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23 and confused

in General 26 karma

Hey guys,

I am 23 and I would love to go to law school, however I take into that by the time I finish law school, article and take the bar I will be 27-28 years old. I am afraid that those 5 years of my life, I could have been working on other things or maybe starting my own business relating to marketing/social media.

How do you make a decision that can affect the prime years of your life (23-28) without feeling any regret or second guessing yourself ?

I have thought about it and my decision is to just take the LSAT, apply and see what my value is to potential law schools. However, I still always second guess myself and tell myself that i should be doing something else since law school will require a 4 year investment and at the very least 70,000 in student loan debt.

What do you guys think of those who have been in a similar predicament ?


  • theLSATdreamertheLSATdreamer Alum Member
    1287 karma

    Not similar at all, but heres my way of thinking, at your age I was doing tours in Afhganistan, I started college at 27 after the army, and now at 33 im studying the lsat for law school. i have been working as a paralegal for 5 years, i love the law, i the whole idea of becoming an attorney. Its not a, "mmm i could be doing something else" scenario in my mind, its what i strive to achieve, and i'll be honest with you, if you're doing it for the pay,don't, I know car salesmen that make 150k a year which is better than a lot of attorneys. As cliche as this may sound.. do what you actually love doing, if you want to open a marketing business and that will make you happy, then fck the lsat, dont hustle for 5 years to look back and second guess your choice.

  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    3679 karma

    I second @theLSATdreamer. I am 31, and am currently working in Marketing and Public Relations. My marketing career path was honestly something I just had to try to see if I really liked it before trying for law school and I'm so glad I did. If I had gone straight for law I would have always wondered 'what if'. Now I know I absolutely love the law and it is definitely the career path for me. So my advice is to do other things you are wondering about first and if in 5 or so years, the law is still on your mind go for it with eyes wide open.

    A great book to read, that I read when trying to decide if law was for me is Law School Confidential It gives honest insight into what Law school and a career in law is actually like. Good luck!

  • mynameisjeffmynameisjeff Member
    519 karma

    law school is only 3 years.

    I'm 23 and currently applying to law school. As mention from the comments above, I love the law and I really can't picture myself doing anything else.
    If you are scared and afraid of how long it will take or the money outcome, then I don't think you should do law. They're so many other jobs out there that make just as much if not more than a lawyer.
    Do what you love man, the last thing you want is to look back and regret a decision that is going to change your life.

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited August 2018 3652 karma

    As with any school, you could be doing something instead. So if you would rather start a business than go to school, then do so. If you can’t see yourself doing anything but law school, then go to law school. Maybe go to law school in your 30s after starting a business. You can certainly do something meaningful, even start a business, during your gap year and during the period you’re waiting for application results. You can also do very meaningful work during law school, although grades should be your main focus. I also do not think that 23-28 is prime years of your life. Most people in their 30s would say that 23-28 is a shit show. You’re just out of school and still trying to figure your life out and likely not financially secure and probably don’t know basic adult things since no one teaches you what a 401k is in school. Prob are crippled by student debt too. You’re an adult but not really. I’m saying this as someone your age — there’s no pressure to become financially independent in your 20s. I would understand if you were 60 years old and looking back at your life with regret but now isn’t the time to be thinking I need to do something “productive” and what society expects of me, rather than go to school/pursue a passion. A huge quantity of people are in grad school until/past their 30s, it’s nothing to be remorseful about.

  • It sounds like you know the answer to your question. If you do not want to go to law school 100% then maybe you should look into your other options. The majority of students in law school are over 25.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Member
    5244 karma

    Maybe volunteer somewhere PT.

  • hawaiihihawaiihi Free Trial Member
    973 karma

    @adrianmicciollo said:
    law school will require a 4 year investment

    Hey, law school is 3 years, not 4. I'm not pointing this out to make you feel bad. It's possible you know that and it's just a typo! But if you really did think that law school was 4 years, it suggests to me that you haven't yet done in-depth research in to what law school really is like (what curriculum entails, what schools are out there, what prospects are like for grads, fields of law, etc). I really, really recommend starting here before you make any decisions. You can't decide based on what you think "law school" is like in your head, and after some deeper research you might have more clarity on what you want.

