Do You Regret Going to Law School?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Hammystring
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Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Hammystring » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:15 am

0L here trying to figure out whether law school is worth it or not (I'm pretty sure I've come to my own conclusion but I've been bouncing around the forum asking different people their perspectives).

TLS likes the "don't go to law school" argument. As a 1L, 2L, 3L or graduate, do you regret it? Is the reality of possible debt suddenly starting to swallow you? Have you finally figured out that all of this time, you really just wanted to be a classical bassoonist?

Or... have your doubts faded?

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guano
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby guano » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:20 am

Kind of.
I regret not retaking, and I almost regretted choosing a lower ranked school with money over a top school at sticker.
In light of later developments, law school turned out to be a detour for me and I would have been better off not going. But, I don't regret making the decision to go to law school, even if I did drop out 6-7 months later

rad lulz
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:22 am

3L

autoadmit/jdunderground like the "don't go to law school" argument

TLS is noticeably more positive

I do not regret going because I think this will work out, but I would probably have retaken for more money at my current school or tried to go to a better one if I could do it again (UCLA/Vandy/Tex/USC, $70k+scholarship). Or maybe just done a MAcc

Especially with the stats available today that weren't available when I decided to go (ty ty LST).

The debt is just insane

Alexandria
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Alexandria » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:45 am

I don't regret it because I absolutely loved it and did well and think in the long-run I will be happy with my career. But the debt really is insane. If I had been single and childless, I might have been able to knock more off my debt during my first couple years at the firm, but I'm not, and I just made the required (huge) payments. I do have a law school classmate who just paid his off (2 3/4 years after graduation), so kudos to him!

What I typically say is that I'm glad that I did it because it turned out well for me, but if I had more fully understood the general situation before I went to law school, I wouldn't have taken the risk. If you are offered significant money somewhere, definitely consider it seriously.

rad lulz
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby rad lulz » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:55 am

Alexandria wrote:but if I had more fully understood the general situation before I went to law school, I wouldn't have taken the risk.

My feeling as well

0Ls nowadays have the tools to better understand the situation, and I suggest they use them

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WrappedUpInBooks
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby WrappedUpInBooks » Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:58 am

I'm a 3L, and I don't regret it (yet). I was public interest, got into a T14 with a partial scholarship and good repayment plan, got medium-high grades, and have a job lined up for after graduation (in my preferred field, but not prestigious). I don't imagine that I'll pay much, if anything, towards my loans. But I also won't ever make a ton of money. And i'll be carrying around 6 figures of debt for the next ten years. And that's with a lot of things going right.

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YYZ
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby YYZ » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:03 pm

As you've probably read many times on this forum, law school is a risky proposition if you're going to take on a lot of debt. I don't think that you should enter law school assuming you'll be in the top 25% or higher. If you're not in the top 25%, you may not get a job that will allow you to pay back the debt very easily. You can check with your potenial law school's career services office to find out what the big firms in your area require as far as grades.

If you can't get a good scholarship with generous stipulations, consider working for a while, building up money, work experience, and studying hard for the LSAT. Another option is an evening program that allows you to work.

Do whatever it takes to get a high LSAT score -- even if it takes a private tutor, live classroom course, etc. You should recoup that additional cost many times over.

jeffgarlin
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby jeffgarlin » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:06 pm

tagged

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Scotusnerd » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:24 pm

1L. I don't regret it, but like people have said, the debt is serious. I got in with a half scholarship at the school that I really wanted, and I have a guaranteed summer gig. It's working out. But, like others have said, the debt is nothing to sneeze at. In one semester, I have accumulated enough debt to buy two cheap new cars (and that's WITH a scholarship). Even if I take on all debt in the future, that's still a hell of a big gamble.


Do I regret going to law school? No. Do I regret doing something I really want to do? No. Is it dangerous and potentially disasterous? Hell yes.

Do not go without doing SERIOUS research and thinking.

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dextermorgan
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby dextermorgan » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:04 pm

1L.

Whether I regret it will come down 100% to whether I get a legal job (not necessarily a high paying job). Unfortunately I probably won't know that until I am near graduation (or beyond). One thing I do know is that if I had never gone it would have always been in the back of my head.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Lacepiece23 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:10 pm

naw i love it. It's like being in college again with 7 weeks of hard work towards the end of the semester. If I don't get a job or something else unfortunate happens then I'll be singing a different tune.

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Flash
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Flash » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:41 pm


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Nova
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Nova » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:11 pm

Depends if I get a real lawyer job or not and whether I get debt pwned or not.

As of now, Im enjoying 1L.

