Below median at GW, what to do?

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radon5

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Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby radon5 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:44 pm

I feel stupid saying this but against some advice I got on here, I turned down a full ride somewhere else to go to GW. I have a decent scholarship but still looking at about 180K of debt by the time I'd get out. I'm sure this happens to a lot of people but I came in thinking I would be fine and ended up below median after this semester. I'm kinda freaking out now and questioning whether going to law school was a smart thing. I guess I had tricked myself into thinking big law was possible and now I'm pretty sure that's out. I don't really want to have some random prosecutor or PD job and feel really lost. Given that, should I cut my losses and drop out? I don't really think I could do much better this semester as I worked really hard last semester. Should I readjust my goals and just aim for some menial law job?

sparkytrainer

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:19 pm

This might sound harsh compared to other people's advice, but I would drop out with that debt load. Try to retake the lsat and reapply. That debt load is way to high for the outcomes you are likely to get, even if you crush the spring. I would try everything to drop out now without having to pay for the spring semester.

Best of luck

omd3117

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby omd3117 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:04 pm

radon5 wrote:I feel stupid saying this but against some advice I got on here, I turned down a full ride somewhere else to go to GW. I have a decent scholarship but still looking at about 180K of debt by the time I'd get out. I'm sure this happens to a lot of people but I came in thinking I would be fine and ended up below median after this semester. I'm kinda freaking out now and questioning whether going to law school was a smart thing. I guess I had tricked myself into thinking big law was possible and now I'm pretty sure that's out. I don't really want to have some random prosecutor or PD job and feel really lost. Given that, should I cut my losses and drop out? I don't really think I could do much better this semester as I worked really hard last semester. Should I readjust my goals and just aim for some menial law job?


Edit: OP - I think this decision is completely up to you. As a GW student myself, I understand how difficult this would be. I think you can improve second semester [anecdote: I did], so if it were me, I'd probably hang in there to get a more accurate picture of what my overall GPA would be. That's only my opinion.

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby Subban_Fan » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:12 pm

Should I readjust my goals and just aim for some menial law job?


No, because you haven't even started those "menial" jobs yet and you already hate it.

AppraisalWaisal

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby AppraisalWaisal » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:35 pm

radon5 wrote:I feel stupid saying this but against some advice I got on here, I turned down a full ride somewhere else to go to GW. I have a decent scholarship but still looking at about 180K of debt by the time I'd get out. I'm sure this happens to a lot of people but I came in thinking I would be fine and ended up below median after this semester. I'm kinda freaking out now and questioning whether going to law school was a smart thing. I guess I had tricked myself into thinking big law was possible and now I'm pretty sure that's out. I don't really want to have some random prosecutor or PD job and feel really lost. Given that, should I cut my losses and drop out? I don't really think I could do much better this semester as I worked really hard last semester. Should I readjust my goals and just aim for some menial law job?



It's not over. Obviously you need to re-adjust and work significantly harder/smarter but don't be so quick to call defeat.

I was in the exact same position as you.

Lot of debt. Significantly below median after 1L first semester. Ended up with DC big law.

What I did: Raised my overall grades to median after 1L second semester. Struck out at 2L OCI (duh). Interned at fed financial regulators during all of 2L and 2L summer. Continued to slowly raise my grades over 2L. COntinued to intern at fed financial regulators during 3L.

When 3L OCI came around, I was somewhere between top third and top quarter and also had a year interning with big fed financial regulators, so during 3L OCI (which is admittedly limited), I was actually a decent candidate for a ton of financial services, white collar, securities, investment management associate positions. I had only 5 applications but that produced 3 screeners, 3 CBs, and 2 offers, at 2 DC big law firms and 1 NY big law firm.

