I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

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Faconnable
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I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby Faconnable » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:49 pm

So I don't want to spend the next three years of my life in the middle of nowhere doing things I hate just to appease my parents, but I have never lived as a financial independent and don't really know how to start (I know this is kinda basic).

I would be cut off immediately from family money and contact if I chose not to pursue a law degree, even for a year to pursue my own interests (hooray insane asian parenting) so I'm sort of railroaded into it... unless I somehow found a way to get a job that had a livable wage/salary.

Is it possible to get such a job ITE? Especially if you've been planning on going to law school and didn't really foster that many connections not related to law school LORs, etc? Where would I start - where could I live in that jobhunting timeframe? I have no money in the bank :c and I have a UG degree in poli sci / philosophy like the rest of you people.

Or would law school be my best choice after all? Even if it meant I'd more than likely be deeply unhappy for the next three years?

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nickb285
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby nickb285 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:33 pm

Holy shit.

Well, FWIW I have been out of school for three years now and have been fine that whole time. I didn't network at all during undergrad (unless you count getting drunk with people as networking, and none of them have gotten me a job), and I graduated with a poli sci BA and no savings whatsoever. I found all of my jobs via Craigslist and the state labor department's job listings.

There are tons of resources online for things like making a budget, but I have made between $10/hr and $15/hr (and spent much more time around the $10/hr mark) since I graduated, and while I do live paycheck to paycheck, I have money to go out (to cheap bars), I've never had more than one roommate, etc. As for where to live, find a job NOW. Like, right now. Then make your decision on law school. Either you quit a job that won't matter soon anyway, or you'll have something to start out if you get cut off. Also it wouldn't hurt to talk to a close friend and see if you might be able to couch surf for a week or two should you get kicked out.

It sounds like you've never really had to worry about money or budgeting before. Start doing that immediately, before you're potentially cut off from the family money. Get used to living on less money--for reference, my current job at $15/hour makes about $450 a week after taxes; my last job at $11/hour made about $360 a week. So budget that. Find roommates or a small apartment that you can pay for on your own. Granted, this is in an area that has fairly low wages but also fairly low cost of living (for reference, my rent is $560/month); look at some job ads online and figure out what entry level service/labor jobs make in your area. Figure out which of your expenses are fixed, which can be cut, and which can be modified. Talk to a financial advisor if you need to--from the sound of things this will be a pretty big adjustment for you and it wouldn't hurt to get some help. Barring that, check out websites and library books on family budgeting, balancing a checkbook, basic stuff like that. Even if you wind up going to school, these are basic skills that you're going to need in life, so build them now.

To the broader question of "should I forgo an education that would make me miserable and in doing so be cut off from my family," you're really the only one who can answer that, unfortunately. I will say that it's a bad idea to go to law school if you don't really want to--you're just wasting time, and even if you decide you want to do law later, a lack of dedication in school will most likely be reflected in the grades, extracurriculars, and connections you make during that time. That said, being cut off from your family can't be easy either.

This is a fucked up situation, and I'm sorry you're dealing with it. But I suppose to sum: 1. Yes, you can make ends meet, although you won't be living like a king, without savings, family money, or even much in the way of marketable skills, so long as you're willing to work; 2. You have to figure out whether the misery of being cut off from the family and the funds is worth missing out on the misery of doing something you hate for at least three years and (from the sound of your family) probably being forced into making a career of it.

Faconnable
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby Faconnable » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:41 pm

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question so thoroughly. I appreciate it tremendously to hear your own story as well.

Life decisions suck.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:48 pm

What was your undergrad GPA? What do you want to do with your life? Make a lot of money? Make a living? Clock 9-5 and go home? Have a prestigious title and job?

I have an undergrad degree that I could print money with, which I studied for only as a backup plan. My ultimate goal is to get into politics. I am just trying to figure out, which graduate degree will help me get there the easiest.

sideoffries
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby sideoffries » Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:55 pm

Dual degree in J.D. and something you actually want to do could be a potential option if you're not paying for any of it. It's a sucky situation entirely it sounds like so it's a function of picking the least sucky option.

