I need to rant.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ravenvii, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #1
    I need to rant.

    I am currently in law school, UC Hastings, in California. I moved here from New York.

    And over the past few days, I begun to ask myself "what the **** am I doing here?". I love California and San Francisco, and I am happy I moved here. It's law school I am talking about.

    I just graduated with BA's in philosophy and history, two subjects I really enjoy. I went through 5 years of school.

    And now I'm in school again. And I realized I'm just ****ing sick of it. If it's something I'm interested in, I would have more stamina. But I could give two ****s about law.

    I came here because I want a good job. A job that a BA couldn't give me. But I don't know WHAT. If it is up to me, I would continue my education in philosophy. Perhaps teach philosophy or even history. Because I am genuinely interested in those subjects. But the job prospects aren't great.

    And people look to me to succeed. Lawyer is something that says success just from reading the word. I could have gone to medical school or business school. I had to pick, and I picked law.

    Now, I don't know why I picked it because I was afraid I would not be a "success" in others' eyes. Why would I give two *****? This goes against my life philosophy in fact.

    And yet I did. And now I feel like I am stuck. I went through so much to get here, the LSAT, the application process, the move. The only part I didn't mind is the move, I would happily remain in San Francisco.

    It would be a disappointment to others if I bailed.

    It would seem like I am running away from the work laid in front of me. It might be, I don't know. But wouldn't I be motivated to do the work, if I feel I am in the right place?

    I feel like I should have taken a year off to get away from school for a bit, and find myself. But would I actually find myself? I don't know. Then I feel like I should have followed my heart and gone to study philosophy in the graduate level, jobs be damned. Or even go after one of my previous goals, to be a history teacher.

    Aw hell, I have no idea. This is getting miserable for me, and it's not even the law studies that's miserable, it's just being here. I haven't even begun doing any of my readings for class, because I so ****ing not want to. I don't know. Would you read this and think I'm just being lazy? I don't give a damn about my grades, even though I know my grades will be so important in the next couple years. But to study study study and get good grades, so you get into a well-paying job, then work, work, work. You work hard to get more work. What the hell is that?

    Ok I think I should stop ranting now. I don't know why I'm posting this, and I don't know what I'm looking for. But here it is for all to see.
     
  2. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #2
    I feel for you. I'm a history major myself, so I know what you mean when you say that it's a lot more interesting than law. There are a lot of people who will tell you that you should follow your heart when it comes to the job you'll be doing for the next 40 years, but I say NAY.

    Think of it this way. Even if you don't want to be a lawyer for long, you can change careers easily. Lawyers have a lot of job opportunities outside of the law itself, so don't start panicking about doing it all your life.

    I too am thinking about law. The way I look at it, I can always abandon the career after a few years, but it will give me benefits for a life time. The degree is a very usefull one. You've been accepted into a Tier 1 school, so you should take advantage of the opportunity. And who's to say you won't like law? Give it a while, it might grow on you. Hope that helped:eek:
     
  3. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Location:
    Clovis, California
    #3
    I agree with CalBoy; you should give it some more time. Just because you wind up with a law degree doesn't mean you have to be a lawyer. The education gained about the legal system can be useful in a variety of professions. I was watching Charlie Rose the other night and one of his guests mentioned Charlie having a law degree. His reply was: "Thank God I found Journalism." ;)
     
  4. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Location:
    totally cool
    #4
    Think of it not as getting a law degree, but as learning how to conduct yourself at a high level. Many politicians, executives and entrepreneurs are lawyers. They don't practice law but they speak and carry themselves very well and that often leads to some degree of success.
     
  5. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #5
    Get out now before it's even later and do that. There's no point in continuing to force yourself to do something that you don't know you want to end up doing.

    I studied law - discovered I didn't want to go into it during my second year and let others talk me into continuing who told me that it was a phase I was going through. It wasn't. I got my law degree although it wasn't as good as it could have been if I'd been studying something I enjoyed rather than something I was going through the motions of.

    Status and money aren't everything (the money helps though!)... find something that you're more likely to enjoy doing... and more likely to find like-minded people doing.
     
