all sorts of things. You can do that. The average person really can't get involved in, or if they involved in it, they can't really do anything from a legal perspective. So you have the ability to do things from a legal perspective. Another thing I like about practicing law, but I think is pretty cool too, is that when your attorney, you really get to work with a lot of smart people and you get to work.
[00:21:26]With and around other smart and interesting people. So this means you're going to be challenged. Your minds can stay active and sharp. You'll have the ability to work with people like that throughout your entire career. So you're not working with a lot of boring people.
[00:21:39] You get, you're working with people that are interested in ideas and so forth, like you and. Attorneys are very like very much, they worked with other smart attorneys. And, when you talk to them, they'll often say, why how they enjoyed law school and the people that they're working with they're so far at times and that sort of thing.
[00:21:57]So you definitely are constantly getting intellectual [00:22:00] stimulation. You're always going to be around smart people, whether it's attorneys, judges, or other clients. And that's just, part of the job as well. Another thing that I like about the profession is that it's cerebral and analytical and you can solve problems.
[00:22:13]Like, you know what I like about it, it's, you can spend a lot of time thinking through issues and coming up with solutions and the work is academic, but you're getting paid a lot more, hundreds of dollars an hour or some cases, a thousand hours or more to think about issues.
[00:22:25] And if you're academic anyway being able to think about things that way is pretty fun. And and I think one of the reasons that a lot of attorneys go into politics is that, when you learn to think like a liar, it's not so much about learning specific laws as it is about, being able to, work logically through issues and problems, and understand things and come up with different solutions.
[00:22:46] And this kind of thinking is Sense of balance. And so for it's useful and it can be useful in all aspects of your life. Rightly so the other thing I like about practicing law is it's not just one thing you can, [00:23:00] there's all sorts of work you can specialize in. You can specialize, if you're interested in corporate law, you can do that.
[00:23:05] And then there's even different types of corporate law and you can do litigation there's different types of litigation or patent law. You can do different kinds of patent and and the ability to work on aspects of the work that you're interested in is something that, that I think is awesome.
[00:23:18] And very few people have that ability in their careers. They're pushed into one thing and then they have to do that. And then, when you spend your time working on one type of thing over time, you become much more skilled doing that. And and that makes it even better.
[00:23:33]And, some people go to law school because they want to go to court and take trials and you can do that. Or, you can become things that you can do that sort of thing, later on you can do, what you want and as a legal professional in terms of your practice area, when you specialize, you can seek out the kind of work you want, which I a lot.
[00:23:51] And then the other thing that I think is even, Is one of the most interesting things about being an attorney, especially when you have your own practice and so forth is you can do it for [00:24:00] your entire life. I know attorneys that are in their nineties and still practicing. And when I, prior to going to law school and during all through college, I was an asphalt contractor.
[00:24:09] And and I loved it. It was so much fun. And but I remember my father saying to me, You can think if you want to be doing that kind of work when you're in a Fort in your forties. And I thought about that later and he was right. Because it was tough work. You're working outdoors in the sun, you're lifting heavy stuff.
[00:24:25] You're, breathing toxic fumes and it's just not the sort of work I don't think I would have wanted to do forever. And when you practice law, you really never need to put it. You need your you're constantly doing it and and you can do it forever because you're just basically thinking, and as long as your mind's good you're in good shape.
[00:24:44] And I once hired an attorney. I remember to assist me with some work and he was in his mid nineties. And at that time he was still running his law practice. He had his secretary at paralegal and associates. When he was even still going golfing, a couple of times a week. And so you can practice most of your life.
[00:24:59] You can [00:25:00] literally practice until a day or die. I remember. His I used to drive by his office on the way to work. And and a couple of years after he helped me with a Manor, I noticed that the building was for sale and everything was gone. So I assume he died, he, he must've been practicing for, right up until the day he died.
[00:25:16] And it's a nice thing and you never really need to quit. And attorneys actually don't quit because they enjoy it. When you have your own firm, you enjoy doing it and or when you're working with a law firm, you often enjoy doing it. So attorneys also have the ability to continually improve and get better and better.
[00:25:33]The longer you practice, the better your mortality you're gonna get. You'll learn new tricks, new angles you continue to refine what you're doing. You'd be able to learn more you're always going to be able to improve and, in a lot of professions, your skills will deteriorate over time.
