Law School Discussion

Anyone else who just might not go?

Re: Anyone else who just might not go?
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2006, 08:36:03 AM »
Glad to see this thread. I've been wavering all along. Sometimes I think I decided to apply b/c I have a "program" addiction and thought that studying for the LSAT would be fun. Really. And it was, kind of.

And now I have to make a decision. I attended a preview day last week and got some hard stats--average starting salary for people from the law school I really am most interested in is $38,000.

Which is less than I make now. So it seems really dumb for me to incur much more debt and end up with a less paying job.

Sure, maybe I'll be able to find some type of job that I like that pays more...but I am nervous. And all of a sudden, I am seeing all the opportunities coming up through my current job....

But I am 29, and single now. It's not a bad time to go. I agree that whatever I decided to do, a law degree could really  help.

I wish I had a hairdresser like Maria. I think I'll just leave the decision to a tarot card reader...


Re: Anyone else who just might not go?
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2006, 10:41:07 AM »
For me, the main reason I have trouble committing to law is all of the negative feedback I get from current lawyers.  I can't tell if it's just the grass-is-greener thing, if it's just one of those careers that people always joke about hating but really don't mind, or if it really is that bad.

Either way, I can't tell you how many current lawyers, many of whom are cool and interesting people, have suggested I not go to law school.  I've been out of school for 5 years, so I've met quite a few lawyers.  Only about 10 percent don't warn me against the profession.  And even those people don't actually recommend it.   

Problem is, I typically ask them, well, what would you have done instead.  None of them come up with anything all that interesting.  Which leads me to believe that a) they may have been displeased with any of the pursuits they could think of; or b) maybe most lawyers are drawn to the law out of an inability to come up with something more creative. 

just my take...


Re: Anyone else who just might not go?
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2006, 04:44:22 PM »
bingo peabody! My experience speaking with lawyers has been the same. However,  I will add that I know two who have said, "go to law school, any law school, don't spend too much money doing it and then call me, I can help you get a job," but then when they say why I should do it (money, what else would you do?, its a respectable profession), I don't think that their reasons are all that compelling considering the negatives. Ugh. I hate that I am so interested in it, I wish I could just let the whole thing go. It would sure be easier...

Re: Anyone else who just might not go?
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2006, 08:31:08 PM »
I have a similar problem. The law school choice seems too clear.

1) I want to do something different with my life than I have been. Drastic change.
2) I have plenty of time to waste right now - no relationships or commitments other than my job.
3) I think I would enjoy the satisfaction I would get by succeeding in this. I really feel like I missed out on having a real intellectual challenge in undergrad. I breezed through two degrees with a 3.94.
4) I have spare money right now, and no debt.
5) Even though I *may* not pursue law, I don't see myself with a JD making any *less* than I do now, regardless of the career that I end up in. Plus, I believe that a JD would be a definite help in whatever I pursue. I could handle the debt, which by my plans should be about $50k, even on my current salary.
6) I'd like to spend some time in another city.
7) I see the practiced ability to apply myself and improved range of social skills that I could get from law school as more valuable than what I would learn with another three years at my current job.
8) Even though I am steadily advancing in my current job, I get the feeling that I will stagnate if I stay there too much longer. I know 'stagnate' is not the greatest term, but it is something I see every day in the people I work with. Maybe it happens at all jobs, but I would REALLY like to avoid it.
9) I know that the chances of this are low, low, low low low, but I would love to become good enough as a lawyer to make a difference in the current IP situation in the US. Even a little itty-bitty difference: a precedent-setting case would be awesome, but even just getting into a position to advise someone who really does have a chance to make a difference. It's just such a screwed up situation, and so many of the people involved seem like they don't really understand it.
10) Law school, and many of the potential career paths afterward, seem like they might really feed my competitive spirit >:).

See what I mean? Too clear. The only real risks I see are:

1) I might fail out, be out of a job and in an indeterminate amount of debt. Possible but unlikely.
2) My career path in my current job is really, really open and I am making lots of money with a job I generally like at a very stable company. Somehow I think I may regret leaving it (for the rest of my life.....)
3) I might dislike the rigors of law school more than I expect, and I might hate being a lawyer. It's so hard to tell.

I think I can live with those risks. Something inside me still screams "DON'T DO IT!" though.


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Re: Anyone else who just might not go?
« Reply #34 on: March 14, 2006, 08:43:07 PM »
the thought has crossed my mind a few times, trust would be amazing to take a few years off from school and travel and do things i really want to do.

Re: Anyone else who just might not go?
« Reply #35 on: March 14, 2006, 08:56:32 PM »
Not bad options, really.  That's why I'm tempted to take the scholarship $$$.

Right. I am in at Temple w/ $$$. I am also in a Fordham and Boston College w/o $$$. It seems like such a simple choice, risk-wise, to take the money and go to Temple. It has all the benefits of Fordham and Boston College from my point of view, with less-severe risks. Getting in at Biglaw, or even income in general, is not my biggest concern.

