Congrats TLS, You've Won!

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JustJeff375
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Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby JustJeff375 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:33 am

You convinced someone who does not belong in Law School not to go. Your hard work has paid off.

I have decided NOT to go to law school. I don't have the numbers to get into a school that justifies the cost of attending. I applied two cycles ago and got into some shitty t3 and t4's, wait-listed at my "number 1" school a local t2 that places ok in this city. It also boasts a LST score of about 47%.. I figure I'm most likely to end up near the median and that means that I won't have a job that requires a JD when I'm done.

I convinced myself the first go around that "I'd work hard" and "I have built a pretty good network in the legal community here so I'll definitely get a job" Oh and get this I even went and got a job as a paralegal thinking that would "help me get my foot in the door" hahahaha what a joke. I was going to apply again this cycle but have decided not to bother. I actually have a .1 higher GPA than last time because I hadn’t graduated yet when I submitted my application. I have a letter of rec from a prof at the law school. I’m relatively positive I’d get in, but for what..

Anywho I have FINALLY come to the realization that this isn't for me. Sure, even if I was able to land some job out of law school chances are I'd start at roughly 50k/yr.. I could do what I really want to do, and thus far the only thing that I have even begun to develop any kind of experience for, but I'd have to pay about 2k per month to do so, which means I'll be 35 by the time I can even think about buying a home, going on a trip to someplace new, or really even establishing myself in my job etc... you know the type of things that most people do in their mid to late 20's.


Enough ranting. You get the idea. I've come here to ask advice for a couple of reasons number one being that I have to assume there are others like me on here who know in their gut that law school is a poor choice for them. You may even have a shitty degree like me because you thought "this is perfect for law school" my particular strain is actually a double useless major, Sociology (the massive suck) and Criminal Justice (surprisingly not from a community college and I picked it up mostly because I didn't want to graduate in 3 years / thought it would look good on a law school app / I was naive / naive / naive....)

I've also come to you because you maybe possess some of the same skills as me. You have a liberal arts degree you can read, write, analyze, etc.

What are other career paths? Every job search I do just turns up a bunch of things I'm not qualified for, not interested in, or just know absolutely nothing about.

tl;dr

I'm finally to the point.. Since you didn't go to law school, WHAT ELSE DID YOU DECIDE ON??

There is a downside to deciding against going to law school.. you have to actually choose something else.

I have no technical skills really..
I only have experience in Criminal law (although I do keep the books, but no real accounting background)
DO NOT want to be a cop.
DO NOT want to double down on another worthless degree but I am open to more school as long as it leads to a job
Not overly concerned about income, just don't want to pay 2k a month to earn 50k
I like to feel essential.. or at least needed.
I'm not passionate about anything really. I don't care about helping people. I like physical sciences but I am not great at higher level math.

TLS what are some career ideas for a non-lawyer??

06162014123
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Postby 06162014123 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:51 am

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Last edited by 06162014123 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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cinephile
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby cinephile » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:51 am

First, congratulations on your decision not to go to law school.

Second, if you want "technical" skills, have you thought about getting bachelors like in engineering - like in Germany or Iceland? You could go to school there (even as a foreigner) for a nominal fee. You'd still need living expenses, but you can get those by borrowing from the dept of education (even to go to foreign schools). How much fun would it be to live in Iceland for 3 years? So, so much fun.

Or you could do an alternative teacher licensing program.

Or you could become an apprentice to someone in some sort of technical field. At my local tattoo parlour, they're taking apprentices. The pay is variable, but it sounds like a really cool profession with a lot of potential liability.

Also, if you've just graduated, don't worry about figuring it all out yet. Just spend a few years trying out different things, travel, find yourself. Seriously.

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Louis1127
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby Louis1127 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:02 pm

I am happy for you that you feel you have made the right decision.

In my job search, which is in an earlier stage than yours, I have found that the best thing I can do is to be open-minded. You (and me :D ) have a BA. We ain't engineers. So look for anything: administrative assistant positions, event coordinating positions, ANYTHING, even if it doesn't pay well. Hell, look into business internships in your hometown and try and make it work by living with your parents or something.

Best of luck to you.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:13 pm

Forget about your degree. For 90% of college graduates, their degree didn't teach them anything they will use on the job. It's just a credential that says you've done something. A ticket to the dance, but you gotta learn how to dance yourself.

If I was you, I would research companies / government entities and find places that you really, really like. Then target a cover letter and resume specifically for that entity. Show up at their door. Shake hands, be enthusiastic and professional. I've gotten a couple entry level gigs using exactly this approach (think 25k/30k positions OR temp positions that led to previously mentioned low paying jobs). The good news is that people do work their way up, so long as they remain interested in the job and do good work, and their salaries can go up as well.