[00:25:48] That's a slaw, the longer you do it, the better you can actually get. I know, like in what I do, for example, like I'm learning new stuff all the time. And it's fun and there's a lot of litigators, they get better at trials [00:26:00] because they learn how to influence juries better.
[00:26:02] There's you can you can get more and more insight into your practice area and more you'll know more than other people you'll know how to, do different things. And and it's cool when you can just continually get better and better. The other thing that a lot of people don't realize is when you practice law, I got the opportunity to become extraordinarily rich.
[00:26:22]Some attorneys may take on, a huge company, class actions then they win major verdicts. They may make millions working, you can make millions of dollars and there's probably hundreds of attorneys in Los Angeles, maybe thousands making, a million dollar plus a year or more millions a year.
[00:26:38]Practicing law. You can make a lot of money practicing law. You can take a piece of accompany and that goes public, or you can go on house and do that sort of thing. I've seen many people retire in their late thirties as attorneys. And when you can really do very well financially and Joe Jamal is Oh, what's a billionaire attorney and made, I don't know, $345 million in one case in tenancy fees.
[00:26:59] And there's [00:27:00] tons of examples like that. When you practice law, you have the opportunity to earn a lot of money and become very variable. Another thing is an attorney is you have the chance to become famous and there's so many attorneys that are famous. You have Hillary Clinton Barack Obama and David
[00:27:14] Jerry Springer, who knows when there's just Mitt Romney? There's more than you can probably count. I could probably name, famous attorneys for a long time. And and I think that the lawyer skills that people have and their interest and abilities and their drive transplants into lots and lots of different professions, and there's lots of people that have become very famous as attorneys and and they're everywhere, so that's another thing. The other, another reason I think that it's a great profession is you have a chance to transition into politics. And you don't need to be an attorney to get into politics, but it helps the majority of us presidents have been attorneys and more so than any other profession attorneys are, uniquely suited to politics compared to a lot of other [00:28:00] professions.
[00:28:00] And your odds of transitioning are pretty good. When you when you're an attorney, that's another thing. And the other thing number 15 is you have the ability to. I bring a lot of flexibilities your career. Many people in the legal professional will work.
[00:28:15] Part-time legal jobs as contract attorneys or they prefer to work in more demanding settings. And so you don't need to, work in a law firm full-time, you can many times you can work remotely by telecommuting, which I've seen countless attorneys do and practice, New York law in Hawaii.
[00:28:32]You can do all sorts of stuff like that. And and you can there's lots of virtual law firms around there that are starting, so you can do things that way. And so there, there's definitely a lot of flexibility that attorneys have that especially in different types of practice groups, certain practice groups are more amenable to it than others.
[00:28:51]And the other thing is that, if you want to. What I always liked about practicing law is that there's really a, there's not a major ceiling. You [00:29:00] can go very far if you want to, when you're practicing law, meaning, you can start at a very small firm even in a rural area and through a lot of hard work and other factors you can wind up in, major law firms and do very well, even without stellar qualifications and.
[00:29:16] Practicing law gives you the opportunity to go as far as you want. And, to really rise as far as you want to push yourself. And I know people that have become judges, multi-millionaires authors and all sorts of things. And you can do that. Through with your law degree, it gives you lots and lots of options.
[00:29:34]The other thing I like and that something that really firm for me as an attorney that, that made me. Very psyched about their fashion was I like to write and and if you like to write, then, you have all sorts of outlets for writing in the legal profession.
[00:29:51] You can, you can write pretrial motions, briefs, and so forth, client updates, articles, and and your ability to write effectively can [00:30:00] change the outcomes of cases and And so I, and then you can have opinions written and change the course of the law. And, if you convince a judge or something, so I was like that, and I thought, you know how, I love writing papers when I was in school and then being able to actually get paid for that was something I really enjoyed too.
[00:30:17] And so there's lots of writing opportunities and something. You can actually get paid to do and lots of professional writers that, write books and so forth, like John Grisham or David Kelly, or become well-known writers. The other thing that I like also is that you get the opportunity to get paid for arguing.
[00:30:35] So most attorneys, by the way Th the whole job is pretty much arguing or trying to get your points across. And regardless of what the topic is, lots of attorneys that are very good at it are expert experts at arguing and and people, lots of people like practicing law because they guitar camp and tie.
[00:30:52] You can argue with opposing counsel, judges anybody at the stands in your way. And it's not just litigate. It's corporate. And [00:31:00] all sorts of practice areas where any practice area pretty much involves arguing and trying to convince someone else to your side. And then the other thing I, that is number 19 is that you're going to have a lot of transferable skills.
