Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

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FielderN

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Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby FielderN » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:03 pm

I left medical school after my first year because I was very unhappy with my experience in the field.

I'm interested in applying to law school and ideally attending a T14 starting in 2019. Is it too late?

I have considered beginning my LSAT preparation within a week and optimally submitting my application in a couple of months. If it helps, I am generally a very good test taker and earned a good score (high percentile) on the critical reading part of the MCAT.

I graduated one year ago from a top public university with a 3.75 GPA.

Please let me know your thoughts.

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northwood

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby northwood » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:45 pm

It will be difficult to gsee be advice without a real LSAT score.. however, ( and not to be rude or pretentious) why do you want to go to law school?

FielderN

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby FielderN » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:49 pm

Hi. Yes I know what you mean. I did far better on the verbal section of the MCAT which for most premeds is the hardest section (and for whom biology related topics are easier).

I left medical school because I would largely be interested in a "less clinical" and more analytical specialty such as pathology or radiology and I feel that law would be a better environment if that is what I am motivated by.

I was urged to finish the degree and apply to law school afterward but medical school tuition rates = significant debt with little benefit of you do not complete a residency.

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby Aptitude » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:12 pm

FielderN wrote:Hi. Yes I know what you mean. I did far better on the verbal section of the MCAT which for most premeds is the hardest section (and for whom biology related topics are easier).

I left medical school because I would largely be interested in a "less clinical" and more analytical specialty such as pathology or radiology and I feel that law would be a better environment if that is what I am motivated by.

I was urged to finish the degree and apply to law school afterward but medical school tuition rates = significant debt with little benefit of you do not complete a residency.


I've met quite a few happy radiologists that live really good lives. I don't meet near as many happy Attorneys.

I would reconsider. I have many Doctor friends and if I could have done undergrad again, I would have aimed for med school (or something within medicine).

FielderN

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby FielderN » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:44 pm

Interesting. Why would you say that lawyers seem so unhappy?

Radiology is unfortunately still a hard field to get into, particularly interventional ($$$). The physicians that I know to be happy would probably be dermatologist and PM&R types because of the work-life balance.

I would not say medicine is not what it was. There is a lot of encroachment from midlevels (NP, PA), a surprisingly large amount of paperwork (dealing with insurance companies) and significantly less autonomy than the "golden age" two decades ago.

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby Npret » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:57 pm

FielderN wrote:Hi. Yes I know what you mean. I did far better on the verbal section of the MCAT which for most premeds is the hardest section (and for whom biology related topics are easier).

I left medical school because I would largely be interested in a "less clinical" and more analytical specialty such as pathology or radiology and I feel that law would be a better environment if that is what I am motivated by.

I was urged to finish the degree and apply to law school afterward but medical school tuition rates = significant debt with little benefit of you do not complete a residency.

Law has nothing to do with pathology or radiology.
You haven’t come up with a single reason to go to law school.
You should defer med school a year if you can and work. This is a huge decision. We tell everyone to know what being a lawyer entails before they go.

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby totesTheGoat » Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:56 am

FielderN wrote: Why would you say that lawyers seem so unhappy?


A few reasons off the top of my head:
1) The average result of law school is $100k+ in debt and a $70k job
2) Many lawyers work 60+ hours per week, and most of the lawyers making over $100k are working at least that much
3) Law is often deadline driven, meaning that there' are constant "fire drills", involving work at night and on the weekends
4) Law is a service industry, which involves all of the headaches of dealing with providing a service directly to clients (and trying to get them to pay you)
5) The practice of law is infested with narcissistic assholes, which really sucks when you report to them.
6) Law is, by its nature, a paper pushing profession. Even in the most exciting legal field, it's a constant tedium of paperwork occasionally punctuated by an exciting few days.
7) Law firms are under constant pressure to commoditize their work, resulting in an ever increasing need for everybody to overproduce and underbill.

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby Aptitude » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:04 pm

FielderN wrote:Interesting. Why would you say that lawyers seem so unhappy?

Radiology is unfortunately still a hard field to get into, particularly interventional ($$$). The physicians that I know to be happy would probably be dermatologist and PM&R types because of the work-life balance.

