Law School Discussion

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Messages - amityjo

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21
General Board / Re: I don't know if I want to be a lawyer anymore!
« on: December 06, 2006, 06:36:24 PM »
You sound like I did after my first year of law school in 1999. At the end of that year, I dealt with some personal family stuff as well as grappling with the question of whether I wanted to even be a lawyer. Looking back on that time, I realize that my doubts about a legal career were largely exacerbated by my personal situation. However, I dropped out, and went back to work for five years. I beat myself for that five years for having dropped out, having not talked to anyone at the school to see if I could get help, and having acted rashly without looking at the root of concerm.

So, after five years of knowing that dropping out of law school had been the wrong choice, I reapplied to several law schools. And not only did I get into law school, but I was offered substantial scholarships at most of the schools I applied to (probably due to my work experience). I also used my personal statement to explain why I dropped out the first time and what I learned from the whole experience.

The only bad thing was that I was forced to repeat my first year. So if you do take some time off, don't take too much time in deciding whether or not you want to come back. But you're spending so much money on school, that I don't think taking some time off to decide if this is really right for you is a bad thing. And the fact that you have attended before will not necessarily keep you from getting accepted later (provided you give the schools a good reason for having left in the first time.)

When you returned, how old were you? Did you go full time or part time?  What did you do when you quit?

Sorry for the late reply - it's finals time ;-)

I was 32 when I returned to law school last year, 27 when I quit. I was and am full time. When I quit school, I was offered a position at my old company in radio advertising sales, and I did that for four years, and then did a year in the mortgage industry.

To the original poster -
I'm SO glad that you spoke with your school and found out the facts. Two years is a lot of time, and you never know what you'll learn about yourself during that time. Like me, you could find out that law is your calling and it's where you belong. And for what it's worth, I'm glad for my mistakes - my law school experience would not have been as pleasant for me had I finished the first time as it is right now.

22
General Board / Re: I don't know if I want to be a lawyer anymore!
« on: November 24, 2006, 05:41:02 PM »
Actually, most schools allow up to a year leave of absence. Why don't you go talk to the dean of student affairs? I wish I had done that before I had dropped out. He or she may be able to help you make a rational decision and let you know what your options are.

What I don't understand, though, is the connection between the school you chose and whether or not you want to be a lawyer. It seems to me that if you don't want to be a lawyer, it wouldn't matter which school you are at. I can understand why you'd be disappointed with not being at your first choice school, but either you want to be a lawyer/have a JD, or you don't. I would try to figure out, first, whether you actually want to have a career in the law.

And I believe you have to finish your degree in four years, which is why schools only allow 1 year leaves of absence. But I would check with the schools first. I do not attend the same school that I originally went to, and I was way too far gone having been out for five years to transfer my credits. And that's ok because I didn't remember any of it anyway ;-)

23
General Board / Re: I don't know if I want to be a lawyer anymore!
« on: November 24, 2006, 05:09:16 PM »
You sound like I did after my first year of law school in 1999. At the end of that year, I dealt with some personal family stuff as well as grappling with the question of whether I wanted to even be a lawyer. Looking back on that time, I realize that my doubts about a legal career were largely exacerbated by my personal situation. However, I dropped out, and went back to work for five years. I beat myself for that five years for having dropped out, having not talked to anyone at the school to see if I could get help, and having acted rashly without looking at the root of concerm.

So, after five years of knowing that dropping out of law school had been the wrong choice, I reapplied to several law schools. And not only did I get into law school, but I was offered substantial scholarships at most of the schools I applied to (probably due to my work experience). I also used my personal statement to explain why I dropped out the first time and what I learned from the whole experience.

The only bad thing was that I was forced to repeat my first year. So if you do take some time off, don't take too much time in deciding whether or not you want to come back. But you're spending so much money on school, that I don't think taking some time off to decide if this is really right for you is a bad thing. And the fact that you have attended before will not necessarily keep you from getting accepted later (provided you give the schools a good reason for having left in the first time.)

24
Law Firms / Re: Does age limit law career options?
« on: November 14, 2006, 02:57:45 PM »
I'll be 35 when I graduate, and I had no problem getting a BigLaw job.

25
Law Firms / Re: How important is the name really?
« on: November 14, 2006, 02:44:44 PM »
FWIW -

Hofstra 2L here, not top 10%, but on LR. I managed to secure a BigLaw summer associate position for 2007 in NYC (4 offers, actually). Didn't have to pull any strings to get it either. I am sure it's because I interview well, and I have a magnificent resume. I suppose the 10 years of work experience didn't hurt.

Kick butt with your grades, make your resume interesting and powerful, get on Law Review, and above all, be more than some legal drone (i.e. have a personality - people hire people they like.) It's doable, but if you can't be top 10%, you have to differentiate yourself another way.


What was your class rank?  How many of your classmates are going to biglaw and what was their class rank? 

Since you were on law review I'd assume that your experience is atypical compared to the typical Hofstra student.

No, I'm sure my experience is different from most Hofstra students, not just because I'm on LR, but because I'm a non-traditional student, which has its advantages. But it is not completely out of the realm of possibility to get a BigLaw job, either. Pretty much everyone on LR has a BigLaw job who wanted one. As for other students, I can't really say, since I don't pay that much attention to anyone else. I can assure you I didn't get my job because of my grades. It's because I can write extremely well and because I have something to offer from my past work experience.

I can honestly say that I'm really happy with my education at Hofstra, and while it may not be for everyone, I've gotten exactly what I needed out of my time here and only will owe $30k total after graduation. Being more than a decade older than most of my classmates had a huge impact on my decision to forego other very highly ranked schools. I have less time to pay off a huge debt, so Hofstra's generous scholarship was good for me. I can't say I would have made the same decision had I gone to law school at the age of 22.

26
Law Firms / Re: How important is the name really?
« on: November 13, 2006, 10:26:11 PM »
FWIW -

Hofstra 2L here, not top 10%, but on LR. I managed to secure a BigLaw summer associate position for 2007 in NYC (4 offers, actually). Didn't have to pull any strings to get it either. I am sure it's because I interview well, and I have a magnificent resume. I suppose the 10 years of work experience didn't hurt.

Kick butt with your grades, make your resume interesting and powerful, get on Law Review, and above all, be more than some legal drone (i.e. have a personality - people hire people they like.) It's doable, but if you can't be top 10%, you have to differentiate yourself another way.

27
2L job search / Re: Phone call from firm
« on: September 18, 2006, 12:43:21 PM »
Update - it was an offer. And I accepted on the spot. Yay!

28
General Board / Re: Applying for a Summer Job
« on: September 18, 2006, 06:51:42 AM »
If you're going for the big firms, apply as early as possible. If you're applying to medium and small firms, many of them have no idea what their hiring needs are until February/March (if not later), so you'd be wasting your time to send anything to them in December.

29
2L job search / Re: Phone call from firm
« on: September 17, 2006, 02:33:33 PM »
 ;D Thanks for your input, folks. I'm am so thrilled!

30
2L job search / Phone call from firm
« on: September 16, 2006, 10:22:21 PM »
I had my call back interview with my top-choice firm on Sept. 7th, and I know that the firm completed all of its second round interviews this past Thursday. Last night (Friday) at 5:30 pm, the hiring partner left a voicemail on my home answering machine asking me to give him a call. Do you guys think this is good news? Is there any reason, besides offering me a position, that a hiring partner would call me on a Friday night at 5:30? I tried calling him back, but he was gone for the weekend.

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