you’ve worked in a law office doing the sort of work you want to do when you graduate, and liked it; and
you can afford it, meaning pay for it up front or take out a manageable amount of debt; and
are going to a law school which will allow you to get a job doing the work that you have experienced and enjoyed.
If all three of those apply, then sure, go to law school. Your job is probably going to be all-consuming, it will be mostly paperwork, you won’t have any actual days off, and with the exception of very few types of law, you’ll have much less interpersonal interaction than you expect. But yeah, knock yourself out.
And in 5 years, after you’ve spent $180k on a degree and you wish you were doing something else, remember that a random dude on the internet told you not to go.
Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government by (1) finding and bankrolling new candidates pledged to shrinking and dismembering it; (2) intimidating or bribing many current senators and representatives to block all proposed legislation, prevent the appointment of presidential nominees, eliminate funds to implement and enforce laws, and threaten to default on the nation’s debt; (3) taking over state governments in order to redistrict, gerrymander, require voter IDs, purge voter rolls, and otherwise suppress the votes of the majority in federal elections; (4) running a vast PR campaign designed to convince the American public of certain big lies, such as climate change is a hoax, and (5) buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth.
While there, I was chatting with my Immaculate Infatuation bosses (who, as usual, did a great job selecting said food and booze) about the website and future plans and they introduced me to the woman who is helping with business development. She then introduced me to the friend that she brought along to the event. After a few minutes of chatting about the website, the friend turned to me:
Her: You look really familiar.
Her: Do you ever go to The Wren?
Me: I’ve definitely been there a few times.
Her: Did you ever tell a girl there that you were on Suits?
Her: THAT WAS ME.
This is why I shouldn’t be allowed to leave my apartment. Although, she and her friends did believe that I was on Suits for a solid 15 minutes. I was only thwarted when they asked to see my IMDB page.
For those of you who are not familiar, catfishing is the art of pretending to be someone else online using photos found on the internet in order to make people fall in love with you. I myself was the victim of a pretty serious catfishing back in 2006 (before catfishing was even a thing - I could have a show on MTV right now).
In this instance, a reader of my Tumblr reverse-image searched my avatar photo and came across the above link. While I’m totally flattered that someone finds me attractive enough to steal my photos from my OKCupid and use them to trick women into falling in love, I do have some qualms:
41 YEARS OLD?!? Are you fucking kidding?! If I can pass for 41 I’m just quitting life now and jumping out of my office window.
This dude is pretending to be me on a website called “Millionaire Meeting” and he’s NOT EVEN PRETENDING TO BE A MILLIONAIRE. Have some confidence in your fake self, man!
LOL at me speaking Russian. I wouldn’t know the difference between Russian and Klingon.
If I make $200-250k a year and only have a net worth of $800-900K at the age of FORTY ONE, what the hell am I spending my money on? I’d better be doing a shitload of coke.
I do every type of physical activity imaginable. Bouldering? Yep! Cycling? Not only that, I also go spinning! Spelunking? Only when I’m finished Bouldering for the day!
"My overall appearance: Good looking." What even is that question? You have to rate your own physical appearance? First of all, weird. Second of all, "Good looking" is lame. Was "Dashing" not an option? C’mon.
My final, and most serious qualm: What this is this janky-ass website you signed up for, Mr. Catfisher? If you want to pretend to be me to get your rocks off, at least do it on a better website. This is embarrassing for both of us.
Last night while I was purchasing a pound of broccoli at the grocery store because it was the smallest available denomination by which one could purchase broccoli, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea:
There should be a store that sells produce and other perishables in small enough servings that they don’t go bad when purchased by single people who live alone!
About three seconds after I had this idea, I realized it was not the slightest bit creative or original.
About three seconds after I realized that, I decided that I need to stop going to the grocery store alone.
But even as delicious as the four servings of Grits with Lamb Shank and the seven Mini Buttermilk Pies that I ate were, the highlight of my night was meeting one of my favorite writers, Rembert Browne, of Grantland. If you have any illusions that I’m in any way cool or savvy, please allow me to disabuse you of them now. Here is a sampling of things I did/said:
I called him “Rembert Marx”. His twitter handle used to be “Rembert_ManX”, which for some reason I always read as “Rembert Marx”, because I’m fucking illiterate, apparently. So even though I’ve read hundreds of things he’s written, that name somehow stuck in my head and that’s what I called him multiple times last night. To his face.
"Holy shit! You write for Grantland! You hang out with Bill Simmons! This is awesome!" Super cool, Ian.
"I have a buddy who…why did I just say buddy? I fucking hate that word. I hate when people say ‘buddy’ instead of ‘friend’. I’m just trying to act cool and impress you. I’m sorry. Anyway, I have a friend who…" What the fuck, Ian? You don’t have to verbalize every single word that goes through your stupid idiot head.
