Looking for some guidance...

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Looking for some guidance...

Postby gabewatch » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:33 pm

I dont normally post very much, but I've got some free time because I smashed my knee snowboarding this week and thats all I really do out here in Oregon. Unfortunately for me, I'll be spending the next week sitting around the house. Anyways, I've been really confused lately about what I want to do next year so I figured I would try to get some advice from here. Finished undergrad in 2008, in 2010 I almost attended W&L on a 1/2 scholarship, but withdrew 3 weeks before classes started because I wasnt sure that law school was for me, and I was worried about the state of the legal economy. Unsatisfied with my job options I decided I should have gone to law school, so I retook the LSAT, scored 2 points higher, and then in september 2011 I moved from the east coast to Oregon and I am working part time at a coffee shop while being able to snowboard all the time. I decided if I was going to go to school I should take this year to do something I loved, and live somewhere new, so that has been great. I did all my applications in September for this cycle, and now I am still waiting on a few decisions, and I want to negotiate with some schools. My goal in applying to law school a 2nd time, believing I was more committed this time around, was to have to pay very little in tuition. I havent gotten an offer better than 1/2 yet, but I am hoping to get one or to negotiate for one. Here is what I am looking at so far...

U of Georgia (In state tuition offered) 18,000 / yr
U of Minnesota 23,000/yr
Wake Forest 15/yr

These are the best offers Ive gotten, IU-B, UIIC, Iowa, Wisconsin, L&C didnt offer much, and Colorado hasnt released their scholarship info, and I am still waiting on WashU and Emory. My feeling at this point is that UGA might offer me the best shot at keeping my debt down, and I think they are still handing out some late scholarship awards. I also have a friend that lives in Athens who said its very inexpensive. Anyways if anyone can comment on these options relative to each other, please do. Also if anyone knows about negotiating scholarships, should I try to do that soon, or is it better to wait until I have all my decisions/awards? I want to go back to school, but I dont want to take on very much debt.

Lastly, I feel like some people will tell me not to go to law school, but I feel like based on my current situation it might make the most sense to me. Ive been reading a lot about the industry lately, and Paul Campos' blog, and its pretty demoralizing. I really like what Im doing this year, but I do want to get a more traditional career at some point, since I finished undergrad I havent pursued serious career options, but instead did a bunch of low paying jobs and took time to pursue some other interests. So I have no network right now to get a job, I'm well aware this is my fault and I need to get better at building a network. I also have no debt, no real obligations to anyone, easy to relocate, and I like school. Ive looked into other graduate programs and it seems that many grad degrees have similar problems to a law degree in terms of getting work. Because of my soft degree Id have to take a year or prereqs to get a masters in something that might be more useful, and Im not ruling that out, I just now that I need to figure this stuff out and make a move, and be committed.

Any useful comments out there on what might be a good move? Sorry for the long post...

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Re: Looking for some guidance...

Postby cinephile » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:11 pm

Sent you a PM

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Re: Looking for some guidance...

Postby MrAnon » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:32 pm

Don't go to law school. You don't sound passionate about these schools, I don't blame you, and frankly when you arrive at any of them you are not likely to turn passionate about them.

Keep working where you are working and keep thinking about what you could do with your life. You will come up with an idea you like better, it just may take some time, a few years, to get the point of an answer.

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Re: Looking for some guidance...

Postby gabewatch » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:52 pm

Thanks for the PM cinephile.

In reply to MrAnon, I expected that someone would tell me not to go at all, and thats something I definitely do think about. I understand that too many people go to law school not really knowing why they want to go, and they pay too much money to do so. I have managed to convince myself that because I have no better options, if i can minimize the cost of law school, it would give me a second chance at networking within that community, and a law degree. Approaching the age of 26 with no connections to a traditional job makes me feel like I need to be in a community where I can meet some people and develop relationships, while getting a degree that might lead to a job, even if it is a 1 in 2 shot or something close to that.

Its difficult for me to feel sure about any of these things, and some days I think I want to go, but other days I read some negative outlook and its less encouraging. Ultimately I feel like if I can go to a T30, keep my costs loans under 60K it wouldnt be the worst idea at this point, assuming I show up and work hard and get involved in the community.

If anyone else has any comments regarding anything ive written, and also the schools i mentioned, id love to hear them.

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Re: Looking for some guidance...

Postby SnowDude » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:56 pm

I wouldn't worry too much about being a few years older than someone straight out of UG. I know several people who were in their 30s when they went to law school. It worked out fine for them. Hell, I'd suspect you'd be a better student because of the break between your education.

I'm curious, what is your current occupation?

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Re: Looking for some guidance...

Postby gabewatch » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:04 pm

Yeah, I think the break in my education has been a lot of fun, but it hasnt really gotten me anywhere. Right now I live near a mountain, and I work a few days a week at a coffee shop in a small town. I live with some close friends, and they all work as snowboard instructors, so I get to ride like 5 times a week usually. Lots of fun, but not really good for making progress towards the type of job I would want in 5 or 6 years down the line...

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