Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

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sparty99
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby sparty99 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:57 am

How do you know that you won't be happy doing government work? You have never practiced law in your life? How do you know if you would like Big Law? You have none done that either....

ze2151
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby ze2151 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:19 am

Pokemon wrote:
ze2151 wrote:christ on a cracker, op! pokemon is ready and willing to spend your money!

fact is, you're almost assuredly not getting biglaw, which is the only career path that makes going 75k + 3 years' opportunity costs in the hole (likely much more with interest) a worthwhile thing.

drop out. go get a USEFUL bachelor's degree. heck, you can probably finish it in the same or less time as it would have taken to get the JD, and it will actually help you get a fulfilling job. the smart play is to drop out.

edited- grammar error.


I actually said he should drop out...


indeed you did, but not before outlining 10 and 25 year payment options for op. i didn't mean to insult you personally, i am just pointing out the common tls practice of encouraging others to spend a crap ton of money on a degree that isn't worth it. your advice is good advice. doesn't have to be couched in a "yes, but."

rad lulz
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:27 am

You don't want to work at a small firm or govt, so drop out.

gman1978
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby gman1978 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:31 am

This sounds like a situation where you should strongly consider dropping out. I would advise to stay if you really want to be an attorney, bc you may well be able to get a job but it will cost $ + 2.5 years of your life, and will probably pay 40-65k or so to start. 8k in debt is nothing lifetime, and you should almost view it as no debt at all.

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armenazo
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby armenazo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:36 am

Just out of curiosity: why don't you want to work in a small firm?

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ndirish2010
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby ndirish2010 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:36 am

Drop out. The chances of reaching your goal at this point are too remote to justify another semester.

firm administrator
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby firm administrator » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:30 pm

Only you can make this decision- I sense a lot of panic and stress right now. If you want to practice law- stay in law school. 75K is not a lot of debt and there are jobs out here in the real world. Big law may not be possible but there are plenty of jobs available in smaller towns throughout the US- towns less than 100,000. In the midwest we are actively recruiting to attract attorneys to towns of less than 50,000. Starting salary is usually $60,000 but benefits are paid and billable hour requirement is usually non-existent. I am not going to say where I am located but we just gave out a $30,000 and $15,000 bonus to our 3rd and 2nd year associates. Salaries are $67,500 and $62,500. So- if you want to practice law, there are opportunities if you are happy working in a smaller town/firm.

Hot areas- estate planning, probate, real estate and transactional.

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cinephile
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby cinephile » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:34 pm

firm administrator wrote:Only you can make this decision- I sense a lot of panic and stress right now. If you want to practice law- stay in law school. 75K is not a lot of debt and there are jobs out here in the real world. Big law may not be possible but there are plenty of jobs available in smaller towns throughout the US- towns less than 100,000. In the midwest we are actively recruiting to attract attorneys to towns of less than 50,000. Starting salary is usually $60,000 but benefits are paid and billable hour requirement is usually non-existent. I am not going to say where I am located but we just gave out a $30,000 and $15,000 bonus to our 3rd and 2nd year associates. Salaries are $67,500 and $62,500. So- if you want to practice law, there are opportunities if you are happy working in a smaller town/firm.

Hot areas- estate planning, probate, real estate and transactional.


I'd like you to reread your post. I'll wait.

It is absolutely irresponsible to advise someone to borrow $75,000 (more actually when you consider that tuition rises every year) at 7.something% interest for (the chance of getting) a $60,000 a year job. This math does not make sense.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:39 pm

cinephile wrote:
firm administrator wrote:Only you can make this decision- I sense a lot of panic and stress right now. If you want to practice law- stay in law school. 75K is not a lot of debt and there are jobs out here in the real world. Big law may not be possible but there are plenty of jobs available in smaller towns throughout the US- towns less than 100,000. In the midwest we are actively recruiting to attract attorneys to towns of less than 50,000. Starting salary is usually $60,000 but benefits are paid and billable hour requirement is usually non-existent. I am not going to say where I am located but we just gave out a $30,000 and $15,000 bonus to our 3rd and 2nd year associates. Salaries are $67,500 and $62,500. So- if you want to practice law, there are opportunities if you are happy working in a smaller town/firm.

Hot areas- estate planning, probate, real estate and transactional.


I'd like you to reread your post. I'll wait.

