C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

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expandyourmind
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C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby expandyourmind » Sat May 05, 2012 4:05 pm

I have no idea what led me to this board today, but I guess I'm feeling bored since I don't have much to do for the next few weeks. Here's some background information for those that are interested. I graduated Penn in 2007 and practiced law for about 4 years. Then I left the legal field to attend a top 20 MBA program and I will be interning at a Fortune 100 company this summer. I just finished my 1st year in the MBA program a few days ago and I'm pretty much just relaxing until I start my internship in a month. Feel free to ask any questions, I will be checking back sporadically to see if anyone has shown any interest in this thread.

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paratactical
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby paratactical » Sat May 05, 2012 4:10 pm

What was the reason for leaving law for the MBA program? Do you wish that you had skipped law school and went straight to the MBA?

GoodFood
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby GoodFood » Sat May 05, 2012 4:11 pm

paratactical wrote:What was the reason for leaving law for the MBA program? Do you wish that you had skipped law school and went straight to the MBA?



+1, and what did business schools think of your law background/what was the admissions process like for you?

expandyourmind
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby expandyourmind » Sat May 05, 2012 7:23 pm

paratactical wrote:What was the reason for leaving law for the MBA program? Do you wish that you had skipped law school and went straight to the MBA?


Sorry for the delay in response, the honest answer is that there aren't many practicing lawyers that truly enjoy doing what they do. At least not working in law firms. Most of my friends from law school are seeking ways to get out of practicing law. I found that many people kept doing it because they felt that they had already invested so much time, money, and energy into the degree that they couldn't walk away. Being in law school doesn't really show you what life is going to be like as a lawyer. I never cared about the "prestige" associated with the profession (or that used to be associated with it) so when I realized that I hated coming into the office every single day I knew it was time to walk away. I also found that the degree lacked flexibility for those of us that came straight from undergrad to law school. Many jobs assume that you're only capable of being a lawyer if you do not have any other work experience. Plus the whole taking another bar every time you wish to move states gets pretty old if you're someone that desires flexibility in your living situation. So those are the reasons that led to me pursuing the MBA, I just felt that the MBA was more flexible and would give me the legitimacy necessary to move to another career.

I don't wish that I had gone straight to the MBA because most top programs expect work experience, but I do wish that I had majored in business or economics in undergrad rather than a more soft major. I think there would have been more options available for me when I graduated from college if I had majored in something that was considered to be "useful".

expandyourmind
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby expandyourmind » Sat May 05, 2012 7:26 pm

GoodFood wrote:
paratactical wrote:What was the reason for leaving law for the MBA program? Do you wish that you had skipped law school and went straight to the MBA?



+1, and what did business schools think of your law background/what was the admissions process like for you?


The application process for business school was fairly intense. You have to write essays and interview at each school. It was a juggling act because I was still working full time at the firm when I was going through the process. I had to really know how I was going to transition my law background into a new career. Business schools (just like law schools) are very concerned with whether you will be hired upon graduation so I had to have a realistic career goal. I actually didn't finish the application cycle because I was able to get into my number one choice with money, but I think I was on pace to do fairly decent in the process. Interestingly enough, I changed my career goal very shortly after stepping foot on campus because I found a career that I was much more passionate about pursuing.

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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby Younger Abstention » Sun May 06, 2012 6:59 am

Where (firm, agency, etc.) did you practice law?

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Sherwood2014
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby Sherwood2014 » Sun May 06, 2012 8:03 am

Since you graduated in ’07, your first couple of years working in the law occurred during the good ‘ole pre-recession days, what has changed since the recession?

We hear that getting a BigLaw job in ’07 was like shooting fish in a barrel, or is that urban legend? BTW: In ’12, there are very few fish and the barrel has shrunk to bucket size.

Will you be attending the UPenn alumni reunion next Saturday?

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Shooter
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby Shooter » Sun May 06, 2012 9:04 am

Seems to me that with a law degree from penn and several years of work experience as a lawyer, you probably could have gotten into a higher ranked b-school. Am I just flat out wrong or did you choose your school for another reason?

expandyourmind
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby expandyourmind » Sun May 06, 2012 11:41 am

Sherwood2014 wrote:Since you graduated in ’07, your first couple of years working in the law occurred during the good ‘ole pre-recession days, what has changed since the recession?