Faconnable
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby Faconnable » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:01 pm

It was roughly a 3.1. What I want to do with my life is a damned good question - for the longest time I thought it was all about making money and having a prestigious string of letters after my name. I kind of regret that entire mentality because it really makes people act absurd, for particularly absurd reasons. To be stupidly vague, I guess I want to have flexibility and avoid routine. But everyone says that. Obviously the reality is that I'll have to work on a bunch of boring, meaningless things no matter what.

I feel like I'm basically talking my way back into law school. Regardless, I'm definitely going to start bombarding employers with resumes/cover letters and take it from there.

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nickb285
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby nickb285 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:07 pm

Faconnable wrote:To be stupidly vague, I guess I want to have flexibility and avoid routine. But everyone says that.


Nothing wrong with that. Keep in mind there are lots of ways to do that. A buddy of mine, for instance, worked as a manager at a Best Buy for a few years. It wasn't exactly stimulating work, but they were open enough with scheduling and paid enough that, as long as he traveled on the cheap, he could spend a month in Europe every year. I myself try to put away $100 per bimonthly paycheck (though I can't always swing it) toward travel, and even though my job isn't super interesting (not a bad job, just not super interesting), I can go on road trips for soccer games or go camping or whatever a few times a year and maybe take one big, two-week type trip. Other people have jobs that are interesting and do something different every day, and that's how they get that.

Faconnable wrote:I feel like I'm basically talking my way back into law school. Regardless, I'm definitely going to start bombarding employers with resumes/cover letters and take it from there.


Personally, I would give yourself until pretty much a couple weeks before the semester to make a decision. See where you're at with work and living situation, see how you're feeling about the law, all of that. Remember, aside from the deposit (which I'm guessing your family will pay), you're not actually committed to paying tuition and going to class until you do so.

09042014
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:14 pm

Just tell them:

"The school I really want to go to, Northwestern, require work experiences Tiger Mom. If I work 2 years and get a good LSAT, I'll have a great shot at that school."

dissonance1848
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby dissonance1848 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:28 pm


Just tell them:

"The school I really want to go to, Northwestern, require work experiences Tiger Mom. If I work 2 years and get a good LSAT, I'll have a great shot at that school."



+10 I salute you sir.

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nickb285
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby nickb285 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:30 pm

General Rommel wins the thread.

Faconnable
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby Faconnable » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:43 pm

Yep, I took TLS mantra to heart and tried to explain to them that WE + 170+ (which is def possible since I got a 169 after barely studying for a couple weeks after the semester got out in mid-May for the June test) = likely chances at Northwestern

They said that it was too late for that. Yep.

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banjo
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby banjo » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:45 pm

A friend of mine wanted to work in TV, and she just worked on getting there 24/7. In that industry, it's more about networking. Anyway, she's been doing it for a few years, can easily support herself, and loves it. Pick something and run with it.

09042014
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:48 pm

Faconnable wrote:Yep, I took TLS mantra to heart and tried to explain to them that WE + 170+ (which is def possible since I got a 169 after barely studying for a couple weeks after the semester got out in mid-May for the June test) = likely chances at Northwestern

They said that it was too late for that. Yep.


Well find a job. Your parents have supported you til you were 22. That's a pretty good run.

Faconnable
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby Faconnable » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:53 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Faconnable wrote:Yep, I took TLS mantra to heart and tried to explain to them that WE + 170+ (which is def possible since I got a 169 after barely studying for a couple weeks after the semester got out in mid-May for the June test) = likely chances at Northwestern

They said that it was too late for that. Yep.


Well find a job. Your parents have supported you til you were 22. That's a pretty good run.


This seems to be the correct prescription. Thank you all greatly for the advice!

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ManoftheHour
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:55 pm

If all you want is money to support yourself for now, customer service jobs can net you about $600 a week. Apply and work in retail on weekends (major retailers should be hiring right about now. They generally want seasonal workers this time of the year due to summer coming up, especially for the weekends). Tutor on any free time that you have after your regular 9-5 on weekdays if you want some extra cash.

