ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

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What should I do?

Chase biglawl at least until 3L OCI/post-clerkship
13
35%
Finish degree, then switch careers
12
32%
Drop out naow
12
32%
 
Total votes: 37

Anonymous User
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ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:08 pm

I'm a 2L at a T6 school with above median grades (keeping it vague for increased anonymity). I struck out on biglawl but ended up with a prestttigious summer job that cannot possibly lead to permanent employment (they don't hire until after clerkship and getting legal experience elsewhere). I absolutely hate the law. I find that the things I'm studying range from trite to asinine. I think that being a lawyer would be far worse, as I find it increasingly difficult to stomach the notion that I'll spend the next 30 years of my life playing servant to borderline criminals ('cause the only people who can afford legal bills in the first place have to be doing something against the law).

My undergrad degree is worthless. There's something else that I really want to do with my life, but there's no guarantee I could make it. It'd involve a 3+ year commitment to try, and I'd say I probably have a 50/50 at success. Assuming I wouldn't make it is the only reason I ended up in law school in the first place.

I'm not asking for concrete advice so much as wondering what the rest of you would do in a similar situation. I've been completely undecided since before OCI, and recruiting/2L grades definitely suffered as a result.

Mods, if posting this anon isn't kosher, please just delete the thread.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby RedBirds2011 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:12 pm

I would say, judging by your posts attitude, that you do not actually want to be a lawyer. Therefore, drop out. However, I would still finish the year before making a final decision.


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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:33 pm

As another 2L at a T6 who also struck out at BigLaw, I'm always delighted to find I'm not the only one, even if it's just on an anonymous internet board. For what it's worth, I'm similarly apathetic, but have no idea what I'd do otherwise, so I've continued on. Isn't law school fun?

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sunynp
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby sunynp » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:33 pm

You sound a little bitter. Were you biglaw or bust when you started? What is your financial position, will you be able to service your debt? Do you have any desire to be a lawyer?

btw It isn't true that only criminals can afford lawyers.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby RedBirds2011 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:37 pm



This is awesome. It should be required viewing for all TLSers.

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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:47 pm

OP here

RedBirds2011 wrote:I would say, judging by your posts attitude, that you do not actually want to be a lawyer. Therefore, drop out. However, I would still finish the year before making a final decision.


I never really wanted to be a lawyer. I went because of risk aversion, the fact that almost nobody ends up making it in the career I want (although people in the field keep insisting that I have far better than average odds), and a general "what the Hell else am i going to do with great grades in a useless major?" attitude that I imagine leads at least half the people currently into law school here.

I thought I'd be lukewarm about being a lawyer: just a way to make a paycheck, etc. I'm not. I hate it.


Just watched the first two minutes so far, but it looks like this could be worth a watch. Thanks.

Anonymous User wrote:As another 2L at a T6 who also struck out at BigLaw, I'm always delighted to find I'm not the only one, even if it's just on an anonymous internet board. For what it's worth, I'm similarly apathetic, but have no idea what I'd do otherwise, so I've continued on. Isn't law school fun?


Yes. I never understood support groups until exposure to the absolute misery that is law school. There's something amazingly comforting about knowing that you aren't the only person whose life sucks in exactly the same way yours does.

sunynp wrote:You sound a little bitter. Were you biglaw or bust when you started? What is your financial position, will you be able to service your debt? Do you have any desire to be a lawyer?

btw It isn't true that only criminals can afford lawyers.


Not at all biglaw or bust. More "I'll find a tolerable way to make a living, and if I hit biglaw, as statistically I should, jackpot! I became increasingly bitter about not getting biglaw through being the only person I know of with my level of academic success here who didn't get at least a v20 or so [I only bid on a couple of firms below v50, where they sat on me for months following the callback before deciding to ding]. The other types of legal practice I thought I was interested in have sort of fallen by the wayside one by one through internships, etc. that made me realize I had zero interest.

As for finances, if I don't hit biglaw at 3L OCI or beyond, I'm probably on 25 year IBR no matter what happens. With that said, my thoughts at present are that I might as well stick it through for the JD whatever happens. The more pressing issue is whether I even try to land a clerkship or a job through 3L OCI. I know I can find something to do in the law with the degree, and I can probably find a doctor willing to prescribe me enough anti-depressants to tolerate it.

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Julio_El_Chavo
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Julio_El_Chavo » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:32 pm

Drop out. Life is too short to spend it being a lawyer.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Mal Reynolds » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:44 pm

I know this is a little off topic but do you have any idea why you struck out? I'm very sorry to hear about your predicament but if you can shed some light on your situation for the rest of us I would appreciate it. Good luck with everything.

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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:59 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:I know this is a little off topic but do you have any idea why you struck out? I'm very sorry to hear about your predicament but if you can shed some light on your situation for the rest of us I would appreciate it. Good luck with everything.


