Last Minute Withdrawal

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
theseeker
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:06 am

Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby theseeker » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:21 am

Hi everybody--

Well, I've got to admit I am truly stressing. I committed to a mid-T10 law school two years ago and deferred twice because I wanted to complete international travels and a volunteer project. Now, two weeks away from when I am supposed to attend and I desperately want to turn back.

For one, I do not want to be stuck in NYC doing big-law, working 80 hours/week. I want a life, and I want a family. I have come to value both more and more as I get a little older and a little wiser. I also do not want to be stuck paying nearly the total tab (which would push me harder to big law).

I feel as though if I took this year to reapply to another school maybe a few notches down the belt but still in the T10 or T14, I would have much, much more of my tuition costs covered. As it is, I'm looking at over 200K of debt. Last time I applied though, several amazing schools offered a much greater amount of funding.

If I could do it all over again, I would apply to a California-based school, UVA, or Michigan. I would try to get more money and not shoot for the intense big-law scene in NYC (my numbers are 173 with a 4.0 Honors College degree from a large, public university). Instead, I would settle in a middle-sized firm and start a family soon after law school by which time I'll be in my late-20s.

What to do, what to do?

I haven't signed my final intent to enroll yet. Is it to late to take it all back and start again? Should I?

Thanks for anything guys...
Is it

User avatar
northwood
Posts: 4872
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 7:29 pm

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby northwood » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:27 am

if you arent sure, then withdraw and take a year off to decide what you want. Re apply where you would be happy living and working once you graduate. it seems as though your priorities and viewpoint on life has changed. this is a perfectly acceptable reason to not go.

in the end, you will probably burn the bridge at the school you applied to, but you may be able to get an excellent scholarship from another school.

good luck

User avatar
billyez
Posts: 868
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:19 pm

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby billyez » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:41 am

If you don't want to go, then don't go. It's that simple. It's real nice for that school to defer you twice though; but I suspect that if you were going to pay full tuition that it was helping their bottom line in the end to do so.

With those numbers you could probably attend a lower ranked T14 with a good percentage or all of the tuition covered. To be sure though, it's not like you'd have to do biglaw once you get out if you go to this mid-10 you're talking about.

Actually, I'm really surprised that you didn't get in with a lot of your debt paid for with scholarships the first time with numbers that good.

waitingfor1L
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:53 pm

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby waitingfor1L » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:49 am

It isn't too late- better now than later. Honestly, it is good that you figure this out now rather than in law school after having paid all that money. If you're not sure, it really isn't worth the money to 'find out.' You know what is right for you, and it sounds like you're ready to withdraw. We're just here to nod and say you're doing the right thing :)

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby dakatz » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:04 am

Hey OP, I know a few people who were in situations like yours. Many told me that, if they could do it over again, they would have chosen lower T-14 schools which had offered significantly more money, since this would allow them greater flexibility in the job search. It is very wise of you to reflect and consider all this.

User avatar
voice of reason
Posts: 264
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:18 am

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby voice of reason » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:07 am

Have you considered doing public interest law? And have you looked at your school's LRAP program?

If that doesn't appeal, then it sounds like you should wait, reapply to lower-ranked schools, and go to the best school in the region where you want to live that gives you a great scholarship.

theseeker
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:06 am

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby theseeker » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:27 am

Thanks everybody for your advice. I wish I had made this decision sooner so going back on it wouldn't be so difficult.

Can anyone help me on these next couple of questions:

1. If I did attend law school this year and then transfer to a lower ranked (but still T-14 school), could I expect the same sort of financial rewards from the school I'm transferring to as they would offer to someone who is with them all three years? Or, are law schools generally more charitable in terms of financial aid to those one apply to them as 0Ls?

2. If I do decide to delay law school once again and reapply this fall, what could I expect in terms of financial aid from good IP schools like Berkeley and Michigan (1st choices) or UVA and Texas (2nd choices)? LSAT (173 second score/164 first), GPA (4.0, Honors College, large public university), good extras (run an NGO in Central Asia, translated/published a work from French to English).

Thanks everyone for your help.

dk84
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:19 pm

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby dk84 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:39 am

I think your best choice is the later- I haven't heard great things about transfers down. I think you;d great great scholys at UVA and Texas at the least with that kind of profile.

What are the disadvantages of not going now? The advantages seem to be another year of experience, another year (presumably) of earning a salary, more time to decide and more leeway and leverage with money.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:49 am

theseeker wrote:Thanks everybody for your advice. I wish I had made this decision sooner so going back on it wouldn't be so difficult.

Can anyone help me on these next couple of questions:

1. If I did attend law school this year and then transfer to a lower ranked (but still T-14 school), could I expect the same sort of financial rewards from the school I'm transferring to as they would offer to someone who is with them all three years? Or, are law schools generally more charitable in terms of financial aid to those one apply to them as 0Ls?