PM me if you want more details. I've been doing this shit for two years (and maybe one more year) while prepping for the LSAT. There's money to be made almost everywhere. You just have to look in the right places.

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Balthy
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby Balthy » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:58 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Just tell them:

"The school I really want to go to, Northwestern, require work experiences Tiger Mom. If I work 2 years and get a good LSAT, I'll have a great shot at that school."



Or tell them you want an MBA and you can use that excuse for any school in the top 50 or so.

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Balthy
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby Balthy » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:12 pm

I was actually in the exact same situation. PM if you ever want to discuss.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby bizzybone1313 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:41 pm

The worst thing you can do is just piddle around in random jobs and not start going towards a career path. Whatever it is you decide you want to do I would start building that career. Your resume builds on itself. I made that mistake. Straight out of undergrad I should have done a few things: (1) Studied full time for the LSAT, (2) done either Teach for America, Peace Corps or something else public interest related and/or (3) been a K-JD. I have always wanted to be an attorney. The only benefit I got from not being a K-JD was I avoided interviewing during the economic collapse that took place.

Your GPA most likely locks you out of prestigious MPA/MBA programs. So that sounds like a no go.

Tell TLS what you end up deciding to do, because these types of threads could be very useful for people that are in similar circumstances in the future.

TheNextAmendment
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby TheNextAmendment » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:37 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:The worst thing you can do is just piddle around in random jobs and not start going towards a career path. Whatever it is you decide you want to do I would start building that career. Your resume builds on itself. I made that mistake. Straight out of undergrad I should have done a few things: (1) Studied full time for the LSAT, (2) done either Teach for America, Peace Corps or something else public interest related and/or (3) been a K-JD. I have always wanted to be an attorney. The only benefit I got from not being a K-JD was I avoided interviewing during the economic collapse that took place.

Your GPA most likely locks you out of prestigious MPA/MBA programs. So that sounds like a no go.

Tell TLS what you end up deciding to do, because these types of threads could be very useful for people that are in similar circumstances in the future.


Bold- not true:

1) How does one find a legal career in this economy with a B.A/B.S?

2) My experience has taught me that law schools really dont care about your "work" experience. They want a top LSAT and GPA.

3) Just get a job. Any job that pays your bills. Study hard and you'll probably go places.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby ManoftheHour » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:18 am

TheNextAmendment wrote: Just get a job. Any job that pays your bills. Study hard and you'll probably go places.

THIS. SO. MUCH. THIS.

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banjo
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby banjo » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:07 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:The worst thing you can do is just piddle around in random jobs and not start going towards a career path. Whatever it is you decide you want to do I would start building that career.


This is actually great advice. Have a plan, a goal. Even if you do decide to go to law school, WE helps both for admissions and OCI.

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nickb285
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby nickb285 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:03 pm

Meh. Ideally yes, you want to find a job with a career path that you'd be interested in following, or at least tangentially related to such a career path. But right now, you need a job. You need to pay rent and bills and insurance and buy food. The best time to look for a job is when you've already got one. Find a job in a warehouse or a restaurant or a coffee shop or retail, and then keep sending out your resume to companies you're actually interested in working for. ITE, if you hold out for a great job with your poli sci degree and presumably not much work experience, you're going to wind up sleeping on someone's couch for far longer than is generally acceptable. Find a paycheck first, then find a career.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby ManoftheHour » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:17 pm

nickb285 wrote:Meh. Ideally yes, you want to find a job with a career path that you'd be interested in following, or at least tangentially related to such a career path. But right now, you need a job. You need to pay rent and bills and insurance and buy food. The best time to look for a job is when you've already got one. Find a job in a warehouse or a restaurant or a coffee shop or retail, and then keep sending out your resume to companies you're actually interested in working for. ITE, if you hold out for a great job with your poli sci degree and presumably not much work experience, you're going to wind up sleeping on someone's couch for far longer than is generally acceptable. Find a paycheck first, then find a career.


