considering dropping out -- poll.

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should I drop out, or get the JD

yes
20
42%
no
28
58%
 
Total votes: 48

Frau_Blucher
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considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby Frau_Blucher » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:27 am

I go to a tier 2 school; full scholarship (so long as I maintain a 2.0 GPA); cost of living = $0; debt = $0; first semester GPA = 2.85; undergraduate GPA = 3.8 (major: philosophy); quality of life = all time low; chances of getting a job = ?? (abysmal?); likely salary if I do get a job = ?? (50-60k?); I could make that much as a teacher, and have a much better quality of life. I don't completely hate law, but I don't love it either. I don't really need more than 60k a year to be comfortable in life.

Frau_Blucher
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:27 pm

Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby Frau_Blucher » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:32 am

just to clarify drop out = yes; get the JD = no.

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cinephile
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Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby cinephile » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:10 am

I like to tell everyone to drop out, but maybe not you. You aren't paying anything, not even cost of living. Might as well see how things improve this semester.

Also, I don't know if you were a teacher before, but teaching jobs can be hard to get. Don't necessarily assume you can jump into something else. Maybe the best plan now is start looking for a job, but continue with law school and quit only at the point where you find something decent.

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ArchieHicox
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Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby ArchieHicox » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:30 am

I think people on TLS assume its a lot easier to find other jobs. 60k with a Bachelors in Philosophy is probably not going to happen. Hell, I doubt even 40k is going to happen. So I wouldn't assume your other options are better. You aren't losing anything by finishing law school and 2.85 might be median at your school so that isn't thaaaaaaat bad.

And the phrasing on the question is so confusing. I would change it to, "Drop out" / "Finish JD".

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haus
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Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby haus » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:52 am

At the moment it does not sound like you have thought through your other options. I would suggest you stay put, at least until you work out a real plan.

NYstate
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Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby NYstate » Fri Mar 22, 2013 2:19 am

ha-ri wrote:I think people on TLS assume its a lot easier to find other jobs. 60k with a Bachelors in Philosophy is probably not going to happen. Hell, I doubt even 40k is going to happen. So I wouldn't assume your other options are better. You aren't losing anything by finishing law school and 2.85 might be median at your school so that isn't thaaaaaaat bad.

And the phrasing on the question is so confusing. I would change it to, "Drop out" / "Finish JD".

Your missing the point. OP is probably not getting a job in law. OP doesn't want to be a lawyer.
There is no point in staying. If OP wants to go through OCI, or whatever they have at his school, just to prove he can't get a job, or get lucky and find one, that might be an option.

I think OP is better off putting energy into the next career.

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haus
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Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby haus » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:05 am

NYstate wrote:I think OP is better off putting energy into the next career.

If OP had anything resembling a 'next career' I might agree with you.

Dropping out to spend extra time watching the cartoon channel is not going to help. If you think being in a interview explaining a block spent pursuing a grad degree you walked away from is awkward, think about explaining a long block of unemployment or being second Assitant Manager at a Taco Bell.

NYstate
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Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby NYstate » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:30 am

haus wrote:
NYstate wrote:I think OP is better off putting energy into the next career.

If OP had anything resembling a 'next career' I might agree with you.

Dropping out to spend extra time watching the cartoon channel is not going to help. If you think being in a interview explaining a block spent pursuing a grad degree you walked away from is awkward, think about explaining a long block of unemployment or being second Assitant Manager at a Taco Bell.


My point is that I don't think OP will have, or even wants, a career in law. Lets face it, the reality is that a measurable number of people on this forum are never going to practice law. Maybe OP isn't one of them, but the idea that staying in school when you aren't doing well grade-wise or emotionally and don't want to be a lawyer, may not be the best move.

OP maybe you can tell us more about your enployment chances from your school. Maybe I am over stating the idea that you don't want to practice law. Maybe you are unhappy because you are used to getting good grades and now you aren't. That happens to a lot of people too.

Don't go to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer. Don't stay in law school if you are not going to be able to get a job.

