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Author Topic: Should I drop out?  (Read 3845 times)

Basic_Black

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Re: Should I drop out?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2008, 11:35:58 PM »
This is the credited response.

Yes, the job market is not great, but that's for everything.  You are probably much better off staying for the next 2 years and doing the best that you can than dropping out now and have to worry about finding a job, etc.  I was in a similar situation after my first semester of law school (except at a lower tier 1 school), but I decided to stay.

Lots of legal jobs (and those related to law) don't ask for transcripts, especially once you graduate and pass the bar. Don't offer it unless they ask for it--its not being deceitful, its being stragetic.  They have a strategy, why shouldn't you?  But you can't expect to make 6 figures right off the bat either. You might have to be creative in your job search--try some paralegal positions, teach at a technical school/ community college, do temporary agency work, work at a smaller firm, or even for a nonprofit to get some experience. 

I would advise you not to make the decision about dropping out until you totally finish the first year.  It could get a lot better. If you do stick it out, use second and third year to make some meaningful contacts, get some part time jobs (paid or unpaid) so that people can get to know you--great references are always good to have, and depending on who you know, can make a world of difference.

Also, in terms of paying back loans with a low salary, there are some programs in some states that assist with loan repayment while you work in government or with a nonprofit.  You should check those out as well.

Its not the end of the world, it just requires a change in perspective.  And, if you really want to work for a firm, get to know some people and you may be able to lateral in after practicing for 2-5 years.

Good luck!


$40k debt isn't bad. Lots of people graduate undergrad with that kind of debt. If you lost your scholarship though...you may want to seriously reconsider law school. Paying full price for a T3 would be rough.

At the very bottom of a T3 I'd still say the options are broader than roy is making them out to be. Assuming you're in a small or midsize market where your school is respected, and if you're not shy about getting your name out there, I'm sure you could get an associate position and eventually rise through the ranks of a respectable local firm.

Government work, on the other hand, might require more than a JD and a pulse, depending on local supply and demand.

Don't lose hope. It's only the first semester. Figure out what happened and do it better next time.




+1.  I'm in a similar situation, but it will be a cold day in hell before I leave law school voluntarily.  I worked hard and bided my time getting here.  I have lots of contacts in the profession.  I have reasonable goals, and will continue to apply myself towards achieving them.

Sure, I have thought about quitting.  Then I remembered that the first six months of the two jobs I had before law school had a similar dynamic.  The second six months was always make or break, and I made it.  The second year was still hard, but my performance was always much better.

Whatever your opportunity cost is for not being in law school, I hope it would have to be quite impressive for you to leave now.

Ergo, my strategy:  Talk to friends and confidants.  Let them hear you cuss and hear you cry (yes, it happens.) 
Then get back on the horse, and keep going.  If you don't make it over the next hill, you may always wonder about the horizon that you never gave yourself a chance to see.  (And isn't that part of why we applied to law school in the first place?)
Law is order, and good law is good order.
 
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Politics

dandlewood

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Re: Should I drop out?
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2008, 12:43:42 AM »
Hey guys, just wanted to add my 2 cents.  After my first semester at Law school I had the exact same GPA (thanks to a D in Civ Pro).  I worked hard, took summer classes and stuck it out.  I'm looking to graduate in the fall session (1 semester early) and my GPA (as long as I keep up my efforts) should see me in the top 50%, but not quite top 30% of my class. 

My first semester taught me a lot about what not to do, and if you can take those lessons with you, you should be ok. my School has a 2.5 Curve for first year students and teachers are required to hand out at least 10% D's and 50% C's. If your school has a curve like this as well, take your grades with a grain of salt.  If your school has a 3.0 or above curve.... Well, then you have a tougher decision to make.
Made: St Thomas, Florida Coastal
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1LMan

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Re: Should I drop out?
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2008, 08:02:17 AM »
Hey guys, just wanted to add my 2 cents.  After my first semester at Law school I had the exact same GPA (thanks to a D in Civ Pro).  I worked hard, took summer classes and stuck it out.  I'm looking to graduate in the fall session (1 semester early) and my GPA (as long as I keep up my efforts) should see me in the top 50%, but not quite top 30% of my class. 

My first semester taught me a lot about what not to do, and if you can take those lessons with you, you should be ok. my School has a 2.5 Curve for first year students and teachers are required to hand out at least 10% D's and 50% C's. If your school has a curve like this as well, take your grades with a grain of salt.  If your school has a 3.0 or above curve.... Well, then you have a tougher decision to make.


