Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

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Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:08 am

I go to a T-10 and got great grades and thought I had everything figured out. However, I'm currently 2 weeks in to my SA and I really don't like it. I don't feel challenged and I don't enjoy the work at all. Part of my unhappiness is because my GF of 1.5 years recently broke up with me and I basically locked myself into a city that I don't want to be in because of her, but last night I actually realized I'm truly miserable because I just don't enjoy the job. I read all about how big law was a grind, etc, but I always thought it wouldn't be as bad as people say.

Now of course I realize that I've only been here for 2 weeks, but honestly, if I'm not even enjoying the job as an SA, I know it only gets worse once the SA honeymoon is over. I walk in at 9 and see partners already there and not leaving until 8PM. I didn't mind the idea of working long hours if the work was enjoyable, but it's not enjoyable to me at all. I can't imagine living this lifestyle for any amount of money.

I'll be honest, I've always been somewhat of a striver, but now it's actually hitting me how unhappy I am (and will be). This obviously would have been better to have realized before I even entered law school, but there's not much I can do about that now. I'm about ~100k in debt after 2 years of law school.

If I know that I'm going to be so unhappy, is there any reason to finish out law school and go another 60k into debt? I think I want to become a high school teacher. It obviously doesn't pay well, but I know that I would enjoy doing it.

Am I crazy for thinking about doing this? I used to see posts similar to this from other people and think to myself, "are you batshit insane?" but now that I'm actually in the same position and feeling the unhappiness myself, it doesn't seem all that crazy.

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BigFatPanda
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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby BigFatPanda » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:12 am

Just get a job at a different city when you graduate

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby joeshmo39 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:15 am

The relationship trouble might be affecting your perspective more than you even know. Obviously it will be hard to put distance between that and this summer and the city you are in. Try to though. I don't know what city you're in but when you're not working try and see it a bit. Get on urbanspoon and try to find some fun ethnic or local resturants to check out, see some sights, etc. If you still hate the city and job at the end of the summer, then it's time to decide.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:16 am

BigFatPanda wrote:Just get a job at a different city when you graduate


Well, I mean, it's not even about the city. Yea, I'm depressed that my GF bailed on me and I'm stuck in this city where I don't want to be, but I honestly just know I will be miserable if I do this in any city.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:16 am

Are you sure you wouldn't like doing ANYTHING else in the legal field? Fed govt? Military? ANYTHING? Firm law/biglaw =/= all of the legal field. I would slit my throat if I found myself in biglaw...I have no interest. There are other ways to use a legal degree, hence why I will still go for it (hoping for smaller family law firm, then solo pract down the road).

You are only one year from graduating with a degree that some people would kill to have. You can move (you're going to a T-10...you have WAY more mobility than, say, if you were going to my school hahaha) and likely find a job if you get as great of grades as you say you do. I think this would be a silly silly thing to do.

If anything, maybe transfer, or take a leave of absence for a year or something. Don't just drop out and forget the two years of hard work and money you've already invested.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby holydonkey » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:16 am

BigFatPanda wrote:Just get a job at a different city when you graduate
or not in biglaw. If you're at a T10, have good grades, and got a SA, why not go into government (still work long hours, but fewer) or public interest after school? You'll probably find the work more enjoyable and it will certainly pay off the debt faster than working as a high school teacher.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby TTTGrad » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:17 am

Your story is all too common. And the SA days are supposed to be the best (i.e., courtship). It's downhill after that. I feel for you. I can relate to your story in that I lost a hot girlfriend because I ignored her during my 2L summer. My head was so far into the biglaw sky that I forgot what was real and what was unreal. The reality was I sold my soul into a miserable profession and lost perhaps the best piece of ass I ever had as a serious girlfriend. Do yourself a favor, finish your SA gig, make money, drop out, pay some of the loans with what you made and get back with your sweetheart (if you really dig her). If the economy ever picks up, you can always go back and finish your last year.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby ChewbaccaDefense » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:18 am

I find it hard to believe you're finding out just now that you hate law. Hating biglaw after this exposure, fine, I get that. But if you enjoy *law*, then I say stick out your SA-ship, get your offer, and leverage it to get into a field of law that you enjoy.

