Second Thoughts

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1776
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Second Thoughts

Postby 1776 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:36 pm

I'm starting to get cold feet about attending Pitt. The COA, all three years, would be 20k total (NOT per year). I am currently wrapping up my service term with AmeriCorps.

I want to stay in PGH long term.

I can take the LSAT again in Oct. or Dec. I may qualify for extended time. I put about 4-5 months of solid studying, and improved one point each take. I absolutely can not afford a class.

I scored about 3-5 points below my average PT, with my highest score being 8 points above my actual. My top score was in the high 160s. I never broke 170.

I would be perfectly happy staying in PGH, and I'm happy with Pitt's offer. However, I feel like I may be selling myself short, and may regret not putting more into the admissions process.

I definitely want to practice law, but I enjoyed taking time off and working in non profit. My heart is in non profit. I would like to clerk, at any level, make law review.

The only schools I would seriously consider over Pitt are in the T14, and my GPA will be lower due to a CC class I took this summer to complete my degrees. My GPA would be around a 3.4, which I feel like would force me to score around 167-169 to have a chance at a top school. I had a some serious health issues in undergrad which interfered with my performance on the LSAT.

I am worried that I won't improve my score if I take time off, and already have been out of school, IMO, too long. I really miss school. I also think I could have done better if I put more time in to the LSAT. I didn't know I was eligible for accommodations for the LSAT, and would pursue this possibility further if I retake.

Is it typical to have anxiety before entering school? Is it worth taking a year off if the only schools I would consider over Pitt would be T14, because Pitt is the best school in the region I want to work?

I think my GPA may exclude me from top schools, and I'm not 100% confident I can jump the 7+ points I need in order to gain admissions to any T14. I barely scored higher on my retake, and already increased by score 18 points from my cold diagnostic (although I took it freshmen year).

Thanks for any feedback, I really appreciate the help.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:13 pm

1776 wrote:I'm starting to get cold feet about attending Pitt. The COA, all three years, would be 20k total (NOT per year). I am currently wrapping up my service term with AmeriCorps.

I want to stay in PGH long term.

I can take the LSAT again in Oct. or Dec. I may qualify for extended time. I put about 4-5 months of solid studying, and improved one point each take. I absolutely can not afford a class.

I scored about 3-5 points below my average PT, with my highest score being 8 points above my actual. My top score was in the high 160s. I never broke 170.

I would be perfectly happy staying in PGH, and I'm happy with Pitt's offer. However, I feel like I may be selling myself short, and may regret not putting more into the admissions process.

I definitely want to practice law, but I enjoyed taking time off and working in non profit. My heart is in non profit. I would like to clerk, at any level, make law review.

The only schools I would seriously consider over Pitt are in the T14, and my GPA will be lower due to a CC class I took this summer to complete my degrees. My GPA would be around a 3.4, which I feel like would force me to score around 167-169 to have a chance at a top school. I had a some serious health issues in undergrad which interfered with my performance on the LSAT.

I am worried that I won't improve my score if I take time off, and already have been out of school, IMO, too long. I really miss school. I also think I could have done better if I put more time in to the LSAT. I didn't know I was eligible for accommodations for the LSAT, and would pursue this possibility further if I retake.

Is it typical to have anxiety before entering school? Is it worth taking a year off if the only schools I would consider over Pitt would be T14, because Pitt is the best school in the region I want to work?

I think my GPA may exclude me from top schools, and I'm not 100% confident I can jump the 7+ points I need in order to gain admissions to any T14. I barely scored higher on my retake, and already increased by score 18 points from my cold diagnostic (although I took it freshmen year).

Thanks for any feedback, I really appreciate the help.


that is a good offer from Pitt, so whatever you do don't strait up reject it. Ask for a deferral. Re-take the LSAT and blow them off if you get into a T-14 next cycle.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:59 pm

You're a prime example of someone making a good decision by attending a lesser ranked school. You're attending with very little debt, in a region you have ties to and where you want to work. Feel free to retake and shoot for lower T14, but with a 3.4 you'll probably need a 169 at a minimum and a 170+ to get any money.

This is really about what you want to do and how much risk you're willing to take on to accomplish those goals. Frankly, unless your goals include biglaw or prestigious clerkships (which it doesn't sound like it is), it would seem that you would be taking on a large amount of risk for marginal gains.

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1776
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby 1776 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:09 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:You're a prime example of someone making a good decision by attending a lesser ranked school. You're attending with very little debt, in a region you have ties to and where you want to work. Feel free to retake and shoot for lower T14, but with a 3.4 you'll probably need a 169 at a minimum and a 170+ to get any money.

