3L - Hate law - What now?

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3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:49 pm

I regret coming to law school. 1L was bad but everyone said it gets better. It didn't. No one ever takes TLS's advice of "don't come to law school if you don't want to practice law," because most people, like me, don't realize what practicing entails.

I guess you could say law school did technically get easier, but only because after securing big law during OCI (the coveted prize huh?), I stopped caring. But I still find it unfulfilling as always and pointless. I realized that I didn't enjoy traditional law school classes early on, so I started taking more practical classes like corporate finance and still was not really interested. It's hard to be motivated to do anything. I think the main disconnect is that I'm not excited about my pending career and that's feeding into everything else that I feel. I'm going to be a corporate associate in NYC and the work and lifestyle seem terrible. I know people say law school and work are different, but I've gotten a taste of work, and it seems infinitely worse.

I'm trying to assess my options right now but not sure what to do. I'm going to obviously stick around until graduation and take the BAR but then what? Luckily I won't have any debt, but I also will have no money either and will be in my late 20s. All my peers from undergrad are already well settled into their careers. My plan was to stick it out as long as I could in big law but being miserable for 2 years straight (optimistic) doesn't sound great if there's no exit plan.

I keep hearing investigations/litigation is better, and while I didn't necessarily like doing legal research or writing in law school, I can see the appeal compared to being a junior corporate associate. I only chose corporate because everyone said it had better exit options when I was a 2L. I think it would make me enjoy my time more while in big law, but then I'm not sure what to do after if I only want to stay 1-2 years.

I think I missed the management consulting hiring window for 3Ls at this point. I could go back into the business world (I did accounting stuff) but that would seem like a waste of three years if I did the same thing.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:51 pm

Sounds like you kind of want a job with a decent lifestyle. Why not pursue HR? They start at like 80k in a lot of places, and seems like it's just really chill with great hours and good benefits. That's what I'd suggest for someone that knows they really don't like corporate or litigation. Usually people kind of like one or the other.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:00 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:Sounds like you kind of want a job with a decent lifestyle. Why not pursue HR? They start at like 80k in a lot of places, and seems like it's just really chill with great hours and good benefits. That's what I'd suggest for someone that knows they really don't like corporate or litigation. Usually people kind of like one or the other.


OP here. Not really - I want a fulfilling career with advancement opportunities too. Also, I was making more than 80k before law school too. The reason I'm mostly not interested in corp big law is because the work is mostly paper shuffling that ultimately no one even cares about. The terrible time-keeping, 24/7 on-call nature of it, however, certainly makes that worse.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Lacepiece23 wrote:Sounds like you kind of want a job with a decent lifestyle. Why not pursue HR? They start at like 80k in a lot of places, and seems like it's just really chill with great hours and good benefits. That's what I'd suggest for someone that knows they really don't like corporate or litigation. Usually people kind of like one or the other.


OP here. Not really - I want a fulfilling career with advancement opportunities too. Also, I was making more than 80k before law school too. The reason I'm mostly not interested in corp big law is because the work is mostly paper shuffling that ultimately no one even cares about. The terrible time-keeping, 24/7 on-call nature of it, however, certainly makes that worse.


I think that HR provides a chance of advancement opportunities and could be fulfilling. What were you doing before law school? Why not go back and do that?

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Npret » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I regret coming to law school. 1L was bad but everyone said it gets better. It didn't. No one ever takes TLS's advice of "don't come to law school if you don't want to practice law," because most people, like me, don't realize what practicing entails.

I guess you could say law school did technically get easier, but only because after securing big law during OCI (the coveted prize huh?), I stopped caring. But I still find it unfulfilling as always and pointless. I realized that I didn't enjoy traditional law school classes early on, so I started taking more practical classes like corporate finance and still was not really interested. It's hard to be motivated to do anything. I think the main disconnect is that I'm not excited about my pending career and that's feeding into everything else that I feel. I'm going to be a corporate associate in NYC and the work and lifestyle seem terrible. I know people say law school and work are different, but I've gotten a taste of work, and it seems infinitely worse.

