Please help me decide whether to drop out...

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nygrrrl
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby nygrrrl » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:48 pm

Fancy Pants wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:Oh, Hello.
Just a reminder that it would be SWELL if everyone stayed on-topic, here....
:D


No thanks.

lol - don't test me, Pants.

random5483
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby random5483 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:00 pm

In TLS there is no such thing as agreeing to disagree. Every person must have the same opinion or a credibility fight begins. For certain things (ex. chance of big law job), the TLS style is perfect. However, for situations like this, the decision is more subjective than objective. The OP should hear opinions from both sides and make his own decision.


The legal market sucks. Being below median at a T25 sucks. With higher grades the OP can get a decent (decent = not big law) job after graduation, but the chance for a big law position is extremely low. The cost for going to law school another semester will raise his debt and limit his ability to make money for another semester. The OP self-admittedly did poorly the first semester due to bad studying habits, so his chances of doing well the second semester are slightly higher than the person who did poorly with a lot of studying.


OP: Weigh the information provided here. Both sides have good points. Going to law school for another semester is a risk. Do you want to take the risk? Is it still worth taking the risk when you know your shots at big law are very small (only applies if you want big law)? Consider these questions and make your own informed decision.

sethc
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby sethc » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:02 pm

random5483 wrote:In TLS there is no such thing as agreeing to disagree. Every person must have the same opinion or a credibility fight begins. For certain things (ex. chance of big law job), the TLS style is perfect. However, for situations like this, the decision is more subjective than objective. The OP should hear opinions from both sides and make his own decision.


The legal market sucks. Being below median at a T25 sucks. With higher grades the OP can get a decent (decent = not big law) job after graduation, but the chance for a big law position is extremely low. The cost for going to law school another semester will raise his debt and limit his ability to make money for another semester. The OP self-admittedly did poorly the first semester due to bad studying habits, so his chances of doing well the second semester are slightly higher than the person who did poorly with a lot of studying.


OP: Weigh the information provided here. Both sides have good points. Going to law school for another semester is a risk. Do you want to take the risk? Is it still worth taking the risk when you know your shots at big law are very small (only applies if you want big law)? Consider these questions and make your own informed decision.



Dude, that's good advice for myself. Great way of putting everything, bravo sir.

MistakeMaybe
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby MistakeMaybe » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:32 pm

To hijack,

I'm in a very similar spot to OP, and I'm also alting so this doesn't get back to me. I really don't want BigLaw, but my school, also a T25, is on the other side of the country from where I want to practice. I do want to be an attorney; it's been a desire since middle school. This past semester, instead of looking at the study tips on here, I grew apathetic as the semester progressed. I dove into supplements too late, and my "outlines" were general shit. I also didn't touch PTs until a few days before test, like OP. I also feel that my study habits were hampered by the fact I didn't enjoy the material, as I have a different interests in the law. So far, I do enjoy my classes more this semester, and I'm trying my best to stay on top of my studies. The material also does not seem so cumbersome and foreign. Maybe I'm a late bloomer, but I'm terrified that my classmates will still come out on top in the end.

I plan on talking to my professors about my future plans this week, and I have every intention on staying in law school. I just worry that it may be a dumb choice.

Additional factors: On partial scholarship that I should not lose, but debt will be around $100,000. I have nothing else lined up, but I am not fully opposed to trying to break into my preferred practice areas in a non-legal setting.

keg411
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby keg411 » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:46 pm

MistakeMaybe wrote:To hijack,

I'm in a very similar spot to OP, and I'm also alting so this doesn't get back to me. I really don't want BigLaw, but my school, also a T25, is on the other side of the country from where I want to practice. I do want to be an attorney; it's been a desire since middle school.


Why did you decide to do this in the first place? Why didn't you choose to go to school where you want to practice? At least then you could attempt to network and get involved in the local legal community to a point where grades would matter less. This should be a lesson to lurking 0L's - go to law school where you want to practice!

