Calling All Law School Drop Outs

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haus
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby haus » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:14 pm

dkw123 wrote: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.

Good luck in your your hunt, sadly I suspect that you are going to be disappointed to find that work in the field of law is far from the only field that can be difficult. Actually I would argue that most fields suck in their own way, but this is why it is called work and people are paid to do these tasks.

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 :)

Generally people by books to about stories of those who have done things of interest. Dropping out of law school to take on a challenging position as an assistant manager at a taco bell is not likely to be a best seller.

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Hufflepuffer
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby Hufflepuffer » Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:59 pm

haus wrote:Generally people by books to about stories of those who have done things of interest. Dropping out of law school to take on a challenging position as an assistant manager at a taco bell is not likely to be a best seller.


Depends how you spin it, ie: in a world of mounting student debt and baby boomer avarice, one young taco bell worker finds love and happiness and high adventure when he drops out of law school to elope to Guatemala, dodging bullets and Salie Mae loan collectors, with the beautiful latino american girl of his dreams

I might pick that one up at the Barnes and Noble bargain rack

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haus
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby haus » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:05 pm

Hufflepuffer wrote:
haus wrote:I might pick that one up at the Barnes and Noble bargain rack

Given that you are part of the vary small sliver of the population that would even understand what the person is going for with such a book, and you would only be interested in picking it up from the bargain bin, where the profit margin is slightly better than allowing a hobo to burn it for warmth. Somehow this does not look like it is ticket to success.

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Hufflepuffer
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby Hufflepuffer » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:08 pm

haus wrote:Given that you are part of the vary small sliver of the population that would even understand what the person is going for with such a book, and you would only be interested in picking it up from the bargain bin, where the profit margin is slightly better than allowing a hobo to burn it for warmth. Somehow this does not look like it is ticket to success.


ok

if he's happy doing it, more power to him. It doesn't sound like big law was going to be his ticket to success either

AllTheLawz
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby AllTheLawz » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:26 pm

Perseus_I wrote:
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?


You didn't realize it because it isn't true. I have summered at two large firms (both in the top half of vault rankings). Of a combined 80+ summer associates, a total of 4 were non-asian minorities and a grand total of zero had special family connections. In fact, one of my classmates wasn't even allowed to interview with the firm b/c he had a family member who was a partner.

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941law
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby 941law » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:25 am

considering quitting on mile 20 of my upcoming marathon.... let me know if there is a book on it

iiifly
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby iiifly » Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:05 pm

nevermind

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haus
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby haus » Fri Oct 11, 2013 5:01 pm

iiifly wrote:nevermind

ok

BeautifulSW
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby BeautifulSW » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:47 pm

Just something for the OP to think about...if at some point in the future the OP decides that s/he needs or wants a California law license, it would be pretty straightforward and fairly cheap to read for the Bar or finish a California correspondence law program. The 1L year is the hardest and the most important foundationally. Having done it at UCLA means the the OP can continue "alternative" law study without having to take the notorious First Year Law Students' Exam and with some assurance of being able to pass the Bar once eligible. It would take three calendar years of part-time study and could cost anywhere from nearly free to $25,000 or so, depending on the route selected.

Now all the OP would get for the effort is the law license. Employment offers will NOT come rolling in. But for the price it might be worth doing.

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IAFG
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby IAFG » Tue Oct 15, 2013 2:34 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:Just something for the OP to think about...if at some point in the future the OP decides that s/he needs or wants a California law license, it would be pretty straightforward and fairly cheap to read for the Bar or finish a California correspondence law program. The 1L year is the hardest and the most important foundationally. Having done it at UCLA means the the OP can continue "alternative" law study without having to take the notorious First Year Law Students' Exam and with some assurance of being able to pass the Bar once eligible. It would take three calendar years of part-time study and could cost anywhere from nearly free to $25,000 or so, depending on the route selected.

Now all the OP would get for the effort is the law license. Employment offers will NOT come rolling in. But for the price it might be worth doing.

