Drop out?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
ac1987
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:17 pm

Drop out?

Postby ac1987 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:07 pm

Another one of those posts. I apologize in advance.
After the first semester at a T-25 school, my GPA is .01 under the median. I'm seriously thinking about dropping out after this semester, unless by some miracle my GPA improves dramatically.

I'm not even sure I want to be an attorney anymore. When I started out, I was really excited about it, but at this point I'm completely apathetic. I feel like I'm paying an absurd amount of money on a piece of paper. I don't feel like I'm learning anything. It seems like in every class we hear "well, we're telling you this, but it could be completely different in the state where you end up practicing." Maybe it's because I'm a 1L, but it just seems so pointless to go through all this and pay so much when you're not actually learning what you'll need to know to practice.

I'm also freaked out about dropping out, though. I would be 30K in debt and my undergraduate degree is basically worthless. Also, and I know this is probably a stupid reason to stay, but I feel like I would be a huge disappointment to my family. They think that just by graduating from my law school, I'm going to be making bank. I'm worried sick that I will be in debt for the rest of my life.

But I'm also worried that dropping out of law school will render me completely unemployable. It seems like there's an attitude that you should always finish what you start (even when it could put you in financial ruin).

Any advice would be appreciated.

User avatar
haus
Posts: 2835
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:07 am

Re: Drop out?

Postby haus » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:26 pm

I can understand that uncertainty can be stressful.

One of the realities is that while you may not care for the information or lack thereof provided in class, completing the course work is for all practical purposes the only way to have a shot at being an attorney. Sure this may seem a strange way to build a system, but it is the system that is in place. In reality it is not that much different from other professional education programs (although it may be a bit more extreme). If you were to go to have gone business school you would doubtlessly read through numerous cases which the professors would exaggerate some some element of the case at hand and discuss methods and models of how things were done or could have been done better, but the reality is almost never as clean as it is presented in class.

I am working on a Masters in IT at the moment. While some of my classes have provided interesting nuggets of information, most of the classes spend a great deal of time discussing theoretical situations that often hing on matters that simply would not be driving factors in a real world environment (I have been in my field for well over a decade).

If you are looking for a trade school, you are going to likely have to switch gears into a different field, plumbing perhaps. Note that while plumbing can be very difficult work, in the right situation it can be rewarding financially.

Short answers, is LS going to give you everything that you need to practice. No.
If you would like to practice law do you need to complete LS, Yes.
Is LS the only option available, No.
Do other fields have similar problems, Yes.

YEM
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:50 am

Re: Drop out?

Postby YEM » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:46 pm

Would you like law school more if instead of underperforming half your class you'd made Dean's List?

Hating the material is a completely separate issue from poor test taking.

If nothing about your studies is enjoyable, then finish the semester and leave on good terms. (But do not just walk away - that will come back to kick you again later.)

On the other hand, if you're just demoralized from having been rolled by finals, then focus on improving your performance. You still have the spring to rehab your class rank.

Figure out what's really bugging you, then move forward in a way that addresses that problem.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:48 pm

If you left law school, what would you do ?

ac1987
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:17 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby ac1987 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:03 pm

I think it's probably a combination of both doing poorly on finals and not being particularly interested in the material. I think I could deal with one or the other, but the two together kind of threw me off.

My biggest fear is not being able to pay off the debt, though. At this point I'm not sure if I'll be able to raise my grades enough to get a job that would justify this kind of debt.

I would love to do public interest if I could get IBR, but it seems like PI jobs are extremely hard to come by (although I've been mostly looking at non-profits). I've also heard that IBR is difficult to stay on.

I'm definitely going to finish the semester, though.

Also - if I left law school, I would just try to find any job that would hire me back home and pay off the debt as quickly as I could.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby A'nold » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:25 pm

OP: not saying what you should do either way, but know this: you will likely have to take a job as a sales associate in retail making minimum wage or something w/ your "useless degree." I'm telling you that there is nothing out there. I know people w/ like 10+ years experience in jobs that you would consider "entry level" that it took 2+ years to find a job paying around $15/hr.

If you have no other plan, I would think VERY hard about this.

User avatar
174
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:03 am

Re: Drop out?

Postby 174 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:27 pm

A'nold wrote:OP: not saying what you should do either way, but know this: you will likely have to take a job as a sales associate in retail making minimum wage or something w/ your "useless degree." I'm telling you that there is nothing out there. I know people w/ like 10+ years experience in jobs that you would consider "entry level" that it took 2+ years to find a job paying around $15/hr.

If you have no other plan, I would think VERY hard about this.


Aren't teaching English abroad or trying to get into Marines OCS better than going 100K in debt for minimal job prospects in a field you hate?

User avatar
Stringer Bell
Posts: 1921
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:43 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby Stringer Bell » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:35 pm

A'nold wrote:OP: not saying what you should do either way, but know this: you will likely have to take a job as a sales associate in retail making minimum wage or something w/ your "useless degree." I'm telling you that there is nothing out there. I know people w/ like 10+ years experience in jobs that you would consider "entry level" that it took 2+ years to find a job paying around $15/hr.

