Deferred law school - should I go?

<p>(Disclaimer: This is a long post, and I will probably come off as an entitled ******bag at various points throughout it)</p>

<p>I'm from a lower-middle class family, and all my childhood, I was raised to believe that if only I did well in school and went to an elite college, then I'd have a nice life handed to me on a silver platter. This is not turning out to be the case.</p>

<p>I graduated this spring from an Ivy League school with a degree in political science. During interview season last fall (when all the Wall Street recruiters come calling on campus), I didn't get any offers, due to limited internship experience in the field, a lack of relevant coursework, and a 2.9 GPA. I believed the solution to my problem was just to go to law school, like all of my other friends who had difficulty getting jobs through OCI. I quickly got some letters of recommendation, took the LSAT and performed more-or-less adequately (169), and fired off my applications. I did not get into any T-14 schools, which is to be expected with a 2.9/169, but I managed to secure half-tuition scholarships at several T-20 schools. Then, my parents informed me that I would be on my own if I wanted to pursue any further education. This means (following the suggested student budgets set forth by these law schools) that I would have to take out about $130k in loans over the course of three years.</p>

<p>So, I deferred my admission from one of the aforementioned T-20 schools, picking one that is more-or-less in the region that I would like to practice in, and decided to go look for a job. If I could find a nice job, one that I could call a career, then I would stick with it and not go to law school. If not, I'd go, since I don't see what choice I have, and do my best to get biglaw. (Aside: I would also be interested in the JAG corps, but I am not in particularly good shape and have terrible vision - this may disqualify me, but I'm not sure.)</p>

<p>Anyways, it has it been difficult for me. There are a limited amount of employers who place value on the unskilled Ivy League graduate and will hire us straight out of college, often paying us $70K+ to boot. These employers are the ones who conduct OCI, are only interested in current seniors, and hire a "class" of students at the same time each year. (I think this is similar to the biglaw model). Outside of these employers, opportunities for white-collar jobs are rather more difficult to come by. I've applied to oodles of jobs since graduating, and the only offers of full-time employment I've gotten so far are to be a commission-only insurance salesman. Unappetizing. For now, I live at home, teaching SAT/ACT prep on the side while I continue to look for a job. But time ticks by, and I need to make a decision about law school in the near future.</p>

<p>There are, perhaps, jobs I'd rather be doing, but don't want to do for reasons relating to pride.</p>

<p>Reason type 1: I've been a "smart" kid all my life, and I don't want to be seen doing something any Tom, Dick, or Harry could do.</p>

<p>Jobs falling under this category: private school teacher, policeman, retail store assistant manager.</p>

<p>Reason type 2: The job in question is in a technical-type field that I could've easily gotten into had I gone to any lousy state school, but I now have no background in this area. (These are mostly jobs that my parents are suggesting to me, and I'm indifferent to them, but they sound okay). So now you're telling me that I went through the dog and pony show of getting into an Ivy League school, and I have to go back to undergraduate school, take 30 hours of coursework in this area, and then go get a master's degree in the field, all while the dullards who got a 24 on their ACT and went to State are out there working and advancing? The appeal of law school stems from the fact that no one goes into law school knowing much about lawyering, so we all start on even footing; no Joe from a school offering a math minor just for completing multivariable calculus/linear algebra will have 2-3 years on me.</p>

<p>Jobs falling under this category: Accounting/auditing, information technology, actuarial science (insurance).</p>

<p>One thing that I really wanted to do, and could swallow my pride on, was be a college admissions officer. These jobs only hire during the summer (because the cycle begins in the fall and ends in the spring). This summer, I applied to openings at over 80 college admissions offices across the country, and got maybe 2-3 phone interviews. So it looks like that door is closed.</p>

<p>My friends tell me that I should go to law school anyways, but it's easy for them to say, because a) they're mostly at Columbia Law, and b) their parents are paying. Their advice is just to buy a bunch of E&Es and horn books now and (law)school myself so that I can make sure that I make Law Review after 1L and be headed for those coveted biglaw associate salaries (which I will sorely need to pay off $130k of debt). I have no particular affinity for the legal profession, but I had no particular love for finance/consulting either, and I am also massively apathetic about any of the other careers that are being suggested to me. I'm really just looking for a clearly defined path to an upper-middle class life. Hopefully these things still exist. I know that such aspirations are frequently said to be the wrong reasons for going to law school... but then what should I be pursuing? Do you know of better options for someone like me, who just wants to live up to his Ivy League degree? I fear I am headed for a life of being scorned and pitied by my former classmates, and I would like to avoid this outcome at all costs.</p>

