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Author Topic: 2.0 - Should I drop out?  (Read 9002 times)

Domdude

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2009, 01:32:29 PM »
Alright, so are you saying that there's no point to going to law school if you finish at the bottom of your class? Why? because its expensive?  Last time I checked undergrad was pretty expensive as well and to tell someone to not go to college if they're going to be at the bottom of the class is riddiculous
  Granted I realize your class rank may be more important in LS, but is it your contention that barely passing law school will lead to a unfruitful career?  Ya the great jobs are going to be reserved for those at the top of the class, but theres a reason 1/2 the class doesnt drop out after 1L.  Because there is plenty of jobs out there for unstellar students, ya you're not gonna be makin 80-100k a year, but getting a job will be a lot easier than your buddies with a bachelors degree.
   As far as potential job opprituinites, and SFPD's points, 1) I never said "non-legal" employer, all I said is theres alot of jobs out there besides being a litigator where a legal backround will be either required or useful 2) Even if were talking non-legal, a law degree shows an employer that you have an ability to comprehend and analyze material that the guy with the bachelors might not have and 3) As far as the employer thinking you couldn't "hack" it, I'm sure that could be explained in an interview

Jolie Was Here

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2009, 01:53:35 PM »
Alright, so are you saying that there's no point to going to law school if you finish at the bottom of your class?

No, we're saying that there's no point in finishing law school if after 1 semester you already know in your heart it's not the right career path for you AND you're at the bottom of your class. Yes, it's true that the 1L curriculum is very tilted toward litigationish work, but the OP doesn't seem to have any interest in studying law. That's different than not wanting to litigate.

Why?

Like I said . . .
I was referring to your intellectual penis. Which is quite robust.

Jolie is creeping up on me. 

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2009, 01:55:35 PM »
It sounds like OP has no desire to be a lawyer.  As a society we view UG as intrinsically valuable, but the difference in pay with a degree vs. without is much higher over a lifetime than law degree (from bottom of the class) to without.  I'm not suggesting that everyone in the bottom of the class drop out.  I am suggesting that OP, who doesn't really want to be a lawyer/be in law school/just went for having nothing else to do, should seriously consider dropping out. 

Assuming OP has no undergrad debt (which could be a big assumption), $150k in law school loan debt would require about $200k in total repayments over 10 years.  OP's monthly payment will be $1726 over 10 years, and the financial aid calculator suggests that he needs an annual salary of $200k to pay it back while living comfortably.  If OP uses 15% of salary to pay it back, OP still needs $150k salary to live comfortably.

Add in the foregone income of between $40-60k per year for 2.5 more years -- $100k-150k.  Law school will thus cost the OP $300-350k, and OP will need a biglaw salary to pay back the loans while living comfortably.  This doesn't even factor in the opportunity for OP being 2.5 years higher on the job rung ladder by dropping out and getting a job now.  If OP drops out now, OP could be in a much better financial position.

Maybe the sacrifices are worth it if you really want to be a lawyer, but if you don't, then you should damn sure think twice about graduating at the bottom of the class and hoping to make $150k starting. 

Big Time Lawyer

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2009, 03:44:57 AM »
It sounds like OP has no desire to be a lawyer.  As a society we view UG as intrinsically valuable, but the difference in pay with a degree vs. without is much higher over a lifetime than law degree (from bottom of the class) to without.  I'm not suggesting that everyone in the bottom of the class drop out.  I am suggesting that OP, who doesn't really want to be a lawyer/be in law school/just went for having nothing else to do, should seriously consider dropping out. 

Assuming OP has no undergrad debt (which could be a big assumption), $150k in law school loan debt would require about $200k in total repayments over 10 years.  OP's monthly payment will be $1726 over 10 years, and the financial aid calculator suggests that he needs an annual salary of $200k to pay it back while living comfortably.  If OP uses 15% of salary to pay it back, OP still needs $150k salary to live comfortably.

Add in the foregone income of between $40-60k per year for 2.5 more years -- $100k-150k.  Law school will thus cost the OP $300-350k, and OP will need a biglaw salary to pay back the loans while living comfortably.  This doesn't even factor in the opportunity for OP being 2.5 years higher on the job rung ladder by dropping out and getting a job now.  If OP drops out now, OP could be in a much better financial position.

