Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )

Drop out?

Yes, take a leave of absence and possibly drop out.
18
38%
No, don't take a leave of absence - finish it up.
29
62%
 
Total votes: 47

lawblows
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Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby lawblows » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:27 am

[redacted]
Last edited by lawblows on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TooOld4This
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby TooOld4This » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:54 am

First, get your ass down to your school's counseling office and have this convo with a professional. Relating to stories of suicide means you are losing your ability to place your circumstances in perspective and you should really have some help navigating the next few weeks/months/whatever.

Second, do you have an idea of what you do want to do? If not, and if you can work with a psychologist/counsellor to get some coping mechanisms to deal with law school, you could look at the next 18 mos as a time to really figure out what you do want. Your third year isn't going to be very stressful. You can probably register for some courses in other departments an have them count toward your degree. You can spend most of your time talking to people, networking and otherwise finding yourself, without developing a hole in your résumé. If you truly let go of the idea you need to do something with your JD, you might find that the things you hate about school aren't as hard to deal with. Then, when you graduate, you don't have to explain why you went 2/3 of the way through and then potentially have months of un/underemployment while you figure out what's next.

That said, do what you need to do. But get help first. Just dropping out is unlikely to fix everything.

NYstate
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby NYstate » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:13 am

If you are sure you don't want to be a lawyer, why stay in law school? You might just need a break though and you should definitely get counseling. Don't make this decision while you are depressed and anxious without a good deal of advice from other people. Quitting now will relieve the pressure and stress but you might regret it later.

But, if you decide to drop out, don't worry. There are thousands of other jobs out there. Don't be pressured into stating because you don't want to be a quitter. If you aren't going to practice law there is really no point in continuing. I know many biglaw lawyers who regret law entirely. ( not all of them for sure, but more than a handful.) start working on ssomething else if law really isn't for you.

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GATORTIM
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby GATORTIM » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:18 am

Im fairly certain that I hate law school more than you.

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haus
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby haus » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:27 am

Seek help, something that is not an Internet forum.

Before you walk away, think through what you want to do. You claim to have made a mistake on this path, try not to make a similar mistake on the next thing you grasp at.

Pro tip. Most jobs suck. This is why they pay you money to do them. The closer you get to the making of the sausage the more obvious this becomes.

Good luck with choosing your path.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:07 am

FWIW, I think you should stay.

Your third-year is going to suck way less than second year. You can take some easy courses and get by with Bs and Cs and be done with it. Especially since you don't plan to practice, your GPA means very little. I know that people say that a JD hurts you when it comes time to apply for jobs. But I think once you get into the first job (that is not JD required), it becomes easier and easier to convince people that you simply have no interest in practicing law. Further, I think explaining a 2 year resume gap and dropping out of LS is harder than saying - I really just don't want to be a lawyer and thought this degree would help - sorta like an MBA.

You are knocking at the door of graduation. 3rd year is a joke. Just roll through it and graduate and start trying to figure out what you really want to do. And stop feeling like an idiot for going down this path. History is filled with great people that had false starts.

Lastly, your JD is something that can never be taken away from you. Its a fall back. If one day you decide that you do want to try your hand at a carrer in law (or a job opportunity that interests you lists JD as "optional"), you may actually wind up being happy that you have the degree.

Good luck brah.

eric922
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby eric922 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:13 pm

I don't really have much advice to offer aside from that I second the statement to talk to a professional about this. However, I just wanted to jump in here and say good luck to you and I hope you can figure things out.

jeffgarlin
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby jeffgarlin » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:21 pm

reasonable_man wrote:FWIW, I think you should stay.

Your third-year is going to suck way less than second year. You can take some easy courses and get by with Bs and Cs and be done with it. Especially since you don't plan to practice, your GPA means very little. I know that people say that a JD hurts you when it comes time to apply for jobs. But I think once you get into the first job (that is not JD required), it becomes easier and easier to convince people that you simply have no interest in practicing law. Further, I think explaining a 2 year resume gap and dropping out of LS is harder than saying - I really just don't want to be a lawyer and thought this degree would help - sorta like an MBA.

You are knocking at the door of graduation. 3rd year is a joke. Just roll through it and graduate and start trying to figure out what you really want to do. And stop feeling like an idiot for going down this path. History is filled with great people that had false starts.

Lastly, your JD is something that can never be taken away from you. Its a fall back. If one day you decide that you do want to try your hand at a carrer in law (or a job opportunity that interests you lists JD as "optional"), you may actually wind up being happy that you have the degree.

Good luck brah.


TCR

b121212
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby b121212 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:50 pm

Get your JD. I suppose you don't have to include it on your resume if you think it's such negative to future employers--but you'll have two years to explain away and you'll have to explain why you just quit out of the blue.

