3L Looking Back (worth it?)

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thelawdoctor
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3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby thelawdoctor » Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:19 pm

To all the other 3L out there doing the last few weeks of their JD, looking back how do you feel about it all? Was it worth it? Any thoughts to those prelaws out there reading this?

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courtneylove
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby courtneylove » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:10 pm

i feel like i learned a lot, and developed a new way of thinking, i mean it has been a great academic experience. kind of sorry i didn't pursue a grad degree in a field i was more interested in though considering i would have the same debt load and lack of job prospects.

thelawdoctor
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby thelawdoctor » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:00 pm

courtneylove wrote:i feel like i learned a lot, and developed a new way of thinking, i mean it has been a great academic experience. kind of sorry i didn't pursue a grad degree in a field i was more interested in though considering i would have the same debt load and lack of job prospects.


what field would that have been?

Omerta
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby Omerta » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:01 pm

I don't have a job yet. That said, I still truly enjoyed law school. I feel like I neglected undergrad. When I got to law school, I really buried myself in the coursework. IMO, a humanities BA should have the same degree of rigor as a law degree.

More than anything, I'd say I'm happy with my decision to go to a "worse" school with a large scholarship. Being unemployed at graduation isn't a huge tragedy cause I have less than 30k in debt -- all federal. I have total freedom in what I can do. I could never work as a lawyer -- or anything that's particularly lucrative -- and be perfectly fine.

I would strongly advise 0Ls to make debt the primary part of their attendance calculus. I don't think it's reasonable to go more than 80k in debt for law school. Don't get me wrong, school rank is important, but I think far too many people on this board view attendance decisions purely in a ranking/prestige sense without giving adequate weight to the financial ramifications.

I would also stress that some schools are not a good idea even if you're getting a stipend + full ride. TTTT and TTT obviously fall in this category, along with schools in inundated markets (schools below Fordham in the NYC area).

Two final things: all caps for emphasis

(1) FIRST SEMESTER 1L YEAR IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SEMESTER BY A MILE. You shouldn't do anything but figure out law school. Fall is your time to take advantage of people who haven't figured out the process yet and lay foundation for later courses. There are people who will fuck up first semester, then go 3.8+ from there on out. You can't do anything to stop other people from getting smarter, but you can figure it out before they do.

(2) YOU ARE A RETARD AND DESERVE TO RIDE THE SHORT BUS TO YOUR STARBUCKS JOB IF YOU DON'T MEET WITH PROFESSORS TO REVIEW EXAMS. Seriously. Just do it. Do it for exams you did well on, do it for exams you did poorly on. What format for exams work well for you? If there are multiple sections, where did you lose points relative to everyone else? What issues did you miss and why? Is there a consistent aspect of a problem that you miss (ie, setting it up, examining alternatives,policy implications)? Ask the professor why your exam isn't the A+ exam. What did the A+ exam do better than an A-/A exam.

mustached
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby mustached » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:25 pm

Omerta wrote:I would strongly advise 0Ls to make debt the primary part of their attendance calculus. I don't think it's reasonable to go more than 80k in debt for law school.


Would that include HYS?

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courtneylove
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby courtneylove » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:47 pm

thelawdoctor wrote:what field would that have been?


comparative lit

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BruceWayne
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby BruceWayne » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:54 pm

Omerta's advice is great and I wish I had taken that approach. Law school is just a terrible idea for most people in this current climate. Now that I've gotten closer to the real world of a new law graduate now I know that going to an expensive law school is generally a terrible idea. Unfortunately, I made the huge mistake of taking the opposite approach of Omerta--going to a top law school for sticker debt. The reality is that school name just doesn't mean anywhere near as much as many people think it does once you land below the median and aren't at HYS. I have learned a lot, but it was not worth this incredible amount of debt with no job lined up and graduation in a little over a month. The school is pushing 30K fellowships in high COL areas like DC on those of us who are currently unemployed ( a substantial amount of us). I have been talking to practicing attorneys and it's very clear that the legal economy is in absolute shambles. Several of them have said that they've never seen or heard of it being this bad at any point in the past.