We hear that getting a BigLaw job in ’07 was like shooting fish in a barrel, or is that urban legend? BTW: In ’12, there are very few fish and the barrel has shrunk to bucket size.

Will you be attending the UPenn alumni reunion next Saturday?


Getting a job in Biglaw for your summer internship was fairly easy back then. However, I did find that if you were in DC or Atlanta or one of the secondary markets then it wasn't automatic for you to get an offer for full-time.

Actually I only got about 4 or 5 months into my job before the world started to collapse in '08. My friends in NYC would literally be sitting at their desks doing nothing and then I started to see the axe fall on classmates. It was a scary time for all of us. I'm actually heading to PA this today but I will not be there for the reunion. I asked around and most of my friends aren't going. A few of us have already moved on from law and others just don't want to make the trip (I have some lazy friends).

expandyourmind
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby expandyourmind » Sun May 06, 2012 11:46 am

Shooter wrote:Seems to me that with a law degree from penn and several years of work experience as a lawyer, you probably could have gotten into a higher ranked b-school. Am I just flat out wrong or did you choose your school for another reason?


Lol, top 20 isn't bottom of the barrel especially when tuition is paid for. I chose my school based on its location (it was an opportunity to come home for a couple of years) and the fact that it has really good companies coming to recruit its students. I can honestly say that my experiences with the Career Management Center have been wonderful. All of the things that we complained about as law students with our career center (no individual attention, no real effort on their part to connect you with alumni, etc.) have never been an issue here. Surprisingly though, the time management was the most difficult part of the transition. Law school was never as busy in terms of school work, group meetings, recruiting, company presentations, networking etc. I found my time at Penn to be very manageable in terms of work load.

Edit: I meant to say "isn't bottom of the barrel".
Last edited by expandyourmind on Sun May 06, 2012 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Shooter
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby Shooter » Sun May 06, 2012 11:59 am

Sorry, just for my clarification (I'm not great with idioms), are you saying that you would have easily been able to get into higher ranked b-schools, but chose not to for the reasons you outlined?

Thanks for the very thorough response, btw.

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Odd Future Wolf Gang
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby Odd Future Wolf Gang » Sun May 06, 2012 1:57 pm

Were you lit or corp?

What are your MBA classmates like compared to your law school classmates?

Top 5 things you enjoyed/hated in big law?

Did you try going in-house after 4 years?

TYIA.

expandyourmind
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby expandyourmind » Sun May 06, 2012 2:00 pm

Shooter wrote:Sorry, just for my clarification (I'm not great with idioms), are you saying that you would have easily been able to get into higher ranked b-schools, but chose not to for the reasons you outlined?

Thanks for the very thorough response, btw.


No, I wasn't saying that at all. I have no idea what would have happened if I had continued the admissions process. I just know that I got into the school that was my number one choice and I was offered a full tuition fellowship so I stopped the process with other schools. I'm not sure if you're a current law student at Penn or not, but if you are then I'm sure you recall how random the admissions process can be sometimes. I have no way of predicting what would have happened. I do know that being a lawyer didn't necessarily make me a shoe-in because my career goals do not involve practicing law and most companies want some type of relevant experience.

expandyourmind
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby expandyourmind » Sun May 06, 2012 2:04 pm

Odd Future Wolf Gang wrote:Were you lit or corp?

What are your MBA classmates like compared to your law school classmates?

Top 5 things you enjoyed/hated in big law?

Did you try going in-house after 4 years?

TYIA.


I did litigation for my first 2 years and then I moved to doing more corporate work. I would say that my MBA classmates tend to be more social and collegial. We have a curve but it's not serious and companies never ever see our grades unless you're doing Investment Banking or maybe Consulting.

I can't really think of anything positive to say about my time in the law firm other than it solidified my ideal career situation. I did learn that I needed more flexibility in my life and something that was more stimulating (for me). I never tried to go in-house because I made the decision to go for b-school during my 3rd/4th year and never looked back.

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Odd Future Wolf Gang
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby Odd Future Wolf Gang » Sun May 06, 2012 4:48 pm

You said some of your classmates left the profession. What are they doing now?