I used to think that if I met Jessica Alba I would be completely relaxed and hilarious and she’d immediately fall in love with me and call her husband and dump him and then drop down on one knee and propose to me on the spot. That’s right. My fantasy Jessica Alba-meeting ends with her proposing to me. But after the way I responded to meeting Rembert last night, I’m now pretty sure I’d scream “Oh my god, you’re Jessica Albert!” loud enough to rupture her eardrums and then projectile vomit all over her.
Then she’d drop down on one knee and propose to me while covered in vomit. We are still talking about my fantasy, after all. I might need to find a shrink.
I’ve said this a lot over the past year or so, but I really want everyone to know the exact reasons why he’s a piece of shit. Let’s take a look at his biography:
Mitt Romney is a piece of shit because he held down a gay classmate and cut his hair.
This was the first evidence we had that Mitt Romney is a piece of shit. We all do dumb stuff in high school and lord knows I’m not innocent of bullying someone who might have been gay. But Romney just blithely dismissed this as teenage shenanigans when it’s something that he actually should have felt bad about. First of all, it displays a total lack of empathy. Moreover, it shows that, if he were president, then anyone who is considered by him to be an “other” (black, Latino, gay, hippie, whatever) doesn’t have a seat at the table.
Mitt Romney is a piece of shit for acting like he had to go on a Mormon mission to France instead of enlist in the military during Vietnam.
What Mitt Romney did was above board; like a lot of college-educated young men he took deferments until he drew a low draft number. My dad did that too. But my dad never acted like he wished he could have been in Vietnam if fate hadn’t intervened. That’s how Romney acts. Really? He would have been on the front lines except he had to chill out in France to help his religion? Is that what we want in a president?
Mitt Romney is a piece of shit because he went to Bain after law school.
Going to Bain after law school doesn’t make you a piece of shit. Heck, nearly everyone I went to law school with went straight to the private sector; student loans don’t pay themselves away. But, again, don’t we want more out of our president? President Obama was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review; he could have gotten any job he wanted. Instead he went to Chicago to help out poor people. He didn’t pay back his student loans until he got a book deal. The already wealthy Romney just sought to make more money. Shouldn’t we have a president that seeks to help others instead of himself?
Mitt Romney is a piece of shit because he never created a job at Bain.
For the last time, Mitt Romney didn’t work in venture capital. Venture capital isn’t as lucrative as private equity because you have a larger failure rate in venture capital and it’s only rarely offset by an early investment in a company like LinkedIn or Facebook. Private equity, what Mitt Romney did do, was all about using your investors’ money to load a company with debt, pay yourself fees to tell people who to fire, and making sure that the debt is serviced by anyone but your investors. Any jobs created by a PE firm are ancillary to the firm’s goals.
And this does not bode well for a Mitt Romney presidency. He’s used to answering to his investors and operating on razor margins. That means he’ll govern from his base with the goal of winning another bare majority in 4 years. In other words, George W. Bush 2.0.
Mitt Romney is a piece of shit because he didn’t pay his taxes.
Oh, he paid his taxes. Just not the taxes that you pay. The fact of the matter is that it’s impossible for the U.S. to grab every bit of income that is generated domestically as long as people are smart enough to handle transactions offshore. So it was perfectly legal for Mitt Romney to park his assets in the Caymans. But, again, do you want someone who does this to be your president? Shouldn’t we expect more of the commander-in-chief?
Mitt Romney is a piece of shit because he doesn’t believe in anything except Mitt Romney.
It’s amazing how he’s basically gotten a pass on going from pro-choice in an effort to beat Ted Kennedy to being pro-life with Paul “Forcible Rape” Ryan as his running mate. He wanted to stop global climate change before that came an albatross in a Republican primary. He implemented the exact same health care reform plan as the president and is now haranguing President Obama for passing it.
Mitt Romney only believes in one thing; that Mitt Romney should be president. And he will do whatever it takes to become president. Which means entering the dirty pool of birtherism and castigating his opponent as the other. And how will President Romney govern? Look back at the section on Bain. He answers to his investors. The base, the Koch brothers and Shelly Adelson. Not you.
Mitt Romney is a piece of shit.
I could go on and on. The point is this. Mitt Romney is a self-serving asshole who only looks after people like himself and doesn’t know the first thing about the public good. As we’ve seen in the past week, government can be a massive help to people in a time of need. Mitt Romney’s never had a time of need or displayed the empathy necessary to help anyone in their own time of need. He is a piece of shit. If you want a piece of shit president that’s your prerogative, but on Tuesday I’m voting for the guy who isn’t a piece of shit.