<p>OP - </p>

<p>You mind if I ask you which Ivy you went to?</p>

<p>I am a recent Ivy grad with major in Economics, heading to a top 6 law school in near future. I found a lot of things to be common between us. Just like you, I didn't know much about legal industry or a career as a lawyer until my senior year college. I wanted to go into finance but did not get any offers my senior year from I-banks and I couldn't land any decent 'business' jobs like consulting or F500 corporate finance jobs... So I decided to give law school a shot. I had 3.7 GPA and 172 LSAT.</p>

<p>I understand you are going through a chaotic and quite confusing stage of your life now. One word of advice I could offer, since I was in your position not too long ago, is not to go to law school unless you can get into a T14 school or T30 school near full scholarship offer. And, you don't seem to be married to the idea of becoming a lawyer; but seem to be thinking about law school because you don't know what the hell you want to do with your life.</p>

<p>May I add that the legal field right now is absolutely terrible. Coming from T-20 law school (Like Notre Dame or George Washington) you'd better be top 20% of your class to stand a good chance at BigLaw; yet, there isn't still guarantee that you will score BigLaw with such credentials. Among top 30 law schools, Boston College, Fordham, and Boston University would be your best bet for BigLaw placement after UCLA, USC, and U Texas. (because they are near NYC BigLaw market and get a lot of NYC BigLaw recruiting) </p>

<p>If you choose to go to a non-T14 law school with over 100k in debt, you run into a significant risk of not getting a decent legal employment with disgusting amounts of debts. Trust me, a lot of recent law grads are finding themselves in this exact situation, and they are pretty screwed. How long did you study for LSAT? Do you think you can improve your LSAT score if you practice more? If you can crack 172+ on LSAT, you will have very decent shot at getting into lower T14 law schools such as Northwestern and University of Virginia, both of which will guarantee over 50% odds of getting BigLaw. (Which I think is a reasonable bet of success)</p>

<p>That said, don't discount other career possibilities so quick. For instance, accounting is in a big demand right now and is a safer path than going into law, as much higher percentage of kids from accounting backgrounds get jobs compared to law school kids. Given the cost of tuition for law schools and the horrible legal job market, I would only recommend law school if you can get into a T-14, or a T30 near full scholarship.</p>

<p>How is half-tution equal to 130k??</p>

<p>@LazyKid: How does one know the legal field is terrible right now? Why is it terrible? Does it look like it'll ever get better? </p>

<p>I studied for the LSAT for about 2 weeks, taking two practice tests and looking at some stuff online. Unfortunately, to get my deferral, I signed something saying that I would not apply to any other law schools during my deferral. </p>

<p>I have no undergraduate coursework in accounting, and would need remedial work + a master's, and would still only start out at 50k or so. Are the hours good? Is the work relaxed? Does the Big 4 care where your got your Master's in Accounting? Why aren't you considering accounting?</p>

<p>@hotdogseller: Over the course of 3 years, a half-tuition scholarship at this particular school will fall short of the total costs of attendance by $130k.</p>

<p>I'm a parent and a corporate lawyer nearing retirement, so my advice is going to be both parental and career advice.</p>

<p>Yes, shame on you. I understand that this is an anonymous posting, but you do sound whiny and arrogant (as you said you might). I am willing to bet you disclose more than you think you do when interviewing, and that people pick up on the sense of entitlement.</p>

<p>I came from a lower middle class background and worked my way through state schools and a lower tier law school. I've done very well in my career, thank you. I've survived lay-offs, and the ivy grad in the office next door was let go. You are seriously underestimating the intelligence, the ambition and the work ethic of the majority of people in this country if you think that your ivy experience means you're smarter or more capable than others. No one cares what your SAT or ACT was in the real world. </p>