I still have a niggling little doubt about that decision, too, though - it also seems a bit too clear.


Re: Anyone else who just might not go?
« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2006, 07:23:07 PM »
It's crossed my mind. I won't make any decisions until the weather's nicer.
Well, it turns out the weather never got any better. I think I've decided to put off law school indefinitely.


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Re: Anyone else who just might not go?
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2006, 07:32:19 PM »
Yeah, me too.  Anybody wanna join the Peace Corps together?  Or, we can go be State Bureau of Investigation agents somewhere wild... like New Orleans.. or Memphis...

I'm a little surprised, J.D., given your level of enthusiasm over Tulane.  Whatever, though, I'm happy for you, even though I'm making the other (I would argue more cowardly) choice.  I finally made the call earlier today, when I realized that my high but not too high level of comfort with the prospect of attending Michigan and hence committing myself to a law-related career was enough to warrant doing it.  I don't expect to be 100% comfortable with any major decision in my life.  This one sets the bar for a 70% level of confidence...

I'm extremely grateful for the solidarity that's developed between us, and I hope very sincerely that we're both making the right decision (sad to admit that I have more confidence in your decision-making ability here than my own)   


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Re: Anyone else who just might not go?
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2006, 07:48:54 PM »

I'm not entirely decided.  When I visited Tulane, I was fairly underwhelmed.  I was drawn to Tulane because of New Orleans---- the opportunity to do meaningful work in that city was the most significant factor in my early preference for Tulane.  After visiting the school, however, I had my series of doubts.  The deans and administrators did not impress me.  They were really cold; impersonal; disinterested.  It seemed as though they were just trying to put on their quick, 1-day show, and then get rid of all the prospective students.  I did not once see any of the administrators having a meaningful dialogue with any of the prospects.  I was, likewise, unimpressed with the career development office.  Their presentation was essentially meaningless; they have us no real information.  I have since wrote to several members of the Tulane faculty, and the director of the career development office.  Essentially, I am attempting to ascertain whether or not I will be able to accomplish my goals if I attend Tulane.  I believe that if I attend Tulane and graduate in the top 1/4 of my class, I would have a number of very attractive options.  That said, if I attend Tulane, I will be 'on my own' for many things: I am interested in doing significant work in NOLA while in law school--- I saw no evidence of such connections between Tulane and the city; I want to work in nontradional/community development/para-military employment upon graduation---- I saw little evidence of Tulane's connections/pipelines to these sectors.  I am sure that, with a good class rank, I could find a solid job.  It seems, however, like I would be doing most of the searching on my own. 

I was very disappointed.  Tulane is a very good school, and has a strong reputation, especially in the south.  I went there hoping to be wowed, but instead, I was underwhelmed.  I deffinitly think the people who go to Tulane are probably very relaxed.  The French Quarter is fun.  And the city itself is incredibly inticing---- unique, violent, exotic, musical.  But the rather cold reception that I was given my the administrators... has made my feelings toward Tulane more mixed.

Ironically, I visited Duke thinking that I would never attend law school there.  It was a free trip, and I agreed to visit.  So I felt that I would go to Durham, and honor my promise to visit each school of interest before I made a final decision.  Going in, I had already written Duke off.  Initially, I met a series of prestige whores and tools, so I further resigned myself to the notion that Duke would never work for me.

Throughout the course of my weekend at Duke, the school grew on me tremendously.  I spoke with a member of the career development staff; the dean of financial aid and admissions; and the dean herself.  All of them seemed genuniely interested in my beliefs; my background; my interests; and my goals.  They were actually excited about the prospect of helping me do what I want to do, both in law school, and afterward.  This was so impressive.  Continuously, I observed deans and members of the career development office having meaningful conversations with students about a range of important topics (community service, course selection, financial aid, career paths, etc).  The Duke administration was amazing.  I came away from Duke with the following thoughts:  In spite of the tools I met initially, there are some good kids at Duke.  I prefer New Orleans and its wonders to Durham, but I could find ways to become involved in Durham, or even Raliegh, where poverty and violence are significant concerns.  If I attend Duke, they will help me find a job anywhere, doing anything.  Their career development office struck me as that talented and dedicated. 

As such, I am now torn.  Tulane is an excellent school... and New Orleans is the real draw... but why should I go to Tulane when they really don't seem to care about what my interests are, what my goals are, etc. 

So that's my status.  Torn as ever.  Still wish I could go to the Peace Corps or the SBI and kick the wanderlust. 

I'm glad that you made your decision.  I'm sure that's a relief!  Keep in touch with me. 



Re: Anyone else who just might not go?
« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2006, 07:51:34 PM »
I'm about 95% sure I'm going to take a year off.. at least.