Is law school for me?

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EzraStiles
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby EzraStiles » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:29 pm

Not to be mean, but there's no way you're going to make it as a writer if this is indicative of your skills...

I would recommend that you go into teaching, and I can recommend you do Teach For America (a program of debatable merit- but that's beside the point). You can tell you parents that being in TFA will get some money in your pocket and get you application fee waivers to a lot of law schools after the two year commitment runs out.

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Vincent Vega
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby Vincent Vega » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:38 pm

Go ahead and write. Don't listen to the haters. Law school can wait. It's not like you're going next year anyway, if you haven't taken LSAT yet/aren't signed up for February.

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kurla88
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby kurla88 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:47 pm

No.

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nematoad
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby nematoad » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:48 pm

how you feel is probably how many law students feel. there is no correct answer. do what you think feels right and don't ever look back... ever.

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kazu
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby kazu » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:23 pm

OP, I feel for you. Especially since I know how the whole Korean parents thing can get. Yes we're adults and yes we should be making up our own minds, living our own lives etc. but when you're dealing with a centuries old culture that still firmly believes that children, no matter what their age, should respect and obey their parents, and the fact is if you still like your parents (for the most part) and you don't want to live the rest of your life completely estranged from them, their opinions will unfortunately weigh in your decision-making.

That being said, I think you should go to law school, at least for now. Do you know if your grandfather will still pay for law school, even if you take a few years off to pursue a writing career? Plus, I agree with these two posts:

beesknees wrote:
 One of my recommenders, who is a published author, urged me and anyone who "wants to write" to find some other means to sustain their livelihood, lol. She said the publishing and screenwriting world is a bitch, though both she and her brother are very successful (I measure success as having screenplays of movies that I actually saw in theaters, kind of thing). She wholeheartedly supported my move to go to law school, despite my ambitions to be a published novelist. She said for most people, they had to work "to maintain the writing habit."

She pointed out that a lot of famous novelists had real jobs. Ernest Hemmingway was a journalist. Williams Carlos Williams (poet, but close enough) was a doctor. Very very few people have the priviledge of being able to make a career out of writing alone, especially at the beginning.


BenJ wrote:Even for law school, you should be doing something productive in the mean time. Teaching is productive--trying to get contracts as a writer and being unsuccessful is not. Writing is NOT a field to enter immediately upon graduation unless you are in the position to get a writing contract prior to graduation, no matter what your future intentions are. Writing is something you get into while you have a stable alternative revenue source. That doesn't mean going to law school. It could mean doing something completely different, like teaching or IR grad school or working in politics or something the OP hasn't even thought of yet. But writing is an incredibly risky career path, even in the best of times. You need something else stable before you start trying to enter writing--either an existing career or a spouse who can provide for both of you for a while if writing doesn't work out.


I think it's incredibly rare for a writer to be able to live off of his/her writing right from the beginning. Do you know how you will support yourself while pursuing a writing career? And, honestly, the few years in law school / working as a lawyer and saving up funds to support your "hobby" might give you experience that could help your writing. Min Jin Lee, Korean-American author of "Free Food for Millionaires" (great book by the way) did just that - she went to law school, worked as a lawyer, and then quit to write full time. I think that's the case for most writers - they had day jobs they could live off of before "making it" as a writer.

I also agree with the person who said that it would be difficult to get into a strong grad school or become employed after being a failed writer for a few years. Yes, work experience can be a good soft for law school, but if you're a failed writer you won't have much work experience you can actually show them.

As for the whole "you don't deserve to go to law school / you can't do well in law school if you have to ask whether you want to be here" argument, well I'm still 0L so I can't vouch for how hard law school is. It does sound incredibly difficult. But if you do decide to go, I don't think you'll be the type to half-ass it once you're there.

I'm going to stop now because I think this post is getting to be longer than OP's....

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FunkyJD
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby FunkyJD » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:02 am

I've actually lived and worked in Hollywood for a bit. Not claiming to be the ultimate authority, but from my experience, here's my opinion:

I can't speak to the NYC scene, because I've never been a part of it. I can tell you, though, that unless you have a direct "in" through a family or friend's connection, or a connection through a reputable academic program of some sort, then yes, you're going to have a hell of a time doing much of anything in Los Angeles aside from poorly paid PA gigs. Maybe through time, and relentless, daily networking, something may come of it, but five years from now, you could just as easily be pumping gas in Brentwood and be not an inch closer to your goal. All of the passion in the world for your craft won't change that cold, hard reality of life in the industry. "When you wish upon a star," sometimes not a damn thing happens.

On the other hand ... if you went to law school, gratis, you could become an entertainment lawyer, and learn from the inside how the industry works, and meet the right (or is it write :wink: ) people ... and volunteer one day that you have something maybe someone could look at. If they like it, maybe you go somewhere. If not, you can still work in the industry that you enjoy.

This, to me, sounds like your best bet, in terms of opportunity and risk management. It's far from a certain bet, but it's a higher percentage play than showing up in LA or NYC full of enthusiasm, and a portfolio, and hoping that someone will care. (Now if you happen to be a 5'10" blonde, then yes, they will almost certainly care, but that presents another set of complications ...)

liberty
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby liberty » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:04 am

Don't be an idiot and throw your chance at law school away. If choose to become a writer and explore your "artistic side" you'll probably end up with all the other morons who thought they were creative or talented but are now standing in the unemployment line for meager food and cash handouts.


But, on the other hand, there's always the chance that you'll become a brilliant writer, and you're wasting your talent by becoming a lawyer.

-----------


Now which of these scenarios is more likely?

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reasonabledoubt
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby reasonabledoubt » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:29 am

kpuc wrote:I'm a senior at Brown University who is majoring in International Relations (studying Russian as my foreign language). With graduation coming up soon, and having to deal with endless questions about what my post-college plans are, I usually tell people that I plan to go to law school in the near future. But I am ambivalent about the prospect.