I'm trying to assess my options right now but not sure what to do. I'm going to obviously stick around until graduation and take the BAR but then what? Luckily I won't have any debt, but I also will have no money either and will be in my late 20s. All my peers from undergrad are already well settled into their careers. My plan was to stick it out as long as I could in big law but being miserable for 2 years straight (optimistic) doesn't sound great if there's no exit plan.

I keep hearing investigations/litigation is better, and while I didn't necessarily like doing legal research or writing in law school, I can see the appeal compared to being a junior corporate associate. I only chose corporate because everyone said it had better exit options when I was a 2L. I think it would make me enjoy my time more while in big law, but then I'm not sure what to do after if I only want to stay 1-2 years.

I think I missed the management consulting hiring window for 3Ls at this point. I could go back into the business world (I did accounting stuff) but that would seem like a waste of three years if I did the same thing.

There is no point going into biglaw when you have no debt and no desire to practice law. Maybe start at your firm and limit your hours. I think you could coast for a while while you figure it out. I don't have the personality to coast, but maybe you can pull it off if you are looking for exits from day 1.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby 1styearlateral » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:26 pm

Not sure what to do but definitely take the bar; you'll always regret it if you don't.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby RaceJudicata » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:59 pm

Take the bar; coast in big law while actively searching other non-legal roles. Depending on your firm, you can coast for a decent amount of time.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby HillandHollow » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:07 pm

Any chance you are passionate about some particular topic? Is Public Interest completely unappealing to you? If you are looking for work worth doing, it's out there.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:30 pm

OP here.

RaceJudicata wrote:Take the bar; coast in big law while actively searching other non-legal roles. Depending on your firm, you can coast for a decent amount of time.


I'm not sure about coasting. I don't have the personality type for it (sure, in law school where no one cares about my individual performance, but at work I'll be on deal teams). Also, pretty sure people are pulling like 2600 hours at my firm. It's pretty sweatshop-esque and I hear you can be let go relatively soon compared to a larger v10 firm where you can probably hide better.

I definitely plan on taking the bar and already signed up for BAR prep and stuff.

HillandHollow wrote:Any chance you are passionate about some particular topic? Is Public Interest completely unappealing to you? If you are looking for work worth doing, it's out there.


PI is not necessarily completely unappealing to me, but COL is really high in NYC and money is important to me. I've spent all my savings in law school and could have earned another 300k in the 3 years I had to take off to attend school.

Some business topics do interest me - maybe not stuff like finance or capital markets, but I like marketing and start-up related stuff. Not sure how this can translate into law? Should I try to find some niche type of practice area? I'll currently be doing one of Capital Markets / banking / M&A, and will need to go to a different firm if I want to do something else like fund work, tax, etc.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby elendinel » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:37 pm

Why did you go to law school to begin with?

I don't mean that in an accusatory way; I'm honestly curious what you thought law school would do for you.

I think the answer to that probably influences what you should do next, too.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Npret » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:41 pm

elendinel wrote:Why did you go to law school to begin with?

I don't mean that in an accusatory way; I'm honestly curious what you thought law school would do for you.

I think the answer to that probably influences what you should do next, too.

My guess is money, status and a mistaken idea about practicing law. That's what drives most people who think they want NYC biglaw.

It's good for OP to figure this out.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:42 pm

Npret wrote:There is no point going into biglaw when you have no debt and no desire to practice law. Maybe start at your firm and limit your hours. I think you could coast for a while while you figure it out. I don't have the personality to coast, but maybe you can pull it off if you are looking for exits from day 1.


I can still see some upside. He could replenish his savings, and it would help him with his narrative if he tried to jump careers in a few years. If he never practices, people might think it's because he couldn't get a job or pass the bar. If he practices for two years, he can say, "Yeah, tried law, but decided my real interest is x."

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Npret » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:44 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
Npret wrote:There is no point going into biglaw when you have no debt and no desire to practice law. Maybe start at your firm and limit your hours. I think you could coast for a while while you figure it out. I don't have the personality to coast, but maybe you can pull it off if you are looking for exits from day 1.


I can still see some upside. He could replenish his savings, and it would help him with his narrative if he tried to jump careers in a few years. If he never practices, people might think it's because he couldn't get a job or pass the bar. If he practices for two years, he can say, "Yeah, tried law, but decided my real interest is x."