  6. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020

    BillyBobBongo

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    On The Interweb Thingy!
    #6
    I hear that! I turned 30 this year and I've been studying biology for about 10 years. A few years ago I found myself sitting around and wondering if it's really what I wanted out of life. I should finish up with my PhD at the end of this year then I'll try something new. I think it's worth seeing things through to the end. The skills and experience you gain will no doubt prove invaluable. You've got yourself this far, I'd stick with it....that way if later on things go the shape of the pear you've got options! :D
     
  7. Maui macrumors 6502a

    Maui

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #7
    I assume you are a 1L? It has been almost 20 years since I graduated, but I still remember how tough those first few months are. I think almost everyone wonders whether they have made a mistake, and in my class 12 people quit in the first few months. We had a memorial wall for them. The socratic method is tough on people, even the "kindler, gentler" socratic method that many law schools use today. It's no fun to stand there for an hour and have some professor make you look like an idiot in front of everyone else, but everyone gets their turn, eventually.

    I don't know you and I have no idea whether you should stay or go. But, I do know it would most likely be a mistake if you left this early in your first year. You will be unable to switch to a different school for the next few months anyway, so you might as well stick it out at least for your first semester.

    I hate to tell you this, but the pressure actually gets worse -- roughly 10% of your class will get the $3K a week jobs during their first summer. I don't know what your goals are, but the first semester grades can be a real shock. People who have had straight A's their entire life are suddently getting straight C's.

    But, the second and third years are much easier. You work much harder during your second year than you did during the first, and you really get bored during your third year.

    Of the 120 or so who stuck it out and graduated from my class, we figured that almost half are no longer practicing law, and that is not unusual for any class. That tells you two things -- job satisfaction surveys among lawyers show that a lot of lawyers are unhappy in their career choice, and many people work for a few years and leave the practice. Having a law degree can open many doors outside of the legal world.

    Hang in there. Buy Gilbert's for every class, get a study group with a few people who seem to be trustworthy, and take one day off from studying every month. Oh, and find a 2L who did well in each of your classes last year, with the same professor, and get a copy of their outline -- make sure they did well or don't use a hand-me-down outline. If you aren't sure whether they did well, look at what job they had during their first summer or whether they are on law review junior staff. Those are usually good indicators.
     
  8. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    Random advice that only you can decide whether it relates to your scenario or not: Part of being successful is knowing when to walk away from what isn't working. It is NOT giving up.
     
  9. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    I know how you feel. After I finished my undergrad (in music) I got accepted to Northwestern to get my Masters. I was really sick of school at the time and decided to put it off and not go straight away. Well now it's 10 years later and I never did go back to school. Every time I think back on it I want to kick myself for not just doing it and getting it over with. My point is, I know you're sick of school now and wish you could take a break, but since you're there now you might as well just get it out of the way. Think 10 years into the future and see which outcome you think you would make you happier at that point.
     
  10. jng macrumors 65816

    jng

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    Are you in your first year? So drop out if it's not for you.

    I took the LSAT junior year and ended up never applying because I realized I would only be doing it for my parents, who consider being a lawyer a sign of success. And I disagree.

    And now what? That's the hard question that really only you can answer. And even if you can't find it right away, no shame in working a restaurant and waiting tables or something for the time being.

    I ended up moving back to Europe to travel and teach English for a year. The "now what" still isn't fully answered.
     
  11. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #11
    Unlike Maui, I only graduated from law school a year ago. But, I can already see that what he says is true. Just to echo a few points - if you aren't in that select few with a monster job, you will feel more pressure. If you are really unlucky, like me, you will end up spending the first year out of school in the world of temp agencies. The pay is average, the projects come and go, but you do make friends in the industry.

    Stick it out this semester. I remember one of my best friends at school spent the night before our first exam crying in the bathroom. But, by the end of 1L, everything was much easier and routine. If I had it to do over again, I would have transferred after my first year (although, with my grades, nobody would have taken me ;)). If nothing else, consider this semester's tuition a sunk cost and check it out. By the end of the semester, you'll feel better. Plus, by then, nobody (except those $3K/week kids) will be doing the reading.
     
  12. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Location:
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    #12
    I just started law school two weeks ago after having gone to school on and off for 10 years graduating with two degrees (political science and history) and half of two others (religion and biology).
    don’t judge law school until you go to some classes (torts can be fun). Treat the readings as a game, they become more interesting if you do. Remember everyone else feels the same as you do. Everyone is new and no one knows what to expect.