Here's some background on my situation. I come from a middle class family, and I had no intention of going to an expensive Ivy League university until my wealthy grandfather offered to pay for it. But I ended up getting a big financial aid package from Brown so my family has managed to pay for college by ourselves. Therefore, my would-be college fund from my grandfather has now become my future law school fund. In short, I will have no debts from undergraduate college (my aid package was mostly a grant) and will have no debts coming out of law school should I choose to attend.

My parents mainly see law school as a safety net for me, because they're the kind of parents that can't imagine well-paying and respectable careers outside of medicine, business, or law. And since I am looking at the prospect of obtaining a JD degree without debt accumulation that could compromise my freedom for the future, I sometimes also figure that – in the absence of a clear life plan after college – law school isn't a bad way to spend the next few years of my life, especially if it's in an interesting place to live like New York.

The thing is that my true passion in life is writing, but it is not something out of which a reliable career can be made. I have reason to believe that I have some talent in this field (I've won a thousand dollar short fiction prize at my university, won a screenplay contest and wrote/directed a TV pilot episode for student TV, and had a short play chosen for festival and put on by student theare), but those are by no means any guarantee. Also, I don't really want to depend on my writing for my livelihood, in case I have to resort to hackery just to put food on the table. It is not a requirement nor expectation for me that my career also be my passion because I know there's no real job listing out there for “novelist” or “short story writer”. I just want to find a career to support my passion until one day, I will hopefully become good enough so that those two can finally converge. But I have no ambitions or delusions of coming out of college as a 22-year old and being able to live solely as a writer.

Truth be told, if money and parental expectations were no matter, I'd become a screenwriter or get involved with theatre somehow. I've entertained the idea of taking the LSATs during the summer after graduation, and since those scores are valid for 5 years, spend some time working in the theatre world. But my parents insist that I complete whatever schooling I need to do while I'm young, and explore my interests later. Sometimes, I feel like this is a way to funnel me and hope that my creative ambitions are snuffed out by the grind of law school.

But I am not completely indifferent to law. Politics and international law are of particular interest in me. I could see myself happy if I pursue a certain path in law school. And I have to admit that the security of a law degree and a steady respectable future are at least somewhat enticing; I'd hate to envision myself 10 years from now as some kind of Hollywood hack or pulp fiction manufacturer. Plus, there is a lot of family pressure on me as the eldest child to establish myself in society.

Some people have a single passion and a single gift, and unless they follow and utilize them, they are miserable. I'm not like that. There are futures in law where I could be happy. It wouldn't be my number one passion, but it doesn't have to be. Being a lawyer won't preclude me from trying to sell stories and getting published, though time management will be an issue. People like John Grisham and David E. Kelley have shown that it's possible to try to pursue your creative dreams while being in the law professions. They are exceptional cases certainly, but they do show that it's possible.
I'm just worried that I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too. I feel like if I am as interested in writing as I say I am, then I need to go all in and throw everything I've got at it. But I am also interesting in certain aspects of law as well. Security vs. passion. It it possible to fulfill both in life?


I was once like you - fresh out of undergrad and so full of idealism. Then, I entered the professional world for about a decade. Let me be as clear as possible; you're living in a fantasy world with fantasy perspectives and fantasy like interpretations of things. I'm not being rude or trying to soul-crush in any way, but I am saying you will look back at what you just wrote above after 5-10 years and realize the hilarity of your naivety. Save it... you'll see. One bit of advice: It might be worth working, supporting and living on your own for a few years. You'll learn a lot and it'll prepare you for law school. Good luck.
Last edited by reasonabledoubt on Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cupidity
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby Cupidity » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:32 am

I hate OP.

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FunkyJD
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby FunkyJD » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:09 am

Cupidity wrote:I hate OP.


Don't hate the playa, hate the game.

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reasonabledoubt
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby reasonabledoubt » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:11 am

FunkyJD wrote:
Cupidity wrote:I hate OP.


Don't hate the playa, hate the game.


I don't think the OP fully understands the "game" of life yet. Does that count?

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FunkyJD
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby FunkyJD » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:14 am

reasonabledoubt wrote:
FunkyJD wrote:
Cupidity wrote:I hate OP.


Don't hate the playa, hate the game.


I don't think the OP fully understands the "game" of life yet. Does that count?


Fair enough. Let's say he's in training camp.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:15 am

This post reminds me of another I saw once on TLS, the wisdom of which the OP should learn to appreciate:

I come to you all today as an under represented pre law student or rather law school hopeful in desperate need of some help. The problem is not so much of career path or educational path guidance or concerns and rather the problem I am undergoing at the moment is my FOB parents..... actually not so much my Mother as much as my Father. I am assuming now everyone knows or has heard of the term of "FOB" --- "Fresh of the Boat"
For those of you who do not know what that means, well in a nutshell your parents are immigrants who migrated to this wonderful free country; The United States of America, and you as a law school hopeful are a naturalized citizen or in other words born in this great country and have to the point where you wish to pursue something that you are 99.9999% certain you want to go for it with your 150% effort but cant seem to just convince your parents to nudge if you will and allow you to pursue your goal in the said problem. Usually this can be attributed to the parents mind-set mentality in respect to their own experiences on any number of personal problems or hardships they may have undergone while migrating or after migrating to this great country we all live in.

If that made any sense well then please bare with me while I explain now the problem...
So yes I am a citizen, and a naturalized citizen, being born and proudly raised in this great country, I have come to the point in my life that I have finally decided what it is I wish to pursue academically and career wise that will hopefully become the foundation for my success. Ofcourse most of you may have guessed what that is; law school!!
One would only expect their parents to be filled with joy, encouragement, a sense of pride, etc and the list goes on and on at the notion that their son having such high hopes and aspirations to now do something that they never could have let alone thought of doing -law school.... well unfortunately for me this is not the reality or the expected outcome that I had hoped.... and this not only makes me a bit confused, but more so a bit sad while also angry and shocked.