If you have no other plan, I would think VERY hard about this.


Looking into other options could be a possibility (nursing, IT, air conditioning repair, etc.).

Waiting tables is also a better income stream than a retail job. I'm not sure why retail always gets listed as the worst case scenario on TLS as opposed to being a waiter.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby A'nold » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:12 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
A'nold wrote:OP: not saying what you should do either way, but know this: you will likely have to take a job as a sales associate in retail making minimum wage or something w/ your "useless degree." I'm telling you that there is nothing out there. I know people w/ like 10+ years experience in jobs that you would consider "entry level" that it took 2+ years to find a job paying around $15/hr.

If you have no other plan, I would think VERY hard about this.


Looking into other options could be a possibility (nursing, IT, air conditioning repair, etc.).

Waiting tables is also a better income stream than a retail job. I'm not sure why retail always gets listed as the worst case scenario on TLS as opposed to being a waiter.

B/c, believe it or not (at least where I'm from) server positions are very hard to come by ITE. Let's just say that I am very familiar w/ the restaurant industry and know somebody that has top serving creds that looked for a server position for about 6 months before landing something decent.

You could easily replace retail w/ warehouse worker, hotel front desk, etc.

User avatar
Stringer Bell
Posts: 1921
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:43 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby Stringer Bell » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:59 pm

A'nold wrote:B/c, believe it or not (at least where I'm from) server positions are very hard to come by ITE. Let's just say that I am very familiar w/ the restaurant industry and know somebody that has top serving creds that looked for a server position for about 6 months before landing something decent.

You could easily replace retail w/ warehouse worker, hotel front desk, etc.


I guess I figured that server positions are about the same difficulty to get as retail positions since that's how it's historically been where I live and I still see restaurants with "hiring servers" signs. While those jobs being harder to get ITE isn't surprising, I imagine retail jobs are probably harder to get ITE than they have been in the past too. I wasn't really trying to call you out and understand the interchangeability like you mentioned (retail, warehouse, or even night stocker at a grocery store, etc.) to convey the underlying point. I just was commenting that I think it's weird that most TLS posters use "retail job" where I would use "waiting tables" since waiting tables is usually better income even though it's a harder job.

User avatar
Vronsky
Posts: 829
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:24 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby Vronsky » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:14 pm

Placing top 50% at a T25 school is no small accomplishment. Some of your top students will transfer out, and you might move up 5% just by that. If you aren't able to write-on LR, you should still be able to get a secondary journal and maybe a clinic.

Seeing as you're a 1L (like me), the economy has until summer 2013 to sort itself out and there (hopefully) will be jobs for decent students like at good law schools like yours.

Since you don't have an alternate career to fall back on, you should keep going. I agree with an above poster that your apathy might be caused by grades, and not by the subject matter of law.

It's understandable that your family would be disappointed, they've been telling everyone about you since last summer. You have 2.5 years to claw your way from Top 50% to top third. you will be employable.

Don't drop out; work harder.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: Drop out?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:23 pm

A'nold wrote: I'm telling you that there is nothing out there. . . . If you have no other plan, I would think VERY hard about this.

This this this.

and also this:
YEM wrote:If nothing about your studies is enjoyable, then finish the semester and leave on good terms. (But do not just walk away - that will come back to kick you again later.)

On the other hand, if you're just demoralized from having been rolled by finals, then focus on improving your performance. You still have the spring to rehab your class rank.

Figure out what's really bugging you, then move forward in a way that addresses that problem.

treeey86
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:26 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby treeey86 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:55 pm

Im a 2L at a t-25. Was median after 1 semester. Was top-third after second. Now after 3 semesters am Top-30% ( and could be even higher if I didnt mess up in one of my classes). Moral of the story is that you are not resigned to being median after 1 semester, or even after 2. Just keep your head up and keep working. I hated my 1L classes. I now realize the field of law I would love to practice, and that field was not even touched upon in any of my 1L classes. It took networking, doing internships, going to conferences, and taking upper level courses to discover what I am passionate about. You might not have found out the field you want yet. Just hang in there, try to focus on your exams and bring up your grades this semester, and throw yourself out there during 1L summer. You might come across something unique that will change your perspective . If after all that you are not happy then you can reconsider your position. But one should never drop out after being median at a T-25 after only one semester. 1L year sucks, even for people who enjoy the law. be strong and hang in there.

User avatar
JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Drop out?

Postby JazzOne » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:59 pm

I'm going against the grain here. I say, buck the fuck up and rock this semester. If you put the effort in and your grades don't improve, then you can consider dropping out this summer. But any time you spend thinking about this now is time you're wasting when you could be studying.

ac1987
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:17 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby ac1987 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:00 pm

Thanks, that definitely makes me feel a little better. I think a lot of it is my grades, although I'll probably wait to decide until after getting some experience this summer.