[00:31:12]Lawyers are constantly taking their lawyer's skills and putting them to use in other professions. You can be I've seen attorneys, I've seen people become attorneys, lots of people who become attorneys and then take their skills into other professions and just knock it out of the park.
[00:31:25] So lots of times, Becoming an attorney it's just gives you and makes you even stronger in terms of any other profession you want. So if you don't want to practice law and you really think that you don't want to, with all the perseverance and your skills and the way of thinking that you've learned as an attorney, you can crush it when it comes to doing other professions.
[00:31:43] And so that's something that I always try to convince many people to do is if you don't really like practicing law, you should do other things. There's lots of attorneys that have become well-known journalists and authors, artists, business people, sports agents, and all sorts of things.
[00:31:58] And it's that attention to [00:32:00] detail, et cetera, drive it's that thoroughness. It's the ability to argue and get points across and all these kinds of skills that a good attorney learns that can make you very effective. So you can do very well. In other professions. And so that's just, if you don't want to practice law just having that experience, I think, it makes you that much better.
[00:32:19] It's certainly added to my career because learning how attorneys think and so forth this Halloween, and then the other thing is that. If you like sales or any type of sales as an attorney, you get the chance to sell to a lot of different people. You need to sell clients and your services and convince clients to use you instead of a competitor, you need to sell judges to to your point of view.
[00:32:38]You need to sell opposing counsel to your point of view, and you can just sell other clients, their side of the story. And if you like selling there's no profession where your salesmanship is really going to be as highly regarded and and that can really help. And it's just, a great thing.
[00:32:53]So just a few points and then I'll take questions after a short break. There's lots of good reasons to be an attorney. And the [00:33:00] big one is that, there's just lots and lots of positives associated with practicing law, regardless of how, you're using your skills.
[00:33:06] And all the negatives that people associate with practicing law are not things you should be dwelling on. You should be dwelling on. That you have the ability to do something that you can do your own career, that you continually get better at that, just because you're unhappy and one practice setting doesn't mean you're going to be unhappy.
[00:33:22] And another, that you're going to continue to learn is that, the real test is your ability to enjoy things and to continue with it. And it's really a great profession. There's really an in terms of everything that it offers. There's not really, I don't think there's anything better than it.
[00:33:37]If you're an app professional athlete, you're going to have to retire at some point early, if you're. If you're working as a business person, the business could go out of business. But but illegal job and the legal profession is something that just continues indefinitely and and never stops.
[00:33:53] And and it's just a great profession. So I'm going to take a quick break for one or two minutes. And then when I come [00:34:00] back, just ask as many questions as you want. You don't have to ask about. This presentation specifically, you can ask any career questions you may have and or about this.
[00:34:08] And and I will be back in about two minutes. Okay.
[00:34:12] Give me one second. Okay, good. It looks like we've got some questions, so that's good. Let's see here. Okay. So you've had topics on what you should not be asking during interviews. What are the topics today? What are topics today that you shouldn't be asking about? Oh, that's a good question. There are some articles that I've done on Harrison, barnes.com, then also BCG there's several articles about different interview questions. I think that any, th the kind of the rule of thumb, when you ask questions in an interview is you never want to ask questions that show a reluctance to work or reluctance to get along with people.
[00:34:50]We've had, so people will say things, they'll ask, we had a candidate. A week or so ago that was asking questions about relocation and [00:35:00] questions about other sort of related topics and paying for relocation or paying for them to study for the bar or paying for that.
[00:35:07] So you should always ask questions about, what work you can do. What is your ideal, person doing this job look like how you know, responsibility, the showing an urge to, to work. Carter showing things along those lines, because really what happens in most law firms and actually most employers is the employer is constantly trying to stay in business and do well and improve or make, become more profitable or become better known and so forth.
[00:35:38] And then there's always going to be people that kind of want the status quo and and don't want things to change and want to continue doing things the way they're doing it. And so if you are on the side of people that are against change or not helping and so forth, and that can help, that can hurt you.
[00:35:55] If you look like you're not going to be on the side of the people that are, that are employing [00:36:00] you, that's also going to hurt. So in general employers are looking for people that are going to support them that are going to look like, they have their back and they're going to be out for their best interest.