<p>You've figured out that your belief that an ivy degree was going to guarantee you success was wrong. Going to an ivy was an enormous opportunity. You had four years to network, impress people, do internships, and chase the dream. Your 2.9 does not reflect a good work ethic and that you might have wasted some of that opportunity, as you appear to be realizing.</p>

<p>Your belief that you can study some books and do well in your law school class is wrong. You are underestimating the intelligence and drive of law students who WANT IT BAD. Law school is a miserable, competitive experience. The students in your class will be working their butts off. 90% of these competitive, smart students will be in the bottom 90% of the class despite the good credentials that got them admitted into the school in the first place. I'm willing to bet that most of them will spend time reading those books before starting class. The work ethic that earned you a 2.9 in undergraduate work will definitely not help you in law school.</p>

<p>Entry level lawyers aren't making much money these days, except for the very top students at the very top schools....and those graduates will sign their lives away to work long, unfulfilling hours in apprenticeship for years in the hope of a partnership someday. A legal career requires a lot of hard work, and there are no guarantees that anyone will be successful. Your undergrad ivy degree will carry no weight. It doesn't hurt to have a great personality, to be good looking and to be able to socialize, since these are the intangibles behind success at many firms.</p>

<p>To be realistic, my kid is an average student in a top regional law school right now, looking for work. The editor of their law review was unemployed this summer. My kid and his peers are going to be thrilled to find any starter legal job, and we're talking $50K-$75K not six figures. I work with someone whose kid went to a T20 school, and graduated in the middle of the class. This kid got only one offer from a small firm in N.J. where he had clerked one summer, where he's an associate with no prospects of ever making partner. Times are tough.</p>

<p>Getting past the reality check...I do have some suggestions for you. </p>

<p>(1) If you're getting interviews but not getting hired, think about your personality. People hire individuals who they like and want to work with. You are unlikely to be interviewed by Ivy managers or HR directors. If any whiff of your ivy entitlement or "I'm smarter than most people" comes out, you won't get an offer. Work on it. If you mention your ivy more than once in any social or business context, you're probably irritating someone.</p>

<p>(2) Go through the jobs on Monster, and look for interesting careers. They may not be in the law. If you're going to borrow money to get further education in an uncertain economy, make sure that you're borrowing money for something you want to do. Consider getting a job with a tuition reimbursement plan, and going to night school. </p>

<p>(3) Get that first job or another internship, but start working somewhere. Every year, a new class of graduates enters the workforce. You need to keep your resume strong, and can't afford to fall behind. If you get a starter job, find the merits in it. Hard work creates success, you don't walk into it. </p>

<p>(4) Adjust your expectations. Look at what entry level teachers and nurses earn. Clearly, these are valued members of society. You would do well to get an entry level job making the same salaries. It's up to you to work your way up. Never turn down an assignment. Work longer, better and harder than anyone else. </p>

<p>(5) If you decide you want to go to law school after all this, knowing about the uncertain economy, plan your three years carefully. Work harder than you've ever worked at anything. Read "1L of a Ride" and every other book you can get your hands on about attending law school. IMO, going to legal boot camp was helpful to my kid. Weigh write-on journals, moot court participation, legal fraternities, participation in legal clinics, certificates in specialties, and every other activity as an opportunity to stand-out. </p>

<p>(6) Check your ego. I was in MENSA for awhile when I was in my 20s. I met a lot of mailmen, factory workers, etc. as well as professionals. Smart people are everywhere. Tom, Dick and Harry might have IQs higher than yours. </p>

<p>Trust me, advancement and that middle class lifestyle will come. It won't come about just because you graduated from an ivy. It will happen as a result of hard work and career planning. Good luck to you.</p>

<p>Thank you, neonzeus, that was well said.</p>

<p>I would like to add to nz's (1) point about personality. When Biglaw law firms interview law students on campus, they review grades, activities (law review, moot court, clinic work) and background (work experience, languages spoken, etc.). Once someone walks through my door for a call back interview, I already know they have been vetted and they are a top candidate. However, most law firms will make offers to 50% of those who they call back, at most. </p>

<p>How do most of us make decisions on offers? We ask, "Would I want to be stuck in a conference room with this person at 2 a.m.?" If not, well, then you're not.</p>