Now here is the twist as some of you who read the thread title saw that I said "high prospects" Before I go any further, please note that if I did not believe in myself that I could academically speaking prove everyone who doubted me 100% that I am true to my goals and will and can meet them head on 100%, then why would I or anyone in such a scenario bother to proceed any further..... does not may make any sense right... well this is exactly what I thought until I realized, this is not me!!!!


In fact, having gone through the educational system that this great country offers us, from preschool to middle school to high school and then even to college and mind you more than half of that was via private schools and not public schools and when it was in public schools, I was distinguished as a high honor roll student consistently meeting or beating expectations by teachers who doubted me, by school benchmarks and hell even the basic instructional criteria that most public high schools expected of students almost 10 years ago. So what am I referring to in high school then, well nothing profound other than the actual state of California educational standards used in public high schools.... if you guessed it YES, I am talking about the high school proficiency exam.


10 years ago the only people in my town which I will choose not to disclose the name of in this public forum & will ask you respect my choice in doing so, had never ever even heard of a high school student challenging the states educational standards by which how they produce a graduating senior class student that meets the minimum required standards to be eligible for and recognized by the state of California for graduation with a diploma. Well I was the first to do this in my school and probably also in my entire town and I live in a fairly big town with a largely diverse community of people. That is, I took and passed the High School Proficiency Exam with flying colors during my first two months in my junior year in high school. And the funny thing is, by doing so, one can choose to leave high school early with a CA state issued diploma with an accompanying letter by the state education department verifying the legitimacy and authenticity of such a diploma by choice of challenging an exam or rather the CA educational high school standards.


Of course since the high school counselors were shocked at this they had little to zero guidance for me on how to build on this successful achievement or rather to put it very blunt, how I may be able to use this to my advantage for the purpose of academic advancement. I remember my father doubting me in that I would pass this exam and also doubting the integrity of the exam itself after having passed it and even called up the counselors at my high school asking pretty much the same things I asked but without all the hype and determined with motivational type way and only after repeated calls did my school counselor finally admit to my father the truth of what this kind of achievement a high school student earns can actually mean to not only the student but the high school also. Now the counseler did not actually give the response to my father with such positive tone let alone emphasis how great an achievement such as this is for the student and how the student can advance with it, so that said let me tell you, if a high school student passes this exam then the school must be bound by the state education code (at least 10 yrs ago they were, not sure about present day) to allow the student and his/her parents to option to remove the student from the high school traditional education 9 - 12 system and allow the student at his/her will to pursue further education through whats called today as "the college early start program" in most community and junior colleges around California. I cannot speak for other states. But the counselor of course did not divulge too much into the benefits of passing this exam and actually went into a little bit of detail on how passing the exam and then optioning to leave the high school would be bad for the high school. How so is it bad you ask? Well as law students or even pre-law students I think you all can understand this problem very simply put that if a student misses or does not attend school, that for every day missed or not attended, the school as a public one will loose money in the amount equivalent to that of the student that would have therefore been granted to the school had the student attended that given school day. (at least this is how it was 10 yrs ago here in CA) So to put this in a computational term; X number of school days missed as result of leaving school multiplied by X number of state awarded dollars to the school per student equals X number of total dollars lost.


And you think why sometimes the high school cops on campus go to students place of residence and drag them to school after X number of absences excused or not.... the term "truancy" should ring a bell here... but anyways not to get off topic..


So from here on out, I was sort of my own counselor since my teachers and my counselors at my high school really didn't give a dam what I would do next, which sucked since in my family I was at this point the first to not only graduate from high school a year and half early but the first to go to college a year and half early. Bare in mind though even at this point the FOB parents and the uncle are involved in my decisions. So some positive guidance from my school counselors in my opinion could have really given me the edge I needed to academically advance beyond my wildest dreams. Well unfortunately that didn't happen and I'm angry to this day about that, I just don't think about it too much and rather focus on my current academics at present hand.


Now understand though that at the time some had said to me and even doubted me, well you know even if you pass the exam what are you going to do. In response to that, I said simply what any other motivated, academically challenged and determined student in my opinion would say, and that was that I would further my education with high hopes of starting college 1 and a half year earlier than the normal college student would.


Unfortunately at the time my counselors were very I dont want to say racist or biased but to some degree of those terms they would sometimes act like that and since I was in high school in my junior year which I believe this was a year after 9/11 these same counselors would always question where I wanted to go with my education and what I wanted to do but in a non useful way. I remember my assigned counselor by first letter of last name had said to me one day that I had went into her office to ask questions about a class I wanted to take, she said to me "How do you feel about what happened on 9/11?" and ironically and out of complete coincidence this question was asked during the same week our US history class was discussing the topic but for actual academic learning experience if you will and not for any other reason. Well I said the same thing I said when my US History teacher put me on the spot light in front of everyone in class, and this was a honest and genuine answer despite many were in disbelief with my response and hey that's just the world we live in today. But I simply said, "Well I believe what happened that day was a very tragic and unfortunate event for many Americans regardless of their faith, and that those responsible should be brought to justice and should answer for their actions they chose to impose on the innocent people that day which resulted in the tragic event we all will remember for a very long time."


Now someone in my shoes would expect such a genuine and heart filled response to be accepted without any doubt, but unfortunately this was not the case and instead of taking any degree of satisfaction with my response to the question asked, the counselor then went on to ask after looking at my high school transcript and hearing that I wanted to take an Arabic class to fulfill the foreign language requirements for high school graduation and the University of CA requirements, that I should consider becoming a language interpreter as this kind of field would be in her opinion be well suited for someone like me.


Now I did not take offense to such a comment, rather I was puzzled as to why she would make such a recommendation when she knowingly already fully understood that I wanted to go to medical school at the time and this is where I set my goals to since early freshman year of high school. Not only that, but the same counselor knew my dad was a physician and also she was the counselor for my older brother about 6 years earlier from my time at this high school and knew that my older brother wanted to study medicine and sort of hinted to her that this was the family tradition if you will at that point in time that everyone was going to go the medical school pathway.


