alternative career dilemma

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thecolorofenergy
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:39 pm

alternative career dilemma

Postby thecolorofenergy » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:59 pm

OK so i figured i'd share an interesting life decision-type question i've been pondering. I just finished my first year at a 3rd tier law school and i'm currently first in my class. I am working as a summer associate at a top 50 law firm. Here's the problem:
I don't like law school, and other than the great paycheck, I don't like working at the law firm. My situation sounds great on paper, especially because the people at this firm are very nice and it doesn't have that stereotype big law feel. However, the idea of working for 12 hours a day for the rest of my life on things I don't care about is very unappealing. I got into law school with the intention of eventually getting into entertainment/media law (i'm still very interested in the media interest in general as I have an extensive background in music), but i don't live in california so I'm not sure that is a realistic possibility.

Anybody have any good suggestions for possible career paths? Help me before I work a job I hate for 40 years!

thecolorofenergy
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:39 pm

Re: alternative career dilemma

Postby thecolorofenergy » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:00 pm

Oh and also, I don't have a background in business or any very useful undergraduate or work experience.

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The Kid
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Re: alternative career dilemma

Postby The Kid » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:17 pm

Transfer to a Californian school?

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OperaSoprano
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Re: alternative career dilemma

Postby OperaSoprano » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:37 pm

The Kid wrote:Transfer to a Californian school?


This. Apply to Berkeley and Stanford. I would also try to get more diverse hands on legal experience. Not every law firm is the same, and not every lawyer works in a law firm.

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The Kid
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Re: alternative career dilemma

Postby The Kid » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:55 pm

Take a look at this. It seems to have good tips on transfer:

http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissions/archive/2011/06/09/back-by-popular-demand.aspx

09042014
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Re: alternative career dilemma

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:02 pm

Use you SA money to pay off a good chunk of your student loan debt and drop out. You don't like it. Don't give yourself golden handcuffs.

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kurla88
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Re: alternative career dilemma

Postby kurla88 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:03 am

OperaSoprano wrote:
The Kid wrote:Transfer to a Californian school?


This. Apply to Berkeley and Stanford. I would also try to get more diverse hands on legal experience. Not every law firm is the same, and not every lawyer works in a law firm.


UCLA could be a good option as well and allows you the opportunity to intern during the school year at some kind of media/entertainment gig. For example, Marvel Studios takes legal interns during the year. V hard to get but you're clearly a hustler already. I think working while in school (after 1L) is one of the most valuable things you can do, but this might be because I got lucky and got a part time gig that I like, in my main area of interest...

Are you interested in maybe being an agent a few years down the line? Lawyer to agent seems a semi common path in media/entertainment law circles, from what I hear. But you'd still probably have to start off with LA biglaw for a bit. If you can't stand the thought maybe dropping out now and cutting your losses is the way.

Z3RO
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Re: alternative career dilemma

Postby Z3RO » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:34 am

I'm an 0L, but I can't imagine OP continuing in a career that he hates just in the hopes that he might be able to lateral into a career that's either 1. only tangentially related to being a lawyer, or 2. a very niche, glamorous, sought-after type of legal employment.

I tend to agree with DF, and this is no exception.

flcath
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Re: alternative career dilemma

Postby flcath » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:57 am

My god, if you don't like the law while you have the praise, awe, and envy of the #1 ranking, you're going to really fucking hate it when the reality of firm life sets in.

However, since you're obviously talented at it, I'd say stick around, land a 2L SA as well, and finish up LS without debt (if you're paying big for LS, then maybe transfer... if this is the case, dropping out starts to sound better as well).

As much as I love the smart-kid-from-the-suburbs mentality of finding a job that you truly love (a "passion" for your "vocation"), it only applies when choosing which one path to pursue among multiple options available. A lot of people are out there with no options, and I'd hate to see you sell out a viable career path when you don't have anything else.

thecolorofenergy
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:39 pm

Re: alternative career dilemma

Postby thecolorofenergy » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:14 pm

Honestly, I don't really have any plans to drop out. I have a full ride from my school so debt isn't a serious problem either way and I do find the study of law (conceptually) pretty interesting. I appreciate the advice on transferring to a California school and I did consider it, but I'm not ready to go over there and pay $40k a year for tuition. My main question -and in rereading my earlier post, i see that it wasn't exactly clear - is what other alternative careers for people with JD's are available in general? I like the idea of becoming an agent for sure. Anybody have any good ideas of government work in a govt agency or something? Also, I'm pretty sure I could get an SA position at the LA office for my firm next summer. Do you all think that would be a good jumping off point for an entertainment law career? (they do some entertainment law out there but its not a primary focus)

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kurla88
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Re: alternative career dilemma

Postby kurla88 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:34 pm

thecolorofenergy wrote:Also, I'm pretty sure I could get an SA position at the LA office for my firm next summer. Do you all think that would be a good jumping off point for an entertainment law career? (they do some entertainment law out there but its not a primary focus)


That's definitely an option, especially if they'd let you start off in their entertainment law group. Check out how many partners vs. associates they have - have they let any associates start in this group in the last few years? But ideally try and get an SA at some place that has a large entertainment law group/maybe a boutique.




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