I would not say medicine is not what it was. There is a lot of encroachment from midlevels (NP, PA), a surprisingly large amount of paperwork (dealing with insurance companies) and significantly less autonomy than the "golden age" two decades ago.


I would still try for it, and even you can't get into Radiology there are a lot of other specialties. I mean, you obviously know this and have it all before. So all I'll say is if I were in your situation, I would never leave med school for law school.

As for your question about unhappiness with attorneys, lot of the problems you describe exist in law. You mention encroachment from midlevels in medicine, but this is definitely a problem in law as states are giving paralegals more legal power than they had before, and can sign off on certain documents now (such as in family law or probate). In some states, you can take the Bar without a law degree. Non-Attorney legal services are becoming more common than it was many years back as well. Before, even if you wanted do to something like a will yourself, you had to get a book, read, and follow it. Now, you can Google a bunch of far easier services.

Though there are many reasons why I think people are unhappy with law and why so many people leave the profession (as explained by another person in this thread), I think the biggest reason is expectations vs the reality of law. There are a lot of K-JDs that have never worked that expect a certain lifestyle from law. They think they'll have a steady, 40-50 hour a week job, in a cushy high-rise office, where they'll get to analyze a lot of interesting cases, write a lot, and have lots of meetings with other Attorneys and flashy clients. Many even think they'll spend some time writing, some time meeting, and the rest of the time arguing in court.

The reality is for many law jobs, you deal with a lot of documents and forms. If paperwork annoys you, I would stay far, far, far away from this job. I would do any other white collar profession, accounting, banking, actuary, finance. A lot of jobs require paperwork, but the amount in law has to be the top 1% of all professions (dealing with insurance paperwork is a big industry in law).

As Ellen Pao recently tweeted, you really have to "love the documents" to love law. I'm guessing it's a lot easier to love medicine then to "love the documents."

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby ivankinghk » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:33 pm

i dont see how you will be more happier in law then medicine, unless you truly want to be a lawyer. Law school is exp and is not money guarantee like how it used to be. if you can get into big law-great,but doesn't necessary mean you will survive and make it to partner, and if you don't make it to partner, you ganna be associate forever working long ass hours, again, unless this is something you like. it's just a long ass journey. in the case you dont make it to big law, neither govt' or inhouse( these jobs are hard to get too), you will end up in small law, which money will be tough unless you venture out and start your own practice, which success is not guarantee again. While you are struggling to find some success in your legal career, you also have to deal with your debt and other shit, and when you realized you made the wrong decision, you will probably be in your mid 30s or late 30s.

Not here to discourage you, but you gotta have a plan and know what you want before you get into it.

TrustMeImALawStudent

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby TrustMeImALawStudent » Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:00 am

FielderN wrote:Interesting. Why would you say that lawyers seem so unhappy?


Legal work is utterly boring. Just a completely mind-numbing experience. People lose their souls, become angry. I've done it for a year now and I wish I went to medical school. Ha!

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby Blue664 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:12 pm

It's awesome that you had the courage to leave a grad program that you knew you were unhappy in. It takes real guts and introspection, and three years is a long way to go to finish a degree for a career you know you don't want. Plus the three more years for residency. I feel like people generally don't know enough about how brutal residency can be and how inhumanely residents can be treated.

That said, leaving med school and going to law school should be separate decisions. Law school, like med school, is a serious commitment if you're not sure you're going to like it. If you have time right now,, you could definitely go all-in on LSAT studying plus make time for conversations with current law students and lawyers to make sure this is something that's right for you (plus to bolster your answer to "why did you leave medicine/why law now," because literally in the apps process and then in the job search people will never stop asking). There are definitely people who transition from med school to law school and are very happy they did it, but of course some people leave med school and go into another career altogether and are very happy too.

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby Aptitude » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:49 pm

Blue664 wrote:It's awesome that you had the courage to leave a grad program that you knew you were unhappy in. It takes real guts and introspection, and three years is a long way to go to finish a degree for a career you know you don't want. Plus the three more years for residency. I feel like people generally don't know enough about how brutal residency can be and how inhumanely residents can be treated.


