Thinking about dropping out, any advice?

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jeffcooon

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Thinking about dropping out, any advice?

Postby jeffcooon » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:44 pm

I am a part-time student at a school in New Jersey with couple of years of work experience. I just finished 3/4 of 1L classes, I have 2 1L classes remaining in the fall. Working full-time and studying has proven to be very intense and taxing. I just got my grades back and it was abysmal. My cumulative average is around 2.75 which puts me at around Top 70%, 80% in my school. I need to get at least A- and B+ in next semester to pull it back to 3.0, which is median in my school. (I have never received anything over B so far, so even thinking about getting an A- may be a long shot). I came into law school knowing that big law would be a long shot, but I didn't mind working for 10-50 attorney office where I could learn to develop my niche practice area.

Reasons for dropping out:
1) Really don't see myself studying/working in this same way for the next 2-3 years. Balancing school and work was really difficult. Received bad review from the job and bad grades from school... Very unhappy throughout the semester - no life during the weekends, family issues/drama cuz of my bad well-being. I think I was mentally checked out.
2) Since I have no option of changing to full-time student, I just feel irrelevant as a law student- not being able to network during day events, very difficult to do even write on journals/law review and trying out for moot court/etc. because of work schedule.
3) I just wonder what kind of job I could get with my grades - probably doc review, small 1-5 attorney offices, right? Is accounting or other route possible?
Notes: 1) No debt thus far. If I were to stick it out/graduate, I would have around $40,000-44,000 in debt.

Grass is greener on the other side with other grad school options (thinking about doing quick 1 year business program and start working). But feeling unsure about my law school plans as I want to be realistic given what I have. Is this a good time to cash out before it's too late? or what other things should I be asking or doing? Much advice needed.

What do you guys think?

sparkytrainer

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Re: Thinking about dropping out, any advice?

Postby sparkytrainer » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:07 pm

I would drop out. You tried, but it’s not working. Plus you aren’t in debt. So dropping out sounds like the right decision here. Bad grades at a bad school isn’t a path to legal employment.

rwhyAn

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Re: Thinking about dropping out, any advice?

Postby rwhyAn » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:01 pm

OP, I'm sorry to hear. As a recent grad of the Rutgers part-time program, I know the struggle of working full time and going to school at night. You're right, a 2.75 after the first year puts you in a tough spot. The only way you should continue is if you really want to be a lawyer. If you don't think you can handle another 3 years of it, then get out now. That said, if you do continue, there is still time to pull up your grades. I had good, but not great, grades after my first year. However, after the first year, my grades got much better after I figured out what worked and what didn't work for me. Speak with the deans and see if you can take a leave of absence instead of withdrawing. I think the ABA allows you 84 months to complete the degree. The only potential problem is that NY requires you to complete the JD within 60 months in order to sit for the NY bar. My advice to you would be to take a leave of absence and take time to reflect on whether or not you truly want this. There's no shame in leaving if it's not what you want. Best of luck in whatever decision you make.

formerlawstudent17

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Re: Thinking about dropping out, any advice?

Postby formerlawstudent17 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:45 pm

OP you may find my recent post somewhat helpful even though you're in a very different situation as a part time student, but we did have about the same GPA after the first year. You can find that here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=288701

If you are passionate about the law/being an attorney then stick it out. If you know your earning potential is going to be higher when you finish the degree, and that's worth it to you then get the degree. At the end of the day, 40k in debt isn't too bad for possessing a JD in today's world. However, if its just going to land you a job that you hate and you are also having difficulties with your overall well-being then ask yourself if its justifiable? Hope that helps at least a bit

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northwood

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Re: Thinking about dropping out, any advice?

Postby northwood » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:29 am

What are your goals? What do you want to do? Working and going to law school is tough for many reasons such as wha you have described. However if you want to practice law, then this is the avenue for you to achieve the goal.

I would say take some time and try to figure out what you want to do. If it’s being an attorney, then try stick it out. If not, then focus on taking the necessary steps to achieve that goal.

Best of luck.

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totesTheGoat

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Re: Thinking about dropping out, any advice?

Postby totesTheGoat » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:07 am

jeffcooon wrote:Reasons for dropping out:
1) Really don't see myself studying/working in this same way for the next 2-3 years. Balancing school and work was really difficult. Received bad review from the job and bad grades from school... Very unhappy throughout the semester - no life during the weekends, family issues/drama cuz of my bad well-being. I think I was mentally checked out.
2) Since I have no option of changing to full-time student, I just feel irrelevant as a law student- not being able to network during day events, very difficult to do even write on journals/law review and trying out for moot court/etc. because of work schedule.
3) I just wonder what kind of job I could get with my grades - probably doc review, small 1-5 attorney offices, right? Is accounting or other route possible?
Notes: 1) No debt thus far. If I were to stick it out/graduate, I would have around $40,000-44,000 in debt.

What do you guys think?


Been there, done that.

You didn't say whether you've made "the leap" yet. The leap being moving from a non-legal career path to a legal career path in your full-time job. If you haven't made the leap yet, dropping out is relatively common in your circumstances.

Let me just go ahead and say it. Working full-time and going to law school part-time sucks. I have immense respect for anybody who does this, because it's a completely different law school experience than full-time students. It's a trial by fire and an endurance race all built into one. You're running a marathon on one leg and your finishing place dictates what your career looks like.

I did 2 years of it before dropping to 30 hours/week at work and taking a full-time course load, including as many summer credits as possible. Third year sucked even worse than the first 2, but got me out in 3.5 years instead of 4. Essentially, I got 2 years in, realized i was only halfway through, panicked, and changed things to make it end as soon as possible.

If I may ask, what's keeping you from dropping the job, working 20 hours per week at a law firm, and going to school full time? Do you have to support a family? Are you planning on sticking with your current company when you graduate? All but 2 of my part-time classmates weren't working full-time by the end of the second year.

There are plenty of options that will take some of the stress off, but not while working a full-time responsiblity-bearing job. Your GPA/work review are a red flag that you need to change course. The easiest way is to drop out. At this point, no harm no foul. The other options are highly situation dependent, mainly hinging on the reasons why you're clinging to your job.



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