Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

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arturobelano
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Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

Postby arturobelano » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:06 pm

I think a lot of my experience reinforces the advice given by experienced users and practicing attorneys on this board, so I thought I'd share my story. My numbers were 179/3.85, but I chose to pursue a different path slightly before the beginning of the CO2018 application cycle. My general takeaways are that a gap year is highly productive for considering the massive decision of going to law school, that you ought to research other fields that you may have interest in, and that you should put serious thought into the day-to-day experience of the position you'd ideally seek.

I understand that there is a lot of pressure to apply to law school from friends and family, particularly for top scorers. It can be hard to justify passing up on law school to friends when everyone is struggling to find meaningful employment post-grad and you've got a potential ticket to a T14 with a full ride. From my experience thus far, however, it is worth it to at least take some time and consider what entering the field implies. I'm not even just talking about opportunity cost: when you pursue your JD, you become a lawyer. That option, for better or worse, forecloses certain futures for both your career and your character, which are more or less irreversible dependent on the level of debt you take on.

I had planned to take a gap year well before I took the LSAT, so I'm not saying that I made the right choice with forethought - rather, that being outside of schools allows you to take a step back with regards to the anxieties and social forces that encourage things like K-JD and take a step forward personally. For me, this time in "the real world" led to me realizing that I a) had literally zero interest in BigLaw, b) only moderate interest in gov/PI and c) very little interest in the day-to-day work of being a lawyer. The first two realizations came from being a fairly frequent reader of TLS and the third from talking to lawyers; very few practicing lawyers, even in successful firms and gov law, seemed to enjoy their work. The one JD I met who thoroughly enjoyed his job was employed in a unicornish position that wasn't in any way clearly related to his training.

With regards to finding another field, I had been considering other options parallel to law school for about a year prior. This past summer, I participated in a pre-professional program for that field and found I deeply enjoyed it; I had found the field through a combination of serendipity and research of the practicalities of the field. (Most generally, it's a public health subfield.) I've been admitted with full funding to two T7 Masters' programs in my chosen field. If you are a top candidate for law school, there's a likelihood you've got the tools to succeed in something else as well. If you're not a top candidate for law school, there are a hell of a lot other fields that are a hell of a lot less saturated that don't stack humans in the same way law school does (a hierarchy dictated by a very specific and not terribly applicable set of skills.)

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romothesavior
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Re: Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

Postby romothesavior » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:41 pm

Great post, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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swampman
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Re: Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

Postby swampman » Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:46 pm

If you retake for that 180 your options might be better.

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Pragmatic Gun
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Re: Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:09 pm

swampman wrote:If you retake for that 180 your options might be better.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:18 pm

good post, more people, especially KJDs need to realize they dont HAVE to go to law school

arturobelano
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Re: Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

Postby arturobelano » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:21 pm

swampman wrote:If you retake for that 180 your options might be better.


I know, I know. Cooley told me they'd knock 25% off my tuition if I got my score up.

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jetsfan1
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Re: Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

Postby jetsfan1 » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:21 am

For someone in the same boat as you deciding if law school is the right move but very wary about it, this was a great post. Thanks for that.

And when I say same boat, I mean with the decision, not the great stats haha.

arturobelano
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

Postby arturobelano » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:48 pm

jetsfan1 wrote:For someone in the same boat as you deciding if law school is the right move but very wary about it, this was a great post. Thanks for that.

And when I say same boat, I mean with the decision, not the great stats haha.


Glad to help! (Although, admittedly a little reluctant to help a Jets fan. I hope you're excited to see how Geno deals with Sexy Rexy's defenses twice this year.)

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FairchildFLT
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Re: Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

Postby FairchildFLT » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:52 pm

arturobelano wrote:
jetsfan1 wrote:For someone in the same boat as you deciding if law school is the right move but very wary about it, this was a great post. Thanks for that.

And when I say same boat, I mean with the decision, not the great stats haha.


Glad to help! (Although, admittedly a little reluctant to help a Jets fan. I hope you're excited to see how Geno deals with Sexy Rexy's defenses twice this year.)


I think you mean how Mariota is going to deal....

arturobelano
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: Choosing Against Law School as a Top Scorer

Postby arturobelano » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:34 pm

FairchildFLT wrote:
arturobelano wrote:
jetsfan1 wrote:For someone in the same boat as you deciding if law school is the right move but very wary about it, this was a great post. Thanks for that.

And when I say same boat, I mean with the decision, not the great stats haha.


Glad to help! (Although, admittedly a little reluctant to help a Jets fan. I hope you're excited to see how Geno deals with Sexy Rexy's defenses twice this year.)


I think you mean how Mariota is going to deal....


No way he's dropping to 6th. If the Titans pass him up, Kelly will probably trade the farm to bring him in.




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