Alternative Paths/Dropping Out?

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Alternative Paths/Dropping Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:01 pm

Hi all, I am at median at a T20 (UCLA/UT/Vandy) and bid really poorly at OCI half trying to move to a midsize market and half to NYC to hedge, and ended up striking out. I came into school really passionate about the environment and have tried to focus on that stuff, with a balance of transactional/corporate courses too. I'm interning with a federal agency (FERC/DOE/etc.) this spring and can't seem to do good work based on the feedback I'm getting. I am just looking for advice as I feel like I have no real interest in law apart from some PI stuff (environment, energy, etc.), but cannot get any of those to talk to me.

Previously, I had a decent (non-consulting) job in a business analyst-ish role for a few years and just felt so miserable I made the decision to try law school somewhere else. I am considering just going back to it, but in a different office, at the end of the semester.

Am I wrong to want to drop out? I feel like I can't see myself doing anything in the law, or at least don't know how to go about pursuing other opportunities with my JD.

avenuem

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Re: Alternative Paths/Dropping Out?

Post by avenuem » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:01 pm
Hi all, I am at median at a T20 (UCLA/UT/Vandy) and bid really poorly at OCI half trying to move to a midsize market and half to NYC to hedge, and ended up striking out.
Don't be so hard on yourself. Yes, you should have weighed more seriously the cons of going to UCLA/UT/Vandy to do NYC hedge fund work (or anything else), but you applied to biglaw during a global pandemic that made a notoriously difficult OCI process even harder. That probably had more to do with you striking out than poor bidding.

And you're not wrong to want to drop out, but should you?

If you're talking about 2L OCI, you're far enough on the path to getting your law degree that you should get the job done and draw inspiration from your dream to do environmental work. Imagine yourself as an environmental lawyer, looking out at Martha's Vinyard. If a tree or a shrub or a leaf there was trying to become an environmental lawyer, would it quit? If you know anything about the law of the environment, then you know the answer is of course not. Plants grow as much as they can no matter the circumstances until they die. Giving up is a most abominable unnatural act. So be like nature and press on.

You said recruiters aren't looking your way. Guess what? Nobody was looking at you until you made this thread. But you spoke up and now we're watching. Scale what you did just now, but do something to make environmental hiring managers look at you. Intern at relevant places. Show up to their happy hours. Get your degree. Pass the bar. One last thing. If you're a 2L give yourself a break about not doing good work. That takes time. Don't give up yet.

Anonymous User
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Re: Alternative Paths/Dropping Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:04 am

Did your old job pay a decent salary? Is next year going to be full price? If the answer to both of those questions is yes then 100%, I would drop out. Most people hate their jobs, you just have to find one that finances your lifestyle. If you have other options and don't love the law, there is no reason you have to stick it out.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Alternative Paths/Dropping Out?

Post by CanadianWolf » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:38 am

Why were you miserable at your job that you held prior to law school ?

nixy

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Re: Alternative Paths/Dropping Out?

Post by nixy » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:49 am

(I read “NYC to hedge” as hedging their bets by also bidding NYC biglaw because NYC is easier to get - nothing to do with hedge funds.)

OP, when you say you “cannot get any of those to talk to me,” what have you done to pursue environmental jobs? Have you talked to your career office? For this summer, could you look into the local AG’s office (they usually do quite a lot of environmental stuff in the context of state property, utilities, that kind of thing), any environmental organizations? Other federal agencies? You could also mass mail to continue looking for private sector jobs.

Do you like the work you’re doing in your internship, apart from feeling like you’re not getting feedback that it’s good? (Can you sit down with your supervisor and ask about the best ways to improve? Keep in mind that you may have someone reading your work who just doesn’t really give praise, and focusing only on what needs to be improved can make you feel like everything is terrible when in fact you’re performing at a normal level, you’re just not getting that feedback. In any case, you’re a student! It’s their job to teach you!)

I don’t think all has to be over for you, because environmental org type jobs don’t follow the OCI timeline, but if your old job is available and you want to go back to it, that’s a perfectly great option. Is there a reason you think you’d be less miserable in it now than you were before?

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Anonymous User
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Re: Alternative Paths/Dropping Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:04 am

Just want to say that I appreciate all the replies, I really didn't know what I was thinking when I posted this thread and it has been nice to be validated and both chided/encouraged.

I was making ~$75k after several years, there just wasn't a clear path of progression (apart from decent salary bumps) for the future, and that uncertainty, combined with the repetitiveness of the work, made it a bit tough to take.

I am trying to network/socialize in the environmental/energy transition space, and I like the related work I'm doing right now. It just seems like I am burning a pretty golden opportunity with this due to my anxiety and everything around school/job hunting now.

As for debt, I have a near full-ride (heavy splitter and came to T20 to avoid debt vs. sticker at a T10 after counseling from some attorney family members, regret it now) and expect to graduate with about 25k in debt, including living expenses.

I will apply to all the AG offices still accepting apps this week, and other orgs. I have applied to 60 of the V100 but had to take a break for personal things last week, I will get the rest done, for good or ill.

Anonymous User
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Re: Alternative Paths/Dropping Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:30 am

avenuem wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:50 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:01 pm
Hi all, I am at median at a T20 (UCLA/UT/Vandy) and bid really poorly at OCI half trying to move to a midsize market and half to NYC to hedge, and ended up striking out.
Don't be so hard on yourself. Yes, you should have weighed more seriously the cons of going to UCLA/UT/Vandy to do NYC hedge fund work (or anything else),
He said to hedge, not to do HF work. Jeez.

Anonymous User
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Re: Alternative Paths/Dropping Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:15 pm

it very well might not be you. The Pandemic has negatively impacted OCI and lateral hiring.

Anonymous User
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Re: Alternative Paths/Dropping Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:15 pm
it very well might not be you. The Pandemic has negatively impacted OCI and lateral hiring.
I'd really like to think you're right, but I am not the best interviewer (imo) and just haven't cut it with respect to grades for a number of reasons. I knew I was playing the odds coming to this school rather than the higher ranking one to save $$$, and I am living with the consequences.

I'm meeting with the career office at my school and some profs with connections in the areas I'm interested in to try to figure out a path forward.

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