Drop out of YHS?

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Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:35 am

I'm a 2L at YHS and am paying about $20,000 a year in tuition because I have massive need-based aid. After a year of law school and internship experience, I've come to realize that I have no interest in practicing law in any capacity. I enjoy the law school experience (but not reading cases) and will legitimately miss being a law student--I like going to class, I like my extracurriculars, conferences, guest speakers, etc. However, I certainly do not want to wind up $100,000+ in debt for the "law school experience". If not for the debt, I would most certainly stick it out, but I have no savings to speak of and my family is wealthy (hence the $30,000+ grant aid package). I was a liberal arts major in college and have no meaningful work experience, so I think that the YHS brand and network connections (there are plenty of alumni outside of law) might make the JD investment worthwhile. Thoughts? Opinions? Other factors to consider?

Thanks so much, TLS.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:55 am

Any feedback? Sorry to post a second time, but I'm feeling pretty desperate right now and I need to make a decision ASAP.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:05 am

YHS are really the only schools that give you a meaningful shot at prestigious non-law jobs like MBB consulting gigs, etc. Have you looked into these options?

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BVest
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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby BVest » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:17 am

I understand your desperation at not knowing what to do, but your original post was a mere 40 minutes ago. I'd recommend you sleep and see what the morning holds for responses, noting that the answers you get here, including (or especially) mine are only worth as much as an anonymous internet posting.

That said, there were a lot of good ideas in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=213281 ... And people would be able to give better answers if they knew a little more about your interests.

As far as whether to drop out, I think that if you're able to graduate from HYS with only $100k in debt, it's likely worth the investment for most whatever you choose to do in life, but that's just my opinion, which as I said isn't worth much.

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yuzu
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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby yuzu » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:34 am

I think this totally depends on what career path you want to take. Some career paths (say, becoming a physician) will derive very little benefit from a law degree and require lots of training that you'd want to start on right away. Other career paths (say, consulting) might derive some significant value from a law degree. What exactly will you do if you drop out?

Normally I'd say "drop out," but YHS have fairly generous LRAPs that don't always require you to be in the field of law, and your law degree would be one that actually carries weight in other fields. And I'm concerned that you're running from the law rather than running to another field. Once you've dropped out, what exactly will your goal be, and how are you going to get there? If you're unhappy working hard as a lawyer, will you really be happy working hard in some other field?

You should do the math and see exactly what your loan payments will be if you leave now and get a job in the other field vs. if you graduate with LRAP and get a job in the other field. It's conceivable that there would not be much difference between the two, particularly if you have undergraduate debt and want to work in a low-paying field, but I don't have enough information to say one way or the other.

Another thing to consider is that your school can probably grant you a leave of absence for a year or two. So you could try out a job in another field and head back to law school if it isn't what you'd hoped for.

Also, you seem to enjoy everything about law school other than reading cases. I wonder if a career advising startups or something like that would make you happy. You'd be more focused on making business judgments than citing cases. Practicing law in a different environment might be more palatable to you (despite your "in any capacity" statement).

I assume you're not doing OCI, given that you don't want to practice law?

Finally, you might consider taking courses in another field while in law school to help you gain knowledge and connections in that field. YHS are strong in many areas of study, and (at least at HLS) you can count quite a few non-law credits toward a law degree.

TL;DR: if you can come up with a concrete plan for what you're going try to do in the next year and how it could put you on track for a career you're pretty sure you'll like, drop out and do it - worst case, you can come back from your leave of absence. But if you'll just be sitting around soul searching for a year or dabbling in another career you probably won't like, you might as well stay in law school.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:01 am

yuzu wrote:I think this totally depends on what career path you want to take. Some career paths (say, becoming a physician) will derive very little benefit from a law degree and require lots of training that you'd want to start on right away. Other career paths (say, consulting) might derive some significant value from a law degree. What exactly will you do if you drop out?

Normally I'd say "drop out," but YHS have fairly generous LRAPs that don't always require you to be in the field of law, and your law degree would be one that actually carries weight in other fields. And I'm concerned that you're running from the law rather than running to another field. Once you've dropped out, what exactly will your goal be, and how are you going to get there? If you're unhappy working hard as a lawyer, will you really be happy working hard in some other field?