Of course then it clicked in my head later that day after remembering how our US History class discussions that week included idiotic morons who out right said the solution from here on out is to bomb all countries suspected to be involved with the tragic events of 9/11 and in the process little did these mindless students know that innocent civilian bystanders would be hurt if not killed that had very little if not absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 and rather after hearing about the tragic event had declared that they condemned the actions of those responsible for 9/11.... and its not that I am personally against anyone who does not agree with my opinions and suggestions on how to approach the problem of how America should bring fourth justice to the criminals of 9/11, its just I never expected that the mindsets of people to be skewed in just 1 direction, even the teachers and counselors and that no one could possibly even entertain the notion that there just might be another means of discourse if you will to resolve the problem while satisfying everyone concerns and issues. And no where had I ever said or thought that bombs would not be needed... but anyways I don't want to get off topic but you can all imagine how it must have been for someone like me who flourished academically but was unfortunately in a community and a high school that really did not care much for you especially in a tragic time and moment in the history of our great country. There are other stories to tell and as educated students we all are to even to come to such a forum like this I think it is safe to say that everyone here can understand that there will always be two sides to a story... i could even say this is where I felt the welcome to a democracy if you will but I think you all get the bigger picture of what I am trying to illustrate here.


So anyways as you may have guessed, I did not get much guidance let alone motivation or support from my counselors or teachers in high school especially after the tragic events of 9/11 and in fact the only way I found out about the California High School Proficiency Exam was through a friend who was attending a private high school at the time and gave me the tip and I still am amazed to myself today that my FOB parents and my uncle could never have offered this kind of positive encouragement or advise rather to make full use of my knowledge and to utilize my skills and academic greatness if you will and to apply it to an exam that fully tests these to the fullest - the California High School Proficiency Exam.


So I decide to leave the high school following the end of my junior year first semester and then I decide to attended the local community college knowingly that I did not want to take the SAT and run off to some university or college without first proving to my parents that the discipline of study that I would later choose would be a not only a viable area of study but also one that would offer a good educational and social experience and a good academic investment return if you will by that point I mean of starting the undergraduate study to the point of employment in the applicable career. Again keep in mind I knew very little about the educational system beyond high school at this time in my life. In fact I only realized that the SAT was not required of me since I was attending now college and was considered a "college transfer student"


Oh and you should all know that in this same college, I was taking college level math and computer science classes well before starting in the college as a full time student and this was actually taking place while I was in high school. (sometimes an evening Friday night class, and sometimes some weekend Saturday classes, all of which were University of California approved transferable classes)


Now you all need to understand despite having FOB parents; one is actually a successful physician if I did not already mention that and the other is an elementary school teacher both trained and educated from the sub Asian continent in the country of Pakistan which many people today recognize as relatively the same as those who came and migrated from India to become citizens of this great country(I guess thats the norm in today's society... go figure), that despite having these kinds of successful in all respects and my hats off to them, but still FOB parents and I really did not want to stoop down to this level of classifying them as FOB parents but after my experience with my Father today, the successful MD, I am left with little to no other alternative choice, that despite having these kinds of FOB parents they did little to nothing to encourage me to pursue the academic and career goals that I wanted to pursue and rather they just pushed their own agenda on me and made every effort to force their own academic and career goals they assumed would be best on me with almost every reason and excuse in the book if you will. Hell even my uncle the other FOB with the MBA from USC who gave up after maybe his fifth or sixth attempt at finding a good high paying job about 30 yrs ago has just recently about 4 or 5 yrs ago resorted to teaching in mathematics at various high schools and finally at vocational colleges working 2 jobs now had also had to put in his 2 cents worth of literally nonsense when you anaylize the bits and pieces of his advice and actually break it down regarding my academic and career goals.


So I really do regret having to resort to a public forum for advice to my specific problem and I feel a bit embarrassed having to do this but I am literally out of options. Keep in mind I have already exhausted all other avenues of academic and career advice. I think I have probably already contacted all my academic counselors, my professors at my school and heck I even contacted prospective future employers in the field of law that I wish to study and practice in one day, but none of them can actually provide any assistance with the kind of problem I am presenting to you all now in this forum so please keep that in mind when you finish reading this post. My thanks to you all in advance.


So now that you know the literal environment I was exposed to during my academic years in high school up till now let me begin illustrating this complex problem I have found myself in and hey maybe some of you reading this have found yourself in a similar situation.


In a nutshell though, if you feel you cannot read the rest of the post and I don't blame you because its already a long one and I apologize for that, here is the short run version:


[b]Did your parents impact your college major or career choice? If no, how did you get them to let you do what you wanted to do both major wise and career wise and what techniques did you use to get them to not only support you on a moral and family basis but on a financial basis if you were classified as dependent on them and not "independent" when it came to matters like financial aid, grants, scholarships on need basis, etc.?


and for those of you who are kind enough to lend me a virtual hand so to speak then I encourage you to read on and offer me your much appreciated assistance with my specific problem today that I am going through.


While in my freshman year in high school I was enrolled in my local community college in some elective courses in "computer science" and I approached them from a hobby stand point and later decided to pick up on computer science with an emphasis on programing.


But this didn't last long, because by the time I was ready to get my hands wet if you will into advanced level programing courses like C, C++, and then C# etc for those of you who are studying this discipline now, my FOB uncle with the MBA again from USC was in my opinion jealous of my soon to become at the time, "success"


So I am with my dad at my 2nd dads house where my uncle was living in at the time and out of bitter jealously I believe my FOB uncle says in response to my answer to his question about what are you studying in college, he says "What is that, give me the book and I will begin programing and writing code in one hour..." and of course he rambles on with utter nonsense and I take this with a grain of salt but bare in mind I am only about 17 and half at this time and I am really confused as to why an uncle that would care so much to bother giving any advice coming from a background with an MBA from USC a prestigious school by the way would make such a ridiculous comment.... anyways FOB mentality at play and I just toss it aside as it goes in one ear and out the other. Only problem is my FOB dad believes the same way and is convinced by the FOB uncle.... so go figure.


