Dropping out after 2L year?

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Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:58 am

Still have another semester left to decide but I'm thinking about dropping out after spring semester. I attend a T1 regional school in the south where I finished near the top of my class after 1L year and will have around 90-100k debt at graduation, around 60k if I drop out after 2L year. I mass mailed and hustled and got a decent amount of callbacks in the fall but couldn't convert anything. I'm sure my interviewing skills could have been better but after asking for feedback from one of my last interviews I did, they said I was a really good interviewer and it came down to the wire but other people were from the area and had better work experience. (I'm from the north east and only did research my 1L summer. Last job was for a moving company freshman year) Writing is also a weak point for me and my school does not have grade on law review so I got a secondary journal. Anyway, I'm applying for clerkships now but I know that they are similarly competitive. I should be able to keep a high GPA from here on out and have some family ties to this market which is why I chose it but I didn't grow up here. My undergraduate degree is in Economics so my plan was to apply to any and all jobs that degree makes me competitive for and if I land something drop out. Is this the right strategy, I wanted to do transactional work and think I would probably dislike litigation and I'm definitely not one of those people who feel I have to become a lawyer. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Br3v
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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Br3v » Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:Still have another semester left to decide but I'm thinking about dropping out after spring semester. I attend a T1 regional school in the south where I finished near the top of my class after 1L year and will have around 90-100k debt at graduation, around 60k if I drop out after 2L year. I mass mailed and hustled and got a decent amount of callbacks in the fall but couldn't convert anything. I'm sure my interviewing skills could have been better but after asking for feedback from one of my last interviews I did, they said I was a really good interviewer and it came down to the wire but other people were from the area and had better work experience. (I'm from the north east and only did research my 1L summer. Last job was for a moving company freshman year) Writing is also a weak point for me and my school does not have grade on law review so I got a secondary journal. Anyway, I'm applying for clerkships now but I know that they are similarly competitive. I should be able to keep a high GPA from here on out and have some family ties to this market which is why I chose it but I didn't grow up here. My undergraduate degree is in Economics so my plan was to apply to any and all jobs that degree makes me competitive for and if I land something drop out. Is this the right strategy, I wanted to do transactional work and think I would probably dislike litigation and I'm definitely not one of those people who feel I have to become a lawyer. Any advice is greatly appreciated.


Seems like a plan, keep looking for law job but also start looking for an econ job. My only question would be how much will it cost you to stay another semester rather than drop out after this semester? I get you probably want to stay another semester because that gives you pretty much all the way until August of next year to decide whether to drop or not which means more opportunities to land a legal job.

sflyr2016
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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:20 am

What percentile of your class? Family ties, good grades, and about 100k debt does not sound too bad. Its only Fall. Many boutique firms will not start hiring until closer to summer anyway. With good grades, I am sure you can garner interest from good boutique firms in your area. But most boutique firms focus on lit. And a clerkship is mainly helpful if you're pursuing lit. So, if a job is what you want, then do not limit yourself--at least not yet. Also, have you considered a tax llm? With good grades at a T1, I am sure you can get into GTown, NYU or UF for a tax llm and get into a big firm that way. Just a thought. All in all, I do not think you should drop out and do not think you're in as bad a position as you think you might be.

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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:33 am

Thanks for the responses. I guess I could drop out after this semester but I actually pay as much or more in living costs as I do in tuition and my lease runs through July. I think my tuition for this next semester is probably only around 7k or so, which obviously isn't nothing but I figure I might as well at least see if I can swing a clerkship. Also I'm top 3% right now but I could easily see myself slightly dropping to the 5%ish range just based on the odds. My concern is that ties reasons probably hurt me with the larger firms and I would only imagine smaller places would even be more concerned about those things. I would take any legal job at this point so obviously lit would be fine. Also I know nothing about a tax LLM and would definitely be a little hesitant to take on more debt. I had read on these boards before that when you apply to non-legal jobs near graduation you can be seen as a flight risk because places will worry you still want a legal job. My hope is that searching now and next semester for both legal and non-legal I might be able to sound credible to non-legal places by just saying I realized law school isn't for me and by being willing to start immediately. Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate it.