<p>Based on your post, I probably wouldn't want to be running around or hanging out with you in that conference room. So, even if you had the grades or other credentials to get your foot in the door, you wouldn't be invited to stay. </p>

<p>I tell you this not to be mean, but as a reality check for you. You need to leave your ego at the door. Everyone with whom you will be working someday will likely be very bright, talented and motivated. No one wants to work with someone who thinks (wrongly) that he is better than them.</p>

<p>@NeonZeus</p>

<p>I would like to say that whatever sense of entitlement I might have, I developed well before college. All my childhood, adults have told me that I was the best, I was the brightest, I would do great things, I could have anything I wanted, and that I was the future of our country. These sorts of statements can have a profound impact on a child's development, and I don't believe whatever haughtiness/entitlement I am exhibiting is unusual, given my history. </p>

<p>If anything, college was a reality check for me, because for the first time in my life, I couldn't be effortlessly outstanding. I finally found myself in the company of my equals and betters. Of course, the flip side of that is that I was around other self-assured students, as well as an administration which peppers us with a lot of flowery rhetoric about how we're like, the most amazing people ever. You may see arrogance in my posts, but I am just trying to be candid, so that I might receive advice that actually fits my circumstances. </p>

<p>These law students who "WANT IT BAD", can you shed some insight as to why they want it bad? Is it something one can acquire through the undertaking of massive personal debt? Essentially, when it's sink or swim, people will swim?</p>

<p>Why does your son want to be a lawyer? What sort of practice does he hope to wind up in?</p>

<p>Re point (1): I do not get very many interviews. And normally I am absolutely terrified when I go into interviews, and I am not sure that that is conducive to oozing entitlement. The "I'm smarter than most people" might come out semi-explicitly, however, as I have few work experiences/skills to speak of, and I have nothing else I can "sell" employers besides the fact that I'm smarter than the average bear. </p>

<p>Re point (4): Not to be cynical, but since when do teachers receive anything in this society besides lousy salaries, phone calls from disgruntled parents, and a whole lot of contempt?</p>

<p>It's been a long time since we've had someone on here as clueless as this OP.</p>

<p>Smarter than the average bear? I'm not convinced. The average bear can get people to provide treats.</p>

<p>"Wanting it bad" means that they actually have a desire to practice law and to succeed, even if it means getting by on minimal sleep, being abused by professors using the socratic method of teaching, accepting the uncertainty of the current legal market, and assuming a ridiculous amount of debt. They might be driven by a desire for social justice, an interest in government or constitutional issues, or a fascination with the nuances of criminal cases in the news. They could foolishly perceive the law as being a stepping stone out of a lower social strata to prestige and a high income, as I did back in the 1970s. They might have been raised in a family of lawyers and feel that this is their natural element, may dream of being a famous sports agent, or representing Microsoft in the next big patent lawsuit. Motivations will vary by person, obviously. </p>

<p>You are hugging onto your belief system that you're really smart as if it was a security blanket. As Grandma used to say, there are "book smarts" and "street smarts." If you were truly smart, you would have been paying attention to the students in your own class and the classes ahead of you to see what distinguished the successful ones from the ones that just disappear into their home states never to be heard of again. You could have strategized at building up your resume during the four years at college, so that you did have something to offer a prospective employer. You could have competed against your classmates. </p>

<p>I don't mean to beat you up. I'm just suggesting that you drop the belief in your own superiority based on getting into an ivy when you were 18. No one is going to hand you a career and a happy life. You have to earn them the old fashioned way. Figure out what you want to do with your life, and then develop the game plan to get there. Maybe it means getting in touch with your professors and alumni association. Maybe it means going back to school. If you go back to school, get internships and practical experience. Network. Hustle. Write for journals. Volunteer. Work as a T.A. Take on leadership roles. Develop a resume that you can sell. </p>

