First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

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Quit or stay?

Quit
47
44%
Stay
61
56%
 
Total votes: 108

HaroldHoward
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:46 pm

First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby HaroldHoward » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:02 pm

Ok, so I got my first semester grades back. They were much better than I expected. As in top 10% of the class.

Here is the problem. I absolutely HATE law school. I hate the law. I hate lawyers. I don't want to ever practice law. I came into school from a LE background with the idealistic fantasy that I would be able to "make a difference in the world." I wasn't getting paid well in LE despite working in the field for several years, and a promotion or two. (Mid 30K range.) I got the foolish idea that if I only went to law school I would be able to A: Make lots of Money. B: Effect positive change in the system.

Both assumptions are wrong.

Due to the rapid realization that the system is irreparably broken and that the manipulation of the law by corrupt lawyers is a large part to blame, I became disgusted with the field. The more I read about ivory tower elitists imposing their wills on the "uneducated masses" I became infuriated. I have always been a relatively simple person. I went to the Military out of High School. Got married. Had a couple of kids. Then went into Public Service. I've never made more than the high 30K range in my life, yet we managed to get along fine.

In any case, after my mid semester epiphany, I basically quit studying. I decided that I could give myself an excuse to quit if I did poorly on finals. I had done reasonbly well on the midterms, so I figured that if I just did the bare minimum, I'd not break the median (which is ridiculously curved at a C+) and then I could leave in peace. So, instead of spending 12 hrs a night pouring over books like many of my classmates, I decided to skim over the cases, read a couple of E&Es and memorize Gilberts.

I went to class and didn't do much else. I was convinced that I would be at or below median, and I would have my excuse to quit.

To my utter surprise, not only didn't I fail, I broke the top 10%. How I did it is beyond me. All I did on the exams was regurgitate the stuff from Gilberts, practically verbatim. How that qualifies as "lawyering" is anyone's guess.

So here is my dilemma. Should I quit anyway? Or should I keep on drudging along and get the J.D.? (I will NOT take the Bar exam, I will turn down Law Review even if I do keep my grades at this level, and I will NOT practice law.) At this point, the only purpose that the J.D. would serve, would be to hopefully land me a better position in LE. I know that there are a lot of people in LE Admin (LT. and above) who have J.D.s Thus, it might be worthwhile to get the degree to use in that respect. It might also help in an investigative rather than patrol position.

I am going to school for free, but it is a T4.

So, what would you do?

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Thirteen
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Thirteen » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:07 pm

Law school =/= Legal practice. Since you're going to school for free, stick it out for another semester and work for a lawyer this summer. If you still hate it, quit and don't look back.

HaroldHoward
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby HaroldHoward » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:08 pm

Everyone close to me is telling me to stay. They keep insisting that the JD will "open doors" for me.

My classmates think I am a nutjob for wanting to leave, but they want to be lawyers, I don't.

Browsing through here reveals people who claim that the J.D. is a detriment for anyone other than someone who wants to practice law.

I am not sure who to believe.

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mallard
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby mallard » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:09 pm

Sounds like you might actually be good at this and have the kind of heart many people don't. Believe it or not, the system needs people who aren't corrupt in order to work right, and if all of the incorruptible people get grossed out and leave, there won't be any left to grease the wheels.

HaroldHoward
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby HaroldHoward » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:10 pm

Law school =/= Legal practice. Since you're going to school for free, stick it out for another semester.


What of all the Police Chiefs that have J.D.s?

and work for a lawyer this summer.


Won't do it. I already know that I hate the law.

If you still hate it, quit and don't look back.


That's the way I am leaning now. While I am going to school for free, I look at the lost income that I will forfeit by not working. (Even if it was only in the mid 30K range.)

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Sauer Grapes » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:10 pm

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Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HaroldHoward
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby HaroldHoward » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:11 pm

Sounds like you might actually be good at this and have the kind of heart many people don't. Believe it or not, the system needs people who aren't corrupt in order to work right, and if all of the incorruptible people get grossed out and leave, there won't be any left to grease the wheels.


But it is disheartening to feel like your work is all for naught.

HaroldHoward
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby HaroldHoward » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:13 pm

How old are you? If you will be younger than 37 when you graduate, finish law school and then get a position as a special agent with the government. A JD will give you a leg up on the other applicants.


30.

I thought about that. Federal LE is much better than small town LE. However, most Federal Jobs (FBI for example) require JD + Bar Exam. The thought of wasting another summer after school to study for the Bar sickens me.

If I could convince myself to stay for the next 2.5 years, I want to be lining up a LE job the day after I graduate.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Sauer Grapes » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:15 pm

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Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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neimanmarxist
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby neimanmarxist » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:19 pm

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Last edited by neimanmarxist on Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Trojanwarhero
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:04 am

Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Trojanwarhero » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:22 pm

HaroldHoward wrote:Everyone close to me is telling me to stay. They keep insisting that the JD will "open doors" for me.