I think most people have a decent idea of how hard it is. For me, I was not arguing it's difficulty, I know it's harder than law school or being an associate - the long, odd hours, the work can be both mentally and physically grueling, and it's a long path. I am close with a lot of Doctors. Being a medical resident and the difficulty is not exactly what I was disputing at all.

The OP said he doesn't like dealing with insurance paperwork, and that there is infringement on practices from midlevels. Can you honestly say that law doesn't have these problems but even worse?

What is law for the vast majority of people, if it's not a ton of complicated paperwork? There are entire law firms built on doing just insurance paperwork. Another great example of infringement into law, is legal paperwork for small businesses. A lot of non-attorney services offer legal paperwork for businesses for a fraction of the cost of an attorney. But the paperwork is so annoying, that business owners would rather pay $1000+ for an Attorney to do it, than pay $30 for the online forms and do it themselves.

If OP is annoyed by paperwork, infringement on his professional practice, and significant debt, than law school sounds like a terrible idea.

OP's best case scenario (an active role at an interesting, high paying law firm) would still include a lot of paperwork, and significant debt. His best case scenario in law is not much better, probably equal or worse to his worst case scenario in medicine.

Look, I am not as bothered by paperwork as the OP, I'm in no debt, and I'm pretty resigned to the fact that there's a ton of weird infringing on legal practices from paralegals and non-Attorneys (if it becomes de-regulated in a few years I'd shrug). But, if I could do undergrad all over again, I would have definitely tried for something in medicine. I'd way rather be any type of Doctor.

Even if I were to look for a cushy corporate office job, I wouldn't do law again. I'd probably have taken my math classes more seriously, not tried to learn differential equations in 1 night before the final, and maybe ended up working a cushy, high paying job in stats/data/actuarial science like the majority of friends I went to college with.

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Re: Left medical school. Want to go to law school. Advice needed.

Postby Blue664 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:12 pm

Aptitude wrote:
Blue664 wrote:It's awesome that you had the courage to leave a grad program that you knew you were unhappy in. It takes real guts and introspection, and three years is a long way to go to finish a degree for a career you know you don't want. Plus the three more years for residency. I feel like people generally don't know enough about how brutal residency can be and how inhumanely residents can be treated.


I think most people have a decent idea of how hard it is. For me, I was not arguing it's difficulty, I know it's harder than law school or being an associate - the long, odd hours, the work can be both mentally and physically grueling, and it's a long path. I am close with a lot of Doctors. Being a medical resident and the difficulty is not exactly what I was disputing at all.

The OP said he doesn't like dealing with insurance paperwork, and that there is infringement on practices from midlevels. Can you honestly say that law doesn't have these problems but even worse?

What is law for the vast majority of people, if it's not a ton of complicated paperwork? There are entire law firms built on doing just insurance paperwork. Another great example of infringement into law, is legal paperwork for small businesses. A lot of non-attorney services offer legal paperwork for businesses for a fraction of the cost of an attorney. But the paperwork is so annoying, that business owners would rather pay $1000+ for an Attorney to do it, than pay $30 for the online forms and do it themselves.

If OP is annoyed by paperwork, infringement on his professional practice, and significant debt, than law school sounds like a terrible idea.

OP's best case scenario (an active role at an interesting, high paying law firm) would still include a lot of paperwork, and significant debt. His best case scenario in law is not much better, probably equal or worse to his worst case scenario in medicine.

Look, I am not as bothered by paperwork as the OP, I'm in no debt, and I'm pretty resigned to the fact that there's a ton of weird infringing on legal practices from paralegals and non-Attorneys (if it becomes de-regulated in a few years I'd shrug). But, if I could do undergrad all over again, I would have definitely tried for something in medicine. I'd way rather be any type of Doctor.

Even if I were to look for a cushy corporate office job, I wouldn't do law again. I'd probably have taken my math classes more seriously, not tried to learn differential equations in 1 night before the final, and maybe ended up working a cushy, high paying job in stats/data/actuarial science like the majority of friends I went to college with.


I was really not disputing anything specific that anyone was saying in this thread. I was just trying to give OP props for making a very difficult decision (to leave med school where they are clearly unhappy). OP was not asking whether we think they should go back to med school.

I think it's great that we're all encouraging OP to look more closely at whether law is right for them, though. OP has more than 2 career choices in life though.



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