However, if I'm wrong, and you really found out just now that you have no interest in law, then the answer is clear: cut your losses.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby JOThompson » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:19 am

If you excel at a T-10, you have a variety of fine options in other cities and with other employers. Don't let this experience sour your attitude toward the legal profession as a whole. Whatever you do, please don't act hastily. Give yourself distance from your former relationship and time to adjust to your new SA and city.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby pinkzeppelin » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:19 am

Finish the SA. Get over your break-up. Get to know people in your firm. Get to know people in the city. After all that if you still want to quit, go be a high school teacher and don't look back.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:19 am

TTTGrad wrote:Your story is all too common. And the SA days are supposed to be the best (i.e., courtship). It's downhill after that. I feel for you. I can relate to your story in that I lost a hot girlfriend because I ignored her during my 2L summer. My head was so far into the biglaw sky that I forgot what was real and what was unreal. The reality was I sold my soul into a miserable profession and lost perhaps the best piece of ass I ever had as a serious girlfriend. Do yourself a favor, finish your SA gig, make money, drop out, pay some of the loans with what you made and get back with your sweetheart (if you really dig her). If the economy ever picks up, you can always go back and finish your last year.


Ummm, mods, can ya just perma-ban this dude? He's SO OBNOXIOUS.

News flash, TTTGrad, no one cares what you think. And I'm guessing this girl left you because you called her the "best piece of ass" you've ever had. Girls aren't attracted to unsuccessful assholes, you may want to work on that.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby aquinn » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:28 am

I think this is normal. You are going through a lot of changes and it seems to me that when you are about to reach your goal everything starts becoming hazy. Keep this in mind:
1. You put in a lot of thought when you decided to go to law school in the first place. Trust that you made the decision when you where looking at almost $200,000 in debt. There was obviously something about the legal profession that made you take the plunge.
2. There are many aspects of the legal profession. Maybe biglaw isn't for you. Isn't this why you took this SA position? To get your feet wet and see if its what you want? Well you are starting to see that it isn't. That doesn't mean leaving the whole profession if you don't like one job. If you are interested in children maybe look into family law. Maybe working with the juvenile justice system. You obviously don't care about how much money you will be making so look into all the options. Many lawyers work with children. You can work for the state and represent children in the foster care system.
3. You have been working hard and getting good grades. Many people work hard but don't get good grades. That is telling you something. Maybe this law thing is for you, you just haven't found your specialty yet.
4. Your long-time girlfriend just broke up with you. Everything is going to be affected, even if you don't realize it. Give it some time before you make any life-changing decisions.

Good luck making your decision.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby joeshmo39 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:31 am

TTTGrad wrote:Your story is all too common. And the SA days are supposed to be the best (i.e., courtship). It's downhill after that. I feel for you. I can relate to your story in that I lost a hot girlfriend because I ignored her during my 2L summer. My head was so far into the biglaw sky that I forgot what was real and what was unreal. The reality was I sold my soul into a miserable profession and lost perhaps the best piece of ass I ever had as a serious girlfriend. Do yourself a favor, finish your SA gig, make money, drop out, pay some of the loans with what you made and get back with your sweetheart (if you really dig her). If the economy ever picks up, you can always go back and finish your last year.


I think that is just the plot of a Midsummer Night's dream... though TTTGrad does have a way with words. What a romantic.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:38 am

chicagolaw2013 wrote:Are you sure you wouldn't like doing ANYTHING else in the legal field? Fed govt? Military? ANYTHING? Firm law/biglaw =/= all of the legal field. I would slit my throat if I found myself in biglaw...I have no interest. There are other ways to use a legal degree, hence why I will still go for it (hoping for smaller family law firm, then solo pract down the road).

You are only one year from graduating with a degree that some people would kill to have. You can move (you're going to a T-10...you have WAY more mobility than, say, if you were going to my school hahaha) and likely find a job if you get as great of grades as you say you do. I think this would be a silly silly thing to do.

If anything, maybe transfer, or take a leave of absence for a year or something. Don't just drop out and forget the two years of hard work and money you've already invested.


