Thursday, October 21, 2010

I failed out of law school, and yes, it sucks!

I failed out of law school, and yes, it is the worst feeling in the world.

If you are reading this, it is likely you are going through (or will go through) the extremely depressing realization that you are not smart enough, or you are lazy, or you are not intellectually capable of completing your J.D., or a combination of all of those factors. On the other hand, you could also be reading this in hope to offer your own comments to chastise those who were not smart enough, or too lazy, or not mentally capable of completing their J.D., and that is fine too. In fact your negativity, like mine, may help people realize that they may have made one of the biggest mistakes of their life by going to law school in the first place. I not only made the mistake of going, but I also chose to go to a tier 4 law school.

Nonetheless, which ever side of the fence you are on, hater, sympathizer, or member, I am going to bring each of you along on my journey while I try to figure out what to do next. I have not officially failed out at this point, but it is foreseeable. Based on that foreseeability, I am contemplating a number of secondary paths. In light of the poor job market, and my massive amount of student loan debt, coupled with the inevitability that we will all die, my best option right now is to accelerate my death shortly after I receive my grades. The other option at this point is to become a deadbeat. The former option seems like the most logical option to address my financial concerns. The later option is the road probably most traveled by others in a similar situation.

I am favoring the accelerated death option at this point due to the financial issues surrounding my situation in light of the short-term outlook with law school and my student loan payments. I should receive my first year, second semester grades some time after my first semester of my second years starts. By then, I will have already obtained my loans, most of which will have been paid toward my tuition. It will only be until after the school receives that little financial boost will I be informed that I was unable to obtain the required GPA in order to stay in the program. I will not have access to those funds that have already been paid, and in six short months, I will have to pay back roughly $600+ . These payments will be impossible to make given the fact I will unlikely be able obtain a job in this market. Furthermore, the fact that I did so poorly in law school will play against me in my job prospects, and I will be in a worse spot than I was coming out of high school.

Even if I was to graduate, I will be graduating at the bottom of my class, from a tier 4 law school, in an economy where even the brightest tier 4 law students are struggling to find a job. Not to mention that I will then be $120k+ in student loan debt, and unable to make the $2k a month payments to Sallie Mae.

The reason death acceleration seems like a viable option given my situation is that the longer I prolong life, the more Sallie Mae will make on interest, the more I will pay them for something I now feel like I was mislead into in the first place. Furthermore, the more I pay toward my student loan debt, the less money I will have to give to my friends and family.

Additionally, the more time that goes by, the more time I will spend in this depressive state while my ambition tells me to keep trying; I absolutely hate this feeling. No amount of ambition is going to make me any more intelligent. I failed. I let everyone down, and moreover I let myself down. Despite the fact I was the first person in my family to go to law school, and the only one out of my friends to go signals to me that (1) my group of friends may be reflective of my own intellectual limitations, and (2) that being intellectually incapable of doing well on one set of exams in law school may indicate that incompetency is genetic. Nonetheless, I am a disappointment.

Normally I would have to file for bankruptcy. The only kicker with filing for bankruptcy is that student loan debt is not discharged. I have given up everything for law school. My friends and family were pushed aside while I clearly struggled to make the right choice; to preparer for the pointless exercise of Socratic dialog, or to memorize my outlines. I chose the former; an unintelligent decision.

Given that I have already demonstrated my selfishness, and thus gave up everything to chase this profession, I have nothing but a couple thousand dollars in supplements and case books (both of which are a scam in my opinion), and a hand full of negativity about the entire law school scam. Other than depression, and a bunch of worthless textbooks and supplements, I have nothing but debt. Bankruptcy will not alleviate my position, and everyone thinks I am dead already. Thus, accelerating my death still seems to be a viable option.

I want to be clear though, I am NOT going to kill myself, and I am NOT going to harm anyone. It is my own fault I am here, and I realize that. However, I am not going to lie and tell you I do not feel ripped off by the law school, the ABA, Sallie Mea, U.S. News, or all of the above. I am smart enough to know it would be unreasonable to kill myself, but angry enough to express how I feel in a way that is not full of rainbows and roses. To put it as a lady: I think law school is a bull-shit ponzi scheme, and the casebook method is a pointless and inefficient exercise that is practiced just to get money from students.

Furthermore, I really like my class mates, and everyone around me; they are the only connection I have to anything outside 1800 pages of con law, and trying to figure out ROP, in addition to writing a brief for a class that is only worth 2 credits, but takes up 80% of your time. BTW, this brief will be subjectively graded by some professor who claims to read each detail of roughly 200 20-page briefs in a matter of 2 weeks (roughly 4,000 pages...really?), and then group each one based on small distinctions in order to determine which one makes an A, and which 30 make a B+, and which 40 make a B, and so-on. I think they probably throw them down a flight of stairs, along with our dreams. But, as much as I have my doubts as to how professors grade exams and papers, I nonetheless refuse to give them anything more than my bitch session over the next few months in this blog. Besides, it won't write itself.

However, I do expect I will be taking much bigger risks with my life, rather than sitting in front of a textbook and a bunch of supplements for 12 hours a day like an idiot. I will have more fun, and not take fun for granted. If money is important, you will not find it in the legal profession, despite what the law schools report to the U.S. News and the A.B.A. Those numbers are wrong and misleading. However, don't expect any judge to turn his back on an organization or a fraternity that contributes to his own position.

Looking back on it, I have already wasted enough of my life preparing for exams (only 1 for each class) that have nothing to do with what I read as much as it did with what I was able to memorize and apply to some absurd fact set. I failed to memorize my outline, and chose to rather read the cases in fear that I would be called on. The professors also threatened to drop students grade increments if they were not prepared. However, of those people who were not prepared, their grades were never dropped, so that threat seems to be very misleading. That fact alone makes me want to live life with more effort so I can get back my time I sacrificed and lost while some other student took the risk and was correct on playing the odds that the teacher was not going to follow through...That being said, I am going to start taking more risks too.

If you are reading this blog, and you are considering going to law school, reconsider it. I wish I would have, but instead I chose to chase my ambition. I'm now 29 years old, and no family. I have wasted my life and my money away chasing my ambition. Don't make the same mistake I made. I thought I was very intelligent. I realize I am smart. However, law is an intellectually demanding practice, and if you are not fucking brilliant, you will not survive.

More to come.