Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

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Drop out?

Yes.
5
12%
No.
26
63%
Take a leave of absence - transfer next year
10
24%
 
Total votes: 41

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:No debt is a pretty damn big deal. In my opinion, you would be remiss not to finish your JD (you're very young - a decent amount of people your are age taking victory laps in college). A JD won't hurt your resume. If anything, you can pair it with an MBA, phD, etc. and definitely find work, especially given that the economy will hopefully improve by the time you're out.

Also, consider that you've only interviewed with big law. Other options exist. My LSAT tutor went to UT law, opened his own firm after, and seems to be doing quite well. If nothing else, one of the many UT alums in Texas with his/her own firm would hook you up on grades alone.

Re. interviewing - I go to a T30 and am 20-25%. I've done better than my peers at OCI, and I attribute any success not to looks, but to trying damn hard to overcome my naturally introverted nature by focusing on being energetic, genuinely friendly and interested, and excited about law. My UG was in business (which seems to make a difference). I also try to stay up to date on corporate/economic issues. This is not hard and doesn't requite a business degree - read the economist, read NYT dealbook, and read WSJ every morning. You'll be surprised how fast you learn about everything.

Stay the course. No debt is a HUGE deal and my opinion would differ if you were taking loans.


Unfortunately, these all require subscriptions. Being debt free does not mean being cash heavy. WSJ especially is pretty damned expensive. I read the Huffington Post and Bloomberg, and I have had real conversations about developments in various industries during interviews and a CB. I may not act excited about law. No idea what that even means. Law is huge, amorphous, and abstract. How do you get excited about law in general as opposed to some area in law (for example: civil rights or tax)?


I don't have subscriptions to any and read the 10 free articles on NYT (between phone, computer, laptop, that adds up) and blogs/opinions on the economist. Any cursory google search will lead you to blogs and other news sources that will not only explain what's going on, but give you at least one side's perspective.

One way I convey excitement is asking the interviewer about their favorite deal (transactional) or case (lit). When they tell me about it, I get genuinely excitement, which probably conveys in my body language, and usually make a remark like "that seems so fun!" I'm not BS-ing anyone and I truly think taking a deposition or working with a whacky client on a deal would truly be exciting. Smile, nod, sit up straight, but don't overdo it and appear plastic and forced.


I am downright terrible at sounding excited about anything. THAT was some useful feedback I got from a mock interview. When I do try to appear excited, it is plastic and forced, and I was told to "be yourself" which is not excited about much. I have no idea what to do about this.

Does the fact that I really don't want to continue playing this game, that I just WANT out, mean I am not a good fit for law? I hate this whole process. I have no idea if practice is any better. Is it going to be any different in practice? A friend said my negative attitude towards law is 100% a result of my OCI experience and not something I should take seriously.

Anyway, I need to decide soon. I am not enrolled in any classes, I have not gone to classes for nearly 2 weeks, and late registration deadlines are fast approaching.



Not to get all Freudian on you, but your OCI outcome, the fact that you haven't enrolled, and your general mopy-ness towards law may well all be conscious manifestations that you just don't want to be a lawyer.

My initial advice was to stay the course and get a JD on your resume. However, if you really just don't want to do law, get the hell out of it. I think that advice applies to anyone paying sticker or with no debt. Law is a pain in the ass, and a lot of other jobs pay much better for less work hours/effort (and you seem to be brilliant and capable of doing different kinds of work; think medicine, consulting, etc.). I wish you the best and hope you find your way; if you do end up in law or another field, remember that future generations will be in your shoes and will need the helping hand that we're not getting.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:41 pm

sunynp wrote:Maybe you need to look at larger new York firms. There is room for quiet smart people in law. Maybe a way to approach this is to be honest, say you are a quiet person instead of trying to be something that you are not? Of something like- I know I come across as quiet but I am very excited about this interview and your firm and this is why.

I'm glad you weren't threatening career services!

I usually tell people to drop out but I think you should hang in there.

You also have to not let this ruin your attitude. You are willing to listen and work hard on yourself. I'm not sure I would give up so easily.


OCI has passed. So does this mean I should pull out and plan to transfer for another crack at OCI at NYU?

