1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

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Should I drop out of law school?

Yes, you should drop out immediately and forfeit the tuition for the summer.
18
22%
Yes, but you should wait until you finish the summer class.
7
9%
No, you should stick to it for at least another year.
57
70%
 
Total votes: 82

eveningLS15
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1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:38 am

I’m seriously thinking about dropping out. Here is my situation:

My school is ranked in the T-30 for the past 2 years, but it did drop below that at least one time in the past 5 years.

I’m a part-time student who just finished 1L. My GPA right now is above 50% but below 33% in ranking based on the previous year’s data.

I have been working in my current career for almost over 6 years since college. I also have a Master’s in my field

Since I’m in a 4 year program, I only took Contracts, Torts, Crim Law, Property, and LRW so far. I’m taking another 1L course during the summer right now. I have not taken out any loans because I’m able to pay everything in cash so far. Tuition cost (minus some scholarly) is 31k per year for 4 years.

After reading the following blog and the watching the youtube video that are posted on abovethelaw.com, I just cannot stop thinking about dropping out.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLW6hm-X ... e=youtu.be (Bloomberg Law Video)
http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... chool.html (Some professor parsing out the NAPL numbers)

My base F/T job pay is $80k/yr assuming 40hr work weeks with full benefits. I get paid OT if I have to work more. I don’t think I can get much better deal if I graduate from law school in 2015. The economy still seems to be in the crapper and no major recovery coming in the horizon.

After reading the study guides for getting top grades on TLS and 1 year of my own experience, I don’t see myself having the time to study everything and be able to start doing practice finals one month before the actual final without quitting my job.

I’m posting here because I cannot get this dropping out thought out of my head. Should I drop out or stay? Any thoughts will be welcomed.

abc12345675
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby abc12345675 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:40 am

The question is simple: Do you want to be a lawyer or do you want to do whatever that other job is?

eveningLS15
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:50 am

abc12345675 wrote:The question is simple: Do you want to be a lawyer or do you want to do whatever that other job is?


I still think being an lawyer is awesome. I get intellectually challenged everyday right now. I want to be a litigator one day. However, I don't think being a lawyer will improve my career prospects that much to justify its cost based on the current employment numbers. I will definitely stick it out if we where still in the early 2000s when the economy was still booming.

I have to admit that I'm not an idealist. I'm not going to law school to help make the world better. I'm going there to help myself.

Bottom line: I will want to be a lawyer if the school don't cost so much. Law school is more of an investment rather than a personal quest of greater achievement for me.

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chuckbass
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby chuckbass » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:51 pm

Well since you haven't taken out any loans yet, I'd assume you have to take out less than 100k if you stay 3 more years. If this is the case, and you really want to be a lawyer, I would say stick with it. The worst case scenario is that you graduate and can't find a legal job, but you can go back to your old job and make enough money to cover your debt. Your old job is definitely a nice safety net, assuming you could get the same job in the future.

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Kronk
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby Kronk » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:53 pm

eveningLS15 wrote:
abc12345675 wrote:The question is simple: Do you want to be a lawyer or do you want to do whatever that other job is?


I still think being an lawyer is awesome. I get intellectually challenged everyday right now. I want to be a litigator one day. However, I don't think being a lawyer will improve my career prospects that much to justify its cost based on the current employment numbers. I will definitely stick it out if we where still in the early 2000s when the economy was still booming.

I have to admit that I'm not an idealist. I'm not going to law school to help make the world better. I'm going there to help myself.

Bottom line: I will want to be a lawyer if the school don't cost so much. Law school is more of an investment rather than a personal quest of greater achievement for me.


From my experience, you get far more intellectually challenged in law school than in the actual practice of law. Just a thought.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby Sauer Grapes » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:03 pm

From a financial standpoint, you should probably drop out. You most likely won't get big law (if you even want it) and the cost/benefit on the money side alone is in favor of dropping out.