I know a handful of people who did the same route as me (slowly raise grades over 2L/3L and intern at big fed agencies). E.g., My best law school friend did internships at EEOC and DOL during 2L and ended up with 2 3L offers for Labor/Employment positions at dc big firms. Is it way easier to just crush 1L and then get an offer from 2L OCI? yes. But is that the only way? no.

sparkytrainer

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby sparkytrainer » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:46 pm

AppraisalWaisal wrote:
radon5 wrote:I feel stupid saying this but against some advice I got on here, I turned down a full ride somewhere else to go to GW. I have a decent scholarship but still looking at about 180K of debt by the time I'd get out. I'm sure this happens to a lot of people but I came in thinking I would be fine and ended up below median after this semester. I'm kinda freaking out now and questioning whether going to law school was a smart thing. I guess I had tricked myself into thinking big law was possible and now I'm pretty sure that's out. I don't really want to have some random prosecutor or PD job and feel really lost. Given that, should I cut my losses and drop out? I don't really think I could do much better this semester as I worked really hard last semester. Should I readjust my goals and just aim for some menial law job?



It's not over. Obviously you need to re-adjust and work significantly harder/smarter but don't be so quick to call defeat.

I was in the exact same position as you.

Lot of debt. Significantly below median after 1L first semester. Ended up with DC big law.

What I did: Raised my overall grades to median after 1L second semester. Struck out at 2L OCI (duh). Interned at fed financial regulators during all of 2L and 2L summer. Continued to slowly raise my grades over 2L. COntinued to intern at fed financial regulators during 3L.

When 3L OCI came around, I was somewhere between top third and top quarter and also had a year interning with big fed financial regulators, so during 3L OCI (which is admittedly limited), I was actually a decent candidate for a ton of financial services, white collar, securities, investment management associate positions. I had only 5 applications but that produced 3 screeners, 3 CBs, and 2 offers, at 2 DC big law firms and 1 NY big law firm.

I know a handful of people who did the same route as me (slowly raise grades over 2L/3L and intern at big fed agencies). E.g., My best law school friend did internships at EEOC and DOL during 2L and ended up with 2 3L offers for Labor/Employment positions at dc big firms. Is it way easier to just crush 1L and then get an offer from 2L OCI? yes. But is that the only way? no.


I want to point out while this story is great, it is massively unlikely to be reproduced. First, biglaw hiring for law students is down 20+% and looks like it will be the continued normal.

Second, for your story, I know 5 people who just graduated from GW, all in the top 20%, none of which got biglaw, and 3 still dont have any legal job, almost a year after graduation. All were obviously successful at GW, all passed the bar, and only 1 has a long-term, stable small law job. The other is in a 1 year fellowship with nothing lined up after. The fellowship person is working 3 jobs to make ends meet, and can't pay off anything from the loans.

Given OP's debt load, I still think the right idea is to drop out.

AppraisalWaisal

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby AppraisalWaisal » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:08 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
AppraisalWaisal wrote:
radon5 wrote:I feel stupid saying this but against some advice I got on here, I turned down a full ride somewhere else to go to GW. I have a decent scholarship but still looking at about 180K of debt by the time I'd get out. I'm sure this happens to a lot of people but I came in thinking I would be fine and ended up below median after this semester. I'm kinda freaking out now and questioning whether going to law school was a smart thing. I guess I had tricked myself into thinking big law was possible and now I'm pretty sure that's out. I don't really want to have some random prosecutor or PD job and feel really lost. Given that, should I cut my losses and drop out? I don't really think I could do much better this semester as I worked really hard last semester. Should I readjust my goals and just aim for some menial law job?



It's not over. Obviously you need to re-adjust and work significantly harder/smarter but don't be so quick to call defeat.

I was in the exact same position as you.

Lot of debt. Significantly below median after 1L first semester. Ended up with DC big law.

What I did: Raised my overall grades to median after 1L second semester. Struck out at 2L OCI (duh). Interned at fed financial regulators during all of 2L and 2L summer. Continued to slowly raise my grades over 2L. COntinued to intern at fed financial regulators during 3L.

When 3L OCI came around, I was somewhere between top third and top quarter and also had a year interning with big fed financial regulators, so during 3L OCI (which is admittedly limited), I was actually a decent candidate for a number of financial services, white collar, securities, investment management associate positions. I had only 5 applications but that produced 3 screeners, 3 CBs, and 2 offers, at 2 DC big law firms and 1 NY big law firm.