Another thing I could do to better package the "quiet" personality would be to take some time off to do an Accounting MPA at UT (ranked #1. In fact, I've already been guaranteed a spot for Summer 2013 entry) and then transfer to NYU - with an expressed interest in tax. I am hesitant to go the LLM route because I think LLM OCI is rough, especially for someone without a 2L SA. That's why I'm more inclined to studying "Accounting (specialty: Tax)" first and then redoing 2L OCI rather than finishing and going for an LLM.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby sunynp » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:49 pm

OP: you really sound like you don't want to be in law school now. You can mass mail firms in new York.

I'm not sure what to tell you. Law is a tough profession. Maybe accounting is a better fit for you. I just hate for you to get in debt. You should have got something out of that many chances. I can understand why you are confused.

If you take a leave will you lose your scholarship?

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:57 pm

sunynp wrote:OP: you really sound like you don't want to be in law school now. You can mass mail firms in new York.

I'm not sure what to tell you. Law is a tough profession. Maybe accounting is a better fit for you. I just hate for you to get in debt. You should have got something out of that many chances. I can understand why you are confused.

If you take a leave will you lose your scholarship?


I think it's too late to plan on mass mailing NYC, especially when I'm not going to be in the area. If I take a leave of absence, I would not lose my scholarship as long as I finished my JD in 7 years.

I think I hate law. But I have talked to friends who say I really don't, that it's just my experience coloring my perspective. I am not sure what I think.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:09 am

I went 1/25 and with no offer it makes everything seem the worst. So if I take a leave of absence I can just do OCI again?

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:I went 1/25 and with no offer it makes everything seem the worst. So if I take a leave of absence I can just do OCI again?


OP here - CSO said yes. CSO said yes after 3 semesters, then leave of absence also since you'd be classified as a 2L when you came back in some future fall.

of course, if you say 3 semesters, then you can't transfer...

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby linquest » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:42 am

Lawyer that does some recruiting here--I voted to drop out, but alternatively, I would suggest taking a LOA without plans of transferring.

But first- why you should drop out now. I'm in the "Don't go to law school at all unless you're pretty sure you want to practice" camp, so I also think that at the latest, you should know after your first full-time internship after 1L if you're suited to practicing or not. Even without $ debt, continuing law school still carries a significant opportunity cost in terms of time you could be spending in a career or academic program that's a better fit for you, lost wages you could be earning elsewhere, and emotional stress (studying something full-time that you're not particularly enamored with, and you don't clearly see yourself doing in the future doesn't lead to happiness). Having a JD--even as a joint degree--can also hinder you when job hunting in a different career (there are multiple threads about this, so I won't repeat all the reasons here). A JD with a liberal arts undergrad may find it even harder to find non-legal work because some employers may view you as a perpetual student (if you went straight K->JD) who has no clue what you want as a career (which may be perfectly true). Just from what I've seen of my peers that graduated in the last couple years, it doesn't seem that joint degrees help much in today's job market, especially not worth the extra debt since I assume your scholarship won't extend to the joint degree program.

I'm not sure if I genuinely hate law, if I just hate Texas and UT, or if this process has colored my perspective. Does it mean anything that I am not registered for classes and don't feel like I would do very well if I were to attempt this semester? I did not feel comfortable around the people here from day 1, but I chalked this up to my own issues (which is probably true anyway).

If staying the course means working at some Texas firm in a small town, I think I am definitely going to quit.


This attitude could definitely be bleeding over into your interviews. However, also consider the possibility that your CSO and mentor are correct- there's nothing definitively wrong with how you're interviewing. It's just that the market is just that tight with qualified students. ITE, smaller markets like Texas have more competition because many students that would have gone to primary markets like NYC/DC/Chi during better economic times are now staying behind in the smaller markets around their schools.

I think I hate law. But I have talked to friends who say I really don't, that it's just my experience coloring my perspective. I am not sure what I think.
Be aware of confirmation bias. Only you know what you're truly interested in. Follow your own gut. Otherwise, ditto on the Sept 8 post at 11:37 pm.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby linquest » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:14 am

LOA alternative: I think you might also consider taking a leave of absence, not for the express intention of transferring law schools (I think that trying to transfer during a LOA might be a red flag to the other schools anyway), but for figuring out whether or not you should continue with law school at all. I think it's wise advice that you should never attend any law school with the intention of transferring up because it's so difficult.

