Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

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Think_lax86
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Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Think_lax86 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:48 pm

I wasn't exactly sure if this should go into the FAQ forum but nothing else seemed like a good fit for my dilemma.

I graduated from undergrad in May 2009 and about 2 months ago I started working as a manager of Target (sure glad I am putting my degree to good use). I had been planning on only working at this job to save up some money and pay off some loans before I go to law school, but what I have come to realize is that things never really work out the way I plan.

In my junior year of undergrad, I took the LSAT in hopes of attending law school right after graduation. The first time I took it I was very ignorant and naive, didn't study as disciplined as I should have and only scored a 151. I knew that score wasn't good enough to get into any kind of reputable school, and being very disgruntled that I scored so poorly, I decided to hold off on a retake. After graduation I knew I had to do something. I took a few business classes at my local community college because I was contemplating getting my MBA. After realizing I didn't have the work experience necessary to apply to any real MBA program, I decided to get my sh*t together and retake the LSAT. I took it in December, and again in February and scored a 157 and 159, respectively. I went ahead with my applications and got into a few decent schools with some scholarship money, but nothing that I thought was worth the investment of over 100k and 3 years of grueling work only to come out into one of the fiercest and most competitive legal markets ever.

2 months ago I landed this Target manager "gig" and decided to give the LSAT another shot (I would qualify to take it again because the first time i took it would have been 2 years ago). About 3 weeks ago I heard back from Brooklyn Law School letting me know I got waitlisted to their part-time program. (Brooklyn trumps the other schools that I got into and if admitted I would absolutely attend). I know my chances are slim that I would get of the waitlist, so I decided to continue to study up for the LSAT again. A few days ago, however, I was looking at the joint JD/MBA program that Brooklyn has with Baruch College and saw that I could enter Baruch in the Fall if I had all my application complete and taken the GMAT by October. Ever since I learned about the JD/MBA degree that some schools offered, I knew that this was something I wanted to pursue, but I had always figured I would get into the JD program first, do a year of law, and than apply to the MBA program. What I have been contemplating is switching my studying from the LSAT to the GMAT and apply to Baruchs Fall entry program and than see if I could sneak in the back door to Brooklyn Law School the following year.

The way I see it is, I have some kind of alumni type connection thing because my dad attended Baruch undergrad. I also took a few business classes after I graduated from undergrad because I was initially contemplating getting my MBA over my JD and wanted to get a little background in what I would be studying. I have been interning with the District Attorney this summer and have been working full time at Target "managing." The only thing that worries me is if I have enough real world work experience to qualify to enter the MBA program. I know MBA programs want to see solid work experience but than again I have seen kids get into MBA programs right after undergrad, so I just don't know. I am going to contact Baruchs admissions office on tuesday and hopefully discuss my credentials and how likely it might be for me to get admitted. If admitted I am wondering if Brooklyn Law School will look positively on the fact that I want to pursue this joint degree and take all of this into consideration when I next apply there.

This, however, is a major crossroad for me and a risky one at that. If I go to law school, I want to go to a good/decent law school. I have dedicated myself to studying for the LSAT again in order to bump up my score. However, I am not 100% certain that law and the 3 years I need to dedicate to schooling is really what I want to do. If I switch to GMAT preparation right now I will be giving up my last chance to take the LSAT for this admissions cycle. BUT, if things work out the way I plan (which I said in the begining of this post, things rarely ever do) I could put a year into MBA study and see if law is still a passion for me. If not, well than I would be getting an MBA from a reputable business school and wouldnt have invested thousands of dollars in getting my law degree. If it is still a passion, however, I would have some solid work experience, an internship with the DA's office and a semester/year of graduate study under my belt for when I reapply. I could also probably retake the LSAT this December as well, because if I got all of my application completed by October, I could potentially take the December LSAT and than start the MBA program right after in the Fall.

Sorry this was so long, and for those of you who cared to read it, thank you so much for your time. Any thoughts/comments/suggestions/feedback are greatly, greatly appreciated.

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kalvano
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby kalvano » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:05 pm

Think_lax86 wrote:However, I am not 100% certain that law and the 3 years I need to dedicate to schooling is really what I want to do.



