Post # 1
I don’t even know where to start. I’ll try not to write a novel. Darling Husband is seriously considering dropping out of law school. I will say that I completely support him in whatever he decides. He has done really well in school, so it’s not that he’s giving up on a dream or anything. He is just realizing that he really doesn’t want to be a lawyer. His undergraduate degree is in biology and he misses science. I think he got sucked into the idea of a lot of money, but now is realizing he values doing what he loves more than a big paycheck.
Now, he hasn’t made this decision for sure, but it’s looking like a very real possibility. He has started applying for jobs in the biology field, while still attending classes. Here’s where a lot of big questions come in. We moved to NYC for him to go to law school. We’re from Cincinnati, and it presents the question do we stay here or go back? If he does quit we’ll have to start paying back his loans within six months. Luckily he qualifies for income-based repayment. We would also have to break our lease, which I haven’t even begun to explore how difficult that would be. It will probably cost a fortune, but we have like 8,000 we could use to do this and pay for the move. That will leave us without much in our reserve. The rent we would pay in Cincinnati would be 1/3 of what we pay here, so that helps, but so much is uncertain.
To add to the stress of this even more I don’t have steady income. I’m in the arts field and I’ve had a great deal of trouble finding work in New York, although I just went on an interview today for a sales job that pays very well, but I kind of think I might hate it after a few months. I’ll do it if I have to though. I feel like I would have a much easier time finding work in Cincinnati because I have a much larger network of people to pull from both in and out of the arts community. But we can’t be certain that I can find work there either. I feel like one of us needs to have a job offer in place to move. If worst comes to worst, both sets of parents are there and have two extra bedrooms we could take advantage of for a few months, but I’d really like to avoid that if possible. We have 4 very supportive parents that will do whatever they can to help. We’re very lucky on the family front.
There’s just so much going through my head right now, and everything seems so uncertain all of a sudden. We have a little while to make this decision, but I just feel really overwhelmed and like I don’t know what to do. I also feel like I can’t talk to people in my life about this, because I don’t want the Cincinnati people to get excited in case we ultimately decide not to move and I don’t want the NY people to be sad that we might leave. I will talk to Darling Husband more about this when he gets home to see what he thinks, but I just needed to get this all out because it’s bothering me. I just am left thinking… what the f&%# do we do now?
Post # 3
I should have dropped out of law school and didn’t. Now I’m unemployed (because the non-legal market with a law degree is apparently even worse than the legal market) and my loans kick in in November. Luckily, I didn’t take out as much as most of my classmates, but it’s still not the best situation.
I can’t advise you on whether or not you should stay in New York or head back to Cincy, though I suspect a strong support network would be helpful at this time, but if your husband really doesn’t want to practice or work in the legal field, I highly recommend he get out while he still can.
Post # 4
I’m a lawyer, and I know lots of people who quit when I was in school. I think it’s a good decision to cut your loses if you know that you don’t want to be a lawyer unless he has a full scholarship or something. I can’t think of any law school in NYC that is cheap, plus living expenses there are ridiculous. You might end up shelling out some money now to break your lease and move, but I’m sure it’ll be less money than finishing up law school.
I’m guessing that he’s too far into the semester to get any type of refund on his tuition, so if I would ask him to finish out this semester since he already took out the loans, and both of you can use the next few months to try to find jobs and housing in Cincinnati.
Post # 5
I’m sorry you have to deal with this after he started school, but on the other hand, I think it’s great that he is making this decision before his finishes and is saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans and then can’t find a job. I might be sounding biased here, but I know many people who went to excellent law schools and can’t find work as lawyers. I tend to think he is making the right decision, especially if he has realized he doesn’t want to be a lawyer.
Post # 6
Has he considered intellectual property law? He could work in science with that specialty. Pharma and biotech are huge employers in that field, and they need IP lawyers who have a science background!
Also, this may be a bit of a reality check: He’s basically not employable in science with only a bachelors in Biology. Especially with no research experience. He’d probably need, at minimum, a masters with a good research thesis.
Post # 7
I have a question. What year is in in? Sometimes it pays to finish a degree even if he doesn’t choose to write the bar exam. He could always do that later although it would take a great deal of study and review.
We never know where our careers are going to take us. I am sure there are jobs in the science field that have to do with the application of the law.
Post # 8
Also, science jobs are in Boston, San Diego, SF Bay Area/San Jose, New Jersey, North Carolina Research Triangle. Pretty much all that’s outside of those areas is academic, which pays around $35,000/yr unless you are a PhD/prof. Do any of those places sound appealing to live in to you guys?
Post # 9
I just saw an article that might be up his alley (and maybe not). The South Dakota school of mining deal with math and sciences. Graduates make more than Harvard grads. Might be something to check out.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
What kind of science is he interested in? I”m a wildlife biologist with a master’s degree, and while I love my field and I’m SO SO LUCKY to have a great job I like, I advise people to be wary of the field. It can be soooo hard to find a job, especially in the place you want to be. And if he’s interested in academia, yikes. Talk about a soul-crushing competitive world, for at least a couple decades until you get tenure!
Post # 12
To give a little more information he currently has about $140,000 in student loan debt. He has just started 2L. To finish his degree would bring that up to $200,000. A big question to answer will be whether or not he should finish the semester. I’m not sure if he can get any tuition back at this point. He gets money at the beginning of the semester, so we could potentially use money that would go towards living expenses to relocate. The longer we wait, the less money we will have at our disposal.
@crayfish: He has seriously considered IP law. He is currently a research assistant for his IP professor and has an interview at a big IP firm on Friday. His heart just isn’t in it. We know he will need to get a masters or doctorate eventually if he wants to get a great biology job. The jobs he’s applying for are for lab technician/research assistant type jobs that he is qualified for with a bachelors degree. They don’t pay well but they pay okay.
I should also add that Darling Husband could likely go back to the restaurant job that he had in college while he looks for a better job if we’re in Cincinnati.
Post # 13
How far along is he in law school, OP? How many years does he have left?
As for sciences, sciences are tough to find work in, though biotech and chemistry can yield some good jobs. Wildlife sciences are pretty tough, though, and Academia’s tough to get into. Biology related jobs are tough to come by. They’re wonderful if you get lucky, but it is something very real to consider.
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Support him in doing this now but make sure he is totally sure about it.
The first semester of law school is really rough and I remember calling home telling my mom I was thinking about dropping out because it just wasn’t for me. My mom encouraged me to stay through the end of the first semester and get my grades before deciding. I am glad I took her advice because I did better than I thought I would and I love being a attorney. Just make sure he really wants to switch and it’s not because he’s struggling.
With his science degree he could always look into assisting with contracts for biomedical companies for his internships. You still have access to the scientific stuff but you also get to do the legal stuff as well. A friend of mine has a computer science master’s degree and a J.D. and he works on defense IT contracts.
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
@emilygrace07: I don’t know what to tell you about law school, but you may not have to break your lease. When graduated in December, I still had my lease until May, so I just moved all my stuff out and subletted my apartment. When I listed it on craigslist, I got about 20 responses in the first 48 hours.
I’m sure you would have a really easy time subletting your Brooklyn apartment. There are a lot of people who are looking for housing for just a semester for school or an internship, or who don’t want to commit to a place right away. Then, they would pay the rent for you, and you wouldn’t have to pay termination fees. I just needed to let my landlord know- you should really consider that option if it is available to you.