2L drop out, options?

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NeedingWisdom20

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2L drop out, options?

Postby NeedingWisdom20 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:27 pm

Dear TLS,

New to the forum, I'll make it concise as possible.

Attended a T20 for a year, came up short on expectations, dropped out in the start of 2L with good standing. The question is, now what?

I have a bachelor's in biology from a top 10 college. A few options I'm looking at:

1.) Transfer to another law school - possibly around the same rankings, low T20's, and if that doesn't work, willing to drop down to T50 with location boost. Problem is, the risk of transferring to a lower ranked school and how that might affect job chances. Getting small law is one thing, but being unemployed months after graduation is quite another. I'd be content working in government or boutique, but cannot tolerate finishing up 2 more years of JD (with all the tuition) and ending up unemployed. I do enjoy learning the law and can see myself practicing as a lawyer, but the financial considerations given the investment are huge.

2.) Attend B School - is this a crazy idea? I have no background in business but am interested in the field and can most likely come out with a pretty decent GMAT/GRE score, better than my LSAT. I enjoy dealing with people and "selling" things. Is there any potential in this? The costs are tremendous given the whole new application process, taking another standardized test, and several more years of education, while not knowing what to do with the law school debt already incurred. It seems tempting, but not quite practical.

3.) Teach English at a foreign country in Asia - If nothing works out here, figure might as well head somewhere else. The problems are many, including the visa requirements (many, many), the process of applying and getting accepted (preference for white English teachers, and I'm not white).

4.) Medical school - even more remote of an idea, but with the bachelors in bio, all the reqs are fulfilled, just need an MCAT score. Better yet, med school abroad that doesn't require an MCAT, probably much more feasible. But don't know anything about conditions there, among other things, the chances of getting a job back in the states, etc. Plus another 4-8 years in school, where is that money going to come from..

5.) Just work - get a basic license to teach or do basic work and live with it for the rest of my career, giving up the dream of livin' large (big law/medical/ etc)

6.) Work and then go to school of some kind - where I'm at currently.

Seems like every option has tremendous issues to deal with, need some clarity dealing with the decision making process. I hate lingering around deciding; I'd rather decide on something and do it, without looking sideways or back. Please assist, fellow law students, graduates, etc (and try not to be biased towards (or against!) the law as a profession in itself.

Much appreciation,
NeedingWisdom20

Valamar

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby Valamar » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:47 pm

I'll put in a plug for teaching abroad. I worked for a year in China and most of my friends were English teachers, seems like a really chill lifestyle where you're working 20-40 hours a week, get an apartment paid for by the school, and make a lot of money compared to the locals (6-20kRMB/month, compared to 3-4kRMB/month average local salary, so you'd be living like a king - most people seem to travel a lot and hit up 2-3 different countries every year). Most cities also have very vibrant expat communities, so you get to meet and make friends with interesting people from all over the world (just make sure you don't sign up to go work in a rural village or something unless that's really your speed, minimal extracurricular options + likely no other foreigners except your coworkers makes for a miserable experience for many). Downside is work is not the most fulfilling, and minimal upward mobility opportunities, although I have heard stories of people who worked their way up to senior school administration or transitioned into education startups and the like. White folks do get a leg up, but English teachers are in very high demand in China so you shouldn't have too much trouble.

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bretby

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby bretby » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:58 pm

NeedingWisdom20 wrote:Dear TLS,

New to the forum, I'll make it concise as possible.

Attended a T20 for a year, came up short on expectations, dropped out in the start of 2L with good standing. The question is, now what?

I have a bachelor's in biology from a top 10 college. A few options I'm looking at:

1.) Transfer to another law school - possibly around the same rankings, low T20's, and if that doesn't work, willing to drop down to T50 with location boost. Problem is, the risk of transferring to a lower ranked school and how that might affect job chances. Getting small law is one thing, but being unemployed months after graduation is quite another. I'd be content working in government or boutique, but cannot tolerate finishing up 2 more years of JD (with all the tuition) and ending up unemployed. I do enjoy learning the law and can see myself practicing as a lawyer, but the financial considerations given the investment are huge.