But at the same time don't give up if you have a chance at having a career that you want.

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haus
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Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby haus » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:57 am

NYstate wrote:Don't go to law school if you don't want to be a lawyer. Don't stay in law school if you are not going to be able to get a job.

Leaving school only makes sense if you are going to something. The best time to look for work is when you are already employed. In this case school is effectivly the OPs current job. This job may not be any good, it may well be a dead end. This should be the motivation to figure out a real alternate path. Law school is not so all encompassing that someone does not have time to look for other work or devise something that has the potential to be a real career path.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby somewhatwayward » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:32 am

What is the curve at your school? Where does a 2.85 fall? Do you have a plan for improving? Did you go talk to all your professors from last semester about what to do differently in writing the exam?

You are probably unlikely to get a 60K salary out of law school if you are close to the bottom of your class at a T2 (although it is not impossible). NALP calculated the median salary for 2011 graduates at 60K and noted that it was likely inflated due to massive underreporting from people at the lower end of the salary distribution (40% reporting from grads in firms of 2-10 but over 90% for grads in firms of 250+). Salaries will probably improve somewhat by the time you graduate, so say that it is a true median of 60,000 by then (ie, the improvement in the market and the underreporting cancel each other out). Grades + school can't perfectly predict a person's salary, but generally the people from higher-ranked schools get higher salaries and the people with good grades get higher salaries. As it stands now, you have both school and grades against you (assuming 2.85 = poor class rank). I think it is more realistic to expect $40K or even no job. The good news is 1) you can afford a 40K salary or even no legal job since you have no debt and 2) although there is a strong correlation between landing the high salaries and school + rank, I would guess there is less of a correlation at, say, 60K and below, so it is not like 60K is foreclosed.

ETA: While 60K is unlikely at your current trajectory you also have time to turn things around! You are not stuck with a 2.85 forever. (I am not saying you shouldn't drop out - if you can't muster the motivation to do some serious studying based off of what went wrong last semester, I am not sure there is a point.)

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JamMasterJ
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Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby JamMasterJ » Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:36 am

leave of absence

Frau_Blucher
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:27 pm

Re: considering dropping out -- poll.

Postby Frau_Blucher » Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:14 pm

Thank you all for your responses, I really do appreciate it! I thought about it more and considered your comments. I think I'm going to stay in school, get the degree, and use the time to move to my next career. Law can be intellectually stimulating at times (rarely), but it's not fascinating. As I reflected more I realized that fundamentally I'm just not passionate about the law. I think that's ultimately why my quality of life is so poor. Learning when you're fascinated, or working when you're passionate is easy and enjoyable, even blissful. Forcing yourself to learn stuff that you don't really care about because you're afraid of the consequences is literally torture for me. The fear breeds anxiety, the anxiety causes depression, and depression kills motivation, which increases fear. It's one big circle of disappointment, and it literally feels like someone stuffed my soul into a microwave. That's not to say anything bad about law, I can see how someone would fall in love with this stuff and that's cool, it's just not my road to happiness.

The way I see it, if I stay in school and decide to move on, then there is no more fear because I no longer place importance on the consequences. From there anxiety and depression should dissipate. The costs, then, of staying in school is 2 years of my time, but I'd probably spend about that much time preparing myself to become a teacher, so the cost of staying becomes almost nothing. Having the degree does have some benefits (as minor as they might be, they do exist), so I think the cost benefit analysis weighs in favor of finishing the degree.

As for the money part, I'm really not that worried about it; I have no debt, no family, no obligations, I'm young, healthy, and I'm intellectually ahead of the curve... my life is pretty good, and pretty sure I'll be okay. I love studying philosophy and computation because it's fascinating stuff; and I think I would enjoy trying to inspire intellectual curiosity and fascination in young people, that way they don't ever have to deal with the problem I dealt with in law school. In any case, this seems like the smartest way to find out if I'm right or not. Again thanks for all your input, and please do let me know if you think my reasoning is off, or if you think I'm making a mistake, or if you have any other suggestions. Cheers!




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