Having nothing better to do at the time, I used the GI Bill to enter UCLA Law School in 1955. The competition was keen, but for the most part, the student body was high-minded. The faculty emphasized the law as a profession and service as its objective.
Thirty years later, I still enjoy going to the office or court most of the time. My partners and I still believe the needs of the client, whether a national corporation or the corner dry cleaner, are paramount. When required we work nights and weekends. Most of the time we put in full days. We clock fewer hours than the firms you describe and make less money.
But we have time for families, hobbies, vacations and community service. We've earned enough to get the kids through college and grad schools, and there's enough left over for charity.
All in all it is not an unhappy career. I recommend it.
HARMON R. BALLIN