Have thick skin. Realize you are probably going to get a bunch of no's before you get a yes. Before you start, go to the library and read books on interviewing, networking, making people like you, etc. Have the self awareness to know that EVERYONE could gain something from reading these materials, despite how awesome we all think we are. With the right approach you can get a job, especially if you have any type of safety net that will provide you with a few months to start out. Your up against a poor economy, but many people in our generation (millennials, whatever) have poor attitudes / poor methods while job searching and you can use this to your advantage.

GL.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:30 pm

Being a cop is sick, dude. Academy in my area pays $35 an hour. That's what I'm gunning for as I'm studying for my retake.

But congrats on your decision. I may be following your path if A. I get into the academy or B. My retake and cycle both suck.

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BmoreOrLess
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby BmoreOrLess » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:21 pm

If there's any financial firms in your area, I'd apply to any operations positions they have. They generally don't require any specific majors or finance knowledge, and depending on who you go and work for it can be possible to make it to the front office, it will just take a lot of hustle and hard work.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:01 pm

BmoreOrLess wrote:If there's any financial firms in your area, I'd apply to any operations positions they have. They generally don't require any specific majors or finance knowledge, and depending on who you go and work for it can be possible to make it to the front office, it will just take a lot of hustle and hard work.

Definitely this. Look for home or satellite offices of big banks and brokerage firms.

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Cicero76
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby Cicero76 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:16 pm

If it's something you could find an interest in, I'd suggest teaching. Great hours, (sometimes) rewarding work, and decent pay.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:43 pm

Cicero76 wrote:If it's something you could find an interest in, I'd suggest teaching. Great hours, (sometimes) rewarding work, and decent pay.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby iamgeorgebush » Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:05 am

OP said he doesn't care about helping people. OP, please don't become one of those teachers who doesn't care about his/her students.

How about marketing or advertising? Or better yet...marketing for bail bonds agencies. ;)

RoaringMice
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby RoaringMice » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:38 pm

He's unlikely to be able to get a job in marketing without some marketing-related work under his belt, including an internship.

Which leads me to ask - what did you do in terms of activities, clubs on campus - what roles did you have? Did you do any volunteer work for your uni? What part-time jobs and internships did you do? Because all of that could lead to a path to employment. For example, a degree in any field, plus some customer-facing work experience of any type (including fast food, counter help, etc.), could lead you to customer service, and would also qualify you to enter the management training programs for companies like Hertz and Sherwin-Williams and the big retaillers like Macy's, as well as into a buyer training program for Macys or similar.

If you don't mind listing what types of roles you had in campus clubs or activities, what volunteer work and internships you had, if any, and what paid work experience you have, I may be able to point you toward some options.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby Scotusnerd » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:07 pm

Cicero76 wrote:If it's something you could find an interest in, I'd suggest teaching. Great hours, (sometimes) rewarding work, and decent pay.


Opposite opinion. Don't do teaching. Avoid it like the plague. Public schools are HORRIBLE right now, and I know teachers that are getting into pretty serious substance abuse to cope with the problems.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby ManoftheHour » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:22 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:
Cicero76 wrote:If it's something you could find an interest in, I'd suggest teaching. Great hours, (sometimes) rewarding work, and decent pay.


Opposite opinion. Don't do teaching. Avoid it like the plague. Public schools are HORRIBLE right now, and I know teachers that are getting into pretty serious substance abuse to cope with the problems.


Is it worse than being unemployed?

Not arguing that it does not suck. I know of 3 teachers that all hate their jobs. One is considering the military.

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JazzOne
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby JazzOne » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:31 pm

I taught at a public high school for several years prior to law school, and it was a mess, though I think it's a bit dramatic to blame substance abuse on such an easy job. 8 to 4 every day. Three months off in the summer and another month off for Christmas, thanksgiving, spring break, etc. I used to just laugh at the teachers in the lounge bitching about the pay, as if they could pull $40K plus bennies in the private sector for essentially 8 months of work. Lol @ teachers.

Having said that, do not go into teaching if you don't care about helping others. That's not going to work out well for anyone. But if you are a sincere individual looking for a stepping stone in your career, teaching can be quite rewarding.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby Scotusnerd » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:26 am

JazzOne wrote:I taught at a public high school for several years prior to law school, and it was a mess, though I think it's a bit dramatic to blame substance abuse on such an easy job. 8 to 4 every day. Three months off in the summer and another month off for Christmas, thanksgiving, spring break, etc. I used to just laugh at the teachers in the lounge bitching about the pay, as if they could pull $40K plus bennies in the private sector for essentially 8 months of work. Lol @ teachers.

