2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.

Stay or leave

GTFO (Live a happy life man, number one)
18
23%
Stay, you're crazy and it's too late. (suck it up)
53
67%
Tough situation.. I dunno
8
10%
 
Total votes: 79

Anonymous User
Posts: 273050
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:09 pm

Yep another one of these. My situation is a little different than some though. I had a decent first year but simply don't enjoy going to class or the learning that law school promotes. 1L I probably missed about 50% of my classes and feeling like doing this same this year as well. I am just not engaged or stimulated with what is taught here. Just about median, I have secured a job for next summer with a V100 firm in NYC but coming closer and closer to the realization that I am at the beginning of an unhappy career. Since I am attending at full cost, leaving three semesters in would leave me with a little more than 100k in debt and nothing to show for it. I left a secure job at a fortune 50, not the best pay but not slumming either at about 60k a year with only about 10k from undergrad. I don't know if there is a way to go back at this point and that I am basically stuck on a path with no way to get off.

Is there an condition that would make it reasonable to leave at this point or even a leave of absence with all the debt and interest accruing?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273050
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:15 pm

I'm also not particularly happy as a 2L, but dropping out hasn't even crossed my mind (especially since I really liked my 1L year). I think part of it is that first semester 2L is just rough in general and is an emotional drain (especially with OCI). So, OP, I don't think your unhappiness is uncommon, so I wouldn't drop out if I were you. Just use more discretion when picking your classes next semester (which is what I'm doing). Plus, there is the SA to look forward to!

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:20 pm

Practicing law is very much unlike law school. What did you do your 1L summer? Did you enjoy that at all?

zomginternets
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:59 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby zomginternets » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:24 pm

At full cost with nothing non-law to fallback on, I say stay (unfortunately). If you save wisely you should be able to pay your loans off pretty quickly after graduation, and by then you'll know if you don't like the legal profession or just law school.

c3pO4
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby c3pO4 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:27 pm

Newsflash - you aren't the only 2L who misses 50% of class and hates law school, but has a job lined up. Just play XBOX for the next 2 years, keep getting B's, then work hard (whatever your career first few years are going to suck) pay off your loans and survey the landscape. Bounce out of biglaw, stay in biglaw, whatever. See no reason to drop out here. You're on a good track.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273050
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:31 pm

If I like 1L year that might have more sway with me but I disliked that more than this year. My classes this semester are better and I am also doing a clinic which is more interesting that standard classes. 1L summer I worked in-house which wasn't bad but the pay wasn't near an SA so there was a lot of juggling with two rents etc.

@ZOMG, I feel like that is my only option at this point. Just when crunching the numbers, with a family, I'm looking at 4-5 years just to make a dent in loans even when living on a tight budget. If I don't enjoy it then that is 4 years of my life virtually gone just to make a dent in 3 years I didn't enjoy. Sometimes you just need to hear to suck up up but when it's five years...

Anonymous User
Posts: 273050
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:34 pm

c3pO4 wrote:Newsflash - you aren't the only 2L who misses 50% of class and hates law school, but has a job lined up. Just play XBOX for the next 2 years, keep getting B's, then work hard (whatever your career first few years are going to suck) pay off your loans and survey the landscape. Bounce out of biglaw, stay in biglaw, whatever. See no reason to drop out here. You're on a good track.


Noted. That would be my presumed path otherwise. Maybe I'm just b*thcing about the shotty way the legal system is set up.

wildhaggis
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:47 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby wildhaggis » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:46 pm

c3pO4 wrote:Newsflash - you aren't the only 2L who misses 50% of class and hates law school, but has a job lined up. Just play XBOX for the next 2 years, keep getting B's, then work hard (whatever your career first few years are going to suck) pay off your loans and survey the landscape. Bounce out of biglaw, stay in biglaw, whatever. See no reason to drop out here. You're on a good track.

For what it's worth, TITCR.

barry
Posts: 176
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:30 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby barry » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:50 pm

I would just stay, do transactional work at your law firm and get a sweet business gig after several years

zomginternets
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:59 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby zomginternets » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:@ZOMG, I feel like that is my only option at this point. Just when crunching the numbers, with a family, I'm looking at 4-5 years just to make a dent in loans even when living on a tight budget. If I don't enjoy it then that is 4 years of my life virtually gone just to make a dent in 3 years I didn't enjoy. Sometimes you just need to hear to suck up up but when it's five years...