TITCR. Look at another area of law, because biglaw is not the end all/be all of law. If you want to do something more interesting, try government work or criminal. Look at a job that could possibily get you interacting with clients or in the courtroom. Biglaw has you down, and that's understandable. It isn't for everyone. But don't cast the entire degree and the entire profession aside just because you're unhappy in biglwa.

And if you don't like law at all and it really comes down to it, you can leave law altogether. I know people say that getting a JD for "prestige" or to simply help you in a non-law career is a bad idea, and they are right. But when you are already 2/3s done with the degree, I think it is worth sticking it out and getting that degree. If you ever leave law, having a JD will be a plus on your resume and could help you advance in a non-legal career.

TTTGrad wrote:Your story is all too common. And the SA days are supposed to be the best (i.e., courtship). It's downhill after that. I feel for you. I can relate to your story in that I lost a hot girlfriend because I ignored her during my 2L summer. My head was so far into the biglaw sky that I forgot what was real and what was unreal. The reality was I sold my soul into a miserable profession and lost perhaps the best piece of ass I ever had as a serious girlfriend. Do yourself a favor, finish your SA gig, make money, drop out, pay some of the loans with what you made and get back with your sweetheart (if you really dig her). If the economy ever picks up, you can always go back and finish your last year.


Or you hot girlfriend left you because you're a mouth-breathing, friendless, d-bag with no social skills?

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby crysmissmichelle » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:39 am

"Biglaw" is not all there is! Think very carefully about this before you go and drop out with only one year to go.

What have you done that you are sure you will be happy as a high school teacher? Because I can tell you, that isn't all it's cracked up to be either. . .it will really stink if you drop out, go to school to teach and then find out you hate that.

Finish the year, see if you find a different kind of law that makes you happier, if not, you can still always go and teach. Wouldn't it be cool to teach government or history to kids after a law degree? Or, you could end up being an attorney (making oh-so-much more money than a teacher) for the school system (I have a friend of a friend doing this now!) If you long to teach in the end, then that is all that will make you happy. . .but don't make the decision too quickly when you are going through such an emotional time.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:41 am

Are you basing your belief that you won't like the actual work on the work that you've been given to do, or on the work that you observe associates doing?

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:46 am

Nut up. 11 hour days aren't that bad. You'd probably hate high school too.

Have you done anything but school before? If not you might have this feeling about any career.

IMO keep at it, do your job well, work at making your personal life better. Finish school (if you want to be a teacher IBR will cost you the same even if you add a year of loans) and work in big law for a couple years to pay off your loans.

If you had other goals I'd tell you to follow them, but it seems like you are just trying to run away from the real world.

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romothesavior
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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:46 am

Seriously, do not drop out.

You are:

1) Going to a school that most would kill to be in
2) You (obviously) have grades that most would kill for
3) You have (obviously) quite a few doors open to you at this point
4) In a job that you hate

(4) is what is what is making you unhappy. It doesn't sound like law in general is not what is making you unhappy. School is not making you unhappy. Your JOB is making you unahppy. There are other options to explore before you make this decision to drop out.

Also, don't forget the financial aspect of it. You are 100k in debt. A teacher's salary ain't gonna pay that off anytime soon, and you'll have VERY little income for the vast majority of your life. Also, does IBR kick in if you don't graduate?

And DF is credited. Most people dislike their jobs. You need to suck it up. Why do you think so many 25-35 year olds go to law school?

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby TTTGrad » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:43 pm

romothesavior wrote:Seriously, do not drop out.

You are:

1) Going to a school that most would kill to be in
2) You (obviously) have grades that most would kill for
3) You have (obviously) quite a few doors open to you at this point
4) In a job that you hate

(4) is what is what is making you unhappy. It doesn't sound like law in general is not what is making you unhappy. School is not making you unhappy. Your JOB is making you unahppy. There are other options to explore before you make this decision to drop out.

Also, don't forget the financial aspect of it. You are 100k in debt. A teacher's salary ain't gonna pay that off anytime soon, and you'll have VERY little income for the vast majority of your life. Also, does IBR kick in if you don't graduate?

And DF is credited. Most people dislike their jobs. You need to suck it up. Why do you think so many 25-35 year olds go to law school?



