another drop out thread...opinions please!

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apacherose
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another drop out thread...opinions please!

Postby apacherose » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:22 pm

I am a 22 yo 1L at a T1 school (not top 30). My scholarship covers full tuition for the first year but requires me to stay in the top third of the class in order for it to be extended to my second and third years. I finished just below median first semester with all Bs (only B+ was in LRW). There is surely some room for improvement; but I really felt liked I worked hard and don't know of any major changes I would make. The chances of me getting good enough grades my second semester to be in the top third are slim to none.

It is possible that I will be able to retain half of my scholarship, but I have no guarantees. The tuition at my school is over 40k/year.
. I sort of went to law school on a whim- I enjoyed undergrad law classes, thought I could get an interesting well-paying job, and scored high on the LSAT- but I could see myself being happy in many different career paths.
I have about 30k in debt from undergrad and only 5k from this year of law school.

Am I crazy to drop out?
I am disappointed at my grades and want opinions from people who know the realities of ls and the job market. I want to be sure that I am not just dropping out b/c something is hard for the first time.

I am thinking I will finish out the year, because it is free, and then get my teaching credential in English at my undergrad institution (would cost about 15k but school districts in the area heavily favor their credentialed teachers). The year of law school would count towards bumping me up the payscale as a teacher and I would be making +60k within a few years (I am looking at 1L as free graduate units). I have very good connections in two local school districts. I come from a family of teachers and am in a serious relationship with a teacher, so it is also tempting to have summers off together.

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quickquestionthanks
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Re: another drop out thread...opinions please!

Postby quickquestionthanks » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:26 pm

See if you can switch your degree to a masters in legal studies, so you at least get a diploma at the end of the year.

spicymeatball111
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Re: another drop out thread...opinions please!

Postby spicymeatball111 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:28 pm

let me preface this by saying that I am a 0L and cannot attest to what it will take for you to reach the top 1/3 that you need to keep your scholarship.
From your post, however, it seems that you have put quite a bit of thought into becoming a teacher and seem like you would be more than pleased with the outcome. If you can retain 1/2 of your scholarship, you are still looking at (at least) $20,000 more in student loans. I think you should cut out now, and use your 1L year a grad units towards a higher pay scale, while maintain minimal debt. Good luck!

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northwood
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Re: another drop out thread...opinions please!

Postby northwood » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:38 pm

As a former teacher, I can tell you that you need to make sure you are willing to take the teaching profession seriously. Yes you do get a lot of time off, but most of that time will be spend on career development, curriculum development, lesson planning, grading, and maintaining contact with families. Do not think of the teaching profession as a cushy fall back- its a lot more stressful than most people realize. Also, be careful about pay scales. A lot of districts want that degree that says you have a master degree in something, in order to be eligible for the pay scale. one year of law school wont help. You also need to get accrediated, which can take a few months or so ( you have to take some tests, do some basic background check) before you are certifiied. Most teaching jobs get filled up quickly( within the first month of summer), and there are a lot of experienced teachers out there looking for work. Your connections will help you get that interview, but there may be a more qualified canidate out there.

FWIW i taught for 2 and 1/2 years. It was very mentally draining but spiritualy fufiling. However, after some long thinking and contemplating i realized it wasnt for me. Do some serious soul searching before you mak the commitment to the students for a year. 9 months can be a very long time if you despise your job. best of luck in what you do.

phonepro
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Re: another drop out thread...opinions please!

Postby phonepro » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:45 pm

Work harder and stay.

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DeeCee
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Re: another drop out thread...opinions please!

Postby DeeCee » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:48 pm

northwood wrote:As a former teacher, I can tell you that you need to make sure you are willing to take the teaching profession seriously. Yes you do get a lot of time off, but most of that time will be spend on career development, curriculum development, lesson planning, grading, and maintaining contact with families. Do not think of the teaching profession as a cushy fall back- its a lot more stressful than most people realize. Also, be careful about pay scales. A lot of districts want that degree that says you have a master degree in something, in order to be eligible for the pay scale. one year of law school wont help. You also need to get accrediated, which can take a few months or so ( you have to take some tests, do some basic background check) before you are certifiied. Most teaching jobs get filled up quickly( within the first month of summer), and there are a lot of experienced teachers out there looking for work. Your connections will help you get that interview, but there may be a more qualified canidate out there.

FWIW i taught for 2 and 1/2 years. It was very mentally draining but spiritualy fufiling. However, after some long thinking and contemplating i realized it wasnt for me. Do some serious soul searching before you mak the commitment to the students for a year. 9 months can be a very long time if you despise your job. best of luck in what you do.


+1. Also, this all depends on where you're working. If you get a master's and teach in the south, you'll be ahead of the game. If you're working in the north, you'll need to be in the process of earning a master's and do all of what the above poster says. I'm a little rusty on all of the teacher's stuff now-- I thought I'd be a teacher for a bit until I got into it as well. At least in the south, it's a very underpaid profession and you juggle a lot on your plate, like teachers in any region.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: another drop out thread...opinions please!

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:34 pm

You need to check to see if you would be retroactively charged sticker if you drop out.

xyzbca
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Re: another drop out thread...opinions please!

Postby xyzbca » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:38 pm

Do not drop out right now. Stick around for the semester. Keep up with your studies to the extent necessary that you don't leave an impression that you blew it off. Spend the next five months planning your transition to the teaching profession (or another field). Time is on your side right now. As long as your living costs are reasonable there is no need to make a decision right this instant. Do your research, become fully informed, talk with family/friends/mentors that you trust and then try to make a well informed decision in May.

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apacherose
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Re: another drop out thread...opinions please!

Postby apacherose » Sun Jan 16, 2011 6:10 pm

thank you for your replies. i know i made teaching sound like a backup plan, but it is really something i have considered since before undergrad. it was one of those things where so many of my friends and family are teachers it seemed like too obvious/safe a choice. i have even done some of the credentialing course work already and could potentially be ready to teach fall 2012 if i begin working on it this summer. Ls has been different than what i expected in that the subject matter/reading load was not bad but doing well/outperforming classmates is immensely hard. i have realized that breezing through ls, staying in top third, and then landing a job that gives me the quality of life i want is not realistic. i thought that by taking the scholarship instead of going to a higher ranked school where my numbers were more average would mean i would do well. i intend to finish the semester. i enjoy law school and will certainly take another free semester of it. spending some time with the salary schedules of local school districts confirm my decision to finish my 1l year will not be a 'waste of time' at all, even without a master's degree.
as to the comment of being retroactively charged sticker- that sounds crazy!! can schools really do that?? i'm hoping that mine doesn't..i know an MBA student who dropped out of the LS last year and the attrition rate is above 10%..so with all of that dropping out i'm fairly confident i would have heard rumours of such a policy if it exists at my school.

burvowski
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Re: another drop out thread...opinions please!

Postby burvowski » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:12 pm

Some thoughts:

The teaching job market is almost as bad as the law job market right now, unless you teach science or math. Many teaching certification programs run from June until the next summer, and in my area, the deadlines have already passed to apply for them. Also, depending on the state, you might have to take the PRAXIS, another standardized test (though much easier than the LSAT), to be considered. And finally, in my area, JD's, or anything other than a Masters of Education, to not count for a pay upgrade.

Also, most of my teaching friends spend their summers working second jobs (like painting houses) and can't afford travelling or anything like that.




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