Continue for 2L or drop out?

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BoSox0407
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Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby BoSox0407 » Thu May 26, 2011 2:21 am

Mid Tier 2 (ranked btwn 60 and 90 is all i'll say), grades are roughly a 2.7 on a 2.8 scale so slightly below median but that could improve or worsen based on finals this semester. Will have 150K of debt if I graduate. I would like to continue on but not to the point where I'd have ridiculously poor living standards for a decade just to tell people I'm an attorney. Still don't have anything lined up for this summer and it's really beginning to get to me.
Please give me some honest thoughts!

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blurbz
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby blurbz » Thu May 26, 2011 2:33 am

What do you envision yourself doing?

What did you think of your first year?

How hard did you study?

How smart did you study?

How did you attempt to find summer employment?

What percentage of your class has summer employment?

plum
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby plum » Thu May 26, 2011 2:37 am

BoSox0407 wrote:Mid Tier 2 (ranked btwn 60 and 90 is all i'll say), grades are roughly a 2.7 on a 2.8 scale so slightly below median but that could improve or worsen based on finals this semester. Will have 150K of debt if I graduate. I would like to continue on but not to the point where I'd have ridiculously poor living standards for a decade just to tell people I'm an attorney. Still don't have anything lined up for this summer and it's really beginning to get to me.
Please give me some honest thoughts!


honestly i think you should drop out. at this point having 50k of debt is a godsend. you'll still get a job earning the same amount of money either way, except you can start today and start paying down a smaller debt. take the office job, move on with your life. yes the job market is uncertain out there, but staying in law school doesn't solve that problem. uncertainty is a fact of life. the fact that you don't have a summer job makes things a lot worse. however, if you absolutely cannot imagine doing anything else besides practicing law even if it means being a doc review temp or a customer service operator at westlaw, then and only then might you consider continuing on. but know that the debt will definitely be crushing, and it's uncertain how you will be able to pay rent and pay back your loans. best of luck to you man, i feel for you.

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dpk711
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby dpk711 » Thu May 26, 2011 2:38 am

plum wrote:honestly i think you should drop out. at this point having 50k of debt is a godsend. you'll still get a job earning the same amount of money either way, except you can start today and start paying down a smaller debt.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby Lawquacious » Thu May 26, 2011 2:40 am

plum wrote:
BoSox0407 wrote:Mid Tier 2 (ranked btwn 60 and 90 is all i'll say), grades are roughly a 2.7 on a 2.8 scale so slightly below median but that could improve or worsen based on finals this semester. Will have 150K of debt if I graduate. I would like to continue on but not to the point where I'd have ridiculously poor living standards for a decade just to tell people I'm an attorney. Still don't have anything lined up for this summer and it's really beginning to get to me.
Please give me some honest thoughts!


honestly i think you should drop out. at this point having 50k of debt is a godsend. you'll still get a job earning the same amount of money either way, except you can start today and start paying down a smaller debt. take the office job, move on with your life. yes the job market is uncertain out there, but staying in law school doesn't solve that problem. uncertainty is a fact of life. the fact that you don't have a summer job makes things a lot worse. however, if you absolutely cannot imagine doing anything else besides practicing law even if it means being a doc review temp or a customer service operator at westlaw, then and only then might you consider continuing on. but know that the debt will definitely be crushing, and it's uncertain how you will be able to pay rent and pay back your loans. best of luck to you man, i feel for you.


What office job?

plum
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby plum » Thu May 26, 2011 2:48 am

Lawquacious wrote:What office job?

i just mean in general. whatever jobs are out there for ppl with college degrees. file clerk or whatever. it pays the same as non-biglaw, about 25-40k depending on city. in any event the # of these jobs is probably equal or greater than the legal jobs OP will have if he graduates. so he might as well take the gift of a lower debt.
Last edited by plum on Thu May 26, 2011 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby Lawquacious » Thu May 26, 2011 2:48 am

blurbz wrote:What do you envision yourself doing?

What did you think of your first year?

How hard did you study?

How smart did you study?

How did you attempt to find summer employment?

What percentage of your class has summer employment?



+1. Without more info, I think it is hard to give really good feedback. I personally think having 50k to pay back, with nothing to show for it, is worse than 150k with a JD and income-based repayment. That could make repaying your loans manageable, although the debt would still be a pain. I don't know if you would even be elligible for IBR if you drop out (I think prob you would though, since as far as I know it strictly has to do with how much you make).

