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It has been suggested that What is the average cost of attending law school? be closed because it is "not about law". A user replied that "Questions about getting into a legal career are on-topic" and another questioned the validity of this.

Another relevant question is Does bar council of India not enroll candidates who passed 10+2 with vocational subjects? which has also been closed as off-topic. I have votes to reopen it based on this thread.

Currently the law help center mentions "Dealing with legal professionals" but not becoming a legal professional as on-topic. It seems to me that it might be reasonable to add questions about the career of a legal professional as on-topic. We have already had various questions about legal ethics which would fit under that general category.

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  • @phomg given the significant support for the answer by ohwilleke, and the lack of any stated opposition, what would it take to edit the help center to add "legal education and career" to the help center list of on-topic classes of questions? It seems I do not have the privilege of making such an edit. Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 23:58

2 Answers 2

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I favor making legal education and legal career questions on-topic, and amending the "help" page to reflect this decision.

There is no other forum likely to provide someone with the quality of advice of these topics elsewhere on Stack Exchange.

Also gaining insight into how lawyers are trained and what their career paths are like is useful for non-lawyers seeking to employer lawyers or to understand how and why they act the way they do, by providing insight into how they got where they did.

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  • While I generally agree about most such questions, I'm somewhat reluctant about questions whose answers are virtually guaranteed to quickly become outdated, such as the cost of attending law school. While almost anything can change about the law, making an answer outdated, it's far less likely in most cases. To the extent that Stack Exchange exists to build a collection of accurate knowledge, such questions seem out of place, as their answers will remain highly ranked despite being outdated (and thus no longer accurate).
    – Ryan M
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 6:44
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Good subjective vs bad subjective

I agree with ohwilleke that these questions, as relating to the law, should be on-topic, but that they should meet standard requirements for specificity and clarity. They should meet the standard of "good subjective" questions as that term is understood on the network, that is, being questions that can be specifically answered by some combination of experience, reasoning, and application of professional skills rather than pure opinion.

Consider the following question:

Having a felony conviction is considered a prima facie bar to admission to practice before the People's Common Pleas Court of Ruritania [cite]. While it appears that a candidate with a felony can apply for a Waiver of Inadmissibility from the Legal Fitness Tribunal [cite], I cannot find any detailed information about what happens during the process or what criteria are weighed most heavily when deciding whether to grant a Waiver. What generally happens during the process and what factors does the Tribunal give the greatest and least weight to?

This question meets all of the requirements of a Good Subjective question. It is clear, concise, specific, not a request for specific legal advice, can be answered based on experience and education rather than pure opinion, and, beyond that, is interesting.

An answer might look like this:

I've represented candidates before the Legal Fitness Tribunal for the past ten years, so I'm especially qualified to address this. While the Tribunal officially states in its rulebook [cite] that "No one factor is dispositive", I've found in practice that in 99 out of a hundred cases, the only thing they really check is whether the candidate has completed an Offending Behavior Modification Course approved by the Ruritania Department of Corrections. I recently represented one candidate who has apparently lived the very life of an upstanding citizen since getting out of prison in 1972 for attempting to help his sister leave Ruritania to obtain an abortion. All of his neighbor testimonials, community accomplishments, his 30-year successful career as a legal secretary, and the fact that abortion has been fully legal in Ruritania since 1986, meant nothing. They took one look at his file, remarked that he had not included a behavior modification course graduation certificate, and denied his application. The general advice I give is just take the stupid course. It's expensive and humiliating, but it unlocks access to most professions.

This answer is based in experience and professional opinion rather than cold logic, but it is far more than just someone's opinion. It's specific, founded in empiricism, and informed by professional practice. It's a good answer.

Now, consider the following questions:

Is becoming a lawyer a good idea?

How hard is it to graduate law school in Freedonia?

Please recommend me a bar exam study guide for Ruritanian trust law.

Which is better, Twin City College of Law or East Valley College of Law?

Is it worth it to become a lawyer if you're a "party guy"?

These are terrible questions that should be closed even if asking about becoming a legal professional is on-topic. They don't really have answers except for someone's opinion that isn't likely to be of much use to anyone else.

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