<p>My kid has wanted to be a lawyer ever since he was in elementary school. (I tried talking him out of it due to the current job situation for new lawyers). We were talking about contracts and legal issues in the news when he was 10. He networks like the grizzled, seasoned senior partner of a law firm. He held one marketing and communications internship for a few years as an undergrad. He got that company a huge account as a result of a contact he made in hundreds of hours of volunteering. A mentor from that internship later helped him locate his current legal clerkship, so networking is obviously valuable. He has been a speaker for a national charity, and held leadership positions in clubs. He's already got more than 100 business contacts in LinkedIn. He's interested in business law and contract work. (He doesn't always listen to me, of course. I think he should get law firm experience but he wants to work in-house.) And my kid is average in law school. There are a lot of motivated, assertive, driven, well-spoken students in law school. You can think of it as a baby shark tank, although every school will have its own personality. Again, read some of the books about being a law student like 1L of a Ride to see if you can envision yourself in that setting. Sit in on classes. </p>

<p>In my world, good teachers are respected. But I don't hold anyone who is good at their job in contempt, whether it's a cleaning woman, a plumber, a teacher or a professional. Just like you, I came out of a lower middle class background. I put myself through law school with loans and two jobs. I haven't forgotten how hard my parents and grandparents worked so that I could have more opportunities. I have no tolerance for unearned arrogance.</p>

<p>Identify a goal and begin to work for it. Work on building a life and a resume, and stop blaming others for a sense of entitlement. At some point, it should have been obvious to you that it wasn't true. </p>

<p>And did you really have any expectations that your lower middle class parents could continue to sacrifice to support you through grad school? Do you really believe that all state schools are lousy, and that Tom, Dick and Harry's lives and careers are so much beneath you? Time to start acting like a grown up and join the real world where rewards have to be earned.</p>

<p>Try Best Buy or WalMart for seasonal employment. It's a start.</p>

<p>While we all have to make our own decisions, I usually recommend against law school.</p>

<p>There is a vast over-supply of lawyers. It will take you three years, and a ton of money besides. And then, even after you graduate, good jobs are hard to come by, and usually don't last very long. Plus, you usually work 70 hours a week. Plus, what they don't tell you is that once you hit about 32 years old, there are few jobs at all, because most advertised positions are for people with 1-3 years of experience, and 3-5. </p>

<p>If you insist on law school, I would do it at night. And work during the day. It is a long haul, but I did it.</p>

<p>Now, if you got into a top 10 law school, that might be another story. But even then, I only say MIGHT.</p>

<p>I think going to law school will only compound your problem. You will only be digging your hole deeper. That being said, I think your situation is a common dilemma. People who are not good at science or engineering often go to law school, in my view, because they really don't know what else to do. And they feel it gives them a little prestige.</p>

<p>You might want to think about getting an MBA instead, but even that degree, in my view, has been cheapened over the last 20 years. But even that, I would do part time.</p>

<p>Another suggestion is to move to a state with a low unemployment rate. For example, I don't know this, but let's just say for purposes of examle, that Oklahoma had a low unemployment rate. You could move there, and your Ivy undergraduate degree might carry more weight than in Boston or New York.</p>

<p>Have you been in touch with your alma mater since graduation? If not, get in touch. Go in and talk to career services about your predicament. See if you can get any advice or help getting a job. If you are convinced you don't interview well, go through some mock interviews. Practice helps.</p>

<p>You really do need to give yourself a good, swift kick in the posterior. You graduated last spring. You think you might be interested in JAG but you haven't managed to find out whether your eyesight and physical condition disqualify you?!!!! Why not? You think you might want to be a private school teacher, but you apparently didn't apply for a summer internship at any of the summer boarding school programs and/or for any of the 1-2 year internship programs at private schools. </p>

<p>You think you might want to be an admissions officer, but apparently you never sought out a part time job with the admissions office. Have you even volunteered to be an alumni interviewer? Does the dean of admission at your college know you? </p>

<p>Look at things like wetfeet.com. </p>

<p>You shouldn't go to law school just because you don't know what else you can do. </p>

<p>You need to get a job. Don't worry whether it will impress someone at your 5th year college reunion. It really doesn't matter.</p>

<p>@jonri</p>

<p>I am on the alumni listserv where jobs are posted, and I am still applying for jobs on the career services job board. Regarding teaching, I did, at the very least, apply to TFA and an agency that places recent college graduates at private high schools. I have volunteered to be an alumni interviewer, and I have personally met with the dean of admissions to discuss my interest in admissions as a career.</p>

<p>Thank you for the advice though; I will look at wetfeet.com and contact my career services office regarding mock interviews.</p>