I know a handful of people who did the same route as me (slowly raise grades over 2L/3L and intern at big fed agencies). E.g., My best law school friend did internships at EEOC and DOL during 2L and ended up with 2 3L offers for Labor/Employment positions at dc big firms. Is it way easier to just crush 1L and then get an offer from 2L OCI? yes. But is that the only way? no.


I want to point out while this story is great, it is massively unlikely to be reproduced. First, biglaw hiring for law students is down 20+% and looks like it will be the continued normal.

Second, for your story, I know 5 people who just graduated from GW, all in the top 20%, none of which got biglaw, and 3 still dont have any legal job, almost a year after graduation. All were obviously successful at GW, all passed the bar, and only 1 has a long-term, stable small law job. The other is in a 1 year fellowship with nothing lined up after. The fellowship person is working 3 jobs to make ends meet, and can't pay off anything from the loans.

Given OP's debt load, I still think the right idea is to drop out.


I'm pretty surprised at this. Maybe I graduated at a better time but if I pull up a list of my 1L 85 person section. I would be confident enough to bet money that 80% of them were employed in a good job after 6-12 months of graduation. I would define "good" as any full time legal job, fellowship, clerkship, or high paying (6figure+) non-legal job (consulting, compliance at a bank).

taxman128

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby taxman128 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:33 pm

https://www.lstreports.com/schools/gw/


Only 35% in large law flrms or Federal Clerk. Good luck!

radon5

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby radon5 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:35 am

I'm going to stick it out but I'm really nervous

jacketyellow

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby jacketyellow » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:03 am

radon5 wrote:I'm going to stick it out but I'm really nervous


You're going to hate me, but you should drop out. I had a little over a 3.0 my first semester at GW, and my GPA pretty much stayed the same my second semester. I was below median as well and stayed there. I did get DC BigLaw (but don't take my path!!). I knows tons of top students who graduated in my year (2017) that are working contract jobs. I know the hurt, pain, and embarrassment of having a low GPA, but it'll be worse when you don't find a job that you want.

The fact is this: BigLaw hiring is down, even though the economy isn't bad, and will remain at this level for the foreseeable future. Your GPA isn't great, and you're probably not a URM (even if you are, it'll only be a marginal benefit). Cut your losses, and drop out. I didn't, and I am now over $200,000 in debt, working at BigLaw for the foreseeable future trying to service it. Drop out.

mec215

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby mec215 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:53 am

radon5 wrote:I'm going to stick it out but I'm really nervous

I have another suggestion if you want to think outside the box a bit. I am an evening student at GW, have worked full time at a law firm my entire time at GW. I am staying on at that firm as an associate after graduation. It is really easy to switch back and forth between the day program and evening program at GW (just a quick form at the Dean's office). You could try to find a law job (paralegal/law clerk) at a firm during the day, even just part-time, and go to school at night. You could also find a part-time federal internship for during the school year. Your grades will improve as you get used studying for law school exams, and having some work experience on your resume will boost your post-graduation job prospects without landing a big law summer gig. The added income will also cut down on the loans you need to borrow.

I would be more than happy to talk to you off-line about being an evening student at GW, but unfortunately, I think PMs have been disabled on TLS.

Fletch23

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby Fletch23 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:28 pm

DC biglaw is a pretty impressive pull from below median anywhere. Did you network your way into the role.

jacketyellow wrote:
radon5 wrote:I'm going to stick it out but I'm really nervous


You're going to hate me, but you should drop out. I had a little over a 3.0 my first semester at GW, and my GPA pretty much stayed the same my second semester. I was below median as well and stayed there. I did get DC BigLaw (but don't take my path!!). I knows tons of top students who graduated in my year (2017) that are working contract jobs. I know the hurt, pain, and embarrassment of having a low GPA, but it'll be worse when you don't find a job that you want.

The fact is this: BigLaw hiring is down, even though the economy isn't bad, and will remain at this level for the foreseeable future. Your GPA isn't great, and you're probably not a URM (even if you are, it'll only be a marginal benefit). Cut your losses, and drop out. I didn't, and I am now over $200,000 in debt, working at BigLaw for the foreseeable future trying to service it. Drop out.

jacketyellow

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby jacketyellow » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:07 pm

Fletch23 wrote:DC biglaw is a pretty impressive pull from below median anywhere. Did you network your way into the role.