2.) Attend B School - is this a crazy idea? I have no background in business but am interested in the field and can most likely come out with a pretty decent GMAT/GRE score, better than my LSAT. I enjoy dealing with people and "selling" things. Is there any potential in this? The costs are tremendous given the whole new application process, taking another standardized test, and several more years of education, while not knowing what to do with the law school debt already incurred. It seems tempting, but not quite practical.

3.) Teach English at a foreign country in Asia - If nothing works out here, figure might as well head somewhere else. The problems are many, including the visa requirements (many, many), the process of applying and getting accepted (preference for white English teachers, and I'm not white).

4.) Medical school - even more remote of an idea, but with the bachelors in bio, all the reqs are fulfilled, just need an MCAT score. Better yet, med school abroad that doesn't require an MCAT, probably much more feasible. But don't know anything about conditions there, among other things, the chances of getting a job back in the states, etc. Plus another 4-8 years in school, where is that money going to come from..

5.) Just work - get a basic license to teach or do basic work and live with it for the rest of my career, giving up the dream of livin' large (big law/medical/ etc)

6.) Work and then go to school of some kind - where I'm at currently.

Seems like every option has tremendous issues to deal with, need some clarity dealing with the decision making process. I hate lingering around deciding; I'd rather decide on something and do it, without looking sideways or back. Please assist, fellow law students, graduates, etc (and try not to be biased towards (or against!) the law as a profession in itself.

Much appreciation,
NeedingWisdom20


If you went to law school right out of college, I would recommend trying to get a job - any job - in your dream field. It will likely not pay well, at least at first, but it will give you a chance to see if you really do love it and whether you want to make a career in the field. Give yourself a couple of years, and if it's not going as well as you'd hoped, then look again at graduate school. Getting a graduate degree when you have no idea what you want to do (which if you're considering law, business and medicine, seems to be the case) could turn out to be an expensive waste of time/tie you to a career you really have no interest in.

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UVA2B

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby UVA2B » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:00 pm

NeedingWisdom20 wrote:Dear TLS,

New to the forum, I'll make it concise as possible.

Attended a T20 for a year, came up short on expectations, dropped out in the start of 2L with good standing. The question is, now what?

I have a bachelor's in biology from a top 10 college. A few options I'm looking at:

1.) Transfer to another law school - possibly around the same rankings, low T20's, and if that doesn't work, willing to drop down to T50 with location boost. Problem is, the risk of transferring to a lower ranked school and how that might affect job chances. Getting small law is one thing, but being unemployed months after graduation is quite another. I'd be content working in government or boutique, but cannot tolerate finishing up 2 more years of JD (with all the tuition) and ending up unemployed. I do enjoy learning the law and can see myself practicing as a lawyer, but the financial considerations given the investment are huge.

2.) Attend B School - is this a crazy idea? I have no background in business but am interested in the field and can most likely come out with a pretty decent GMAT/GRE score, better than my LSAT. I enjoy dealing with people and "selling" things. Is there any potential in this? The costs are tremendous given the whole new application process, taking another standardized test, and several more years of education, while not knowing what to do with the law school debt already incurred. It seems tempting, but not quite practical.

3.) Teach English at a foreign country in Asia - If nothing works out here, figure might as well head somewhere else. The problems are many, including the visa requirements (many, many), the process of applying and getting accepted (preference for white English teachers, and I'm not white).

4.) Medical school - even more remote of an idea, but with the bachelors in bio, all the reqs are fulfilled, just need an MCAT score. Better yet, med school abroad that doesn't require an MCAT, probably much more feasible. But don't know anything about conditions there, among other things, the chances of getting a job back in the states, etc. Plus another 4-8 years in school, where is that money going to come from..

5.) Just work - get a basic license to teach or do basic work and live with it for the rest of my career, giving up the dream of livin' large (big law/medical/ etc)

6.) Work and then go to school of some kind - where I'm at currently.

Seems like every option has tremendous issues to deal with, need some clarity dealing with the decision making process. I hate lingering around deciding; I'd rather decide on something and do it, without looking sideways or back. Please assist, fellow law students, graduates, etc (and try not to be biased towards (or against!) the law as a profession in itself.

