abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

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Awkward
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abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby Awkward » Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:19 pm

I recently declined offers / withdrew from the law school admission process. My long term goals are to do business consulting and eventually work with start up and early growth phase companies. I thought going to law school and working in securities law could eventually lead to my goal but ultimately decided not to attend. I am currently a CPA and work at the public accounting equivalent of a ambulance chasing personal injury law firm. I find that I am walking around with a scarlet letter when trying to pursue my goals for 1) attending a low ranked undergrad 2) working in non prestigious firm. I need to leave my job soon because it is dead end with no opportunities and is going to give me a heart attack from being constantly irritating not to mention I hate accounting. I also detest the city I live in.

I am currently applying to better jobs, but am having a hard time because previously mentioned scarlet letter and I also want to relocate and have no network where I am applying. I am considering applying to top 15 MBA programs if I don't have any luck soon.

To cut to my point, I need advice / ideas:
of volunteering / low paying jobs that would look good to a top MBA program / a future employer so I can leave my current job ASAP and not add to my scarlet letters. Examples: Peace Corps.

20141023
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Re: abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby 20141023 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:21 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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buddyt
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Re: abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby buddyt » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:58 pm


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DougieFresh
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Re: abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby DougieFresh » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:01 pm

Being a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, I thought I might chime in on your post here. First, just as you generally shouldn't attend law school unless you really want to be a lawyer, you shouldn't join the Peace Corps unless you really want to be a Peace Corps Volunteer. If you want to pad your resume, there are a lot of other ways to do it. I can't stress how challenging 27 months living amongst poverty can be, and unless you have a strong sense of how it plays into your career objectives, there will be low times when you ask yourself why you are putting yourself through this. If you don't have an answer to that question, you will have a hard time with it. It isn't something to do just because.

You are looking at working in biz consulting and start up/early growth companies. Have you thought about starting your own company? Have you checked out the local start up/entrepreneur scene in the city you hate living in? There are always volunteer opportunities with local organizations that work with the start up community. Get involved, attend events, make contacts, share ideas, get advice, talk about your vision. Being a CPA, you may find that you are in a position to come on board with a start up as a co-founder. Check out CoFoundersLab and the events they put on. I'd also say you check out your local business incubators and see what workshops and talks they have going on.

Hope this helps, good luck.

Noodlebrain
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Re: abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby Noodlebrain » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:10 am


Being a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, I thought I might chime in on your post here. First, just as you generally shouldn't attend law school unless you really want to be a lawyer, you shouldn't join the Peace Corps unless you really want to be a Peace Corps Volunteer. If you want to pad your resume, there are a lot of other ways to do it. I can't stress how challenging 27 months living amongst poverty can be, and unless you have a strong sense of how it plays into your career objectives, there will be low times when you ask yourself why you are putting yourself through this. If you don't have an answer to that question, you will have a hard time with it. It isn't something to do just because.


As a current PCV, I just wanted to also add that if you are looking to do something quickly, Peace Corps is not for you. It usually takes about a year for the application process to be completed and that year is full of interviews, applications, medical exams, paperwork, etc. I know too many PCVs in country who joined for the wrong reasons and they are paying the price now. You can quit early, but I'm guessing that quitting PC early does not look so great on a resume.

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:34 am

Perhaps I better understand your interests, because I was one of those who attended law school as a graduate degree, not with the intention of practicing law. I was a junior management consultant at the time and weighed the potential benefits of a MBA vs. JD to advance my career. It seemed at the time that a JD would be much more useful and flexible in a business career . . . and at least for me, it has turned out to be the case.

Upon graduation, and passing the bar, I continued to practice as a management consultant for appx. 15 years. Along the way I developed a specialization as a consultant for law firms and other professional firms, although it was my accumulated business experience, not law school that provided the real background for my consulting services.

Over my 35+ year career, in addition to management consulting, I also used my law degree for a variety of interesting endeavors: 1) serve (briefly) as a State Asst. Atty. General; 2) start and co-manage a venture capital firm; 3) serve as VP of acquisitions for a publicly traded company; 4) consult/manage non-profit organizations; 5) teach law in undergraduate and law schools; and 6) eventually move into law school administration, first in an ABA law school, and now completing my 8th year as dean of a California accredited law school.

What I will also suggest is that once you head down a non-traditional career path, it helps if you have a strong internal sense of direction, because others along the way will question your sanity and be puzzled by your independence.

My suggestion is to not completely abandon your initial instincts that a law degree might be your ticket to a wide variety of career choices. I have always believed that there are many incredibly interesting things to do with a law degree . . . and only one of them is practicing law. However, I would also heed the advice provided by others that warn about the real danger of taking on crippling student loan debt. It is hard work, but you might consider an evening law school program where you can use your CPA skills during the day to fund your law school tuition.

P.S. I also have a number of former Peace Corp volunteer friends who I greatly admire . . . and I fully agree that it is a decision to be made from a sincere desire to serve . . . not as a default for the lack of an alternative.

Awkward
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Re: abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby Awkward » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:52 am

I thought this thread had died. Thanks for the replies, definitely have been doing a lot of thinking lately.

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:52 am

FWIW . . . I am obviously biased, but in my experience, CPA > MBAs are not unique. CPA > JDs are much more valuable in a wide range of business settings . . . I even know (and have hired) several CPA > JD > LL.M. Tax professionals who have really sophisticated law, consulting, and tax strategy practices. It takes risk and hard work to become a specialist who gets the chance to participate in interesting career options. It is part of a career journey, not a job. With 20/20 hindsight, I can also tell you that no path like this is without dips . . . I have had companies fail out from under me, been underpaid, taken transitional jobs and clients, and ultimately moved (with family) from Texas to California to take advantage of a risky, but ultimately fantastically rewarding opportunity that utilizes my entire portfolio of career experience. This last opportunity was the result of over a dedicated year of searching and applying for advertised positions (while continuing to work diligently to pay the bills in what I had come to feel was a burned out consulting career in which required business travel had become exhausting . . . and the "risky" position . . . I just finished 8 years and signed a new 5 year extension! Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers" is an easy read that might give you some perspective.

20141023
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Re: abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby 20141023 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:17 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:45 am

. . . now that is serious academic cred.

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buddyt
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Re: abandoned law school - need advice / ideas

Postby buddyt » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:11 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
MCL Law Dean wrote:FWIW . . . I am obviously biased, but in my experience, CPA > MBAs are not unique. CPA > JDs are much more valuable in a wide range of business settings . . .

What about PhD MBA CPA JDs? :lol:

:shock:




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