Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

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tytyttyy2
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Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby tytyttyy2 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:17 am

Hi guys, new to TLS here. I would start my journey here by asking your opinions on this basic question: Should I go to law school?

I currently have a undergraduate degree from a good school (3.5 GPA). I work full time in a very relaxed, low stress job with 75k salary in the second year (just started second year) in my current company. I'm from a family that is reasonably well-to-do, so if I to go to law school, I will be taking on no debt, nor would the tuition fee (at sticker) puts a strain on me or my family's financial situation. I currently have no student loan either. I took LSAT with no preparation and obtained a 162, which isn't anything to brag about or proud of.

Why do I want to go to law school? It is a genuine interest of mine. I've shadowed a lawyer for sometime and really enjoyed helping him and liked what he does. My family is business oriented, made money by starting businesses, so we have no connection to net me a law related job upon graduation. But I do want to one day open my own little law firm and operate it myself, it is my little dream/family thing I guess. My goal is to able to find a job that gives me the most practical experience possible, salary is not of a concern for me (well, not working for free either, let's say anything around 70k or higher is fine by me).

I'm aware of that staying in my current job, I may get raises in 3 years to a level that my future law job isn't likely to offer, at least not at this LSAT score, but salary isn't too much of a concern, though 40k does sound a bit too low. I have I may say, above average softs, fluent speaker of English and Chinese, work experience at a reasonable level and so on. I'm based in Dallas so I guess these stats could get me into SMU or so (applying next year if I to apply).

I want some honest opinions, should I go to law school? If so, should I retake or it doesn't matter that much in my case (since I'm not aiming for big law placements)? I'm asking this very early to have plenty of time to plan ahead, retake if necessary. For people who just wish to obtain practical experiences, is big law the way to go? or maybe the focus should be on small/medium firms?


Thank you for reading this long post.
Last edited by tytyttyy2 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

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sublime
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby sublime » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:48 am

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Balthy
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby Balthy » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:17 am

If you left your current job, could you get back into the industry in 3-6 years if you end up not liking law or not finding a good legal job?

If so, and if you are willing to take on more work and less work-life balance, I say go for it. If I were you, I would aim at a better school though: 1. better, boutique midlaw firms would be easier to land. 2. you may change your mind and decide you want to try biglaw. 3. JESUS EFFIN CHRIST, IT'S FREE!

As for which (biglaw or midlaw) would be better for your goals, I have no clue, but there are a few midlaw vs biglaw threads around if you search, and I'm sure the kinds of exp. you would gain from each comes up.

tytyttyy2
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby tytyttyy2 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:50 am

Thanks guys for the replies, really appreciate them.

@sublime: I edited to include my GPA (3.5), and I'm a recent college graduate, graduated a year and half ago. I do really enjoy working in a small law firm (which was owned by the lawyer I shadowed). PT at SMU isn't quite viable as I will be missing a lot of classes, that is because my current job requires me to do a fair amount of international traveling, sometimes up to a month, also most of them can't be easily avoided.
@dingle 3-6 years is a big range, at 3 year mark I'd say 60% I could get back into the industry, or something like that, 6 year mark, probably 20% gut feeling. I'm in very good terms with my current employers, it's always quite a possibility I guess as long as I keep the network. But then it is kind of hard as they don't want me to leave at all, so leaving for law school may leave a negative impression. I'm not leaving any time soon, it is up to me to make the transition a smooth one of course. That's all my guts are saying for the job I'm doing.

Wasn't the smartest decision I made to do LSAT with no prep, as some schools do averages. Oh well... Retaking is a commitment, something I'm willing to consider. I'm doing no overtime but quite a bit of international travel is nice but really makes proper test prep difficult. I'm willing to retake for 1-2 times in june and oct, but no more than that, as I'd rather just apply early to get that advantage instead of being a 4 time taker and dump in all that time. Don't know if that's smart, but I figure sitting it 3 times, 4th probably wouldnt go much better, rather apply early, if I do decide to go.

wannabelawstudent
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby wannabelawstudent » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:12 am

I'd retake just for the fact that you can get a better scholarship with a better score. If you got a 162 with no prep then a 170 is completely realistic for you. Then there's a lot more option for you. Also, schools don't really average scores anymore since the reporting rules changed. A 162 and a 170 is gonna significantly outperform someone with a 166.

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Balthy
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby Balthy » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:35 am

tytyttyy2 wrote:I'm doing no overtime but quite a bit of international travel is nice but really makes proper test prep difficult. I'm willing to retake for 1-2 times in june and oct, but no more than that, as I'd rather just apply early to get that advantage instead of being a 4 time taker and dump in all that time. Don't know if that's smart, but I figure sitting it 3 times, 4th probably wouldnt go much better, rather apply early, if I do decide to go.


If you can't make prep happen, don't retake. But make it happen! I work some friggen crazy overtime, but am currently prepping for the October test.