That being said, if you really want to be a lawyer and you aren't opposed to making less money than you are now and/or opening your own firm, it might be worth it to stay. Your career happiness needs to be taken into consideration and only you can do that analysis.

This is a decision only you can make. Good luck with it.

Huluba
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby Huluba » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:32 pm

You said you are PT so are you doing OCI this fall (2012) or next (2013)? If the latter you still have a whole year to get your grades up.

eveningLS15
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:45 pm

Sauer Grapes wrote:From a financial standpoint, you should probably drop out. You most likely won't get big law (if you even want it) and the cost/benefit on the money side alone is in favor of dropping out.

That being said, if you really want to be a lawyer and you aren't opposed to making less money than you are now and/or opening your own firm, it might be worth it to stay. Your career happiness needs to be taken into consideration and only you can do that analysis.

This is a decision only you can make. Good luck with it.


Yes, I agree with you. From purely $ or C/B, dropping out is safest option right now. I don't intend to make less money for just being a lawyer. I will take a nonlegal position if it pays more than a legal position even after I graduate and passed the bar.

scotth724 wrote:Well since you haven't taken out any loans yet, I'd assume you have to take out less than 100k if you stay 3 more years. If this is the case, and you really want to be a lawyer, I would say stick with it. The worst case scenario is that you graduate and can't find a legal job, but you can go back to your old job and make enough money to cover your debt. Your old job is definitely a nice safety net, assuming you could get the same job in the future.


If I keep my current job, I will not need any loans. I intend to keep my current job until I have a better position.

Thanks for all the inputs so far.

Now, I need to figure out how much I'm willing to risk to go through law school and not being much better off. If only I can see into the future, I will have a clearer idea of what to do. Just to provide a clearer picture, I'm working for an engineering firm right now. The work has nothing to do with law and not challenging. It's laid back with minimal supervision BS. I opted for this position because I was planning to go to law school. I actually turned down better opportunities just to have minimum stress at work and focus on law school. Basically, I'm putting my current career in hiatus until I'm done with school.

eveningLS15
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:49 pm

Huluba wrote:You said you are PT so are you doing OCI this fall (2012) or next (2013)? If the latter you still have a whole year to get your grades up.


I will be doing OCI next year (fall 2013). Yes, I have one more year of trying to boost my grades, but my doctrinal classes are all consistent B+ for some reason.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:44 pm

Why the hell did you even attend law school in the first place if you're already making 80k + benefits in a low stress job? You're paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to work in a stressful and competitive field where you'll likely make less than you currently are. Drop out a year ago.

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hung jury
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby hung jury » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:53 pm

eveningLS15 wrote:
I don't intend to make less money for just being a lawyer. I will take a nonlegal position if it pays more than a legal position even after I graduate and passed the bar.



If you aren't willing to take a paycut and are making 80k, it sounds like you are (a) biglaw or bust (because very few non-biglaw firms pay 80k or more) (b) at a school that likely won't get you biglaw with your grades.

But it sounds like you might be looking for IP work? In which case, I defer to the IP lawyers on what biglaw prospects are for a t30 grade with just above median grades. But if you aren't IP qualified, even a very good second year is going to make biglaw a pretty big longshot.

What percentage of your class gets NLJ 250 firms?

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?interactive=true&id=1202543436520&slreturn=1

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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby keg411 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:10 am

Smells like Fordham.

OP, you have another year before OCI. That means you have another whole year of grades to pull your GPA up into OCI range. Might as well give it the extra year since you're not totally out of striking distance. Also, your job might help you depending on what it is.

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Kronk
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby Kronk » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:04 pm

Many government lawyers make more than 80k. Particularly if you're in New York. Could be just as hard to get those jerbs, though.

eveningLS15
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:54 pm

hung jury wrote:
eveningLS15 wrote:
I don't intend to make less money for just being a lawyer. I will take a nonlegal position if it pays more than a legal position even after I graduate and passed the bar.