What are your career goals now that you are getting an MBA? Consulting? Finance? Start-up?

How did MBA programs view your work experience as a lawyer?

Again, TYIA.

expandyourmind
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby expandyourmind » Mon May 07, 2012 12:19 am

Odd Future Wolf Gang wrote:You said some of your classmates left the profession. What are they doing now?

What are your career goals now that you are getting an MBA? Consulting? Finance? Start-up?

How did MBA programs view your work experience as a lawyer?

Again, TYIA.


I'm actually doing Brand Management. I applied to business school thinking that I would do consulting, but then I realized that I didn't really want to be in the service industry anymore. I was grilled pretty hard during my interviews for b-school regarding how my experiences as a lawyer would translate into a new career. I don't think there is a universal yay or nay for whether a MBA program will look favorably on someone's time as a lawyer, I think it depends on the person's career goals and how well they are able to sell their story to the MBA program.

A couple of my friends that left the law are also in business school. Another is looking towards working in Admissions for a school. Yet another is pursuing a career as a sports agent.

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princeR
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby princeR » Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 am

Should I go to law school?

expandyourmind
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby expandyourmind » Mon May 07, 2012 12:10 pm

princeR wrote:Should I go to law school?


I think that is a personal decision. If this was back in 2003/2004 when I was going through the process I should have asked myself why I wanted to be a lawyer and whether I truly knew what life as a lawyer would entail.

Many people say being a lawyer is a stepping stone to a better career option (assuming that you do Biglaw) however those career options can often mean years of working in a job that you hate before getting to where you actually want to be. My close friend that will be starting business school really wanted to transition to the business side of things and away from just working on legal matters. He was told by recruiters that since he was a 4th year at a top law firm then he could try to transition into in-house at a company and then in 5 years he MAY be able to move onto pure business matters. That means he would have spent 9 years working in jobs that he didn't enjoy just for a chance to transition into something better suited for him.

I think most people would be better served by working for a couple of years as a paralegal to at least get a sense as to the work that would be required on a daily basis. Then if someone still wishes to become a lawyer at least they have seen firsthand what life is like prior to making that decision. I think this would help with the saturation that we're seeing in the industry.

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Sherwood2014
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby Sherwood2014 » Mon May 07, 2012 2:54 pm

I assume that once upon a time you were familiar with TSL and perhaps you have scanned a few of the current ’12 threads. Have you noticed any major differences (mainly with concerns and attitudes) between 05’-07’ and today? I would think, prior to ’07, there were little or no concerns about securing a meaty big law spot (with a median score) as opposed to today’s mindset of just trying to get hired (especially if your grades were only at median). Was the oversaturation of lawyers and school’s reporting a very high job placement issues in '05? I am assuming the Curve has always been questioned.

I guess what I am really asking is, in comparing the two TLS worlds (pre and post recession), what do you see as notable differences.

expandyourmind
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Re: C/O 2007 UPenn Law Graduate taking questions

Postby expandyourmind » Mon May 07, 2012 3:42 pm

Sherwood2014 wrote:I assume that once upon a time you were familiar with TSL and perhaps you have scanned a few of the current ’12 threads. Have you noticed any major differences (mainly with concerns and attitudes) between 05’-07’ and today? I would think, prior to ’07, there were little or no concerns about securing a meaty big law spot (with a median score) as opposed to today’s mindset of just trying to get hired (especially if your grades were only at median). Was the oversaturation of lawyers and school’s reporting a very high job placement issues in '05? I am assuming the Curve has always been questioned.

I guess what I am really asking is, in comparing the two TLS worlds (pre and post recession), what do you see as notable differences.



There is definitely a world of difference. When I was applying to law school it was pretty much assumed that going to a T14 meant Biglaw. I don't think many of us were paying attention to the employment stats because we were under the impression that things would just work out when it came to jobs. I think websites like ATL have helped to shed light on this issue of law schools gaming their employment stats. I think when I applied to Penn it had 100% for its employment rate which in retrospect is fucking ridiculous.

I didn't realize how much had changed until I was chatting with one of my friends that's a 3L at Duke and she was telling me about how stressful her summer internship was during her 2L summer. Apparently everyone was worried about getting offers. I don't really know what to tell the current law students because I think the game is completely different now.




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