My classmates think I am a nutjob for wanting to leave, but they want to be lawyers, I don't.

Browsing through here reveals people who claim that the J.D. is a detriment for anyone other than someone who wants to practice law.

I am not sure who to believe.


A JD is actually an incredibly useful degree in a lot of fields. Not necessarily for the legal knowledge, but for the ability to dissect arguments and write with logical consistency. I think the main reason a lot of people discourage getting one and not becoming a lawyer is because of the cost. But since you're going to school for free and getting good grades without much effort, I think it would be wise to continue with your degree given you can support your family in the mean time. I'm still not sure what LE is though.

HaroldHoward
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby HaroldHoward » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:24 pm

The difference that a JD will make in your employment prospects and earning power over the next 35 years is definitely worth five semesters of misery. Take this from someone that weathered 8 semesters of misery to complete a doctorate. It's a brave new world with certain letters after your name. The worst is nearly over. Things are just going to keep getting better.


I keep reading all these horror stories from people with J.D.s who claimed that their J.D.s were a detriment rather than a blessing. If the J.D. would open additional doors for me, it's probably worth the additional time investment. However, if the people on J.D. Underground, AbovetheLaw and even many on this board are correct, the wait for the J.D. would be nothing more than 2.5 more years of wasted income earning potential for a worthless certificate.

HaroldHoward
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby HaroldHoward » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:24 pm

A JD is actually an incredibly useful degree in a lot of fields. Not necessarily for the legal knowledge, but for the ability to dissect arguments and write with logical consistency. I think the main reason a lot of people discourage getting one and not becoming a lawyer is because of the cost. But since you're going to school for free and getting good grades without much effort, I think it would be wise to continue with your degree given you can support your family in the mean time. I'm still not sure what LE is though.


LE = Law Enforcement.

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UFMatt
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby UFMatt » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:28 pm

I'll chime in and vouch for the JD benefiting a potential career in federal LE. Your JD should allow you to become an FBI agent, in which position you could presumably do a great deal of good while getting paid better than small town LE.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Sauer Grapes » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:30 pm

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Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Trojanwarhero
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:04 am

Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Trojanwarhero » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:44 pm

HaroldHoward wrote:
A JD is actually an incredibly useful degree in a lot of fields. Not necessarily for the legal knowledge, but for the ability to dissect arguments and write with logical consistency. I think the main reason a lot of people discourage getting one and not becoming a lawyer is because of the cost. But since you're going to school for free and getting good grades without much effort, I think it would be wise to continue with your degree given you can support your family in the mean time. I'm still not sure what LE is though.


LE = Law Enforcement.


O ok. Yeah a JD is incredibly useful for that, particularly if you want to be a big time investigator. I work at the DAs office and every time we get a big case where we're not sure what charges will stick we bring up the investigating officers and interview them. I've seen so many times where the officers didn't ask the right questions and didn't get usable evidence which limits our office's ability to pursue a higher charge. I imagine a JD would give you a big edge since you'd think like a lawyer and be a lot better at obtaining usable evidence.

35K in LE? You've got to move out to cali man. Starting salary for Oakland PD is $70,000. But it is Oakland PD.

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Kohinoor
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:51 pm

So you're jaded by corruption in the legal industry and your solution is to return to law enforcement?

falkon059er
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:05 am

Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby falkon059er » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:51 pm

What is your basis for "hating the law"? Is it your 1L classes? Because let me tell you something: the practice of law does not, in any way, resemble your 1L courses (or any courses for that matter, unless it's a clinic). If you're LE inclined, try working at the prosecutor's office this summer. That said, if you actually have a realistic perception of what it's like to be a lawyer, and you still don't want to do it, then drop out. Just remember - most humans hate law school.

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Jay-Electronica
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Jay-Electronica » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:53 pm

mallard wrote:Sounds like you might actually be good at this and have the kind of heart many people don't. Believe it or not, the system needs people who aren't corrupt in order to work right, and if all of the incorruptible people get grossed out and leave, there won't be any left to grease the wheels.

TCR

holborn
Posts: 347
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby holborn » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:58 pm

It seems to me like youre determined to hate it and nothing will change your mind. In that case, quit. Youve been presented with a few options of how a JD could improve your life and youre unwilling to accept them. I (kind of, not really) get you not wanting to work for a lawyer to test out actual practice. But refusing to take the bar even if it means a better job in the field you like tells me youre set on quiting and only came to this board to validate the decision. So do what you want and quit.

Pearalegal
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Pearalegal » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:02 pm

HaroldHoward wrote:Due to the rapid realization that the system is irreparably broken and that the manipulation of the law by corrupt lawyers is a large part to blame, I became disgusted with the field. The more I read about ivory tower elitists imposing their wills on the "uneducated masses" I became infuriated. I have always been a relatively simple person. I went to the Military out of High School. Got married. Had a couple of kids. Then went into Public Service. I've never made more than the high 30K range in my life, yet we managed to get along fine.