Anyway, since you do actually want to be an attorney, unlike OP, I would suggest that you try to get a summer job ASAP where you want to practice and see if you can bring up your grades. But remember that the people at the top are also going to be working extra-hard to make sure they stay up there too (or go higher). Still, if you can get your grades into the respectable range, at least you have a chance at getting a job.

sethc
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby sethc » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:48 pm

MistakeMaybe wrote:To hijack,

I'm in a very similar spot to OP, and I'm also alting so this doesn't get back to me. I really don't want BigLaw, but my school, also a T25, is on the other side of the country from where I want to practice. I do want to be an attorney; it's been a desire since middle school. This past semester, instead of looking at the study tips on here, I grew apathetic as the semester progressed. I dove into supplements too late, and my "outlines" were general shit. I also didn't touch PTs until a few days before test, like OP. I also feel that my study habits were hampered by the fact I didn't enjoy the material, as I have a different interests in the law. So far, I do enjoy my classes more this semester, and I'm trying my best to stay on top of my studies. The material also does not seem so cumbersome and foreign. Maybe I'm a late bloomer, but I'm terrified that my classmates will still come out on top in the end.

I plan on talking to my professors about my future plans this week, and I have every intention on staying in law school. I just worry that it may be a dumb choice.

Additional factors: On partial scholarship that I should not lose, but debt will be around $100,000. I have nothing else lined up, but I am not fully opposed to trying to break into my preferred practice areas in a non-legal setting.



Dude, I'm interested in hearing what people tell you because, while reading this, I thought you were describing me --- perfectly. I would recommend you read my earlier (lengthy) response to the OP, but that may not necessarily apply to you, though I suspect it might. I actually have sent out emails to random professors (in areas of practice that I want to look into). I looked them up in the Faculty directory so that I can get a better grip on all this shit. So that's definitely one thing I think will be helpful to you/me!

Aqualibrium
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:52 pm

keg411 wrote:
Why did you decide to do this in the first place? Why didn't you choose to go to school where you want to practice? At least then you could attempt to network and get involved in the local legal community to a point where grades would matter less. This should be a lesson to lurking 0L's - go to law school where you want to practice!



Haven't you heard, t25's have national reach.

Renzo
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby Renzo » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:57 pm

OP: drop out and don't look back.

Hijacker: really, you wanted to be a lawyer in middle school? How did you know what the daily life and work of a lawyer would be in middle school? Or, is it that you wanted what TV makes the job of a lawyer out to be? You are going to have a hell of a time clawing back from your first semester, and maybe a hell of a time fighting for a job in a few years if things don't all go perfect from here on out. Make sure that's really what you want.

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98234872348
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby 98234872348 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:02 am

keg411 wrote:
MistakeMaybe wrote:To hijack,

I'm in a very similar spot to OP, and I'm also alting so this doesn't get back to me. I really don't want BigLaw, but my school, also a T25, is on the other side of the country from where I want to practice. I do want to be an attorney; it's been a desire since middle school.


Why did you decide to do this in the first place? Why didn't you choose to go to school where you want to practice? At least then you could attempt to network and get involved in the local legal community to a point where grades would matter less. This should be a lesson to lurking 0L's - go to law school where you want to practice!

In addition: if you DO go into a market you are unfamiliar with, DO RESEARCH before you jump in.

megadeth317
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby megadeth317 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:36 am

Hey all,

Thanks again for all the info and advice. I did not expect this amount of replies and all the advice is appreciated. To the hijacker--I'm definitely interested in what you decide to do/what school you go to etc so if you want shoot me a PM.

I guess I'm trying to decide if there is a substantial difference between wanting to be a lawyer and wanting to work in at a law firm doing doc review and writing memos all day. I know it seems like a dumb question on its face, but having the skill set, the knowledge, and the title is something that I want. My grade was definitely a wake up call, I just haven't realized if it was a wake up call to study better or one to get me to follow a different path.