OP, don't fall for the "you are 2/3 of the way through, finish out what you started, you are almost at the finish line" drivel that most law school deans are known for telling confused students that want to drop out. Let's take romo's pointers:

1) Going to a school that most would kill to be in (Unless you are YHS, you are TTT, especially ITE. Many "successful" lawyers would kill to go back in time and avoid law school [e.g., the Georgetown Biglaw associate that recently sold his G-Town JD on Ebay for $575.00]);
2) You (obviously) have grades that most would kill for (Don't know if that is true but grades are irrelevant ITE. Biglaw has caught on to the grade inflation that is happening in most law schools and class rank is what matters);
3) You have (obviously) quite a few doors open to you at this point (Agreed, however, don't believe that a JD on your resume will open more doors for you in other disciplines or fields. A law degree is not as portable to other professions as others wishfully think. Most TLSers will brag about how most of the Fortune 500 CEOs have JDs. This is true but those folks obtained their positions in a different era and also have an MBA from a top program); and,
4) is what is what is making you unhappy. It doesn't sound like law in general is not what is making you unhappy. School is not making you unhappy. Your JOB is making you unahppy. There are other options to explore before you make this decision to drop out. (If you are unhappy now in law, that feeling will be magnified 100X once you are working in Biglaw after graduation. Most associates become alcoholics and some become drug addicts [most states' bar associations have substance abuse programs for lawyers]. In fact among older lawyers, the combination of alcohol, recreational drugs and job related stress causes impotence. I know of at least one lawyer that is suffering from mild dementia as a result of mixing viagra and alchohol. Don't believe Hollywood's portrayal of the legal profession. The glamour of "models and bottles" has been over for quite some time and those days are not coming back).

OP, I am sure most of these kids mean well with their encouragement to stick it out. However, they lack the experience of life and have yet to live the lawyer lifestyle as I have for the past 15 years. Another $60K of debt so that you can teach with a JD? Last I checked, you don't need a JD to teach civics in high school. Lastly, don't let the concept of sunk costs lead you to make irrational decisions about your future. Good luck to you.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby Scallywaggums » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:48 pm

I agree with most of what's been said already (with one obvious, glaring exception). Don't drop out.

joeshmo39 wrote:The relationship trouble might be affecting your perspective more than you even know.


+1

Sure, you're realizing BigLaw is not for you, but you've just bee hit with a gigantic double whammy and you, sir, are depressed (but don't you dare start popping pills). I doubt you'd be considering dropping out if this were only about not wanting BigLaw. The fact that you are considering it suggests that you really loved her and were prolly musing about marriage, even if you hadn't discussed it openly with her.

This is rash advice, and most on here would slap me, but I'd leave the SA and try to win her back. [IF you have a family circle that is willing and able to support you financially and you don't need the money]
Best case: turns out that her real reason for leaving you was realizing "holy shit, this guy is never gonna be around" etc.
Worst case: doesn't work, but you have a summer to clear your head, get over her as much as possible (don't expect her to be forgotten when you start 3L), get outside & try to have fun with friends, and start some extensive research into legal career options that you could be happy landing*.

Caveat: If you're confident that she left you for a particular reason based on her saying so etc. and you're 100% sure it's over (even still, you'd be surprised), try to stick out your SA. However, if you're still depressed in a couple weeks, ditch it. I could be wrong about this (and someone plz correct me if I am), but I assume that nailing your 3L and keeping your stellar class rank is far more important than your SA. Girl depression is a grade killer, not to mention your ability to chipperly re-define your identity within the legal profession in time for networking and securing a solid job out of graduation. Your top priority is getting back to the mindset you were in a few months ago in time for 3L.


*legal career options that you could be happy landing*
I too would hate BigLaw, this thread discusses in detail some of the options mentioned above by others
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=119614

*TL,DR*
Jobs with 40-55 hour work weeks definitely exist. They're not the norm, but they're not as rare as you might think.
You are in a much better position to snag one than the vast majority of others in your mindset are, so don't you dare make the biggest mistake of your life.
Last edited by Scallywaggums on Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby bk1 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:52 pm

To the OP: I agree with joeshmo. Maybe you are thinking clearly, maybe you aren't. But after a big breakup it is always a possibility even when you think it isn't.