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EvilClinton
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby EvilClinton » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:19 pm

2L here at a T14

If I knew what I know now when I was a 0L, I would not have chosen to attend law school. The risk is too great. Everything turned out okay for me. I got a big law SA. However, there was an undeniable 35% chance that I could have struck out at big law and struggled. I could still get no offered so I am not even out of the woods yet.

The worst part is that I really used to think I loved law and policy. Law school has beaten that out of me. I am less idealistic now and very jaded.

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Lincoln
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Lincoln » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:32 pm

3L at T14 here. I'm actually very happy with my decision to go to law school, but with a huge caveat. I have enjoyed law school and law more than I thought I would, I got a better job (and had better options) than I thought I would, and I've found better friends than I thought I would.

The caveat is debt. I am headed to a top firm where associates generally have excellent exit options, but thinking about my debt load, and of all the things that could go wrong before I've paid it back or even down substantially, gives me an ulcer. I think (hope) once I'm making money and that number is going down, rather than rising, I'll feel a bit better about it, but for the moment it feels kind of insurmountable.

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sambeber
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby sambeber » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:34 pm

2L here. Everything has worked out for me, but the plural of anecdote isn't data. See selection bias.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby holdencaulfield » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:51 am

Graduate. Don't regret it at all. I love being a lawyer (most days).

RodneyRuxin
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby RodneyRuxin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:02 am


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Skye
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Skye » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:47 am

Lincoln wrote:3L at T14 here. I'm actually very happy with my decision to go to law school, but with a huge caveat. I have enjoyed law school and law more than I thought I would, I got a better job (and had better options) than I thought I would, and I've found better friends than I thought I would.

The caveat is debt. I am headed to a top firm where associates generally have excellent exit options, but thinking about my debt load, and of all the things that could go wrong before I've paid it back or even down substantially, gives me an ulcer. I think (hope) once I'm making money and that number is going down, rather than rising, I'll feel a bit better about it, but for the moment it feels kind of insurmountable.

Did you have a 2L SA that offered you for 3L position? If so, when did they make the offer (middle or late into your SA)? Did the firm have a good/medium/spotty record of offering? I understand many SAs goes through the anxiety of being offered, unless their firm has a perfect record of offering.

Do you know of anyone who did not get offered? if so, what did they do to land on their feet?

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prezidentv8
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:53 am

Employed and like job.

Still regret quite a bit.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Mar 21, 2013 1:57 am

3L, don't regret it. I chose a school with good placement in the area I wanted to work and I limited my debt. Had goals of what I wanted to do after law school, and so far I have been lucky enough to get those things lined up after law school. Law school isn't for everyone and it can be a very bad decision if you go to a school with poor placement or if you incur a lot of debt and don't get big law (or you incur a lot of debt and realize you think you'll hate biglaw). But it can be a good decision for some.

de5igual
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby de5igual » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:12 am

Going to echo a lot of the sentiments expressed ITT. I don't regret it now because everything ultimately worked out (knock on wood), but the past 2.5 years have taken a huge emotional and psychological toll. If I knew as a 0L what the legal market/employment was really like, I probably would have just stuck with my old job. I hated it, but at least I'd still be making money instead of taking on a decent amount of debt.

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Skye
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Skye » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:13 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:3L, don't regret it. I chose a school with good placement in the area I wanted to work and I limited my debt. Had goals of what I wanted to do after law school, and so far I have been lucky enough to get those things lined up after law school. Law school isn't for everyone and it can be a very bad decision if you go to a school with poor placement or if you incur a lot of debt and don't get big law (or you incur a lot of debt and realize you think you'll hate biglaw). But it can be a good decision for some.

To answer the thread question. Yes I like LS! The caveat is that there is stress about achieving good 1L grades (those are the grades that determine if you will nail a 2L SA). With good/median grades you still have the stress of being picked up by an OCI firm… when it happens, it is a highlight moment! Next comes being “offered” at your 2L SA firm. Then comes the bar exam. I am probably missing a couple of potential trapdoors, but those caveats (and debt) aside, glad I am in LS.

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Lasers
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby Lasers » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:39 am

i don't regret it because it has worked out ok so far, but it easily could have turned out horribly and i would have regretted my decision to attend.

i don't dislike law school, but after almost 2 years of it, i have to say it's pretty much a joke and a pretty huge risk. if i had to do it again with no guarantees, i would have retook the LSAT.

ajr
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Re: Do You Regret Going to Law School?

Postby ajr » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:47 am

2L. Love it so far. The move has come with many inconveniences but it has been a lot of fun.




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