I essentially did everything wrong that could be done wrong: poor bidding, having a background that clearly pointed toward my dream career instead of law, average to slightly below average interview skills, not mass mailing until it was obvious that I had struck out from OCI, etc. Any one or two of these things, I could have overcome. Based on the number of callbacks that left me hanging forever while they were waiting to hear from other candidates, I probably came close to overcoming all of them. I have little doubt that if I had blanketed the NLJ250 with applications before OCI, I would have had at least a few offers.

If I were to have any advice more generally applicable to other peoples' situations, it would be to bid for several firms well below where you hope to end up and to aggressively mass mail those firms in case you need the non-OCI callback insurance policy.

To be honest, I feel sort of lucky that I didn't get biglaw in a way. I know I would have hated the job, but I would have been locked in until I was shoved out just because of the salary.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:13 pm

Sorry that you're so miserable. I think you should stick it out since it sounds like you don't have a great alternative plan and biglaw is probably your best/only opportunity to get out of debt. Basically, it doesn't sound like throwing good money after bad, but actually that you are in for a dime, in for a dollar. With your credentials, you should have a shot at 3L OCI and/or decent clerkships, so your legal career is hardly over (unless you want it to be).

Alternatively: LRAP. You sound like you might kind of dig public defense or similar work. You've already got the gallows humor and the fuck the system thing down. You've got good grades and a good school, so if you get your ass in gear, check your attitude at the door, and get involved in some stuff you just might find something you like. What kind of classes have you been taking? Maybe take crim pro instead of bankruptcy next year, for instance, and see how that fits?

Flanker1067
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Flanker1067 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:29 pm

Stay in it. I feel the same way, but the truth is that a law degree still adds "prestige" and/or legitimacy to your endeavors in other things. This is a good article (one of a million telling us what we already know) about the new norm for careers, http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/13/opinion/g ... index.html , and it isn't biglaw-> in house anymore. If you hadn't already started, or been at such a good school, then I would absolutely tell you drop out. But at this point, it's still advantageous. I just met a journalist who went to top 6 law school, didn't like law and now does that. Also, just to pre-empt, he makes good money (but he's a bit older now).

Also, for the people who are going to argue that if you hate being a lawyer then it's stupid to continue: We already know all the arguments you can make and some, OK, most, are legitimate. That being said, I've never met one person who works outside of law AND who went to a top law school and regrets going. That's because if you are the type of person who can get into a top law school, realize they hate law, and still stick it out and do OK, you are the type of person who can figure your other shit out.

traynorsbizarro
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby traynorsbizarro » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:42 pm

drop out y'all. this is gunnaz country. if u aint strapped, u gon get gunned down. follow ur unicorn dreams instead dawg

uci2013
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby uci2013 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:02 pm

Hard to give any real advice without knowing what you want to do as a dream job or would consider in the alternative. BUT, you could consider trying for the Presidential Management Fellows program if you aren't interested in a legal career but are interested in government.

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Shaggier1
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Shaggier1 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:54 am

I'd protect my investment by finishing 3L and pursuing a non-legal job. You say your undergrad degree is worthless? Then you could probably benefit from a t6 law degree.

Are you interested in politics? Business?

I would never tell someone to enter law school with the intention of becoming a non-lawyer; but if you have only one year left, I think you should make a run at it. Start looking at the bios of everyone you can find who turned their JD into a non-legal job. Get inspired. Get creative.

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romothesavior
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby romothesavior » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2L at a T6 school with above median grades (keeping it vague for increased anonymity). I struck out on biglawl but ended up with a prestttigious summer job that cannot possibly lead to permanent employment (they don't hire until after clerkship and getting legal experience elsewhere). I absolutely hate the law. I find that the things I'm studying range from trite to asinine. I think that being a lawyer would be far worse, as I find it increasingly difficult to stomach the notion that I'll spend the next 30 years of my life playing servant to borderline criminals ('cause the only people who can afford legal bills in the first place have to be doing something against the law).

Uhh... no.

umad?

ajr
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby ajr » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:09 pm

If you'll excuse the pun - you think all law is con law?

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TyrionLannister
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby TyrionLannister » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2L at a T6 school with above median grades (keeping it vague for increased anonymity). I struck out on biglawl but ended up with a prestttigious summer job that cannot possibly lead to permanent employment (they don't hire until after clerkship and getting legal experience elsewhere). I absolutely hate the law. I find that the things I'm studying range from trite to asinine. I think that being a lawyer would be far worse, as I find it increasingly difficult to stomach the notion that I'll spend the next 30 years of my life playing servant to borderline criminals ('cause the only people who can afford legal bills in the first place have to be doing something against the law).

My undergrad degree is worthless. There's something else that I really want to do with my life, but there's no guarantee I could make it. It'd involve a 3+ year commitment to try, and I'd say I probably have a 50/50 at success.



I have a good friend who dropped out 3L to pursue his real dream. That was almost 10 years ago. Now he is a waiter making 45K. Not saying anything against being a waiter, it's how I put bread on my 0L table. Just saying that he regrets every single day that he didn't stick it out. Good luck.