So before even getting the chance to start a class in C, C++ etc. I decide well whats the point now if my dad and uncle are opposed to the idea of me studying computer science with an emphasis in programing. And by the way the dad and the uncle are thinking and telling me the only jobs I would be eligible for are in one job market only -that being that they believed has already been saturated with too many people qualified for only so many spots and most of them are being outsourced to places like India where the labor is cheap and the quality is good.


If it were not for the point about the labor being cheap and the quality being good, I would have never dropped the BS degree I was pursuing at the time in Computer Science: Programing.


Now in today's world and even back then little did the FOB uncle or FOB dad know that a BS in Computer Science: Programing can be used for other things to, like in the legal arena in places like patent law, IP law, etc among other things. So here is one angry face point toward the FOB club


So now time is passing by where I am literally reaching the crossing point of where I would have graduated from high school the traditional way had I have stayed through my senior year in high school. So keep in mind now, I pretty much have completed half of what is required to transfer to a University of California in the BS Computer Science: Programing so I am kinda pissed no one told me about the whole outsourcing of the job market for the IT industry ahead of time or let alone and more importantly no one telling me how I could have and still can use the BS degree to explore other disciplines of study such as what I am wanting to do today - law school. Again another point toward the FOB club


Oh and the only real help or encouragement I received was from my grandfather which was during while I was in my high school years up until right before I left the high school to go to college which at that point was when my grandfather had passed away.


He understood that despite my dad having attained his own success as a physician and that he could financially support my educational goals etc, that ultimately it would be up to me to explore what it is I wanted to do but to make sure that I reach success in that decision and that I should be sure of my goals and certain of them. Again I feel like ->> when I realized now that I should have completed the BS Computer Science: Programing despite having the FOB dad and uncle who literally were out of touch with the real world if it was not in the medicine industry and more specifically in the industry of medical school and becoming a doctor only. Both the FOB dad and uncle now very little about the American Educational Standards and the System overall which I have come to realize today and unfortunately my grandfather hinted me of this but I did not catch on until many many years later. So one more point goes to the FOB club


Boy I wish I could have expanded on my discussions I once had with my grandfather


But anyways, so now its a year after when I would have graduated as a senior in high school. So note the year as 2005.


So I finally just give in to my dads wishes for me to study medicine and go to medical school despite my dad never bothers to ask me what it is I actually want to study that I feel that I may really excel and prosper in without any question of doubt. Go figure FOB mentality at play I guess. So one more point to the FOB club


So at this point knowing how high the expecations are for medical school which just so happens to be the one thing my FOB dad knows a lot about since he was 100% involved and committed to getting my older brother and cousin into medical school even if it meant going abroad to foriegn medical schools which happen to also be accredited and accepeted etc. and would allow med. students to sit for the USMLE and then practice medicine here in the USA in a select handful of states, that since he already knew the inns and out if you will of medical school, I knew that my grades just at the undergraduate level needed to be stellar and nothing short.


So I decide to take a basic but college level Biology course with a lab. Now I treat this course as my first college level science with lab course so I have literally no idea what is expected of me and I assume it is only similar to high school biology. With no real urge to study medicine I only manage to pull off a D in this class. After receiving the D I determine well okay maybe I need to improve or update my study skills for these college level science classes. So I take a couple remedial courses to help with that including a "Reading in Science" course which did offer some useful tips and tricks but nothing much that I would have found out on my own from my own research into "Study tips for science classes in college"


So now its the Fall of 2005 and I decide I am ready for more science courses so I take on not one but two courses in chemistry, both with a lab. The tips and tricks I received earlier proved some what useful but not to the extent where it helped to earn an A. In fact I did excel in both chemistry courses but I was not pleased with my grades which turned out to be both C in the two chemistry courses.


I thought okay well maybe I got the two C grades because I tried to take two chemistry classes at once, one being a practical application of chemistry and the other theory both with lab to test methods and experiments.


Despite not being satisfied with the C grades I try to take on a more upper level General Chemistry course now only to see that things are getting worse especially since no one is really guiding me throughout this process as I thought it would be alright to take a Calculus course at the same time with an English course AND that general chemistry course. Now mind you, again I have FOB parents and the uncle and I really had no clue there were counselors available in this college to assist me let alone there was a freaking tutor center with students who had already taken all of these classes and got As in. So I throw this blame on the FOB club on


Oh and that was during Spring of 2006 and coincidentally my other grandfather who also played a big role of encouraging me to excel in my academics at I felt I wanted to do had just passed away


I tried to focus as best I could but I simply could not and so my first "W" or withdrawal is received for dropping out of the General chemistry course that semester of Spring 2006


And from here on it begins to become a spiral effect of Ws in courses I should have Aced. I may not attribute my first W to the FOB club but I sure as hell attribute the 2nd and now 3rd one to them because really if someone had told me to take courses X, Y and Z in one semester and then take courses A, B and C in the next indicating some kind of orderly manner by level of expected work load in respect to what was going on in my life emotionally, I really think I could have done at the very least to an acceptable degree in these courses but no the FOB club failed me again, and so 1 more point to them


So at this point its now Summer of 2006 and I have a W in General Chemistry, an upper level English course, and a psychology course.


I know decide to get this emotional state of mind at peace by traveling overseas to visit and pay my respects to my grandfather who had passed away. FOB club actually decides this but I feel they should have pulled me from school when it happened to do this but nope they do not know anything about the college system and how a family death is permissible for a student to stop his academics and receive what is called an "I" or "Incomplete" in lei of a letter grade to allow the student take care of whatever the matter is and return to school with the proper documentation to then resume and convert the "I" to a properly earned letter grade of "A, B, C, D, or F" by completing pending course work and exams.