Check this article out:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/lsat-pre ... chool.html
It's fairly commonsensical, but most working people don't seem to realize how important it is to get in .5 or 1 hour of study WHENEVER you can. I drill a bit before work, during lunch, when our servers are down, etc. Then I put in some serious time on the weekends. Also, if you think about it for a while and decide you really want to go to law school, consider quitting your job to prep full time. It sounds like your family could support you during that time, and the resulting scholarship money would be very worth it (if you do the math, studying for the LSAT may be the highest paying job you'll ever have).

Danteshek
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby Danteshek » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:48 am

Probably not. Most likely you are suffering from a type of "special snowflake syndrome" that causes you to think that if you make a move it will be good for your career. Mostly likely, it would have long term negative consequences.

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Balthy
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby Balthy » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:21 am

Danteshek wrote:Probably not. Most likely you are suffering from a type of "special snowflake syndrome" that causes you to think that if you make a move it will be good for your career. Mostly likely, it would have long term negative consequences.



For fuck's sake, he's not trying to become an astronaut.

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sublime
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby sublime » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:39 am

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Gunnar Stahl
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby Gunnar Stahl » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:52 am

sublime wrote:I would not unless you really, really, really, really, really, want to be a lawyer. I understand that you said that money is not an issue for you, but you probably have a better job now than you will ever have in the legal profession, as much from a stress standpoint and a financial standpoint.

This. There are tons of law grads that would kill for your 75k job.

wannabelawstudent
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby wannabelawstudent » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:04 am

How long have you worked in your profession? If you've worked there for 2-5+ years, built up a solid network. I'm sure you can get back into that field after law school. Its just a matter if that JD is gonna open up opportunities to justify the cost of a JD in that field.

paul554
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby paul554 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:49 am

What is the retirement like at your current job and can you see working til retirement or at least until you have a comfortable cushion in about 10-15 years? If your also married and have kids how comfortable are you with the long hours and added stress, though this may be less of a concern since your current job requires so much traveling.

Really, if your main goal is to open your own firm and chase your dreams then I would recommend waiting a few years. As others have said, it is a very risky venture and other then personal job satisfaction chances are there will be no measurable benefits with a career change. If you wait though and go to law school later when you are nearing retirement or have substantial savings, then even if things don't work out then it is no huge loss and you will have more then enough time in your career field to go back to work if you so choose.

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SteelPenguin
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby SteelPenguin » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:10 pm

tytyttyy2 wrote:Hi guys, new to TLS here. I would start my journey here by asking your opinions on this basic question: Should I go to law school?

I currently have a undergraduate degree from a good school (3.5 GPA). I work full time in a very relaxed, low stress job with 75k salary in the second year (just started second year) in my current company. I'm from a family that is reasonably well-to-do, so if I to go to law school, I will be taking on no debt, nor would the tuition fee (at sticker) puts a strain on me or my family's financial situation. I currently have no student loan either. I took LSAT with no preparation and obtained a 162, which isn't anything to brag about or proud of.


I'd argue that you're a bit more than reasonably well-to-do. That being said, I would definitely retake if you do choose to go to law school. A 162 without prep is something very impressive and certainly something to be proud of. With some studying, you should be able to improve to at least 167, and possibly much higher. If you want to stay in Texas, look into Texas as an option after a retake. You also have the T14 with a 167ish LSAT.

If you really want to be a lawyer, understand the job prospects, and have a backup plan in case law school doesn't work out, I say go for it.

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Dmini7
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby Dmini7 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:17 pm

SteelPenguin wrote:
tytyttyy2 wrote:Hi guys, new to TLS here. I would start my journey here by asking your opinions on this basic question: Should I go to law school?

I currently have a undergraduate degree from a good school (3.5 GPA). I work full time in a very relaxed, low stress job with 75k salary in the second year (just started second year) in my current company. I'm from a family that is reasonably well-to-do, so if I to go to law school, I will be taking on no debt, nor would the tuition fee (at sticker) puts a strain on me or my family's financial situation. I currently have no student loan either. I took LSAT with no preparation and obtained a 162, which isn't anything to brag about or proud of.


I'd argue that you're a bit more than reasonably well-to-do. That being said, I would definitely retake if you do choose to go to law school. A 162 without prep is something very impressive and certainly something to be proud of. With some studying, you should be able to improve to at least 167, and possibly much higher. If you want to stay in Texas, look into Texas as an option after a retake. You also have the T14 with a 167ish LSAT.

If you really want to be a lawyer, understand the job prospects, and have a backup plan in case law school doesn't work out, I say go for it.


I agree with this, but I would suggest not going to law school unless you get substantial money at a T14 or full ride at UT. Even if you don't have to worry about the cost, your starting salary of 75k is more than you will make from any law school if you don't get big law. To make going worth it, you should be big law or bust, unless you have a personal invested interest in a certain field. I would suggest you practice until you continuously score within the 170s. Work for now, save up, score in the 170s and ED to northwestern.

Edit: wow, I didn't see all those other comments. Again I suggest northwestern. They focus on a business oriented approach.

tytyttyy2
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby tytyttyy2 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:40 am

Thanks guys. Appreciate the answers.

the experience I got from shadowing a lawyer who just caters for the average people really made a dent in me. I know it is not possible to make legal service affordable to many people because of the crushing debt students have, which needs to be paid back asap. I don't have that concern.

