My last post I talked about the game of law school, and working to be the best, and I know it probably made me sound like a potential gunner lol but…
Some of you are probably thinking, calm it down girl, does it really matter if you’re in the top 10%? We’re all getting J.D.s here, just work hard and do your best.
But yes, HECK YES it matters.
Here’s my top 2 reasons why:
#1. I’m black.
Now, this isn’t a problem for the great majority of law students. The school I’m most likely going to has like 3% black people, 20-30% “other” in general, so most law students will never have to consider this. But for all other POC law students out there, average isn’t good enough for you.
You know that whole Scandal scene with Papa Pope and Olivia and he says
That sh*t (excuse my french) is real life. If you’re one of those “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” people, and you think it’s an excuse, just go look at employment and salary statistics. White high school drop outs are just as likely as black college graduates to be hired, so I’ve got a hell of a lot more work to do to get to the top than the majority of my peers. Just graduating, isn’t good enough, and it won’t put me in a position for the type of success I’m after. To get the best, I’ve got to be THE best.
#2. A LOT of Law school graduates are unemployed.
They aren’t the majority, but they’re getting pretty close. If you’ve applied for, or are starting law school and you haven’t researched and read articles and statistics on employment- you are naive.
A J.D. isn’t magic, and I’m not immune to the woes of an over-saturated market. The fact is, not only will I be competing with my fellow graduates, I’ll also competing with the ~30-40% of unemployed graduates that have come through in the last 5-10 years since law employment prospects have dropped. That whole joke about having a law degree and working at target…isn’t really a joke.
Some people are going to read this and think, “eh, this doesn’t matter for ME because I don’t wanna do Big Law, I’ll work at a small firm or I want to work for the government as a public defender or whatever”. BUT, there are only so many jobs in Big Law, there are only so many prestigious clerkships, so where do you think all the rejects for those jobs are going? And these aren’t “rejects” in the regular sense of the word, these are super intelligent people, with significant skills, polished and awesome resumes who were only rejected because there are just too many lawyers and not enough jobs. Therefore you have to set yourself apart or you’ll be just another face in the crowd. These people are competing with you for the small firm job, or the government job, or any job that’ll hire because at the end of the day, student loans are no joke, and people have bills to pay.
Ultimately my point is, if I want to be on the other side of the employment statistics I’ve got to WORK for it and kick ass in law school.
Because you know who isn’t unemployed?
The top 10%.
(or top 25%).