This is really about what you want to do and how much risk you're willing to take on to accomplish those goals. Frankly, unless your goals include biglaw or prestigious clerkships (which it doesn't sound like it is), it would seem that you would be taking on a large amount of risk for marginal gains.


I have some connections/ties in the non profit sector in PGH. I would like to do PI, for a place like the ACLU, Legal Aid, Innocence Project, etc;

Biglaw is somewhat accessible from Pitt to firms like K&L Gates and Reed Smith for the top 10-15%, from what current students say. It would be cool to make bank, since I just lived on a $900/month salary, but money is not a big deal for me. I don't plan on getting married or having kids anytime soon. I have $12k in undergrad debt. If I got a job, I could pay it all off now, if I am prudent.

After hearing all these horror stories and pessimism on this site, I'm a little nervous.

My pipedream is academia. Our current dean went to Case Western for law school, which was never a really great school, and the one before that I think went to Pitt. I've seen plenty of Prof's at TT who didn't go to T14 schools.

I don't feel that confident I can get a 169, but would I get a boost for the AmeriCorps gig and a year working for a place like Meals on Wheels (I could be a program director)? I'm feeling a lot of anxiety about LS based on testimonials on this site that it's soul sucking...

Pitt has been really great to me, and I did not deserve what they offered me, at all. I would not have gotten this offer if applications didn't drop drastically.

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JCFindley
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby JCFindley » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:32 pm

TBH Pitt sounds like an absolute perfect match for you. 20K in debt is less than you would have buying a new Honda. You like the city. You like the school. What would a T-14 really do for you that Pitt won't given your goals? Probably cost you a LOT more and even with the T-14s you can get into with a 3.4 there is still a chance you could graduate jobless. Worst case if you do that at Pitt you can mange the debt working the night shift at Wendy's WHILE you hang your own shingle and build your own business.

It sounds like you have a great opportunity right now.

Just my perspective of course.

Good luck.

JC

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romothesavior
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:01 pm

JCFindley wrote:TBH Pitt sounds like an absolute perfect match for you. 20K in debt is less than you would have buying a new Honda. You like the city. You like the school. What would a T-14 really do for you that Pitt won't given your goals? Probably cost you a LOT more and even with the T-14s you can get into with a 3.4 there is still a chance you could graduate jobless. Worst case if you do that at Pitt you can mange the debt working the night shift at Wendy's WHILE you hang your own shingle and build your own business.

It sounds like you have a great opportunity right now.

Just my perspective of course.

Good luck.

JC

I agree. As long as you are cool with missing biglaw (which you will be fine financially if you miss it), I think Pitt is a good choice for you.

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TTTehehe
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby TTTehehe » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:14 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:You're a prime example of someone making a good decision by attending a lesser ranked school. You're attending with very little debt, in a region you have ties to and where you want to work. Feel free to retake and shoot for lower T14, but with a 3.4 you'll probably need a 169 at a minimum and a 170+ to get any money.

This is really about what you want to do and how much risk you're willing to take on to accomplish those goals. Frankly, unless your goals include biglaw or prestigious clerkships (which it doesn't sound like it is), it would seem that you would be taking on a large amount of risk for marginal gains.


Looks like Pitt works best. Given your particular situation, I wouldn't attend a T14 unless they offered some nice money. And Penn would be my #1 since it's only a few hours away and is the best school in PA.

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top30man
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby top30man » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:33 pm

Pitt is a decent choice, especially with that price
Fwiw, the firms here do enjoy Pitt students and it certainly blows Duquesne out of the water. If you got big law or a regional mid law firm (Thorp, DMC, etc) you would be very well set $$$ wise. But if not, as you're well aware, COL here is tiny compared with other cities. You could live very well on a 40k small firm salary.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:58 pm

$20,000 for a law degree from the top law school in your target market. Kind of makes your parents wish that they had had twins or triplets. :D Congratulations !

TMC116
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby TMC116 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:55 am

What are the stips?

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romothesavior
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:15 am

1776 wrote:Is it typical to have anxiety before entering school?

The answer to this is definitely yes. I know I was stressing out really badly about jobs, whether I was doing the right thing, etc. So this isn't uncommon.

But make sure this anxiety is just induced by your decision of schools, and not a question of whether you are committed to law school and being a lawyer. Have you done your due diligence on whether or not you want to do this? If this is where your second thoughts are coming from, then I'd say take a year or two off.

JamesChapman23
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby JamesChapman23 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:34 am

How do you figure 20k? Is the school paying for the three years of living expenses?

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Dr. Review
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby Dr. Review » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:18 am

TMC116 wrote:What are the stips?