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stillwater
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby stillwater » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:08 pm

Omerta wrote:(1) FIRST SEMESTER 1L YEAR IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SEMESTER BY A MILE. You shouldn't do anything but figure out law school. Fall is your time to take advantage of people who haven't figured out the process yet and lay foundation for later courses. There are people who will fuck up first semester, then go 3.8+ from there on out. You can't do anything to stop other people from getting smarter, but you can figure it out before they do.



this is an interesting point.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:31 pm

stillwater wrote:
Omerta wrote:(1) FIRST SEMESTER 1L YEAR IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SEMESTER BY A MILE. You shouldn't do anything but figure out law school. Fall is your time to take advantage of people who haven't figured out the process yet and lay foundation for later courses. There are people who will fuck up first semester, then go 3.8+ from there on out. You can't do anything to stop other people from getting smarter, but you can figure it out before they do.



this is an interesting point.


Not a law student anymore, but I completely agree with this. 1L first semester success is probably the best predictor of whether you'll score at OCI. While everyone is busy spending second semester 1L year figuringmout what they did wrong, you're busy landing a good 1L summer job because our first semester grades were stellar. Then during OCI, you've got real, substantive experience to list on the resume - it just snowballs. I was number 1 first semester 1L year, and after that it's like opportunities just found me.

As to HOW to do this, too hard to explain, but this should be your goal.

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Pretzel_Logic
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby Pretzel_Logic » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:04 pm

I still 100% want to be a lawyer, and the job market and my debt load make me regret going to law school. So...

Mount Elbrus
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby Mount Elbrus » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:20 am

2011 Grad. I went with the lower ranked school with full scholarship and stipend. I went part time while working. The time suck was incredible, but it was a nice insurance policy. I really enjoy my current job, lots of litigation experience. Law School was great, now that it is over. It sucked at the time though.

thelawdoctor
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby thelawdoctor » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:16 pm

mustached wrote:
Omerta wrote:I would strongly advise 0Ls to make debt the primary part of their attendance calculus. I don't think it's reasonable to go more than 80k in debt for law school.


Would that include HYS?


supply and demand, thank cooley

2013applicant
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby 2013applicant » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:31 pm

.
Last edited by 2013applicant on Wed May 08, 2013 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Omerta
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby Omerta » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:20 pm

mustached wrote:
Omerta wrote:I would strongly advise 0Ls to make debt the primary part of their attendance calculus. I don't think it's reasonable to go more than 80k in debt for law school.


Would that include HYS?


My statement was a generalization. In legalese, I'd call it a presumption rather than a rule.

I'd like to highlight some other things that I don't think receive sufficient consideration.

(1) Bill hours. If you tell anyone this, they'll spraypaint "gunner" on the side of your car. Do it anyway. Create an excel spreadsheet by day/class and honestly "bill" hours to each class. NO PADDING EITHER! Surfing websites doesn't count. I spent, on average, 60 hours outside of class doing work Fall 1L. Treat law school like you're going to be treated as an associate; you gotta bill your 2000 a year. Billing hours will stop you from logging time without actually learning anything.

(2) Take breaks. This is a very subjective thing, but maybe someone will find it helpful. Generally, I never studied for more than 1.5 hours. I would study for around 50 minutes, then take a 10 minute break. I believe it helped me retain material and, over time, increased my productive hours.

(3) Say stuff out loud. If you're struggling with a concept, don't just think about it. Talk through it, play devil's advocate with yourself. Don't do this in the library cause people will think you're schizophrenic. Maybe it's because I have a public speaking background, but I learn things much faster when I talk through them. Pretend you're the professor delivering a lecture or explaining a problem. If you can explain the problem out loud, I bet your written answer would clearer and more concise.