It is absolutely irresponsible to advise someone to borrow $75,000 (more actually when you consider that tuition rises every year) at 7.something% interest for (the chance of getting) a $60,000 a year job. This math does not make sense.


Also, it is great that you (firm admin) are hiring but on the whole there aren't enough jobs: 20,000 new legal jobs every year can't absorb the 45,000 new JDs every year no matter how much they network and hustle - anyone who hustles their way to a job displaces someone else. Unless you are offering a job in your firm to the OP, advising him/her to stick with it because you are hiring is not wise advice.

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Robespierre
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby Robespierre » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:05 pm

You answered your own question when you said you are Biglaw or bust. Biglaw is HIGHLY unlikely for you now. So you should drop out ... IF you really meant it when you said Biglaw or bust.

Did you? You really won't be happy in law unless there's prefstige and a 160K paycheck attached? Govlaw or Smalllaw at 30-50K is still attainable; you get to practice law and there's room for advancement. Not interested?

Only you can answer.

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noleknight16
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby noleknight16 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:39 pm

Let's say I did take the semester, get a summer job at a small firm gig or gov and actually like it. It would land me about 40-50k in FL at graduation. My total debt is probably more like 90-100k at graduation, 75k was a low estimate.

From strictly a cost-benefit analysis I can't see how this would add up even if I ended up liking the small firm/gov job.

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kalvano
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby kalvano » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:41 pm

Is it going to stay at $50K forever? No.

Could whatever you go into if you drop out have more salary potential?

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noleknight16
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby noleknight16 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:50 pm

kalvano wrote:Is it going to stay at $50K forever? No.

Could whatever you go into if you drop out have more salary potential?


I'd say PT's potential is between 80-100k, with a start around 55k. My total debt would be around 40k or so.

Staying at my current school around the same %ile, NALP data says realistically I'll start somewhere between 40-50k. Potential would depend on if its private or gov but I'd assume the potential is about the same as PT overall. Total debt 90-100k

I just don't see it adding up even if I did end up liking small firm/gov work. I hate the idea of owing 2.5x what I make coming out. I like a 1:1 ratio or less.

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cinephile
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby cinephile » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:04 pm

^ Seems like you're making a wise decision.

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armenazo
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby armenazo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:56 pm

noleknight16 wrote:
kalvano wrote:Is it going to stay at $50K forever? No.

Could whatever you go into if you drop out have more salary potential?


I'd say PT's potential is between 80-100k, with a start around 55k. My total debt would be around 40k or so.

Staying at my current school around the same %ile, NALP data says realistically I'll start somewhere between 40-50k. Potential would depend on if its private or gov but I'd assume the potential is about the same as PT overall. Total debt 90-100k

I just don't see it adding up even if I did end up liking small firm/gov work. I hate the idea of owing 2.5x what I make coming out. I like a 1:1 ratio or less.


If you can find a 55k PT, then go for it. You'll be healthy, your customers will love you - heck, if you have an open schedule (as my trainer by his own admission does), you'll probably be making a nearly identical wage/hour as most midlaw, and some biglaw associates do.

If you want to make more money, try and do some extra stuff on the side. Maybe you could work in a smaller firm half day, one day of the week. If you really like it, and you came to the realization that this would likely be your outcome if you went back to law school, then go for it.

Myself
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Postby Myself » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:06 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Pokemon
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby Pokemon » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:18 pm

cinephile wrote:
firm administrator wrote:Only you can make this decision- I sense a lot of panic and stress right now. If you want to practice law- stay in law school. 75K is not a lot of debt and there are jobs out here in the real world. Big law may not be possible but there are plenty of jobs available in smaller towns throughout the US- towns less than 100,000. In the midwest we are actively recruiting to attract attorneys to towns of less than 50,000. Starting salary is usually $60,000 but benefits are paid and billable hour requirement is usually non-existent. I am not going to say where I am located but we just gave out a $30,000 and $15,000 bonus to our 3rd and 2nd year associates. Salaries are $67,500 and $62,500. So- if you want to practice law, there are opportunities if you are happy working in a smaller town/firm.

Hot areas- estate planning, probate, real estate and transactional.


I'd like you to reread your post. I'll wait.

It is absolutely irresponsible to advise someone to borrow $75,000 (more actually when you consider that tuition rises every year) at 7.something% interest for (the chance of getting) a $60,000 a year job. This math does not make sense.


If your current wage is 35-40k, then a 75k investment for a 60k job can be worth it.

