why is it that so many bottom half T4 grads stay in school? False hope? Lack of candid advice after their first year of school?
All of those things, plus the American attitude that only losers quit something.
Agreed. Can't tell you how many people at my former T4 with top third grades and limited to no scholarships stayed put at the school for the sake of not wanting to move away from friends and the false belief that any JD is a good one
If having the JD hurts you in obtaining non-legal jobs b/c companies may be worried that you're going to bail for the first available job...I don't understand how this is possible for a strong interviewer who honestly and openly tells a potential employer that he/she is not interested in the law and finished the degree because they had already invested enough time and money into the degree to back out.
Can you truely honestly say that? I don't recall any people in my law school class who truly weren't interested in being lawyers. Law school had the opposite effect on me. Doing nothing but law school every day for three years really makes you gung ho about wanting to go out there and be a lawyer.
This also creates a whole bunch of negative inferences. Why did this candidate decide to do something and then change his mind? This guy will probably work here for a few months and then change his mind again and decide this also isn't what he wants to do.
While it's not likely for most, I wouldn't say that it's too farfetched for someone (especially an individual who has their parents covering the cost of the education) out of undergrad with no "real world" experience to have rushed into going to law school, finish their first year and decide to stick it out, obtain a 2L job and decide they would hate practicing law (or some other trigger causing them not to want to practice), and come down to a decision whether or not it would be worth it to quit after 1.5-2 years for one more year of entry level experience rather than finish the degree and see what "doors" it opens.
Yes the negative inference of "Why did this guy 'waste' so much time in law school" I'm sure crosses the mind of many employers looking at people with JD's who don't want to practice law. But I think when you mention an employer is saying "why did this person do something and change his mind", you're not taking into account when this person changed their mind. If I'm interviewing for a job in a corporation/govt, I'm going to focus on the fact that I made the decision not to practice law after working a 1L/2L internship/clerkship, yet decided not to quit something I had already invested so much time and money into...spin it around like the reason you completed your degree was because you set a goal for yourself.
Whatever the case, if you're trying to get a job doing X, there are a lot of other people also trying to get a job doing X, and most of the other candidates were probably doing something during the last three years which demonstrates their interest in X while you were spending the last three years preparing for an entirely different career. Nope, it's really hard to spin this as a plus
I'm 4 years removed from undergrad and attended a university (take a wild guess) with one of the top business schools in the nation. All of my friends that I know who attended the business school finished with above a 3.0 GPA...only reason I'm bringing this up is to demonstrate that there are no slackers amongst the bunch. I can tell you that with the exception of a few of my friends in specialized industries, namely business logistics, I can't tell you too many of my friends who (a) like/love their jobs (b) have progressed to management positions (c) have jobs that are so complex and time consuming that it would take a significant amount of time to learn the intricacies their positions. From my experience, other than mere seniority, the majority of people in their mid twenties working at companies haven't evolved to positions of power within the company that couldn't be reached or eclipsed by the right motivated person...enter law student
Now, I could see where the red flag would be lifted for a journalism major with a JD who all of a sudden decides he wants to enter the business world. However, for the case of an accounting major with a JD, who wants to go work for Ernst & Young...I think your argument has less pull
Yes, doing nothing at all for three years is worse than going to law school.
I just pushed the dates ahead on all my previous experience. Of course this limits your job possibilities to firms who won't check up on these things, but a surprisingly large number of firms don't bother with reference checking.
Duming down your resume is a common strategy if you appear "overqualified" for the job you are applying for. Do a Google search for dumbing down your resume. I plucked the following advice from a WSJ article:
The best advice is to contain the problem. One way is by dumbing down your resume so you donít seem so overqualified. For instance, we advised one customer to delete his Ph.D. in chemistry when he applied for jobs as a junior chemist.
Speaking of "dumbing down" a resume, it's pretty dumb to falsify dates of employment on your resume...and I must say that you got lucky. Any reputable company will check your references. I was employed at the North American HQ of the world's largest container shipping company. I got the job despite the fact that I was a Crime, Law, and Justice major, and despite the fact that I was specifically asked "whether I'm considering law school." My college jobs were far from great: basically a part time weight room monitor and pizza delivery boy. The people from HR called the owner of my pizza shop inquiring whether (1) I was reliable (2) I was on time for work (3) I was well liked and worked well with other employees. Definitely not the smartest move to fabricate dates on your resume during the hiring process, and it could impose future problems if your employer finds out 5 years down the road that you lied to get hired in the first place.
While pushing up the dates on your prior achievements might have scored you your current job, what advice would you give to someone with prior work experience who didn't feel comfortable about lying on their resume? And what advice would you give to someone with a JD fresh out of undergrad with little to no real world experience? These two sets of people will obviously have to fill in a three year gap without being ballsy enough to lie about when they obtained their prior experience, provided they had any prior experience.
In terms of dumbing down your resume, I can see where that is necessary if you're desperate for a job that you're overqualified for. If you have a chemistry Phd, you don't want to put this on a resume when you're applying for a junior chemist position. Same for someone with a JD who is applying for a full time paralegal position. But I don't see why it's necessary for someone, with a JD and a business degree, to feel the need to "dumb down" their resume when they have little to no experience in the industry and know nothing about how their potential employer operates.
Employers recognize, with some justification, that individuals who work below their competency level wonít realize their true potential and enjoy the work. They wonít be committed employees.
Employers would just as soon promote someone whoíll find the work challenging. Additionally, employers wonder whether you truly want to be on their payroll. Among their concerns: Why arenít you able to command the salary you deserve? How long would you stay with us? Wonít the work bore you?
You're making a lot of assumptions here: (1) that they're hiring you to do one job, and one job only (2) that someone with a JD, although bored with their entry level job, won't push themselves to take on more responsibility and realize their potential (3) that employers have two sets of salaries they believe a potential hire feels he/she deserves: a higher one for JD's and a lower one for everyone else.
Since I knew I was going to law school, I learned enough and did enough work to adequately perform my job. However, had my company been a career job for me, I would have taken advantage of conferences, classes, guest speakers that the company put on to educate individuals about the container shipping industry. If I mastered my current position (i.e. got bored), I would speak with my manager and encourage him to give me more responsibility...such as allowing me a minor management role in operating one of the less frequently used shipping routes. If that could not be done, I would apply to be transferred to a different department (like sales) where I could learn how that aspect of the business operates, master that position, then apply for management position...onto director...you get the jist.
This is what a good friend of mine did, and now he's a department manager at a well known company making $90K in Pittsburgh. He started with the same bad desk job that I had, and transitioned it into a challenging position with another company. It wasn't the degree itself that helped him...it was his eventual motivation that took him that far. In another example, my girlfriend's mother has a masters in child psychology..what's she doing now? Assistant VP at a corporation.