A year out

A little over a year ago, I wrote about my decision to quit law school. I’m glad to say I don’t regret my decision to quit law school — yet. This is a relief to me because prior to quitting I feared that I would deeply regret it if I quit. Now, my fear is that 5 years from now I may be at a point where I’m frustrated with my career or life and then start regretting not finishing law school. There’s nothing I can do about this now, but it’s not pleasant to think about.

Currently, I am very happy with my decision to move on to something else. Law school is like a vague nightmare for me. I have only a few good memories from my 9 months in Salem. And the few good memories are so overshadowed by the bad memories that they don’t seem worth the trouble. If I had my druthers, I think I’d just permanently blot that whole 9 months of my life out of my memory.

Many people have said that it was probably a good thing I went anyway. It’s easy to agree with them, but I often wonder if this really is true. Sure, I may have learned a few things, matured some as a person, and did something challenging. But those benefits are so intangible and vague, unlike the debt I owe and the regrets I shoulder. I am of the opinion that maturity and character building does not necessarily have to come at a high cost, and paying a high cost for these virtues should be minimized. Discovering my “path in life” would fall into this same category. Sure it’s great to find out that lawyering probably isn’t in my future, but it would have been awfully nice not to throw a lot of money down the tubes along with a good chunk of time to discover that.

At any rate, I thoroughly enjoy where I am at now. I love being in Seattle with most of my friends. I enjoy my job, and it pays my bills — and then some! Who knows what my life would have been like had I stayed in school, but I really don’t think I’d be as happy as I am now. Especially considering Salem is cooking in 100 degree heat these days!

4 thoughts on “A year out

  1. Wow, I was just reading your post as I am only a little way through my first semester of law school and I “really” hate it and am thinking I should cut my losses and withdraw at the end of this semester rather than forcing myself to dole out another 10k to just reaffirm that feeling. It was wierd reading your post about law school and your decision to quit as it was like someone had gone and typed my thoughts right into your blog. Nice to see another perspective other than the “you will be okay” or “it gets better” or “nobody likes their jobs anyway” comments I get when I try to seriously talk about not liking law school.

    Thanks for keeping it real

  2. I’m in my first semester, racking up debt as well. Came across this website while desperately seeking someone with whom to relate.

    Christine: I’ve heard all those things. Everyone tries to convince law students to treat the process as though even though it sucks now, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Yeah, job dissatisfaction, alcoholism, stress, long hours, contentious professionals in an infamously heiarchal and snobby profession, and so on, and so on.

    There’s tons of statistics to support the fact that a great deal of attorneys are either dissatisfied with their profession, wouldn’t recommend their children become lawyers, regret going into law, and are considering jumping ship from the profession altogether.

    Perhaps there should be some rule: until you have worked as an attorney for 10 years, you have no right to say “you will be okay” or “it gets better”. (And yes, it’s even worse coming from a well-intentioned but clueless family member.)

    Yet, part of me wants to stick it out… because that’s what I do. Even though I would not be happy as a lawyer. Hell, midway through first semester, I was experiencing a massive amount of stress… then one day… I just stopped caring. And now, I get through the days by the seat of my ironic detachment.

    I have become comfortably numb. (And whiny!)

  3. I stumbled over your blog while doing a google search for, ahem, law school makes me want to kill myself. I hate law school, have always hated law school, and am suddenly beginning to doubt that I will be able to attain/enjoy the work in legal services for the poor that I had planned out to make it worth it. Everyone around me is jazzed up and pleased with themselves all the time, but for me it’s so bad I can hardly stand to go to classes, which, thank god, they don’t take attendance at, so I pretty much just don’t go. I have one semester left till I finish and astronomical debt (approaching $200,000) to enjoy once that’s over. I just want to say that for a person who *really* hates law school, it’s better to get out fast. I’m looking at ten years to pay off this debt assuming I can get a job eligible for loan repayment assistance, and all I can think about is how much I wish I could get on a plane and leave this whole mess behind.

    Not suicidal but very down about law school, n.

  4. Oh, a tip for people who want to quit law school but don’t know what to do: consider Universal Technical Institute (UTI) where they teach you how to be a really good car mechanic. That’s a job that’s not going overseas the way lawyering is, and after a year and change you graduate and, if you did well, you can go into a six month fancy training program like BMW’s STEP program. Quality BMW technicians make six figure salaries and get to do something real without living the lawyer rat race.

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