Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

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RandomLawStudent
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Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby RandomLawStudent » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:34 pm

Hello,

I’m 22 years old and I am a first year law student at a top 20 law school (about a month left in my first semester).

As the title suggests, I’m starting to strongly consider dropping out and I would like some advice. First, I’ll give you a little background. I went to a small college and studied history (I did fine, but not great, about 3.3 GPA), and I was also a member of the Debate Team which I was very successful at on a national scale. I ended up going to law school mostly on impulse; I didn’t know what I wanted to do, most people thought law school would be good for me, so I decided to give it a try. Also, my girlfriend is a second year law student at a different school in the same city, so that played a part in my decision.

I’m not receiving scholarship, so my loans each year are about $77,000 (the cost of living is very high here). So this semester I’ve tallied up about $38,000 in debt, and I’ll probably end with about $5000 left over that I won’t spend.
The biggest reason I think I want to quit is that I don’t enjoy it. It was fun/interesting for the first month or so, but now every assignment is just a burden and I don’t think I want to practice law for the rest of my life. I think now is the best time to make this decision, because waiting any longer means I will be significantly more in debt.

Couple side notes: I don’t want to quit because I’m doing poorly. In fact, there have only been two assignments so far this semester and I have done well on both of them (in my writing class, I received the third highest grade out of thirteen students, which probably would have earned me an A. In the one class that we had a midterm, the average score was 7.5 – 8, the highest score was 12, and I received a 9, which probably would have earned me an B+/A-). I’m also not just suffering from loads of stress leading up to the finals. In fact, I haven’t really been stressed at all because I can’t motivate myself to spend the amount of time studying that I should be.

Implications of quitting

-I’d have to move back home because I wouldn’t be able to afford living here
-It would implicate my relationship with my girlfriend, which is honestly a little shaky as it is.
-I’d be $30k+ in the hole and I’d have to start paying it back in the near future.
-Probably others I’m unaware of, so if you can think of some then tell me.

What should I do?

Does it matter whether or not I finish the semester? I think that if I finished the semester and took the finals I would perform somewhat poorly because I haven’t put in as much time/effort as is probably needed.

P.S. I'm new to these forums, so if there's a better place for asking for advice like this, let me know.

S-La
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby S-La » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:45 pm

That's quite a conundrum you've got yourself in.

First question: What would you rather be doing besides attending law school? Is there some other occupation you'd like to pursue? Would you consider going to school for something else?

If you're interested in pursuing some other form of higher education, that makes things slightly easier. For example, say you decide you'd like to be a history professor. You can apply to get your master's in history at some other institutions and, if accepted, you can defer paying off your law school loans until you've received your master's. Then, if you decide to go for your PhD, you can defer the loans even further. As long as you're enrolled as a full time student you could theoretically defer your loans forever (not recommended).

If I were you, I would seriously think about the possibility of attending school for something else (you need only take the GREs for graduate school and they're much easier than the LSAT). Then again, if you think you'd be miserable at any school and you've just reached a point where you feel that more school isn't the answer, then don't waste your time and continue to rack up more debt.

Hope that's helpful.

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thesealocust
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby thesealocust » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:48 pm

Your life is going to be better if you focus on two things. First, figuring out what you want. Second, doing those things.

The rest is details. If you stick with law school even though you hate everything about it, you'll be in good - but often miserable, impoverished and/or substance abusing - company.

RandomLawStudent
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby RandomLawStudent » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:54 pm

Thanks for the replies,

S-La wrote:If you're interested in pursuing some other form of higher education, that makes things slightly easier. For example, say you decide you'd like to be a history professor. You can apply to get your master's in history at some other institutions and, if accepted, you can defer paying off your law school loans until you've received your master's. Then, if you decide to go for your PhD, you can defer the loans even further. As long as you're enrolled as a full time student you could theoretically defer your loans forever (not recommended).


Is this the case if I was not going to be enrolled in a Graduate Program until next Fall? Or is there some smaller window of time that I would need to be enrolled by?

That sounds like the most attractive option.

Thanks again

Gorki
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby Gorki » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:05 pm

Keep in mind that getting any employment as a history professor at any college is probably just as hard, if not harder, than securing a biglaw SA at OCI... This is becoming more true as recent HS grads are turning to non-traditional and technical college after they have seen how little a BA is paying off for some of their older friends/family... Fewer students inevitably means budget cuts, which almost certainly means newer hires are cut.

S-La
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby S-La » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:33 pm

Is this the case if I was not going to be enrolled in a Graduate Program until next Fall? Or is there some smaller window of time that I would need to be enrolled by?


You might want to look into it but I'm pretty sure there's at least a six month "grace period" before you'd have to start paying back loans. Also, if you're able to get admitted somewhere within that time frame, and show the lenders that you're going to be enrolled in the fall, they will most likely start deferment for you.

yips
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby yips » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:47 pm

So are you a k-jd? (22 years old could go either way, I think).