OP, listen to this guy. Of the people that I know that are not doing something within their career goals, there are two types of people (many of them are social sci/humanities majors):

You have the people that are holding out for a job that's related in their field of studies. You also have the people that do exactly what nickb is saying. Needless to say, the latter group is doing better.

ITE, even engineers are suffering. My friend's boyfriend just landed a 70k/year job last month. It took him a year to finally land it. Guess what he was doing during that year? Making 30k at a customer service job. It wasn't great, but it was better than no money.

Bottom line: You can send apps out while making money. Take what you can get right now and continue to look for something better.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby ManoftheHour » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:21 pm

nickb285 wrote:Holy shit.

Well, FWIW I have been out of school for three years now and have been fine that whole time. I didn't network at all during undergrad (unless you count getting drunk with people as networking, and none of them have gotten me a job), and I graduated with a poli sci BA and no savings whatsoever. I found all of my jobs via Craigslist and the state labor department's job listings.

There are tons of resources online for things like making a budget, but I have made between $10/hr and $15/hr (and spent much more time around the $10/hr mark) since I graduated, and while I do live paycheck to paycheck, I have money to go out (to cheap bars), I've never had more than one roommate, etc. As for where to live, find a job NOW. Like, right now. Then make your decision on law school. Either you quit a job that won't matter soon anyway, or you'll have something to start out if you get cut off. Also it wouldn't hurt to talk to a close friend and see if you might be able to couch surf for a week or two should you get kicked out.

It sounds like you've never really had to worry about money or budgeting before. Start doing that immediately, before you're potentially cut off from the family money. Get used to living on less money--for reference, my current job at $15/hour makes about $450 a week after taxes; my last job at $11/hour made about $360 a week. So budget that. Find roommates or a small apartment that you can pay for on your own. Granted, this is in an area that has fairly low wages but also fairly low cost of living (for reference, my rent is $560/month); look at some job ads online and figure out what entry level service/labor jobs make in your area. Figure out which of your expenses are fixed, which can be cut, and which can be modified. Talk to a financial advisor if you need to--from the sound of things this will be a pretty big adjustment for you and it wouldn't hurt to get some help. Barring that, check out websites and library books on family budgeting, balancing a checkbook, basic stuff like that. Even if you wind up going to school, these are basic skills that you're going to need in life, so build them now.

To the broader question of "should I forgo an education that would make me miserable and in doing so be cut off from my family," you're really the only one who can answer that, unfortunately. I will say that it's a bad idea to go to law school if you don't really want to--you're just wasting time, and even if you decide you want to do law later, a lack of dedication in school will most likely be reflected in the grades, extracurriculars, and connections you make during that time. That said, being cut off from your family can't be easy either.

This is a fucked up situation, and I'm sorry you're dealing with it. But I suppose to sum: 1. Yes, you can make ends meet, although you won't be living like a king, without savings, family money, or even much in the way of marketable skills, so long as you're willing to work; 2. You have to figure out whether the misery of being cut off from the family and the funds is worth missing out on the misery of doing something you hate for at least three years and (from the sound of your family) probably being forced into making a career of it.


Man, I pretty much did what you did except the roommate situation. 7 people in a 2 bedroom apartment. $285/month (including the utilities), yo.

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beepboopbeep
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Re: I don't want to go to law school. So, what now?

Postby beepboopbeep » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:25 pm

You have no savings, you're going to be cut off, and it's April. Are you graduating in a month? Do you have a place to live this summer?

Nickb gives wise advice - listen to him. You've got to get on it. Supporting yourself is more expensive than you think, and frugal living isn't something that you just magically know how to do. Even if you had enough money to float for a couple months while you look for a job, it doesn't sound like you really know ways to stretch a dollar and make it last.

You don't know what you want to do, so I don't know why people are telling you to hold out for a career - what career? In what field? You're going to have to decide first. For now, practice keeping yourself alive.




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