Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories

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Marshmallow

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Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories

Postby Marshmallow » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:43 am

I'll write more about my personal experience in a little bit, but wanted to create this "support group" thread in the mean time since I, for one, could sure as hell use it. It seems like this topic is very underrepresented on TLS-- I can't be the only one with these feels!

I've decided not to go to law school this fall despite some excellent choices. I got a bit swept up in this process almost a year and a half ago now, and lost sight of my goals coming in. Those goals were to minimize debt in a huge way, land in a big city so that my SO of 5+ years wouldn't hate his life for 3 years, and to avoid biglaw at all costs (want to need to hope to land in PI upon grad.)

Cornell complicated things with a 150k offer, and Berkeley, too, with a $0 offer :lol: The in-betweens range from 45k at NYU, 60k at Chi and Columbia, 90k at Michigan and Duke, and 105k from Northwestern.

At this point, I think I'd still like to do law school in the future, but right now there is just too much I'd like to do BEFORE law school. I've been a paralegal for a couple of years, but would really like to explore the nonprofit sector before jumping into law school. If/when I decide to reapply, I'll retake the LSAT. I'll hopefully have new (hopefully great!) job experience under my belt that will give me a clearer idea of why I should go to law school.

So to those of you in similar spots, are you still planning to negotiate aid until the bitter end? Some have said that this is a good idea in order to show schools you plan to re-apply to that you tried to make it work this cycle. I'd be reapplying to all the schools I applied to.

The hardest thing right now: Job hunting and breaking the news to loved ones who have been along for the ride with me.

Please share your stories! I can't be the only one who would love to hear them.

eta: new scholarship amounts AND to add that friends and family, in the end, turned out to be super supportive about my decision, albeit confused at first. :D
Last edited by Marshmallow on Mon May 19, 2014 11:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

jk148706

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby jk148706 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:57 am

First of all, congrats to you. It's tough to turn down some of those offers, but it will likely pay off in the long run.

At this point, I'm still planning to attend in the fall, but I don't have fantastic options (actually, all questionable options really). I'm going to try to negotiate, ride a couple WLs and hope a June retake helps.

I 100 percent agree with this:

Marshmallow wrote:The hardest thing right now: Job hunting and breaking the news to loved ones who have been along for the ride with me.


This is especially true for me, since I sat out last cycle. If I were to sit out again, idk what people would think. I know that shouldn't matter, but it's hard when family/friends are like "just get on with it" and think I'm simply dragging my feet/scared of the commitment.

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Marshmallow

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby Marshmallow » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:34 pm

jk148706 wrote:
I 100 percent agree with this:

Marshmallow wrote:The hardest thing right now: Job hunting and breaking the news to loved ones who have been along for the ride with me.


This is especially true for me, since I sat out last cycle. If I were to sit out again, idk what people would think. I know that shouldn't matter, but it's hard when family/friends are like "just get on with it" and think I'm simply dragging my feet/scared of the commitment.


jk, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I relate to this. As you probably recall, I was just recently heavily considering a June retake :wink: I feel like my commitment was just too half-hearted, and I was trying to go all in mostly for the sake of others. A lot of people think that backing out one year = you aren't going to grad/law school = not okay, such wasted potential.

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WaltGrace83

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby WaltGrace83 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:46 pm

jk148706 wrote:First of all, congrats to you. It's tough to turn down some of those offers, but it will likely pay off in the long run.

At this point, I'm still planning to attend in the fall, but I don't have fantastic options (actually, all questionable options really). I'm going to try to negotiate, ride a couple WLs and hope a June retake helps.

I 100 percent agree with this:

Marshmallow wrote:The hardest thing right now: Job hunting and breaking the news to loved ones who have been along for the ride with me.


This is especially true for me, since I sat out last cycle. If I were to sit out again, idk what people would think. I know that shouldn't matter, but it's hard when family/friends are like "just get on with it" and think I'm simply dragging my feet/scared of the commitment.