Honestly, how would I know without actually practicing law? I worked for a judge over the summer, did not like it that much, but it wasn't awful. I have an INTP personality, which is typically a fairly good fit for law.


One option for your LOA is to go work for a firm, or a non-profit or government agency that does litigation or transactional work (in government, transactional would be mostly procurement). I may be biased since I've never worked for a judge, but I think that clerking doesn't give you a great sense of what most law jobs are like. Working for attorneys in an advocacy role would give you better insight into what it's like to practice law outside of the judiciary, which is most likely what you'd be doing first out of law school. Hopefully, you can find paid, full-time work as a "law clerk" or paralegal, but even part-time volunteering would be worth it to see if this is the path you should continue on.

The other option for your LOA is to explore your options outside of the law.
I like reading and writing, and I like solving complex problems. Law involves a lot of these things.

Many careers (policy work, lobbying, investigating, auditing, etc) involve the same things and don't require as much time and $ as a JD. Take a look at "JD Alternative/Preferred" careers and explore those. If towards the end of your LOA, none of these seem to be a better fit for you than the law or you just continue to strike out on getting non-legal jobs, you can always go back to UT or attempt transferring next summer.

I took a LOA (though for very different reasons than you) but I also had to consider during that time whether or not I should finish law school. Feel free to PM me about this.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:28 am

I would advise against the "Transfer" option. I transferred from T30 to CCN this year and while I did well I definitely heard stories about firms being skeptical of those who transferred from T14 or even T20. Unless the person had a strong "ties" story to the new market, firms were pretty cautious about calling these folks back.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:I would advise against the "Transfer" option. I transferred from T30 to CCN this year and while I did well I definitely heard stories about firms being skeptical of those who transferred from T14 or even T20. Unless the person had a strong "ties" story to the new market, firms were pretty cautious about calling these folks back.


I don't think this applies to NYC

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:44 am

Are you K-JD? Obviously grades are key (you have that), and beyond that it seems like a) being attractive/confident b) having work experience/not being 22-23 years old c) being mature and able to work in a professional setting d) coming off as someone who would be able to handle the hours/stress (not a basket case, not someone who will have anxiety attacks or "melt downs") e) making the impression that you would be a good person to put in front of a client, i.e you would represent the firm well.

If I were you I would videotape a mock interview and then find someone who has knowledge of interviewing to be brutally honest with you about how you come off. Because given what you say in OP, even if you have none of the a-e listed above, or other factors that are pluses, something is obviously going really wrong.

Best of luck to you! I bet that if you stay at UT, keep getting good grades, and put time and maybe money into fixing your interviewing problem you will have a great result. But I also agree with the people above that i think you should be really honest with yourself, since it sounds from your posts that you are pretty wishy-washy about the law, and from the point of view of a recruiter why would they want that person in the firm when they can have someone dead set, who doesn't complain and just does the work?

(if there is anyone on TLS you trust, i think honestly even sending that person a video link and asking for feedback would be useful. you may not like what you hear, but you sound like a good guy who has a weird background that may screw up the impression you make face to face. also, I understand that you don't want to do this, but you should recognize that the U.S. economy is increasingly service oriented and there are really very few careers where the way that you interact with other people is not an important factor in addition to quality of your work/diligence/etc etc).

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:13 pm

OP here --

1. No, I'm not K-JD. Military + teaching experience. I finished college at 20 and have been out about 5 years. The military was very, very rough due to interpersonal problems and issues fitting in. Thank god for my honorable discharge. I thought I'd improved a lot since then, but maybe no?

If I am to stay, I need to figure a few things out:

1. To what extent could being liberal arts with no business background and expressing an interest in transactional law have been all or part of the problem?

2. Most of the suggestions on this board regarding interview improvement are things I have already done to no effect. The ONLY helpful feedback I have gotten in mock interviews was "you don't seem excited, energetic, or enthusiasic enough." Since my personality is none of these things, I honestly have no idea if this could be improved. If so, I have no idea how to go about doing it absent $$$$ to expend on some sort of personal coach.