If you aren't willing to take a paycut and are making 80k, it sounds like you are (a) biglaw or bust (because very few non-biglaw firms pay 80k or more) (b) at a school that likely won't get you biglaw with your grades.

But it sounds like you might be looking for IP work? In which case, I defer to the IP lawyers on what biglaw prospects are for a t30 grade with just above median grades. But if you aren't IP qualified, even a very good second year is going to make biglaw a pretty big longshot.

What percentage of your class gets NLJ 250 firms?

http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?interactive=true&id=1202543436520&slreturn=1



Thanks for the link. It was helpful. My school is about 20%. My undergrad major is approved by the USPTO to sit for the patent bar. I already mailed out my app and plan to take it around the end of August. If I fail, I wll try again in January after the Winter break. One former professor told me that the only positions that are open in his firm are either IP or Brankrupcy. He advised me to focus on patents.

eveningLS15
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:00 pm

keg411 wrote:Smells like Fordham.

OP, you have another year before OCI. That means you have another whole year of grades to pull your GPA up into OCI range. Might as well give it the extra year since you're not totally out of striking distance. Also, your job might help you depending on what it is.


I agree with you about the striking distance. I plan to take minimum credits and LLM electives. Are LLM electives typically easier on the grading curve? Based on my school's info, 2L medians are typically 0.2 higher. Hopefully, I can get mostly all As and maybe an A+.

eveningLS15
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:03 pm

Kronk wrote:Many government lawyers make more than 80k. Particularly if you're in New York. Could be just as hard to get those jerbs, though.


Don't most government jobs require you to pass the bar already? Do they do OCI? I thought they hire after you graduate not before.

eveningLS15
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:14 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:Why the hell did you even attend law school in the first place if you're already making 80k + benefits in a low stress job? You're paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to work in a stressful and competitive field where you'll likely make less than you currently are. Drop out a year ago.


Like most people, I'm trying to better myself. Option B was getting an MBA, but IMO MBA don't do much. It was hot before, but every other person has a MBA and it does give you any special privileges. At least with JD and bar, I'm licensed practice law. Another reason is that I did well on the LSAT. If I crap on the LSAT, I was planning to take the GMAT with is LSAT lite. The economy is in the gutter and I don't see my current career accelerating until the situation gets better. Thus, I'm in law school hoping for better opportunities.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:04 pm

eveningLS15 wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:Why the hell did you even attend law school in the first place if you're already making 80k + benefits in a low stress job? You're paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to work in a stressful and competitive field where you'll likely make less than you currently are. Drop out a year ago.


Like most people, I'm trying to better myself. Option B was getting an MBA, but IMO MBA don't do much. It was hot before, but every other person has a MBA and it does give you any special privileges. At least with JD and bar, I'm licensed practice law. Another reason is that I did well on the LSAT. If I crap on the LSAT, I was planning to take the GMAT with is LSAT lite. The economy is in the gutter and I don't see my current career accelerating until the situation gets better. Thus, I'm in law school hoping for better opportunities.


What I'm trying to tell you is that any opportunities you are likely to find will almost certainly be worse than what you already have. If you are trying to better yourself, you're going about it backwards. Here's why. Legal salaries are mostly bimodal, meaning you'll likely be making either $160k or $45-60k at graduation. Given that you're from a T-30 in the middle third of your class, your chances of scoring an $160k job are pretty slim (although tough to say without knowing which one). This means you will, in all likelihood, be making significantly less after graduating from law school than you were before. To make matters worse, you're also paying off any law school debts you've accumulated. All this isn't even mentioning the opportunity cost of not working while in law school, which adds an additional $320,000 cost in the form of lost wages (80k year over 4 years).

Basically, you're looking at 4 years of tuition @ 31k per year = $124,000. Adding on opportunity cost of lost wages brings us to $444,000. Even assuming you don't take out a single dollar in loans (a big assumption), you're planning to spend hundreds of thousands for the privilege of entering an over saturated, hyper competitive, difficult field where you will in all likelihood be making 30% less in salary. Seriously man, be thankful that you have a good job and ask them to take you back.

Edit: Missed the part where you said you were part time.
Last edited by rickgrimes69 on Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

eveningLS15
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:40 pm

rickgrimes69 wrote:
eveningLS15 wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:Why the hell did you even attend law school in the first place if you're already making 80k + benefits in a low stress job? You're paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to work in a stressful and competitive field where you'll likely make less than you currently are. Drop out a year ago.


Like most people, I'm trying to better myself. Option B was getting an MBA, but IMO MBA don't do much. It was hot before, but every other person has a MBA and it does give you any special privileges. At least with JD and bar, I'm licensed practice law. Another reason is that I did well on the LSAT. If I crap on the LSAT, I was planning to take the GMAT with is LSAT lite. The economy is in the gutter and I don't see my current career accelerating until the situation gets better. Thus, I'm in law school hoping for better opportunities.


What I'm trying to tell you is that any opportunities you are likely to find will almost certainly be worse than what you already have. If you are trying to better yourself, you're going about it backwards. Here's why. Legal salaries are mostly bimodal, meaning you'll likely be making either $160k or $45-60k at graduation. Given that you're from a T-30 in the middle third of your class, your chances of scoring an $160k job are pretty slim (although tough to say without knowing which one). This means you will, in all likelihood, be making significantly less after graduating from law school than you were before. To make matters worse, you're also paying off any law school debts you've accumulated. All this isn't even mentioning the opportunity cost of not working while in law school, which adds an additional $320,000 cost in the form of lost wages (80k year over 4 years).

Basically, you're looking at 4 years of tuition @ 31k per year = $124,000. Adding on opportunity cost of lost wages brings us to $444,000. Even assuming you don't take out a single dollar in loans (a big assumption), you're planning to spend $444,000 for the privilege of entering an over saturated, hyper competitive, difficult field where you will in all likelihood be making 30% less in salary. Seriously man, be thankful that you have a good job and ask them to take you back.


If you read my original post closely, I'm still working and going to school P/T. All I'm giving up right now is tuition and books, social life, and some sleep. Maybe some other opportunity costs because I turned down better positions so I can have time for school. However, those positions are only marginally better in terms of compensation than what I have right now with more hours expected.

You said that you dropped out a year ago. When did come to that conclusion? 1st or 2nd Semester? 3rd Semester after OCI? How long did you struggle with that decision? Who else did you discuss the matter with? Did you talk to any faculty or staff to get their opinion? Drop me a PM if you like.

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rickgrimes69
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby rickgrimes69 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:53 pm

eveningLS15 wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:
eveningLS15 wrote:
rickgrimes69 wrote:Why the hell did you even attend law school in the first place if you're already making 80k + benefits in a low stress job? You're paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to work in a stressful and competitive field where you'll likely make less than you currently are. Drop out a year ago.


Like most people, I'm trying to better myself. Option B was getting an MBA, but IMO MBA don't do much. It was hot before, but every other person has a MBA and it does give you any special privileges. At least with JD and bar, I'm licensed practice law. Another reason is that I did well on the LSAT. If I crap on the LSAT, I was planning to take the GMAT with is LSAT lite. The economy is in the gutter and I don't see my current career accelerating until the situation gets better. Thus, I'm in law school hoping for better opportunities.


What I'm trying to tell you is that any opportunities you are likely to find will almost certainly be worse than what you already have. If you are trying to better yourself, you're going about it backwards. Here's why. Legal salaries are mostly bimodal, meaning you'll likely be making either $160k or $45-60k at graduation. Given that you're from a T-30 in the middle third of your class, your chances of scoring an $160k job are pretty slim (although tough to say without knowing which one). This means you will, in all likelihood, be making significantly less after graduating from law school than you were before. To make matters worse, you're also paying off any law school debts you've accumulated. All this isn't even mentioning the opportunity cost of not working while in law school, which adds an additional $320,000 cost in the form of lost wages (80k year over 4 years).

