Law School Discussion

Am I Making the Right Decision?

Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2007, 04:27:02 PM »
I think I have decided to drop out and get a masters in education so I can teach.

I was a teacher for 5 years (secondary), now I am in law school.  I realized I couldn't hack being a teacher for two reasons:
1. I didn't have the right charisma.  You need to love kids and be able to relate well to them.  I knew my subject really well but I couldn't relate to the kids enough.  I honestly think a good rapport with the kids is more important than a good grasp of the subject you are teaching.  Of course having both is better.

2. I got VERY frustrated with the administration.  For instance, the last semester I taught, I taught in a computer lab with 25 computers and 45 students.  I barely had enough chairs, let alone enough computers for everyone.  Yet other computer teachers had classrooms with 45 computers and 25 students.  Just ridiculous.

I taught in LAUSD. . .your mileage may vary depending on where you teach, what grade level and socio-economic factors.

Before you quit law school all together try to go and observe some classes.  Don't wind up regretting quitting law school 5 or 10 years from now.

Strong

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Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2007, 06:50:58 PM »
When people ask me about law school I tell them I absolutely love it, because I do.

It's alright to less than love it, but I think you should be enjoying it in some kind of way or else there will be a steep road ahead.

I'm not saying be a sicko that enjoys the work, but on some level you should feel rewarded.


Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2007, 12:17:47 AM »
Only you know the answer to this question.  If you have a good relationship with your parents or a sibling, I would talk to them as well.  (Your family usually knows you better than anyone.)

If you really hate school, and hate the profession too, you shouldn't continue.  However, if this is stress talking, maybe you should see a professional about counseling and stress managment

vercingetorix

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Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2007, 08:27:14 AM »
....or you could stop taking yourself so seriously.  this sounds to me like you will be miserable with whatever career path you choose if you don't lighten up a bit, jesus you're 23.

Bob D

Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2007, 09:04:25 PM »
I think it's too much to ask to find a job you love. The most we can hope for is to find a job that pays decent money that we don't hate.

You seeem to hate law school. If you hate working in law as much as you hate law school, then your life will suck.

You need to figure out if you are going to hate your post-law school job as much as law school. If yes, then drop out now. On the other hand, some types of lawyers, like criminal lawyers, practice a type of law very different than the appellate research they teach you in law school.

Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2007, 09:30:48 AM »
I would try to make a real effort to determine if you would like practicing law before you drop out.  Maybe that means finishing this semester and completing your first summer internship, if you have one lined up.

Many people dislike law school but like practicing law (and in some cases vice versa).  You may find that you actually enjoy the practice of law, and spending two more years in law school might be worth it.  Especially because you may be able to relax more in school if you know you'll be happy when you're done. 

At the same time I would try to get a sense if you would really enjoy teaching.  Maybe sit in on a few classes at a local school, substitute teach a class or two, talk to teachers, etc.  Ultimately, though, if you decide you really don't want to be  a lawyer -- and you're really confident in this --  I would drop out, even if you don't like teaching.  Contrary to popular belief here, just having a JD with no other experience does not open many doors outside of law.

Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2007, 12:46:59 PM »
2L here, my girlfriend is a teacher. I have to say I think being a teacher is more stressful than being a law student. When we talk in the evenings, I am usually doing pretty well and she is exhausted. Law has long hours, but lets face it: you don't have to be "on" for all of them. If you lose focus in a class for ten minutes, no big deal. Teachers have to be focused 100% of the time.

Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2007, 02:50:44 PM »
2L here, my girlfriend is a teacher. I have to say I think being a teacher is more stressful than being a law student. When we talk in the evenings, I am usually doing pretty well and she is exhausted. Law has long hours, but lets face it: you don't have to be "on" for all of them. If you lose focus in a class for ten minutes, no big deal. Teachers have to be focused 100% of the time.

I couild see this -- but I think the relevant comparison has to be teacher v. lawyer, not teacher v. law student.

Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2007, 04:21:40 PM »
I just thought I'd let you know what I've decided...

I have decided to stick out the rest of the semester, but I am going to apply for education programs for next year.  Actually, I love kids, and I really think I would be much happier as a teacher.  I started out as an education major in undergrad, so I have already worked in a classroom and everything. In the past, I have worked as a nanny and camp counselor, so I know what it's like to work with kids.  And believe it or not, I don't find working with children even a fraction as stressful as law.  While my grades are fine, law just doesn't come as naturally to me as working with kids.  The reason why I didn't go through with it in undergrad is because I wanted the money and prestige associated with being a lawyer, but I have already determined that it isn't worth it for me. I made a mistake, but I am going to suck it up and fix it. 

Thanks for all of your input/ insightful comments!

PS:  As for the comment about paying off law school debt on a teacher salary, I am only a 1L, and I have 1/3 scholarship at a public school, so I doubt paying off my law school debt on a teacher's salary is going to be a big deal.  At first I was upset about losing money, but I think it will be fine...

Re: Am I Making the Right Decision?
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2007, 10:59:30 PM »
I found out that I scored really high on the LSAT and looks like I will be getting in to a well-rated law school in Toronto.  The problem is, I already applied for another program over a year ago for Teacher's qualifications and was accepted.  I am tempted to do them both at the same time (not sure if I can) because I am wondering if at my age (33), I should even entertain the notion of another 3 years of school (law) vs. 1 (teacher's college). I already have 2 MA's and a Ph.D. and this is pushing it by any standards, but its been a really bad time in my life and was surprised by how well I scored on the LSAT.  Also, at first I thought that family/estate law was something that would interest me, but am now veering more towards corporate or even environmental. Am I being realistic at 33 to consider such a commitment and career change?