I blame the FOB club again for this mess of Ws now on my college transcript that could have been prevented and so 1 more point


Anyways I travel overseas now just before the end of Summer 2006 and then when I return just as I start my Fall Semester of 2006 I discover I am terribly ill as I contracted some kind of stomach related bug or something that put me literally in bed and at home for about a good 4 to 5 months which completely interrupted my Fall 2006 semester and this forced me to drop with a W in my General Physics course. Again I probably could have gotten an "I" instead of a W but no, the FOB club still does not bother to learn how the college system works. So 1 more point attributed to the FOB club.


Now its spring of 2007 and I am just now learning of some of the processes of the college system through a friend and a concerned professor which I am to this day thankful to.


So I evaluate my transcript with my counselors and I come to the conclusion that with this many Ws my prospects of going to medical school are quickly diminishing especially since the time is passing by very very quickly and if I made a long post like this when I decide to apply to medical school assuming I clear all the Ws by repeating those courses of course and the D from earlier, it would be point less since the schools to my understanding, the medical schools here in the United States really do not care so much about the personal problems of students.


Little did I know this is not all entirely true, and even with the FOB dad who is the MD physician the guidance when it came to my transcript was simply non existent. So end result is the academic and career goals my FOB dad wanted me to pursue back fired and in the process my college transcript has taken a real dive so to speak and is filled with unnecessary Ws. So 1 more point to the FOB club


(the one thing I never lost was my sanity, thank god for that!!)


Anyways by the time I realize the college system allows students to pursue an appeals process to change Ws to Icompletes it is almost too late for the many Ws I have accumulated which is really pissed me off now because if anything my FOB dad the MD physician and the FOB uncle the MBA from USC should have told me to appeal the Ws from the college general petition process and provide the necessary documentation to convert them to Incompletes and then to a letter grade. Im not sure how many FOB points this is worth but has to be more than one


Anyways after realizing this big hole the FOB club has dug for me and by the way throught this time it was nothing but utter discouragement if I discussed anything but doing the medicine path to the MD degree. In fact I remember my dad saying to me when I finally decided the MD path is not for me and rather a math degree and/or legal studies degree is for me, and so without even saying or muttering a word of these degrees I was considering my dad says to me one day that "You will do what I tell you to study and if not then you go find a job and take care of your self."


Now I know he really doesn't mean that and he is actually I think just scared of the idea that I may in his mind view end up not having a steady career with a math degree or legal studies degree or any other degree instead of medicine because in fact what surprised me was that he only said what he said above because I left him and my uncle with a mystery of what my new major or choice of study was and this really ticked them both off because they wanted to remain in the loop so to speak but remain in as a silent speaker if you will just watching me while I study in some odd way that they believe which I have yet to this day to understand.


Suffice to say this game of not telling him what I was studying to allow the FOB mentality to take a chill pill was not going to last long, and in fact eventually I needed to out right give him the whole game plan of what i wanted to do from here on if I decided to go the math degree path or if I decided to go the legal studies degree path.


So between the Summer of 2008 , Fall 2008 and now Spring 2009 I have been taking a lot of Law related courses as well as economics and math and I am happy to say my performance is on par where I used to be academically before this mess of starting college early back when I was also going to high school. I have been getting As and Bs and this semester of Spring 2009 I am happy to say I am expecting a 4.0 GPA or all As in 6 classes which translated to 18 units all of which apply to a math degree, legal studies degree and also an economics or a business degree.


So I had been gradually approaching my FOB dad about switching now full time to legal studies to one day go to law school. He is still contempt in accepting that I am serious about this but just recently I have been giving him hints about what field in law I want to study - that being Patent, IP, Trademarks, Copyright, General, and possibly corporate law. This is where the FOB club seems to be making their come back and I fear disaster is imminent despite I have personally decided to myself to just "do what I gotta do to get the job done" as the old phrase of a saying goes.... or something like that and I just mean that Im going to study what I want to where I feel I can attain success and that I feel where success can be attainable. I just wish I would have realized this earlier on when both of my grandfathers were hinting to me about this and how important this was.


So the idea of studying law is 1) something neither my uncle or my dad has ever done. if anything my grandfather that passed away right after my junior year in high school was a judge back in his home country 2) something that scares my dad and uncle in that my level of education will possibly supersede the stereotype and mentality out there in my particular demographic where most people are medical doctors, engineers, or business people but rarely are any lawyers in any respect and 3) and because my dad beleives law is not a technical study in that he means medicine, engineering, etc. he believes there are no jobs for someone of my particular demographic out there in the field and practice of law and as result he further believes I will be financially struggling in my future. (note at this time my dad chooses not to allow me to become independent and create and earn general job experience, obtain pre law internships, or hell even pursue a properly recognized BS degree for the purpose of admission to law school but more importantly for the purpose of being able to sit for the patent bar exam.)


The steps to resolve the above that I have taken:


1) FOB uncle is no longer welcome to give advise to me as result of his own failure with after realizing that he has obtained his MBA from a well renowned school "USC" but decided not to pursue full career employment in the field respective to the MBA. (note, I have only literally expressed this to the FOB dad and not the FOB uncle but I am sure the FOB dad understands my point here)

-1 point for me -


2) I have expressed all of the above to the FOB dad about how he does not understand the american educational system in its entirety and as result is not qualified to offer advise on how to succeed in law school or how to become a patent attorney let alone the steps required to become a "patent agent"


3) I have educated my FOB dad about the profession of patent attorneys and he has responded with all valid questions that I have answered except for one question which is "What is the supply and demand for patent attorneys?"

In context to patent law, I have stated to my dad that this field is dynamic and adapts to legislation by congress and other leaders as well as the economy. This field is very much so dynamic just as our economy is. I feel that having a good technical education with an advanced degree + work experience + many contacts in the field of the said advanced technical degree will help in addition to the J.D. law degree in obtaining employment after law school.


