Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

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daisuki
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Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:19 am

I put a fair amount of prep into the lsat and scored in the mid 160's, retook and scored in the higher 160's. My 3.3 GPA is killing me

I was shut out of the T14, I'm waitlisted at one still but not holding my breath. Live in and want to stay in CA, obviously I'm not getting into Boalt or S

Even if I were admitted the debt scares the hell out of me.

I'm a veteran and did get a full ride to my local T50-ish school , and the GI Bill would take care of living expenses (around 2k / mo for the whole 3 years)

I currently make 70k in a defense-related industry that I could most likely go back to if law school didn't work out (I would drop out if not in the top 20% or so of my TT law school and believe me I would). Limited research has shown that that would be the cutoff for a decent legal job in the area if I was unable to make the cut to transfer out

I'm hearing terrible things about the legal industry everywhere on the internet, but I do occasionally read that a scholarship like this can be worth taking

I have considered an MBA as well but have not started GMAT prep yet, and I'm not getting any younger (early 30's - this also pretty much rules out a retake)

I think being a lawyer sounds genuinely interesting and more like a real career than what I do now, but plenty of posters on this board and others have told me it's awful soul-killing drudgery most likely for very low pay

That said, I am a fairly smart dude and have excelled at most jobs I've had, although apparently law school grades are a black box and I could just as easily be below median even if I work extremely hard. I'm thinking the worst case scenario is a year out I'm going back into the same industry I'm in now. I've been improving my resume in this field as a safety net just in case

Just wondering what others think, I paid my first seat deposit and have a couple of months left to decide

Any personal stories, advice, abuse welcome

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gaud
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby gaud » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:22 am

Where does your current salary cap off at?

Sounds like you have a good job already, I'd probably stay. Retake again (if you can) and/or hit up NU with your work experience.

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Br3v
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby Br3v » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:22 am

Skimmed

Most ppl will say keep the 70k gig.
I say, if being an attorney is like a dream of yours, go for it. You seem to know about the realities of taking on debt, place in class, etc. Full ride plus GI to IMO allows you to go for it.

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gaud
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby gaud » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:23 am

Br3v wrote:Full ride plus GI to IMO allows you to go for it.


Even after what I said, I agree with this. Free is nice.

fakehunter
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby fakehunter » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:24 am

I have nothing to back this up, but if you can go to law school all expenses paid for a year (and be okay without making your usual 70k salary for a year) and you think you could get your job back, it's definitely worth a shot if law is what you think you want to do.

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Br3v
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby Br3v » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:25 am

fakehunter wrote:I have nothing to back this up, but if you can go to law school all expenses paid for a year (and be okay without making your usual 70k salary for a year) and you think you could get your job back, it's definitely worth a shot if law is what you think you want to do.


+1

daisuki
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:28 am

gaud wrote:Where does your current salary cap off at?

Sounds like you have a good job already, I'd probably stay. Retake again (if you can) and/or hit up NU with your work experience.



About 85k maybe , I basically set up specialized computer systems for the military, it's good money now but not something I could see myself doing long term unless I went into some kind of project management and those are coveted jobs these guys hang around for years to open up

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gaud
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby gaud » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:30 am

daisuki wrote:
gaud wrote:Where does your current salary cap off at?

Sounds like you have a good job already, I'd probably stay. Retake again (if you can) and/or hit up NU with your work experience.



About 85k maybe , I basically set up specialized computer systems for the military, it's good money now but not something I could see myself doing long term unless I went into some kind of project management and those are coveted jobs these guys hang around for years to open up


Well, since it's not something you want to do long-term, I'm going to agree with what everyone else is saying:

Br3v wrote:
fakehunter wrote:I have nothing to back this up, but if you can go to law school all expenses paid for a year (and be okay without making your usual 70k salary for a year) and you think you could get your job back, it's definitely worth a shot if law is what you think you want to do.


+1

daisuki
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:38 am

gaud wrote:
daisuki wrote:
gaud wrote:Where does your current salary cap off at?

Sounds like you have a good job already, I'd probably stay. Retake again (if you can) and/or hit up NU with your work experience.