Maybe the sacrifices are worth it if you really want to be a lawyer, but if you don't, then you should damn sure think twice about graduating at the bottom of the class and hoping to make $150k starting. 

I'll have to disagree with you on a few points.

First, if you take out $150,000 in federal loans (Stafford and Grad Plus) at a rate of $50,000 per year (so your actual debt at graduation is more than $150k), your monthly payments will be around $2,000 on a 10-year re-payment term.

Second, most lenders offer re-payment terms of up to 20 years for large debts, allowing for monthly payments of around $1,400.

Third, even at $2,000/mo, you don't need $200k per year to live comfortably.  If you make $200,000 per year, you will take home about $120-130k after taxes (federal income, state income, social security, medicare, unemployment) without any deductions, exemptions, or credits.  That comes out to $8k to $10k per MONTH, after making your loan payments.  You don't need $8k to $10k per month to live "comfortably," by any reasonable interpretation of the word.

[I'm not sure which "financial aid calculator" you used, but it's always a good idea to check the numbers for yourself before posting them.  Not to do so is like copying-and-pasting a summer associate's work product into a motion without checking the research.]

Fourth, if the OP takes a job working for the government (at any level) or for a qualified non-profit organization, the OP can take advantage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 1997.  At an adjusted gross income of $50,000, monthly loan payments for that $150k debt would only be $430/month, and the entire balance of the loan (principal + interest) will be canceled after 10 years.

Big Time Lawyer

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2009, 04:00:17 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

Hey Drowning,

Any time you ever feel down, think about the majority of people in this world that are wondering how they will put food on the table for their children, much less themselves.  "Poverty" in the United States is nothing compared to poverty in the global community.

Think about what you really want to do for a career.  As others have mentioned, there are both disadvantages and advantages to going to law school straight from undergrad.  In my view, one of the disadvantages is a lack of appreciation for the real working world.  Most people don't get to sit in an office in a relatively clean environment doing paperwork. 

Think about that the next time you pass a factory late at night, a police officer walking around in the rain, a construction worker covered in dust in the wee hours of the morning, a janitor cleaning toilet bowls, or the ever-standing sales clerk that rings up your purchase in the evening.

On the other hand, while law school is a great opportunity, one that most people in the world and even in this country will never have, it is not for everyone.  Only you know what's best for yourself, if you truly dig down deep and carefully analyze yourself.  However, you have only spent one semester in law school.  That first semester is not reflective of actual law practice (especially the transactional side), or even the substance of your future chosen law specialty.

What other careers would you pursue if you quit law school?

1L2011

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2009, 10:26:10 AM »
Im in the same boat, got 2 B- grades back so far on a 3.0 curve. But I like the law and Im just gonna adjust and give it another shot this semester.


TheDudeMan

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2009, 10:54:14 AM »
2 B-'s on a 3.0 curve isn't that big of a deal.  One B+ or A- can pop you right back up.

1L2011

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2009, 10:59:41 AM »
2 B-'s on a 3.0 curve isn't that big of a deal.  One B+ or A- can pop you right back up.

yeah Im not at some world beater school like a lot of the people here. Im at a school ranked 60-80. Im just freaked out and shocked. But yeah I guess you right, I just prob wont get a paying job this summer.

TheDudeMan

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2009, 11:03:37 AM »
As a 1L you had a very small chance of getting a paying job anyways at a school in the 60-80's. Heck, even in the top 20 you would have to be higher up in rank for that.

Just get experience this summer, smash your grades in the spring and be ready for Fall OCI.

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: 2.0 - Should I drop out?
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2009, 11:12:20 AM »
I was posting the numbers as a rough guide.   My suggestion is that it's quite possible that dropping out is the rational economic decision and that OP needs to sit down with the numbers.  Even with a 20-year term (who the hell wants that?), student loan debt should not take more than 10-15% of your income.  In which case OP needs to make between 90-137k. Going to law school is supposed to bring you something that you want that you wouldn't have already in order to be a real benefit. I'd put that down as a higher standard of living; OP doesn't seem to have a particularly strong desire to be a lawyer at all, much less a public interest lawyer making peanuts or paying tens of thousands of dollars a year in interest and principal in order to live like a grad student.