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Author Topic: Thinking of quitting law school...  (Read 2260 times)

bigbop81

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Thinking of quitting law school...
« on: January 10, 2008, 02:24:24 PM »
I'm a 1L at a top-50 law school (between 40 and 50), and I'm miserable at law school.  I did ok first semester, but I'm getting really depressed over my future career as a lawyer.  I liked the material that I read first semester, and I liked writing, but I don't want to work crazy hours to make ends meet, and the though of $100k of debt panics me.  I'm not happy with myself either...I'm really out of shape, and I've completely lost touch with friends and family.  I also feel like I don't fit the typical aggressive lawyer type, either...I'm also realizing that I probably won't be in the top 10% or even 25%, which could prove harmful to me when trying to find a job that pays well.

Should I quit now before I get too deep in debt?  Should I fight through it?

thorc954

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Re: Thinking of quitting law school...
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2008, 02:59:56 PM »
think of what alternatives you will have to law school... there is very little that can be done without some sort of graduate degree.  Law school, like everything, is exciting and interesting when it is new.  Start making some time for yourself out of the day to go to the gym.  That alone will make you happier.  Also, start exploring career alternatives.  There are definitely opportunities to work in the government which do not require the top 25% grades or anything more then the 40 hours a week.  The pay is also decent.

Basically, what I am trying to say is that, if you cannot think of a great option in the alternative, stick with it.  There are jobs that will allow you to have plenty of free time and still pay stuff off.  There are ways to get in time for family, friends, the gym, etc and still do your best in school.  It gets to a point where law school seems all encompassing, but it doesnt have to be.  As you move further down the line, trust me, it takes up a lot less of your time. 

however, if you think about everything and decide you really will not be happy being a lawyer in any setting, drop out.  you have to do what makes you happy in the end.  life is too short not to.

1LMan

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Re: Thinking of quitting law school...
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2008, 03:14:36 PM »
Also, keep in mind that it gets better after 1L. However, if you aren't happy, don't stay.  Just make sure you are certain first.

I'm a 2L, I have a biglaw summer associateship lined up, yet I still often consider leaving law school.  Why?  Because I don't know that working 80 hours a week is worth $160k a year.  What good is money if you can never spend it and you die of a heart attack before you get to enjoy your golden years?

It's a tough decision, so I feel for you.  Just take your time and make the proper choice for YOU and not for anyone else.

txlawstu

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Re: Thinking of quitting law school...
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2008, 03:28:28 PM »
Completely depends on your goals.  I am absolutely miserable in school.  Have been from day one.  But, when I work in the DA's office I enjoy my work immensely.  In my previous job, when I went to court I had so much fun.  I asked my friends that are ADAs before I started school and they all said I would probably hate school, but it's one of those dues you just have to pay.  Just suffer through three years of hell and then you can have your dream job.

However, if your not sure you want to do the work, I don't know if the suffering would be worth it.  I would suggest you find a law firm and see if you can volunteer to help out.  Just hang around the office and see if the environment and the type of work they do is what interests you.  Of course better yet would be to work for them and get paid, but hey, if you really want to know you will volunteer.

Jhuen_the_bird

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Re: Thinking of quitting law school...
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2008, 03:32:48 PM »
I guess you really just have to ask yourself - do you hate LAW SCHOOL or are you just feeling generally apathetic and poopy?  B/c there is a difference.  Every once in awhile I go through periods of time where I just feel apathetic - I don't want to do school, I don't want to work, I just want to sit on my ass and/or do fun things.  But I think everyone gets like that, and everyone gets frustrated with what they are doing, b/c life can be hard work and stressful.

Don't stress too much over the debt, though - very few students graduate without debt, and many students graduate with doctorates with lots of debt and even less job prospects than us (law school graduates) ... everyone makes a payment plan and pays off their debts, though - not the end of the world. 

Also, there are LOTS of job options for those with law degrees - being a lawyer or having a law degree =/= one thing.  Try researching your many options - I know it made me feel better :)

1LMan

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Re: Thinking of quitting law school...
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2008, 03:51:13 PM »
Also, in all reality, EVERYONE hates law school.  It sucks, but I assure you, 2L is better than 1L and I hear 3L is a breeze.  Just don't make a rash decision that you will regret.

Also, in my opinion, if you are already 30-50k in debt you are better off riding it out.

thorc954

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Re: Thinking of quitting law school...
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2008, 04:11:32 PM »
Also, in all reality, EVERYONE hates law school.  It sucks, but I assure you, 2L is better than 1L and I hear 3L is a breeze.  Just don't make a rash decision that you will regret.

Also, in my opinion, if you are already 30-50k in debt you are better off riding it out.

agreed, even if you dont do well, you will have a degree and great non-law options for after graduation

old_student

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Re: Thinking of quitting law school...
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2008, 07:32:25 PM »
My understanding is that many students - maybe even most, at some law schools - won't get jobs in law firms but that the law degree can open up a lot of doors job-wise that would not be open otherwise.

james

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Re: Thinking of quitting law school...
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2008, 01:54:16 AM »


agreed, even if you dont do well, you will have a degree and great non-law options for after graduation
[/quote]

Can anyone provide examples of the great non-law options for a J.D.?

scarlett

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Re: Thinking of quitting law school...
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2008, 09:20:49 AM »
I agree with the advice about distinguishing a string of bad-mood days from a real, general dislike for law school.  If the former, we all know what that's like!  If the latter, then maybe it is worth leaving now. 

I waited until I was nearly 30 to start law school, and even now that I'm halfway through I haven't regretted being here for a moment (even tho it sometimes makes me want to set myself on fire.)  But two of my dearest friends went to law school straight out of college, reacted much the way you are, and ended up dropping out during the second semester.  One of them was doing really well (#7 in her class) but was miserable, the other was not doing so well and was miserable.  Anyway, they're both leading perfectly happy and productive lives now and have never regretted their decisions to leave.  And having to pay off that chunk of debt blew, but it was a lot less distasteful than continuing with something that made them unhappy. 

Now's the time to do it if leaving is the right decision for you.  Don't let yourself feel trapped if it's truly not right.  Of course, we can't make that determination for you.  Good luck!