True. He sounded miserable though and I might have been underestimating his ability to get through 2 years of biglaw.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:44 pm

elendinel wrote:Why did you go to law school to begin with?

I don't mean that in an accusatory way; I'm honestly curious what you thought law school would do for you.

I think the answer to that probably influences what you should do next, too.


OP here. No worries, I've asked my self the same thing. I went for the same reason a lot of people unfortunately go and then are later unhappy working as a lawyer: prestige of attending a top law school, knowledge that it would lead to a job with high income, boredom with current life, excitement for trying something new, etc.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:48 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
Npret wrote:There is no point going into biglaw when you have no debt and no desire to practice law. Maybe start at your firm and limit your hours. I think you could coast for a while while you figure it out. I don't have the personality to coast, but maybe you can pull it off if you are looking for exits from day 1.


I can still see some upside. He could replenish his savings, and it would help him with his narrative if he tried to jump careers in a few years. If he never practices, people might think it's because he couldn't get a job or pass the bar. If he practices for two years, he can say, "Yeah, tried law, but decided my real interest is x."


Op here; Thanks. I've thought the same thing about at least practicing for a bit. I'm wondering if I can, however, still do things to change my next two years at the law firm. My current practice area is the one that the firm specializes in and what I find dreadfully boring. Since there's not many other practice areas here, I haven't really been able to experiment so I'm not sure what I should try to do to try and make the best of it. I probably can't lateral for at least a year.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
TheSpanishMain wrote:
Npret wrote:There is no point going into biglaw when you have no debt and no desire to practice law. Maybe start at your firm and limit your hours. I think you could coast for a while while you figure it out. I don't have the personality to coast, but maybe you can pull it off if you are looking for exits from day 1.


I can still see some upside. He could replenish his savings, and it would help him with his narrative if he tried to jump careers in a few years. If he never practices, people might think it's because he couldn't get a job or pass the bar. If he practices for two years, he can say, "Yeah, tried law, but decided my real interest is x."


Op here; Thanks. I've thought the same thing about at least practicing for a bit. I'm wondering if I can, however, still do things to change my next two years at the law firm. My current practice area is the one that the firm specializes in and what I find dreadfully boring. Since there's not many other practice areas here, I haven't really been able to experiment so I'm not sure what I should try to do to try and make the best of it. I probably can't lateral for at least a year.



what practice is it? maybe there is a specialty group at hte firm that you can try to be in that is not that specialty.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby RaceJudicata » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:51 pm

Try and send some apps to consulting firms, maybe? Even if not MBB, there may be a consulting gig out there that fits your interests. That is probably a long shot. Finding a job that meets your needs (money) is going to be incredibly difficult. Even if you can't coast -- which i totally understand, not my personality type either -- its better to have tried it and be able to explain that law wasn't for you but X was. If you never start at the firm, you will have to explain "Why law school, but no legal job" for the rest of your career.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
elendinel wrote:Why did you go to law school to begin with?

I don't mean that in an accusatory way; I'm honestly curious what you thought law school would do for you.

I think the answer to that probably influences what you should do next, too.


OP here. No worries, I've asked my self the same thing. I went for the same reason a lot of people unfortunately go and then are later unhappy working as a lawyer: prestige of attending a top law school, knowledge that it would lead to a job with high income, boredom with current life, excitement for trying something new, etc.

You're a step ahead of many people by recognizing what you don't want to do, but I don't know how much anyone will be able to help you figure out what you do want to do. What do you like? How do you prefer spending your time? Do you like to be on your feet or at a desk? Do you like working in teams or solo? Do you like writing or talking or something else?

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby andythefir » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:04 pm

It's weird to me you'd apply straight from a big firm to applying to consulting jobs. I've spent time in prosecutors offices, a big-ish firm, and an immigration firm. In prosecution and immigration maybe 5-10% of your job has anything to do with anything covered in law school. You're working with clients/victims, managing paper/information, and so on. You might spend a few minutes filling out forms, but the vast majority of the time you're a vaguely white collar worker.

