Should I Stay in Law School?

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Knuxson
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:38 pm

Should I Stay in Law School?

Postby Knuxson » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:01 pm

I just completed my second year in the evening program of a Top 50 law school. Basically, that means I am at the same progress level as a regular student who has taken 3 semesters. It takes 4 years total for the evening program, so I have two more years to go. We are ranked along with the day students of the same graduating year and since I am now done with all my first year courses I can now take courses at any time, even during the day. I am in the top 25% and I am very likely to get on one of the school's four law journals. I have a full time job as a legal assistant/paralegal at a medium sized firm and most days I enjoy that job. It has actually been pretty useful as they have allowed me to do certain things such as attending depositions and mediations and drafting discovery and pleadings. I also have an $8,000/year scholarship.

All that actually does not sound too bad from my perspective. I am not wondering if I should stay in law school because I think I am doing too poorly in school. I already know I probably won't want to practice law the rest of my life. I would be okay with a job that is law related. Maybe something at a business where my legal training will still be useful. I am fine with doing the law firm thing for awhile. Is it worth getting a law degree if I am not going to want to practice law 5 years after I graduate? I find law interesting but I do not love it and I don't want to get stuck doing it for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, I have a pretty useless BA degree, so I don't have any other career options to fall back on. Also, if I finish school I will have 150k cumulative loan debt (my undergrad, my wife's undergrad, and law school). If I quit now that will cut that by 40-50k. Of course, if I didn't go to law school in the first place it would be 80-100k less.

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

Re: Should I Stay in Law School?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:06 pm

Stay. Top 25% at a Tier One law school = success. Would you be interested in working at your current law firm as an attorney ? If not, why not ? What don't you like about the practice of law ? Or is it law school and/or paralegal work that you don't like ?

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homestyle28
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Re: Should I Stay in Law School?

Postby homestyle28 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:14 pm

Knuxson wrote:I already know I probably won't want to practice law the rest of my life.

This suggests you should quit, but
Knuxson wrote:I will have 150k cumulative loan debt (my undergrad, my wife's undergrad, and law school). If I quit now that will cut that by 40-50k.

that makes me think you should stick it out.

You could work on lining up a paying gig now and then (presuming you find something interesting) decide. If you could find something interesting that allows you to pay off your debt in an acceptable time, then I'd drop out if I were you. But if the only viable option for you paying off 100k+ of debt is firm life, then I'd focus on that.

FWIW I don't think top 25% while holding down a real job is doing poorly at all.

Knuxson
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:38 pm

Re: Should I Stay in Law School?

Postby Knuxson » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:19 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Stay. Top 25% at a Tier One law school = success. Would you be interested in working at your current law firm as an attorney ? If not, why not ? What don't you like about the practice of law ? Or is it law school and/or paralegal work that you don't like ?


Well, I definitely do not enjoy law school, but I have always enjoyed working much more than going to school. I find my paralegal work enjoyable most of the time. That is mostly due to the two attorneys I currently work with, though, as they are both really nice guys. It has been a pretty enjoyable first legal job as I was expecting to work with some not so savory characters, which they are the opposite of. I would also be interested in working at the firm I am currently at, but I know I probably would not end up practicing the type of law that most interests me. So, it would not be my first choice for a job coming out of law school.

Knuxson
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:38 pm

Re: Should I Stay in Law School?

Postby Knuxson » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:22 pm

homestyle28 wrote:
Knuxson wrote:I already know I probably won't want to practice law the rest of my life.

This suggests you should quit, but
Knuxson wrote:I will have 150k cumulative loan debt (my undergrad, my wife's undergrad, and law school). If I quit now that will cut that by 40-50k.

that makes me think you should stick it out.

You could work on lining up a paying gig now and then (presuming you find something interesting) decide. If you could find something interesting that allows you to pay off your debt in an acceptable time, then I'd drop out if I were you. But if the only viable option for you paying off 100k+ of debt is firm life, then I'd focus on that.

FWIW I don't think top 25% while holding down a real job is doing poorly at all.


Yeah, you are probably right. With a law degree I can at least stick it out at a firm for a few years and pay off those loans. Otherwise, if I quit now, I don't really have a good job lined up or anything to begin paying back what I do owe already. It is just kind of a drain and I still have 2 years to keep at it and make sure my grades are good before I then go on to do the associate attorney thing that might not get me anywhere in the career path I want to take.
Last edited by Knuxson on Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should I Stay in Law School?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:23 pm

Seems like law school, not the practice of law, is what you dislike. If so, stay. If not, stay.

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Grazzhoppa
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Re: Should I Stay in Law School?

Postby Grazzhoppa » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:20 pm

school is not that fun except on the weekends when you are raging face with the bros in undergrad. suck it up and stay mah brothaaa you'll get a jerb and all will be well.




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