Usually Pitt's stip is a 3.0 (median is somewhere around 3.1)

As a Pitt student, I have to comment that Pitt absolutely kills in Western PA. The biglaw chances are pretty spot on from what OP has heard (in my experience). Most of the legal community here went to Pitt/Duquesne though, and they genuinely want to hire from those two schools. In fact, I heard from a Fed Judge's chambers directly that if you didn't go to Pitt/Duquesne, and you want to work in PGH, you better be from Penn, although that may not be the case with every employer.

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20130312
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby 20130312 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:25 am

romothesavior wrote:
1776 wrote:Is it typical to have anxiety before entering school?

The answer to this is definitely yes. I know I was stressing out really badly about jobs, whether I was doing the right thing, etc. So this isn't uncommon.


Glad to hear this. I've been stressing hard about my decision to go to law school, too.

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1776
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby 1776 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:03 pm

JamesChapman23 wrote:How do you figure 20k? Is the school paying for the three years of living expenses?


I have worked this out extensively. This is the total cost of attendance for three years, all inclusive.
romothesavior wrote:
1776 wrote:Is it typical to have anxiety before entering school?

The answer to this is definitely yes. I know I was stressing out really badly about jobs, whether I was doing the right thing, etc. So this isn't uncommon.

But make sure this anxiety is just induced by your decision of schools, and not a question of whether you are committed to law school and being a lawyer. Have you done your due diligence on whether or not you want to do this? If this is where your second thoughts are coming from, then I'd say take a year or two off.


I know I'd enjoy Working in any field of law. My heart is in non profit though. Social work would be cool, but I know I'd burn out quickly. I could see myself in the legal field for my entire career. I really want PI. I'm serving Goodwill now, and love my job. I would be happy staying here, and hopefully they'll offer me an internship.

My anxiety is about going in to debt, meeting a bunch of new people, and re starting my education. I know I'd be happy practicing law. I've been out of school, and I'm afraid law school is soul sucking after reading stuff on this site. Pre law classes were easily my favorite.
I guess I'm worried I may end up doing horrible or not getting a job. 90% of Pitt kids keep their scholarships, and the stip is median, so that's probably a good sign I'll be around median, unless I'm missing something.

I'm also anxious to start working. I love school, but I'm having fun at my job and I just want to have a stable, decent paying job now. Especially since the rest of my friends from PGH are working. I don't want to wait another three years, but I know I may regret not going. I'm really nervous about starting from scratch again in law school, and meeting new people and making friends. I've always had crippling anxiety, and it's nerve racking thinking of starting over again. I guess that's a pretty stupid reason to get cold feet, but the newness of the situation is a little overwhelming now.

Everyone's cool on facebook, but that's rarely an indication of what people are like IRL. The friend requests are rolling in now, but who knows if I'll be cool with those people after we meet. I'm considering meeting up with them before school, but I'm not sure. Has anyone done this, and did it turn out okay? I was thinking of grabbing some drinks.

I'm thinking of getting a MSW joint degree because Pitt's social work school is #11 and I think it would help me get a PI job. But I dont want to overpay and don't know if this will help me get a PI job. Anyone have insight on this?

Thanks for all of the feedback. No one in my family has attended grad school.

uchi12
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby uchi12 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:15 pm

.
Last edited by uchi12 on Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Nova
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby Nova » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:20 pm

uchi12 wrote: You're making the right decision.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby somewhatwayward » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:30 pm

uchi12 wrote:My advice from here would be to work on your anxiety problem as much as you can before you start law school-there will be plenty of stress in the road ahead, but if you work at it now it won't cripple you.


+1....are you in therapy and/or on medication?

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1776
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby 1776 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:33 pm

somewhatwayward wrote:
uchi12 wrote:My advice from here would be to work on your anxiety problem as much as you can before you start law school-there will be plenty of stress in the road ahead, but if you work at it now it won't cripple you.


+1....are you in therapy and/or on medication?


Yeah. Anxiety is really difficult to treat if you don't want to get addicted to benzos. Benzos are pretty bad for you, and really easy to hooked on, which I want to avoid. The secondary anti anxiety meds aren't that effective compared to benzos. Xanax makes me blackout, so I stopped that pretty quick and didn't want to try anything in that class of drugs.

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Law Sauce
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby Law Sauce » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:40 pm

Nova wrote:
uchi12 wrote: You're making the right decision.

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Dr. Review
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Re: Second Thoughts

Postby Dr. Review » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:33 pm

Law school doesn't have to be the soul sucking monster some people make it out to be. If you need some Pitt advice from a 3L, hit me up breh




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