Law School Discussion

Feeling like quitting

Feeling like quitting
« on: November 01, 2006, 09:35:33 AM »
It's 1st semester of my 1L year. I am at a T4 on scholarship (covers everything but cost of living). I have good days and bad days, but I feel like I spend the majority of my time asking myself why in the hell I wanted to go to law school.

The idea of working in a large firm sounds like a nightmare, small firms sound like a good way to be as poor as I was before law school, and jobs working for the state don't pay well and are competitive. Whine whine whine, I know.

My dream life is living abroad (preferably in Latin America or elsewhere in the developing world) OR working for a nonprofit. I thought law would be a nice stable way to at least work for a nonprofit. Now I am realizing, though, that the loans I am taking out for living expenses are real AND that my state's LRAP program is not so great. I am afraid of being bogged down in debt.

I could also see myself teaching high school social studies. I know that getting a teaching job is very competitive though, and requires an advanced degree (in my state). 

I have no idea what my class ranking will be, and if I will keep the GPA required for my full ride (2.5 GPA). Somedays I enjoy class and can imagine working as a lawyer, but other days I feel like law school is the WRONG choice.

Just wondering if anyone else feels the same way and how they are coping? Or if I should just get out now while I am still (somewhat) ahead? [By "ahead" I mean under $10 K in cost of living loans, and an undamaged GPA].

Re: Feeling like quitting
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2006, 09:51:15 AM »
So quit.

Re: Feeling like quitting
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2006, 10:10:25 AM »
Thank you for your insight. Yes, quitting is the obvious answer. However, my post said that somedays I feel okay about school and others I don't. Apparently I am the only law student who has ever felt this way, it's not the normal 1L blues, and therefore I should quit.

Very helpful.

Re: Feeling like quitting
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2006, 11:47:31 AM »
Thank you - good to hear. Yeah, I know I am definitely glorifying the idea of teaching...and quitting school.  I guess if I do well this semester, I will consider applying to transfer to the state school (T1). Career options are much better there. Obviously there is no guarantee that I will do well enough to transfer.

Otherwise all of the career planning workshops offered at my T4 will hopefully lead me to figure out what it is that I want to do.

I can do it :)


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Re: Feeling like quitting
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2006, 01:24:15 PM »
I guess I never worry about the money because this is what I want to do and there is no other way to do it.

If I was ambivalent then I might be worried about debt.

Re: Feeling like quitting
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2006, 02:44:15 PM »
Hey buddy, I know just how you feel. I did my first year at a tier 4 and went through exactly the same feelings that you are now having. At one point I was looking for just about any reason I could to drop out. I looked into other grad programs and tried to convince everyone, mostly myself, that law school was not for me. I was sick of the work and especially sick of being confused as hell.

However, I stuck with it despite my negative feelings. I realized that everything that I was complaining about I knew before I even began my first year. I knew it would be tough, I knew my social life would suffer, and I knew the job market for a graduate of a tier 4 school in my area.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I ended up 2nd in my class and tranferred to a tier 1 school. My options would have been okay if I had stayed at the tier 4, but I figured I deserved the step up. My advice to you would be to not give up easily because it can pay off. At least finish up the semester and see how you end up. Like I said, I thought that I was more miserable/confused than everyone around me, but I ended up doing well after midterms and stuck it out.

Re: Feeling like quitting
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2006, 07:54:43 AM »
Thank you one time and whiteyemsr. Good to hear that I'm not the only one to have felt this way.

I definitely am going to finish up the semester and hope for the best. Outlining is no fun, that is for sure.

Re: Feeling like quitting
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2006, 05:21:43 PM »
I too am a 1L at a T4 law school on scholarship. I am a mom of 3 kids (ages 8,7,and 6). I went BTS about 2 yrs ago and finished my BA (which I started in 1989 LOL). I have been alternating between loving law school and hating it. It's really hard for me to strike a good balance btw family and school. Fortunately I have several attorney friends who help me keep it in perspective. Just stick it out, and who says you have to go work for a big law firm anyway... Having a law degree will open so many doors for you. Good luck!

Re: Feeling like quitting
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2006, 10:43:00 AM »
Almost same boat. T3, full-ride, but will lose it if I don't get a 3.0.  At this point, I don't know if I honestly will get a 3.0, and once the scholarship goes, I'm not sure I'm willing to PAY to be this miserable every day.  I hate class--it's so boring.  but, I've worked in a law firm before coming to school and enjoyed some of the work.  I think school is a separate thing you just have to grit your teeth through.  I just wish I was less apathetic towards the work.  I find that stressing out makes me into an unpleasant person, so I tend to lean towards apathy. I might be bummed when I get mediocre grades, but due to my lacksadaisical attitude, I had a whole semester of enjoyment and minimalized stress in exchange for that one day of depression over my grades.  It's totally worth it.   

Re: Feeling like quitting
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2006, 10:43:47 AM »
Well you aren't the only one that feels that way and sometimes I wonder if those feelings are much stronger at t4 schools like I attend. I almost dropped out after midterms and decided, hell I paid for it already I might as well tough it out until the end. I think I am definitely withdrawing at the end of the semester. Several people have told me to stick it out for at least a year and I contemplated that and decided that financially, with the way I am feeling about a law career in itself coupled with the crazy financial burden I might incur by just sticking around, in MY situation it will be best to try and cut my losses while I can. I must not be the only one at my school as I just looked and I think they have like almost a 30% attrition rate for the first year. I didn't realize it was that bad and it looks really bad compared to 1-3% at the state schools. I do think it is normal to feel like quitting as many of my friends feel like that on days, but when it doesn't go away, I think then you really have to step back and think about things. Just wanted to put this out there in case there are any lurkers in my shoes that might want to commiserate or can relate.