No. Emphatically no. Schools use the bulk of their financial aid to attract 0Ls with good numbers, because USNWR rankings are based on the incoming 1L class. Transfers don't factor in at all, so there's little incentive to offer financial aid there. Usually, people who transfer do so because they want the new opportunity the new school gives them, and they're willing to pay sticker for it. Schools love transfers because they're people who're willing to pay full price to attend.

theseeker wrote:2. If I do decide to delay law school once again and reapply this fall, what could I expect in terms of financial aid from good IP schools like Berkeley and Michigan (1st choices) or UVA and Texas (2nd choices)? LSAT (173 second score/164 first), GPA (4.0, Honors College, large public university), good extras (run an NGO in Central Asia, translated/published a work from French to English).

Thanks everyone for your help.

All T14 schools are going to be "good IP schools". What will matter for IP will be your grades, your background, and having the credentials to support doing IP.

If you want less debt, then you should withdraw, blanket the lower T14 with applications this fall, and go to the one that gives you the closest to a full ride. Personally, ITE I wouldn't do that, but that's your choice.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby romothesavior » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:53 am

Sounds like you're going to one of CN. Both schools will offer a lot of options, not just biglaw. Doing public interest could be a great way to practice law but avoid biglaw and pay off your debts. You'll never get rich, but you'll at least have a more stable schedule and you'll have your debts forgiven.

Just something to think about. But I agree with other posters... if you aren't sure you want to do this, then its not too late to back out.

theseeker
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:06 am

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby theseeker » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:56 am

vanwinkle wrote:
If you want less debt, then you should withdraw, blanket the lower T14 with applications this fall, and go to the one that gives you the closest to a full ride. Personally, ITE I wouldn't do that, but that's your choice.


Hi Vanwinkle. Why wouldn't you do that? Given sticker at a NYC school or good scholarship at another place and the fact that I want to avoid the 12-hour days and work-weekends of NYC Biglaw, why do you say reapplying is not a good idea? Thanks for the advice.

theseeker
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:06 am

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby theseeker » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:57 am

romothesavior wrote:Sounds like you're going to one of CN.


Yes.

User avatar
Always Credited
Posts: 2509
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:31 pm

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby Always Credited » Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:58 am

theseeker wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
If you want less debt, then you should withdraw, blanket the lower T14 with applications this fall, and go to the one that gives you the closest to a full ride. Personally, ITE I wouldn't do that, but that's your choice.


Hi Vanwinkle. Why wouldn't you do that? Given sticker at a NYC school or good scholarship at another place and the fact that I want to avoid the 12-hour days and work-weekends of NYC Biglaw, why do you say reapplying is not a good idea? Thanks for the advice.


Because you don't need to do NYC biglaw.

British
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby British » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:03 am

I'm sorry, you can make all the excuses in the world, but it sounds to me like you simply do not want to go to law school.

You may not realize this on the surface, but think long and hard about what YOU really want. You are continuing to pretend to everyone around you that it is your intention to go to law school (perhaps because of outside pressures?), yet you are deferring your place over and over again. The only reason you can give for this is "international travels and a volunteer project"! which frankly you could have done in breaks, weekends and evenings. The kindest thing you could do for yourself right now is admit that you do not want to go to law school at all any more, get a job and put law and this whole debacle behind you. This would also be by far the braver decision. Be honest to yourself. It is cowardly to continue to defer, and you will torture yourself by doing so.

There are other fantastic careers besides being a lawyer ....

theseeker
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:06 am

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby theseeker » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:29 am

British wrote:I'm sorry, you can make all the excuses in the world, but it sounds to me like you simply do not want to go to law school.

You may not realize this on the surface, but think long and hard about what YOU really want. You are continuing to pretend to everyone around you that it is your intention to go to law school (perhaps because of outside pressures?), yet you are deferring your place over and over again. The only good reason you can give for this is "international travel". The kindest thing you can do for yourself right now is admit that you do not want to go to law school at all any more, get a job and put law and this whole debacle behind you. This would also be by far the braver decision. Be honest to yourself. It is cowardly to continue to defer, and you will torture yourself by doing so.

There are other fantastic careers besides being a lawyer ....


Hi British. I like law. Since deferring I've read a lot of hornbooks, etc. and am completely intrigued by it all. I am simply aiming for an adjusted lifestyle after law school. I don't necessarily need the 160k anymore and nights not coming home due to a Biglaw job. I feel like the 200k on my back would either require that biglaw job to pay it off or public interest (helps with loan repayment). I would like less debt to expand my job options to include midlaw.

British
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby British » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:42 am

Ok, fair enough, you love the law.

So in that case, for goodness sake stop worrying and get on with doing what you love.

Go and get your degree, this year.

I really wouldn't wait anymore. If you wait, you might get in somewhere else next year, but chances are that you will find a problem with that school, and you will be on the message board again asking us all what you should do.

This will never be easy and it will never be perfect. There will always be negatives, you will always have reservations. It is law school and it is scary but if you really love the law then you need to take the plunge now. It will only get harder as you get older, and life will only get more complicated as the years pass by.

Go for it, THIS YEAR, or if not this year then never again and put it behind you for good.

User avatar
Lonagan
Posts: 338
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:03 pm

Re: Last Minute Withdrawal

Postby Lonagan » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:38 pm

Oh, this thread is about something entirely different than I was thinking.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests