Calling All Law School Drop Outs

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dkw123
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Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby dkw123 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:03 am

I want to talk to you.

I am dropping out of UCLA Law after finishing 1L, and I'm feeling fantastic about my decision. It wasn't for me, and I have complete faith I will find my soul's passion and life's purpose as something OTHER than a lawyer.

I'm exploring the idea of writing a book about dropping out of law school and would love to talk to other law school drop outs about their experiences refocusing their lives post law school.

PM if you're interested/willing to chat. I look forward to hearing from you hopefully!

-Devon

dkw123
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby dkw123 » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:27 am

Also, if you're considering dropping out I'm happy to answer questions about my decision/process. After taking 4 years between undergrad and law school to work, I was accepted to many T14 schools, including two T10, and decided on UCLA for a variety of good reasons (public interest/critical race study program, scholarship, to be close to friends/family). Grades were bad--bottom 25%. I just couldn't bring myself to care about them as much as others. The death of a close friend just before Easter solidified my decision to drop out. Life's short. Life is for living. I'm committed to finding my passion and refuse to live and make decisions in fear.

lukertin
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby lukertin » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:34 am

Good for you.

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:04 am

dkw123 wrote:I'm exploring the idea of writing a book about dropping out of law school...
Don't do this. Enjoy the rest of your life and don't reflect too much on the past.

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Perseus_I
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby Perseus_I » Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:23 am

dkw123 wrote:Also, if you're considering dropping out I'm happy to answer questions about my decision/process. After taking 4 years between undergrad and law school to work, I was accepted to many T14 schools, including two T10, and decided on UCLA for a variety of good reasons (public interest/critical race study program, scholarship, to be close to friends/family). Grades were bad--bottom 25%. I just couldn't bring myself to care about them as much as others. The death of a close friend just before Easter solidified my decision to drop out. Life's short. Life is for living. I'm committed to finding my passion and refuse to live and make decisions in fear.


Most of these dropout threads focus on those who were disappointed in their grades. For someone above the Big Law cutoff (about top third at UCLA? median at the upper T14?), would you recommend dropping out if you strike out at OCI? Especially for so-called "introverts" who would might have difficulty landing a job in the unconventional ways?

I knew coming in how bad the job market was. "Only 25% get Big Law...Well, Ok, I guess you gotta be in the top 25%, if not, I'm dropping out." What I didn't realize was the huge percentage of those who do get Big Law who are either "diversity" hires or have special family connections. I started thinking about a Plan B when I saw what types of people snapped up all the 1L summer jobs. I really thought the OCI or bust mentality was overrated. Now, I'm thinking there's something to it. Thoughts?

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2014
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby 2014 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:20 am

What do you attribute your bad grades to? Sounds like you had bad circumstances second semester but presumably first semester didn't go great either so what would advice would you give knowing what you did right or wrong?

If you had ended up above median would you have waited to go through OCI before making the decision to drop out or is it really a cut and dry you didn't like it so you got out as soon as you could thing?

Do you feel like you were deceived about realities of law school or did you have sufficient information going into 1L and just choose to gamble or be overly optimistic?


Best of luck to you, if you weren't happy getting out was the right call.

shock259
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby shock259 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:02 pm

Your goal should be to become MTal 2.0

se7en
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby se7en » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:51 pm

SchopenhauerFTW wrote:
dkw123 wrote:I'm exploring the idea of writing a book about dropping out of law school...
Don't do this. Enjoy the rest of your life and don't reflect too much on the past.



Write the book, publish, make $$.. def do it :)

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby FeelTheHeat » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:54 pm

SchopenhauerFTW wrote:
dkw123 wrote:I'm exploring the idea of writing a book about dropping out of law school...
Don't do this. Enjoy the rest of your life and don't reflect too much on the past.


This approach would probably put a dent in the biography business.

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Perseus_I
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby Perseus_I » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:02 pm

se7en wrote:
SchopenhauerFTW wrote:
dkw123 wrote:I'm exploring the idea of writing a book about dropping out of law school...
Don't do this. Enjoy the rest of your life and don't reflect too much on the past.



Write the book, publish, make $$.. def do it :)


If it becomes a bestseller, I suppose one could say that law school was officially worth the investment for the OP.

dkw123
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby dkw123 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:46 pm

That's the plan (to make $$ and thus redeem my investment in 1L). :-) But also to encourage others to drop out, and early, if they're not truly inspired by law school. I think too many of us enter the profession out of fear. We don't know what else to do. The economy sucks. We're desperate to "succeed" in some very conventional sense of the word. We want to make our families proud. We want to justify being proud of ourselves. We want to BE somebody, and having a J.D. after our names seems like a pretty safe way to ensure that we're people of import, for whatever the heck that's worth.

But being a lawyer--actually practicing law day in and day out for a few decades--is a special type of hell as far as I can tell. Either you "make it" into Big Law, with plenty o' money but no time to spend it nor time to foster those relations that make spending money fun in the first place, or you spend years and years (and years) paying off your debt in public interest or government work. You still work hard, and you still work long hours, and you still have a hell of responsiblity, but for less money. Hopefully your job rewards you with moments of satisfaction for "making a difference," but the law is a conservative profession chained to precedent, and as far as I can tell the room to make real change that makes a lasting difference is narrow indeed.

In response to 2014's question, I was never headed the Big Law route so OCI was not on my radar. If that's why you're headed to law school I'd encourage you to really envision what your life will be like if you're brilliant and lucky enough to "make it." Do you want a family? Do you want weekends off? Do you enjoy any hobbies or activities other than researching and writing briefs? Again, money is great, but only if you have the time to spend it and have fostered the relationships to make spending it with other people fun and fulfilling.

Had I made better grades I may very well have decided to stay in law school. But I only would have made better grades if I were I more enthusiastic about the law itself. I truly believe I worked as hard as I could given my disinterest in learning the law. I hated it. I was literally bored to tears some days. And I simply could not imagine a life as a lawyer that allowed me to live the joyful, exciting, precious life that I demand to live.

I thought I'd learning the law going in, so Im not sure if there's anything I could have done differently. I encourage anyone deciding whether or not to enter law school to weigh scholarship offers very heavily and to keep your expenses as low as possible. I chose the school that gave me the biggest financial package and lived at home. And thank goodness for that. I'm about 15k in debt and getting out just in time, as I was about to take out many more loans for my second and third years.

Honestly, I feel blessed. I've broken through my fear and my old script that said that I had to be "successful" in the eyes of others in order to deserve my own respect. Today I know that's utter bs, and I'm about to set out on a journey to find my life's true calling. I encourage anyone for whom this resonates to do the same.

dkw123
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby dkw123 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:49 pm

shock259 wrote:Your goal should be to become MTal 2.0


What's that?

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spaceman82
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby spaceman82 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:36 pm

I realize that you started this thread primarily to find other people who've dropped out of law school. However, if you get a chance, could you go into a little more detail about the changes in perspective you underwent during your year in law school, especially in regard to public interest? Did you think that you would be interested in learning the law going in and then realize it was an entirely different beast from what you were expecting? Or did you enter law school hoping to make a difference and succeed (without any specific interest in learning the law) and then realize that the sacrifices required to do that weren't worth it? In regard to public interest practice, specifically, what did you learn about it as a 1L that changed your mind about the path you were on? What are the major differences between what you thought life as a PI attorney would be like before law school and now after a year of law school? I'm sorry for all the questions--but your interests and values seem similar to mine and, as someone still making up his mind about law school, I'd be interested in learning from your experiences.

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TTTehehe
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby TTTehehe » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:57 pm

Perseus_I wrote:
se7en wrote:
SchopenhauerFTW wrote:
dkw123 wrote:I'm exploring the idea of writing a book about dropping out of law school...
Don't do this. Enjoy the rest of your life and don't reflect too much on the past.



Write the book, publish, make $$.. def do it :)


If it becomes a bestseller, I suppose one could say that law school was officially worth the investment for the OP.



:lol:

edinbourgh
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby edinbourgh » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:12 am

Bump for advice from OP or anyone else in a similar position. I'm a 1L at a similarly ranked school and considering dropping out. Obviously we don't have our grades yet, but I can't help but feel that this might be a huge mistake.
Is it worth it to trudge through at least the first semester at a top 20 school at this point and in this economy?
Serious question, and any advice would be welcome.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby bizzybone1313 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 4:19 am

Great thread.

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hephaestus
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby hephaestus » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:15 am

edinbourgh wrote:Bump for advice from OP or anyone else in a similar position. I'm a 1L at a similarly ranked school and considering dropping out. Obviously we don't have our grades yet, but I can't help but feel that this might be a huge mistake.
Is it worth it to trudge through at least the first semester at a top 20 school at this point and in this economy?
Serious question, and any advice would be welcome.

I think there are three key considerations here: how much are you paying, how much of fall tuition will your school give you back, and what would you do if you drop out? If you already know law school isn't for you after a few weeks, this may be the best time to go.