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Shaggier1
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Shaggier1 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:34 pm

Just saying that he regrets every single day that he didn't stick it out. Good luck.


Stellar closing argument.

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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby in2win » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:45 pm

TyrionLannister wrote:

I have a good friend who dropped out 3L to pursue his real dream. That was almost 10 years ago. Now he is a waiter making 45K. Not saying anything against being a waiter, it's how I put bread on my 0L table. Just saying that he regrets every single day that he didn't stick it out. Good luck.


for the win.

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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby RedBirds2011 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:08 pm

TyrionLannister wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2L at a T6 school with above median grades (keeping it vague for increased anonymity). I struck out on biglawl but ended up with a prestttigious summer job that cannot possibly lead to permanent employment (they don't hire until after clerkship and getting legal experience elsewhere). I absolutely hate the law. I find that the things I'm studying range from trite to asinine. I think that being a lawyer would be far worse, as I find it increasingly difficult to stomach the notion that I'll spend the next 30 years of my life playing servant to borderline criminals ('cause the only people who can afford legal bills in the first place have to be doing something against the law).

My undergrad degree is worthless. There's something else that I really want to do with my life, but there's no guarantee I could make it. It'd involve a 3+ year commitment to try, and I'd say I probably have a 50/50 at success.



I have a good friend who dropped out 3L to pursue his real dream. That was almost 10 years ago. Now he is a waiter making 45K. Not saying anything against being a waiter, it's how I put bread on my 0L table. Just saying that he regrets every single day that he didn't stick it out. Good luck.


That's some pretty damn good money for being a waiter. Wow, at least where I'm from it is.

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TyrionLannister
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby TyrionLannister » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:29 pm

RedBirds2011 wrote:
TyrionLannister wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 2L at a T6 school with above median grades (keeping it vague for increased anonymity). I struck out on biglawl but ended up with a prestttigious summer job that cannot possibly lead to permanent employment (they don't hire until after clerkship and getting legal experience elsewhere). I absolutely hate the law. I find that the things I'm studying range from trite to asinine. I think that being a lawyer would be far worse, as I find it increasingly difficult to stomach the notion that I'll spend the next 30 years of my life playing servant to borderline criminals ('cause the only people who can afford legal bills in the first place have to be doing something against the law).

My undergrad degree is worthless. There's something else that I really want to do with my life, but there's no guarantee I could make it. It'd involve a 3+ year commitment to try, and I'd say I probably have a 50/50 at success.



I have a good friend who dropped out 3L to pursue his real dream. That was almost 10 years ago. Now he is a waiter making 45K. Not saying anything against being a waiter, it's how I put bread on my 0L table. Just saying that he regrets every single day that he didn't stick it out. Good luck.


That's some pretty damn good money for being a waiter. Wow, at least where I'm from it is.


It is indeed. It is LA, so COL offsets it slightly. Still quite good, though. He works more than me, so his income is likely around 50K. Good money for a waiter, yes. However, he is phenomenally depressed because he has never been able to get out from the thumb of his student loan debt. His credit is shot because of this. His classmates have thrived while he has floundered for years. That floundering led to depression that killed numerous relationships and cost him dearly when "the one" slipped away. He is a generous, intelligent guy who hopefully will find his way back to happiness. Everyone is different and I only offer his case an example of someone who took the leap. Ultimately, the OP will make the right choice for him. IMO, a year of definite unhappiness is a small price to pay when weighed against a possible lifetime of unhappiness.

Reprisal
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Reprisal » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:46 pm

Finish your law degree and then do something else.

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sunynp
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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby sunynp » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:08 pm

What are your other options? If you have a 50/ 50 chance of success, then maybe that is just as good as a law career at this point? If it is your dream, you should do that. You only went to law school because you thought it would be a safer bet for you, but now you know it isn't.

Also, I think your mental health might be in the best shape, I think you might need to talk to somebody? I hope you don't mind me saying so, but you sound a little more depressed than just bitter. I think you can salvage your legal career, but only if you want it.


Do you want advice on what is your best plan for getting a clerkship, because there is a lot o good advice here and on GTL's site The Clerkship Scramble?

If you are asking me what I would do? I am terrible at sticking with things that I hate. But at the same time I am very risk adverse. I think that if I saw no future in law, I would leave. But I would need a lot of support to make this decision.

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Re: ITT We Discuss: Should I leave lawl school

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:02 am

OP here: I'm surprised that this thread generated legitimate discussion, instead of just a half dozen /wrists posts. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Considering that I have absolutely no other marketable skills and already have $100k + lost opportunity costs invested in lawl school, I'll probably stick it out through 3L (because mediocre chance at my dream career aside, what the Hell else am I going to do for the next year?). In case anyone is interested in exactly how hellish 2012 3L OCI goes for those without 2L SAs, I'll try to remember to post something when the time comes.




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