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Author Topic: law school or business school  (Read 1219 times)

duffduffxx

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law school or business school
« on: August 10, 2008, 02:24:09 PM »
So here is my dilemma
I recently graduated from CU Boulder- a great school in which I partied hard, and skied a bunch and had a great time. I graduated with a degree in environmental studies and geography (double major) mainly because I hated studying business and wanted to do something interesting, and I was also running out of time to declare a major.
So now that I have graduated, my head is spinning on what to do. I will either go into three fields, business, law, or entrepreneurship.
LAW
The reason I want to do law is because it could be great to get into environmental law, which I heard is huge. Unfortunately I cannot get an internship at a law firm until I am in law school. Both of my parents are lawyers and arenít forcing me in any way, but I know they would like it if I went into law.
I have a good GPA (3.5) and havenít taken the LSAT because I donít want to sink time into it if I decide not to got to law school. Because I went to CU, and pretty much my entire family went there, I have an extremely good chance of getting in as long as I apply early and donít totally botch the LSAT.
For me being a lawyer would be great- my parents have a lot of connections in the legal field in Colorado- would I be foolish to leave those behind? The social scene is great in the legal field, and I would have pretty good job security and flexibility, and I could possibly start my own firm. They money would be good and with a JD you have a considerable amount of power. I could also go into the emerging field of climate change law which I have some experience with (climate change studies, not law). It seems great and would be exciting- I have helped out with a few cases for my parents and it was cool to think critically.
The reasons I donít want to go into law school donít seem to put law totally out of the picture for me- the pros and cons which I have gone over and over just seem to balance out. I donít want to go to law school because law seems limited- you are pretty much analyzing American legal text.. Everyone says that you can do so much with a law degree but you are mainly limited to the law. You probably wont travel outside of the country a lot, and because I wont be going to a top tier school (CU is tier one but far from the top of it), I wont be making the big bucks. I love Colorado but if I went to CU, I would probably stay here my whole life, which isnít bad, but this isnít the only place in the entire world.
The other problem is that I havenít studied too much for the LSAT and the test is coming up. If I wait to take it in December or March, it will be an entire year before I go into law school and I will be that much older going into law school. The last problem for me is that there are so many lawyers these days- the job market is tough. Furthermore a lot of lawyers say they wish they would have done something else (my parents excluded, they love their jobs).
BUSINESS
Right now I am working for a company in Colorado that does business sustainability. We work with corporations and other organizations that are trying to fuse environmental responsibilities with their business. Its really great and the people I work with are awesome. I have met top executives at major corporations and got to see how many different businesses work. We also do carbon footprinting, and environmental management systems. Its really great and I like it a lot- the job is a hot commodity as the company is handling a ton of projects and it seems like kids come by the office almost everyday to see if they can get my job. It seems like this field is the future of business.
The problem is that the job is complex- I canít handle everything on my own, I usually need guidance which is hard to get as my bosses are always totally swamped. Furthermore I will need another degree, most likely a masters in business to stay in this field.
Business school would be great. This job seems like it could get me into a good school if I do well on the GMAT- however I have very few if any connections at top business schools like I do for law school. If I cant get into a good business school then I might scrap it altogether, as it is hard to justify spending $100,000 for a degree that might not advance me to where I want to be.
If I went into business, I would probably work for a company, and would have to opportunity to travel if I went to an international school like INSEAD, Thunderbird, or Michigan- I love traveling and what is better than traveling around the world and getting paid for it. When I saw a career counselor, I took a career trait test, and it said that I would likely be best as a top executive. This is what got me thinking about going to business school, and the fact that I worked for a firm that fused business with the environment (also part of the reason I got an environmentally related degree was because I bet it would be huge in the future- if not in the US, at least in other parts of the world). If I wouldnít be an executive, I could be a consultant as well which would be great. Also in business you have to potential to make a ton of money. My parents made a lot in law, but some of their friends made much more in business.
The only problem I have with business is that I would have to work for a big corporation- it could be tough to be get promoted to an executive, and if I wanted to I would have to stay with one company pretty much forever. In a corporation you have little security and it is hard to move up and make a name for yourself. You donít have that community within business like you do in law (am I wrong?). Again as with law, the pros donít outweigh the cons which adds to the confusion. They just balance out.
ENTREPRENUERSHIP
Being your own boss would be great. I have a great instinct for what starting a business entails, as I had my own successful one in high school. I have around $80,000 from inheritance I just received and want to make sure it goes into a good investment.
The only problem with being an entrepreneur is that I donít know what my small business will be yet. I donít have that big idea, or that product or niche to start yet. I thought about buying a foreclosed house and becoming an early homeowner or investing in my uncles oil company that is about to go public, but I am not sure yet. I just donít know.

So the reason I am posting this is because this is pretty much my life right now, and any POSITIVE advice would be great.


vegemite

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Re: law school or business school
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2008, 04:57:23 PM »
Get both a JD and an MBA at CU-Boulder through the joint-degree program. I know a few people doing this here and one of my good friends is interested in entrepreneurial stuff in particular. It's only one more year and it's less limiting than just one or the other.

AOCenteno

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Re: law school or business school
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2008, 10:36:51 PM »
Wow, thatís quite a first post.  Looks like you have given this a lot of thought; hereís my advice Ė

Forget going back to school for right now.  To me it sounds like you are passionate about the environment, and the job you have is perfect.  Devote yourself full-time to doing what you love, and in a few years when you feel you have little left to learn from those around you, then consider making the leap to your own company or going to Business school.

But donít go to B-School right now.  You didnít enjoy the classes in undergrad, and honestly an MBA without 3-5 years work experience wonít be as beneficial.   With work experience you not only stand a better chance getting into a top 10 school, but you can continue to think on whether or not itís the best decision for you.

Also, I would definitely leave Colorado for my next degree; nothing against CO, but you need to live someplace outside your comfort zone.  I know a few people that went to INSEAD and ESADE; great schools, but you need to speak at least two languages so be ready.  London Business School is another great place, but state-side you might want to check out schools like UT Austin; they allow inter-program transfers that can send you to pretty much any foreign B school for a semester.

Take that 80K and invest it.  Live below your means and sock away money so that in a few years you can launch your own company with enough runway to give yourself a year or two to get off the ground. When you go back to school, you will be there not just to study but to meet talented people who you can count on in the future to be partners.

You are in a position most people dream of Ė follow your passion and live your life.

Julie Fern

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Re: law school or business school
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2008, 08:43:46 AM »
thank you, captain america.

vegemite

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Re: law school or business school
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2008, 12:40:02 PM »
Haha! Julie, you're the best.

Julie Fern

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Re: law school or business school
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2008, 12:48:27 PM »
you fine american.

vegemite

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Re: law school or business school
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2008, 01:20:50 PM »
um.. Veg not American. Thanks anyway. ;)

Julie Fern

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Re: law school or business school
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2008, 02:08:24 PM »
not we been through this before?

HippieLawChick

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Re: law school or business school
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2008, 02:36:20 PM »
I am too busy to read that whole thing. 

The one thing I thought when I began reading it was, "Why not talk to your parents about it instead of a bunch of idiots on the internet?"

Julie Fern

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Re: law school or business school
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2008, 03:57:47 PM »
this trick question, right?