I dare you to give worse advice.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby BeautifulSW » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:25 pm

No, it's better advice than you might think if you would think about it. TLS devotes itself (by economic necessity) to the "high end" of the profession. Most people here even refer to anything not Big Law or federal clerkship as "shitlaw". If you are in debt $150,000, that attitude is perfectly sound. But if the OP got into law for some other motivation, a cheap law license can open up all sorts of interesting and rewarding possibilities.

I speak from experience, though it's an experience no longer widely available. I got my J.D. from a second tier State school for essentially free. That allowed me to work for various governmental and public interest entities for salaries that would not pay the interest on most Sallie Mae law school balances. And I lived comfortably and enjoyed my work.

I don't know why the OP started law school in the first place. That motivation was crushed by his first year. Could be he doesn't like the cold-blooded commercialism of modern law practice. Could be the method of teaching law at an ABA school doesn't work for him. I don't know. But the Bar is broader than the TLS viewpoint.

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Domke
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby Domke » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:10 pm

dkw123 wrote:
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.


If you think there is another job where you can make money and enjoy it you are going to be in for a surprise. All jobs either involve working very hard to make a lot of money or not making a lot of money and having time to enjoy it. Furthermore every job has parts you don't want to do. Even people who love their job have to do things they would prefer not to. Hopefully you do find what you are looking for, otherwise you just made a very expensive mistake.

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haus
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby haus » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:46 pm

Natem137 wrote:
dkw123 wrote:
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.


If you think there is another job where you can make money and enjoy it you are going to be in for a surprise. All jobs either involve working very hard to make a lot of money or not making a lot of money and having time to enjoy it. Furthermore every job has parts you don't want to do. Even people who love their job have to do things they would prefer not to. Hopefully you do find what you are looking for, otherwise you just made a very expensive mistake.

You have left out the rather large group of people who work very hard and make little money.

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PepperJack
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby PepperJack » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:59 pm

If I knew what I knew now, I never would have gone only because you have more control over 1L grades than you do over hiring stuff. You need to fit a prototype and if you don't, grades can't help you.

But it sounds like it's easier to drop out than work your ass off, and you are also intimidated. I think being intimidated suggests you may do better than you think. If you don't think you're a special genius, you're prone to work harder and likely have more interesting analysis. I think on exams if you're in do great or drop out mode, you should just let it all hang out there and not second guess yourself. I found that an exam that has some nonsense and some very astute points always does better than a constantly pretty good exam. Don't get over confident, and just work your butt off. If you blow up and place at the top of your class you're in great shape. Work is not like law school. Honestly, I don't even think the professors like teaching (with very few exceptions).

BigRob
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Re: Calling All Law School Drop Outs

Postby BigRob » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:56 pm

PepperJack wrote:If I knew what I knew now, I never would have gone only because you have more control over 1L grades than you do over hiring stuff. You need to fit a prototype and if you don't, grades can't help you.

But it sounds like it's easier to drop out than work your ass off, and you are also intimidated. I think being intimidated suggests you may do better than you think. If you don't think you're a special genius, you're prone to work harder and likely have more interesting analysis. I think on exams if you're in do great or drop out mode, you should just let it all hang out there and not second guess yourself. I found that an exam that has some nonsense and some very astute points always does better than a constantly pretty good exam. Don't get over confident, and just work your butt off. If you blow up and place at the top of your class you're in great shape. Work is not like law school. Honestly, I don't even think the professors like teaching (with very few exceptions).


Incoherent rambling.


On-topic: OP, it sounds like you're trying to spin a serious personal failure as something positive. Sour grapes to the extreme: "I can't (don't want to work hard enough to) have a good legal career, so I never wanted it anyway."

The life of most big law associates is fan-fucking-tastic. Ludicrously high pay, interesting and intellectually-challenging work, couth colleagues, and, yes, prestige off the charts.

Also, re: no free time to have a relationship or spend money: My firm requires 1900 hrs / year to be eligible for bonus. That's a sub-40 billable hour work week with a two week vacation per year. Conservatively, that works out to, what, 10-11 hours in the office, five days a week? (Many associates fall short of 1900, too.) That leaves plenty of time to spend the [ludicrous/unbelievable/inexplicable amount of] money.

TL;DR: OP couldn't hack it and wants to convince you (and himself) that it's OK because successful attorneys have terrible lives -- but he's (she's?) wrong.




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