In December of my senior year of college, I went to Miami with my family. While there, I went to a bar with my older brother and met Nicole. Nicole was way out of my league, and I was excited just to get her phone number. She was a local, and as luck would have it, I was returning for my Spring Break in March. We stayed in touch via text and AIM, quickly became mutually smitten (we mailed each other Valentine’s Day presents!), and made grand plans. We were going to go out to dinner with her family and she was going to take me to a Heat game and then we were going to go out with my friends my last two nights in town.
The first of our plans was dinner with her family. On Wednesday night, after I’d been in Miami for three days and had only seen her briefly (the Heat game was Thursday and going out together planned for the weekend), she picked me up at my hotel and brought me back to her Mom’s house. We hung out for a bit before her Mom drove us all to dinner. I ate sushi for the first time in my life. Her mom loved me. Her younger sister loved me. Dinner went great. At one point, she excused herself to take a phone call. I thought nothing of it.
On the drive back to her Mom’s house, she was playing with her phone and smiling to herself. ”Why are you so happy?” I asked.
"I’ll tell you later," she replied.
I smirked, knowing that her good mood was a result of my excellent performance at dinner.
When we get to her Mom’s house, we hop in her car so she can drive me back to my hotel. I take her hand in mine. ”So what were you smiling about in the car?”
"C’mon, tell me."
"Well, Eddie called me when we were at dinner and what he said made me really happy."
"Just a guy I’ve been talking to."
[fifteen seconds elapse]
"Um…are you crying?"
[crying sounds] “No.”
"What? Why are you crying?"
"I thought you were smiling about me."
"Seriously Sweatshorts, this is really weird, stop."
After a few minutes, I compose myself while apologizing profusely. I blame my crying jag on the lack of sleep and overabundance of alcohol that is spring break. She drops me off at my hotel.
I walk into the hotel room I was sharing with 4 friends (Spring Break! Woo!) with an incredulous look on my face.
"Well, how’d it go?" I relay the story to my friends immediately, only interrupted by I-can’t-believe-I-just-did-that laughing fits and holy-shit-you’re-an-idiot comments. Half an hour later, I get a text.
"I don’t think we should go to the game tomorrow. Or hang out this weekend."
To this day, I still get made fun of by everyone on that trip for bawling in front of a girl I barely knew.
Sure. I’m assuming you’re starting this fall, so I caught you just in time.
First, only go to law school if:
You’re going to the best school in the state you want to work in and that state has an actual legal market that needs lawyers; or
You’re going to a top 6 school or a top 30-ish school and are smart/personable enough to land a firm job (20-60% of kids do, depending on the school - do your research) AND you’re fine with your six figures in student loan debt informing every decision you make for the next 10-30 years; or
You’ll graduate with no or very little loans (<50k). Parents, sugar daddy, guaranteed scholarship (not one of the must stay in the top 1/3 to keep it), savings, whatever, just don’t take out 180K in loans to go to a shitty law school; or
You have connections guaranteeing you a well-paying job immediately upon graduation.
If one of those four doesn’t apply, don’t go to law school. There are very, very few exceptions. If you’re think you’re an exception, send me another message or email me and explain why. I’ll tell you why you’re wrong.
If one of these four applies AND you’re really, really, really sure you actually want to go to law school, then keep reading.
Are you sure you’re sure? Why are you so sure? Have you ever worked in a law firm that does the sort of work you want to do? Or spoken to a (young) lawyer who went to the school you’re going to and does the sort of work you want to do? Do one or both of these things.
If/when you’re actually sure, here’s some real advice:
I’m a proud member of OKCupid. Considering that the last girl I dated I met on Twitter, admitting that I meet women on websites designed for meeting women is actually less embarrassing. It’s 2012 people meet on the internet now get over it.
Recently, I was a bit taken by one OKCupider in particular - a French-born fashion model. (The online options really aren’t half-bad.) We texted continuously for a few days and set a date. I had to cancel due to work, as happens pretty regularly, and we had a bit of trouble rescheduling. Throughout that time, though, we continued to text and threw a few phone calls in for good measure. Everything seemed like it was going swimmingly.
We planned to meet in Madison Square Park last night, get concretes from Shake Shack, and wander around. We texted throughout the day, as we had since we started talking. Before I got on the subway, I sent my customary on my way text: “Heading into the subway now, see you in 20 or so.”
I got to Madison Square Park and sat down on the benches outside the fence facing 23rd Street. Fifteen minutes after she was supposed to arrive, I got a little nervous. Five minutes after that, I texted her: “Hey, are you still coming?”
Thirty seconds later, my phone vibrated and I looked down.
I like Girls a lot. The show on HBO. Well, also the gender. But this is about the show.