I don't have any undergrad debt and have a hard science major--there are a lot of people coming out of undergrad with more debt than I will have coming out of law school. A lot of people I've talked simply accept that having crazy debt is just the way of the world. Maybe its something I have to get used to. It may be naive but it still is insanely hard for me to believe that simply having the JD will close more doors than it will open (I understand both sides of the argument though).

phonepro
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby phonepro » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:48 am

romothesavior wrote:
phonepro wrote:The notion that you can't get a decent job on this board unless you are T14 and top 5% is outrageous.

Please point to me where anyone ever said that in the history of TLS. The blatantly ridiculous straw man arguments that some of you "anti-elitism" idiots peddle on here make me want to throw my laptop out the window. Maybe try to read and comprehend sometime, instead of just writing everyone off?

Also, best of luck to you. I'm sure you'll turn out really good when you base 6-figure, 3-year investments on anecdotes from some random friend of yours.



Thanks for your wishes. However, I am on a full scholarship, and my Fall semester grades were way over the median range. Thus, I will be keeping said scholarship.

megadeth317
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby megadeth317 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:14 am

Assume I go for it, decide I want to be a lawyer and change my study habits this semester and do better, what kind of starting salary am I looking at?

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thesealocust
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:44 am

megadeth317 wrote:Assume I go for it, decide I want to be a lawyer and change my study habits this semester and do better, what kind of starting salary am I looking at?


Either an hourly wage w/ irregular hours as a contract attorney or 30-50K in a public sector, government, or small firm type job.

megadeth317
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby megadeth317 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:50 am

thesealocust wrote:
megadeth317 wrote:Assume I go for it, decide I want to be a lawyer and change my study habits this semester and do better, what kind of starting salary am I looking at?


Either an hourly wage w/ irregular hours as a contract attorney or 30-50K in a public sector, government, or small firm type job.


That grim huh?

It seems kind of crazy that one grade can do that to you.

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Macunaíma
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby Macunaíma » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:08 am

You could hang a shingle. Skip the Law and Literature nonsense, take as many clinics as you can, and go it alone.

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RUQRU
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby RUQRU » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:48 am

Helmholtz wrote:I think virtually the only reason to stay in law school now would be some burning desire to be a lawyer, regardless of the hardships. Drop out. Cut your losses while they're still relatively small.


What is below median? Is that the end of ANY law career? Really?

For all those who recommend folks drop out when their grades are below median can you explain the logic? I do not see how this works:

There are 100 people in class. The class has whatever curve, resulting in 50 who are below median. If they all take your advice to drop out the class will have 50 students remaining. At the end of the semester 25 of them will be below median.

Because of the curve, this has to be true. So, if they take your advice and drop out they are now 25 students remaining at the end of the next semester. And so forth.

No matter how many people drop out, half the remaining class will graduate below median, by definition. Are you saying that their entire law school training is worthless. They have $Megadollars debt. Are they ruined for ever?

Are they all at McDonald's?

missinglink
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby missinglink » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:17 am

RUQRU wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:I think virtually the only reason to stay in law school now would be some burning desire to be a lawyer, regardless of the hardships. Drop out. Cut your losses while they're still relatively small.


What is below median? Is that the end of ANY law career? Really?

For all those who recommend folks drop out when their grades are below median can you explain the logic? I do not see how this works:

There are 100 people in class. The class has whatever curve, resulting in 50 who are below median. If they all take your advice to drop out the class will have 50 students remaining. At the end of the semester 25 of them will be below median.

Because of the curve, this has to be true. So, if they take your advice and drop out they are now 25 students remaining at the end of the next semester. And so forth.

No matter how many people drop out, half the remaining class will graduate below median, by definition. Are you saying that their entire law school training is worthless. They have $Megadollars debt. Are they ruined for ever?

Are they all at McDonald's?


Not ruined per se. But there needs to be some honesty about the state of the legal market. Right now there are more graduating law students than there are good jobs. Graduating below median is certainly not a career death sentence, but it does mean you have a significantly steeper hill to climb after you graduate.

