Cold Feet About Going to Law School

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WhoisJohnGalt?
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Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:04 pm

Hi All,

today was d-day for me to give two weeks prior to starting law school, but I am having a lot of second thoughts about going to law school.

I have essentially a free ride for tuition to UC Irvine. I have enough in savings to cover living expenses, and will graduate with money in the bank.

I work for a Private Equity firm--my salary is consistent with associates at big law firms. A lot of prestige with my firm, but its uninspiring busy work at the best of times, and awful at the worst of times. There is a ceiling for me at my firm. I will not get promoted. It becomes increasingly more challenging to lateral firms at the mid level (probably consistent with mid level associates at law firms). I could be f'ed in a year, or be faced with a massive pay cut in going somewhere else.

My interest in the law lies either in joining my dad's shit law practice and trying to expand it, or do some form of litigation: FCPA, international disputes (i have worked abroad, speak two other useful languages). I would like to think my prior work experience will help a lot since more lawyers are not savvy in finance or business starting out.

Should I just try to go to B School next year or buy a subway instead? I think a legal education will help me in any career i end up--law or not, but 3 years has an opportunity cost, and I do not know if UCI lessens my pedigree since its unknown, esp outside the legal community.

I am losing sleep and have to decide tonight. Why i am on here, is probably the best question

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby bizzybone1313 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:09 pm

Haven't you posted this exact same question before? It sounds eerily familiar. If you haven't, there was someone else that has. What is your GPA/LSAT?

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:10 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:Haven't you posted this exact same question before? It sounds eerily familiar. If you haven't, there was someone else that has. What is your GPA/LSAT?


i did, but now that i am at my deadline, i have to decide.

GPA 3.4/ LSAT 165. my major avg was a 2.8 in college, very tough school, very tough major

NYstate
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby NYstate » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:12 pm

I say don't go. You should listen to your doubts. You have a good job and other options. Most importantly, you don't say that you want to practice law or be a lawyer.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby Tom Joad » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:13 pm

Did you go to HILLSDALE?

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:13 pm

Tom Joad wrote:Did you go to HILLSDALE?

wharton ugrad

blsingindisguise
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:14 pm

WhoisJohnGalt? wrote:Hi All,

today was d-day for me to give two weeks prior to starting law school, but I am having a lot of second thoughts about going to law school.

I have essentially a free ride for tuition to UC Irvine. I have enough in savings to cover living expenses, and will graduate with money in the bank.

I work for a Private Equity firm--my salary is consistent with associates at big law firms. A lot of prestige with my firm, but its uninspiring busy work at the best of times, and awful at the worst of times. There is a ceiling for me at my firm. I will not get promoted. It becomes increasingly more challenging to lateral firms at the mid level (probably consistent with mid level associates at law firms). I could be f'ed in a year, or be faced with a massive pay cut in going somewhere else.

My interest in the law lies either in joining my dad's shit law practice and trying to expand it, or do some form of litigation: FCPA, international disputes (i have worked abroad, speak two other useful languages). I would like to think my prior work experience will help a lot since more lawyers are not savvy in finance or business starting out.

Should I just try to go to B School next year or buy a subway instead? I think a legal education will help me in any career i end up--law or not, but 3 years has an opportunity cost, and I do not know if UCI lessens my pedigree since its unknown, esp outside the legal community.

I am losing sleep and have to decide tonight. Why i am on here, is probably the best question


Flame detector is on code yellow, but nonetheless, here are my thoughts. This is not a total no-brainer of a hypo, but I am leaning toward no.

(1) You already make as much as you would as a biglaw associate? That's a lot of money and the BEST possible financial outcome three years down the road is to be making the exact same amount of money, but with three years of lost salary. So financially it doesn't make much sense unless you really think you're about to get fired.

(2) If you do go the biglaw route, you will have a lot of the same problems you have now -- mind-numbing busy work, possible lack of job security, more likely than not that you won't be on the partner track

(3) the odds of you doing FCPA or "international dispute" work are very slim, especially not coming from Harvard/Yale/Stanford (or even Columbia/NYU/Chicago).

(4) Your dad's shitlaw practice is kind of the wild card here. What kind of shitlaw? Have you ever spent time with him at work? Do you have a real sense of what litigation is like and that you'd like it better? What about it would you like better? I guess if you really have a strong feeling that you want to work in his practice, going to law school debt free isn't totally crazy.

But ultimately, right now you have a really good job and are making good money and probably can save a bundle. I'd keep doing what you're doing for the time being. Maybe if you're set on law school you can also retake the LSAT and get into a top 3 school down the road?

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jbagelboy
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:16 pm

No dont go to law school. Horrible decision. Stay with your job

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Ramius
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby Ramius » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:17 pm

jbagelboy wrote:No dont go to law school. Horrible decision. Stay with your job


+1

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:19 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:
WhoisJohnGalt? wrote:Hi All,

today was d-day for me to give two weeks prior to starting law school, but I am having a lot of second thoughts about going to law school.

