Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

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lawstudent12
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Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

Postby lawstudent12 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:21 am

I've just started a law degree and am questioning if I've chosen the degree for the right reasons. I have zero motivation to study at the moment. I can see myself working as a lawyer and finding meaning in the work, but in my heart I know I have no great desire to be one. I'm considering switching to a) a different grad program in a similar field (ultimately I want to work in development, social justice or human rights related areas; I'd choose a grad program that's more directly related to development) or b) a scientific Masters/Phd in the same field as my undergrad degree. Basically, I'm torn between two very different career paths, and I'm not sure what I want to do or which I'll be happy with in the long-term.

I leapt into the law degree after my undergrad and working full-time; I've had no time to sit down and reflect (/lacked the foresight to do so). I feel exhausted and burned out already. I want to take the semester off, research career paths, get a job as an RA in a science-related field and figure out what I want to do.

However, my father's been telling me to stick with law for a semester and see how I feel at the end, and to volunteer at a legal welfare centre to see firsthand how law can make a positive difference in the world in terms of social justice etc. He says I might grow to enjoy law and be good at it, and that if I'm just figuring stuff out I might as well stick with law in case it ends up being what I want to do. He's a lawyer, so he might be biased, but earlier in the year when I felt unsure about law he tried to discourage from doing it.

Is this sound advice? I'm worried that if I stick it out I'll do so half-heartedly, with weak grades to show for it. Or that I'll commit and do okay, but will be miserable and doubtful the entire time. That said, I might defer, find getting a job impossible, do a ton of research and still be undecided, and end up wishing I'd given law a proper go. I was also considering doing law part-time, so that I'd be less stressed and could research other options but would still have a foot in the door.

Any thoughts? I'd greatly appreciate any advice.

rad lulz
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Re: Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:00 am

What do you dislike about law and law school?

lawstudent12
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Re: Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

Postby lawstudent12 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:38 am

The subject matter often seems dull and tediously intricate, the (semi-)interesting electives are years away, and I'm not used to the pressure of the workload/readings. I feel like I never have a moment to relax, and it's stressful being forced to spend so much time studying stuff I don't really care about while wondering if I'm doing the right thing. If I had a clearly defined and desired end goal and could see the relevancy of the subject matter, none of this would matter and I'd probably enjoy the course.

As for working as a lawyer/using my degree - I feel halfhearted about it, like 'I want make the world a better place; being a human rights lawyer or at least having a background in law could help accomplish that and open my career options'. I'm not nearly 100% sure I want to be a practicing lawyer. I can envision it being okay, but it doesn't really grab me and I haven't done much research as to what I'd actually do upon graduation.

It'd be easier if I didn't have this science career path tempting me, even if it's just grass is greener syndome. If science was out the question and it was down to development or law, I'd be way more willing to stick with law for a semester.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:41 am

Have you worked in a high-function scientific research lab before? If not, the only way you're going to know if you want to do a science PhD is if you do one. I would say stick it out in law for the semester. If you don't like it, drop out and become the Lab Manager for a lab in the area you're interested in. Stay on for 1-2 years and that will make your decision for you. No one gets a science PhD half-heartedly. You either love live in a lab, or you hate it.

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sunynp
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Re: Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

Postby sunynp » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:43 am

lawstudent12 wrote:The subject matter often seems dull and tediously intricate, the (semi-)interesting electives are years away, and I'm not used to the pressure of the workload/readings. I feel like I never have a moment to relax, and it's stressful being forced to spend so much time studying stuff I don't really care about while wondering if I'm doing the right thing. If I had a clearly defined and desired end goal and could see the relevancy of the subject matter, none of this would matter and I'd probably enjoy the course.

As for working as a lawyer/using my degree - I feel halfhearted about it, like 'I want make the world a better place; being a human rights lawyer or at least having a background in law could help accomplish that and open my career options'. I'm not nearly 100% sure I want to be a practicing lawyer. I can envision it being okay, but it doesn't really grab me and I haven't done much research as to what I'd actually do upon graduation.

It'd be easier if I didn't have this science career path tempting me, even if it's just grass is greener syndome. If science was out the question and it was down to development or law, I'd be way more willing to stick with law for a semester.


If you are so unhappy, why stay? There are tons of law schools. You could withdraw and go into the science degree. Law will be there later. I would listen to my gut and leave. Law school doesn't suddenly become more enjoyable. You like science better so go for it.

I don't see the point of sticking it out a semester. All you will prove is that you can force yourself to do something you really hate.

Your reasons for going to law school are not valid. There are plenty of ways to volunteer and help people without being a lawyer. Having a law background does not help you and isn't worth it for any other field.

rad lulz
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Re: Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

Postby rad lulz » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:10 am

sunynp wrote:Your reasons for going to law school are not valid. There are plenty of ways to volunteer and help people without being a lawyer. Having a law background does not help you and isn't worth it for any other field.

This is credited. Also, there are basically no jobs in the field of "human rights," unless you consider being a public defender, working for legal aid, or filing s 1983 police brutality claims.

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catholicgirl
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Re: Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

Postby catholicgirl » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:15 am

rad lulz wrote:
sunynp wrote:Your reasons for going to law school are not valid. There are plenty of ways to volunteer and help people without being a lawyer. Having a law background does not help you and isn't worth it for any other field.

This is credited. Also, there are basically no jobs in the field of "human rights," unless you consider being a public defender, working for legal aid, or filing s 1983 police brutality claims.

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cinephile
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Re: Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

Postby cinephile » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:21 am

Better to quit now before taking on more debt (are you in a summer program where you can get a refund?).

CanadianWolf
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Re: Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:30 am

Are you a summer start law student ? (Seems like you might be part-time if electives are "years away".) If so, which law school ? Some law schools offer dual degrees over the same time period as getting a JD.

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Ozymandias
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Re: Torn between two careers/another 'should I drop out' thread

Postby Ozymandias » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:22 pm

If you really don't like it, quit. If you're not sure, take a leave of absence and think about it for a year.




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