<p>And just a question to throw out there: why shouldn't one go to law school just because you don't know what else you can do? Don't many people take their first job out of college because they have no other options? Don't people go to med/dentistry/nursing school just because they were a biology/chemistry major in college and don't know what else they can do? Isn't it the same deal for general business majors who go for a master's in accounting? Why is law especially bad for those who don't have a direction in life?</p>

<p>Sounds like op may be book smart (not that it is evidenced by his gpa) but is coming off as life stupid.</p>

<p>My daughter attended an Ivy where most of her friends got jobs at top consulting/IB firms (most are now leaving to go to business school). Those that chose the law school route either went to T-14 schools or top 20 schools where they ended up getting full tuition scholarships.</p>

<p>Some of my daughter's friends did a variety of things since graduating from their Ivy. After turning down IB and consulting jobs offers senior year, one worked at Anthropology, went to LSE go a masters. Networked with friends where she worked as a temp at a consulting firm. It turned in to a full time job. She is now back to her first thoughts, that consulting is not what she wants to do so she is now applying for a PhD program.</p>

<p>Another friend worked at Jcrew after graduation. Got a fellowship at a west coast boarding school (while pay was 35k, student received free room and board at the prep school). She then applied and received a fellowship at one of the top private schools in NYC. Fellowship turned in to a permanent job.</p>

<p>One went back to school to; first to community college to knock out her nursing requirements, then to grad school become a nurse practitioner. She is very happy with her choice.</p>

<p>IF you feel that life is giving you lemons, you gotta learn how to make lemonade.</p>

<p>The only reason that you should attend law school (especially in this economy) is if you want to become a lawyer.</p>

<p>In a nutshell, if you go to law school with no clear idea that it's what you want to do, you are very likely to end up in exactly the same place you are now when you finish law school with an additional $130,000 of debt. If you should then decide you would really rather teach or be an admissions officer, you won't be able to do it because you won't be able to make the loan repayments. </p>

<p>IMO, you blew college because you didn't get enough internship and work experience. Heck, it sounds as if you didn't get any EC experience. Is that the case? So, if you think you might want to go to law school, try to get a job that's law related. See if you like it. </p>

<p>A friend of my kid's was in the old DOJ paralegal honors program--I don't know if it still exists and with a 2.9 you might not be eligible anyway. In any event, it's a two year program and she began with the intent of going to law school. She found out she loathed law. It was much better off finding that out before spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and three years of her life. </p>

<p>If you want a teaching job, do something with kids. The fact is that as a poli sci major, you will have a hard time getting a job at the secondary level. One way to overcome that disadvantage is to get experience with kids. For example, one of my kid's friends who got a good two year internship in a private school had volunteered to run the youth program for a church she attended during her last 2-3 years in college. So, while she didn't have teaching experience per se, the fact that she had done something like that for a few years was pretty good proof that she likes working with teenagers. Her minister gave her a glowing rec when she applied for the teaching internship. </p>

<p>So, at the very least, start doing stuff that will give you some experience. It's good you've signed up to do alum interviewing, but it would be better if you had assumed responsibility for some of the administrative work involved. You'll probably get emails, asking if any of the interviewers can cover some of the college fairs. Volunteer.</p>

<p>If you think you might be interested in teaching, sign up to be a substitute teacher, if you qualify in your state. You probably do. If you get on the list and do a good job with the 1-2 day assignments, you might get hired for a longer time period, e.g, 6 weeks while someone is out. Then if you do a good job and are personable, you should be able to get a rec from the principal or assistant. So, if you apply for a job at a private school, you'll not only have at least some teaching experience, you'll have a rec that says you can control a class, the students liked you, etc.</p>

<p>You get the idea--you want to have the type of experience that convinces someone you know what you're getting into and will succeed if you're hired.</p>

<p>Okay -- so, I must apologize, I did not read every single post for this discussion; however, I really felt like I should let the OP know what WANTING IT BAD really means.</p>

<p>You're lower middle class, you said. You went to an Ivy for undergrad and did not manage to get the jobs that you would like to get offered. And now you are thinking about going to law school after realizing that a 2.9 GPA for a BA in Political Science from an Ivy doesn't help very much in scoring those jobs, or even interviews, for what you can see yourself doing.</p>