[00:36:10] And if you're able to do that, then you know, you're going to be much stronger in terms of how you interview. So just avoid any topic that talks about you and seems limiting asking if you can work at home is a bad one asking if you can, miss a couple days a week to do somethings about asking about how soon you'll get a raise is about asking about, required hours is a bad one.
[00:36:35] Anything that shows a limit, asking about. Things that don't tie your productivity to your salary is a bad one. So anything that gives an indication that you could be trouble is always a bad. Kind of question. So those are the things that I would avoid.
[00:36:53] You just want to look like you're someone that's going to go there and put your head down, get along with everyone and do your work. So anytime it looks like you may [00:37:00] not be working, that's going to hurt you. Then you time, it looks like you're not going to put your head down. It's going to hurt you asking questions about things like pro bono and anything that detracts from the profitability or the operation of the business is going to hurt you.
[00:37:14]I know that's not what everyone wants to hear and certainly the biggest way to think about is to put yourself in the situation of the person that's interviewing you and think, what are they thinking? And all they're thinking is they're thinking, I need someone to.
[00:37:29] Do a job. I need someone to, be loyal. I, and I don't want people to make trouble. And if people look like they're not going to work hard and make trouble, then that's going to be a problem for me. All those sorts of things asking about, plans to increase, anything, like to you, do they have plans to get involved in more pro bono or do they, why aren't there more do they have plans to get rid of a client that that they may not, that the person may not approve of?
[00:37:57] It is on the wrong side of a political part. Anything you [00:38:00] can think of that could be offensive or show that you're not part of the group is going to hurt you. And the people that do the best in law firms are always the people that look like the good soldiers that are doing the work. So that's how I would ask.
[00:38:12] And, I just, people I hate this. Mistakes that people make an interview is because, your job at a, in a law firm interview is to take the side of the employer, just like your job representing a client is take the side of client. And, if you can't take the side of the client, then you know, or the interviewer, then the odds are, you're not going to take the side of a client either.
[00:38:34]And that's really the most important thing. So people that do well in law firms, people that do well. And interviews people that have good legal careers are able to put themselves in the shoes of the clients and other people. And they're not just thinking about themselves. When you're, anytime you're asking a question, just think, what would I feel if I was interviewing that person?
[00:38:55] I'll just, I talked earlier in this presentation about when I was an asphalt contractor. [00:39:00] If I would pick up somebody, if I would be interviewing someone for a job working as a labor and just, I'm going to give you a very simple. And that person said, if we work more than eight hours a day, can I get an extra $10 an hour?
[00:39:13] I would say no. And I wouldn't want to hire that person because that person would undermine the other employees. Can we stop work? Can we not work on Saturday and Sunday? In that particular business, you need to work on the weekends. So I wouldn't want to hire that person. Does. Is it okay if I do some part of the work where I'm not going to get dirty?
[00:39:33]No. Cause that's just the work involves, getting tar and stuff on here. Is it okay for me to take lunch every hour because I have low blood sugar. Maybe it would be illegal not to allow the person to eat every hour, but. Anybody that needed to stop work and eat every hour in the middle of a, a job where you're got, very expensive of materials from probably wouldn't, so you can get the idea with that.
[00:39:56] And if you go back and do it legal profession, then anything [00:40:00] that shows your unwillingness to do things the way the law firm wants to get things done is going to hurt you. Asking, if, can I Spend one month doing pro bono each year. Can I is it okay if I take a three week vacation every March, because I'd like to go to this place that my family can I work on home on Tuesdays because.
[00:40:23] My mother likes to go to the doctor. Can do you mind I have this problem for, I need to, just anything or can I get a bonus after six months instead of. 12, because of this reason. Anything that chosen a willingness what happens if I don't bill 1800 hours, even though, two thousands of recommended, anything that shows a willingness to work and I'm going to have to play by the rules and so forth.
[00:40:49]It is not a good thing. So that's what you need to avoid. There's nothing wrong with having personal interest and that sort of thing. But, if you veer over on the side of what people are looking for [00:41:00] than that then, and just think they're thinking I'm not going to, then you know, you get in trouble.
[00:41:05]Okay. What types of things could you, should you be prepared to bring to an interview? Outside of a resume if no specific direction was given. So one of the things you could bring to a revenue that's, to a interview some time as good as you want to bring your, a couple of copies of your resume.
[00:41:23] It's also a good idea. If you're a law student or a young attorney, sometimes they want your transcripts references and and even a short writing sample sometimes. But other than that, there's not really a lot of things you need to bring to an interview and most good interviewers will have a copy of their resume with them in case the employer doesn't have it.