Also, FYI, I have gotten other jobs from interviews before, but none were as competitive as law. One was for a teaching position, which obviously requires people skills. If I am to stay, I first need to figure out what the f**ck is going on? If I am unable to do this within the next week, I am not going to stay enrolled in any law school. Period.

So for interviews and EVERYTHING ELSE about law, I obviously need major, major help. Where can I get this help?

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby sparty99 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:21 pm

You need to fake it, so you make it. Seem geuninely interested in the convesation. Pretend you are talking with your mom, your friend as they ask you simple questions, "How do you enjoy law school," or open-ended questions. Write down these questions and prepare answers. "How is your day?" means "It is great," and then add an interesting fact about you, "I ran 6 miles" or something.

Smile at the inteview. Prepare questions.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:26 pm

For what it is worth, I dont think asking for transactional when your resume is liberal arts is a killer. I work for a V10 firm in corporate. My background is in science. Many of my colleagues are history or political science or even art history. They went to top undegrads though so I don't know if that matters. No one gets hired just because they know about business.

You sound like you have the credentials to have gotten a job. I thunk you will perform better with large firms in New York who deal with a number of very smart introverts.

Right now the LOA might work for you. But how will you explain it at OCI next year?

I wish I could help you more but it is hard to figure out.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For what it is worth, I dont think asking for transactional when your resume is liberal arts is a killer. I work for a V10 firm in corporate. My background is in science. Many of my colleagues are history or political science or even art history. They went to top undegrads though so I don't know if that matters. No one gets hired just because they know about business.

You sound like you have the credentials to have gotten a job. I thunk you will perform better with large firms in New York who deal with a number of very smart introverts.

Right now the LOA might work for you. But how will you explain it at OCI next year?

I wish I could help you more but it is hard to figure out.


OP here --

I interviewed with several NYC firms, no bite. How will it be different the second time, especially if I cannot find out the problem? All that stuff like "How is your day?" and "What do you find interesting about x?" is stuff I have done already. All the advice in this thread, while often correct, is very very basic. I need more of a major intervention/overhaul. I am not sure where to get the help I need.

I went to the counseling center and found out surprise surprise I have major depression. So I could explain my LOA as "medical issues" that have been completely resolved. Or just "personal issues"? Not sure.

Ok...when I got my 1 CB from the job fair (out of, realistically, 10 interviews where I had the stats), I was new to big law interviewing. When I did OCI and went 0/29, I had just started taking anxiety medication. One of the CSO counselors said "You look very subdued" (this was after a week of failure, so it's hard to know if it was the medication or the failure) - could this be what hurt me in the interviews? It is true that medication did give me depression and sapped my energy. I drank a lot of caffeine and thought it wasn't showing in interviews, but maybe it was? I just don't know. I need major help to unravel the problems with my interviewing and don't feel like the CSO is in a position to help me get it, so I almost feel like this is alone a reason to withdraw.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby IrwinM.Fletcher » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:31 pm

You mention problems with fitting in the military, that you dislike the people at your law school, and you weren't fond of your 1L summer internship.

This sounds like a trend. There's not a great way to ask this: do you have a generally toxic/negative personality? I'm not talking about caricature-level Eeyore or Debbie Downer type stuff- just a slight hint of that mindset, however, can be a massive social and professional turn off for most people.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:41 pm

IrwinM.Fletcher wrote:You mention problems with fitting in the military, that you dislike the people at your law school, and you weren't fond of your 1L summer internship.

This sounds like a trend. There's not a great way to ask this: do you have a generally toxic/negative personality? I'm not talking about caricature-level Eeyore or Debbie Downer type stuff- just a slight hint of that mindset, however, can be a massive social and professional turn off for most people.


Yes, very much so. I was hit with saying a few negative things in my first mock interview and actively worked not to say anything negative. I was told in a subsequent mock interview that I had gotten rid of it. But maybe it crept in during the stress of 29 back-to-back interviews and taking a new anxiety medication that induced depression? I have no idea. What would I do to fix this? Could spending a year somewhere stress free help me overcome this? I wish I knew if this, or something else, was the problem, and I could focus on fixing it. The problem is it's really hard to know what the problem is.