Furthermore I have educated my dad in respect to how patent attorneys are highly encouraged to have strong technical backgrounds with an advanced degree or degrees for which reason I have expressed to my dad that i wish to complete the once started Computer Science Programing BS degree as a supplemental educational qualification to my resume in addition to a currently being pursued "Electrical Engineering" degree at the BS and later Masters level all in addition to the J.D. law degree and then of course later down the road should I decide to start up my own law firm I may complete an MBA of my own just as my FOB Uncle did but actually utilize it in connection to my Electrical Engineering BS and Masters and the Computer Science Programing BS and later Masters.


Of course my dad is a FOB and so all this translated to lots of $$$$$$$$ but not as an investment in my education but rather a huge expense to my dad, but be that as it may, a huge expense if I decide to go to a prestigious law school lets say as I do plan to score in the 99th percentile on the LSAT in addition to this dual BS degree I am currently pursuing with high hopes of a GPA in these 2 fields of discipline to be nothing short of a 3.80 as my target.


I have even sat down with counselors at my school and planned my entire education out for the next 6 years and this was after having spoken to many pre law advisers at schools all over this country in addition to law students currently studying in this field of law as well as attorneys in patent law and IP law.


After having forwarded all of what I have learned and what my plans that I have outlined are to my FOB dad, the only problem he sees is 1) where will I be employed as in which state? Will it be CA? Will it be some other state? and 2) he says you just need to go to any law school and get a J.D. and your done and this is one point that ticks me off the most because he is getting his information from me but also from one of those quick fix schools if you will --LinkRemoved--


Now no disrespect to anyone going to that school but it seems like a utter joke to me if all my efforts are going to get to waste if I end up just going to a small school like that one for just a J.D.


I mean what the hell...


and when I ask him why not the bigger more prestigious schools, like UC Berkley Boalt, George Washington University, etc., his response is "oh they are all the same and teach you the same things"


I of course say no they do not and try and convince him that the quality of the program at the law school is important not to mention for employment purposes and internship purposes you have to go to a prestigious school, well not "have to" as in its required but from what I have gathered from the some odd 20 or so big firms I contacted so far around the country they all want you to come from a top tier school with the advanced degree for patent law plus the experience plus the contacts or in other words the networking you do while in school and before law school must be solid as well as the internships among other things. My FOB dad is just not beleiving me on these things and then when I explain to him the importance of all of this to the bigger picture then the excuse he finally makes up is the cost of the education of all of this.


In the one hand he has a right to question the many degrees I will have in the end but in the other hand he is a doctor and a Physician himself and he should understand this field of law is as technical as it is going to get with patents, IP, etc. especially since its a dynamic and ever changing field of study within law with the many advanced technical degrees that often accompany patent lawyers (ie. bioengineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, etc.)


Not only that, but this is a respectable field just like him as an MD or physician the patent attorneys are respected all over the world for their work.


I mean what gives...


The only thing I could think of before just giving up and telling him to just foot the bill and let me go to school was that I would bring him along with me to the Convention in Washington DC in June by the LSAC where all the many dozens of law schools will be attending for an open house type show if you will and I was hoping to bring my FOB dad to the event and letting a 3rd person, but a law school admissions official 3rd person to answer and address all my FOBs dad concerns about the entire process.


oh and if i did not say this, I am going to be doing the combined degree program with my JD. Again I have mapped out my entire next 6 to 8 years and I know what I am going to do and how i am going to get there. I just hope the FOB dad can instill some trust at the very least in me and just foot the bill if anything he will do.


oh yeah and the FOB dad does not like the idea of expensive LSAT courses either even though I already bought up a bunch of LSAT books and am preparing for the LSAT way ahead of when I will be taking the exam. Again my goal on the LSAT is to score in the 99th percentile and nothing short of that on my first attempt.


For those of you who can offer help and advice kindly please do so.


Again I am sorry for the very very long post but I just began typing it all up after my final brawl if you will with my FOB dad about why that school he wants me to go, Humphrey college I feel is a joke compared to where I would like to go to for the discipline of law I would like to study.

invain_asylum
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby invain_asylum » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:49 am

Hi kpuc,

You have received very bad advice, plus undue abuse, from the so-called community here.

My advice: Yes, you should apply to and complete law school, if you get into a T14 school.

Then: work, make some money, and figure out what you want to do.

What is the loss? You'll be smarter, more knowledgeable, credentialed, and still yourself. It'll take three years. That's much easier to pull off now than later.

Also, you write well, unlike what some illiterate fool said earlier in this thread.

Take the lsat, go to law school, and do what you love, while having a job that lets you pay the bills. That is what will make you happier in the end.

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cardinal08
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby cardinal08 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:22 am

I agree that the wizened old men (and women) on here seem to be unnecessarily harsh.

You should definitely take time off before law school, regardless. Just a year or two. That said, I spent a year trying various professional writing jobs (grant writing, online writing) and they range from mildly satisfying to nightmarish. All writing is not equal. Using your Brown degree to say, ask other people for money in writing, will likely make you feel like you are wasting both your talent and education. Even the fiction/non-fiction scene, MFA degree mills etc., is not really much less "professional" than lawyers are. Same scramble for money and jobs.

My advice is to go abroad. Someplace cheap. You'll have time to do writing without having to work full-time. You'll gain valuable experience and independence (esp from your parents!). You can do volunteer/teaching work that looks good. In the meantime, get your application materials in order.

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TTH
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby TTH » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:09 am

I had plenty of time so I read this. Don't go to law school.

No one in your post do you say anything about wanting to go to law school. I'm sure you know this, but law school is hard, soul-wrenching work, as is, according to many, the profession itself. If you enter this without really wanting to do it, you're going to be miserable.

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FunkyJD
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby FunkyJD » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:14 pm

Whatever OP wants to do, he'd better charge into it without any doubt, regardless of how gentle or harsh any of these postings are. Going down any path halfheartedly is the quickest road to failure, regardless of industry.

The part he wrote about wanting to be a writer, but not wanting to bet the farm on it because he may have to resort to "hackery" to survive makes me question if he's got what it takes to be a writer. That suggests he has a little too romantic view of what he'd be getting himself into. Professional writers write, collect a paycheck, and ask questions later. If he's uncomfortable doing that, he might be as ill-suited as a writer as he might be in law school. If I had $10 for every writer-type person I knew who wouldn't "lower themselves" for artistic reasons and are currently (a) pushing 30, (b) have a severely negative net worth, and (c) are painfully single.