Don't go to law school.

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TommyK
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby TommyK » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:24 pm

kalvano wrote:
Think_lax86 wrote:However, I am not 100% certain that law and the 3 years I need to dedicate to schooling is really what I want to do.



Don't go to law school.


+1. I understand and empathize that you don't like your current job, but people who use law school as an escape hatch are in trouble.

taxguy
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby taxguy » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:29 pm

I want to second what was said here: Don't go to law school as an escape hatch if you really don't know what you want to do!

Law school will cost you about 100K+ plus possible room and board and books. In addition, you have to factor in the lost wages that you could have earned. As such , the real cost of law school
is about $300,000+. To incur this kind of loss on something nebulous that you aren't sure you want to do is insane.

Think_lax86
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Think_lax86 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:54 pm

Don't get me wrong, I am not 100% certain that I want to go to law school, but I do find the legal profession very interesting and feel like it would be a good fit for me... Regardless, with that being said, if I went to Baruch in the Spring, I think I would be better able to gauge if law school vs. business was the right direction for me. If it is, I think that being in Baruch and working toward the joint degree would give me some kind of advantage into gaining admission into Brooklyn (at least I hope it will). If not, like I said, Baruch is a pretty reputable business school and getting an MBA from there would still be a great opportunity. Also if after a year/semester in the MBA program, law was still just an interest of mine but business was more of what I wanted to pursue, I have been told that supplementing an MBA with a JD degree is a good way to make myself more marketable, especially with the economy being so competitive.

Thanks for the feedback and please keep it coming.

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wadeny
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby wadeny » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:12 pm

Think_lax86 wrote:law was still just an interest of mine but business was more of what I wanted to pursue


I'll echo what other posters have already said: seriously consider if law school is right for you. It sounds like you have more of an interest (at least a demonstrated interest) in going to business school right now and that the JD is more like icing on the cake. I mean, beyond your stated interest in law, what do you exactly intend to do with a JD? Is it worth spending that much more time and money on a second degree? Brooklyn is a good school, but if you ask me, it is not worth anything close to what you would likely be paying. If anything, all that extra debt would severely limit your options after graduating.

One thing you might want to consider (if you enter business school) is to try taking some classes from the law school to supplement your coursework. I'm not sure if you can do this at Brooklyn, but many schools allow other graduate students to take courses in other schools.

Think_lax86
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Think_lax86 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:03 pm

well i was planning on doing that anyway because i am pretty sure that is how the joint degree program works... some of the credits from the law school transfer to the MBA program and vice versa

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kalvano
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby kalvano » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:14 pm

Think_lax86 wrote:I am not 100% certain that I want to go to law school



Don't go to law school.

Think_lax86
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Think_lax86 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:11 am

Thanks for all the feedback to everyone who took the time to read my post,

It seems that there is a general consensus about how I should give up on law school. I guess it was from my lack of enthusiasm when talking about going or my uncertainty about going in general. I guess this only adds to my confusion because while I wasn't completely Gung Ho about dropping close to 120k and giving up 3 years of my life only to graduate with gloomy employment prospects, I knew that sacrifices needed to be made, and that my generation of students have it particularly tough. Bachelors just dont do it anymore. MBAs and, from what I have been reading, JDs are becoming overly saturated in the market. I am a very hard working person and being only 23 with little responsibilities (no fam, a few bills, etc.) I wanted to invest in my future now while I have the opportunity and while things are only becoming more and more competitive. I don't want to sound like a nerd or a goody goody, but I really enjoy educating myself and trying to push myself to my intellectual limit. I know I can just go to the library and read all about everything, but when it comes time to show employers what I know, degrees speak louder than my "frequent customer" library card. After taking that semester of business courses after graduation I had realized that business and law are very intermingled (as is everything else with law). I found it very interesting how these two professions have alot in common and how law dictates what business can and cant do.

