I think about dropping out pretty often

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I think about dropping out pretty often

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:28 pm

How bad is biglaw, really? I am set to be at a V10 in a secondary market next summer. The office seems laid back. I'm mostly worried about my brain going numb from overwork; and not being able to ever mentally escape from work, even when I'm hanging out with my family on Thanksgiving.

I imagine I would be happier over the next 5-10 years if I dropped out and re-entered my pre-law school career, which is somewhat lucrative, but has a low ceiling.

The reason I am sticking around is because I think I will be more fulfilled professionally and have more earning potential long-term going the biglaw route.

It's hard to maintain a long-term perspective, particularly when I am unsure whether my view of the long-term is even accurate. Would appreciate any perspective TLS has to offer. I know most of the biglaw attorneys here hate aspects of biglaw and enjoy complaining about it. But there must be some redeeming qualities, at times, right? Do you see better times on the horizon?


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Re: I think about dropping out pretty often

Postby mvp99 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 6:35 pm

If you can re-enter your other pre-law profession at any time even after 1-2 years of big law, then try it.. unless that means substantially more debt and you really know you wouldn't like working long hours doing detail-oriented shit.

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Re: I think about dropping out pretty often

Postby northwood » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:37 pm

depends on what year of law school you are in and how much debt you have right now/ scholarship

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Re: I think about dropping out pretty often

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:19 pm

Think about it all the time but definitely just have to at least give it a chance after all of this


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Re: I think about dropping out pretty often

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:31 am

I'm fortunate as biglaw goes; my firm doesn't kill me most of the time, my colleagues are universally respectful, and my work has been mostly tolerable and often genuinely engaging. And I'm in lit, which is not as unpredictable as corp, from what I have seen. So that's where I am coming from.

Having said that: In my experience, the issue with biglaw is almost precisely the opposite from what you've articulated. The hours can be bad, and the job can be all-consuming, but it isn't like that all the time. It's only a rare situation that would require you to be thinking about work on Thanksgiving, for instance. You can mostly unplug on vacation. If you're working with non-psychopaths, you probably can have reasonably normal weekends and nights, most of the time, and you'll hopefully have at least some advance notice when that won't be true. It isn't super sustainable, but it's tolerable for a while.

The long-term outlook is the real problem. I don't know where I'll be in 5-10 years. The good post-biglaw jobs seem much more competitive than the biglaw jobs were. I consider it very likely I won't make this much money again in my career.

So I would advise you not to go into biglaw assuming it will put you on some lucrative career trajectory if you can manage to slog through a few years at a firm. It might, but, it might not.

Frankly, I would probably take an alternative career track that is "lucrative with a low ceiling" if (1) you like it and (2) it provides stable and clear long-term options.

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Re: I think about dropping out pretty often

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:30 pm

It seems silly to leave law school once you've invested three semesters of time and money in it and you have a job at the top of the field for when you finish. There's definitely some missing information here, or a giant misstep, because you could have the same realizations a year ago but you didn't leave then -- you went through all of the worst part and now you want to leave? Unless you would receive a promotion for your time in law school upon return to your old field (which seems unlikely), that's a whole lot of deadweight loss to go back to where you started. I would feel uncomfortable with that, as emotionally purging as the day-dream of telling everyone to fuck off and ditching the heaps of bullshit littering the law world might be.

If it's really just sassy, depressive posts on top law school forum about how work sucks sending you into an existential career crisis, then I'd suggest you pay less attention to what people say on the internet. Not that much of it isn't true, but it shouldn't revolutionize your thought process on a several-year career trajectory. If this is the culmination of extended subversive and negative feelings on the field of law you've held over time that you now see blooming into full fledged disgust, that's different, but still ultimately unconvincing given your substantial investment and success.

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