<p>I am sorry but you really did not do your research properly.</p>

<p>I'll share some of my story with you, as others did in this discussion as well, and maybe it will help you to understand how important it is to plan out your future early.</p>

<p>I immigrated from Europe to the States when I was 17; I am now 19; and I am a Permanent Resident of the States. I can speak four languages fluently due to my high school's curriculum, however, it was almost impossible to earn A's at my school and in my country in general and when I came to the US my HS GPA was a lousy 2.2 - based off only on the grades that I had received in my home country. A 2.2 GPA over there could be viewed as a real accomplishment in my home country -- but not in the States. I came here at the beginning of my junior year, got straight A's, and then I did Running Start full-time in my senior year of high school. I was able to raise my HS GPA up to a 3.0, which is still not that great, and I applied to state schools. I was horrified when I saw how much state schools really cost because tuition in my home country is free (although that is only the case for those people who manage to go to the best high school system in the country and that decision is based off on your grades in 4th grade; you cannot go to an university if you don't graduate from the best out of three high school systems).
So, in the end, I did manage to get accepted to two state schools but I did decide to not go and stay at my local community college, where I did RS at and where I received a full-tuition scholarship based off on my GPA for RS.</p>

<p>As of now I am a sophomore at my community college, I have a 3.7 GPA, and I am a member of Phi Theta Kappa. I did get offered full-rides already from schools in the South (Mississippi, Oklahoma) and I did get e-mails and letters from schools such as Boston University, however, after doing my research as early as in my junior year of high school I read about other cases - just like yours - and that people that graduate from top colleges and Ivy league schools do not necessarily receive great job offers after graduation. </p>

<p>I have to transfer by January 2012, I am also majoring in Political Science (and Journalism), I am currently taking 4 courses on the quarter system and working 2 jobs part-time -- and I am also interested in going to law school.</p>

<p>Now, I did some research about law school in my senior year of high school because I wanted to go to law school since I was about 13 and I had the chance to talk with my cousin, who is a lawyer, and observe her days at work, etc.</p>

<p>I don't think you have any idea what a lawyer actually does and how boring and tiring a lot of the work really is.. Anyways, I know about the crappy job market for lawyers in the States for a long time now and I still very much want to become a lawyer. Why? Because I know for myself that this is really what I can see myself doing. I really do want this. Do you?</p>

<p>I thought about a lot of other options too - becoming a nurse, majoring in Accounting, Pre-Med, ... You name it and I probably thought about it at one point of time. Not my parents - I myself did the research and talked to law school grads about their experiences at top law schools. I myself wanted to know what I should expect and what I will have to do in order to get to that certain point to where I really want to be. </p>

<p>My plan - which unfortunately won't work for you because you would really need to raise your GPA by a lot - is that I will be going to Canada. I decided to continue my undergrad at a Canadian university because they did accept all my transfer course work (I'm lucky), and it is overall a couple thousand dollars cheaper than my in-state school. My goal is to become self-employed later on - as a lawyer. </p>

<p>Canada is very similar to Europe in a lot of aspects but it is also very similar to the States and the school to where I will be going is very close to home (as in, it's very close to the US border). Now, in Canada there are more jobs for lawyers but there's not necessarily no competition. And there are not necessarily a lot of people with a law degree that are not unemployed. I am fluent in French but does that mean that would increase my chances of employment later on? No, not necessarily. I will have to study my butt off for the next two years to maintain that kind of GPA that I received from my community college (The LSDAS GPA does count the cum. CC GPA). I did take the LSAT a while ago and scored a 165 which is not as good as it could be. I will re-take it after some more practice in the summer of my junior year of college. </p>

<p>You're probably wondering if you should do the same, if you should try to apply to Canadian Law Schools and see if you would get in if you would be able to raise your GPA, etc. Well, law school grads in Canada face another problem -- getting apprenticeships after graduation. In Canada you have to do a legal internship to be able to practice wherever it is where you want to practice. And no, it is not easy to get those legal internships because there is an over-supply of lawyers there as well (though not as bad as in the States, yet). And yes, those people that interview you for a legal internship do of course look at your grades that you received in law school and from your university where you did your undergrad at.</p>