(4) Take handwritten notes. A professor I had described having a laptop in class as like having all of the world's most interesting magazines in a pile in front of you. I strongly encourage you to take handwritten notes in class even if you type up your case briefs. My system was that I would type up case briefs, then hand write notes in class. I'd bring my laptop, but I would keep the screen down unless I was called on or needed to correct a point from my briefs.

"But I'm a slow writer." Shocker, not everything your professor says is important. You can easily hand write your notes and catch everything important the professor has to say.

(5) Exercise, sleep, and eat like a normal human being. I can't stress this enough. I cook almost all my own food, go to the gym 4+ times a week, sleep 8+ hours a night, and I had/have great grades. Again, this goes back to putting in quality hours rather than hours.

(6) If you don't feel like working or can't do quality work, then don't work. The obvious caveat is that if you don't feel like doing work ever, then you should probably drop out of law school. I'd try to avoid activities that would only make you feel worse later ie, don't get super trashed, don't play video games for 12 hours straight, etc. At the risk of beating a dead horse, quality beats quantity.


To sum up my big fat internet carepost: I often study at a starbucks where all the undergrads go. It amazes me how I can be there for three hours and see an undergrad only accomplish 20 minutes (maybe of work). The remaining time is spent bullshitting on the internet and talking to other undergrads about how unbelievably busy they are. Law students indulge in the same fatal behaviors. Avoid them and have a happier life and a better GPA.

maf70
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby maf70 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:03 am

Yes, as long as loans are forgiven after 10 years in my fedgov job.

waxecstatic
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby waxecstatic » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:27 am

What you don't realize is that there have been numerous articles in the NYT and WSJ discussing the oversupply of lawyers and the high percentage of law school grads who are unable to find a job for a number of years now, dating back until at least 2007. No one except the very naive goes to law school without weighing this information and assessing whether the benefits will outweigh the costs. Most people go despite the risks involved. There are still tons of law schools churning out lawyers so accordingly people who graduate might say "no, it's not worth it," but that's something they knew before enrolling. There are a number of reasons why people go despite the huge financial risks. Asking a 3L whether it's worth it is almost like a rhetorical question.

rad lulz
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby rad lulz » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:59 am

It will probably be worth it in the end for me but with the data we have now I'm not sure I would have made the same decision

Big Dog
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby Big Dog » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:02 am

i feel like i....developed a new way of thinking,


Personally, I find this kinda sad, and just never understood. (Critical thinking skills should be learned in college, if not before.)

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Ruxin1
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby Ruxin1 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:05 am

Big Dog wrote:
i feel like i....developed a new way of thinking,


Personally, I find this kinda sad, and just never understood. (Critical thinking skills should be learned in college, if not before.)


(0L)

akasabian
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby akasabian » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:12 am

I appreciate these posts....very unusual compared to the typical TLS posts

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PickMe!
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby PickMe! » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:54 am

akasabian wrote:I appreciate these posts....very unusual compared to the typical TLS posts


+1

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deebs
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby deebs » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:17 pm

No. Turned down full rides to go to a T-20 with only 10k/year scholarship, as others have indicated was the wrong decision. 3.66 GPA, Law Review, unemployed.

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courtneylove
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby courtneylove » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:07 pm

waxecstatic wrote: No one except the very naive goes to law school without weighing this information and assessing whether the benefits will outweigh the costs. Most people go despite the risks involved.


at the time i decided to go, i was aware of the risks but they were less exaggerated for the T6. i thought once i got into CCN i'd be okay and the risk was much smaller. i was so wrong. i guess if i had gone to a lower T14 school where i had bigger scholarship offers i'd still be unemployed but would always wonder. oh well. :cry:

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Bikeflip
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby Bikeflip » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:05 am

Trap school. Big debt. No jerb. Nope.

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bombaysippin
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Re: 3L Looking Back (worth it?)

Postby bombaysippin » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:42 am

tag.




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