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Do you think law school is a good option for me?

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:40 pm
by clarifyit
New here, been lurking intermittently for years. Please let me know if this post is in the wrong place or I violate any rules (are there rules, somewhere?)

This isn't a true "should I go to law school?" post, but I guess it's close. If you can make it through this post, please provide your opinions on my rough plans. And let me know if I sound like I'm missing something or am just plain insane/naive. TLDR at the end.

I don't want to want the J.D. But I want it. I know it's a massive commitment of time and money, that it can be excruciatingly hard, that there's less demand for lawyers now. But I want to work in law- if law is a lot of reading and writing and legal research and editing and paperwork as it seems. I could see myself doing well in a courtroom, but I think my goal would be corporate counsel and I think I might have the networking skills and maybe even the connections to make that a reality. I would aim to focus on corporate and environmental law.

I am 24 and have been very "successful" in my career. I graduated with a B.S. degree and a *cringe* 2.8 GPA. I struggled with anxiety and class attendance until junior year when I had some kind of lightning bolt wake-up call about my future. Through determination and some luck, I bagged a nicely paying job just 3 months out of college with a very large industrial company. No student debt. I work in environmental compliance on large-scale projects with enough government or client environmental oversight to justify my salary. I was promoted recently and moved to a new, smaller project where I have more of a leadership role.

I am becoming increasingly unhappy because while this is okay now, and the money is great, I know with 100% certainty that I don't want to do it forever. All roads "up" in my field lead to places I DEFINITELY don't want to go. I've done informational interviews to confirm. I don't want the lateral jobs either- consulting, government compliance... Law has been floating in my brain for 6 years, but I have put it off because of shame over my poor GPA and the self-imposed requirement to have a clear picture of what I want to do before any graduate program. I have researched M.S. programs and certificates related to my degree obsessively and I don't want those jobs. I know it would probably be much easier if I wanted those jobs.

I want a career of reading, writing, editing, legal research, and communication. Those are the aspects of my job that I enjoy the most. I like going through contracts and the CFR and memorandums. I've learned a little bit about how to argue and how to be diplomatic in this industry and I like that too. I think I'm pretty decent at it. I'm already working extremely high-pressure male-dominated 84-hour weeks, but in crappy towns and with moving god knows where (another crappy industrial town) every 2-ish years and the WORST part of it is I have no path UP that I'm interested in. Even the articles lawyers write who hate their jobs and discourage others from pursuing law sound good to me.

I have recently come to terms with the fact that I want this badly enough to start working towards it. Am I sounding totally off-base here?

I'm gearing up to work on logic games and I have 3-4 resources for doing informational interviews with corporate counsel from two large corporations as well as a few later-in-life law school grads.

My basic plan is to use this 2-year project to get finances sparkling, shove some extra cash in a 529 account, conquer my fear of logic games as well as sharpen up on reading comp and logical reasoning, (although I am much stronger on those sections), and make a list of schools within reach in the state of Texas. Texas because I would like to live there and all of my connections are there.

TLDR; Currently in compliance / don't see a future there / drawn to law / corporate counsel / am I a crazy person?

Re: Do you think law school is a good option for me?

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:33 pm
by oshberg28
Look, it's a risk. I ignored some of the doom and gloom folks on here, left a cushy government job that paid very well, and now I have a big law job lined up (I'm a rising 3L). However, I made the decision to cut ties with my employer and pursue law because I was in a position to take the risk. I didn't have to take out any loans to go to law school and will graduate with six figures still saved up. I worked extremely hard, but I still acknowledge that I am lucky to have earned a big law offer - one of my friends did the same thing I did, but he doesn't have any offers for next year yet (his SA employer didn't invite him back). So you really just have to ask yourself if you are comfortable taking that risk. It sounds like law is truly what you want to do, so that's a good prerequisite to making the decision to go to law school. It's a difficult decision.

Re: Do you think law school is a good option for me?

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:04 pm
by Pneumonia
If you can get a 170+, then you should be able to get into UT with a nominal scholarship. Otherwise, you probably shouldn't go. Is the 2.8 your LSAC GPA?

Re: Do you think law school is a good option for me?

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:44 pm
by rpupkin

Re: Do you think law school is a good option for me?

Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:42 pm
by Platopus
clarifyit wrote:.

I am 24 and have been very "successful" in my career. I graduated with a B.S. degree and a *cringe* 2.8 GPA.

You are going to be very limited with a 2.8 GPA. Even with a 170+ LSAT almost all the T-13 is going to be out of reach, with the usual exceptions of NU, and other splitter friendly schools.

I'm all for reinventing yourself, especially if you dislike your career trajectory and you're young, but I just don't see law school as a rational solution to that problem.

Re: Do you think law school is a good option for me?

Posted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:16 am
by yyyuppp
seems like you have a good thing going at least for the moment. law will be there at some point if you don't want to keep going. maybe try taking one of your exit options and see if that's better. i don't think that your first choice when you don't like a job that pays good money should be "go to law school." there has to be other routes to try first. I'm only a rising 2L, but law is a tough field full of unsatisfied people. i think its important to realize that. you stand a real chance of jettisoning a lucrative career you find unfulfilling to waste 3 years and take on debt to get into another profession where you are not satisfied (and very likely make less money.. and work worse hours).

Re: Do you think law school is a good option for me?

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:04 pm
by clarifyit
Thanks for everyone who took the time to reply. Yeah the 2.8 is my LSAC. I've decided I won't really know if it's a truly bad idea or not until I 1. Take the LSAT and 2. Apply and see how much aid I can get. That's a few hundred dollars probably in prep and application fees seems like a reasonable opportunity cost.
There is also a chance my company would help pay / contract continuing employment if I went to St. Mary's. (Continuing employment meaning the well paid 9-5 in an urban area that I dream of at night) yeah, I know, not a fabulous school. I have a done a little research. But it's a potential option.
I'm currently working through the powerscore bible on logic games. Maybe I'll be back next summer as a super traditional splitter.