I think completely giving up on law school is a bit extreme, at least for right now. I have all of July, August and pretty much all September to study for the GMAT and get my application done for Baruchs program. I am hoping the transition from studying for the LSAT to studying for the GMAT wont be too disconnected. I figure after all of my applications are in I can study up for the LSAT and hopefully get the score I need to enter the joint program right away.

I understand everyones thoughts on giving up on law school, but honestly like I said, I just don't feel that MBA's do it anymore. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I feel that supplementing my MBA with a JD from Brooklyn Law School, or just being able to study at Brooklyn Law School would be a great opportunity.

Thanks again for all the comments. I am going to get started on GMAT prep as we speak.

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romothesavior
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:14 am

kalvano wrote:
Think_lax86 wrote:I am not 100% certain that I want to go to law school



Don't go to law school.


And don't go to Brookyln.

Think_lax86
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Think_lax86 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:18 am

why whats wrong with brooklyn?

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Grizz
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Grizz » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:20 am

Think_lax86 wrote:why whats wrong with brooklyn?


Horrific jobs/debt ratio.

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Grizz
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Grizz » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:21 am

romothesavior wrote:
kalvano wrote:
Think_lax86 wrote:I am not 100% certain that I want to go to law school



Don't go to law school.


And don't go to Brookyln.


Subtle pro-Cardozo trolling.

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romothesavior
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:21 am

Think_lax86 wrote:why whats wrong with brooklyn?


I am sure it is a fine facility with great profs and nice students, but getting a decent job from there will be a bloodbath.

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romothesavior
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:22 am

rad law wrote:
Subtle pro-Cardozo trolling.


Guilty.

Think_lax86
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Think_lax86 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:53 am

Horrific jobs/debt ratio.


Does that include JD/MBAs?

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Matthies
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Matthies » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:54 am

Look the straight answer is don't go for anymore schooling thinking school/degree type ect will land you a job. A school gives you an education, that is what its for, its not placement agency. Going to school to get any job thinking the degree alone will do that is a recipe for being unemployed and not knwpoing how to find a job if it is dosen't. Or having no clue how to find that next jpob without the degree/school doing it for you.

Take some time to figure out if you want to be a lawyer, spend some time volunteering around lawyers. But spend some time figuring out how to improve you chances for finding a job on your own. Do that first, then add the credietantails and you will have better success in finding a job then just getting the credentials and hoping that leads to a job.

Think_lax86
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Think_lax86 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:15 pm

Matthies,

Honestly, at this juncture in my life I feel that I don't yet possess the skills to land a good job/start my career. I intern with the District Attorneys office and am getting some "managerial" type of experience right now.

I know the degree wont land me a job. Schooling definitely does have networking advantages, but I understand that it is not a placement agency. What I realized a little late in the game was that my education is what I make of it, and that I will get out what I put in. The economy is horrible right now. With my lack of any real kind of specialized skill set, I don't think I have much more choice than to go back to school and refine and increase that skillset.

Do I want to be a lawyer? Possibly. Do I like law and how it is intermingled with every aspect of how we govern our lives? yes. Do I see alot of my family friends that are lawyers, really stressed out and overworked (70-80 hr weeks)? sure. Than again I also intern for the DA's office and see how much those people enjoy their jobs and how they work relatively average work schedules (40-50 hr weeks). The problem lies than with the loan situation. Do I see myself working for a corporate law firm? not really seeing how I am not going to a top 20 school. So than what do I have available to me? District Attorney? Open my own law firm? Environmental law (I studied environmental studies in undergrad so this is a possibility)? I am going to have to pay off those loans, so whatever I do, it better be worthwhile. This is why the MBA/JD has another appeal to me. I feel both degrees working in conjunction will give me a very broad yet specialized set of skills that will allow me to pay off my loans and make me competitive in this tough economy.

Baruch is a CUNY, and Brooklyn, well that is another monster I will have to deal with. The loans will probably be over 150k but is the cost benefit analysis not worth it? Like I said, my generation has it tough and alot more sacrifices need to be made. Bachelors degrees just dont do it anymore and with the way everyone seems to be flooding the applicant pool for MBAs and JDs, people like me need to keep on our grind and keep looking for some kind of leg up. For me, its probably going to be going back and refining my skills.