[00:41:45] Nor if you're interviewing with a bunch of people just to, have a copy of it, but those are the main things. And then reference sometimes on a piece of paper that they're prepared to hand out. Those are the main things, if no specific directions, honestly, if it's a very large [00:42:00] firm probably don't need to bring copies of your resume, but it's just expected.
[00:42:03] Most people do. That's what I would bring and, transcripts, probably a good idea if you're a law student or, someone wants to see that, but that would be what I'd recommend. Okay. Let's see. Will it be a conflict of interest for an attorney practice with a firm also taking clients outside the firm?
[00:42:22] Yes. That is almost definitely a conflict of interest. In most States, I don't know but what state you're in, but if you. Are practicing the law firm, then that law firm, you're typically under their malpractice insurance and you're expected. And especially with the types of salaries, most law firms pay to give your, all of your effort to that law firm and its clients to help make them profitable.
[00:42:45] So if you're dispersing your efforts between working for the law firm and working for other people, and that's probably not a good idea. And and I've seen attorneys lose their positions when they. We're working for multiple [00:43:00] people at the same time. So that's just not a good idea. And if they're working for a law firm and then also take an outside clients, now, if you're working as a contractor for a law firm, then that's a whole different matter.
[00:43:11] But you typically know you don't want to take outside clients and it's not a conflict of interest. It's just something that will get you fired, which law firms, you can certainly ask about it, but they would expect you to probably just get extra work for them from them instead of. Picking outside clients.
[00:43:26]Okay. Let's see here. What are the realistic jobs prospects for international students out of law? School is big law or bus to get H1B. Do you see international any international students from top 15 non tier 14 schools getting a job out of law school? Okay. I don't know if you're getting a JD or an LLM, I do know that it's very difficult as an El and many times to get a job you can also get a job if you're have a much easier time getting a job, if you're a.
[00:44:00] [00:43:59] From a, if you get a JD, I saw something pretty funny recently. I don't know, a couple of years ago there was, this guy was working with and he was from China. And I think he'd gone to university of Minnesota, university of, I think it was university of Minnesota and. He'd gotten a job in a small farming town representing farmers and this law firm.
[00:44:19] And it was just very funny because the stuff like, represented grain silos and there I don't know because it's just like corporate attorney and nip it. It was just, it was funny cause he was from China and hardly spoke any English and and he was able to get a job, but.
[00:44:34] I think you can get a job. I think the smartest thing is to get a JD and and I think that people seem to focus on trying to get jobs in the big law firms, because that's all that many of the law schools teach. And I don't think you need to work just with a big law firm. I think you can you should try to work at smaller law firms and you should be prepared to explain to them, how you can get That experience how they can get that. [00:45:00]
[00:45:00]It, get someone with how they can sponsor you to get an H1B and so forth. And maybe even put that on your materials when you apply or when you meet with them, that would be something you might want to bring to your interviews. So I do think you can easily get a job. I think that. Most foreign attorneys that come to the U S don't know how to research the job market and find positions.
[00:45:21]There's a presentation on, or oar.com that I, where I talk in a lot of detail about how to get a position and the different methods you need to follow. But in general, The best way to get a position would be to research law firms, where there's people from your country working there or there's that are, have some sort of work that specializes in what you do, or just to get into the best JD program.
[00:45:47] You can and try to get the jobs from now that way, but coming over to the U S and just getting an owl, I'm a Columbia or something, even though it's a great law school. It, your odds of getting a job with, white and case or some big law firm, other [00:46:00] than a foreign associate job for one year are fairly slim.
[00:46:03] It's just, it's very difficult to do. I remember when I was in when I started practicing law. Harvard law school had us, has an LLM program, a very well-respected one. And they take two people from all these different countries all over the earth. I don't know how big their classes could at several hundred and the year that that I that the year that I started in the law firm, my dad there, there was a girl that had gone to the LLM program there too.
[00:46:31] Two people that had gone at the LLM program in my law firm. And they were the only two foreign students in the entire. Law school coming out of the LLM program that year that had gotten jobs coming up and out long program. So it was very difficult to get positions coming out of an LLM program.
[00:46:47] And it's not to say that it can't be done when you get to J D it's much easier. And and that gives you it's more of a realistic degree. People in law school, in the U S they, your first semester [00:47:00] grades matter, you're. You, you acclimate to other students and you learn together their system much better.
