Law School Discussion

2.0 - Should I drop out?

2.0 - Should I drop out?
« on: January 20, 2009, 10:05:18 AM »
I got a 2.0 last semester, straight C's. I go to a law school ranked in the 30s - 40s. I got in because I took very easy classes in undergrad and I happen to take standardized tests well.
I didn't try particularly hard until finals came around and generally struggled to pay attention in class.  I would go weeks at a time in classes like civ pro where I wouldn't even take notes.  I really don't hate law school because I find that I have tons of free time outside of class to do the stuff that I like to do.  I generally don't believe that I can bring my grades up to even a 3.0 although I do think if I worked a little harder I could manage some   I'm just generally freaked out that I have no passion for law school material and I really don't know that I will even like being a lawyer. 
Considering I will probably leave law school about 150,000 in debt, I'm thinking my best option is to just cut my losses now or if they will let me, take a leave of absence for a year and figure out what I want to do.  To be honest, I don't know what I want to do.  I came to law school because I thought I would make a good lawyer but now I feel like I keep going blindly ahead I would be making a big mistake.  I also came to law school because I wasn't ready for the real world. I understand that I could still graduate with bad grades, pass the bar and make maybe 60,000 a year but I'm wondering if this is the right thing for me.  I'm just in a panicked state right now and I'm also wondering if this is par for the course for students after their 1L semester.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 10:37:53 AM »
What's the curve at your school?

Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 10:47:29 AM »
3.0, making me pretty much at the bottom of the class considering D's are rarely given

Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 11:15:37 AM »
I'm just generally freaked out that I have no passion for law school material and I really don't know that I will even like being a lawyer. 

I also came to law school because I wasn't ready for the real world.


I think these two statements say a lot more than your grades. Having bad grades but still liking the law and thinking you will enjoy law practice is one thing. Here, you are basically saying that you are willing to take on a bunch of debt and enter a career you most likely will not like because you aren't ready for the real world.

If you don't like law school, it is going to be hard for you to do significantly better. Improving grades is absolutely something that can be done, but I think you have to enjoy leaning about the law to pull it off.

I know it may seem depressing to quit something you started, but maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea. If you can take a leave of absence, that might be the best thing. You can go out in the "real world" and maybe find something you like better. Or, maybe you will recharge and come back ready and excited to learn the law.

Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2009, 03:01:31 PM »
No, that isn't "par for the course for students after their 1L semester".  Don't drop out because of your grades.  Drop out because it's not something you're interested in enough to waste your time and money on.  Life is too short.  Figure out what you really want to do with your life and move on.

Jolie Was Here

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2009, 03:48:22 PM »
Two of my best friends went straight to law school after undergrad, hated it, and dropped out after a semester. One was doing very well (7th in her class after 1st semester), one was doing somewhat poorly. That was 10 or 11 years ago (yes, I'm Old) and they've both gone on to have lovely, fulfilling lives. Sure, paying the debt from a semester of expensive school that didn't end up yielding a degree sucked, but I don't believe that either has ever regretted the decision to pull the plug.

I personally think that that year or so after college is one of the more difficult in our lives. It's tempting to avoid the big questions by aimlessly continuing your education until answers, like, fall out of the sky or something. And frankly, that works for some people. For me, it made much more sense to just get out there and face it all.

Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2009, 09:50:32 PM »
I agree with what everyone else has already said.  I didn't go straight through and I am very happy that I worked for awhile -- it gave me A LOT more perspective on life and my prior job also gave me a very good idea of the type of law that I want to practice someday.

I'd also say this -- there are FAR easier ways to make say $60K a year than sit through three years of law school and rack up $150K in debt.  You might be surprised at what non-legal employers are willing to pay talented employees (not every career has a glut like the law does)


Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2009, 07:28:26 AM »
   If you don't know what you want to do I would say don't drop out.  Even if you KNOW you don't want to be a litigator, don't drop out.  A law degree will only increase the number of potential jobs you could have.  Don't look at it as a huge financial burden, look at it as a really expensive key that can open up alot of doors in whatever your future career might be.
   Graduating with a law degree from a good school, even if you finsih in the bottom 5%, will impress alot of employers.  Not everyone in law school gets grades above the curve, if that were the case then there would be no bottom of the class.

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2009, 08:05:43 AM »
   Graduating with a law degree from a good school, even if you finsih in the bottom 5%, will impress alot of employers.

From a top 10 school maybe.  I wouldn't be impressed by a student at a 30-40 school who is in the bottom 5%.

Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2009, 08:07:29 AM »
That is not a smart financial decision.  Looking at it as a key doesn't do anything about the reality of two more years of foregone income (even if OP makes $40k in those two years, that's $80k), the chance to get on the ladder at another job two years earlier for pay raises/seniority, and and additional five semesters of debt for both school and living expenses. And it's not just the flat debt cost if you're paying it back at interest over 10 years.  OP needs to bust out his calculator to see if it's worth it to him before looking at anything metaphorically in the hopes it will open more doors.