Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

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Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:18 pm

Wondering if anyone knows of cases like this. I'm a MVP 3L who is pretty disenchanted with the law and I really don't want to spend my youth doing something I really dislike. Im thinking about looking for opportunities in the arts, not legal in any way. Maybe teaching. I'm wondering if it's worth it to take the bar in case I do get a different job I like, and if there's any chances to get back into the law after several years out if I ever feel like I want to do that. Any thoughts or stories?

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby s1m4 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:28 pm

Get a law job at the biggest firm that you can get into and work for two years. These two years will fly, I promise you. Build an emergency fund, and then try to pursue the interest that you were going to pursue right out of law school. This way, you have savings, a much better shot at getting back into law if you decide you interest is not right for you (or makes you starve), and you will also be a bit older / mature so can re-evaluate then.

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ArtistOfManliness

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:32 pm

s1m4 wrote:Get a law job at the biggest firm that you can get into and work for two years. These two years will fly, I promise you. Build an emergency fund, and then try to pursue the interest that you were going to pursue right out of law school. This way, you have savings, a much better shot at getting back into law if you decide you interest is not right for you (or makes you starve), and you will also be a bit older / mature so can re-evaluate then.


Yeah, if you're not going for partner, you can give zero fucks... and just pull in dat 180

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby BarbellDreams » Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:29 am

I did a year in a quisi-legal job. Didn't really hurt when I interviewed elsewhere for a law job, but its only been a year so no one really expects you to bring much skill to begin with. Also you HAVE to take the bar. Seriously you will regret this badly if you skip over this step.

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:16 am

s1m4 wrote:Get a law job at the biggest firm that you can get into and work for two years. These two years will fly, I promise you. Build an emergency fund, and then try to pursue the interest that you were going to pursue right out of law school. This way, you have savings, a much better shot at getting back into law if you decide you interest is not right for you (or makes you starve), and you will also be a bit older / mature so can re-evaluate then.


This is pretty soul sucking if you really have no interest in it

OP if you land a sweet gig in a field you would enjoy and debt isn't holding you down, I say go for it. An entire generation of law students, including possibly yourself and certainly most people on this website, are regretting the decision to attend law school; no need to add years of law firm work to that mal repose

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:54 pm

s1m4 wrote:Get a law job at the biggest firm that you can get into and work for two years. These two years will fly, I promise you. Build an emergency fund, and then try to pursue the interest that you were going to pursue right out of law school. This way, you have savings, a much better shot at getting back into law if you decide you interest is not right for you (or makes you starve), and you will also be a bit older / mature so can re-evaluate then.


Would you still give this advice if I told you that I had no debt and family funds to support me (not that my parents would fully support me my whole life, but they would have no problem fronting some rent and helping me out while I figure this out/in case of an emergency)?

2 years in biglaw just for the heck of it sounds like exactly the kind of misery I'm trying to avoid.

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby anyriotgirl » Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:03 pm

OP what did you do before law school?
Last edited by anyriotgirl on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby whysoseriousbiglaw » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:13 pm

jbagelboy wrote:
s1m4 wrote:Get a law job at the biggest firm that you can get into and work for two years. These two years will fly, I promise you. Build an emergency fund, and then try to pursue the interest that you were going to pursue right out of law school. This way, you have savings, a much better shot at getting back into law if you decide you interest is not right for you (or makes you starve), and you will also be a bit older / mature so can re-evaluate then.


This is pretty soul sucking if you really have no interest in it

OP if you land a sweet gig in a field you would enjoy and debt isn't holding you down, I say go for it. An entire generation of law students, including possibly yourself and certainly most people on this website, are regretting the decision to attend law school; no need to add years of law firm work to that mal repose


CR. Just go for the non-law gig if it's what you want to do.

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:37 am

anyriotgirl wrote:OP what did you do before law school?


College. I majored in fine arts and music and basically went to law school because it seemed like an easy way to get a steady job.

I'm slowly starting to realize that the practice of law is not something I enjoy and not something I'm particularly good at, I need a job that utilizes my creativity and people skills which are my biggest strengths. I figure that an MVP law degree will open doors for me that my fluffy T1 undergrad degree could not.

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby Voyager » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anyriotgirl wrote:OP what did you do before law school?


College. I majored in fine arts and music and basically went to law school because it seemed like an easy way to get a steady job.

I'm slowly starting to realize that the practice of law is not something I enjoy and not something I'm particularly good at, I need a job that utilizes my creativity and people skills which are my biggest strengths. I figure that an MVP law degree will open doors for me that my fluffy T1 undergrad degree could not.


Options I explored:
1) Consulting. McKinsey hires lots of law grads. Concede this is pretty difficult.
2) Presidential Management Fellowship. A leadership fast track program for the U.S. Civil Service. Seemed like a nice career. Likely ends in the private sector as a consultant/advisor
3) Go back to get an MBA. A couple of my friends are doing that now. Expensive. 2 years lost wages. Tuition.
4) Suck up 2 years of law and try to exit into something else somewhat related. Very difficult to do. Also, as you rightly point out: soul sucking. On the other hand, it's only 2 years and you can pay off your student loans on the way. Maybe combine this approach with going back for an MBA?
5) Start up. You feeling lucky?
6) JAG! So, yes, you are still an attorney, but if you go Marines you will at least get to learn how to use a rifle, call for artillery fire and lead.

In short: not many places value a JD. The easiest options above involve starting over.