[00:47:05]It's a much better idea to try to get a JD, so you don't need to become an attorney in the us. You certainly don't need to you, you can do it, but you need to look at firms and smaller markets. You can't just look at major firms, major markets.
[00:47:20]Okay. I am coming. I'm an incoming one at a cheer 11 school in New York or churchy school. St. John's I'd looked at the school's employment stats would show that only the best students have a chance of getting hired by a big law firm. I was wondering aside from doing grading exams, what would you urge someone in my position to do, to maximize their chances of getting hired and Vic law?
[00:47:42]The first thing I would say to anybody, who's trying to get position with a big law firm is really why you want to do it. And and so there's a lot of articles that I've done that discuss why you may want to be in a big law firm, or maybe why you may not. And I think you can find those on BCG and the benefits of [00:48:00] being in a big law firm or so of the salaries. But, if you don't go to a top law school then you know, you're going to be, have a harder time, many times getting work in a major law firm. Even if you get into one or keeping your job there, because they're going to keep people around that went to Harvard and places like that before before you, unless you're like first in your class and other things.
[00:48:19] So the way to maximize your chance of getting a position in big law is going to be your grades. It's going to be having A very good personality and being able to connect with people. And it's also going to be a willingness to. To look at other markets many times. And, I personally think that it's very difficult.
[00:48:39] St John's is a good law school and I've hired attorneys. I went to St John's before and were impressed with them. But at the same time, it is a commuter school in many respects and and most commuter schools, regardless of. What part of the country they're in, there's ones in Detroit, there's ones in Minneapolis.
[00:48:56] There's ones in con regardless of where that commuter school is, [00:49:00] you're, you can get a job in the market. So people from St. Johns do get jobs with big New York law firms, but you have to do very well at commuter schools, and it is much more difficult to get jobs and other firms, if you're coming from a commuter school, The best way to get a job with a big law firm, in my opinion, would be to try to start your career in a if you do start in New York to do something transactional in nature, which should be litigate would, should be I'm sorry, corporate real estate preferably some type of portrait and to get very good at that and to start bringing in clients and try to move to a bigger firm.
[00:49:32] Or even without clients just, get work in the best corporate law firm you possibly can and really research it and deep down. The most important thing for anybody to get a position is how hungry you are. That those are just, things to keep in mind.
[00:49:45] And that's what I would recommend. But yeah, that's gonna maximize your chances. And and it's hard because you just, especially as a first-year student, you don't know how well you're going to do on exam. If you don't the process may seem completely random. [00:50:00] Everybody learns at different speeds and it's not easy.
[00:50:03]Yeah, I apologize for not being able to give you a better answer, but some people just hit it out of the park without a lot of difficulty and others do. Something to think about. Okay. Would it be okay to pursue law after current a bachelor's degree in early childhood education?
[00:50:18] Yes, of course you can. That's a great degree to get, and then you can certainly go to law school after getting a degree in early childhood education. One thing I will say is that it doesn't really matter. You should, and as an undergraduate, the most important thing for getting into a good law school is your grades and also your outset.
[00:50:35]If you should do a practice, you should major in something to study something that that you like a lot. And if you like what you're studying, then you will do better. I did notice, when I was in college for some reason I placed into these really advanced math classes.
[00:50:52] And I really understand why that happened because I've never been that great at math, but I was in advanced [00:51:00] calculus and all this stuff. And and really it was way, way over my head, after about six weeks and I dropped out of it, but I didn't that everyone that had stayed with those and had completed them.
[00:51:13] Which I certainly could have done but it was very difficult would be w ended up doing very well and there Alsace and so forth. And they applied to law schools. They, got, one seventies and just really good scores.
[00:51:26] So sometimes the harder classes you take and make a big difference, you can also take those classes, test fail. You don't necessarily need to take them. For grades, but it does make a big difference if you're able to get take some tough classes. And I think it develops your mind a little bit, as all I'm saying.
[00:51:42] I think I probably would've done much better and gone to a better law school. How to take on some more difficult classes. When I was an undergrad is an untamed internship plus loans. Better than a summer job for law school. Yeah. It's always good to do any type of summer job you can in related to the [00:52:00] legal profession part of being an attorney when I did worked basically an unpaid thing in the justice department, my first summer of law school and and and.
[00:52:09] When I started getting my work ripped up and criticized, I'd never seen anything like it. I just thought everything that I did was great. Being exposed to that was a good thing. And it made me much be