any unfinished grad degrees out there?

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sassysamosa

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any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby sassysamosa » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:06 am

Hi TLS!

I am in a bit of a sticky situation. I finished one year of a graduate degree and will not be able to finish it. I have my reasons (tuition being the top one but also change of career plan, it's a fairly useless degree and I loathe myself for even taking it on, etc), but I did well the whole year while working full time (got a 3.5 which is all A's and 1 B).

My question is how poorly do you think this will reflect on me this upcoming cycle? I will write an addendum explaining my choice to take on the degree and then what led me to leaving it, and i feel like i have good reasons for not finishing, but not GREAT reasons if that makes sense. How much can you see this being a cause of concern this upcoming cycle?

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby nwise » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:03 pm

I'm also a grad program dropout--I just posted in the "where should I apply?" sticky thread.

grades??

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby grades?? » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:25 pm

To be truthful this isn't great, but do your best to explain it. It doesn't look great to have entered a grad school and leave for any reason (baring extreme circumstances obviously).

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sassysamosa

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby sassysamosa » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:20 pm

thank for replying y'all.

nwise- i'll be sure to look at your thread and see what folks reply to you

grades??- I know , I wish i could shoot past me for making such a rash decision, i wanted to do a masters degree while i took a few years off before LS. I feel stupid now, but I want to know it won't severely limit me.

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rpupkin

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby rpupkin » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:26 pm

sassysamosa wrote:Hi TLS!

I am in a bit of a sticky situation. I finished one year of a graduate degree and will not be able to finish it. I have my reasons (tuition being the top one but also change of career plan, it's a fairly useless degree and I loathe myself for even taking it on, etc), but I did well the whole year while working full time (got a 3.5 which is all A's and 1 B).

My question is how poorly do you think this will reflect on me this upcoming cycle?

There are plenty of grad-school dropouts in law school, so this isn't an insurmountable issue. That said, the problem is obvious: if you just started and quit a grad program, why won't you quit another one?

My take is that grad-school dropouts benefit enormously from working for a couple of years between dropping out and applying to law school. The time off helps at least a bit with law school admissions, and helps a ton with legal employers. I think law firms in particular are wary of those who have a straight through high school-->undergrad-->grad school-->drop out-->law school path. A couple of years of work would help.

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sassysamosa

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby sassysamosa » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:19 am

rpupkin wrote:There are plenty of grad-school dropouts in law school, so this isn't an insurmountable issue. That said, the problem is obvious: if you just started and quit a grad program, why won't you quit another one?

My take is that grad-school dropouts benefit enormously from working for a couple of years between dropping out and applying to law school. The time off helps at least a bit with law school admissions, and helps a ton with legal employers. I think law firms in particular are wary of those who have a straight through high school-->undergrad-->grad school-->drop out-->law school path. A couple of years of work would help.


Completely see where you're coming from. I would like to add that I was working while getting my degree (it was a Masters of education that was classroom based and I was a teacher) So, I will have two years of full-time work experience before going to law school. Maybe it would not hurt to take another year off to work a bit and then apply to LS like you're suggesting. I'm definitely open to it.

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rpupkin

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:54 am

sassysamosa wrote:
rpupkin wrote:There are plenty of grad-school dropouts in law school, so this isn't an insurmountable issue. That said, the problem is obvious: if you just started and quit a grad program, why won't you quit another one?

My take is that grad-school dropouts benefit enormously from working for a couple of years between dropping out and applying to law school. The time off helps at least a bit with law school admissions, and helps a ton with legal employers. I think law firms in particular are wary of those who have a straight through high school-->undergrad-->grad school-->drop out-->law school path. A couple of years of work would help.


Completely see where you're coming from. I would like to add that I was working while getting my degree (it was a Masters of education that was classroom based and I was a teacher) So, I will have two years of full-time work experience before going to law school. Maybe it would not hurt to take another year off to work a bit and then apply to LS like you're suggesting. I'm definitely open to it.

Two things. First, I think you're in better shape than the typical grad-school drop out. It's not like you were in a philosophy PhD program for a year and then dropped out to apply to law school. Your grad program was more vocational. So, really, the question you'll need to answer is why you want to be a lawyer instead of a teacher—which is a question you would have to answer even if you had never started your Masters program.