I could love it. I should love it. Lena Dunham is absolutely hilarious, both as a writer and an actress. Zosia Mamet is excellent, Jemima Kirke is great, and Allison Williams is very pretty. The two main male characters are me split in half and hyperbolized, so much so that I’m afraid that Lena Dunham is close friends with a girl I used to date, unbeknownst to me.
So what’s not to like?
The problem is that when I’m watching Girls I don’t see Hannah or Shoshanna or…I don’t even know the rest of the characters names. I see Lena Dunham, Brian Williams’ daughter, David Mamet’s daughter, and that drummer’s daughter. I’m very aware that I’m just watching a quartet of girls with famous parents act out a critically-revered show on HBO.
In the months and weeks leading up to the show, it was EVERYWHERE. I know Lena Dunham better than I know most of my co-workers. She went to Oberlin. I couldn’t tell you where 80% of the people I see every day at work went to college. I’ve seen every Youtube video that Allison Williams has ever made. (She has an excellent voice, by the way.) I know the real names of the other two.
I’ve been watching How I Met Your Mother for seven years and I don’t know Ted Mosby’s real name. He’s Ted. The Office has Jim and Pam Halpert, Andy Bernard, and Stanley. I love you Stanley.
Wouldn’t you enjoy Mad Men way less if you saw highlights of Jon Hamm’s past roles and interviews with him and read all about his life before the first episode ever even aired? He wouldn’t be Don Draper, he’d be an actor playing a guy on a TV show.
I’m sure that the internet craze over Girls has done wonders for the size of the audience. But it destroyed the fourth wall, and not in a fun Modern Family way. More of a “Oh, I see what Lena is trying to do with Brian Williams’ daughter in this scene” way.
I’ll still watch the show. I’ll still like it. But it’s hard to become invested in characters when you’re so conscious of the people behind them. Sadly, that makes it way less fun.
A common refrain that you hear from people arguing against the increase (or mere existence) of a Capital Gains tax is that it constitutes “double taxation” - that money is taxed twice, once as income when it is earned, and again as investment gains after it is invested.
This argument is so absurd that it causes me actual physical pain to hear it. Money that you earn is taxed at an income tax rate. If you choose to invest that money, it’s not taxed when you do so. There’s no tax for transferring funds to E-Trade, or for buying stocks.
If you make MORE money on top of the money that you invested (the amount that was taxed when you earned it) the EXTRA MONEY that you made gets taxed at 15%. The original money that you invested isn’t taxed again. It’s not touched. Only your EXTRA MONEY gets taxed.
EXTRA MONEY from investments is a lot like income. It’s money you’re earning with your brilliant investment brain (or your brilliant financial-advisor-selecting brain), as opposed to your brilliant marketing brain or doctor hands or construction arms or dancing feet or whatever it is that you do for a living.
So the next time you hear someone complain about Capital Gains “double taxation” just ask them a simple question - “I’m sorry sir/ma’am, which dollars are being taxed twice, exactly?”
Finally, I thought. I didn’t expect it to take five months of New York living before I sat across from an attractive girl on the subway.
She and I exchanged smiles. My heart raced as I tried to figure out how to talk to her. She had headphones in, playing music loud enough that I could hear every word Beyonce sang. She wasn’t trying to make it easy.
Fortunately, she stood up at the same stop that I was getting off - 8th St/NYU. It was a Friday night - I was on my way to Upstate to meet Max, because, well, that’s what I do on the weekends. I go to Upstate with Max.
She took out one earphone and looked at me expectantly when she saw me stand. I almost thanked her. Note to girls: if you want a guy to talk to you, please make it this obvious. This shit is nerve-wracking enough as it is.
"I promise I’m not following you," I said. "I was planning on getting off here before I saw you were."
"I bet," she said, smiling.
We ended up walking in the same direction and talking for fifteen minutes. We exchanged numbers and made plans to meet the following night for a drink.
The next day, five minutes before our appointed date time, I was waiting outside of the cute little wine bar that I picked when I got a text. ”Change of plans - Let’s go to Cooper’s.”
"Works for me," I responded.
I walked the three minutes to Cooper’s and texted her. “I’m here.”
She strolled up to Cooper’s fifteen minutes late. It’s fortunate that she arrived when she did - another 30 seconds and I was going to have to go to the hospital to get the frostbite on my ears treated.
We sat down and ordered drinks. We continued to get along, as we had the night before. We both grew up skiing, we liked the same restaurants and had the same adventurous eating habits…we had a lot in common. I thought.
About an hour and a half into our date, she ordered a second drink. When the waitress set it down, she took a sip, then she sort of stopped and looked at me sadly.
"I’m sorry, I think you’re really attractive, but sometimes people just don’t hit it off."