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Stephen Jones
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Leaving law school
« on: May 24th, 2006, 8:01pm »
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Hi all,
 
I just finished my 1L year at a top 20 school. I am considering withdrawing for a year or two to go back to work.  
 
Can anyone think of the problems I'll face when I return? Will legal employers look at my like I have two heads for taking a 12-24 month break in the middle of law school?  
 
 
My situation is:
-no legal job lined up for summer
-mediocre grades (probably 20-40th percentile)
-good engineering job offer for ~50k / year
 
Ultimately I think I would enjoy doing patent prosecution at a small to mid-size firm. Part of taking a break is that I lost my motivation for much of the 2nd semester, and think that a hiatus might make me more focused when I return. I also have a hangup about not being 60k in debt, and saving while working would make debt on graduation more like 5k-15k.
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patento
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Re: Leaving law school
« Reply #1 on: May 24th, 2006, 8:28pm »
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If you are really really determined to leave the school but still want to be a lawyer, this would be my suggestion; attend an online law school (california based), finish remaining years. This will allow you to take DC (provided you finish 1 year in ABA approved school) and CA bars. DC bar is not that difficult to pass. This way you can take an engineering day job and still become a lawyer. Online schools are cheap and you can study in the evenings and on weekends (without leaving home).
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Isaac
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Re: Leaving law school
« Reply #2 on: May 25th, 2006, 6:08am »
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If you can get permission to take a hiatus and return to law school, I don't think taking a year off would be a big deal.  
 
I would not recommend an online program in lieu of returning to your current program.  While you could become a patent attorney licensed in CA and DC using that plan, I think your employment prospects would be much diminished over those resulting from completing law school at a top 20 program and maybe even over those from graduating from any reputable ABA approved law school.
 
60k of law school debt may look like a lot, but I'm not sure that in the long run taking a 50k job in the middle of law school is an economically sound decision.   I can't make your debt calculation of 5-15k work.  Further you might also consider  the potential lost year of a significantly higher salary than 50k.
 
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Isaac
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Re: Leaving law school
« Reply #3 on: May 25th, 2006, 7:35am »
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Its awfully tough to go back to school after taking time off.  I remember more than one 1L that took off, planning to come back and never did.  Stick it out.  If you take summer classes you could finish up in a year and a half.
 
My humble opinion, just get it over with.
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daven
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Re: Leaving law school
« Reply #4 on: May 25th, 2006, 7:55pm »
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I think you're just burned out.  Work an engineering job for the summer and you'll most likely look forward to going back to school by August.  
 
I haven't been to law school, but doesn't it get easier after the first year?  Maybe you could work a part time engineering job while attending school full time.
 
I vote that you finish school.  Two years will fly by. Wink
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