‘It’ll leave you dead inside!’ New pop song warns students not to become lawyers

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Catchy careers advice courtesy of US musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

A group of musically talented TV stars have produced a foot-tappingly good pop track warning of the perils of pursuing a career in the legal profession.

The track, Don’t be a lawyer, features in the latest season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a US romantic musical comedy-drama following the exploits of Harvard-educated property lawyer Rebecca Bunch.

In this latest 90s inspired musical offering, one of the show’s characters, Jim, dishes out some “free advice” for those “decidin’ what to do for a livin'”. Cue the catchy chorus:

“Don’t be a lawyer!
Don’t do it! Quickest way to ruin your life
Don’t be a lawyer!
Not worth it! It’ll leave you dead inside”

The song continues, claiming that life as a lawyer is “inherently crappy” and a “guaranteed soul destroyer”, while your “law school debt” will become a “daily regret”. It goes on:

“Your only expertise
Is runnin’ up fees
Speakin’ legalese like a dick
But it’s not too late
To avoid this fate
Find any other job to pick”

The show, now in its fourth and final season, has been a major hit across the pond, and has won critical acclaim for its fresh musical approach to sensitive issues such as mental health and sexuality.

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Ok, this is legitimately fantastic.


Mike Mallo

You sound like a Buzzfeed article.


Associate who slept under the desk last night

Sound advice



Well yeah in the US it’s not great – 80 hour weeks and no holidays. Depends what kind of firm you’re at.



What’s the NQ pay at Shook Hardy & Bacon? Are they a top firm?



3 dog biscuits a week plus generous subsidized cat food scheme.



Brothers! Sisters!

Socialism will liberate people and bring people together! Late capitalism results in depression!

Solidarity with Palestinians! Increase immigration and raise taxes!!




Please piss off.






I strongly recommend you watch this show, it’s fantastic and on Netflix.



Alex’s Anthem



His is couldn’t be a lawyer not don’t be a lawyer.



On the other hand, that classic Country song, “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” recommends it (“make ’em be doctors and lawyers and such”), but I think it’s being ironic. I think it secretly likes cowboys all along…



“What can it profit a man to gain the whole world and to come to his property with a gastric ulcer, a blown prostate and bifocals?” John Steinbeck

If you want to make money from law, then you will be attracted to certain areas of law. Resist this temptation. There may be more to life than money. And if you want to make money, you have the ability to do so in a more interesting way.

And if you want to be a corporate lawyer for status, then think again.

Do you really want a life of countless hours spent poring over legal documents and drafting and redrafting clauses whilst all the time focused on the billable hours. If you have the ability to be a lawyer, you have the ability to do something more interesting, challenging and rewarding. You have, it is commonly thought, only one life.

The quote from Steinbeck above is, of course, based on a statement attributed to another: “For what profits a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul.”

You will be working in the best interests of clients, some of whose attitudes and conduct you may personally despise. You may, for example, be advising on a Non-Disclosure Agreement for an employee who is alleging serious sexual misconduct. Your client may be a billionaire. The employee does not have any wealth and may lose her house if she loses any litigation. You will be able to justify this to yourself at the time. After all, you were just doing your job.



Do crime!

Interesting, in Court all the time and you get to address juries!

Remuneration will mean that you can at least keep a roof over your head (outside of London the pay to cost of living ratio isn’t actually that bad).



Well I’m totally persuaded. Guess it’s time to wave goodbye to my seven figure PEP, sell the bolthole in Fulham, discard the French chalet and country retreat, let the kids know I can’t pay their school fees anymore, ditch the Porsche, the trophy wife and golf club membership, cancel all future holidays abroad and become a surfing instructor. Oh wait.



So your wife only loves you for your money?

Better off without her then!



That is the problem for many.

You fear that a career in corporate law will be life-sappingly boring, leaving you no time for a social or family life.

But what about the money! All that money!

So you decide to work as a corporate lawyer for a few years. And then, maybe, until you are 35. And then you can get out and get a life.

But by that time, you have the bolthole in Fulham, the French chalet (that you seldom visit and, when you do, you are on constant call as an issue has arisen concerning that fascinating Rights Issue Circular that you were a bit-player on), and, importantly, the kids are in a fee-paying school, and there is also the expectation and life-style of what you call the “trophy wife”.

So you are now trapped.

But if you stay on the boring relentless treadmill for long enough, you may make partner. And then you step onto the partner treadmill. And then you die, probably in your big house. But as least your tombstone can say ‘partner’. After all, you could have been a poor surf instructor, or a wealthy entrepreneur running your own business in a area that you find fascinating.

Anyway, enough of this, you have probably got some fascinating board minutes to draft and will need a little time to convince yourself how important you are as these particular board minutes are for a really large company.



On 31st October, Exchange Chambers Leeds are setting up a “Zombie Law” department to tackle the complex cross-field issues that would arise in the case of a Zombie Invasion.



That is such an exaggeration.

Being a lawyer won’t leave you dead inside – silly billy!

But it will leave you an emotionally stunted boring wanker with a selfish, possibly even psychopathic, view of your fellow humans.

The path to this deplorable state is shortest (in fact very short) if you work in corporate law; but all legal roads lead to the same sorry place eventually.






I recall having a drink with a group of lawyers from a large City firm. One of the group was a very quietly-spoken lawyer who had been at the firm for many years and worked almost exclusively on trust law. He looked like what one would imagine an archetypal trust lawyer to look like. For some reason, someone asked him if his son was going to go into law. The trust lawyer immediately and very loudly shouted ‘F**k No!” so loudly that many people in the pub turned around. I think it was the first time anyone had heard him swear or raise his voice. He did not elaborate but we all took the point. And no one wanted to risk riling him!


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