THIS. When I told my parents that I don't think I am going to take the June test and delay until September or even later, they were like, "wtf?! you've been studying nonstop!" However, I just really don't want to waste my 4.0 on anything less than GIANT money at a T14 school. There is just no point. Law school isn't going anywhere and work experience for one, two, or even three years would just serve me well (I don't even graduate until next month). The only thing I kind of hate is that a lot of my friends are already getting jobs that they will be in for a long term and have started their "life" and I won't even be able to become an attorney until 26 at the earliest

Some people just don't understand what 200+k really is; they see a law degree as a sure way to big money.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby El Principe » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:56 pm

I'm not even looking at that much debt, but still, 100K scares the life out of me....

My biggest obstacle for retaking is how to break it to my family. It's one thing to tell them, I'm waiting a year. It's another thing when I'll likely have to rely on them financially for the year, unless I get a promotion or get another job. The idea of financing my own living expenses, plus saving up for the LSAT, more study materials, application fees, & visit money doesn't at all seem feasible without their help, yet I feel they'll flip shit and cut me off if I sit out a cycle at this point.

I really really feel trapped.

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WaltGrace83

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby WaltGrace83 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:59 pm

This thread makes me feel so good that I'm not alone

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Marshmallow

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby Marshmallow » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:38 pm

WaltGrace83 wrote:This thread makes me feel so good that I'm not alone


+1

It's good to see some familiar posters, too. It's easy to just think everyone is headed to law school NOWWWW

hawk5

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby hawk5 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:44 pm

This thread is definitely helpful. I'm still on the fence about attending. There is so much pressure from family/friends to go. I don't think they fathom the fact that there's a chance you don't great jobs from some of the law schools i'm looking at.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby PrideandGlory1776 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:54 pm

Woah - turning down 150k at Cornell Law - is this real life?

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rayiner

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby rayiner » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:57 pm

When you saw a board, you measure twice and cut once. Good on you for taking as much care in your law school decision.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby njdevils2626 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:00 pm

I'm on the fence about going this year too, mostly because I'm a late applicant (think like February late) and a super splitter and I feel I'm more likely to get some acceptances at some great schools if I wait a year (especially since my GPA is only going to increase further this semester). Like you guys all said, one of the biggest issues for me is breaking it to the parents. I'm a K-JD so it's not like I don't have the time to sit out, but I don't have the same downsides as many others. My parents will be covering the large large majority of payments, if not all, so to them I shouldn't worry about scholarships and I should be happy with 75K from WUSTL or Emory. I'm hoping to see that increase and hoping to get some more acceptances/$$ but it's really an iffy call either way for me right now. If I got into UBC though, then at the worst I'd attend there. Tough to say no to a top 4 Canadian school (I'm Canadian btw) at 10K full tuition

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:43 pm

I'm strongly considering taking a year off to get an engineering degree and perhaps avoiding law altogether. I strongly underperformed this cycle, and I'm not thrilled with the prospect of paying $130,000 for Texas. The idea of 70-80hr weeks in biglaw is really making me rethink some priorities because that is the good outcome.

Also, with an extra 2 points I'd have Chicago, and another 4, perhaps Harvard. Hell, I may even get a full ride next year from Texas with the exact same score.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby Marshmallow » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:59 pm

PrideandGlory1776 wrote:Woah - turning down 150k at Cornell Law - is this real life?


I am extremely grateful for the Cornell offer, but I applied to Cornell primary for scholarship negotiation purposes. I'm not interested in biglaw, and I'm not interested in NYC. I'm also pretty sure Ithaca would not have as many opportunities for my SO as larger cities. The Cornell offer did make me think twice about attending because that's a lot of $$$$ and I'd be crazy not to even consider.

I'm also not sure about being a lawyer, so that's also a pretty big issue :lol:

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Marshmallow

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby Marshmallow » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:03 pm

Thanks everyone for sharing. I'm definitely feeling more and more comfortable with my decision every day, and really hope this thread reaches people who need it.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby whm0829 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:13 pm

I am also in the next cycle boat. I have a full ride from a state school outside of my region and my family and friends are really pushing me to go since I already took a year last year. I know the TLS opinion would be for me to retake but there are other pressure to account for. I pretty much have a week to decide.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby BankruptMe » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:19 pm

Im on the fence. Scholarship to a regional, very low cost.