So, what would you do?



First of all, I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. Second of all, I think you're being very naive and arrogant.

Every field has corruption. Every single one. I'm sure you know this. When you study and delve deeper into a field, you will learn more and more about the aspects of a job that are unappealing.

How do you know you hate lawyers? You refuse to work for one, as you stated. How do you know you hate the law? You refuse to practice it. You've been in law school ONE semester. I highly doubt you've learned everything you can about the law, and have met every type of lawyer. In fact, that scenerio is impossible.

You've just accomplished fantastic grades, which is amazing. However, I guess because you had an "idealistic fantasy," you're sounding like a two year old. Every system is flawed, and it takes passionate people to improve circumstances in those systems. You said you wanted to change the world...why don't you at least try?

I guess if you really hate the study of law, thats one thing. But your post seems to focus on how much you hate THE law and lawyers in general. You've finished one semester--how the hell do you know?

You seemed determined to be negative and stubborn...qualities which I find disappointing in someone later in life than many of us, a husband and a father...and in someone who wants to influence his community in a good way. Stop whining and at least try to expand your understanding of the law past 3-4 months.

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king3780
Posts: 349
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby king3780 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:05 pm

Trojanwarhero wrote:
HaroldHoward wrote:
A JD is actually an incredibly useful degree in a lot of fields. Not necessarily for the legal knowledge, but for the ability to dissect arguments and write with logical consistency. I think the main reason a lot of people discourage getting one and not becoming a lawyer is because of the cost. But since you're going to school for free and getting good grades without much effort, I think it would be wise to continue with your degree given you can support your family in the mean time. I'm still not sure what LE is though.


LE = Law Enforcement.


O ok. Yeah a JD is incredibly useful for that, particularly if you want to be a big time investigator. I work at the DAs office and every time we get a big case where we're not sure what charges will stick we bring up the investigating officers and interview them. I've seen so many times where the officers didn't ask the right questions and didn't get usable evidence which limits our office's ability to pursue a higher charge. I imagine a JD would give you a big edge since you'd think like a lawyer and be a lot better at obtaining usable evidence.

35K in LE? You've got to move out to cali man. Starting salary for Oakland PD is $70,000. But it is Oakland PD.


NJ suburbs pay $100k for five years experience.

HaroldHoward
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:46 pm

Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby HaroldHoward » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:26 pm

First of all, I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. Second of all, I think you're being very naive and arrogant.

Every field has corruption. Every single one. I'm sure you know this. When you study and delve deeper into a field, you will learn more and more about the aspects of a job that are unappealing.

How do you know you hate lawyers? You refuse to work for one, as you stated. How do you know you hate the law? You refuse to practice it. You've been in law school ONE semester. I highly doubt you've learned everything you can about the law, and have met every type of lawyer. In fact, that scenerio is impossible.

You've just accomplished fantastic grades, which is amazing. However, I guess because you had an "idealistic fantasy," you're sounding like a two year old. Every system is flawed, and it takes passionate people to improve circumstances in those systems. You said you wanted to change the world...why don't you at least try?

I guess if you really hate the study of law, thats one thing. But your post seems to focus on how much you hate THE law and lawyers in general. You've finished one semester--how the hell do you know?

You seemed determined to be negative and stubborn...qualities which I find disappointing in someone later in life than many of us, a husband and a father...and in someone who wants to influence his community in a good way. Stop whining and at least try to expand your understanding of the law past 3-4 months.


Wow. I actually got a lot from your post, so thanks.

I completely agree with you that I don't know all there is to know about the law. I don't even know a small bit of what is necessary. In fact, I readily admit that I have no clue how I managed to get the grades that I did. In my mind, regurgitating Gilbert's outline shouldn't be worthy of an A. (I didn't make a single outline of my own.)

Moreover, the sociopathic behavior that is very common among my fellow law students struck me as quite odd. Granted, most are far younger than me, and a lot can be chalked up to youthful inexperience, but frankly, I never encountered such behavior anywhere in LE.

Perhaps some of my pain is missing LE. While I didn't get paid well, I did like the work. In fact, I loved the work. That, combined with the discomfort of not being able to make the significant portion of the family income has probably affected me more than I realized. My wife has gone to work for the first time in her life. She loves it, me... not so much.

I guess I should probably give it a go. Maybe find a Reserve gig or something in the area to boost my morale while I am finishing school.

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Grad_Student
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Grad_Student » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:29 pm

Have you looked into DA work yet?

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Snoopy1216
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Re: First Semester Grades: Should I quit?

Postby Snoopy1216 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:30 pm

free + jd degree = stay




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