  • Andrew AlterioAndrew Alterio Alum Member
    394 karma

    Well for me (similar to him) we'd have to wait until 2019 to start which is a year from now.. and then an additional 3 years of actual school. I totally get it. It's a lot of time. There's a lot you can do in the meantime. I personally am debating going to get my masters in teaching since I can whip it out in a year, make decent money and have a career. But at the end of the day, I want this more so we'll see.

  • AudaciousRedAudaciousRed Alum Member
    edited August 2018 2689 karma

    @"surfy surf" said:
    Most people in their 30s would say that 23-28 is a shit show. You’re just out of school and still trying to figure your life out and likely not financially secure and probably don’t know basic adult things since no one teaches you what a 401k is in school. Prob are crippled by student debt too. You’re an adult but not really.

    Buahahahahahaha... Omg, yes. Nailed it. "Shit show" indeed.

    I probably shouldn't, but I had a good laugh when the OP said it was the prime years of his life. My 30's have been SOOO much better. I am more confident, more knowledgeable, and more secure now than I ever was in my 20's.
    Honestly? It took me this long to realize where I screwed up, how to get back on track, and then re-find that path that I kept seeing throughout my life but never got to tread down. I have a lot more fortitude now, having been through what life has thrown at me in my 20's, too. I am more sure of myself and my capabilities. I have more direction and drive. And maybe most importantly, I have an idea of what I want.

    You do not know what you want. Take some time and figure that out. It's perfectly okay to do this before you mire yourself in debt and then realize halfway through that it's something you don't want. Actually, it'd be the really smart move to take time to experiment and figure it out. Try different things! Go in directions you never even considered a year ago! Really, your 20's are about learning and trying things out. Which is probably why most of us were really broke then. Go travel while you don't have kids. Take risks you can't do later with a family.

    If you are uncertain you want to put the time in for law school, then it's not right for you (for now).

  • gkoskigkoski Alum Member
    106 karma

    Hi- Like some other 7sagers here, I am in my early thirties. I had wanted to go to law school right after undergrad, but graduated with crippling student debt and had to work in retail management. What I offer to you is that your career path or journey will not always be linear.

    There is this perception that you graduate college, pursue graduate studies, then get a high paying job. This is not the case, and there is nothing wrong with that. Your twenties is the best time to take risks such as starting your own business, etc. If in a year it doesn't work out, you can always sit in a law class, connect with lawyers and current law students. The law class I sat in, most students were in mid-twenties and early thirties. There were some that were older.

    I would do some research, take some risks, and if law school truly what you want to do, then do it. Law school will always be there.

  • 26 karma

    I knew it was a 3 year degree, I was taking into account me getting in next year ( I will be 25), plus three years of law school and writing the bar. Besides that, thank you all for the advice. It is always nice to hear other peoples perspective and apply it when necessary.

  • lsatbeastmodelsatbeastmode Alum Member
    edited August 2018 51 karma

    My opinion: The questioning is a constant, regardless of what field you go in to, especially in today's day and age where we have endless options in front of us. It's basically one of those grass is greener situations/conundrums. Ultimately it comes down to choosing a path and sticking to it.

    Also, your post is implying some negatives of going to law school instead of utilizing the prime years of your life. Conversely, with every passing year your brain is changing (arguably deteriorating), and every second that passes is another second away from the days of high school (somewhat college) where you were forced to focus and study and all that. It's so much harder to go back to school after having worked. I say this from personal experience (graduate school after years of working), and I'm sure you've heard older people say this countless times.

    Imagine the world where becoming a lawyer is truly what you want (even if you don't fully know it now) and you decide to go to law school now and become a lawyer. Now you're 3 years "ahead" of the other version of you who tried your social marketing/media related stuff.

    Finally, look at your first statement: "I would love to go to law school, however..."