    If you find out that you like law school (or can deal with it) but don’t want to be an attorney the degree is still useful for other careers. My dad with his JD has been an attorney (which he hated), taught undergrad and law school, restructured state agencies, was a judge for several years, and now in his retirement is working part time as a lobbyist for fun. just because you get the degree it does not mean that you are locked into one career.
     
  13. grafikat macrumors 6502a

    grafikat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    #13
    The key is what YOU want to do.

    While I agree that you may want to finish the semester, I'd recommend taking a sabbatical, and doing something radical while you can.

    Peace Corp; Teach English in Japan; Study in Costa Rica or a history rich culture for a semester. Not ready to just leave school? Take the foreign service exam while you ponder your education.

    All of these experiences can help you investigate other options. Law School will still be there, and you'll be glad you tried a completely different path, even if you end up back at the books.

    While I'm happy with where I am in my life, I do know several folks that bemoan their "lost opportunities" in an effort to please others.
     
  14. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Utopia
    #14
    Your love is for Philosophy. A law degree is not too far off for that love. Law was built out of philosophy. A law degree can be valuable, even as Philosopher.

    I agree with most of the others, give it a legitimate chance, if it doesn't work out so be it. Your family will get over it; then get yourself into a Philosophy doctorate program.

    Always follow your heart.

    Good luck! You'll be fine.
     
  15. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #15
    Thanks guys. I've decided to finish out the year at the least. Then go from there.
     
  16. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #16
    Best of luck. I'm sure you'll find it's not as bad as you think:)
     
  17. mac daddy macrumors newbie

    mac daddy

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    #17
    I've been a lawyer for about nine years, and I remember having similar feelings -- at times. At other times, I found the process to be intellectually invigorating. I would suggest that you hang in there and give it a shot. In the first few days, just about any new experience can seem overwhelming. At least give it a chance before making a decision.

    The great thing about the law is that it is so far reaching. Pretty much anything you can think of has some relation to and is some way impacted by the law, and that's one reason why a JD is such a great degree. You can taylor your career to be involved in something you really enjoy and make a good living at it.
     
  18. Maui macrumors 6502a

    Maui

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #18
    Hang in there. Find out what study regime works for you and stick with it. Don't always feel compelled to stay in the library until midnight just because some egomaniac in your class tells everyone he/she did.
     
  19. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #19
    Well the great news is that after all that schooling you get to take the California Bar Exam, the same exam that people fail multiple times. It is now getting harder to pass because according to the State there are too many lawyers. Anyone can disagree with me but I do happen to know this for fact. ;)
     
  20. Maui macrumors 6502a

    Maui

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #20
    The California exam is tough, although the statistics are skewed low because, unlike most states, California does not require graduation from an ABA accredited school to sit for the bar. The pass rate for first time takers who graduate from an ABA accredited school hovers around 70%, which isn't that different from most other states. The pass rate for first time takers who graduate from non-accredited schools is about 25%, as I recall.

    For someone who goes to a top 100 school, does reasonably well, and studies hard for the bar over 8 or 10 weeks, the exam is really just an endurance contest more than anything else -- particularly in California. It is the only 3-day bar (at least that I've ever heard of), and that 3rd day really was a killer. The other bars I have taken were 2 day exams.

    The worst thing the OP can do at this point, however, is waste even 1 second thinking about the bar exam.
     
  21. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #21
    There's a reason lawyers have such low job satisfaction rates.
     
  22. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #22
    Maybe the excessive hardwork and long hours? I know alot of lawyers, most of whom are quite happy with their jobs. I really think it depends on what kind of law you practice, what kind of firm you work for, and whether or not you really have a passion for the law. It's just like any other job that pays well; long hours (way too many of which have to be billable), hard work, and tons of pressure. You don't start out in an office with a door and a secretary for no reason.
     
  23. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #23
    That is part of what I was implying, yes.

    Related: Depression Hits Lawyers
     
  24. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #24
    Don't scare the OP now;)
     
  25. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    #25
    Haha yeah, reading an article similar to that kind of scared me out of taking that path. That and my boss' reply to my friendly "how was your weekend", it was something like, "what weekend? I was here all weekend, don't become and attorney if you like weekends." But hey, my new career path is almost as depressing, accountant!

    Really though, a JD is a great degree and opens so many great career paths outside of the law, I am still considering getting one eventhough I'm not feeling the attorney path so much anymore.
     

Share This Page