You should do the math and see exactly what your loan payments will be if you leave now and get a job in the other field vs. if you graduate with LRAP and get a job in the other field. It's conceivable that there would not be much difference between the two, particularly if you have undergraduate debt and want to work in a low-paying field, but I don't have enough information to say one way or the other.

Another thing to consider is that your school can probably grant you a leave of absence for a year or two. So you could try out a job in another field and head back to law school if it isn't what you'd hoped for.

Also, you seem to enjoy everything about law school other than reading cases. I wonder if a career advising startups or something like that would make you happy. You'd be more focused on making business judgments than citing cases. Practicing law in a different environment might be more palatable to you (despite your "in any capacity" statement).

I assume you're not doing OCI, given that you don't want to practice law?

Finally, you might consider taking courses in another field while in law school to help you gain knowledge and connections in that field. YHS are strong in many areas of study, and (at least at HLS) you can count quite a few non-law credits toward a law degree.

TL;DR: if you can come up with a concrete plan for what you're going try to do in the next year and how it could put you on track for a career you're pretty sure you'll like, drop out and do it - worst case, you can come back from your leave of absence. But if you'll just be sitting around soul searching for a year or dabbling in another career you probably won't like, you might as well stay in law school.

I'm interested in organizational-industrial psychology and would possibly get a degree in I-O psych if I left law school. I think I would like management consulting and potentially teaching at some point. I can take electives in I-O psych during law school, but a screener might laugh at my resume and would probably (understandably) choose the person w/ a master's from Columbia's I-O program over me w/o bothering to invite me for an interview.

I have no undergrad debt (went in-state for free to avoid debt) and have about $20,000 of law school debt thus far (worked as a tutor during the year to help defray costs). I think I would definitely take a leave and not drop out--I should have worded the question differently. During the leave, I would first work as a tutor to cover costs while researching other fields and trying to get work experience/internship experience.

My grades aren't particularly great. Do you guys think consulting firms and the like will judge grades as harshly as firms? Will interviewers for non-law jobs care less about the sea of Ps on my transcript? My hope is that the YHS brand will carry weight regardless of my mediocre classroom performance...and that employers won't really understand the difference between P and H.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby jkpolk » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:09 pm

Assuming your ideal career is white collar/even remotely discerning, I think the HYS brand will do work for you and is definitely worth another 50-100k.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby AllTheLawz » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm interested in organizational-industrial psychology and would possibly get a degree in I-O psych if I left law school. I think I would like management consulting and potentially teaching at some point. I can take electives in I-O psych during law school, but a screener might laugh at my resume and would probably (understandably) choose the person w/ a master's from Columbia's I-O program over me w/o bothering to invite me for an interview.

I have no undergrad debt (went in-state for free to avoid debt) and have about $20,000 of law school debt thus far (worked as a tutor during the year to help defray costs). I think I would definitely take a leave and not drop out--I should have worded the question differently. During the leave, I would first work as a tutor to cover costs while researching other fields and trying to get work experience/internship experience.

My grades aren't particularly great. Do you guys think consulting firms and the like will judge grades as harshly as firms? Will interviewers for non-law jobs care less about the sea of Ps on my transcript? My hope is that the YHS brand will carry weight regardless of my mediocre classroom performance...and that employers won't really understand the difference between P and H.


Consulting firms wont look at your grades at all.. but the bigger question is what do you not like about potentially practicing law? If it is something that is probably going to be the same in consulting or any other corporate job then making the switch won't do much for you.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:19 pm

Why don't you just take a year leave of absence? I'm in a similar situation and that's what I chose to do. It may hurt your employment prospects slightly, but distancing yourself from the situation for a while will give you really good perspective on what you want to do long-term. It will be especially useful if you take that year off to figure out if the other stuff you want to do is actually a good fit for you. My school was really cool about giving me a year off - I kept my scholarship and they said just come back whenever you want. I think the down side is really minimal, more people just don't do it because it is nontraditional and people try to stick to the formula in law school as much as possible.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby cidergirl » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:57 pm

How does a leave of absence look to employers? Most schools are cool about givings LOAs, but the potential employment ramifications are something to keep in mind.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:04 pm

Be careful, not all LRAPS cover non legal employment. YLS does. Not sure about the tohers. And I am pretty sure HLS and SLS do not cover academic positions, while YLS does.

I vote for a time out LOA. Downside is minimal with YHS degree should you decide to come back.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby MoonDreamer » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:07 pm

What are you going to do instead?