I have essentially a free ride for tuition to UC Irvine. I have enough in savings to cover living expenses, and will graduate with money in the bank.

I work for a Private Equity firm--my salary is consistent with associates at big law firms. A lot of prestige with my firm, but its uninspiring busy work at the best of times, and awful at the worst of times. There is a ceiling for me at my firm. I will not get promoted. It becomes increasingly more challenging to lateral firms at the mid level (probably consistent with mid level associates at law firms). I could be f'ed in a year, or be faced with a massive pay cut in going somewhere else.

My interest in the law lies either in joining my dad's shit law practice and trying to expand it, or do some form of litigation: FCPA, international disputes (i have worked abroad, speak two other useful languages). I would like to think my prior work experience will help a lot since more lawyers are not savvy in finance or business starting out.

Should I just try to go to B School next year or buy a subway instead? I think a legal education will help me in any career i end up--law or not, but 3 years has an opportunity cost, and I do not know if UCI lessens my pedigree since its unknown, esp outside the legal community.

I am losing sleep and have to decide tonight. Why i am on here, is probably the best question


Flame detector is on code yellow, but nonetheless, here are my thoughts. This is not a total no-brainer of a hypo, but I am leaning toward no.

(1) You already make as much as you would as a biglaw associate? That's a lot of money and the BEST possible financial outcome three years down the road is to be making the exact same amount of money, but with three years of lost salary. So financially it doesn't make much sense unless you really think you're about to get fired.

(2) If you do go the biglaw route, you will have a lot of the same problems you have now -- mind-numbing busy work, possible lack of job security, more likely than not that you won't be on the partner track

(3) the odds of you doing FCPA or "international dispute" work are very slim, especially not coming from Harvard/Yale/Stanford (or even Columbia/NYU/Chicago).

(4) Your dad's shitlaw practice is kind of the wild card here. What kind of shitlaw? Have you ever spent time with him at work? Do you have a real sense of what litigation is like and that you'd like it better? What about it would you like better? I guess if you really have a strong feeling that you want to work in his practice, going to law school debt free isn't totally crazy.

But ultimately, right now you have a really good job and are making good money and probably can save a bundle. I'd keep doing what you're doing for the time being. Maybe if you're set on law school you can also retake the LSAT and get into a top 3 school down the road?


so going to UCI, i am not going to be able to do anything in the legal community that interests me.

Dad has a fairly successful family law practice. He is in his late 50's and would be stoked for a succession plan.

Not a flame, maybe borderline crazy, but i dont know how to prove this

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby bizzybone1313 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:20 pm

Did you have to prep for the LSAT while working? Or did you take when you had free time off or during undergrad?

NYstate
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby NYstate » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:22 pm

You have no interest in practicing family law. I'm calling that one right now.

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:24 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:Did you have to prep for the LSAT while working? Or did you take when you had free time off or during undergrad?


took it while working 80 hour weeks. fwiw, 4 years out of ugrad now

NYstate
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby NYstate » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:26 pm

Look, law school isn't going anywhere. You can always go another year if you want. You probably want to retake anyway.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby bizzybone1313 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:27 pm

WhoisJohnGalt? wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:Did you have to prep for the LSAT while working? Or did you take when you had free time off or during undergrad?


took it while working 80 hour weeks. fwiw, 4 years out of ugrad now


Yeah that sucks. I had to try to do that for a long time during my time working consulting. It is close to impossible. I never felt like I had time to really sit down and learn without distractions, so I quit my job for LSAT prep. I am not suggesting you should do that. I will let these other peeps provide their insight and advice. I am just saying.

There is nothing worse than working in a field when you know you don't want to do it for the next 30+ years and you never really planned that career path in the first place. That started happening to me.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:30 pm

follow your gut man... it doesn't sound like you're too excited about either opportunity, so maybe you should look for an option C - I wouldn't quit your decent paying job for something you're not even sure you want to do. If you do, and you choose to stop law school after a year, it's going to look awkward to have that gap on your resume

blsingindisguise
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:31 pm

WhoisJohnGalt? wrote:so going to UCI, i am not going to be able to do anything in the legal community that interests me.



Well, I can't answer that for sure, I mean you could discover something else that interest you. But there really isn't a lot of FCPA work to go around, even for grads of top schools. And I'm not sure what "international dispute" means here. I mean I sometimes work on cases that involve companies based in other countries, but there's nothing particularly more exciting or interesting about them because of that - it mostly just makes service and depositions more of a pain in the ass. Yes, your finance background could help you, but why would litigating finance-related stuff be any more interesting than doing it? Or do you mean like helping to negotiate border disputes or something (not gonna happen).

But yeah, UCI may make it a lot harder to do the most *prestigious* kinds of things a lawyer can do.

