Teacher or lawyer?

<p>Hi! I am a sophomore and am a double major in the honors great books program (philosophy department) and english. I will be writing a thesis my senior year.</p>

<p>I have a 3.8 GPA, and I am on the school's budget committee and paper, to name a few activities. </p>

<p>I have heard that top tier law schools (like my own in fact) take students primarily from Ivy leagues...A lot of my friends here in my majors are pre-law and do not see why I'd be worried about acceptance into law school. Yet, my concern is that law schools are churning out far too many JDs for jobs available. Also, I do not have a passion for law...I have an analytical mind and people often suggest the career to me. I have heard that to actually get one's foot in the door at firms that would pay a salary that could justify the expense of law school, one would have to attend a top 14 school. Is this true?</p>

<p>Long story short, I want to be a teacher. Originally, I planned to be a college prof., and my profs here say I'd be competitive to pursue the PhD. Yet, the uncertainty of hiring after 5 years of research worries me. Teachers back home and here in college assert that I have the personality for it. What I hate, though, is that some have said I am too "smart" to be a teacher. </p>

<p>I am not taking ed classes as an undergrad as my double-major leaves no room (and profs have advised that undergrads get the highest quality of education possible...they think ed classes are a bit of a waste when one is not certain if one should teach)</p>

<p>i am seriously considering going for an MAT program after college like the one at Duke or UNC Chapel Hill. </p>

<p>What I am asking is essentially this: 1) is anyone out there also thinking about teaching and not in an ed school as an undergrad and 2) does anyone know about MAT programs/would it be smarter for me to get a plain MA?</p>

<p>A few things:</p>

<p>"I have heard that to actually get one's foot in the door at firms that would pay a salary that could justify the expense of law school, one would have to attend a top 14 school."</p>

<p>The above is absolutely, 100% correct. Also, since you don't want to be a lawyer, you should not be one. Imagine you went to a college you didn't like. That's 4 years of misery. As a lawyer, you would practice for the rest of your life (up to 40 years until retirement). That is not worth it. </p>

<p>Second, you keep mentioning what other people tell you about yourself. Why? People tell you you would "make a good lawyer," that you'd be a good teacher, and that you're not smart enough to be a prof. Who are these people anyway, and what do they know? Most people's image of lawyers, for example, is from TV shows, not real life. And only you know yourself and your own capabilities. Don't let other people put you down. Make up your own mind.</p>

<p>Lastly, to become a teacher, look into Teach for America. It's a great, very selective program that recruits the best undergrads across the country, train them intensively, and place them into underprivileged neighborhoods. You would do this straight out of undergrad. It's a 2 year commitment, so you'd be able to test it out and see if you like teaching. If you wanted to continue teaching, you would have one of the best things possible to put on your resume.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>You are all over the place. I'm afraid to give you any advice because it sounds like you would take it too seriously. You seem to put a lot of weight on other people's opinions and perceptions of you.</p>

<p>Thank you very much for your input. I feel very pulled between teaching and law and my only fear is working without passion. It may seem a bit silly (the harsh reality is that work is work), but I am someone who is a bit idealistic at times and would really like to help others. I would love to go into some form of law that helps people (representing kids, public interest ect.). Or I'd love to teach :) I think some of my negative connotations of law come from my peers who are solely interested in making money.</p>

<p>People often advise that things start to make more sense after a year or two, and that you'll feel a greater pull towards one profession over another based on passion. </p>

<p>Again, thanks for the message!</p>

<p>If you don't have that passion for law, stay away. What you've heard about the oversupply of lawyers is correct, along with the salary stuff. Plus, why would you do something you're not into?</p>

<p>As far as teaching goes, Teach for America is quite popular recently. I have friends with a degree in History, English, etc. trying to get teaching jobs the regular old way, and are having trouble because they don't have teaching certification or something. Since you're a BC student, you might be interested in ACE too (Alliance for Catholic Education), where you teach at under-resourced Catholic schools in the south and get your MA in Education Notre Dame at the same time. I have several friends that went this direction.</p>

<p>BC has a very good school of education with a very good education library and classrooms where they bring in real students (I guess for SOE students to teach and/or observe). Perhaps you could go into the library and take a look at textbooks used in ed classes. They also should have teacher newspapers and magazines and books on teaching issues.</p>

<p>You might consider a grad degree at BC's SOE along with the other schools that you mentioned. It wouldn't hurt to go there to chat with someone there. BC also has a Social Work building (library, offices and classrooms) and that might be something else that you'd be interested in. As you know, teaching and social work are tough jobs and may not be the best-paying jobs out there.</p>