This weekend, in two separate conversations (not twitter conversations, actual face to face with food and drink conversations), two different lawyers told me without solicitation, that they would not want their kids to be lawyers.
One is a 30-year lawyer-turned-coach who still practices part-time, and the other is one of the most successful personal injury lawyers around, 17 years in to practice.
The coach said that debt and the job prospects were paramount in his thinking, while the successful PI lawyer said it was due to the lack of professionalism he has to deal with on a daily basis.
So from two different types of lawyers, the feeling seems to be that lawyers, and the money, suck.
I would encourage my kids to become lawyers, but only if they truly wanted to practice law, to be "real" lawyers, to be professionals dedicated to representing clients. These could be indigent clients facing jail, corporate clients looking to screw the general public, or people looking to get divorced. Regardless of the source of the passion, as long as they were going it to it for the right reasons - to represent clients as advocated and counselors, I'm all for it.
I sense the Starbucks crowd, the e-lawyering crowd, and those who believe their law schools are the devil for forcing them to go to law school based on the promise of wealth and fame, are not going to encourage their kids to go to law school. I also trust those who didn't find law as easy and fun as they thought will also hope their kids do something else.
But I'm interested in the discussion.
So if you're going to offer your thoughts (and I'll allow the anonymous cowards in on this one as I'm about to change that policy) please at least tell me how long you've been in practice and what it is you do.
Non-anonymous comments welcome. Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.