Plus--law school teaches you valuable transferable skills, and if you're good at selling your resume and yourself at a job interview you can spin any experience into something applicable to your new career of choice. By finishing school you've demonstrated logical thinking skills, the ability to understand a complicated area of study, and you'll have another degree from a good school on your resume. And 3L can't possibly be as arduous as 1 and 2L.
Good luck!

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skers
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby skers » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:56 pm

I'd only suggest dropping out if you've got a really good idea of what you would choose to pursue instead.

brucewayne10
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby brucewayne10 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:11 pm

If

lost $$ for the next 1 year you have left in school (this gives you two to three months of job search assuming you quit immediately) + lost $$ for tuition and living cost < future benefit of continuing JD (gives you a degree that you can leverage with some employers),

you should continue.

I'm going to estimate an annual salary of $55000.
I'm assuming $30000 tuition + col.
$55000 + $30000 = $85000

Do you think having a JD for whatever reason is worth $85000? What kind of job do you want, if you were to quit? I'm assuming some kind of business job, where it might or might not help to have a JD. It can't be easily calculated, but personally if I were in your shoes, I would quit given how unhappy you are.

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cinephile
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby cinephile » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:25 pm

You should probably continue. Even though the sunk cost fallacy is a fallacy, you've come this far and might as well get the credential. As other said, there's no need to put it on your resume if you don't want to be a lawyer. And you can use your 3L year to search for other jobs and give you some time to search rather than have a high pressure situation if you drop out tomorrow where you really need to find something quickly.

I do know how you feel, sort of. I skipped plenty of classes, turned in papers late, slacked off tons, and generally hate being in law school. But rather than hold it in, I've told everyone how I feel. All the deans at my school know I hate being here, because I go into their offices (sometimes after making an appointment, sometimes just as a walk-in) and I tell them to their face everything that's wrong with the school and how they run it. I've told all my professors I can't stand law school and don't want to be a lawyer. My classmates know it too. It feels great just to get it out. And actually, people are really receptive to talking about it and they've been supportive. My professors have been really lax on me and let me turn things in late, skip class if I send in an email saying I can't get out of bed today. You'd be surprised how great they can be.

Also, talking to a professional might be helpful to you too.

Also, maybe take the time you have left at school to focus on other benefits of law school. Like take a foreign language class, a fitness class, etc. Use all the facilities that are available and focus on just improving yourself and indulging in your hobbies. Put in the minimal effort in classes, graduate with a C, and then move on.

lawblows
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby lawblows » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:58 pm

[redacted]
Last edited by lawblows on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawblows
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby lawblows » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:18 pm

[redacted]
Last edited by lawblows on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

brucewayne10
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby brucewayne10 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:53 pm

cinephile wrote:You should probably continue. Even though the sunk cost fallacy is a fallacy, you've come this far and might as well get the credential. As other said, there's no need to put it on your resume if you don't want to be a lawyer. And you can use your 3L year to search for other jobs and give you some time to search rather than have a high pressure situation if you drop out tomorrow where you really need to find something quickly.

I do know how you feel, sort of. I skipped plenty of classes, turned in papers late, slacked off tons, and generally hate being in law school. But rather than hold it in, I've told everyone how I feel. All the deans at my school know I hate being here, because I go into their offices (sometimes after making an appointment, sometimes just as a walk-in) and I tell them to their face everything that's wrong with the school and how they run it. I've told all my professors I can't stand law school and don't want to be a lawyer. My classmates know it too. It feels great just to get it out. And actually, people are really receptive to talking about it and they've been supportive. My professors have been really lax on me and let me turn things in late, skip class if I send in an email saying I can't get out of bed today. You'd be surprised how great they can be.

Also, talking to a professional might be helpful to you too.

Also, maybe take the time you have left at school to focus on other benefits of law school. Like take a foreign language class, a fitness class, etc. Use all the facilities that are available and focus on just improving yourself and indulging in your hobbies. Put in the minimal effort in classes, graduate with a C, and then move on.


But what benefit would there be for OP in completing the JD degree? The only benefit you mention is that he gains some time for job searching, but why pay tuition for the purpose of job searching if the degree adds no tangible benefit? The sunk cost fallacy is not a fallacy. If your premise is that he might as well complete the degree because he's already invested two years into it, you still need to answer what additional benefit completing the degree would have for the OP.

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bobbypin
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby bobbypin » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:26 pm

haus wrote:Pro tip. Most jobs suck. This is why they pay you money to do them. The closer you get to the making of the sausage the more obvious this becomes.


More true words have not been written my friend.


reasonable_man wrote:FWIW, I think you should stay.

Your third-year is going to suck way less than second year. You can take some easy courses and get by with Bs and Cs and be done with it. Especially since you don't plan to practice, your GPA means very little. I know that people say that a JD hurts you when it comes time to apply for jobs. But I think once you get into the first job (that is not JD required), it becomes easier and easier to convince people that you simply have no interest in practicing law. Further, I think explaining a 2 year resume gap and dropping out of LS is harder than saying - I really just don't want to be a lawyer and thought this degree would help - sorta like an MBA.