About 85k maybe , I basically set up specialized computer systems for the military, it's good money now but not something I could see myself doing long term unless I went into some kind of project management and those are coveted jobs these guys hang around for years to open up


Well, since it's not something you want to do long-term, I'm going to agree with what everyone else is saying:

Br3v wrote:
fakehunter wrote:I have nothing to back this up, but if you can go to law school all expenses paid for a year (and be okay without making your usual 70k salary for a year) and you think you could get your job back, it's definitely worth a shot if law is what you think you want to do.


+1


It really isn't, it's sort of like construction contracting I guess but it's IT. I do have some fairly decent industry and IT certifications that would allow me to go back. I was hoping my military service and work experience would help more but they didn't, not in CA anyway. Working for a judge interests me also but apparently the chances of that are laughable coming from a non T25 or so

Still on the fence, if anyone has any personal stories or anecdotes I'd appreciate it

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TyrionLannister
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby TyrionLannister » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:40 am

Free ride, for sure.

Most importantly - Thanks for your service, brother.

daisuki
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:44 am

TyrionLannister wrote:Free ride, for sure.

Most importantly - Thanks for your service, brother.


Thank you - what makes you think so? Sorry if that's blunt but 0L's I've talked to seem hopelessly optimistic, some of them thought I would be in at T6's etc

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Ludo!
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby Ludo! » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:47 am

Thank you for the most refreshing post I've seen in awhile. You did the research, going in with your eyes open, prepared to drop out if you need to, I say go for it if you want

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boredatwork
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby boredatwork » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:51 am

I thought you had to pay back the money the gov gives you for the GI bill if you don't graduate?

daisuki
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:59 am

boredatwork wrote:I thought you had to pay back the money the gov gives you for the GI bill if you don't graduate?


That's possible, I believe there's a process you go through to determine that. I know 'failing grades may result in you having to repay some or all benefits' , that's one thing I need to find out more about

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romothesavior
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby romothesavior » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:59 am

Br3v wrote:Skimmed

Most ppl will say keep the 70k gig.
I say, if being an attorney is like a dream of yours, go for it. You seem to know about the realities of taking on debt, place in class, etc. Full ride plus GI to IMO allows you to go for it.

Yep, I agree with this. It really comes down to brutal honesty with yourself; how much do you really want to be a lawyer? Do you know what being a lawyer will entail? Do you have some sort of career path in mind?

Going to law school without a concrete plan is a little easier as a K-JDer, but I think it is important for someone who is about to give up a pretty good job and make the plunge. You need to really make sure this is what you want to do.

Pricewise, I think the local school for free is a fine option. It really just comes down to whether or not this is the right move for you personally. Good luck.

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dowu
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby dowu » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:00 am

boredatwork wrote:I thought you had to pay back the money the gov gives you for the GI bill if you don't graduate?


Nope. You've earned it.

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angrybird
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby angrybird » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:04 am

retake and ED to NU or UVA. both will be tuition-free with yellow ribbon program, and COL will be offset by your GI bill BAH. overall you're looking at a very low cost of attendance for a great degree that will give you tons of options in CA.

law school grades are a bit of a black box but i'll just say that most of the veterans at my school did very well last semester. if you want to be a lawyer, you should go for it.

caveat: you should probably try to learn more about what lawyers do, and figure out if it's a career you're really interested in.

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romothesavior
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby romothesavior » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:05 am

angrybird wrote:retake and ED to NU or UVA. both will be tuition-free with yellow ribbon program, and COL will be offset by your GI bill BAH. overall you're looking at a very low cost of attendance for a great degree that will give you tons of options in CA.

Didn't even think of this, but if you can do this, you should do it.

daisuki
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:08 am

nmop_apisdn wrote:
boredatwork wrote:I thought you had to pay back the money the gov gives you for the GI bill if you don't graduate?


Nope. You've earned it.


It's sort of vague but it does look like you could owe a semester of benefits if you drop out, although how much is unclear, the first time you drop less than 6 credits it's assumed there were 'mitigating circumstances' and you do not need to repay , not quite sure what that means in terms of $

daisuki
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:12 am

Thanks for all the replies so far, still have to give this a lot of thought, retaking and waiting another year sounds awful but I'll consider it

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angrybird
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby angrybird » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:14 am

romothesavior wrote:
angrybird wrote:retake and ED to NU or UVA. both will be tuition-free with yellow ribbon program, and COL will be offset by your GI bill BAH. overall you're looking at a very low cost of attendance for a great degree that will give you tons of options in CA.