EDIT: I did not read the OP closely enough. Apologies.
(1) No, you aren't going to go back to law if you never practice out of school. Why would any law firm hire you?
(2) If you like art or teaching and have no debt then GREAT! Go for it!
(3) I think working 2 years as an attorney would be a neat life experience for you but no need to put yourself through it
(4) I also reference other options above
Last edited by Voyager on Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
anyriotgirl wrote:OP what did you do before law school?


College. I majored in fine arts and music and basically went to law school because it seemed like an easy way to get a steady job.

I'm slowly starting to realize that the practice of law is not something I enjoy and not something I'm particularly good at, I need a job that utilizes my creativity and people skills which are my biggest strengths. I figure that an MVP law degree will open doors for me that my fluffy T1 undergrad degree could not.


I'd at least give law a try. I've met a few people who hated law school and ended up enjoying practice, and vice versa. You don't really have much to lose. You don't have debt, so if you try it and hate it you can always quit in a year and do something else. At least you won't have to wonder if you made a mistake writing off three years of law school. Plus you won't have employers wondering if you're only applying to their organization because you couldn't get a job as a lawyer. And who knows, maybe you'll find yourself actually enjoying (or at least, not hating) it.

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby elendinel » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:52 pm

s1m4 wrote:Get a law job at the biggest firm that you can get into and work for two years. These two years will fly, I promise you. Build an emergency fund, and then try to pursue the interest that you were going to pursue right out of law school. This way, you have savings, a much better shot at getting back into law if you decide you interest is not right for you (or makes you starve), and you will also be a bit older / mature so can re-evaluate then.


May be soul-sucking, but I agree. There's a logic to why so many people go biglaw, retire early, and then do what they really want to do. It puts them in a position to do a lot of things after retirement, that they wouldn't have been able to do if they'd never gone into biglaw/would have taken twice as long to achieve. Since you already have the degree, if you can get one of those jobs, may as well try it out and get as much as you can from it. And there are plenty of legal fields that use creativity and people skills; talk to your career center, find a mentor, or something, and maybe they'll introduce you to a field that better fits your skillset.

Just as (unsolicited) life advice: don't rely on your parents to do something else just because you would rather have space to find your passion. It's great that you have that fallback, but you should treat it as a fallback, not as a thing you take advantage of because it's the path of least resistance (no matter how willing your parents are to help you out). You may actually find you get better clarity in figuring out what you want to do and what you have to do to get there, if you pretend you have no fallback and if you force yourself to figure it out by graduation, than you will if you keep coming up with ways to delay that decision.

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby Voyager » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:56 pm

elendinel wrote:
s1m4 wrote:Get a law job at the biggest firm that you can get into and work for two years. These two years will fly, I promise you. Build an emergency fund, and then try to pursue the interest that you were going to pursue right out of law school. This way, you have savings, a much better shot at getting back into law if you decide you interest is not right for you (or makes you starve), and you will also be a bit older / mature so can re-evaluate then.


May be soul-sucking, but I agree. There's a logic to why so many people go biglaw, retire early, and then do what they really want to do. It puts them in a position to do a lot of things after retirement, that they wouldn't have been able to do if they'd never gone into biglaw/would have taken twice as long to achieve. Since you already have the degree, if you can get one of those jobs, may as well try it out and get as much as you can from it. And there are plenty of legal fields that use creativity and people skills; talk to your career center, find a mentor, or something, and maybe they'll introduce you to a field that better fits your skillset.

Just as (unsolicited) life advice: don't rely on your parents to do something else just because you would rather have space to find your passion. It's great that you have that fallback, but you should treat it as a fallback, not as a thing you take advantage of because it's the path of least resistance (no matter how willing your parents are to help you out). You may actually find you get better clarity in figuring out what you want to do and what you have to do to get there, if you pretend you have no fallback and if you force yourself to figure it out by graduation, than you will if you keep coming up with ways to delay that decision.


Clarification: "retiring" early from biglaw? That would mean at least 10 years at a firm while saving very aggressively and then you would likely still need a job afterwards

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby elendinel » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:26 pm

Voyager wrote:Clarification: "retiring" early from biglaw? That would mean at least 10 years at a firm while saving very aggressively and then you would likely still need a job afterwards


Reread that part again, maybe:

here's a logic to why so many people go biglaw, retire early, and then do what they really want to do. It puts them in a position to do a lot of things after retirement, that they wouldn't have been able to do if they'd never gone into biglaw/would have taken twice as long to achieve.


So, not telling OP to work in biglaw until retirement; just pointing out that there is a reason why so many people go into biglaw, earn lots of money, and then follow their passions, instead of just following their passions from the get-go. (And many people do actually retire from BL in their late 40s, with no need to have another job after; many still desire a job, but by that point they're financially in a good place to quit and do whatever they want, without having to worry about retirement.) Going into the job for as long as tolerable allows you to save up to be in a better position to self-fund your way into whatever hobby/career path/whatever you want to do after, while also helping to build your savings. Even just two years will help one build a sizeable nest egg that can be used as supplemental income while one figures out what one truly wants to do/enables one to pay bills while one establishes his/her career.

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby tyroneslothrop1 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:32 pm

At a minimum, absolutely take the bar.

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Re: Doing something non-legal out of law school - any chance to go back?

Postby zot1 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:45 pm

OP, go away and do what your heart desires. Once you're in law, you get accustomed to a certain lifestyle, and it's hard to give it up. You will also think about the experience you're getting and the portfolio you're building and next thing you know you've been in it for 20 years.

Walk away if that's what you want.



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