Oh, hi, lost blog.

7 Feb

I started this blog back in 2009, when I was a twenty-one-year-old junior in college. Back when I thought I knew what I wanted, and when I thought what I wanted was to be a lawyer – or at least to go to law school.

I stopped writing.. a while ago. I guess around the time I realized what a scary place the legal market is and around the time that I decided to defer law school in order to join AmeriCorps*VISTA instead.

I’m writing again now because I am twenty-three and have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I couldn’t tell you if it is to be in the law or to run from it. I couldn’t tell you what I would do if I didn’t go to law school in August. My guess? Be employed and happy and have a vague plan to eventually go back to school to get a degree that I’d have a targeted use for.

What do you need to know about me?
1. In 8th grade, I had to do a “career research” project. I chose lawyering, and I said to my study buddy, “This sounds terrible and I will never do it.”
2. Senior year of high school, I thought I was going to be a violin performance major. By January 2006, I changed my mind and decided I wanted to be employed, so I chose to major in English instead. (Oh, cruel irony.)
3. Freshman year of college, I decided I was going to be a lawyer. I don’t remember why. I declared a second major in Political Science (because isn’t that what lawyer-wannabes do?) and chugged along happily for three years.
4. Junior year of college, I took the LSAT and did well. Hello, six-figure salaries!
5. Senior year of college, I realized that the legal market sucks and law school is expensive. Hello, six-figure debt!
6. First year out of college, I realized that law school is expensive, Biglaw jobs pay big because hours and stress are big, and oh heeey, I might not want to do much lawyering at all, even non-Biglaw lawyering.

So here I am, sitting on a really big scholarship to a really good school with serious plans to not go. Now, or maybe at all. In the meantime, I’m facing a looming deadline to lock in an apartment in a primo location next to my maybe law school, and I feel obligated to make the decision to go or not go by the time I get that “Welcome off the waitlist!” email.

Maybe resuscitating this blog will force my thoughts onto a screen and help me make a decision. Or, you know, maybe it’ll get crazy popular and I’ll be able to make serious bank on ads and I’ll never need to go to law school to have even a shot at a decent income.

Tagalongs on my decision-making journey are welcome, especially current law students and practicing attorneys with valuable insight.

3 Responses to “Oh, hi, lost blog.”

  1. Ricky Nelson February 8, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    I’m a 1L in law school now. Everyone’s situation is different, but this is how I’d view the decision of how and whether to go the law school.

    I think the decision to go to the law school really turns on you doing your research and having a real reason for why you want to practice law. Not some vague, “I want to help people” “I want to make money” “It’s been my lifelong dream” cliche line that you know is complete crap. Rather, have a real reason. Maybe you were slighted with legal problems in the past. Maybe you studied something in school that had a legal component in it and want to do more with it. You don’t have to know exactly what you want to do with a law degree when entering law school, because you don’t know exactly what law school is like until you get here and things may change in the three years you are in law school. But I do think that making the decision to go to law school requires you of having some goal that actually means something to you. It makes the hard times in law school (and there aren’t that many) a lot easier and I think it helps you keep your focus.

    On where to go to law school.

    Really quickly, I decided to go to a law school where I got the most money. I was not deadset on Biglaw and I got a very nice scholarship package from this school as well as a “prestigious” research assistant position. So far things have been going well. I rocked first semester exams (an A- was my lowest exam grade, which is rare in law school) and I am employed for the summer. The lesson from my experience would be that not having to take out any loans not only opens up the exit options (because you aren’t swamped in debt and need a biglaw job) but you also have less worries during the year. If you aren’t taking on big debt, then you don’t need biglaw, and if you don’t need biglaw then you don’t have to worry about “first year grades being really important.” Don’t get me wrong, grades are important no matter how much debt you have. But from my experience at least, the biggest determination of grades is your approach to law school. And I think that if your approach is bad because you don’t know why you are in law school, if you have to worry about debt, then you aren’t going to do as well as you should and could.

  2. Brownbelle February 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Hey! I’m currently a 1L and I second everything Ricky said. Definitely think about the money. I didn’t get a full scholarship, but my tuition is paid and only having to take out loans for living expenses cut my debt waaay down- worst case scenario, I’ll have borrowed about $45,000. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but since all my loans are federal, they can be forgiven after 10 years in public interest (teaching, non-profits, government, etc).

    I chose law school because I ultimately want to do policy work, and someone who works in that field said a J.D. would do much more for me than a Master’s in Public Administration. She was right. At least half of the legislative directors & senior policy analysts at various think tanks & non-profits, have JDs. And of course, I always have the option of practicing or teaching law to fall back on. If you don’t have a clear idea of where you want this degree to take you, it’s a bad investment. Law school will always be here so take your time to figure out what you want to do. Good luck!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Fridays From the Frontline « Clear Admit: Law School Admissions Blog - February 11, 2011

    […] learning Hebrew and learning Spanish. 0L Vodka Sours resuscitated her blog in order to further explore why she may or may not actually want to be a lawyer. 1L Brownbelle hit her studying stride and prepared for her first on campus interview. NYU […]

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