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Br3v
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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Br3v » Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the responses. I guess I could drop out after this semester but I actually pay as much or more in living costs as I do in tuition and my lease runs through July. I think my tuition for this next semester is probably only around 7k or so, which obviously isn't nothing but I figure I might as well at least see if I can swing a clerkship. Also I'm top 3% right now but I could easily see myself slightly dropping to the 5%ish range just based on the odds. My concern is that ties reasons probably hurt me with the larger firms and I would only imagine smaller places would even be more concerned about those things. I would take any legal job at this point so obviously lit would be fine. Also I know nothing about a tax LLM and would definitely be a little hesitant to take on more debt. I had read on these boards before that when you apply to non-legal jobs near graduation you can be seen as a flight risk because places will worry you still want a legal job. My hope is that searching now and next semester for both legal and non-legal I might be able to sound credible to non-legal places by just saying I realized law school isn't for me and by being willing to start immediately. Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate it.


You're thinking straight. I would add, if you have always wanted to be a lawyer/ live in that city or the like, that counts for something imo.

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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Jchance » Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:54 am

Only do this if you still want to be a lawyer, you can:
Drop out before taking your fall finals and apply to transfer, i.e. taking a year off.
Pick up a MA/MBA dual degree and redo OCI next year as a pseudo-2L.

That's what I would do if I was you.

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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:10 am

Jchance wrote:Only do this if you still want to be a lawyer, you can:
Drop out before taking your fall finals and apply to transfer, i.e. taking a year off.
Pick up a MA/MBA dual degree and redo OCI next year as a pseudo-2L.

That's what I would do if I was you.

I am already halfway through finals. Are you saying it might be possible though to run down to the registrar's office, withdraw and just apply to transfer like I could have right after 1L year. If I could do this would it be weird having taken a year off before doing so. I imagine I would get asked about it.

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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Jchance » Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:16 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am already halfway through finals. Are you saying it might be possible though to run down to the registrar's office, withdraw and just apply to transfer like I could have right after 1L year. If I could do this would it be weird having taken a year off before doing so. I imagine I would get asked about it.


Someone corrects me if I'm wrong, but if you withdraw before you get your grades back, I don't think your grades will stick.

Once you withdraw for a year (or half a year left), come up with a story, e.g. family emergency, going on a spiritual quest

sflyr2016
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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:11 pm

Explore the transfer rout, I guess. If it is still available. But you would be adding a ton of debt without being able to do OCI. would rather use that money for a top-tier tax llm at one of the top 3 programs and interview with firms that go to campus there. And simply because you have a tax llm does not mean that you will be constrained to only doing tax. For example, at the firm I will be working at this summer, one of the partners that interviewed me does securities lit but has a tax llm from nyu. So, the tax llm can be just another opportunity to get your foot in the door. But I understand not wanting to sign up for more debt.

I do not think dropping out should be an option. Being as you're posting anonymously, why don't you tell us what school you are at and what markets you would like to practice in? I am sure that people familiar with those markets can give you better advice. Top 3-5% at a T1 still sounds like a good place to be. You should be competitive for an art iii dist. clerkship (albeit nowhere sexy) or a state supreme court clerkship. Either of those should allow you to find a good job after the clerkship. And both are paid. So definitely pursue that.

Finish finals strong. And after it, I would spend time researching firms. Use http://www.chambersandpartners.com/guide/usa/5 and http://www.benchmarklitigation.com/ to find the top boutique firms in your desired markets. Keep in mind that these boutique firms are highly coveted gigs but many times do not know their needs until closer to summer and so cannot hire until then. My dream firm (a 30 person lit boutique in Fl.) told me they could not interview me until spring if I wanted to wait that long but that they were interested. I accepted an offer elsewhere and at a bigger firm, not because I thought the bigger firm was better but because of the timeline. In fact, in my area, that boutique firm carries every bit as good of a reputation as the larger firms. They just do summer hiring on a different time table and many of us are unwilling to take the gamble and wait. This is to say that you have the grades those firms want and are probably competing with less people for those spots. I would mail and e-mail each one of those firms your app materials, and then follow up with a phone call to make sure they received your application materials and to explain to either the hiring partner (if you can get one on the phone) or their recruiting person why you are interested in their firm and that you would love to an opportunity to interview.