If you don't mind me asking, how did you pull up your grades 2nd semester?

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby A'nold » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:07 pm

ac1987 wrote:Thanks, that definitely makes me feel a little better. I think a lot of it is my grades, although I'll probably wait to decide until after getting some experience this summer.

If you don't mind me asking, how did you pull up your grades 2nd semester?

Being frustrated is understandable, just PLEASE don't be reckless right now. There are so many consequences that will result if you drop out. It could be the right decision but please just know how horrific your life could be. Any assumptions based on getting an entry-level job in a company that you can "work your way up" is 100% WRONG ITE. Trust me, I've been there and done that and know many others that have as well. Good luck OP.

rose711
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:57 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby rose711 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:41 pm

Haven't you already paid tuition for second semester? If you can't get any money back, then do the best you can to pull your grades up this semester. Reevaluate at the end of the semester.

There are a ton of resources in this forum for doing well in law school.

In the meantime, educate your family on the job market, economy, etc. Heck, have them come to this forum and read some posts or give them the NYTimes article. Don't be ashamed to tell them the reality you are facing, unless they are not at all supportive. You need support from your family and friends but they can't give it if they don't understand the economy and hiring for law firms.

I'm just not sure what dropping out today, without finishing would gain you.

ac1987
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:17 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby ac1987 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:11 pm

Oh I would definitely wait until after this semester, sorry for not making that clear.

LogosEther
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:43 am

Re: Drop out?

Postby LogosEther » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:08 pm

JazzOne wrote:I'm going against the grain here. I say, buck the fuck up and rock this semester. If you put the effort in and your grades don't improve, then you can consider dropping out this summer. But any time you spend thinking about this now is time you're wasting when you could be studying.


This. As they say in sports, "leave it on the court." Then, you'll be much more confident in your decision, whichever it ends up being.

After a semester of hard work, I think you'll know what you want. I think it's natural to run it by a board like this and see what people say for confirmation. All I can say is that I wouldn't worry about what other people think about you if you do drop out. They will likely understand, and see you as more human for it. Not saying you should take that route, just saying that if you make up your mind, don't be worried about that.

Black-Blue
Posts: 279
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:46 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby Black-Blue » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:34 pm

ac1987 wrote:When I started out, I was really excited about it, but at this point I'm completely apathetic. I feel like I'm paying an absurd amount of money on a piece of paper. I don't feel like I'm learning anything. It seems like in every class we hear "well, we're telling you this, but it could be completely different in the state where you end up practicing." Maybe it's because I'm a 1L, but it just seems so pointless to go through all this and pay so much when you're not actually learning what you'll need to know to practice.

The problem is that you're actually trying to learn. The first year of law school isn't about learning. You're not there to learn by reading some 18th century BS. 1L is about the game (i.e. the exam), and you should be there just to play that game and nothing more.

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:40 pm

A'nold wrote:OP: not saying what you should do either way, but know this: you will likely have to take a job as a sales associate in retail making minimum wage or something w/ your "useless degree." I'm telling you that there is nothing out there. I know people w/ like 10+ years experience in jobs that you would consider "entry level" that it took 2+ years to find a job paying around $15/hr.

If you have no other plan, I would think VERY hard about this.



THANK YOU! As much as many people push dropping out if your grades are bad at a top 25 or a top 14 if you aren't on a full ride, I really don't think these people realize that if you have an average undergrad degree (ie from an average school or in a "fluff" major) the only thing you're going to get is a sale associate job in retail making minimum wage. I know this FROM EXPERIENCE. But so many people on here make it seem like there are jobs lined up out there for those with nothing but an undergrad degree. If your options are top 25 law school with bad grades or working at Macys as a sale associate (for $7.25 an hour) with 30K in undergrad debt--I assure you the latter isn't as good an option as TLS would have you to believe.

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Drop out?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:44 pm

Stringer Bell wrote:
A'nold wrote:OP: not saying what you should do either way, but know this: you will likely have to take a job as a sales associate in retail making minimum wage or something w/ your "useless degree." I'm telling you that there is nothing out there. I know people w/ like 10+ years experience in jobs that you would consider "entry level" that it took 2+ years to find a job paying around $15/hr.

If you have no other plan, I would think VERY hard about this.


Looking into other options could be a possibility (nursing, IT, air conditioning repair, etc.).

Waiting tables is also a better income stream than a retail job. I'm not sure why retail always gets listed as the worst case scenario on TLS as opposed to being a waiter.


As odd as this may sound, it's really not that easy to get a job waiting tables (unless you're talking about a restaurant like Waffle House or Denny's etc.). This is particularly true if you are male, and even more true if you're a minority male. Funny enough it is a bit easier if you're a gay minority male. Something about gay Black men not being as intimidating to people and so they're actually more accepted as servers (particularly at nicer restaurants) than are heterosexual black men.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: doyonwon123 and 19 guests