If Yes: did you have any internships or anything in college that you enjoyed? Could you find something in that/those fields? Did you keep in touch with any of those employers?

If No: same questions, except you might have more of a network to draw on, and marketable skills to fall back on, no?

I would be wary of plunging into a grad program at this point (unless it's fully funded), since that could be like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire—especially because you sound really uncertain about what you want.

To your other question about finishing the semester: depending on your school, you might not get any money back at this point, so if you do decide to apply to grad school, consider staying through the end of the semester and living on the loan money that's already sunk while you get your other applications together.

And re the gf: how long have you been together? Do you think that law school is what's making your relationship shaky, or something else? Maybe since she's a 2L, you could talk to her about how you're feeling and see if she has words of wisdom. Seems like she'd know (you) better than most people on this forum, anyway. Good luck!

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Lawquacious
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:05 pm

Can you wait to see how your grades are? If it's a situation where you have realized for certain you don't want to do law (and can come up with some other options) then I think dropping out probably makes sense. But maybe sit on it until at least after finals--that is a very major life decision to make, so I would advise not making it overnight.

Waiting for grades could be an issue in that you will probably start accruing debt next semester by the time you get grades (although I imagine you could drop in time to only owe part of the semester), but if it's not a matter of being CERTAIN you don't want to go into law, then finding out you did well enough to have a shot at OCI could be an incentive to stay at least for the first year. That's mainly IF you wanted a shot at biglaw.

If you might want to do PI or some other legal work, then I think it just comes down to deciding whether you think you can be happy eventually practicing law (i.e. ignore the grades--as much doom and gloom as there is, I think in the long run chances are very good you will find permanent legal work eventually after graduating from T20, even if it takes persistence).

Regardless of what you decide, I would at least wait until the end of the semester before you take action (i.e. give notice to the school) if you do decide to drop out, unless perhaps other personal health factors dictate that you do it sooner.

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typ3
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby typ3 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:55 pm

RandomLawStudent wrote:Hello,

I’m 22 years old and I am a first year law student at a top 20 law school (about a month left in my first semester).

As the title suggests, I’m starting to strongly consider dropping out and I would like some advice. First, I’ll give you a little background. I went to a small college and studied history (I did fine, but not great, about 3.3 GPA), and I was also a member of the Debate Team which I was very successful at on a national scale. I ended up going to law school mostly on impulse; I didn’t know what I wanted to do, most people thought law school would be good for me, so I decided to give it a try. Also, my girlfriend is a second year law student at a different school in the same city, so that played a part in my decision.

I’m not receiving scholarship, so my loans each year are about $77,000 (the cost of living is very high here). So this semester I’ve tallied up about $38,000 in debt, and I’ll probably end with about $5000 left over that I won’t spend.
The biggest reason I think I want to quit is that I don’t enjoy it. It was fun/interesting for the first month or so, but now every assignment is just a burden and I don’t think I want to practice law for the rest of my life. I think now is the best time to make this decision, because waiting any longer means I will be significantly more in debt.

Couple side notes: I don’t want to quit because I’m doing poorly. In fact, there have only been two assignments so far this semester and I have done well on both of them (in my writing class, I received the third highest grade out of thirteen students, which probably would have earned me an A. In the one class that we had a midterm, the average score was 7.5 – 8, the highest score was 12, and I received a 9, which probably would have earned me an B+/A-). I’m also not just suffering from loads of stress leading up to the finals. In fact, I haven’t really been stressed at all because I can’t motivate myself to spend the amount of time studying that I should be.

Implications of quitting

-I’d have to move back home because I wouldn’t be able to afford living here
-It would implicate my relationship with my girlfriend, which is honestly a little shaky as it is.
-I’d be $30k+ in the hole and I’d have to start paying it back in the near future.
-Probably others I’m unaware of, so if you can think of some then tell me.

What should I do?

Does it matter whether or not I finish the semester? I think that if I finished the semester and took the finals I would perform somewhat poorly because I haven’t put in as much time/effort as is probably needed.

P.S. I'm new to these forums, so if there's a better place for asking for advice like this, let me know.


Quit law school. Get a book on financial literacy. Go work a few jobs even if they aren't super high paying. Live at home pay off your debt live like a miser. Start building passive income. Buy rental properties, get roomates to cover the mortgage on your own place etc. Buy a business or put your money into bonds/dividends something that will generate you cash. Stop giving a damn about what other people think and start looking at the bottom line. If you can, get some contractor experience and eventually try your own in some sort of contractor field. (your odds of success and making it big are a lot better than being able to 1.) land in biglaw 2.) keep your job in biglaw).

