MVP Law Degree Worth It If I Don't Want to Practice Law?

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MVP Law Degree Worth It for Law Enforcement Career?

Yes
14
36%
No, but get the degree
9
23%
No, and drop out
16
41%
 
Total votes: 39

Puttanesca
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:10 pm

MVP Law Degree Worth It If I Don't Want to Practice Law?

Postby Puttanesca » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:49 pm

Rising 2L at MVP. Recent events in my life have shifted my interests, and I no longer want to practice law. I went to law school wanting to be a corporate attorney, and now, I want to go into law enforcement. The change in my interests has nothing to do with my experiences in law school. It's not that I hate law school; it's just that I am way more drawn to law enforcement. I would like to work as a detective for a major metropolitan police force (obviously would have to start as a patrol officer), or as a special agent for a federal agency.

I never seriously considered dropping out of law school, but I'm wondering if it is worth continuing (and racking up an extra $50K in debt) if I don't want to be a lawyer. Right now, I am 99.9% sure I don't want to be a lawyer, but I am worried that I will change my mind in the future and will regret dropping out if I drop out. Right now, I have about $20K in debt and would graduate with around $70K in debt if I graduate.

Also, I am wondering what the value of a law degree in a law enforcement is. I'm thinking it's nothing for local law enforcement but could be of some value at the federal level (e.g. FBI Special Agent).

Advice on whether the degree is worth it in my situation would be appreciated. Thanks!

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BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: MVP Law Degree Worth It If I Don't Want to Practice Law?

Postby BruceWayne » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:00 pm

Puttanesca wrote:Rising 2L at MVP. Recent events in my life have shifted my interests, and I no longer want to practice law. I went to law school wanting to be a corporate attorney, and now, I want to go into law enforcement. The change in my interests has nothing to do with my experiences in law school. It's not that I hate law school; it's just that I am way more drawn to law enforcement. I would like to work as a detective for a major metropolitan police force (obviously would have to start as a patrol officer), or as a special agent for a federal agency.

I never seriously considered dropping out of law school, but I'm wondering if it is worth continuing (and racking up an extra $50K in debt) if I don't want to be a lawyer. Right now, I am 99.9% sure I don't want to be a lawyer, but I am worried that I will change my mind in the future and will regret dropping out if I drop out. Right now, I have about $20K in debt and would graduate with around $70K in debt if I graduate.

Also, I am wondering what the value of a law degree in a law enforcement is. I'm thinking it's nothing for local law enforcement but could be of some value at the federal level (e.g. FBI Special Agent).

Advice on whether the degree is worth it in my situation would be appreciated. Thanks!


Honestly, if you want to be a special agent it may be worth it. You have to have certain special qualifications to be eligible for special agent positions. A law degree fulfills that requirement. Further, I'm not sure the other methods of meeting those qualifications are any easier than law. And finally, the LRAP at any of MVP should cover all of your loan payments. And 10 years into working for the FBI your debt would be paid off under the PLSF program. That said, you would need to be sure. And you don't come across like someone who is. UVA probably sets you up especially well for these positions.

OOPs I forgot that you still need at least 3 years of professional work experience as well to become a special agent.

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conch republic
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:31 pm

Re: MVP Law Degree Worth It If I Don't Want to Practice Law?

Postby conch republic » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:04 am

Get the degree so that after you work your way up to commissioner and then get forced out you'll have a new career to fall back on.

TB12
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:55 pm

Re: MVP Law Degree Worth It If I Don't Want to Practice Law?

Postby TB12 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:57 am

It would certainly be useful for FBI, unless you have a degree and experience in accounting or computer sciences. Just keep in mind, FBI hiring is extremely competitive, and make sure you can pass a polygraph before you commit to it. Some polygraphs examiners can be brutal on you.

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Ozymandias
Posts: 166
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:49 am

Re: MVP Law Degree Worth It If I Don't Want to Practice Law?

Postby Ozymandias » Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:31 am

That's pretty minimal additional debt for a great degree. I would probably stay and get the JD, since it might end up being useful in the future and you've already put in a year. You wouldn't be crazy for dropping out, but if I had to choose in your position I'd stick it out.

I'm actually in a somewhat similar position - realized during 1L that I just don't want to be an attorney. I'm at CCN, did fine in 1L, but am almost certainly dropping out. This is mostly because I'd be taking on another $100k in debt for the next two years, and a JD I'm not sure I want isn't worth that much to me. I'd probably stay if the cost was cheaper.

Also, maybe do some internet stalking and look for people in positions you think you'd like to hold in the future and see what kind of degrees they have? I'd also talk to as many people as possible in that career field and get their advice.

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sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: MVP Law Degree Worth It If I Don't Want to Practice Law?

Postby sunynp » Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:41 am

How does being a cop affect loan repayment?

I think if you don't want law you are wasting time and a lot of money. To me 50,000 more in debt is a lot to have to repay.

How sure are you that being a cop is something you want to do? Have you spent much time around cops? Do you know what their day to day life is like?

I would drop out if I was sure law wasn't for me. If I wasn't sure, I would stay and see where OCI takes me. If you are going to stay in law, you should at least work for a firm or two.

Puttanesca
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:10 pm

Re: MVP Law Degree Worth It If I Don't Want to Practice Law?

Postby Puttanesca » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:14 pm

Thanks to all who posted or voted.

TB12 wrote:It would certainly be useful for FBI, unless you have a degree and experience in accounting or computer sciences. Just keep in mind, FBI hiring is extremely competitive, and make sure you can pass a polygraph before you commit to it. Some polygraphs examiners can be brutal on you.


Don't have a degree in accounting or comp sci (or a special language background), so law or diversified would be the only ways I could qualify. Never taken a polygraph so I have no idea if I could pass one or not. Don't have foreign ties, haven't ever done any drugs, etc., but that doesn't mean I would pass.

sunynp wrote:How does being a cop affect loan repayment?

I think if you don't want law you are wasting time and a lot of money. To me 50,000 more in debt is a lot to have to repay.

How sure are you that being a cop is something you want to do? Have you spent much time around cops? Do you know what their day to day life is like?

I would drop out if I was sure law wasn't for me. If I wasn't sure, I would stay and see where OCI takes me. If you are going to stay in law, you should at least work for a firm or two.


If I became a police officer, I would not qualify under my school's LRAP program since it is not a legal/attorney position. The only thing I would be able to do is participate in the federal government's Public Service Loan Forgiveness, where debt is forgiven after 120 months assuming payments are timely.

Yes, I spend a lot of time around cops, and I go on ride-alongs and stuff like that.

I am sure I don't want to be an attorney, but at this point am leaning much more towards staying in school than not.




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