It's shitty no doubt, hence why I inserted the "unfortunately" into my response. Being saddled with $100k+ in debt and only making $60k (assuming you get the same type of job you did) is pretty shitty too though. With a family too, the burden of the debt becomes greater. I'm usually a huge proponent of "do you what makes you happy," but in your situation you need to be dropping out for a dream career rather than just not liking law school to make it worthwhile.

Good luck.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273050
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:06 pm

To me it makes sense to at very least make it through the year and then see how you like the Summer. If you still hate it, you'll at least have made enough money to offset 2nd semester of 2L and you can leave knowing you won't regret it.

Might as well make sure that you hate the work, and not just school.

User avatar
BarbellDreams
Posts: 2256
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:12 pm

Stay, pray to get an offer, work to pay off student loans, then leave if you hate it. Its ridiculous to leave 6 figures on the table when you have 6 figures in debt cause you dont feel "stimulated".

User avatar
traehekat
Posts: 3195
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby traehekat » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:23 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Its ridiculous to leave 6 figures on the table when you have 6 figures in debt cause you dont feel "stimulated".


This, without a doubt.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby A'nold » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:17 pm

What everyone else said is credited. You will agonize forever about this life changing decision if you do drop out. Once you see that the grass was not much greener and that you piled up 100k in debt for nothing, you will absolutely hate yourself. You will most likely hate what you are doing and will be making 1/3 of the salary you would have been making had you toughed out biglaw for a few years and paid the debt off. If you like working in business then you can obviously go in-house and be debt free. You have to stay not just for yourself but for your family as well. Crushing debt with a salary too small to make big dents will put a huge strain on you AND your family. Gotta just tough it out and put in some self-sacrifice for a few years for the good of your family. Hang in there.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:28 pm

Law school is not the same as the practice of law. It might help if you shared info. about your work prior to entering law school & what you liked & disliked about that job.

adt231
Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:51 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby adt231 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:15 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Law school is not the same as the practice of law. It might help if you shared info. about your work prior to entering law school & what you liked & disliked about that job.


This. If there is something that really excites you that you'd be happy doing, then by all means drop out and go do it. But if you're worried about regretting not finishing law school or you don't have a significantly concrete alternative life plan that is likely to make you happier, then definitely don't leave. And if the alternate plan is relatively secure and sort of blah but still might be a little bit better, then you have a tougher call.

005618502
Posts: 2577
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 10:56 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby 005618502 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:20 pm

I am glad to see some good, non deushy, advice here. I hope it works out for you. Personally I am with everyone else. You are in a better situation than many and I would just tough it out and see how you enjoy the actual law professon. If it isnt for you pay off your loans as fast as possible and find something you do enjoy.

sebastian0622
Posts: 276
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:30 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby sebastian0622 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:28 pm

You might be soliciting a pep talk, which is a red flag. If you can't stay motivated in your second year of law school while you're doing better than most, it raises a question of whether you will be motivated when you're on your 73rd hour of work for the week, sitting in the office on a dreary November day hammering away at a mind-numbingly boring project for some client that you find annoying and petty. If you don't have the slightest bit of interest in the work, your mental health is in serious danger at that point. That's the question you have to answer. Do you want to practice law? This is a good question to ask before enrolling in law school, but better late than never I suppose. And obviously, you have a better idea of the answer to that question now than you would have before.

You've had a job, so you should know that work isn't fun. If you see yourself being unhappy practicing law, you have to ask whether you'd be happier returning to a job like the one you had before, making $60k and paying off $100k in student loans. Only you can answer the question of which one sounds better right now. If you are going to hate practicing law and don't mind whatever other job you could get instead, then dropping out is entirely rational. There is an abundance of unhappy and unhealthy (downright depressed and decrepit, frankly) lawyers at big law firms like the one where you'll be working next summer. There are a few who don't mind the work. Which group would you be in?