Basically, you're looking at 4 years of tuition @ 31k per year = $124,000. Adding on opportunity cost of lost wages brings us to $444,000. Even assuming you don't take out a single dollar in loans (a big assumption), you're planning to spend $444,000 for the privilege of entering an over saturated, hyper competitive, difficult field where you will in all likelihood be making 30% less in salary. Seriously man, be thankful that you have a good job and ask them to take you back.


If you read my original post closely, I'm still working and going to school P/T. All I'm giving up right now is tuition and books, social life, and some sleep. Maybe some other opportunity costs because I turned down better positions so I can have time for school. However, those positions are only marginally better in terms of compensation than what I have right now with more hours expected.

You said that you dropped out a year ago. When did come to that conclusion? 1st or 2nd Semester? 3rd Semester after OCI? How long did you struggle with that decision? Who else did you discuss the matter with? Did you talk to any faculty or staff to get their opinion? Drop me a PM if you like.


I missed the part where you said you were part time. So your opportunity cost won't be as excessive and my numbers are wrong, but everything else I said still applies. You've got a great job that pays well and is low stress, I don't see why you'd be in a hurry to give that up.

(Also, you misinterpreted my original statement - I'm a 0L, I've never dropped out).

Reprisal
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby Reprisal » Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:50 pm

Your goal shouldn't be biglaw. It should be in-house, consulting, or rising through the managerial ranks of your current firm. And these are actually better jobs, so don't fret yet.

eveningLS15
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:49 pm

Reprisal wrote:Your goal shouldn't be biglaw. It should be in-house, consulting, or rising through the managerial ranks of your current firm. And these are actually better jobs, so don't fret yet.


I believe in-house counsels are usually associates who came from Biglaw. My current firm is not sponsoring my tuition. Thus, I don't see how a law degree will help me in my current firm. It's a Fortune 500 with 50,000+ employees in the world. I'm just a number. Biglaw is still the traditional gateway to many legal career paths that will be good returns on your law school investment. Thanks for the encouragement though.

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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:55 pm

The only person who can answer this is you. Financially, it is almost definitely not worth it. The fact that you are working makes little difference since otherwise you could be saving the money you are spending on law school.

eveningLS15
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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby eveningLS15 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:10 pm

AreJay711 wrote:The only person who can answer this is you. Financially, it is almost definitely not worth it. The fact that you are working makes little difference since otherwise you could be saving the money you are spending on law school.


This question is very hard for me. I figure I can save $100k+ over the next 3 years by dropping out now. I ran into a graduated 3L from my high school who was studying for the bar after class. She was nice enough to tell me that she got no offers from OCI. She also has student debt. She did not volunteer her rank or what job she has lined up after the bar. She did not recommend me to stay or drop out. After talking to her, I'm more conflicted about what to do than before.

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Re: 1L GPA is above median but below 33% in a T-30. Drop out?

Postby ionoiforgot » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:05 am

I'm curious:

What are the opportunities you have in your current field; what's the salary situation looking like if you continued to work hard? You say you make $80k now, but what's the expected ceiling? If there's a fair bit of room to grow for that salary, then I honestly think there's no need to do law. If you can make $100k/year without doing law school, then the money you can save would make a nice nest egg for savings or investing. You noted that ~20% at your school get a big-firm job. If you're like ~40-45 percentile, you would have to really work your ass off to push yourself to even have a decent CHANCE to get a good paying legal job. Personally, I don't think money is the only factor that should be considered; quality of life/time is a big thing for me. If I can make ~80-100k without stress...why not? If you have that much time/effort, invest your money or just simply enjoy it.

It seems like the investment you're doing here isn't really worth the value you'll get back. Then again, that's my calculus.




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