You are knocking at the door of graduation. 3rd year is a joke. Just roll through it and graduate and start trying to figure out what you really want to do. And stop feeling like an idiot for going down this path. History is filled with great people that had false starts.

Lastly, your JD is something that can never be taken away from you. Its a fall back. If one day you decide that you do want to try your hand at a carrer in law (or a job opportunity that interests you lists JD as "optional"), you may actually wind up being happy that you have the degree.

Good luck brah.


ITA. Speak with a professional. Finish the JD. At this point, you have incurred debt for 2 years, you may as well finish to give yourself more options upon graduation. After graduation, find something to do with your life that doesn't make you want to jump off a bridge. The JD will always be waiting for you should you decide to use it.

Good luck.

lawblows
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Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:36 am

Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby lawblows » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:10 am

[redacted]
Last edited by lawblows on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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John_rizzy_rawls
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby John_rizzy_rawls » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:14 am

How much will your 3L total COA be? If you got a job in the near future, what range of salary do you think you could be making?

These questions are important to know before giving you advice to finish up or drop.

ajr
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby ajr » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:25 am

"I figured mid-way through the program that I didn't like being a lawyer, but I finished up my JD anyway" is a better answer than "I figured I didn't like being a lawyer after 2L and I dropped out." There are lot of things in life you won't like but have to finish up anyway.

KidStuddi
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby KidStuddi » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:37 am

brucewayne10 wrote:But what benefit would there be for OP in completing the JD degree? The only benefit you mention is that he gains some time for job searching, but why pay tuition for the purpose of job searching if the degree adds no tangible benefit? The sunk cost fallacy is not a fallacy. If your premise is that he might as well complete the degree because he's already invested two years into it, you still need to answer what additional benefit completing the degree would have for the OP.


This.
Deciding to waste three years because you've already wasted two years is the height of futility.

OP, if you're sure that law isn't for you, and JD preferred jobs don't interest you, you gain nothing by wasting another year of your life and probably tens of thousands of dollars.

ajr wrote:"I figured mid-way through the program that I didn't like being a lawyer, but I finished up my JD anyway" is a better answer than "I figured I didn't like being a lawyer after 2L and I dropped out." There are lot of things in life you won't like but have to finish up anyway.


The former sounds worse to me. Persistence can be a good trait, but it's not something you exercise for its own sake. There needs to be an identifiable goal at the end of the tunnel, otherwise you're just in denial.

If OP goes into business, or a tech field, or really any field that has gone through a start-up boom, people will definitely appreciate having the good sense to cut your losses and walk away to try something new. A lot of economists argue that a cultural aversion to trying and failing is what keeps Indian and Chinese technology firms from innovating in the way that Western firms do. Over there, it's a source of personal shame to try and not succeed. Here, it's a learning experience and can be a badge of honor if worn properly. OP sounds like he can handle spinning it.
Last edited by KidStuddi on Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

Pokemon
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby Pokemon » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:53 am

What do you want to do?
Without telling us that, how can we share our wisdom with you?

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northwood
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby northwood » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:06 am

OP: I understand how you feel. I would finish the degree and next year to apply for jobs. Use this summer to help figure out what it is you want to do, and how you can sell your JD to get that job.

Just because you have a JD does not mean that you have to put it on your resume.

Paul Campos
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby Paul Campos » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:23 am

Question: Should you spend the next year doing something you hate to the point that it may well be making you clinically depressed, while investing another $75,000 (conservative estimate of direct + opportunity cost) to get a degree which will have negative value going forward for you without regard to this cost?

Pokemon
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby Pokemon » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:34 am

Paul Campos wrote:Question: Should you spend the next year doing something you hate to the point that it may well be making you clinically depressed, while investing another $75,000 (conservative estimate of direct + opportunity cost) to get a degree which will have negative value going forward for you without regard to this cost?


Try walking around with a two year hole on your resume. It does not look pretty. Also, OP has not told us what he wants to do. If his dream is flipping burgers, being a doctor, or being an engineer, then JD is useless. If his dream is let's say wealth management, then yeah, he is better off finishing his degree.

lukertin
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Re: Almost done w/ 2L Year - Drop out?

Postby lukertin » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:37 am

I'm gonna chip in because I was almost in the same shoes two years ago. I hated law school and everything to do with it. Even to this day, I still question why I went to law school and whether it was really worth doing whatsoever. I studied and took the bar exam not because I wanted to practice law, but because basically--it felt like a waste not to after getting a JD.

2L I made journal but didn't give a fuck about anything so I almost never went to class, my absences became noted and the dean made an overture to me sort of giving me the option to take a leave of absence out of concern that I would flunk finals and gg my GPA. But at that point, I really didn't give a fuck. I sort of got my shit together, though, and toughed it out.

Am I glad I did it? Not really. But would do it again? Yes.


Who quits 2/3rds of the way into a race when the rest of the way is down hill?




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