Having said that, do not go into teaching if you don't care about helping others. That's not going to work out well for anyone. But if you are a sincere individual looking for a stepping stone in your career, teaching can be quite rewarding.



Believe me, it's getting worse. And no, it's not worse than being unemployed, but there are 50% more first-year teachers in the local school district than there are experienced teachers. The turnover rate is huge.

JustJeff375
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby JustJeff375 » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:33 pm

Thanks for all of the responses.

To be clear I make decent money now, I have a salary with decent benefits. The criminal defense firm that I work at is rather prestigious and we just won a big case that's been covered by national media.

I like the people I work with and for. I like working in the city. I handle a lot of things here at the office, I play more of a general manager role i.e. (payroll, I handle marketing, I keep the books, deal with insurnace, deal with any kind of gov't regulation type things, draft and file pleadings, do some legal research, answer phones/ communicate more basic info to clients, handle our subsidiary company, manage our website, all clerical stuff and housekeeping..) I have worked here for a year, had an internship at the prosecutor's office, and worked briefly at a bankruptcy firm. I have a pretty good idea of what it takes to be an attorney and am confident that I would be successful at it but I just don't want that much debt.

I'm not overly concerned about landing another job, I just don't know what to do after. I've been so focussed on learning the skills to become an attorney that I'm not sure what other fields I can transfer them too.
I'm not considering teaching at that level. I would possibly consider earning a Ph.D in soc and teach at the collegiate level but that's about it.

Most of the jobs in business that I see advertised want a business/finance/marketing/mba/ or related degree. If I can get an interview I know that I can sell my sociology degree well enough to at least be considered.

Also I know that I can be a secretary/administration/book keeper type employee in any field really. Which is ok i suppose as other fields besides legal may offer more room for growth.

But Idk being an admin for another 3 years just sounds so boring.

I think someone asked what my other skills are and maybe that is helpful in determining what direction to go. I've been working since I was 13 - I ran my own mowing service in and around my neighborhood for three summers and had many steady clients and "employed" another kid in the neighborhood, Worked at Target all through high school in various positions, interned as a graphic designer, worked various positions in a printing shop in college, worked at a clothing retail store, I'm a licensed Realtor (I don't have enough money to do this full time and after about three months of trying really hard to drum up business was forced to get a job that paid regularly and put this on the back burner), prosecutor intern (forfeiture division and found a mentor in major felony to follow around for a few months, bankruptcy paralegal, criminal defense legal assistant.

Despite my sloppy post on here I am not a bad writer, when given enough information I can see big picture ideas and have a sense of how to improve them, not terrible with attention to detail but it takes more effort, wouldn't mind traveling for work, I can sell things that I know inside and out but struggle to sell things I'm unfamiliar with (don't really want a sales job though - especially not commission only), I learn things quickly if I'm given a little bit of rope for trial and error or have decent instruction, I'd like to wear a suit and tie but would consider other things, sometimes I imagine myself logging, or gold mining, or doing something from an episode of dirty jobs as a mental retreat, other times I like to envision myself as a cross between James Bond and Ron Swanson (I know this is ridiculous, but I figure the more I spill the beans here there is a better chance someone might get a real sense of what I'm after and have a cool solution)

I am comfortable knowing that I will have to climb my way up in whatever I do because I got the wrong degree. I just want to be able to have some sense of where the next step is.


Thanks again for any advice

JustJeff375
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby JustJeff375 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:00 pm

Come on TLS you've got to have something. You're all constantly telling people who've done little but prepare for law school that didn't get into a t14 to either retake or go do something else.

What other kinds of things may be equally fulfilling?


Also, read my post above for more details about my specific situation if you feel inclined.

Also, to those still considering throwing down huge cash to go to crappy law schools, let me just say that it feels super liberating to decide to look elsewhere for employment opportunity.

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twenty
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby twenty » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:28 pm

A couple of posters have already given some great feedback, but to expound a bit further -- you haven't really given us a lot to work off of. It's like if you said, "What should my favorite color be? You've all dissuaded me from Orange, and I personally don't like Black or Green. I'm equally down with any other color." Okay.