Rather than jumping to an equally highly-leveraged career path, I'd recommend checking into less stressful/prestigious legal situations.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby deepseapartners » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:24 pm

PI is not necessarily completely unappealing to me, but COL is really high in NYC and money is important to me. I've spent all my savings in law school and could have earned another 300k in the 3 years I had to take off to attend school.


OP,

If you can find a high paying job that is also personally fulfilling and has lots of career advancement opportunities, you could probably make $10 million selling it to TLSers. It kinda seems like you have to pick two. Which two would you pick?

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:44 pm

deepseapartners wrote:
PI is not necessarily completely unappealing to me, but COL is really high in NYC and money is important to me. I've spent all my savings in law school and could have earned another 300k in the 3 years I had to take off to attend school.


OP,

If you can find a high paying job that is also personally fulfilling and has lots of career advancement opportunities, you could probably make $10 million selling it to TLSers. It kinda seems like you have to pick two. Which two would you pick?

lol yeah. Honestly not giving us a lot to work with. Other than "maybe I'll try consulting," which seems like learning the wrong lesson here.

Never gonna be satisfied just bouncing from one generic white collar profession to another based on nebulous negative feelings about them. You need to think affirmatively about what you want to do and then go do it. But that's hard and it's why most of us are still lawyers, so whatever.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:13 pm

Current 3L here that's going biglaw SA --> finance/consulting FT. I spent a lot of time thinking exiting law and explored both professions. I believe these two professions above are the only ones that hire law students regularly (if you exclude like quasi-legal tax advisory roles).

If you are deadset on pursuing one of them I think banking is more common if you're going into a related group (tax/finance/M&A). You often lose a bit of seniority but legal skills are valued in certain parts of the bank and I know a bunch of people that have made this switch.

Consulting (MBB at least) does experienced legal hiring but you generally won't get any seniority for working in biglaw since the skills are less transferable. They do most of their hiring on campus so you need to hustle/get a referral to interview as an experienced hire. I would say if this is what you want to do you should apply in your first couple of years and prep a lot of cases.

You definitely missed the boat for a 2017 start, but it's possible to lateral into another profession a year or two in if you are active about it (recruiters for McKinsey usually won't be calling you up though).

The other option obviously is an MBA, but since you probably can't do the JD/MBA now it's a big investment.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby elendinel » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
elendinel wrote:Why did you go to law school to begin with?

I don't mean that in an accusatory way; I'm honestly curious what you thought law school would do for you.

I think the answer to that probably influences what you should do next, too.


OP here. No worries, I've asked my self the same thing. I went for the same reason a lot of people unfortunately go and then are later unhappy working as a lawyer: prestige of attending a top law school, knowledge that it would lead to a job with high income, boredom with current life, excitement for trying something new, etc.


But why law school and not, say, finance/med school/software/the half-dozen other careers with prestige + high income? What was it about law that made it more appealing than all those other options?

I agree with others that we can't really give you a plan for your life from here on out, but asking yourself these questions and trying to get at the core of what you're looking for, what you thought you'd get out of law school, and where you want to go after this, are important in allowing you to get there yourself.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:10 pm

elendinel wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
elendinel wrote:Why did you go to law school to begin with?

I don't mean that in an accusatory way; I'm honestly curious what you thought law school would do for you.

I think the answer to that probably influences what you should do next, too.


OP here. No worries, I've asked my self the same thing. I went for the same reason a lot of people unfortunately go and then are later unhappy working as a lawyer: prestige of attending a top law school, knowledge that it would lead to a job with high income, boredom with current life, excitement for trying something new, etc.


But why law school and not, say, finance/med school/software/the half-dozen other careers with prestige + high income? What was it about law that made it more appealing than all those other options?

I agree with others that we can't really give you a plan for your life from here on out, but asking yourself these questions and trying to get at the core of what you're looking for, what you thought you'd get out of law school, and where you want to go after this, are important in allowing you to get there yourself.

Law school lets you fuck around longer than the others.

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Re: 3L - Hate law - What now?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:15 pm

Law school was the easiest to get into a top school and get scholarship $$$ compared to biz school or med school.



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