This might be totally wrong, but I feel like I'm privileged. I could be free of the debt burden and I can afford to lower the price to make the service more affordable after gaining practical experience.

Making it "more worthwhile" is never my goal. I'm very content with what I earn right now and what I have. I have foreign investments that'd (I hope) yield returns in some years in case I need more money to live by then, that would be my safety net, (yes it is a family privilege). I feel I'm privileged enough that I want to give it back as much as I can. So big law isn't my goal, their pay isn't quite attractive to me.

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sublime
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby sublime » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:45 am

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LRGhost
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby LRGhost » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:06 am

Dude, you very clearly do not need to work. If this is the case, retake, go to a good school, and find a way into a good PI job. Use family connections if you have them. I'm sure you all do charity work or support some group so use those networks. You are privileged and you want to use that to help people. Big ups and congrats for being a good person.

rad lulz
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:20 am

,
Last edited by rad lulz on Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

timbs4339
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:04 pm

tytyttyy2 wrote:Thanks guys. Appreciate the answers.

the experience I got from shadowing a lawyer who just caters for the average people really made a dent in me. I know it is not possible to make legal service affordable to many people because of the crushing debt students have, which needs to be paid back asap. I don't have that concern.

This might be totally wrong, but I feel like I'm privileged. I could be free of the debt burden and I can afford to lower the price to make the service more affordable after gaining practical experience.

Making it "more worthwhile" is never my goal. I'm very content with what I earn right now and what I have. I have foreign investments that'd (I hope) yield returns in some years in case I need more money to live by then, that would be my safety net, (yes it is a family privilege). I feel I'm privileged enough that I want to give it back as much as I can. So big law isn't my goal, their pay isn't quite attractive to me.


It sounds like you'd be better suited to working at a direct public services or impact litigation organization. Like others have said, lower and middle class people can't find lawyers not because of lack of lawyers but simply because they have no money.

That being said, retaking and going to a T10 will open up a lot more options in this area.

tytyttyy2
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby tytyttyy2 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:23 pm

The lawyer I shadowed doesnt quite agree with me. She doesn't think it's the right job for people like me to do, that's all she said. She doesn't like me shadowing her, she well, just has to accept me coming around every now and then, giving me a few things to do. It's fun to me, it's like my part-time hobby. That could well be reasons laid out a few posts above.

Family doesn't do charity, and is quite firmly against what I wanna do.

I don't need to work, it is true, but I need something to do. Right now I talk for this job, talking to clients, networking clients for the company and do presentations. I figured it is a good transferable skill.

I just don't know if a T-14, T10 is really necessary than real, hands on skills. Right now I'm trying to decide between using financial means or connections (preferred) to get hands on experience with my time and spending time retaking LSAT. I talked to my current employer again, they're quite happy to have me back in 3-5 years, can't say for longer. I know 162 is like batshit insanely bad TLS standard, and I agree. I just needs convincing that it is necessary. I'm quite happy to pay sticker to buy time really, it also means someone else could get a scholarship with the money too, I'm cool with that.

timbs4339
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby timbs4339 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:28 pm

tytyttyy2 wrote:The lawyer I shadowed doesnt quite agree with me. She doesn't think it's the right job for people like me to do, that's all she said. She doesn't like me shadowing her, she well, just has to accept me coming around every now and then, giving me a few things to do. It's fun to me, it's like my part-time hobby. That could well be reasons laid out a few posts above.

Family doesn't do charity, and is quite firmly against what I wanna do.

I don't need to work, it is true, but I need something to do. Right now I talk for this job, talking to clients, networking clients for the company and do presentations. I figured it is a good transferable skill.

I just don't know if a T-14, T10 is really necessary than real, hands on skills. Right now I'm trying to decide between using financial means or connections (preferred) to get hands on experience with my time than spending time retaking LSAT. I talked to my current employer again, they're quite happy to have me back in 3-5 years, can't say for longer. I know 162 is like batshit insanely bad TLS standard, and I agree. I just needs convincing that it is necessary. I'm quite happy to pay sticker to buy time really, it also means someone else could get a scholarship with the money too, I'm cool with that.


You don't get real hands-on skills in law school unless you go out and look for them. That's true at a T14 and at a T100 and at an unranked school. In order to get skills during law school you need to actively apply for clinics, internships, volunteer positions with public interest organizations and government agencies, or paid positions with small firms during the school year. It's actually easier to do this at a T14 since after 1L you can kinda cruise.

But what a T14 will do for you is put you in a much better position to actually get a job doing what you want to do out of law school. It's not enough to simply want it- the jobs "helping people" are in very high demand because of attractive loan repayment options.

LRGhost
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Re: Special circumstance: Should I go law school?

Postby LRGhost » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:25 pm

Go to a good school and do well so you can get your desired job. Also, for what it's worth, you can do good community work without law school. :)




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