Need Help Deciding Whether to Go Back to Law School

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ambience
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 1:07 pm

Need Help Deciding Whether to Go Back to Law School

Postby ambience » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:13 pm

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Last edited by ambience on Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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UVA2B
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Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Need Help Deciding Whether to Go Back to Law School

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:55 pm

There's a ton to consider in your predicament, and some of it none of us will probably be able to be truly helpful (such as whether it's worth it to leave your current relationship and move cross country and whether this will be good for your mental health given your past issues with depression and anxiety). But looking strictly at the professional concerns, I think you need to figure out your motivations for going back very clearly and try to assess whether your goals for returning are realistic given the totality of the circumstances. You admit to being way below median, which will make getting Biglaw decidedly tricky, but you also admit that you don't want that Biglaw life, while also saying that the six figure salary and job security are important to you. I guess what I'm grasping at is that some of your wants and goals are a bit incongruous and those probably need to be resolved before you make this decision, because they are pretty major hurdles in making this decision at all clear.

What ultimately draws you back to becoming an attorney most? You genuinely think you'll enjoy the job of an attorney? You want a high paying salary? You want to make your family proud? You don't have to have a single motivation in wanting to go back, but you're right to feel uneasy with $200k of non-dischargeable debt when you're in the precarious position of not really knowing exactly what is driving you back to the profession (or at least I feel like you're not fully articulating your motivation to go back to school).

If you could possibly clear up your primary reasons for going back that are un-contradicted by your other concerns, that might be helpful in better understanding where you're coming from and would help inform opinions about whether you should go back.

ambience
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 1:07 pm

Re: Need Help Deciding Whether to Go Back to Law School

Postby ambience » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:59 pm

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Last edited by ambience on Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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UVA2B
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Re: Need Help Deciding Whether to Go Back to Law School

Postby UVA2B » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:17 pm

I appreciate those wants and concerns, but I'm afraid you might be putting yourself on an uphill climb since you want a lucrative career in NYC that isn't Biglaw and has work-life balance. It depends how you define work-life balance here, but nothing about being an attorney in NYC lends itself to true work-life balance as I would define it until maybe you get into in-house counsel positions or the like, but even then the hours will probably be pretty substantial and the pay reduced fairly substantially. And on top of that, in-house counsel almost always requires first going into Biglaw, which you're going to have a tough time getting depending on how far below median you are at your T14.

I think your five goals for this career are all possible in a vacuum, but in order to get to a point professionally where you can have some semblance of all five, you're going to need Biglaw first to get your foot in the door to future employers, which is going to be a tough sell when you're at/near the bottom of your class at even a T14 school (although the higher you go up the T14, the more possible it becomes you can snag something). And that path obviously requires you endure the several years of Biglaw type of hours in NYC, which you've expressly stated you don't want.

You should go back to law school if you decide you really want to be an attorney, but just realize that in your current position, it's going to be very difficult to accomplish all of the goals for the career that you've set out for yourself. Not impossible, but very difficult.

ambience
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 10, 2017 1:07 pm

Re: Need Help Deciding Whether to Go Back to Law School

Postby ambience » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:34 pm

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