OTOH hand, if you are realizing that you really don't want to practice law, or if you were shooting for a lucrative job (only), then I think dropping out may be right for you. But if you were hoping (or apparently counting on) a lucrative job out of a T2, then I think your problem occurred well before the results stage.

Some of the other posters seem to assume you can get a decently paying job upon dropping out, but IDK what your UG was in, what your WE is, or if you are actually likely to get the type of "office job" one poster envisioned.



Edit, re: Plum's response. I think the prob with taking the 25k-40k office clerk-type position is that OP could be stuck around that pay grade and level of fairly menial work for the rest of his/her career. At least if starting off in that range with a law job (which could happen) OP could have the chance at a much higher salary and much more interesting work at some point down the road IMO.

plum
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby plum » Thu May 26, 2011 2:55 am

Lawquacious wrote:At least if you start off in that range with a law job (which could happen) you will have the chance to have a much higher salary and much more interesting work at some point down the road IMO.

how does that work if you start out doing doc rev temp in some basement? or non-partner track shitlaw? after some years you lateral into a mid-sized firm? does this happen? seems like many legal jobs are also just as dead-end as the "office job"...

plum
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby plum » Thu May 26, 2011 3:00 am

Lawquacious wrote:I personally think having 50k to pay back, with nothing to show for it, is worse than 150k with a JD and income-based repayment. That could make repaying your loans manageable, although the debt would still be a pain. I don't know if you would even be elligible for IBR if you drop out (I think prob you would though, since as far as I know it strictly has to do with how much you make).


do you even qualify for IBR if you can't actually find a PI legal job? finding legal jobs in general is rough if OP doesn't have WE, a good gpa, or at least some summer employment. how on earth will he pay back 150k?

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Lawquacious
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby Lawquacious » Thu May 26, 2011 3:02 am

plum wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:At least if you start off in that range with a law job (which could happen) you will have the chance to have a much higher salary and much more interesting work at some point down the road IMO.

how does that work if you start out doing doc rev temp in some basement? or non-partner track shitlaw? after some years you lateral into a mid-sized firm? does this happen? seems like many legal jobs are also just as dead-end as the "office job"...



I don't think it's always possible to quantum leap in pay and type of work as a lawyer on the basis of experience, but for a lawyer with experience the floor for salary will be around 40k IMO (as opposed to that being closer to the ceiling for the types of jobs you mentioned). Most lawyers who have put some time in will likely be able to earn at least 60k/yr even if they started at around 30k or 40k out of law school IMO. This is speculation, but I def don't think law is nearly as dead-end in terms of long-term possibilities as non-professional jobs are.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby Lawquacious » Thu May 26, 2011 3:04 am

plum wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:I personally think having 50k to pay back, with nothing to show for it, is worse than 150k with a JD and income-based repayment. That could make repaying your loans manageable, although the debt would still be a pain. I don't know if you would even be elligible for IBR if you drop out (I think prob you would though, since as far as I know it strictly has to do with how much you make).


do you even qualify for IBR if you can't actually find a PI legal job? finding legal jobs in general is rough if OP doesn't have WE, a good gpa, or at least some summer employment. how on earth will he pay back 150k?


IBR allows a person to pay a percentage of his or her income (caps to 10 or 15%) if under a certain wage limit as far as I know. Regardless of job type. I think the job type is more relevant for some of the LRAP programs. This is something OP should check on though. But in general I believe there are currently laws that allow a person to pay back only up to 15% of income per month (I think Obama was trying to get it changed to 10%, but not sure if that went through).

plum
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby plum » Thu May 26, 2011 3:08 am

Lawquacious wrote:I don't think it's always possible to quantum leap in pay and type of work as a lawyer on the basis of experience, but for a lawyer with experience the floor for salary will be around 40k IMO (as opposed to that being closer to the ceiling for the types of jobs you mentioned). Most lawyers who have put some time in will likely be able to earn at least 60k/yr even if they started at around 30k or 40k out of law school IMO. This is speculation, but I def don't think law is nearly as dead-end in terms of long-term possibilities as non-professional jobs are.