    1. I would love to go to law school
    2. The rest of your post - the fears and worries.

    I wonder if deep down you do know what you really want, but your (and/or socially instilled) fears and worries, are talking you out of your dream.

    I felt there were too many one sided replies and wanted to provide the other perspective advocating going to law school.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    If you're not sure you want to do it now and there are other things you want to try, then go do those. It is a huge commitment and can be done any time. I'm 34 and in the midst of this. In some ways, I'm glad I didn't go in my twenties. I have a lot more life under my belt, I'm more secure in who I am, what I like, and what I need. I can be way more efficient now than when I was 23. I know how I learn best and what's important to me. I think your twenties are for figuring yourself out and your thirties are for leaning in to what you found out. If you think you might be happier doing other things or might wonder "what if", then I think you should just go do other things for a few years and see what happens.

    If you're just worried and nervous, then don't let those emotions control your decision. But if you are wavering on whether this is the right path for you, I think it's best to figure that out before you take on a ton of debt and 3 year commitment of school.

  • cgracia12cgracia12 Alum Member
    737 karma

    Dude, you are young and you seem to have good goals in mind, so whatever option you choose, you'll be great. I think its great that you're taking the exam and seeing what your options are.

    As someone mentioned, I think your post did imply that you're wanting to accomplish a couple other goals, so it wouldn't be bad to go that route either. Not saying you can't do it after law school, but I would think after investing 3 years and near $100k on a J.D. you'd want to stick to a job that requires a J.D. lol

    You're in a good spot man. At least you seem very determined and goal-oriented and want to be productive.

    My dumbass at 23 had just graduated and still didn't know what to do with my life. 5 years later, I'm 28 now, got a job as a bilingual middle school teacher the past 5 years and it has afforded me the opportunity to travel around the world each summer, make wonderful memories with friends, and save cash for law school. No regrets and I'm glad I did it that way.

    Best of luck to you!

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Member
    5244 karma

    ThinkingLSAT interviewed a school debt specialist awhile back who's also an attorney but became a loan expert.

  • mikemudrowmikemudrow Free Trial Member
    10 karma

    I agree with the earlier comments. 23 is plenty young. You have so much time to figure out what you want to do with your life. My advice is not to worry about 28 being the end of the good times or even necessarily your prime. That's kind of a sad way to live, thinking that life's best times will be over before you even reach your halfway point! Instead, try to visualize life getting better as it goes on.
    At any rate, good luck figuring out what you'll do!

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Member
    5244 karma

    @mikemudrow, I agree: "try to visualize life getting better as it goes on."

  • Chipster StudyChipster Study Yearly Member
    893 karma

    I agree with the other 7sagers that maybe you don't have to slot law school into your mid 20s. If you have to argue with yourself about doing it, best to delay. There is plenty of time in life to have 2 or even 3 careers. At age 23 I was an open hearth foreman, at age 33 I was in medical school, at age 43 I was a transplant surgeon, and at 53 I was trauma surgeon and critical care physician. And, at age 63 I will be in law school. Each phase felt like the "prime years." Law school isn't going anywhere. My advice is to take the next years to work, travel, start your business, etc.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Member
    5244 karma

    Agreeing with @"Chipster Study": There is plenty of time in life to have 2 or even 3 careers. Unless a person dies young, but provided someone lives to life expectancy, definitely, and maybe 4 or 5 careers, even. :) And it can be fun to blend different fields.

  • OhnoeshalpmeOhnoeshalpme Alum Member
    edited August 2018 2531 karma

    I’d like to chime in, most people see law school as a “means to an end” for earning six figures. I think that many often forget that law school can be an incredible teacher. A truly life-changing and enlightening education like law school should be valued beyond its monitory consequences. If you see law school as a boring chore or a waste of your life, then don’t go to law school. If it’s just a fear that you’ll be old when you graduate - that’s insane you will still have a 40 year long career if you graduate at 27. It’s ridiculous to think that you will be “old” when you graduate.

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