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IAFG
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby IAFG » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:31 am

dkw123 wrote:I have complete faith I will find my soul's passion and life's purpose as

I can't believe how long everyone let this slide

NYstate
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby NYstate » Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:24 am

Encouraging people to drop out after they realize they have made a mistake or after they know they have missed biglaw ( if that was their goal or they have huge debt) is worthwhile. I don't see a book in it though. You might read the sea locusts post about dropping out. He covers most everything.

Why people feel that getting grades= job paying six figures is something I don't understand. Just from your writing about " finding your passion" I wonder if you have a biglaw mindset.

I don't think a dropout telling people why biglaw sucks or why PI sucks has any merit. You've never worked at those jobs. So your opinion is not based on experience. I would drop that. You just sound bitter that you didn't get the job you thought you had earned. Being a lawyer anywhere is stress and responsibility as people rely on your advice. That is a worthless point too.

The point you make about not getting a job because firms value diversity makes you appear very unaware of reality and also a terrible person. Firms care about more than grades for a number of reasons. Diversity is crucial to a biglaw firm.

I guess I'm sorry you didn't get a job that you think you earned. But you don't know enough ( anything) about hiring or practicing law.

If you write a book, write one about the process of deciding to leave and how you decided what to do next. Personally, I think you can find better projects. You might read Paul
campos' book " don't go to law school unless.. ". He covers the reasons why you should not have gone to law school in the first place.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:43 am

IAFG wrote:
dkw123 wrote:I have complete faith I will find my soul's passion and life's purpose as

I can't believe how long everyone let this slide


This too:

And I simply could not imagine a life as a lawyer that allowed me to live the joyful, exciting, precious life that I demand to live.

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manofjustice
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby manofjustice » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:54 am

IAFG wrote:
dkw123 wrote:I have complete faith I will find my soul's passion and life's purpose as

I can't believe how long everyone let this slide


Good point. What is your "soul's passion and life's purpose?" First, what is that, as a definition, and second, what is yours?

You talk about requiring time for family and relationships. Unless your soul's passion and life's purpose is family and relationships, when you find this "soul's passion and life's purpose," you'll probably find it takes up a lot of your time, leaving little for family and relationships. I would just imagine that "time-consuming" is a characteristic of "soul's passion and life's purpose."

Also, you mentioned that "law is chained to precedent" and so there is little opportunity for "real change." That's what's so stimulating about the law--to make the law do what you want, you have to work within constraints. That requires creativity, incisive thinking, and clear communication. It's a challenge. And it's satisfying, because serving those legal constraints and your client at the same time is to serve society, which depends on a stable, authoritative, and equitable law, but law that enables individuals to act as free beings. To do both those things is a noble calling in a society such as ours that seeks to balance the rights of the individual with the requirements of the collective.

Not that I am saying you made the wrong decision--just adding to the discussion. Congratulations on your move. It seems that you've given this a lot of thought and I wish you the best of luck.

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thesealocust
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby thesealocust » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:53 am

I hope my works inspired you: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=175022

J. R. Capablanca
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby J. R. Capablanca » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:15 am

I dropped out after 1L a few years ago...it's worked out very well so far. Had I stayed in, I would probably be living in my old room in my parent's basement, depressed and suicidal.

edinbourgh
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby edinbourgh » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:42 pm

ImNoScar wrote:
edinbourgh wrote:Bump for advice from OP or anyone else in a similar position. I'm a 1L at a similarly ranked school and considering dropping out. Obviously we don't have our grades yet, but I can't help but feel that this might be a huge mistake.
Is it worth it to trudge through at least the first semester at a top 20 school at this point and in this economy?
Serious question, and any advice would be welcome.

I think there are three key considerations here: how much are you paying, how much of fall tuition will your school give you back, and what would you do if you drop out? If you already know law school isn't for you after a few weeks, this may be the best time to go.


1. Drop out now I'll only lose 13k or so. Stay and I'll be 100k to 125k in debt.
2. None.
3. Have no idea. I'm not a K-JD, though.

J. R. Capablanca
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby J. R. Capablanca » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:07 pm

edinbourgh wrote:
ImNoScar wrote:
edinbourgh wrote:Bump for advice from OP or anyone else in a similar position. I'm a 1L at a similarly ranked school and considering dropping out. Obviously we don't have our grades yet, but I can't help but feel that this might be a huge mistake.
Is it worth it to trudge through at least the first semester at a top 20 school at this point and in this economy?
Serious question, and any advice would be welcome.

I think there are three key considerations here: how much are you paying, how much of fall tuition will your school give you back, and what would you do if you drop out? If you already know law school isn't for you after a few weeks, this may be the best time to go.


1. Drop out now I'll only lose 13k or so. Stay and I'll be 100k to 125k in debt.
2. None.
3. Have no idea. I'm not a K-JD, though.


See:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=160198




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