I have found that law school, and law in general, has a way of really, really bringing out my negative, pessimistic side (similarly to the military). My only other job (teaching) did not to nearly the same extent. Is this a reason to quit law school, or otherwise, what should I do about it?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby keg411 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:49 pm

OP - I think your anxiety/depression issues are definitely affecting your OCI. I think you should definitely take a leave of absence ASAP and re-evaluate where you're at in a year mentally. Also, PM me and I may have some suggestions for you both in terms of law and in alternate careers.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:40 pm

OP what is something you love to do? Another trick is to schedule something you love immediately before and after an interview (massage before, going to a bar after to have beer and watch sports). That way you are in an optimal mood for the interview.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:46 pm

OP, I'm 99% sure I know you IRL (I think we were section mates) (think things, not words!). If you create a throw-away account and reply to this post, I will PM you. I obviously don't know how you interview, but I can give you some honest feedback on how you are perceived in general. Sorry to hear youre having a hard time with OCI.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Professor_Rau » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP, I'm 99% sure I know you IRL (I think we were section mates) (think things, not words!). If you create a throw-away account and reply to this post, I will PM you. I obviously don't know how you interview, but I can give you some honest feedback on how you are perceived in general. Sorry to hear youre having a hard time with OCI.


Ok, here's my account. I admit that UT Law was a really, really bad fit, so this might be part of it. I came here after years and years overseas, and it was a big culture shock, I was not happy here, so I may just have gotten off on the wrong foot socially, which might be a reason to transfer. But I am interested in hearing. This will help me decide whether to stay or not (because if socially its going to be that bad, I won't). Thanks.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:16 pm

Professor_Rau wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP, I'm 99% sure I know you IRL (I think we were section mates) (think things, not words!). If you create a throw-away account and reply to this post, I will PM you. I obviously don't know how you interview, but I can give you some honest feedback on how you are perceived in general. Sorry to hear youre having a hard time with OCI.


Ok, here's my account. I admit that UT Law was a really, really bad fit, so this might be part of it. I came here after years and years overseas, and it was a big culture shock, I was not happy here, so I may just have gotten off on the wrong foot socially, which might be a reason to transfer. But I am interested in hearing. This will help me decide whether to stay or not (because if socially its going to be that bad, I won't). Thanks.


OP, even if things didn't go great for you during 1L (socially), you have a second shot at doing things differently. TLR has tons of new people for you to meet. It's a chance to re-invent yourself and work on building better social skills.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby thsmthcrmnl » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:58 pm

Have you thought about going back to teaching? LSAT tutors make a lot of money per hour.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:24 pm

I would evaluate whether or not you are merely saying negative things due to stress or you really feel very negative about law school and practicing law. If the latter is true, you should seriously consider if you want to do something else that makes you happier. Even if you fix your interviewing and land a few job offers, the things you find negative will still get to you soon enough. You would either find yourself leaving law at a later time and regret the path, or being stuck practicing something you find miserable. You obviously have what it takes to be successful, even when you feel negative about your surroundings. Now use that talent wisely and make sure what you do next is something you can feel positive about.

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Re: Bad Interviewing, No Debt, Struck Out, Drop out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:31 pm

r6_philly wrote:I would evaluate whether or not you are merely saying negative things due to stress or you really feel very negative about law school and practicing law. If the latter is true, you should seriously consider if you want to do something else that makes you happier. Even if you fix your interviewing and land a few job offers, the things you find negative will still get to you soon enough. You would either find yourself leaving law at a later time and regret the path, or being stuck practicing something you find miserable. You obviously have what it takes to be successful, even when you feel negative about your surroundings. Now use that talent wisely and make sure what you do next is something you can feel positive about.


The feedback I've gotten is something along the lines of the fact that I talk funny (due to childhood hearing disabilities) and in a way that sounds off-putting to many people, and this may contribute to some modest social anxiety. This couldn't have helped in the interviews.

So what if I were to take time off to work on this? Voice coaching? Then decide whether or not to return to law school. If this is an issue (I am sure it is since I was endlessly mocked in the military over the way I speak), then it is something I need to fix regardless of what field I enter. Unfortunately, I was homeschooled, so I didn't quite feel the impact of this speech issue until at least college (age 17).




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