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Matthies
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Matthies » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:53 pm

Think_lax86 wrote:Matthies,

Honestly, at this juncture in my life I feel that I don't yet possess the skills to land a good job/start my career. I intern with the District Attorneys office and am getting some "managerial" type of experience right now.

I know the degree wont land me a job. Schooling definitely does have networking advantages, but I understand that it is not a placement agency. What I realized a little late in the game was that my education is what I make of it, and that I will get out what I put in. The economy is horrible right now. With my lack of any real kind of specialized skill set, I don't think I have much more choice than to go back to school and refine and increase that skillset.

Do I want to be a lawyer? Possibly. Do I like law and how it is intermingled with every aspect of how we govern our lives? yes. Do I see alot of my family friends that are lawyers, really stressed out and overworked (70-80 hr weeks)? sure. Than again I also intern for the DA's office and see how much those people enjoy their jobs and how they work relatively average work schedules (40-50 hr weeks). The problem lies than with the loan situation. Do I see myself working for a corporate law firm? not really seeing how I am not going to a top 20 school. So than what do I have available to me? District Attorney? Open my own law firm? Environmental law (I studied environmental studies in undergrad so this is a possibility)? I am going to have to pay off those loans, so whatever I do, it better be worthwhile. This is why the MBA/JD has another appeal to me. I feel both degrees working in conjunction will give me a very broad yet specialized set of skills that will allow me to pay off my loans and make me competitive in this tough economy.

Baruch is a CUNY, and Brooklyn, well that is another monster I will have to deal with. The loans will probably be over 150k but is the cost benefit analysis not worth it? Like I said, my generation has it tough and alot more sacrifices need to be made. Bachelors degrees just dont do it anymore and with the way everyone seems to be flooding the applicant pool for MBAs and JDs, people like me need to keep on our grind and keep looking for some kind of leg up. For me, its probably going to be going back and refining my skills.



Well I do environmental law if you have any questions about that.

What about going to LS part-time and keeping your job and/or getting a legal job after 1L to both get experience and lower the amount of money you need to borrow. Environmental law especially can be either low paying and lower stress (on the public interest side) or high paying and high stress (when your client stands to lose a ton of money with a CERCLA superfund designation).

But either way is very, very contacts driven and needs a special skill set that other legal paths don't nessecially require. Its far more interdisciplinary than say family law, or criminal defense, or wills trust and estates practice, those being driven primarily by the law while EL law is driven by science and policy first, and fitting that into or out of the law depending on who your client is.

But what is your backup plan if the JD/MBA don't find you a job, your still going to have the debt. The point is you need a plan, whatever it maybe, other than just these letters next to my name should land me a jpob, becuase should won't pay the bills.

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rdcws000
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby rdcws000 » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:55 pm

Also, don't knock your "manager gig" at Target. For a young guy or gal out of college that's a great place to start.

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kalvano
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby kalvano » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:23 pm

Doesn't a manager gig pay pretty well? I know full store manager does.

Think_lax86
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Think_lax86 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:34 pm

$66,335 a year for full time tuition to brooklyn law school... FML... there comes a point when you just gotta wonder how the hell they expect people to pay this

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Grizz
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby Grizz » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:41 pm

Think_lax86 wrote:$66,335 a year for full time tuition to brooklyn law school... FML... there comes a point when you just gotta wonder how the hell they expect people to pay this


10 or 25 yr. IBR and the taxpayer picks up the rest. Good times.

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TommyK
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby TommyK » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:57 pm

kalvano wrote:Doesn't a manager gig pay pretty well? I know full store manager does.


Retail is a tough field to stay in forever. Sure, he could grab an operational job in-house if he succeeds at turning his current store around, grabbing market share, or however they measure success, but often times, people who start in retail management stay in retail management. The hours are grueling, the prestige is low, the pay is sometimes okay.

rockstar4488
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Re: Please, In need of Advice/Feedback

Postby rockstar4488 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:28 pm

Gosh, I hate to agree with the trolls, but make sure you are 100% committed to law school before you go through with it.




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