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.

7 comments:

  1. Law school is not worth it. Its an over-crowded field with fewer and fewer job opportunities. Legal work is also being outsourced to other countries now. Its also very expensive and takes three long years. Knowing all this, why would anyone pursue this career path in these troubled economic times?

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  3. Law School is for a different breed. I dropped out today. Always thought I wanted to be an attorney. I went to law school to be an attorney. If you drop out or fail out of law school, you are probably one of two things. You are either very unmotivated, stupid, lazy or you simply have a business mind. Law is for those who love credentials. They love politics and serving on boards. They would take the law review over a paid for vacation to the Virgin Islands for over 2 months. This is not good or bad. It is just different. If you don't want it that bad, then you are not a fit for law school. If you like money, vacations, good times, nice things and creating an actual product/ends...you are not meant to go to law school. Too often, it is believed that you can do so much with a law degree. You can. It's a wonderful tool. However, if you want to be rich. Focus on getting rich NOW. Buy a foreclosure or learn the securities and exchange business. Law is truly for those interested in credentials, social status and communal type-A's. I could case less if I was a plumber making $200,000 a year. A lawyer would rather be a communal Type-A and make 40,000 and be in law review. It's not until they realize nobody cares about these credentials that they start to overbil!

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  4. I failed out of law school and it's not the worst feeling in the world.

    Big feta, I think you're full of shit. "If you drop or fail out of law school, you are one of two things..." You then list four attributes. You clearly define yourself as the fourth. Good for you.

    Law is for those who want to get a higher paying job. It's also for those who enjoy it or those who don't enjoy it. The practice of law is a job field just like any other. Take it or leave it. It's more difficult than most fields. Personally, I couldn't handle the pressure.

    Get real. Be honest with yourself and don't put others down because you feel bad about your own failure. Figure out what you're really meant to do. That's what I'm working on and it doesn't feel horrible. It's all about perspective and learning from failure.

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  5. I'm about to fail out. After a rough first semester, and then a successful and much improved second semester, and an even better summer session, I find myself on the brink of failing out again.

    I don't know what to recommend to anyone. I don't like the idea of telling anyone not to do something they've always wanted to do. I guess the only thing I can say is that if your LSAT isn't above 160 or maybe even 165, don't go. Mine was 159, not bad, but not great. But it was enough to convince myself that with a little hard work...

    Nah. It ain't like that.

    I agree with the blog writer. This is one of the worst feelings ever--and I've been divorced and lost my mom to cancer early. Both of those were worse, but this ranks in the top ten.

    I don't begrudge my classmates their success. I'm glad for them. I wish I had what they do. But I don't. And that's a hard thing to face.

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  6. I'm 20 years dropped out of law school and I haven't recovered. It's actually worse. I found out, I had a learning disability that specifically prevented me from practicing law effectively. The frustration and demoralization brought me down so much, I haven't had a real career, I haven't dated and I haven't kept up with my friend network because of embarrassment, frustration and fear that I will always fail. Now, in my middle-age years, I perceive myself as a complete failure and hope death will take me soon.

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  7. I know this is way way way late (just discovered this) but if you are in the United States, very state has a Lawyers/Law students Assistance Program that offers free 100% confidential help with drug/alcohol abuse and mental health issues. Just look up those key terms and your state

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