You didn't mention where you are going after graduation.  Might be useful for the OP to know job prospects.  Also, what school you are in.  These are all relative, otherwise its like comparing apples to oranges for the OP.

be10dwn

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Re: Should I drop out?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2008, 12:56:59 PM »
hey man, I'm a 3L and had a horrid gpa the first semester. Stick it out, work hard and you'll get that GPA up.  If it's something you want to do stick it out or you'll regret it. Remember, being a good law student =/= being a good lawyer and vice versa.  Don't give up on your dream just because you hit a speed bump.  Get up, dust yourself of, learn from your mistakes and go on and be stronger for it.  You can do it.

smujd2007

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Re: Should I drop out?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2008, 08:24:49 PM »
I wouldn't say they are easy to land, but if you are willing to move to a rural area, that is an option.  In a lot of rural areas, DA's and assistant city attorneys are in high demand because no one wants to live there.  YOu could go, stay a few years and get some great experience, and then look for employment elsewhere.

Most people from T3's or T4's end up going into private practice or working for the DA.  You'll make about $50k starting out.

I would question whether the 2.0 is sufficient to keep your scholarship.  Most schools re-evaluate scholarships annually.  In other words, just because you got a scholarship for 1L doesn't mean you get one for 2L or 3L.  Double check.

Not sure where you got your facts, but DA jobs are not easy to land, generally.  They are stepping stones for DOJ and a T3 grad with subpar grades isn't going to make a very strong candidate. 

My advice is to keep working hard this semester and try to raise that gpa.  However, IMO, I wouldn't take on 40k or more of debt to get a JD from a T3 with minimal job prospects, but that's just me.
smujd2007 is now an Attorney at Law!

dandlewood

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Re: Should I drop out?
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2008, 11:09:24 PM »
Hey guys, just wanted to add my 2 cents.  After my first semester at Law school I had the exact same GPA (thanks to a D in Civ Pro).  I worked hard, took summer classes and stuck it out.  I'm looking to graduate in the fall session (1 semester early) and my GPA (as long as I keep up my efforts) should see me in the top 50%, but not quite top 30% of my class. 

My first semester taught me a lot about what not to do, and if you can take those lessons with you, you should be ok. my School has a 2.5 Curve for first year students and teachers are required to hand out at least 10% D's and 50% C's. If your school has a curve like this as well, take your grades with a grain of salt.  If your school has a 3.0 or above curve.... Well, then you have a tougher decision to make.


You didn't mention where you are going after graduation.  Might be useful for the OP to know job prospects.  Also, what school you are in.  These are all relative, otherwise its like comparing apples to oranges for the OP.


>I go to Widener
>>I got a job working part time as a paralegal summer of 1L and I continue to do part time work now.  If I pass the bar  on my first shot I have an associates position waiting. 
Made: St Thomas, Florida Coastal
Kiss of Death:Miami, American, Rutgers, Villanova
Paying back the Loan Shark:
Pending: Nova, Widener, Temple, Florida State, Howard, Drexel, Dusquesne, Penn State

NATUREBOY

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Re: Should I drop out?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2008, 01:05:27 AM »
Not sure where you got your facts, but DA jobs are not easy to land, generally.  They are stepping stones for DOJ and a T3 grad with subpar grades isn't going to make a very strong candidate.
They're not easy to land, but they're not excessively difficult either.  Many are indifferent about grades, too.  A lot depends on location.

1LMan

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Re: Should I drop out?
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2008, 07:42:04 AM »
Not sure where you got your facts, but DA jobs are not easy to land, generally.  They are stepping stones for DOJ and a T3 grad with subpar grades isn't going to make a very strong candidate.
They're not easy to land, but they're not excessively difficult either.  Many are indifferent about grades, too.  A lot depends on location.

This is plain out false if you are talking about a major city.  Getting a DA gig at a large metropolis is just as difficult, if not more so, than biglaw.  You think all prosecutors are morons?  Get your facts straight.

be10dwn

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Re: Should I drop out?
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2008, 06:17:38 PM »
Not sure where you got your facts, but DA jobs are not easy to land, generally.  They are stepping stones for DOJ and a T3 grad with subpar grades isn't going to make a very strong candidate.
They're not easy to land, but they're not excessively difficult either.  Many are indifferent about grades, too.  A lot depends on location.

This is plain out false if you are talking about a major city.  Getting a DA gig at a large metropolis is just as difficult, if not more so, than biglaw.  You think all prosecutors are morons?  Get your facts straight.

I dunno about as hard as "biglaw" but certainly more difficult than he thinks.

NATUREBOY

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Re: Should I drop out?
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2008, 08:28:00 PM »

This is plain out false if you are talking about a major city.  Getting a DA gig at a large metropolis is just as difficult, if not more so, than biglaw.
Maybe where you're from.  But not in my neck of the woods.  I got a job offer (from a T4) with no problem and my grades are nothing special.  I couldn't even get an interview for biglaw.