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:43 pm

cidergirl wrote:How does a leave of absence look to employers? Most schools are cool about givings LOAs, but the potential employment ramifications are something to keep in mind.


From what my office of career services told me, it's not as big of a deal as people think. A lot depends on what you do with your year off and why you took a year off. If you can come up with a legitimate response to both of these questions, then law firms are understanding - life is complicated and sometimes you need to take breaks to deal with it. If you took a year off because you wanted to party and live in mom's basement, then yeah that's not gonna look great.

OP, you have a lot of options available to you. IMO there is really very little down side to taking a semester/year off while there is tremendous upside if you find something you like better or find that you really do want to pursue a career in law. If you work in something cool in the interim, the added work experience could even help you in on campus recruiting. Also, try to remember that all your options are pretty much awesome, although they may seem incredibly stress-inducing at the moment and you'll probably be fine whatever you end up deciding :)

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
cidergirl wrote:How does a leave of absence look to employers? Most schools are cool about givings LOAs, but the potential employment ramifications are something to keep in mind.


From what my office of career services told me, it's not as big of a deal as people think. A lot depends on what you do with your year off and why you took a year off. If you can come up with a legitimate response to both of these questions, then law firms are understanding - life is complicated and sometimes you need to take breaks to deal with it. If you took a year off because you wanted to party and live in mom's basement, then yeah that's not gonna look great.

OP, you have a lot of options available to you. IMO there is really very little down side to taking a semester/year off while there is tremendous upside if you find something you like better or find that you really do want to pursue a career in law. If you work in something cool in the interim, the added work experience could even help you in on campus recruiting. Also, try to remember that all your options are pretty much awesome, although they may seem incredibly stress-inducing at the moment and you'll probably be fine whatever you end up deciding :)


Thanks so much. This is really encouraging. Right now I'm looking at either taking a year off or just continuing with school. My major concern with taking time off is that I don't have a concrete plan and desperately want to avoid inertia/wasting time. I am torn between trying to find a career that fulfills me and is rewarding, and practical concerns, like money and stability. I really like the idea of i.o. psychology, but am struggling to figure out if this interest is practical or if it is makes sense to pursue a master's degree in this area over a YHS degree. If I continue with law school, I plan to take classes in this area outside of the law school 3L year. I wonder if there's any way that I can spin my law school experience to make me an attractive candidate for I.O. psych jobs (e.g. management consulting)?

Thanks again to everyone for your feedback and support. I really appreciate it.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Gorki » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:46 pm

AllTheLawz wrote:
Consulting firms wont look at your grades at all..


Is this a flame?

Do a search on this site forums for "McKinsey" or "Bain" and see how rigorous their interviewing process is. They go to YHS, but it is not a sure thing they even hire a law student. You need to be perfect. Lower echelon consulting firms and such may go for you, but keep in mind the consulting lifestyle at a lot of these firms involves you living in hotel rooms 5-6 days a week your entire career.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby NYstate » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:34 pm

Just take a leave of absence. Employers will deal with it.

maximator
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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby maximator » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:53 pm

Have you tried talking to any I/O psychologists about whether a law degree would be a useful credential? My completely uniformed, gut reaction is that it really wouldn't help much. At least not enough to justify delaying your chosen career path two years. But an actual psychologist will know much better than I will.

But as other posters have said, there really is no downside from taking a year off and trying to figure out what you want to do.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:27 pm

Gorki wrote:
AllTheLawz wrote:
Consulting firms wont look at your grades at all..


Is this a flame?

Do a search on this site forums for "McKinsey" or "Bain" and see how rigorous their interviewing process is. They go to YHS, but it is not a sure thing they even hire a law student. You need to be perfect. Lower echelon consulting firms and such may go for you, but keep in mind the consulting lifestyle at a lot of these firms involves you living in hotel rooms 5-6 days a week your entire career.



I do not think it is a flame. I have interviewed at consulting firms and have went to their recruiting events, and they do not seem to care about grades. I imagine they care a bit, in the sense they do not want to see unusually bad grades, but with "normal" bad grades you are probably ok. They care much more about SAT scores, GRE, LSAT, MCAT etc...
And they care a thousand times more than biglaw about your leadership activities, interviewing skills, presentation etc...

