See VS Deliberate

21 Dec

I am notorious among friends and family for simply not speaking when I don’t have anything worthwhile to say.* I am not one for talking just to hear myself talk.** Hence, I am a terrible blogger. I never have things to say that I think will contribute in a meaningful way to your (Readers? Are you there? *cricket* *cricket*) day, law school application process, or hunt for a new spin on a classic vodka sour.

So, today, I have nothing that will contribute in a meaningful way to your life. But I do have a dilemma that has been weighing on me for a couple of weeks, and because my friends and family think I have stumbled upon a golden goose with my law school acceptances and don’t engage me in serious, deliberative discussions of my post-undergrad options, I am turning to teh internetz for help. (Ack!)

In the interests of full-disclosure:

  • I don’t want to go to law school next year. I am not going to law school next year. I am burned on school, and I want to be energized and happy to be at law school when I am there. Going in with lukewarm feelings toward marathon study hours is a guaranteed recipe for below-median 1L grades, at least for this 0L. For my long term success and sanity, law school in Fall 2010 would be a harbinger of doom.
  • “What will VS do in her year off?” you ask? I hear there is a  buck to be made feeling of accomplishment in turning tricks joining Americorps and living at the poverty level for twelve months. Because I’m not sure about BigLaw in any case and might end up doing public interest work, I think spending time working in public interest organizations will give me the background to make that decision when the time comes. At least that’s what I’m telling anyone who asks why I want to live on 10K a year.

That, dear readers, is more or less the situation as I see it. I don’t want to go to law school next year –> I am not going to law school next year. Now, let’s discuss the wrenches that have been thrown into my fairly simple plan of “not going to law school next year,” beginning with the deferral/withdraw and reapply dilemma.

  • My original plan was to get in somewhere awesome (NYU), turn down the money they didn’t offer me, and ask for a deferral, thereby securing my spot in the class of 2014 and gallivanting off on my year of poverty knowing where I would be the next fall. Now, having added a couple of soft factors to my resume, I wonder if I wouldn’t have a shot at Harvard if I reapplied next cycle.***
  • My original plan was to get in somewhere awesome (NYU), turn down the money they didn’t offer me, and ask for a deferral, thereby also turning down money offered me by lower T14s. Now that a lower T14 is dangling a large amount of money in front of me, I wonder if I would be an idiot for turning it down. This also throws a wrench into my year-off plan because it is unlikely that, even if I took the money over NYU, the scholarship would be deferred, also. So not only is this a “T14 w/ $$$ vs. NYU” question, but it is also a “T14 w/ $$$ this year, ruining my carefully laid plans for a much-needed break from school and thus jeopardizing my long-term success and mental stability for a lot a lot of dollars vs. NYU” question. Money makes people do awful, ugly things.
  • My original plan was to get in somewhere awesome (NYU), turn down the money they didn’t offer me, and ask for a deferral, barring an acceptance into a minority internship program that requires I run off to law school immediately following the summer of the internship, in which case I certainly would have taken the internship and become a member of the NYU Class of 2013. Now, I am considering withdrawing my internship application and reapplying next year. This is actually a simple question for me to answer, once I have my decision in place re: T14 w/ $$$ this year, NYU next year.

So. My options, in the most pressing and cascading effects order:

  1. Your classic money versus ranking scenario. My inclination is to take on 200K of debt and move to New York, especially if it means I can take a year off. But I should also mention that there is a slight chance of getting my merit aid deferred at the lower T14. I’m making the phone call this afternoon. If it is deferrable, then my question becomes more complicated. Take the money and also take a year off, or turn down the money, take a year off, and move to New York in 2011?
  2. Take neither the money nor a deferral and simply reapply, holding out for a Harvard or Columbia. This is not really the path I want to take because I don’t want to do the application process again. That said, I will, in all certainty, do this if I don’t end up with impossibly compelling options this year (e.g. if I hate the schools I’ve gotten into this cycle) and decide that I stand a better than fighting chance with an updated resume.
  3. Re: the internship. I can withdraw my application now before they send out interview invitations (I am fairly certain I will get one. I am also certain they will laugh me out of the interview. Realism, FTW!) and reapply next year. If I go on the interview and through a freak of opportunity do well and get accepted into the program, it will be impossible for me to turn down. I will end up in school next fall (likely at NYU, due to the prestige-whoring of the program), which is precisely where I do not want to be (in school in general, not at NYU in particular). I’d like to withdraw my application now so I don’t have to turn down an interview offer and just reapply next year without the tarnish of having rebuffed them this year.
  4. And of course, there is the withdraw and reapply option and the possibility of being offered scholarship money again next year. Is that likely? I have no idea. Thoughts?

I am, of course, making the assumption that I have already gotten the best acceptances that I will be getting this year. I also haven’t visited any of these places, yet. Even missing pieces of the puzzle, I am starting to see a picture taking shape. It does not involve VS in law school next year. I know that I am getting the chance to make decisions between very phenomenal options, and I am thankful that my hard work has paid off. Stupid economy–if you hadn’t tanked, I’d happily defer at NYU with no money and still sleep easily at night.

*Call it circumspection. Alternatively, you could call me out for simply never having anything worthwhile to say.

**Cue guffaws of disbelief. “‘Not one for talking just to hear myself talk?’ says she? Posh! She writes a personal blog, the most self-adulating form of written communication!”

***A girl on LSN with my exact numbers (and not wildly game-changing softs) got in this cycle. If I improve my resume and PS, I think I’d stand a fighting chance next year. Maybe not a great one, but there is a chance.

One Response to “See VS Deliberate”

  1. idwsj December 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    The decision about money v. ranking is a personal one. Some people are comfortable with debt, some aren’t. Some people prefer the perhaps higher likelihood of getting a solid job v. money, but that’s subjective (to some extent). In the end, even if you can’t get deferrals, I think things more or less shake out the same with law school applications from year to year. That’s not always the case, of course, but seems to generally stand true (with what #’s qualify for merit aid and so forth. if you get merit aid one year, my GUESS is that this would give you pretty good odds at merit aid the next year).

    Anyway, that’s all you. As for the year off, I’m a big proponent of taking time off between undergrad and law school, particularly if you’re not sold on the idea of starting law school right way. 3 years followed by a career of work and/or lots of debt should not be taken lightly. Time off is good for perspective.

    Have fun next year (no matter where you work)!

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