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romothesavior
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:21 am

missinglink wrote:Not ruined per se. But there needs to be some honesty about the state of the legal market. Right now there are more graduating law students than there are good jobs. Graduating below median is certainly not a career death sentence, but it does mean you have a significantly steeper hill to climb after you graduate.

And I do believe most students at a T20-30 school will get a permanent legal job of some sort, so being around or below median is not the nail in the coffin. However, as thesealocust pointed out, you're probably going to be fighting for a low paying job that will make paying your debts back very difficult (and even these jobs are fiercely competitive). For some people, 30-50k would be acceptable, albeit very difficult to manage with the debt. For others (say people with families or who had careers before law school), 30-50k would simply be unacceptable.

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Macunaíma
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby Macunaíma » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:22 am

missinglink wrote:Not ruined per se. But there needs to be some honesty about the state of the legal market. Right now there are more graduating law students than there are good jobs. Graduating below median is certainly not a career death sentence, but it does mean you have a significantly steeper hill to climb after you graduate.


Graduating below median in this economy is only a death sentence if you are unable to consider being anything but a employee. Successful lawyers either prevent problems or fix problems for individuals and businesses. If you cannot figure out how to fix your own employment problem, you are likely not resourceful enough to be a good lawyer.

MistakeMaybe
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby MistakeMaybe » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:29 am

Thanks for the replies. Yeah, I know I screwed the pooch. The advice I can give to 0Ls is don't get sucked into scholarships to a school you can't afford or fear you can't afford if you wind up near the bottom. Prestige means jack if you can't do anything with it. The saving grace is the T25 can get me a job in a respectable region. What kind of job, well... :? :cry:

OP, I know I'm not the greatest person to give/imply advice on this subject, but have you talked to anyone at school (professors, career office, fin aid, etc) about your current situation?

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98234872348
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby 98234872348 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:28 pm

megadeth317 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
megadeth317 wrote:Assume I go for it, decide I want to be a lawyer and change my study habits this semester and do better, what kind of starting salary am I looking at?


Either an hourly wage w/ irregular hours as a contract attorney or 30-50K in a public sector, government, or small firm type job.


That grim huh?

It seems kind of crazy that one grade can do that to you.

This prediction may be a little too grim. With hard work networking, you might be able to land a job in a smaller or mid level firm making 50-75k; however, it will not be easy nor is it certain that you will be able to obtain such a position, though they do exist.

random5483
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby random5483 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:53 pm

If you fix your grades you could be looking at options a lot better than 30-50k. There are jobs out there in the 60-80k range. Big Law is almost definitely out of the question because of your poor fall grades. Your GPA will not have recovered by OCI and outside of OCI recruitment by big law is sparse and very competitive. Basically, you are looking at a lower paying job.

The 30-50k quoted figured is definitely a high possibility. However, I would modify the range to more like 30-80k, perhaps higher. Where you fall in that range will be determined by your grades and some luck.

A 50k job out of law school sucks, especially with the level of debt some of us are taking. I earned around the 50k mark pre-law school (worked 3 years after undergrad). However, with a law degree I think you have more long term upward mobility than without one. Not enough to warrant starting with a 50k job and 100k+ debt, but it can definitely be a factor you consider.

I want to reiterate what many in the "drop out" crowd are saying. The legal market is very weak now and will likely be weak for the next several years. You have an upward battle ahead of you if you choose to stay in law school. If this were your position after 1 year I would definitely advise you to drop out. With your current situation, either choice can be rationalized.

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Gatriel
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby Gatriel » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:46 pm

If you drop out your a fool.

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Doritos
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby Doritos » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:05 pm

Do you think it would help the OP to talk to career services at his/her school and see what kind of GPA cutoffs different employers have w/r/t grads from there?

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romothesavior
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Re: Please help me decide whether to drop out...

Postby romothesavior » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:48 pm

Doritos wrote:Do you think it would help the OP to talk to career services at his/her school and see what kind of GPA cutoffs different employers have w/r/t grads from there?

Couldn't hurt, but OP's best shot at a job is probably not OCI.




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