Law School Discussion

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Messages - stephster416

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1
I'm actually not working in the sports store anymore. It just happened to be a fun and relaxing thing to do for awhile while I figured out my next steps after leaving law school. I'm definitely not against the idea of more grad school - in fact I'm planning on it. Right now I'm actually in the middle of a pre-med post-bacc program. By the time I'd graduated college, I'd developed a really strong interest in neuroscience from some of my psych courses and I've always been really interested in health and medicine as well. Since I hadn't taken any basic science in college, the post-bacc is a great place for me to start. I've been doing some shadowing and clinical volunteering, which is making me lean toward medicine, although I'm also working in a neuroscience lab right now as well to explore the research side of things a little as well.

As to the second set of questions:
1) I dropped out after 1 semester.
2) It's now over a full year since I dropped out and I'm in the midst of a pre-med post-bacc program, so I'm pretty focused on a new path now.
3) Again, the stuff I mentioned above explains what I'm pursuing now. Even when I was about to start law school, I kept telling myself I could go into health law or neurolaw or even malpractice law, but really that was because deep down I wanted to learn about neuroscience and medicine and not really law at all!
4) Earning potential did play some factor, although not as large a factor as I think it plays for many people. I didn't go into it with the idea that I wanted to work in biglaw, so future salary was not my main motivator.
5) Again, answered above.

I guess I'd say it was "the best decision of my life" because now I'm pursuing things I actually love, rather than something I thought was practical and might enjoy only a little bit.

2
My work friends were from top tier and not T14 schools. And in reality, they may not have done as well as they let on, but it was still surprising that they couldn't find work coming from the schools they'd graduated from. My main reason for dropping out was because I wasn't enjoying it and did decide that law wasn't for me. A lot of people told me to stick it out since "it can't hurt to have a JD" and since I had a scholarship. Maybe if job prospects were a little better I might have, but it wouldn't have been the right choice for me. I was doing well, and one of my professors actually tried to talk me out of leaving because of that.

In hindsight, if I genuinely wanted to be a lawyer and could go back in time, I would probably have gone to Cornell. I'm glad that I didn't because, yes, I would be in a lot more debt in that situation, and it might have made the decision to drop out harder since I would feel worse about dropping out of a more prestigious program.

I was a little wary about it going in. Part of that did have to do with me realizing employment prospects were not that great, but a lot had to do with the fact that around the time I was taking the LSAT and applying, I was realizing I had strong interests in some completely different fields. Also, it's hard to understand what law school is like without actually going for awhile. Or what practicing law is like, for that matter. No one makes you shadow a lawyer as part of your application to law school. There isn't much in the application process that ensures applicants know exactly what they're getting into. A few of my friends who dropped out as well (who I still keep in touch with) had similar experiences to me. One mistake I made was going in with a very vague idea of what I might want to do with a law degree. I thought that I could practice law for awhile, but then easily parlay the JD into other fields if I wanted to. Of course some people do that, but putting in the work to go through law school and pass the bar, IMO, is absolutely not worth it unless you are SURE that you want to PRACTICE LAW.

I take no offense to the sports store thing at all, haha! It was a great temporary job for me to figure out what my next step would be. I'm a long-time runner and I was working at a great specialty store that did gait analysis, with awesome people - it was definitely way better than being in law school! I'm not there anymore (back in school for something completely different that is making me much happier), but I had a really fun time while I was there.

The bottom line is, I made the very stupid, classic mistake of going to law school because I thought it was a good, sturdy degree to have, was somewhat interested in law, and wasn't sure what else I could do after undergrad. I did an excellent job of convincing myself I had better reasons than that, and since leaving I've seen friends doing the exact same thing. And just like me, they won't listen to anyone who tells them to think it over a little more. Basically, don't go to law school unless there is nothing else you want to be doing with your life and you are SURE that you want to be a practicing attorney. (If you get into a top school, then maybe you have more flexible opportunities coming out - I don't really know since I wasn't at one.) If you're not there for the right reasons, it's too much work and misery to put up with. (And personally, I thought it was boring as hell. But then again, my favorite subjects have always been math and science - which possibly should have been a clue to me that law school was not the right path!)

Best of luck in your decisions and let me know if you have any questions! Also, to people who do genuinely want to do this and become lawyers, good for you. I wasn't trying to be rude or suggest you'd all fail in life. I just wish I'd talked to someone with a story like mine before going! (Although I probably wouldn't have listened!)

3
Got in, got scholarships, dropped out and am happier than I have ever been in my life! None of my friends can find jobs, and after leaving I worked in a sports store with 3 of my coworkers were out-of-work lawyers from top tier schools where they'd been on journals and had high GPAs. Yet everyone and their mom is still applying to law school...  hahah Have funnnn!

4
This is kind of a random, non-school related question. I'm moving to Feil soon and was wondering which nearby gyms have the best student discounts with Brooklyn?

5
I would be a lot less nervous going to a super-reach school than a lower ranked one because even if you're not at the top of your class, you'll still have great job opportunities. It's a lot scarier to be at a T2 or 3 where you know the best will be fiercely competing since it's the only way to open up the same doors.

6
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Cardozo Class of 2011
« on: March 28, 2008, 10:41:21 PM »
Yayy Cardozo!

7
Wait List / Re: American Waitlist Thread
« on: March 19, 2008, 09:05:28 PM »
Waitlisted with a 166 and a 3.9...   weird considering I've gotten into Cornell, BU & Fordham. Oh well, wasn't a top choice anyway, already withdrew.

8
Law School Applications / Re: Fordham Application Status Checker
« on: March 19, 2008, 08:26:55 PM »
In at Fordham via e-mail today! But my status checker STILL says complete, of course.

9
I don't understand how being on the Internet could be more distracting to other students than taking notes on your laptop, which I would imagine most professors and students would have no problem with. I feel like the only person you're hurting for using your laptop for non-school related things during class is you.

10
Law School Applications / Re: Fordham Application Status Checker
« on: March 01, 2008, 01:42:10 AM »
Mmmm still complete. Thanks FU.

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