Right now, you have very good grades and manageable debt. Do your best to get something for summer: firm> some sort of agency internship (particularly in dc if you can grab one) > federal judicial internship > anything law related. And during summer you can continue to reach out to the firms who go to your school's OCI and see if they would be willing to interview you as a 3L. My friend was at the top of the class and struck out at every interview at OCI, but landed at a good boutique firm for the summer. After 2l summer, he managed to get interviews at firms he could not get the first go at it. He loved the firm he summered at, however, and accepted an offer there. Still, he managed to grab a second set of interviews with big firms as a 3L.

I apologize for the long-winded response. But I do not think dropping out at this point makes sense.
Last edited by sflyr2016 on Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nebby
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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Nebby » Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:22 pm

joeant wrote: I do not think dropping out at this point makes sense.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:26 pm

What about a clerkship? If you graduate top 5% you will have a good chance at Article III. I can't really see dropping out in your shoes given that you're halfway through and have done very well.

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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 07, 2014 1:16 pm

Again thanks for the responses. The school is UGA and my target markets were Atlanta and the New Jersey/PA/New York region where I am originally from. I also mass mailed random cities but all my interviews were in those locations. I am already sending out clerkship applications but legal writing was my lowest grade and one of my professors with whom I shared my writing sample told me it really wasn't very good and to edit it more. I tried but when it comes to good legal writing I''m not really sure I know what to improve on. I feel like the legal writing there is very different from law exam writing. I'm hoping that some judges won't care as much about the writing sample but if they do I'm worried that could ding me from clerkship opportunities.

sflyr2016
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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby sflyr2016 » Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:17 pm

Use the sites I sent you. Do your homework on the good boutique firms in Atlanta, and I would also aim for Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, and Carolinas. They are not so far from UGA so as to not be interested in one of their top students. As far as writing, I bet it's more to do with basic grammar than "legal writing". Substantively, you must understand the material given your grades. But the writing itself is probably disorganized, convoluted, and riddled with basic grammar mistakes. I am in the same boat. Buy a basic grammar book (I am talking basic, like middle school stuff) and work through it over winter break. This will not cure your writing sample, but it will improve your writing. As far as the writing sample, continue to work on it, clean it up as much as possible, and turn in your best work. If you land an interview and a judge asks about your writing, just say you are confident in being able to better it. As your grades show, you have the ability and the work ethic to excel when determined, so writing should not be any different. I seriously doubt that law students who land clerkships are already at the writing level the judges expect. Perhaps this is why judges tend to hire two years out. Maybe your writing is crappy, but not so bad that you cannot improve it before your clerk.

Top 3% at UGA is not a bad spot to be in. No one is magically going to just give you a job. But with your grades I am sure it will not take too much convincing. You just need to knock on doors.

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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby Yardbird » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:38 am

Unconventional wisdom here: stay in law school, apply to I-banks. I-banks really like JDs who can do math (an adjunct professor who has been a partner there for almost 15 years mentioned this in my class), and it is relevant to your economics degree (as an example, the current CEO of Goldman has a law degree but no MBA). You'll get a bump for being a JD and for having a relevant undergraduate degree. You can summer at an I-bank for 2L (hustle with apps now) and reapply to both firms and I-banks after the summer (I-banks let you split too, so you can theoretically continue searching for a firm or some sort of legal work and split with the I-bank). You can also apply for clerkships if your grades stay up and try the clerkship>firm route. Still lots of options since you're at the top of your class.

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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby popsmurf » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:39 am

I think that you should stick it out! It is easy to quit and you could come up with dozens of excuses, and many people would agree with your excuses. But just tough it out. Purchase SPAM. It is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

03152016
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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby 03152016 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:15 am

popsmurf wrote:I think that you should stick it out! It is easy to quit and you could come up with dozens of excuses, and many people would agree with your excuses. But just tough it out. Purchase [scam e-book]. It is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

stop spamming every thread with your shitty ebook

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Re: Dropping out after 2L year?

Postby AReasonableMan » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:23 am

popsmurf wrote:I think that you should stick it out! It is easy to quit and you could come up with dozens of excuses, and many people would agree with your excuses. But just tough it out. Purchase SPAM It is available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

OP already has good grades, and isn't dropping out because law school is hard. Did you really do well in LS with an inability to comprehend text?

This has to be a flame but it's too elaborate. Why would a person buy a book from a Cooley grad on law school success? OP likely is more qualified to write this book. Assuming you're the writer, the quality of writing is so bad there's no way you'd pull median at a decent school. Just no way.




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