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby sunynp » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:50 pm

Do your SA first and then decide. At least you will earn some money to pay off your loans. Also, you may find something you enjoy. Is it just school that you are hating or is nothing making you happy? You may be burned out and lack motivation because you have a job lined up.

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby TooOld4This » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:48 pm

At some point, when you are in a hole you have to put down the shovel and stop digging and start climbing, even if climbing seems harder.

If you really don't think this is the career path for you, then I would leave. You aren't going to earn more in your SA than you will take out next semester.

You have to figure out what is important to you. $200k in loans will be about $2500/month in loan payments for 10 years. Being locked into a job you hate with hours that will keep you from your family doesn't sound like a good plan. There are very few people I know that were miserable in law school that actually enjoyed becoming attorneys. There are plenty that didn't like the school of law school, but the ones that enjoy practicing always seemed to have a sense that they would enjoy it. BigLaw (which you will need if you are going to pay off your full loans with any speed) can be a difficult place to be, even for people who enjoy the work. If you start not liking it and are only there under the pressure of otherwise unserviceable debt, it can be soul crushing.

If you have or can come up with a Plan B that you think will make yourself happier, then I would go for it.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273050
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:33 pm

OP here. Just want to shoot out a thanks to everyone for the advice which has been tremendously useful. It sounds like I have a lot of thinking in front of me and after talking to family and friends most are also encouraging me to trudge on. Although most of them don't understand the full effect of me completing my degree, I will give this a lot of thought over the next couple months. I figure that my SA will cover most of next semester and since I have a lease it makes sense to stay one more semester. This also gives me time to think of a contingency plan if I do not find the SA enjoyable. I hope that I do enjoy practice as it would be extremely difficult to service the debt at this point without some sort of miracle/luck. Thanks again for the advice.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yep another one of these. My situation is a little different than some though probably pretty common among 3Ls these days. I had a decent first year but simply don't enjoy going to class or the learning that law school promotes. 1L I probably missed about 50% a decent proportion of my classes and feeling like doing this same this year as well. I am just not engaged or stimulated with what is taught here. Just about median, I have not secured a jobfor next summer with a V100 firm in NYC but coming closer and closer to the realization that I am at the beginning of an unhappy career probably not going to be a lawyer for very long unless I randomly stumble into some law job that I actually like. Since I am attending at full cost, leaving three semesters in would leave me with I'll probably have a little more than 100k in debt and nothing a shiny piece of paper to show for it. I left a secure job at a fortune 50, not the best pay but not slumming either at about 60k a year with only about 10k from undergrad. I think I can safely say that the last three years would have been better spent working at a coffee shop. I don't know if there is a way to go back at this point and that I am basically stuck on a path with no way to getting off this stupid path ASAP.


Hmmmmmm

User avatar
ben4847
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:38 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby ben4847 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:58 pm

I think that at this point, you should certainly stay until after the summer, both so you can score 30k in 10 weeks, and so that you can see if you like actually practicing law.

User avatar
Gettingstarted1928
Posts: 407
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:45 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Just want to shoot out a thanks to everyone for the advice which has been tremendously useful. It sounds like I have a lot of thinking in front of me and after talking to family and friends most are also encouraging me to trudge on. Although most of them don't understand the full effect of me completing my degree, I will give this a lot of thought over the next couple months. I figure that my SA will cover most of next semester and since I have a lease it makes sense to stay one more semester. This also gives me time to think of a contingency plan if I do not find the SA enjoyable. I hope that I do enjoy practice as it would be extremely difficult to service the debt at this point without some sort of miracle/luck. Thanks again for the advice.



In this situation, I don't think asking your friends and family (if they aren't lawyers) for advice is a good idea. They will automatically assume that dropping out is a bad move, because they know nothing about the profession. They will just assume that you're dropping because of the work and will think you're crazy for passing up such a "prestigious" career.

As all of us on TLS know, everyone outside of the profession are naive and tend to think they know more about it than you.

User avatar
20130312
Posts: 3842
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: 2L at T14 and miserable. Dropping out even a consideration?

Postby 20130312 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:36 pm

Get out and make room for the rest of us.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.