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:33 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:
WhoisJohnGalt? wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:Did you have to prep for the LSAT while working? Or did you take when you had free time off or during undergrad?


took it while working 80 hour weeks. fwiw, 4 years out of ugrad now


Yeah that sucks. I had to try to do that for a long time during my time working consulting. It is close to impossible. I never felt like I had time to really sit down and learn without distractions, so I quit my job for LSAT prep. I am not suggesting you should do that. I will let these other peeps provide their insight and advice. I am just saying.

There is nothing worse than working in a field when you know you don't want to do it for the next 30+ years and you never really planned that career path in the first place. That started happening to me.


This is my biggest fear. I dont like what i do now. most of the time i hate it. Its a great salary but not enough to make it rich, and i have had massive health problems because of it, failed relationships etc... I am scared ill feel the same way about law, but feel this way about anything, since I have gotten to the point I am over work in general because of my current position.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:37 pm

The more I think about it, don't do it. Take another year, save more money, think about your options more. Maybe retake the LSAT if you're still set on LS.

akg144
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby akg144 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:41 pm

Sounds like your going for all the wrong reasons. Your a) not excited about the school your going to b) not convinced your LSAT is your best score c) letting thoughts about your dad's succession plan influence you to go law school for reasons other than your own passion and interest. d) already have a job that pays well. Law school isn't going anywhere...commit to study harder and get a better school -- if you do choose to go to law school go where you want to go not whatever is easiest or most conveinent or where your Dad wants you to go. Your spending 3 years of your life, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and lots of your precious energy and effort - don't waste it on a crap experience you felt forced into. Go to a place where you'll be satisfied and happy and do it on YOUR terms not because you just want a change, or because people want you to, or it's the only one that gave you a scholarship or w/e reason besides the fact you want to practice law and you want to go to the best school you can. The job market is aweful so don't feel rushed into anything. Go where you want to go, when you want to go. period.

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:48 pm

akg144 wrote:Sounds like your going for all the wrong reasons. Your a) not excited about the school your going to b) not convinced your LSAT is your best score c) letting thoughts about your dad's succession plan influence you to go law school for reasons other than your own passion and interest. d) already have a job that pays well. Law school isn't going anywhere...commit to study harder and get a better school -- if you do choose to go to law school go where you want to go not whatever is easiest or most conveinent or where your Dad wants you to go. Your spending 3 years of your life, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and lots of your precious energy and effort - don't waste it on a crap experience you felt forced into. Go to a place where you'll be satisfied and happy and do it on YOUR terms not because you just want a change, or because people want you to, or it's the only one that gave you a scholarship or w/e reason besides the fact you want to practice law and you want to go to the best school you can. The job market is aweful so don't feel rushed into anything. Go where you want to go, when you want to go. period.


Fwiw, i turned down michigan at sticker. Did not at the time seem worth the price

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sublime
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby sublime » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:15 pm

..
Last edited by sublime on Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:17 pm

WhoisJohnGalt? wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:Haven't you posted this exact same question before? It sounds eerily familiar. If you haven't, there was someone else that has. What is your GPA/LSAT?

i did, but now that i am at my deadline, i have to decide.

GPA 3.4/ LSAT 165. my major avg was a 2.8 in college, very tough school, very tough major

With that LSAT/GPA, you should stick to PE and try to lateral. cop DAT Bain Capital.

Also, law school really doesn't need more douchey libertarian types.

Voxius
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby Voxius » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:43 pm

sublime wrote:Have you had an honest discussion with your dad about the succession plan, the firms finances, and the actual day to day work, or are you just assuming that?

And when you say biglaw salary, you make 120-160k? If it is about the money, that is probably the best case scenario. Unfortunately, we don't have real stats from UCI that will mean anything when you graduate, so noone knows exactly how much of a chance you will have to get that.

If taking over your dads firm is what you REALLY want to do, like deep down, I would say it is not bad, but leaving a job making six figures for law school, especially UCI, is quite risky.


I'd be surprised if he only makes 160k... My PE associate offer (so for 3rd year) is ~200k all-in

It's definitely a tough decision to pursue law school haha; what's the typical 1st year biglaw base+bonus?

WhoisJohnGalt?
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Re: Cold Feet About Going to Law School

Postby WhoisJohnGalt? » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:21 pm

Voxius wrote:
sublime wrote:Have you had an honest discussion with your dad about the succession plan, the firms finances, and the actual day to day work, or are you just assuming that?

And when you say biglaw salary, you make 120-160k? If it is about the money, that is probably the best case scenario. Unfortunately, we don't have real stats from UCI that will mean anything when you graduate, so noone knows exactly how much of a chance you will have to get that.

If taking over your dads firm is what you REALLY want to do, like deep down, I would say it is not bad, but leaving a job making six figures for law school, especially UCI, is quite risky.


I'd be surprised if he only makes 160k... My PE associate offer (so for 3rd year) is ~200k all-in

It's definitely a tough decision to pursue law school haha; what's the typical 1st year biglaw base+bonus?


$160K all in. its on the low end, but still pretty good




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