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Stephen Jones
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Re: Leaving law school
« Reply #5 on: Jun 16th, 2006, 8:37pm »
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Thank you everyone for your feedback. After a little soul searching, I decided to stick it out for three years straight through law school. Taking a side job for a break just doesn't make that much sense, I have realized.
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Malini
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Re: Leaving law school
« Reply #6 on: Jun 30th, 2006, 11:02pm »
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Think long and hard about taking a year off.  I "stuck it out" and burned myself out.  I have an outstanding education but could not concentrate to take a bar exam.  This lead to depression, which sounded like no big deal.  It is a big deal.  To be in a top law school, you have accomplished a lot.  The higher you climb, the further you fall.  
 
What happens if the stress gets to you and you get under a C average?  You will be on probation and then no law school will give you a chance.  This happened to a friend of mine.
 
The more stress and failures, the harder it is to bounce back.  One year off to clear your head and know what you really want to do is worth more than any amount of money.  
 
I wish I took a year off.  After loosing concentration due to depression and failing exam after exam (I failed by 3/1000 of a point) I lost hope, friends and even my family got angry I didn't "snap out of it".   Now, after several years, I have to start studying, then explain to employers what the gap in my resume is about.
 
You are VERY SMART to think about this NOW ahead of time.  Law school is not much different the second or third year.  All law schools are pressure.  If you need to clear your head, you will return refreshed and confident.  How many law students actually get recharged as the 3 years wear on?  
 
Graduating with overwhelming debt brings you down as well.  Working your first legal jobs expect 60 to 80 weeks at least.  Is the income going to make the stress go away when you need to generate 2,000 billable hours to the clients that no other more experienced attorney wants to deal with in the firm?  
 
My time away was not my choice but I can assure you I am returning to this profession fully recharged.  I could have shortened it by taking a year off just to get a complete break and feeling good about doing some relaxing engineering work.
 
I'm not unique or a looser - this happens to other brilliant people in this profession.  GIVE YOURSELF the best when going back to school.  If you do, you will soar to the top of the class.  As an engineer, your workplace will respect your goals of going to law school and see you as a valuable asset after you graduate.
 
If you leave for a year in good standing, you will not hurt your career.  If you come back feeling confident and refreshed, that will come through when you finally interview after graduating.  There are plenty of noble reasons for taking a year off that are neutral when interviewing.  The best reason of all is that you needed to take the time to determine if this is really what you want.  Upon graduating, you have proven that with a decision to take a year off and make this decision.  
 
Who would you hire?  Someone desperate to finish so they can make more money sooner? or someong who took their time to decide that this is what they truly want to do?
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TataBoxInhibitor
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Posts: 456
Re: Leaving law school
« Reply #7 on: Jul 1st, 2006, 7:26am »
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Ill just put my two cents in.   I graduated with more than twice that debt from law school.   At the time, I still had undergradute debt on top of that.    While it looks pretty scary on paper, it is possible.   I did not know many people that that their tuitiion paid in law school.   My suggestion is, try and get a scholarship or something and DONT take out the maximum loan amount if you can afford to.  
 
....though, my payments do look similar to mortgage payments, in the end, I will have paid off a J.D., not a house, which is a little unfortunate....
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