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“Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.”

4 Jul

And herein ends both my legal and blawging careers, before they’ve even started.

I will not be going to law school this year, nor, probably, in any future year. For a myriad of reasons, encompassing the practical to the temperamental, I’ve decided that lawyering is not for me, and I’ve found my way to a different professional track. I’m fortunate that a few months of soul-searching resulted in finding a job that I love, but letting go of the law school dream was one of the hardest things I have ever done (obviously, I have not had a terribly difficult life).

So if any of you are on the waitlist at the University of Virginia for the Class of 2014, perhaps you are one spot closer to making it in. You’re welcome.

I’ve been blogging (yes, regular blogging) elsewhere about normal people things (read: non-law school). Maybe I’ll come back later and link to that blog, because I get way more site visits here than I am over there. Probably because everyone involved with the law is neurotic and obsessive and prone to reading the blawgs of people who have no idea what they are talking about (me).

Anyway, I’m signing off. And if you ever need a reason to avoid law school, look no further than Oscar Wilde’s stand on arguing.

Coulda Been

17 Aug

If I hadn’t deferred, I would’ve been oriented to my new school today (and for the rest of the week).

1Ls, what did I miss? Did you have an awesome time? Did you drink awesome shooters, listen to awesome music, and then just sit around and soak up each others [1L] awesomeness?

(Does one ever get too old to quote Mean Girls? I think not.)

I’m torn between jealousy and relief. Since I chose to not be in your shoes today, I’m going to side with relief. But I’ll be living vicariously through you all for the next year!

The Future Bitter Lawyer?

25 Jun

What is an almost-law-student to do when coming across things like this?

I think I, and most other future or current law students, would be foolish to not consider what truth and universality might be found in lists like this one. As always, I wonder how any of us are really supposed to know whether we are suited to practicing law without having ever actually, you know, practiced law.

Upgrading

11 Jun

When making decisions, people are prone to placing more weight on negative outcomes even when those outcomes are significantly less likely to occur than positive or neutral outcomes. (See Scott Plous.) In January, I bought a 15″ MacBook Pro with a Core2Duo processor. (A few short months later, an upgraded MBP was released with the new Intel i5 processor. Figures.) By the time I begin law school, this computer will be a year and a half old. It is currently covered by the AppleCare warranty (which only lasts for up to three years, if purchased), but to extend it for two years (which would cover it until midway through 2L) will cost $350.

I recently read a report that there is approximately a 17% chance that my MBP will have reliability issues within three years. Although I used an iBook G4 for four years (and my parents are now enjoying it without trouble), I have heard negative things about the most recent Apple products’ reliability — notably, that reliability is decreasing.

My concern, because I am focused more on the less than 1 in 5 chance that my computer will have issues than on the 80% chance that it won’t, is that this computer, new though it is, will not last through law school. I am terrified that it will crash at a very inopportune time. I also am unsure about dropping $350 just to cover my computer until halfway through 2L.

I am strongly leaning toward buying the MBP bundle offered by my school next summer. The bundle includes a 13″ MBP (the diminished screen size is not much of an issue for me), a three-year warranty, and loaner laptops should my computer ever crap out on me. I don’t want to replace the computer I have now. I really, really don’t. It just seems silly to spend $350 for what amounts to half-time coverage, especially when I may have to buy a new computer before the end of law school anyway (mine would be over four years old).

The three-year warranty and loaner laptop really pushes me toward buying a new computer before 1L, despite the sense of waste I will have about my current laptop. I will, of course, religiously back-up all of my work, but I would feel more secure knowing that if my computer fails before finals, I will still have a machine to work on.

As usual, I get the sense that I am over-thinking a purchase that, if it occurs, will not occur for a calendar year. Sigh.

27 Jan

I got into CLS today.

I think it is a fluke, and I’m terrified that when I withdraw and reapply next year, I will not be so lucky.

The Hold

7 Jan

The BlackBerry buzzed. I glanced at it nonchalantly, expecting more Kerasotes Five Buck Club reminders (No, thank you, Kerasotes. You drive a hard bargain, but New Moon once at full price was enough.). I saw, instead, an email from Harvard. A quick skim resigned me to my waitlist status–but wait! File updates and supplements? Additional LORs? Not a waitlist–merely a hold! A chance to redeem my whimpering application, terrorized into quiet submission and acceptance of its mediocrity by the hoards of Admits’ sparkling resumes and witty, yet on-message, personal statements!

Yes, I have been held for re-consideration until Harvard reviews more of its applicant pool, at which point I will be admitted only if no one better comes along. I will play the game, submitting an updated resume (that is still lackluster), updated grades (honestly, one of the strongest parts of my initial application in the first place, so little bump to be had here), and perhaps an additional LOR or two. To not do these things would be foolish.

I do not have great hopes for a Harvard admit this year. However, this year’s hold gives me reason to hope for next year’s cycle. My numbers will be the same, my GPA possibly even on the other side of 4.0. I know that my numbers are not holding me back; it is, instead, my lack of “soft” factors. Harvard’s willingness to hold my application now, with my less-than-stellar softs, suggests to me that a beefed up resume and improved personal statement may land me a coveted spot in the Class of 2014.

This hold, rather than disappointing or saddening me, makes several decisions that I have been struggling with much easier to make. Because I’ve firmly decided against attending law school in the fall, rather than be forced into picking a school now and deferring, I have the confidence to withdraw my applications, re-apply next year, and believe that I have a fighting chance at HLS.

This is the best thing that has happened to me all year (one week in)!

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.

6 for 6

14 Dec

More good news today. Two sets, actually. Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately, I suppose), I’ve already gotten into one of my top, top choices, and that renders all the other good news more or less moot.

I’m getting greedy, though. I want a CC to add to my “Accepted” list on lawschoolnumbers.com.

Pre-Christmas Gift

7 Dec

Big purple envelope in the mail today.

See VS Whine

4 Dec

The good news has been trickling in slowly, but at least it is coming in. I received a “Good news! We want you!” phone call yesterday afternoon from a school that wasn’t really near the top of my list. Then the “Good news! We want you!” phone call turned into a “Good news! We want you! And we are about to give you dollars! Lots of dollars!” phone call, and I began seeing hearts in my eyes.

I have lived a fairly financially comfortable life, which has been underwritten entirely by my parents. I received scholarships to undergrad, so I’ve spent the last three and a half years floating around, taking classes for free. The concept of debt is very foreign to me–or was very foreign to me until I began the law school admissions process. Now I realize that ten thousand dollars is a lot of money. It is, in fact, ten sets of one thousand dollars, which, in turn, are ten sets of one hundred dollars. One hundred thousand dollars (times 1.5, taking into account potential cost-of-living expenses) is a lot of one hundred dollar sets. This is put into perspective when I consider how much Redken All Soft conditioner I could buy or how long I could pay for my BlackBerry data plan with that much cash.

While I may have thought when beginning this process that I would go where my heart led me, my heart is mostly leading me to follow the green. This, of course, raises the eternal debate about ranking, job placement, LRAP, etc. vs. scholarship dollars, and I do not have answers to those questions yet. Undeferable scholarship money also puts a damper on my plans to take a year off and learn to be a real person before law school.

The “Good news! We want you! And we are about to give you dollars! Lots of dollars!” phone call has quickly become a weight on my shoulders, killing all of my plans for next year and hindering my already hobbled decision making skills. I should be thrilled, and mostly, I am. Maybe the best thing for me to do now is focus on the immediate future, like finals and a literature paper that is not writing itself. And, on the bright side, I will now have further ammunition to use against pesky relatives at Christmastime.