No, I didn't. I'm a URM, and I got a 1L SA with a firm. Then, I used that experience to get to another big firm my 2L summer. And I was given an offer. I didn't really network (if at all) -- just the stars aligned, and I think I interview well.

sparkytrainer

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby sparkytrainer » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:16 pm

jacketyellow wrote:
Fletch23 wrote:DC biglaw is a pretty impressive pull from below median anywhere. Did you network your way into the role.


No, I didn't. I'm a URM, and I got a 1L SA with a firm. Then, I used that experience to get to another big firm my 2L summer. And I was given an offer. I didn't really network (if at all) -- just the stars aligned, and I think I interview well.


The key here is that this poster is an urm, something that op does not appear to be. That makes a huge difference in biglaw hiring.

taxman128

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby taxman128 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:38 pm

Trap schools

Under current conditions, some good examples of trap schools include USC, George Washington, and Fordham. Good Luck!

http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... hools.html

bokampers

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby bokampers » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:47 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
jacketyellow wrote:
Fletch23 wrote:DC biglaw is a pretty impressive pull from below median anywhere. Did you network your way into the role.


No, I didn't. I'm a URM, and I got a 1L SA with a firm. Then, I used that experience to get to another big firm my 2L summer. And I was given an offer. I didn't really network (if at all) -- just the stars aligned, and I think I interview well.


The key here is that this poster is an urm, something that op does not appear to be. That makes a huge difference in biglaw hiring.


No it doesn't . Even the 1L diversity gigs require great grades

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Pomeranian

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby Pomeranian » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:13 pm

taxman128 wrote:Trap schools

Under current conditions, some good examples of trap schools include USC, George Washington, and Fordham. Good Luck!

http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... hools.html


+1

metprez52

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby metprez52 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:01 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
jacketyellow wrote:
Fletch23 wrote:DC biglaw is a pretty impressive pull from below median anywhere. Did you network your way into the role.


No, I didn't. I'm a URM, and I got a 1L SA with a firm. Then, I used that experience to get to another big firm my 2L summer. And I was given an offer. I didn't really network (if at all) -- just the stars aligned, and I think I interview well.


The key here is that this poster is an urm, something that op does not appear to be. That makes a huge difference in biglaw hiring.


Remember, URM are underrepresented for a reason. They don't (usually) get the job. And even if they do, they're on super short leashes and don't typically last very long. If being URM made it easier, there'd be more URMs in law and law school, but that's not the case.

jacketyellow

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby jacketyellow » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:38 pm

bokampers wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
jacketyellow wrote:
Fletch23 wrote:DC biglaw is a pretty impressive pull from below median anywhere. Did you network your way into the role.


No, I didn't. I'm a URM, and I got a 1L SA with a firm. Then, I used that experience to get to another big firm my 2L summer. And I was given an offer. I didn't really network (if at all) -- just the stars aligned, and I think I interview well.


The key here is that this poster is an urm, something that op does not appear to be. That makes a huge difference in biglaw hiring.


No it doesn't . Even the 1L diversity gigs require great grades


I must be a snowflake because I had a little over a 3.0, with some As sprinkled in. I never did get below a B, though -- for rankings' sake, a B is pretty bad.

jacketyellow

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Re: Below median at GW, what to do?

Postby jacketyellow » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:39 pm

metprez52 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
jacketyellow wrote:
Fletch23 wrote:DC biglaw is a pretty impressive pull from below median anywhere. Did you network your way into the role.


No, I didn't. I'm a URM, and I got a 1L SA with a firm. Then, I used that experience to get to another big firm my 2L summer. And I was given an offer. I didn't really network (if at all) -- just the stars aligned, and I think I interview well.


The key here is that this poster is an urm, something that op does not appear to be. That makes a huge difference in biglaw hiring.


Remember, URM are underrepresented for a reason. They don't (usually) get the job. And even if they do, they're on super short leashes and don't typically last very long. If being URM made it easier, there'd be more URMs in law and law school, but that's not the case.


Why do they not last long? Burn out? Or in-house options?



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