but even if this is true, doesn't the extra 100k of debt cancel that out? it will take years to pay that off, and what marginal increase in the ceiling after years of experience there might be would all go towards that debt anyways, no? i suck at math, so maybe there is some net benefit i'm not seeing.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby Lawquacious » Thu May 26, 2011 3:19 am

plum wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:I don't think it's always possible to quantum leap in pay and type of work as a lawyer on the basis of experience, but for a lawyer with experience the floor for salary will be around 40k IMO (as opposed to that being closer to the ceiling for the types of jobs you mentioned). Most lawyers who have put some time in will likely be able to earn at least 60k/yr even if they started at around 30k or 40k out of law school IMO. This is speculation, but I def don't think law is nearly as dead-end in terms of long-term possibilities as non-professional jobs are.

but even if this is true, doesn't the extra 100k of debt cancel that out? it will take years to pay that off, and what marginal increase in the ceiling after years of experience there might be would all go towards that debt anyways, no? i suck at math, so maybe there is some net benefit i'm not seeing.


Well it is a lot more debt for sure, but we are also looking at worst case scenario or close to it (that OP could be making around 40k as a practicing attorney 10 years down the road). OP could also end up doing exponentially better as a lawyer (financially) than as a non-professional (after taking a low-paying job with the public defender, he could start his own defense practice after 5-10 years of experience and do well with it etc), or maybe he will end up getting a 60k district attorney job in a small city right out of law school (even with median grades from a T2). But if calculating risk from worst case scenario, then I think it's true he could be saddled with debt that is oppressive for a long, long, long, long time, even if IBR can help him stay above water. And admittedly, it could be even worse than a 40k job for his or her entire career: OP might never pass the bar, nor get a legal job, but that is a risk that many people take on some level by attending law school (especially if they plan to take the CA bar lol). But just making this decision based on potential financial outcomes doesn't take the full picture into account IMO, especially if OP really has been interested in practicing law out of personal interest. Like I said before, if he was going just for a money job, attending a T2 prob was the first mistake.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby plenipotentiary » Thu May 26, 2011 3:43 am

dpk711 wrote:
plum wrote:honestly i think you should drop out. at this point having 50k of debt is a godsend. you'll still get a job earning the same amount of money either way, except you can start today and start paying down a smaller debt.

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haus
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby haus » Thu May 26, 2011 3:50 am

What, if any, skills do you have that an employer would be willing to hire you for?

What type of wages do you expect to be able to earn if you hit the job market in June?

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gwuorbust
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby gwuorbust » Thu May 26, 2011 11:06 am

I say keep going. Filing may not seem that bad for 3, maybe even 5 years..but do you really want to be filing shit in 25 years? Your upward potential is higher with a JD. And since you are screwed in the short term either way, you might as well plow through with the aim to get a public interest job at graduation. It doesn't have to be prestigious or whatever. Just a paying job. Your options are across the nation. Then in 10 years you will be student loan free, have a JD and 10 years of experience. If you manage to get valuable experience while at the non-profit you may be able to be headhunted into a well paid gig. Either way, I think that beats mind-destroying repetition.

DAJ_Summer
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby DAJ_Summer » Thu May 26, 2011 9:09 pm

Drop out.

flcath
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby flcath » Thu May 26, 2011 9:20 pm

I think you should stay in school.

Move to a low CoL area with relatively low lawyer-saturation. Take whatever job you can find in law, and constantly be on the lookout for something better. It's a myth that PI gigs in rural areas are hard to get; Legal Services of North Florida (btw, not a terrible area to live) has to hunt for mediocre SteTTTson grads to fill its spots. Get on IBR, and make the manageable payments it will provide for you.

If you can find some, any, legal employment, you really can move up to doing bearable work. If you drop out, assuming you're a poli sci shithead, you're going to be stuck unemployed or working hourly jobs with 16-year-olds down at Chili's.

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Grizz
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby Grizz » Thu May 26, 2011 9:31 pm

flcath wrote:Legal Services of North Florida (btw, not a terrible area to live) has to hunt for mediocre SteTTTson grads to fill its spots.


Tagged for myself bro

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gwuorbust
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby gwuorbust » Thu May 26, 2011 9:35 pm

flcath wrote:I think you should stay in school.

Move to a low CoL area with relatively low lawyer-saturation. Take whatever job you can find in law, and constantly be on the lookout for something better. It's a myth that PI gigs in rural areas are hard to get; Legal Services of North Florida (btw, not a terrible area to live) has to hunt for mediocre SteTTTson grads to fill its spots. Get on IBR, and make the manageable payments it will provide for you.