TTTGrad wrote:Biglaw has caught on to the grade inflation that is happening in most law schools and class rank is what matters


What are you on about? I don't know the OP's situation but you have to be pretty dense not to infer that he is at a very high class rank from his post.

Plus your advice to "get back with his sweetheart" is completely idiotic without knowing anything about that relationship and how it ended.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby TTTGrad » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:58 pm

bk1 wrote:To the OP: I agree with joeshmo. Maybe you are thinking clearly, maybe you aren't. But after a big breakup it is always a possibility even when you think it isn't.

TTTGrad wrote:Biglaw has caught on to the grade inflation that is happening in most law schools and class rank is what matters


What are you on about? I don't know the OP's situation but you have to be pretty dense not to infer that he is at a very high class rank from his post.

Plus your advice to "get back with his sweetheart" is completely idiotic without knowing anything about that relationship and how it ended.



Biglaw has caught on to the fact that you can have a 3.4-3.5 in some schools and still be slightly above median. I did not say that the OP's class rank was not high. As for my "sweetheart" advice, the OP may have not blurted out his true feelings for her but you failed to read in between the lines. He is obviously missing her or something about her and his pain is transparent. Kid, didn't you aleady take the LSATs? Come back to life, reality and the real problems that permeate in a young person's life. As for how relationships end, in law school there are mostly 2 scenarios in which relationships end. I am giving the OP the benefit of the more "honorable" scenario.
Last edited by TTTGrad on Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby bk1 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:05 pm

TTTGrad wrote:Biglaw has caught on to the fact that you can have a 3.4-3.5 in some schools and still be slightly above median. I did not say that the OP's class rank was not high.


Then why bring it up in reference to romo's post? Why say that "grades are irrelevant ITE"? They may be "irrelevant" in the sense that a certain number is meaningless, but they are not irrelevant in the sense that they are proxy for something meaningful (class rank).


TTTGrad wrote:As for my "sweetheart" advice, the OP may have not blurted out his true feelings for er but you failed to read in between the lines. He is obviously missing her or something about her and is pain is transparent. Kid, didn't you aleady take the LSATs? Come back to life and reality and the real problems that permeate in a young person's life. As for how relationships end, in law school there are mostly 2 scenarios in which relationships end. I am giving the OP the benefit of the more "honorable" scenario.


It's obvious that the OP misses his ex, it was a long relationship, I didn't miss that. It doesn't mean that because he misses her should go groveling and trying to win her back. And it doesn't mean that just because he misses her it didn't end poorly.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:09 pm

TTTGrad wrote:
bk1 wrote:To the OP: I agree with joeshmo. Maybe you are thinking clearly, maybe you aren't. But after a big breakup it is always a possibility even when you think it isn't.

TTTGrad wrote:Biglaw has caught on to the grade inflation that is happening in most law schools and class rank is what matters


What are you on about? I don't know the OP's situation but you have to be pretty dense not to infer that he is at a very high class rank from his post.

Plus your advice to "get back with his sweetheart" is completely idiotic without knowing anything about that relationship and how it ended.



Biglaw has caught on to the fact that you can have a 3.4-3.5 in some schools and still be slightly above median. I did not say that the OP's class rank was not high. As for my "sweetheart" advice, the OP may have not blurted out his true feelings for her but you failed to read in between the lines. He is obviously missing her or something about her and is pain is transparent. Kid, didn't you aleady take the LSATs? Come back to life and reality and the real problems that permeate in a young person's life. As for how relationships end, in law school there are mostly 2 scenarios in which relationships end. I am giving the OP the benefit of the more "honorable" scenario.


What the hell does this have to do with anything? Who cares if he has a 3.3 on a brutal curver or a 3.7 on a more relaxed curve? As long he is in the top 10%, 20%, etc., then I'd say he has good GRADES. I don't see any problem with using it synonymously. He got a biglaw firm, so in all likelihood, his rank/grades are good. You are making a completely unnecessary distinction. I was simply referring to the fact that his grades (rank, placement, or whatever the hell you want to call it) is good.

You're just picking fights for the sake of picking fights.
Last edited by romothesavior on Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Not liking firm life as SA-thinking about quitting LS

Postby TTT-LS » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:11 pm

,
Last edited by TTT-LS on Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.




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