Much appreciation,
NeedingWisdom20


I'll address those I have any understanding of as best I can:

1) Transfer feels like a no-go. What possible story could you craft for employers to establish why you transferred to a lesser institution, even if they're both seen as regionals? I can't imagine they would look at your 1L performance, combined with the transfer, and think anything good about it. You're looking at an extremely uphill battle.

2) I'm assuming you have zero work experience, and none of the reputable MBA programs will take you without it absent transcendent numbers (and even then it's hit or miss). Besides, you seem to be jumping from one professional endeavor to another, and what is it about an MBA program that suggests you'll like it any more than the JD? I worry you're just unsure of what to do (as evidenced by your other options), and none of these options will begin to satisfy you.

3) Possible without serious opportunity costs if you can passably speak another language that is useful in Asia. I can't speak knowledgeably about these opportunities, so I won't discount this option out of hand, but I hope you have some ability in the language of the region you're imagining.

4) You meet the prereqs for med school, sure, but really think about the ramifications. UGs who have dedicated their entire academic careers to med school are ending up in the Bahamas, where there is no guarantee of ever practicing medicine in the states ever again. This isn't impossible because you have the prereqs (hope you killed physics and organic chem, but that's another matter for the MCAT), so this isn't positively disbarred, but you also seem supremely disinterested in being a physician. Why submit yourself to potentially 4-11 years of additional training for something you don't actually want?

5) Also possible, and I won't speak to your job opportunities. This is beyond my knowledge, but it also seems like the path of least resistance, which would likely be less hoops and less problems.

6) You need to figure out who you want to be personally and professionally. I don't get the sense that you understand that at all. If you have no idea what you want to do with your life, how can you expect someone like me to provide you guidance? Take the time to think through what you imagine yourself doing as a professional, analyze whether that outcome is possible/probable given your opportunities, and chart a course to make your desired professional goals potentially a reality. It's never assured, but at least you've thought through what you want, why you want it, and what you're going to do to get it.

Don't bound aimlessly from endeavor to endeavor simply because the current endeavor doesn't satisfy you. That's a sure-fire way to lead yourself into financial ruin (through student loans) and/or professional irrelevance because you've never actually committed to a professional pursuit.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby Mr. Archer » Mon Dec 19, 2016 11:43 pm

NeedingWisdom20 wrote: Attended a T20 for a year, came up short on expectations, dropped out in the start of 2L with good standing. The question is, now what?


What do you mean by this? Was it your grade expectations or the school that didn't meet your expectations? If it's grades, how bad are we talking? A guy in my 1L class dropped out because his expectations were 3.5 or above first semester or leave. Even if yours are low, with patent bar eligibility you could save yourself with a couple of years of hard work. If you like the law and did ok but didn't like your school, then you'll need to think about whether a school change is all you really need (science background/patent eligibility should help with the job search). I wouldn't transfer down to T50 from T20, but more of a lateral transfer shouldn't be a huge problem (assuming you didn't have 1L grade problems). If anyone asked, you could just say you moved for a better fit, closer to home, etc. Even if the transfer means making one employer question it, should that really stop you? However, most of your options require an additional degree, so that will also require debt. You could teach school, but you'd have to figure out whether you would be happy in that career. Teaching ESL is an option. I went to undergrad with a guy who has been doing that for three years in China. He did not speak Mandarin beforehand. In any case, don't make a rash decision.

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elendinel

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby elendinel » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:31 am

I mean, it really depends on what you want. Your next best step could be to start your own rock band, for all we know; what matters most is what you're looking to achieve after all this, which is the one thing you conspicuously left out of your post (which sounds less like a list of things you're thinking of doing to get somewhere in particular, and more like a bunch of random options you came up with after trying to think of every possible option you have right now). I don't say this to criticize so much to point out that if all you're going to do after dropping out of school is to randomly pick a new path based on what anonymous internet students tell you to do, you're just going to end up being unhappy again. Use those LSAT skillz and think logically.

So the first thing you ought to be doing, before worrying about what school to get into next, is to figure out where you want to go from here, and what you learned from your short stint in school. Did you like law? Or did you hate it? Did you like it, but hate writing essays? Did you like the writing part, but not the speaking up in class part? Did you hate the classes you took 1L but think maybe you would have liked media law, or environmental law, or patent law, etc.? Did you really miss science? What were your expectations, and how did you fail to meet them? What would need to happen for you to meet expectations at your next leg of your career? What were you hoping to get out of law school? Can you get it in another field? Etc.