If OP got a full ride to an MFA in Creative Writing program at Iowa or somewhere else of a similar rep, he might have the chance to explore his "creative side" on someone else's dime. At the end of it though, if he's not any further down the road to becoming Tom Wolfe, what then? How marketable is an MFA for someone who no longer wants to be a writer?

Having a backup plan like a law degree is not only a good idea -- if it's free, it's advisable. OP said that he could foresee himself doing some aspect of law. If this is true, he should go. It will hardly stunt his dreams. People can chew gum and walk at the same time. What's to prevent him from working on his craft on the side? Hell, leverage that talent into getting onto the law review.

IMO, if OP can get into a T14 or even a T20, and have all of it paid for, if he turns it down, he will regret that decision deeply someday -- especially if the opportunity, for whatever reason, is no longer available. At 22, the concept of covering your ass in case things don't work out can be hard to understand. Parents aren't always wrong.

OP seems like a book smart fellow. Time for him to make some street smart decisions.

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Massimiliano
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby Massimiliano » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:40 pm

what's with all the arrogant pricks on this board?

Somebody takes the time to pour out their soul and you write some flippant, dickish response? Great people.

Pearalegal
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby Pearalegal » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:43 pm

Don't get an MFA. As parents who have been in the industry for more than 30 years, and a variety of family friends at all levels in their careers as a result...all agree an MFA isn't worth the time or money. Only getting into the business is. My mom started by taking an unpaid internship out of college at a theater that basically amounted to her sweeping the stage and now has her own production company.

Unless you want to teach (and thats really a whole new ballgame), an MFA degree is generally not needed. It might help your writing get stronger, but you can achieve a lot of the same results with almost free workshops in any city. This is not something that I can speak to personally...but its the advice my parents and friends have given out time and time again to everyone who they talk to.

I think what you need to do is work before going to any grad school. If you really want to try to get involved in the theater, get any position you can...and if it won't pay the bills, waitress/bartend at night. Or work in a law firm as a paralegal. Just...work.

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GATORTIM
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby GATORTIM » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:45 pm

OP's thread prompt has depleted significant space on internet servers worldwide....

--ImageRemoved--

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General Tso
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby General Tso » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:47 pm

dakatz wrote:Perhaps if you enjoy writing, you can become an english teacher? That way you can always have your head in reading/writing, and will have time on the side to do writing of your own.


I agree with this. Teachers still bitch about not earning enough $ but in my experience, they do just fine (50-75k in major cities).

Watching House Hunters International yesterday, the two people buying vacation homes in Italy were a schoolteacher from Salinas and a cop from Seattle....go figure

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General Tso
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby General Tso » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:48 pm

Massimiliano wrote:what's with all the arrogant pricks on this board?

Somebody takes the time to pour out their soul and you write some flippant, dickish response? Great people.


You haven't been here long have you?

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GATORTIM
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby GATORTIM » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:50 pm

swheat wrote:
dakatz wrote:Perhaps if you enjoy writing, you can become an english teacher? That way you can always have your head in reading/writing, and will have time on the side to do writing of your own.


I agree with this. Teachers still bitch about not earning enough $ but in my experience, they do just fine (50-75k in major cities).

Watching House Hunters International yesterday, the two people buying vacation homes in Italy were a schoolteacher from Salinas and a cop from Seattle....go figure


Is your "experience" watching House Hunters International? 50-75k/yr is not the norm.

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General Tso
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby General Tso » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:53 pm

gochrisgo wrote:Kris --

Ty srazu s universiteta xo4e6 v law school, 4to li? Ya by sovetoval tebe tak - na sledu6ie 2 goda, ni4ego ne delai kotorogo svyazenno s law school. Osobenno esli ty govori6 po-russkii, po4emu ne poiskat rabotu v Rossiei? Ili gde-nibud v Evrope? Eto dast tebe 1) opyt, 2) istorrii (xo4e6 rabotat pisatelem, ne tak li?), 3) vozmojnosti uznat sebya. Vot ty pi6e6 4to to4no ne znae6 kem ty xo4e6 stat - ne spe6i, 4uvak. U tebya ostalos tak mnogo vremeni 4toby pute6estvovat, u4itsya, rabotat, i vse takoe.

Tebe mojno, kone6no, pisat zayavleniya potom i skazat, "Da, ya izu4au mejdunarodnie otno6eniya i russkii yazyk." No 100 raz lu46e pokazat 4to ty jil za rubejom, 4to ty procvetal v drugix kulturax, i 4to gotov na priverjennost kotoruu law school trebuetsya.

Ya tak delal - projil 3 goda v Mosvke i v Kazaxstane. I ty vide6 4to ya ne polu4il takix krutix otcenok na LSAT i v universitete, no u menya stoit o4en xoro6ii vybor sei4as: U Michigan, k primeru, u kotorogo est klassnie programmy po russkomu yazyku i zakonu.

Uda4i.


dude...don't be a pedant. people who know russian are not impressed, and those who do not just think you are a douchebag.

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General Tso
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Re: Is law school for me?

Postby General Tso » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:55 pm

GATORTIM wrote:
swheat wrote:
dakatz wrote:Perhaps if you enjoy writing, you can become an english teacher? That way you can always have your head in reading/writing, and will have time on the side to do writing of your own.


I agree with this. Teachers still bitch about not earning enough $ but in my experience, they do just fine (50-75k in major cities).

Watching House Hunters International yesterday, the two people buying vacation homes in Italy were a schoolteacher from Salinas and a cop from Seattle....go figure


Is your "experience" watching House Hunters International? 50-75k/yr is not the norm.


Nope...just know the situation in California. I know it's not the norm in middle america (where I come from starting teachers make like 25k). But most state workers in CA are way overpaid anyway.




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