Save enough money and eventually buy out someone in business or start your own then start hustling.

ineptimusprime
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby ineptimusprime » Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:28 pm

You sound exactly like me, only I'm 2 years older and attend a public T2. I too haven't been putting near the time into law school that I should be, but for whatever reason I seem to be performing at or above median on most stuff (A on the one midterm that I had, and a B+ on my first memo).

I really do hate waking up every morning though. The only class I really enjoy is contracts. I could pass on everything else.

I basically went to law school because I didn't know what else to do. Not sure I want to practice law, because I have no idea what it entails.

I will finish this semester with no debt, and probably next semester with under $5,000 in debt.

Different advice for me?

TheZoid
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby TheZoid » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:58 pm

ineptimusprime wrote:You sound exactly like me, only I'm 2 years older and attend a public T2. I too haven't been putting near the time into law school that I should be, but for whatever reason I seem to be performing at or above median on most stuff (A on the one midterm that I had, and a B+ on my first memo).

I really do hate waking up every morning though. The only class I really enjoy is contracts. I could pass on everything else.

I basically went to law school because I didn't know what else to do. Not sure I want to practice law, because I have no idea what it entails.

I will finish this semester with no debt, and probably next semester with under $5,000 in debt.

Different advice for me?


With that little debt, about all you have to lose is your time. The question, then, is what else would you do if you quit now?

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dextermorgan
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby dextermorgan » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:07 pm

Honestly, I think the feeling is fairly normal. I've had several people tell me that they wanted to drop out October/November of their first year.

The best advice I have heard is that you should get through exams and then think it over during winter break. You have already blown the cash for this semester, but you can get out before next.

Oh, and break up with your girlfriend.

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cinephile
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby cinephile » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:22 pm

It seems like you have two problems and the solution to both is that you should quit.

You're taking on an insane amount of debt for a school that likely won't provide the outcome that would justify that debt. At least if you walk away now your debt load is manageable.

More importantly, you don't enjoy what you're doing. There's no point in torturing yourself for the next 2.5 years, and further if you find a legal position. Take the time now to figure out where you want to go in life. Even if it means living at home for awhile and working a low wage job while you search for something better, do it.

myung76
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby myung76 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:38 pm

same position as TS:

how bout this consideration though

if the debt isnt so burdensome that itll weigh us down to a ridiculous degree

is there ANYTHING legit thats viable after graduation from law school?

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worldtraveler
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby worldtraveler » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:07 am

Why don't you like it? Do you not like reading and writing? If so, that's a problem.

It's also impossible to know if you will like being a lawyer from half a semester of law school. Do you know what kind of law you would be interested in if you want to continue? Do you like working with people or hate it?

How would this affect your relationship? If your gf would really dump you just because you quit law school...that's a shitty gf.

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typ3
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby typ3 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:58 pm

::whistles::

Honestly, drop out if you don't like it. There are a lot easier ways to make money and a lot of ways to make a lot more money than a career in law. PM me if you need business ideas / advice / resources to buyout a business or information to bootstrap your own.

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BlueLotus
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby BlueLotus » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:05 pm

worldtraveler wrote:Why don't you like it? Do you not like reading and writing? If so, that's a problem.

It's also impossible to know if you will like being a lawyer from half a semester of law school. Do you know what kind of law you would be interested in if you want to continue? Do you like working with people or hate it?


Not OP, but I'm in the same boat, psychologically speaking, and need a little bit of direction and perspective too because I'm honestly not very happy. :(

I absolutely loathe law school...it's not so much the reading and writing, but rather a large contingent of neurotic, cutthroat classmates who love bragging about how they pulled an all-nighter in f*cking September (maybe I'm just in the gunner section, haha), the curve, the fratty social scene, etc. I'm realllly trying to tune out as much as possible talk of what everyone else is doing. The only thing I've truly enjoyed thus far is doing a few hours of pro-bono a week with immigrant youth, which I'll unfortunately have to curtail now that finals are underway. Maybe the fact the fact that I actually like doing pro-bono is a sign that the actual practice of law will be more fulfilling for me than law school? I sure hope so, ugh.

Paul Campos
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby Paul Campos » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:36 pm

You are going to incur approximately $286,000 in debt plus accrued interest (assuming a 3.5% annual increase in the cost of attendance) by the time your first loan payment comes due six months after you graduate.

You hate law school, you appear to have no real interest in being lawyer, let alone any knowledge of what the practice of law might involve, and you go to a school where most graduates don't get a job that justifies six figures of debt, let alone nearly $300,000.

So you're well on the way to wrecking your financial future essentially on the basis of a whim. Don't do it.

GokartMozart315
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Re: Thinking about quitting law school- would like some advice.

Postby GokartMozart315 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:42 am

haha you're in my morrison class clearly; that midterm setup makes it pretty obvious my man. since i have a vested interest i won't advise you to drop out, but...please drop out. this curve thing is murder anyway, and if i didn't know i wanted to be a lawyer there's no way in hell i'd stay here. even dean berman is peacing!




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