Didn't even think of this, but if you can do this, you should do it.

note: this assumes that OP has 100% GI bill eligibility

daisuki
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:17 am

angrybird wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
angrybird wrote:retake and ED to NU or UVA. both will be tuition-free with yellow ribbon program, and COL will be offset by your GI bill BAH. overall you're looking at a very low cost of attendance for a great degree that will give you tons of options in CA.

Didn't even think of this, but if you can do this, you should do it.

note: this assumes that OP has 100% GI bill eligibility


I do

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angrybird
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby angrybird » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:19 am

daisuki wrote:Thanks for all the replies so far, still have to give this a lot of thought, retaking and waiting another year sounds awful but I'll consider it

it sucks, man, but for the same price you will have a world of opportunities at UVA/NU OCI that you just won't have at Hastings or Loyola or wherever. and you're already in the high 160's. push it up to 170/171 in june, and you are gonna be accepted to UVA by october, boom, cycle done.

daisuki
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:24 am

angrybird wrote:
daisuki wrote:Thanks for all the replies so far, still have to give this a lot of thought, retaking and waiting another year sounds awful but I'll consider it

it sucks, man, but for the same price you will have a world of opportunities at UVA/NU OCI that you just won't have at Hastings or Loyola or wherever. and you're already in the high 160's. push it up to 170/171 in june, and you are gonna be accepted to UVA by october, boom, cycle done.


*Sigh* this sounds right, not sure I can get a 171, I was able to get some 175's in timed PTs but somehow I always lost about 5 points, I think I have some sort of spatial reasoning problem when it comes to LG, I literally missed 2 LR on the entire test ,1 per section

Not sure I should take the June test with so little prep time, cringing at the idea of taking another PT right now

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TyrionLannister
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby TyrionLannister » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:33 am

daisuki wrote:
TyrionLannister wrote:Free ride, for sure.

Most importantly - Thanks for your service, brother.


Thank you - what makes you think so? Sorry if that's blunt but 0L's I've talked to seem hopelessly optimistic, some of them thought I would be in at T6's etc


Most 0Ls on this site are fairly young and fairly optimistic, yes. Being someone who has served in the military, your eyes have been opened to the reality of the world around us. Life is not all sunshine and roses, as many K-JDs think (this is not meant as an insult to those who are K-JD, regardless of how it is read). Sometimes, no matter how much we work, hope, and pray, things just don't go our way. That's life. The majority of early-to-mid 20 year olds have yet to gain this insight. Anyone who is planning on getting an advanced degree is already more fortunate than most people on this planet - but I digress.

How this applies to your situation is this - I'm assuming that you are a fairly rational individual. You have military experience and have formulated a fairly decent plan for a career change. What you have to decide is why you truly want to be a lawyer. You mentioned most likely enjoying the career, you are wary of the possible drudgery, and you have interest in working for a judge. I have no experience in the area, but it does seem like the deck would be stacked against you for getting a clerkship for that T50 school that is offering a full ride. Without knowing the school I couldn't examine statistics to be certain of its improbability, but it is probably unlikely. But is this why you want to be a lawyer? For a hardworking guy who is fairly intelligent, you could probably do quite well at that T50. Getting a JD without any debt, plus the knowledge of a possible re-entry to your old career if no job prospects come your way - that sounds like a dream situation in this economy.

But, if clerkship (or even BigLaw) is truly where your heart resides, then bust your ass and try to crack the 170 barrier on the LSAT. Retake and reapply. Hell, if you aren't truly locked into CA, retaking and reapplying to some east coast schools could open up a world of possibilities. Others would know more than I would though, me just being a 0L and all.

Just remember that much of the negative posts on this site have to do with re-paying debt and never making a good living, two things you may never have to worry about. Being free of those burdens is why I would absolutely take the free ride if I were you. You have absolutely nothing to lose in that situation, which may just give you the peace of mind you need to out-perform your classmates and crush it at that T50 (There's some hopeless optimism for you)! Either way, go with your gut. You are in an enviable position.




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