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5 Reasons Not to Quit Law School

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on
Every winter, between semesters and before the drop cutoff, countless law students ponder whether or not they should cut their losses and drop out of law school. That thought is entirely reasonable. It's common in law school to work harder than you've ever worked and get the worst grades you've ever received. Just the compounded misery of returning for yet another semester of torture via cold-calling and the driest reading this side of Moby Dick is enough to make anyone eagerly look for a way out. But here are five reasons why you shouldn't quit law school:

1. You Want to Be a Lawyer

You're in law school for a reason. You belong here, and you probably wouldn't have gotten into law school if you couldn't hack it. And no, your chances of becoming a lawyer without finishing law school are not good. Yes, there are a few lawyers that have done it, but the hassle that comes with doing so isn't any easier than going to law school. So unless you've been an active paralegal or legal secretary for a million years, you should finish law school.

2. You're on Scholarship or Receiving Grant Money

If you're getting a significant discount on tuition or living expenses thanks to a scholarship or grant money, then your ROI might be too great to pass up, even if your end goal isn't to become a lawyer. Lawyering can be a gateway to countless other professions. If you've realized litigation isn't for you, that's perfectly okay. There are thousands of alternative legal careers where you can put your J.D. to good use.

3. Grades Aren't Everything

While those shooting for BigLaw dollars or a high-profile clerkship might need to focus on maintaining the highest GPA possible, at the end of the day, depending on your goals, you just need to pass. Know what they call the person in the bottom third of the class who passes the bar exam? An attorney. Besides, just because someone was a top performer in school, that doesn't mean they'll be a top performer in practice. Don't stop trying to get good grades, but don't let a disappointing final distract you from your ultimate goal.

4. Annoying Peers

Hating your peers is no reason to quit school. Yes, law school is disproportionately filled with overconfident individuals who enjoy arguing and raising their hands at the end of lectures to ask questions better suited for office hours or Reddit's legal advice subreddit. Or even worse, they might try to be nice to you and be your friend. But that's no reason to leave school. Learning how to deal with or tolerate difficult peers will be a valuable skill that you can carry forward with you throughout your legal career -- or any career, for that matter.

5. Lawyering Is Much Different Than Law School

You don't learn how to be a lawyer in law school. Well, unless you take specific classes, or do mentoring, or practicums or clinics, or other programs specifically designed to teach students how to represent clients. Even then, private practice, or even working for the government, is much different than the law school experience. So while law school may be a misery, the work can be incredibly satisfying, challenging, and stimulating.

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