Second, it's helpful that you have a couple of years of full-time experience as a teacher. That's good (and not at all uncommon) experience for someone entering law school. If you have any doubts about going to law school, I still think it's not a bad idea to take another year or so to think about it. Up to a certain point, more experience is better—I've noticed that people who start law school in their late 20s and graduate in their early 30s tend to end up with the best employment outcomes relative to their law-school stats. But you have enough experience that I don't think you need to wait if you really want to start law school now.

This is turning into a long post, so here's the tl;dr version: I think you're going to be fine.

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby eck456 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:09 am

sassysamosa wrote:
rpupkin wrote:There are plenty of grad-school dropouts in law school, so this isn't an insurmountable issue. That said, the problem is obvious: if you just started and quit a grad program, why won't you quit another one?

My take is that grad-school dropouts benefit enormously from working for a couple of years between dropping out and applying to law school. The time off helps at least a bit with law school admissions, and helps a ton with legal employers. I think law firms in particular are wary of those who have a straight through high school-->undergrad-->grad school-->drop out-->law school path. A couple of years of work would help.


Completely see where you're coming from. I would like to add that I was working while getting my degree (it was a Masters of education that was classroom based and I was a teacher) So, I will have two years of full-time work experience before going to law school. Maybe it would not hurt to take another year off to work a bit and then apply to LS like you're suggesting. I'm definitely open to it.



If you're in a TFA-ish dropout situation, feel free to PM me. I had some credentialling issues, not all of which LSAC actually takes into account when they calculate your GPA since not all programs TFA works with are actuallt technically grad programs. I don't want to put too much info but if it's a leaving the classroom situation where you're in a part time masters to be in the classroom (i.e. A SPED degree in a state that requires all SPED teachers to have a masters) I think it's pretty easy to explain and am happy to chat about strategies.

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stego

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby stego » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:06 am

I left a grad program for 3 years and then went back and finished it. The fact I left probably hurt me even though I went back, and the degree is fairly useless to me so I sort of regret going back. My guess though is there are a lot of idiosyncratic factors in how these situations look to law schools so YMMV.

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sassysamosa

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby sassysamosa » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:28 pm

rpupkin wrote:Two things. First, I think you're in better shape than the typical grad-school drop out. It's not like you were in a philosophy PhD program for a year and then dropped out to apply to law school. Your grad program was more vocational. So, really, the question you'll need to answer is why you want to be a lawyer instead of a teacher—which is a question you would have to answer even if you had never started your Masters program.

Second, it's helpful that you have a couple of years of full-time experience as a teacher. That's good (and not at all uncommon) experience for someone entering law school. If you have any doubts about going to law school, I still think it's not a bad idea to take another year or so to think about it. Up to a certain point, more experience is better—I've noticed that people who start law school in their late 20s and graduate in their early 30s tend to end up with the best employment outcomes relative to their law-school stats. But you have enough experience that I don't think you need to wait if you really want to start law school now.

This is turning into a long post, so here's the tl;dr version: I think you're going to be fine.


Thanks for all this info!! I think I am settled on attending law school, but of course this is all dependent on lsat score and how my cycle turns out. If it's not the school/score I don't think I would mind sitting out for another year and working some more. I'll be entering law school in my mid twenties, so I think I'll be alright on the age/experience front as well. I am just worried about actually getting into law school, which when I get my score in Sept, I'll have a better idea of.

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sassysamosa

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby sassysamosa » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:32 pm

eck456 wrote:
If you're in a TFA-ish dropout situation, feel free to PM me. I had some credentialling issues, not all of which LSAC actually takes into account when they calculate your GPA since not all programs TFA works with are actuallt technically grad programs. I don't want to put too much info but if it's a leaving the classroom situation where you're in a part time masters to be in the classroom (i.e. A SPED degree in a state that requires all SPED teachers to have a masters) I think it's pretty easy to explain and am happy to chat about strategies.


Hey there! thanks for this! i'll send you a message now!

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sassysamosa

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Re: any unfinished grad degrees out there?

Postby sassysamosa » Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:34 pm

stego wrote:I left a grad program for 3 years and then went back and finished it. The fact I left probably hurt me even though I went back, and the degree is fairly useless to me so I sort of regret going back. My guess though is there are a lot of idiosyncratic factors in how these situations look to law schools so YMMV.



I hope so. It's just that I didn't see myself being a career teacher, so what's the point of having an M.Ed? but then I feel like adcomms will be like "why not just finish if you were one year away from finishing?" i can't blame them for asking that. How i wish i could go slap young me :roll:



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