I always get ragged on for sounding like a recruiter, but I firmly believe becoming a military officer is one of the best deals out there for a liberal arts grad. That's not everyone's thing, so I'm not necessarily suggesting that to you. I know a lot of folks that have had tons of success as paralegals. That may not be you either. There've been several TLSers that, on abandoning law school, went back to undergrad for two years and got their degrees in engineering. You may hate math more than anything.

The thing is, there is one "color" that fits you, and none of us are qualified to tell you what that perfect "color" is. Obviously many things are better than a terrible law school with lots of debt, but that doesn't mean that some options are better/worse for you than others. I hate farming, but one of my good friends who decided not to go to med school started an organic farm and is now making quite a bit of money. He knows better than to recommend that option to me, because I would rather cut off my own toes first.

Does that make sense?

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:30 pm

ManoftheHour wrote:Being a cop is sick, dude.

JustJeff375
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby JustJeff375 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:08 pm

I'm fishing for career ideas. I'm not asking anyone to know my career calling.

To make it fit your analogy - I know that I like "cool colors" (blues, greens, purples) but what are some of the readers of this site's favorites.

Let me ask this another way. If you weren't going to law school what else might you do? I'm framing this (and asking the question on TLS rather than a general career message board) in a way that assumes each person on this board has something in common with me, a desire to learn, a desire to be able to engage a problem and come to a favorable resolution, the desire to advocate, the desire to have the answers, the ability to gather pieces of information and use them to your benefit. I'm asking this here with the assumption that the reader understands that I want to be an attorney, but realize that it isn't the best option based on the job market and where I stack up compared to others who want the good positions.

I don't think every job that fulfills these desires reside in being an attorney. I don't know if anyone has ever looked at a list of careers, but they are filled with very generic positions. What are some more specific positions that are maybe more obscure and not talked about often?

This probably is best answered in anecdotal form, "One time I worked for a company and drove their delivery truck around to start out, but after my boss saw how much more efficient I was than other drivers she promoted me to be in charge of managing our other drivers routes. It allowed me to provide the answers my boss and fellow delivery people were seeking. Eventually I moved onto a fulfilling career in a logistics company where I currently solve large scale supply chain problems that save companies millions of dollars a year on fuel and shipping costs. I also am able to advocate for Green shipping which is important to me."

I'm not asking for Blue or Black or Orange. Instead just a few ideas on where else to get started looking. Even if its not something I care about personally, hearing what others find interesting could certainly spur some Ideas.

If this thread actually had some good ideas the posters of TLS could refer others who just aren't cut out for the T14 schools here in order to get some ideas on what else they could do. I think that part of the reason these people are still paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a worthless law degree is because they simply don't know what other paths they could take.
Last edited by JustJeff375 on Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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objection_your_honor
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby objection_your_honor » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:12 pm

Get another BA in computer science.

For a specific position: software developer. I have a friend who did this after working at a bakery with his humanities degree. His first job after the computer science degree is for a tech giant making six figures.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:19 pm

1) the logistics manager person you envision probably isn't here to give advice. This is a board full of prelaw students, law students, and lawyers, after all. There are obviously some non-law people here and law people know non-law people, but I don't think this is your best bet for career advice.

2) do not get a PhD and try to get a job teaching college sociology.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby iamgeorgebush » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:32 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:1) the logistics manager person you envision probably isn't here to give advice. This is a board full of prelaw students, law students, and lawyers, after all. There are obviously some non-law people here and law people know non-law people, but I don't think this is your best bet for career advice.

2) do not get a PhD and try to get a job teaching college sociology.

+1 on both counts. Especially number 2...the job market for PhDs is as bad as job market for lawyers.

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Otunga
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Re: Congrats TLS, You've Won!

Postby Otunga » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:50 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:1) the logistics manager person you envision probably isn't here to give advice. This is a board full of prelaw students, law students, and lawyers, after all. There are obviously some non-law people here and law people know non-law people, but I don't think this is your best bet for career advice.

2) do not get a PhD and try to get a job teaching college sociology.

+1 on both counts. Especially number 2...the job market for PhDs is as bad as job market for lawyers.


The job market for professors is arguably much, much worse, particularly for humanities degrees. I almost attended graduate school in philosophy, and while I didn't get into a PhD program, even if I did and it was one at a top 10 program (ranking is essentially arbitrary though, as philosophy grad admissions and job hiring are both very idiosyncratic), my chances at a desirable tenure-track professor job were still probably about 25%. It appears most people end up in post-docs and work as adjuncts.

That said, PhDs are generally free and it's the opportunity cost you have to take into account. That, and it becomes damn near impossible to appeal to non-academic employers since you've invested yourself into such an esoteric discipline.




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