If you can find some, any, legal employment, you really can move up to doing bearable work. If you drop out, assuming you're a poli sci shithead, you're going to be stuck unemployed or working hourly jobs with 16-year-olds down at Chili's.


this

Public Interest jobs working for the UN or IMF, etc. are hard as fuck to get. but getting a public interest job in rural America? not as selective. it has to be is a certified nonprofit..but, anybody and their brother can found a nonprofit. I think doing USDA farm case in rural FL would be better than filing papers. but that is just me.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu May 26, 2011 9:52 pm

plum wrote:
BoSox0407 wrote:Mid Tier 2 (ranked btwn 60 and 90 is all i'll say), grades are roughly a 2.7 on a 2.8 scale so slightly below median but that could improve or worsen based on finals this semester. Will have 150K of debt if I graduate. I would like to continue on but not to the point where I'd have ridiculously poor living standards for a decade just to tell people I'm an attorney. Still don't have anything lined up for this summer and it's really beginning to get to me.
Please give me some honest thoughts!


honestly i think you should drop out. at this point having 50k of debt is a godsend. you'll still get a job earning the same amount of money either way, except you can start today and start paying down a smaller debt. take the office job, move on with your life. yes the job market is uncertain out there, but staying in law school doesn't solve that problem. uncertainty is a fact of life. the fact that you don't have a summer job makes things a lot worse. however, if you absolutely cannot imagine doing anything else besides practicing law even if it means being a doc review temp or a customer service operator at westlaw, then and only then might you consider continuing on. but know that the debt will definitely be crushing, and it's uncertain how you will be able to pay rent and pay back your loans. best of luck to you man, i feel for you.


LMAO did everyone on here go to Duke, Princeton, Chicago undergrad or something? Unless you went to some top school for undergrad your chances of getting a office job that pay comparable to a legal job straight out of undergrad are practically zero.


plum wrote:
Lawquacious wrote:What office job?

i just mean in general. whatever jobs are out there for ppl with college degrees. file clerk or whatever. it pays the same as non-biglaw, about 25-40k depending on city. in any event the # of these jobs is probably equal or greater than the legal jobs OP will have if he graduates. so he might as well take the gift of a lower debt.


Lol what? Most jobs out there for people with college degrees (at least from average schools) are retail, commission only, or in food services. In other words $10 an hour type jobs. They certainly don't pay "equal to or greater" than the average legal job. I know that 90 percent of the people on here are from upper middle class backgrounds and attended top undergrads where they did have other options just as good as a legal non biglaw job. But for those of those who don't come from those backgrounds, even non big law legal pay is a better option. 50K is a heck of a lot better than what the typical straight out of undergrad job pays.

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MTal
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby MTal » Thu May 26, 2011 9:55 pm

Drop out now.

flcath
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby flcath » Thu May 26, 2011 9:58 pm

rad law wrote:
flcath wrote:Legal Services of North Florida (btw, not a terrible area to live) has to hunt for mediocre SteTTTson grads to fill its spots.


Tagged for myself bro

I know the guy in charge down there. He is to lawyers what free clinic physicians are to doctors: passionate, calm, caring, lamenting of the limited resources he has to help his clients...

He spends 2 days a week in court, the rest out at his office (that's like a nice house converted to an office), and works on an incredible variety of cases, basically anything non-criminal that wouldn't be covered under a contingency fee. Also, divorces aren't taken (due to ridiculous volume) unless there's something special about them, like prior child abuse issues.

He says the big problem is turnover. People find the work palatable and fulfilling, but it imparts great experience, which then makes them more attractive to other employers. Then even the ones that really intended to stay long-term can't possibly bear to do it given the absurd salary disparity that even a $65K/yr. job offers. (Note that this is kind of exactly what I'm encouraging the OP to do.)

seatown12
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby seatown12 » Fri May 27, 2011 11:48 am

People saying "drop out and get one of the sweet 40k jobs that are there for the taking" should have to post a disclaimer if they came straight from UG.

flcath's advice is best

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BruceWayne
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Re: Continue for 2L or drop out?

Postby BruceWayne » Fri May 27, 2011 1:59 pm

seatown12 wrote:People saying "drop out and get one of the sweet 40k jobs that are there for the taking" should have to post a disclaimer if they came straight from UG.

flcath's advice is best


In their defense, they're getting it from many of the high post count posters. The majority of the high post count people claim that there are many 40K jobs available for someone coming straight out of undergrad, and that this is one of the primary reasons no one should attend law school if they are not admitted to Yale or Stanford (maybe Harvard if they receive a large scholarship, or one of the "top 6" with a full ride).




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