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noleknight16
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby noleknight16 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:23 pm

I could also finish electrical engineering school. Would only cost me 10k and 1.5 years to do it. It was okay when I was doing it and I had good grades, I just thought law was better (boy was I wrong). Something about PT school and starting fresh sounds great to me though... but it would take 40k in loans and 2.5 more years of my time than engineering.

I'm pretty much out the door now at my law school. Just gotta decide what I do now.

sparty99
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby sparty99 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:26 pm

noleknight16 wrote:I could also finish electrical engineering school. Would only cost me 10k and 1.5 years to do it. It was okay when I was doing it and I had good grades, I just thought law was better (boy was I wrong). Something about PT school and starting fresh sounds great to me though... but it would take 40k in loans and 2.5 more years of my time than engineering.

I'm pretty much out the door now at my law school. Just gotta decide what I do now.


You seem very confused. Why don't you work full-time for 2 to 3 years and re-evaluate your graduate degree plans.

rad lulz
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:28 pm

firm administrator wrote:Only you can make this decision- I sense a lot of panic and stress right now. If you want to practice law- stay in law school. 75K is not a lot of debt and there are jobs out here in the real world. Big law may not be possible but there are plenty of jobs available in smaller towns throughout the US- towns less than 100,000. In the midwest we are actively recruiting to attract attorneys to towns of less than 50,000. Starting salary is usually $60,000 but benefits are paid and billable hour requirement is usually non-existent. I am not going to say where I am located but we just gave out a $30,000 and $15,000 bonus to our 3rd and 2nd year associates. Salaries are $67,500 and $62,500. So- if you want to practice law, there are opportunities if you are happy working in a smaller town/firm.

Hot areas- estate planning, probate, real estate and transactional.

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=201738

Meanwhile, on another thread, this dude is a third year attorney from a school similar to OPs who is making $45,000 with no benefits. Something tells me it's not as easy as you think.

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noleknight16
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby noleknight16 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:33 pm

sparty99 wrote:
noleknight16 wrote:I could also finish electrical engineering school. Would only cost me 10k and 1.5 years to do it. It was okay when I was doing it and I had good grades, I just thought law was better (boy was I wrong). Something about PT school and starting fresh sounds great to me though... but it would take 40k in loans and 2.5 more years of my time than engineering.

I'm pretty much out the door now at my law school. Just gotta decide what I do now.


You seem very confused. Why don't you work full-time for 2 to 3 years and re-evaluate your graduate degree plans.


I definitely am. My undergrad is poli sci so I don't think there's too much out there in terms of work for me. I ditched engineering school and took an easy major so I could pad my GPA for law school.

SpaceLawLLM
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby SpaceLawLLM » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:05 pm

I am exactly you 20 years ago. I was "big law or bust" and barely made top 50% at the ole state flagship. Tuition was much lower then - around $800 a semester if I recall.

I don't think there is any reason to not be "big law or bust" either. Working in a government gig or small shop doing personal law is certainly fine, but it is very different than working for large businesses. It is just a different mindset.

I dropped out and never regretted it. I own a business now and make about 250K a year, so I can't say it hurt me.

Being a lawyer is about the hardest way to make a buck, remember that. Once you leave law school, you wouldn't believe how stupid most people are!

Anyway, if I were you I would look hard at engineering or other stuff. Nothing wrong with physical therapy as it is a great living but my preference would be something more flexible - where you can move up in the world.

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mephistopheles
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby mephistopheles » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:32 pm

SpaceLawLLM wrote:Anyway, if I were you I would look hard at engineering or other stuff.


never too late to just drop into engineering, eh?

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:59 pm

noleknight16 wrote:I don't want to feel like a failure or a quitter though.
Not a good reason to make any decision, ever.

Also, $75k might look "reasonable" on paper to some people because we are used to seeing $200k thrown around, but in reality that is a LOT of very real debt taking a bite out of your salary every payday for a long, long time.

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noleknight16
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Re: Should I Drop Out? Need advice ASAP

Postby noleknight16 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:58 pm

mephistopheles wrote:
SpaceLawLLM wrote:Anyway, if I were you I would look hard at engineering or other stuff.


never too late to just drop into engineering, eh?


I'm probably about 45 credits or so from an EE degree. It would be cheap and I have a high GPA at the university. I originally dropped EE and went poli sci to pad the GPA higher for law school.




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