I may go into the armed services instead. Could have a contract in the next few weeks

The decision comes down to risking my physical life vs. my financial one

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories

Postby thisiswater » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:55 pm

I sat out twice prior to this cycle, in 2011 and 2012. I am happy with the last few years, my work experience, the money, etc. and don't really have any regrets but things do change as you get older. I'm 26 now and taking on the debt, moving again, living like a student, all of that feels less possible than it did a few years ago. This time I have decided to go PT in my city. Graduating at 29 with six figures in debt and just starting a new career is just too much for me, no matter what the possible upside of a NW degree vs. SMU.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories

Postby banjo » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:19 pm

This is a great thread idea. I am a 1L, but I have three pieces of advice about the LSAT and law school:

1) Don't go simply because you've invested so much time in studying.

2) Don't go simply because you're afraid of retaking.

3) Don't NOT go simply because you're afraid of retaking.

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SFrost

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories

Postby SFrost » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:21 pm

You gotta grow up someday and you won't be young forever.

A year is a year from your career.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories

Postby n1o2c3a4c5h6e7t » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:27 pm

SFrost wrote:You gotta grow up someday and you won't be young forever.

A year is a year from your career.

I'm just scared that career will be doc review.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby Nomo » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:34 pm

hawk5 wrote:This thread is definitely helpful. I'm still on the fence about attending. There is so much pressure from family/friends to go. I don't think they fathom the fact that there's a chance you don't great jobs from some of the law schools i'm looking at.


For what its worth . . . here is some advice from a 30yr old practicing attorney.

Its important to listen to advice and criticism. But, part of growing up is learning to evaluate that advice and criticism on your own and to make your own decision. You've got to become comfortable making decisions that disappoint your family and friends.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories (hopefully!)

Postby cron1834 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:46 pm

Marshmallow wrote:
PrideandGlory1776 wrote:Woah - turning down 150k at Cornell Law - is this real life?


I'm also not sure about being a lawyer, so that's also a pretty big issue :lol:


This is more important than than the most generous scholarship ever offered. Even it it's a literal $0-COL, debt-free situation, you can't get years of your life back.

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories

Postby Kool-Aid » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:46 pm

I also sat out two cycles and it was the best decision I made, both times! I increased my LSAT score which had the greatest impact on my cycle this time around, but I feel that I've grown so much as a person and it will pay dividends when I start school this fall.

I was also afraid of letting people down initially, but I made the best decision for "me". Your family may or may not understand, but they also won't understand why you're unemployed after law school and probably won't be making your student loan payments for you either. Good luck

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories

Postby drawstring » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:56 pm

Glad to see this thread.

I'm having a tough time deciding about whether to apply again assuming not much happens in the next few months. I've got some decent options on the table (though all will still leave me with a fair amount of debt), but I still feel like I underperformed a bit and I was expecting more. I won't have an updated LSAT score though and I'll have just a few more months of WE (K-JD right now), but I don't know how much of a difference that will make, and it would suck to reapply and not get better outcomes.

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WaltGrace83

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Re: Saying "No" to this Cycle: Collected Stories

Postby WaltGrace83 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:09 pm

SFrost wrote:You gotta grow up someday and you won't be young forever.

A year is a year from your career.


I will say to this what I have said to everyone who critiques others for waiting...

I would much rather take a year out and study for an LSAT take/retake and get good prospects, enable myself to find a job before graduating with a decent salary, etc. then rush into school with a mediocre application and waste a year (or two, or three) after law school looking for jobs and becoming a barista with a JD. There is some merit to what you are saying. However, it's not like those of us who are going to wait are going to be waking up at 2:00, eating fruit loops on our mom's basement couch. A big aspect of "growing up" is understanding how financial planning works and realizing that a TTT at 120k may not be the best investment in the world.

I am taking a year off whether or not I take in June or September (obviously). What am I doing? I am going to be teaching high school English. I won't be 22 forever, your right, but I know many other 22 year olds that would love to have my opportunities.



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