Lawyers & Pilots - Your Input Please

Discussion in 'Community' started by Baron58, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Baron58 macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    Since others here are baring their souls and soliciting advice, I'll join in.

    I'm 33. I have a career in IT, but it wasn't my original choice. I've been very lucky/successful/whatever, but I can't imagine doing this for the rest of my life, nor can I imagine that it will continue to be a viable or financially-rewarding career for much longer. For that matter, I can't even find another equivalent job to the one I have right now.

    My real career preference is as a pilot. (For the pilots out there, I'm CP-ASMEL-IA, 650TT 120ME) Despite my low time, I was scheduled for a program which would have gotten me in a RegionalJet - that was in 2001. Sept. 11 happened, and that program was canceled. I've watched the aviation industry be destroyed by the economy ever since.

    EDIT: I realise I didn't make this part clear enough. I have a BS in Business/Aviation Administration from Embry-Riddle. I know the aviation industry well. Buying a plane, starting a flying business, etc. are not options. I know the economics of it quite well. My flight time, while low, is from 14 years and $$,$$$$ of experience, and I can guarantee that if flight jobs of *any* type were easy to come by, I'd have one. There are 10,000 furloughed airline pilots right now, so it's nearly impossible for entry-level people to get anything. Do you know what a flight instructor makes? $800 take-home/month if you're lucky, for full-time work. I can't live on that. A first-year starting salary for a regional airline first officer is ~$20,000/year, which is somewhat better.
    End Edit

    So, I have what I don't want, and I want what I can't have.

    I wake up in cold sweats worrying about what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. I've considered getting an officer's commission in the Air Force or Navy, among other things, but I'm too old to get a flight slot. The thing I keep coming back to is going to law school. The thought of giving up my dream and being a lawyer breaks my spirit and makes me physically ill. This isn't to disparage the profession, it's just so antithetical to everything I imagined for my life, would wipe out savings and lifestyle, and would put me deeply in debt.

    Why law school? It gives me a 'portable' career. That is, I have choices of where to live, and having that degree opens up possibilities in other fields.

    So, for any of you who can give me some insider input, I'd appreciate it greatly.

    There's no sensation to compare with this -
    Suspended animation, in a state of bliss.
    Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky,
    Toung-tied and twisted, just an Earthbound misfit, I!
    --Pink Floyd, Learning to Fly
  2. Stelliform macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2002
    I work with Lawyers every day. It isn't that bad of a job, but don't expect to be a millionaire unless you go after personal injury cases. (but don't get me wrong almost all attorneys make a good salary.)

    Law is quite a varied field, and the major drawback I see to being a lawyer is having to work with them all the time. There are some nice lawyers, but I think the majority lean toward annoying.

    Anyway, from this worry wart, a Law degree will carry you until retirement. It might not be your dream job though. And that is something important. You might do yourself a favor and research all of the possible jobs that you might find as a pilot. (Like flying commercial fishermen in Alaska or something...) And instead of getting debt from law school, get a business loan and buy a plane.... Anything is possible if you work hard enough and smart enough.
  3. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i wanted to be a pilot then i met a colonel/commercial pilot who told me his life was boring...truck driver of the sky, nothing more...very sad
  4. darkblue macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Well I'm not a pilot, nor a lawyer but when it comes to your career, I think that nothing should be a barrier, especially age. After all most people go through several career changes before retirement.

    I'm sure there are several different fields available to you if you look hard enough and long enough, you can fly light planes, helicopters, commercial planes, people the field of tourism, science, research, defence...
    Have a look at all the possibilities, maybe even in other countries..? It all depends on how much you want this dream job I suppose.

    But by all means, pursue it. If you're not happy with your job then you should definitely do something about it.
    Good luck!
  5. Naimfan Suspended


    Jan 15, 2003

    "Why law school? It gives me a 'portable' career. That is, I have choices of where to live, and having that degree opens up possibilities in other fields."

    If law school isn't something you've always wanted to do, DON'T DO IT. If you're interested in finding out more, get ahold of the law school closest to you and ask to sit in on a class and to meet with some students. The lawyers who are miserable in practice, IME, went because they were expected to, didn't know what else to do, etc. The lawyers who are happy with what they're doing are the opposite--they generally had a firm sense of what they wanted to do and why.

    Law isn't very portable--once you're admitted to the bar of a state, it's generally difficult to move to another state. OTOH, the skills you learn in law school are transferable to other fields.

    If your dream is to be a pilot, then go for that. Better to go for something and not get there then to go for something you've never really wanted to do ...


  6. windowsblowsass macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2004
    whats wrong with truck drivers my grand fater owns a trucking company :D
  7. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    nothing wrong with it...all work is honorable

    he just wanted to stress that it was a terribly mundane living, air force and commercial, and that most people have a romanticized image of it from tv and the movies and the huge letdown is the actual practice of flying

    very few jobs are what they seem
  8. JDar macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2003

    flying experience accumulated over 14 years is more valuable than over a few years, in my opinion. Sorry the shot at an RJ didn't work out. That is a sweet airplane. (A friend has the Bombardier.)

    You are so right--it's tough to make a career in aviation given the present state of all things concerned. Years ago I almost chose a path to combine my love of aviation (and aviation safety) with medicine when about to leave the Army as an Aviation Medical Officer. I wanted to continue study of design induced pilot error accidents. Given what happened to civil aviation in the next two decades that would have been a big mistake. But, in my field of medicine, I still got to keep my hand in both flying and medical care of a lot of pilots or people in positions needing medicals (aircrew/controllers, etc.)

    So why not consider this--go to law school and develop a specialty in some aviation related field within law. I know a "space" attorney in my area, and an aviation law specialist in a nearby state. The field does exist and is not crowded as are some other areas of law. You might need an A&E or A&P certification to super qualify yourself. Once you had a law degree with a special aviation niche, you could take the bar exam in the states appealing to you or where the business is, and hopefully keep Baron58 flying!

    Good luck with your decisions fellow Pink Floyd fan.
  9. Foxer macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Hey there,

    I'm an attorney, and I'm quite happy in the profession. I will say this - don't do unless you want to. It ain't that much fun, and I can't see anyone enjoying it unless it is what they wanted to do. That being said, there are so many areas of the law you can probably find your niche. Yes, the money is good. If you go to a top 15 law school, the money is VERY good. However, no amount of money will make the law a pleasant career unless it is what you want to do.

    When you say "portable career," you mean a skilled trade. Law is just a fancy skilled trade. There are pleanty of trades out there. Electrician is a "portable career," too.
  10. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2003
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    Start an outfitting company. You know, guided hunting and fishing trips to Montana, Alaska, the hinterlands somewhere.
    Mix in bush flying to top it off. It's crossed my mind more than once. ;)

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