Finally, I think for consulting, for JD's it tends to be either MBB or nothing (i am excluding here big 4 accounting +GT); the "lower echelon" firms are either too specialized (so looking for specific PhD's) or too quantitative.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby mbison » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:40 pm

Outside of HYS, dropping out would probably be a fine choice. But for HYS, I would stick with it and go ahead and do a summer program at a firm. It should be fun, and will help defray some of your costs. You may end up not hating legal practice. And unlike pretty every other law school in the country, HYS law degrees actually are fairly versatile.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:46 pm

maximator wrote:Have you tried talking to any I/O psychologists about whether a law degree would be a useful credential? My completely uniformed, gut reaction is that it really wouldn't help much. At least not enough to justify delaying your chosen career path two years. But an actual psychologist will know much better than I will.

But as other posters have said, there really is no downside from taking a year off and trying to figure out what you want to do.


That is my gut reaction as well, but I am still trying to figure out the best way to approach people in the field to get real answers.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 25, 2013 11:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
maximator wrote:Have you tried talking to any I/O psychologists about whether a law degree would be a useful credential? My completely uniformed, gut reaction is that it really wouldn't help much. At least not enough to justify delaying your chosen career path two years. But an actual psychologist will know much better than I will.

But as other posters have said, there really is no downside from taking a year off and trying to figure out what you want to do.


That is my gut reaction as well, but I am still trying to figure out the best way to approach people in the field to get real answers.


I/O is not a management consulting feeder degree at all. The people I know with I/O degrees are in generalist jobs like HR and the like. None make very much money but most seem to like their jobs. They mostly plan "workplace morale" events and interface with managers who are having trouble with certain employees (the manager generally has the say on hire/fire decisions though). It's kind of like being in the recruiting department of a law firm.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
maximator wrote:Have you tried talking to any I/O psychologists about whether a law degree would be a useful credential? My completely uniformed, gut reaction is that it really wouldn't help much. At least not enough to justify delaying your chosen career path two years. But an actual psychologist will know much better than I will.

But as other posters have said, there really is no downside from taking a year off and trying to figure out what you want to do.


That is my gut reaction as well, but I am still trying to figure out the best way to approach people in the field to get real answers.


I/O is not a management consulting feeder degree at all. The people I know with I/O degrees are in generalist jobs like HR and the like. None make very much money but most seem to like their jobs. They mostly plan "workplace morale" events and interface with managers who are having trouble with certain employees (the manager generally has the say on hire/fire decisions though). It's kind of like being in the recruiting department of a law firm.


Maybe the difference is masters degrees as opposed to doctorates in industrial-organizational psychology? Do you consider a YHS law degree more of a feeder degree for management consulting?

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby fluffythepenguin » Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:38 am

Just out of curiosity, does it make a difference if the school is H/Y vs. S? My (uninformed) opinion is that HY will have better flexibility entering into another career path than S, but I could be way off base here.

AllTheLawz
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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby AllTheLawz » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I/O is not a management consulting feeder degree at all. The people I know with I/O degrees are in generalist jobs like HR and the like. None make very much money but most seem to like their jobs. They mostly plan "workplace morale" events and interface with managers who are having trouble with certain employees (the manager generally has the say on hire/fire decisions though). It's kind of like being in the recruiting department of a law firm.


Maybe the difference is masters degrees as opposed to doctorates in industrial-organizational psychology? Do you consider a YHS law degree more of a feeder degree for management consulting?


I only know people with Masters degrees. Non-MBA target programs for management consulting firms (at least for MBB and the like) are JD, MD and PhD programs with major quant elements (e.g. engineering). YHS law degree is definitely more of a feeder but from what you have described I don't see why you would be more drawn to management consulting than law. Overall, you don't seem to know what management consulting is and that is a pretty sure sign you probably shouldn't be in the industry.

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Re: Drop out of YHS?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 26, 2013 4:03 am

fluffythepenguin wrote:Just out of curiosity, does it make a difference if the school is H/Y vs. S? My (uninformed) opinion is that HY will have better flexibility entering into another career path than S, but I could be way off base here.


Doubt it, to be honest. Know plenty of former SLSers who aren't in law now and are doing very well. Consulting is it's own strange world, but I can't imagine a SLS degree not being as flexible as a HLS degree, certainly (though lay prestige might help you land a job with the HLS degree?)




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