<p>I guess what I really want to say is that you should sit down and really take some time for yourself and figure out what you want to do next. Develop some kind of plan or goal and go from that. </p>

<p>I will have to work very hard for my dream, which is also my goal, which is also where my inner drive for WANTING IT REALLY BAD comes from. </p>

<p>Don't trust all stereotypes. Not everybody that's going to a community college did have really bad grades in high school, is poor, and has no motivation to succeed. I would have a 4.0 GPA if it weren't for me messing up my first quarter as a RS student. I chose to go to a community college because I knew from my research that my GPA would get counted for law school. I knew that it would be easier to get a higher GPA at a community college than at a 4-year university. I planned ahead. </p>

<p>I don't want to tell you that you have made a mistake by going to an Ivy for undergrad but I know that I personally would have chosen a state school where I would have been above everybody else intellectually (if you really are as smart as you say you are), and then would have had at least the GPA to get into a T14 law school. But even that depends. It's generally wiser to go to an Ivy for grad school though - in my opinion. Also, I am working two jobs. Those two are both retail. I love my jobs!! You get minimum wage, a lot of it goes away for gas money - but hey, I have saved up a whole lot of money for both the last two years of my BA and law school later on. </p>

<p>Why not apply for a management job at American Eagle or Hollister or wherever? You would not get as much money as you could get, but maybe it will help you to really think about what you want to do with your future and if you really do want to take on that much debt for a future that really does very much depend on you and how hard you are willing to work. </p>

<p>I am sorry if this is very long and I'm sorry if this post is full of grammatical mistakes but I'm really tired and I thought I'd try to help you to open up your eyes a bit. </p>

<p>Sit down and think about what it is that you really want to do. Consider everything that comes into your mind. Then go from that.</p>

<p>Cool story, bro.</p>

<p>
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I'm from a lower-middle class family, and all my childhood, I was raised to believe that if only I did well in school and went to an elite college, then I'd have a nice life handed to me on a silver platter.

[/quote]
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<p>Life Fact #1: That maybe true if you come from a wealthy family where daddy's job connections will hand you that platter.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I graduated this spring from an Ivy League school with a degree in political science. During interview season last fall (when all the Wall Street recruiters come calling on campus), I didn't get any offers, due to limited internship experience in the field, a lack of relevant coursework, and a 2.9 GPA.

[/quote]
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<p>Life Fact #2: your gpa was so far below median at your college and in your major, that going through OCI was a waste of your time; you had no chance with Wall Street.</p>

<p>
[quote]
There are a limited amount of employers who place value on the unskilled Ivy League graduate and will hire us straight out of college, often paying us $70K+ to boot.

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<p>Life Fact #3: with perhaps the exception of Econ, jobs for liberal arts majors are what you make of them. It doesn't matter if you are a <3.0 from Harvard or Podunk State. Without something special to offer, employers just don't want to hire less than average applicants right out of school when they can hire the above average applicants from that same college. (What is the mean Poli Sci gpa at your Ivy? 3.6+? 3.7?</p>

<p>
[quote]
Reason type 1: I've been a "smart" kid all my life, and I don't want to be seen doing something any Tom, Dick, or Harry could do.

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<p>Life Fact #4: Perhaps true, but you were way below average at your Ivy. Thus, you are no longer seen as so "smart' from an employer's perspective.</p>

<p>As the others have said, ONLY go to law school IFF you truly want to be a lawyer. But just know that you will have to work a LOT harder in LS than you did in undergrad -- below median = unemployment at a t20 -- just to get a job once you graduate.</p>

<p>I'll go back to the original question: only go to law school if you really want to be a lawyer. If you are ambivalent about it, as one previous poster has noted, you'll be out three years and 130k, and be in the same place you are now.
That said, I'm not from what to me appears the "lawyer as a religious calling" group. I don't think the desire to be a lawyer has to consume every fiber of your being. I think what you need is a realistic appraisal of what your skills are and what a lawyer does; it's a job. If you think you can do it well, and get a job and provide a living for yourself, go for it. Jobs in every profession are hard to find-so if you go, remember the goal is getting a job upon graduation.</p>