Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

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jhall2yl

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Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby jhall2yl » Thu Mar 07, 2019 3:42 pm

It seems in reading through the majority of posts here that the 0L/1L members all "know exactly what they want to do" after law school. I'm very interested in learning about those that either did not have it all figured out before starting 1L or those that were initially interested in X but then switched to Y... maybe due to a class that peaked interest or one that made you lose interest?

I'm not necessarily looking for those that were dead set on BigLaw but due to grades landed in mid/small but more for practice area/specialty change-ups?

I'm probably just looking for reassurance that I'm not the only one out here that doesn't have it all figured out yet :D

crownjd

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby crownjd » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:35 pm

I came in dead set on immigration. I knew that I wanted to be in immigration court fighting for people to stay the country ... but after my first internship, things changed. Even more so once I took Immigration Law.

Still defense, but not the same area!

objctnyrhnr

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:25 pm

Came in dead set on govt litigation. Landed a federal clerkship somehow during my 3L year, went into govt as I had planned following the clerkship, felt unchallenged and ultimately leveraged the clerkship to make a difficult transition to biglaw (never even SAed).

I love where I’m at and everything worked out. That all being said, if biglaw is an option for you coming out or perhaps following a clerkship, you should take it. Worry about your PI or public sector passion afterwards. What many 0Ls or even 3Ls don’t realize is that (particularly in the lit context), almost all top litigants have that biglaw stamp. It’s almost a dues-paying kind of thing but it’s also an incredible learning experience. Not to mention how much more valuable money is early in life (pay off debt or invest or both), not to mention much better exit options into pi or govt or smaller firm.

Anyway, I realize that I rambled a bit beyond the topic you asked about, but that’s my advice.

jhall2yl

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby jhall2yl » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:10 pm

I really appreciate the extra feedback. I wondered how most "traditional" students seemed to know what they wanted to specialize in before taking any relevant classes or working/volunteering/interning in that practice group?

I recognize that I'm an "over-thinker" to begin with ... add to that I'm 40 yrs old and not dead-set on a speciality and it began to really hit hard that I was (seemingly) the only one undecided. With my background, I'm considering this an extension of my career not necessarily a 2nd or career "change" per se. But even within what I think will be my preferred areas, there's the possibility of lit v transactional, in-house v public v firm(any size, although I'm not chasing BL @45). I am hoping that a combination of courses and summer opportunities help it all to fall into place for me.

*side note, I fully understand the cost-benefit is typically negative for a 40 something yr old and I'm in a unique opportunity where that isn't a big factor for me. Essentially will have saved plenty to take off work for a few yrs and have tuition covered for the schools within reach. So while I appreciate the myriad of advice on the forums about associated cost of going back to school at my age, I dont need to be talked out of that at this point ;)

jhall2yl

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby jhall2yl » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:12 pm

*and it's not that I have anything against BL or those that are seeking it- just that I know with my age it would be even more of a challenge. If it happened to be an opportunity, I wouldn't automatically say no, but certainly not BLorBust.

objctnyrhnr

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:29 pm

IME, government litigators are some of the happiest lawyers. Maybe do that.

jackdanielsga

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby jackdanielsga » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:24 pm

jhall2yl wrote:*side note, I fully understand the cost-benefit is typically negative for a 40 something yr old and I'm in a unique opportunity where that isn't a big factor for me. Essentially will have saved plenty to take off work for a few yrs and have tuition covered for the schools within reach. So while I appreciate the myriad of advice on the forums about associated cost of going back to school at my age, I dont need to be talked out of that at this point ;)


Sorry for the off topic but just had to chime in on that :)

I am facing the same challenge and here's my response: there are people who spend north of $100k on booze, bars, night clubs, partying etc over the course of their lifetime. I don't drink anymore so why not spend the money on sitting in class listening to smart people talk. The conversation quality is likely to be lightyears better than at a $10 per drink bar.

RedPurpleBlue

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:40 pm

I came into law school pretty dead set on the idea of doing litigation. Then, I found out during 1L that I pretty much hated every class that revolved around litigation (e.g. civ pro, con law, crim). I took a tax class and just fell in love. Later on, I branched out to other transactional areas and have enjoyed almost all of them. This was a really jarring change for me, but I landed an SA with transactional rotations and I'm 100x happier knowing that I'll never have to litigate a day in my life.

FND

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby FND » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:13 pm

I had a major medical issue during 1L's exam period and summer, so my grades tanked and I had nothing on my resume.

I went from expecting great things to suddenly needing to scramble. Not only that, but my life outlook changed. While I had good opportunities, my ambition changed significantly. Instead I built myself into a reputable solo in a niche practice area, which gives me the opportunity to have the lifestyle I want. I work enough to stay fed, but I can't remember the last time I worked a 40 hour week.

jackdanielsga

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby jackdanielsga » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:03 pm

FND wrote:I built myself into a reputable solo in a niche practice area, .



I'd love to know some details. Especially what did you do right after graduation, how did you build the experience and the client base?

FND

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby FND » Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:26 pm

jackdanielsga wrote:
FND wrote:I built myself into a reputable solo in a niche practice area, .



I'd love to know some details. Especially what did you do right after graduation, how did you build the experience and the client base?

with great difficulty.

icansortofmath

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby icansortofmath » Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:17 am

I went in dead set on Antitrust litigation.

I left for tax consultancy with plans for an MBA in 2 years.

GraceNeverland

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby GraceNeverland » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:37 pm

You are def not alone. I went to law school thinking I'd like to do cross-border transaction. Later one I found out I was more interested in tax law. Then couldn't find a tax job and ended up clerking for a bankruptcy court. Now I am practicing business bankruptcy law in a midsize firm and thinking about transferring back to tax is like...impossible without a tax llm.

Goldie

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Re: Did you switch gears @ 1L, 2L, 3L or even later?

Postby Goldie » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:11 pm

I spent a few years in a technology-related field before starting law school. I rather immediately locked in on data privacy and cybersecurity as the most natural outgrowth of my previous jobs, and focused on that during my 1L summer and 2L-summer recruiting, in addition to some classes and activity choices in law school. But during 2L, my interests shifted more towards appellate litigation. Luckily, my 2L summer firm did that too, so I did a mix that summer. The end of 2L, 3L, and post-law school have all been almost exclusively geared towards appellate litigation (a clinic, a couple internships, a clerkship, and now a state-government appellate job).

I think the hardest part for me was to let go of the idea that I needed to be leveraging my pre-law school career and should therefore limit by post-law school work to something in an analogous field. Granted, I had less pre-law school work than you did, but I still didn't want to waste those years. Once I let myself just chase the things I found interesting, I found out that the data privacy and cybersecurity world wasn't at the top of my list anymore.



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