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jbagelboy

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:14 pm

not to make light of your circumstances, but this is the quintessential millennial decision tree/quandry. It's safe to say most of the country aged 24-33 is in this position or some variant.

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jbagelboy

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:17 pm

my sincere advice? Stop thinking about life in terms of tracks and "big careers" versus "other." It's disturbing and counterproductive. There's nothing special about law and medicine. Those are just two professions among many possible and equally valid career options; not everyone needs a professional or post-bach degree to achieve a fulfilling career. Attitude isn't everything but it's huge, and you need to change your perspective if you're going to be happy pursuing the many options available to you.

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby BobBoblaw » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:41 pm

Definitely don't go to med school. You would be going for all the wrong reasons ($$$), nothing you said would lead us to believe you give a red hot shit about actually helping out carrying for people, and as other folks have pointed out you are looking at 3 to 4x the length of training, in a much more competitive atmosphere. Unless you took your bio classes in UG specifically as a pre-med track, you will probably need to fill in some gaps to be competitive and score well on the MCAT, and earning a medical degree abroad is not a very good idea if you want to be able to practice medicine in the US in the future. May have worked 40 years ago, not so much anymore.

Hikikomorist

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby Hikikomorist » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:53 pm

Acting like someone needs to care about people to be a good doctor seems like a really antiquated/naive view.

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby BobBoblaw » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:46 pm

Hikikomorist wrote:Acting like someone needs to care about people to be a good doctor seems like a really antiquated/naive view.



I guess we can agree to disagree, but bedside manner is a pretty important factor in patient outcomes. There are plenty of studies to back this up, (recent, not 'antiquated') and it is damn hard to force a kind and caring bedside manner day in and day out if you don't care about your patients.

If course there are many doctors who are great in their field specialty, but without good people skills, this will only get you so far.

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:30 pm

Where do you get that OP has poor people skills?

As someone else mentioned, it is not necessary to "care" in order to get a good outcome. If you ask a grocery clerk where something is, they might not give 2 rats asses about "helping" you for the sake of helping, only to sell their items. But it still helps you find it, doesn't it?

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby BobBoblaw » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:40 pm

I inferred from the following that OPs interest in medicine was mainly because he perceives it to be a well-paid profession: "giving up the dream of livin' large (big law/medical/ etc)"

Again, you may disagree with me that bedside manner has an impact on patient outcomes, but empirical evidence tends to support the idea that a good bedside manner does indeed increase favorable patient outcomes. Here is a review article, one of many on the subject: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Zelda_Di_Blasi/publication/12078501_Influence_of_context_effects_on_health_outcomes_a_systematic_review/links/0046351bad92b07072000000.pdf

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trebekismyhero

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby trebekismyhero » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:50 pm

This bedside manner discussion is stupid. I definitely prefer my doctors to have good one, but have seen and met plenty that don't.

OP, take some time and figure out what you actually like doing. That should be your main goal over the next year or two

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:58 pm

It is not possible for some people to be motivated by finances, and yet have good social skills too?

Just because OP mentioned "dreams of livin' large" does that automatically mean he doesn't care about people?

I value a high quality lifestyle but that doesn't mean I hate other people, or that is the only, or even primary reason for doing what I do.

Regardless, I'd rather see an expert specialist physician who has 20+ years experience and doesn't give a damn about me, rather than a caring, foolish doc straight out of some random med school without knowing what he's doing. Those ER visits for nausea have demonstrated that care is meaningless if it means diagnosing kidney stones for a simple stomach flu. Incompetency could kill, and when it comes to medicine, and saving people's lives on the line I don't give a shit about some measly, pansy bedside manners.

BobBoblaw

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Re: 2L drop out, options?

Postby BobBoblaw » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:12 pm

trebekismyhero wrote:This bedside manner discussion is stupid. I definitely prefer my doctors to have good one, but have seen and met plenty that don't.

OP, take some time and figure out what you actually like doing. That should be your main goal over the next year or two


I think you summed it up pretty well...



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