Diary of a 1L
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Wednesday, December 08, 2004
10:45 AM

My plan, in a nutshell

  1. Finish applying to the OSU M.Ed. program in Math, Science, and Technology Education.
  2. Take a leave of absence from law school starting next semester.
  3. Use Winter and Spring Quarters to take the science content courses I didn't already do in undergrad that I need for Ohio teacher licensure (for example, I didn't take any chemistry in college at all).
  4. Hope I get in.
  5. Start the program in summer '05, finish summer '06.
  6. Get a jorb as a high school physics teacher, autumn '06.
So I'm not going far away physically, just academically. I'll miss seeing a lot of people at school, though. I hope I can hang out with them once in a while.

Brilliant plan, Mike! Teaching is a noble profession and you have made such a great decision! Will you still be a blogger? Or is this the end? Jen
I'll miss seeing you around school. Moritz won't be the same without its master blogger. But I support your decision and hope that it brings you much happiness and fulfillment. I think it's a wonderful plan. -Betty
Does that mean this is a permanent "leave of absence from law school?" Tis a shame.
Does that mean you've wasted tens of thousands of dollars to figure out you want to be a teacher?

Can't hang in for another 1 1/2 years, get the JD, then become a teacher? WTF?

Another semester of BS, then a year of lite coursework and you have a damn degree. Seems crazy. Kinda like you're trying to prove a point to yourself.

Chicks dig the JD. Add that to being a teacher and chicks will know you have your priorities in order.
Having come from Public Education to get the JD, I will give words of caution. Teaching is not all it is cracked up to be.
Face it. Once you drop out (or take a "leave of absence") you are never going back.
I'm pretty sure the point is he's not going back. And it's not like it was your 10s of thousands he was wasting. Who are you to criticise his life plans? We need good teachers and if he's going to be a good teacher, more power to him.
He might not have wasted anyones money but what about the people who were rejected from law school who would have been legitimately interested and committed to the profession? An argument could be made that this spot was wasted.
And, damn it, what about the Ohio taxpayers?!
please refrain from ever...EVER...referring to teaching as "a noble profession." that's so much bullshit...it's code for "awwww...isn't that nice! you're willing to work for peanuts, but you must feel SO GOOD about yourself! and you get your summers off too! i know we need more good teachers, but i'll be damned if i'll pay more in taxes to attract them, even though they hold our greatest natural resource in their hands."

Otherwise, Mike, from a purely financial viewpoint, it might well be worth taking the extra classes (at Capital, for example, one class at a time) to finish your J.D. Take classes that you are interested in, but do it...the difference on a salary schedule between a master's and a doctorate (which the J.D. should be, no?) is usually rather significant over the course of a working career. At least in a district north of the Mason-Dixon. I won't weigh in on the "this was a wasted law school spot" because I still consider going back to teaching every single day I'm in law school.
Good luck to you, Mike...expect to work just as hard, especially as a first year teacher, as you do/did in law school, but in a different way. Like with law school, no way to describe the first year experience in any meaningful way - you just have to experience it for yourself, and then drink heavily afterwards. :-)
WOW! This plan is very ambitious for a quitter. And guess what, you can't say any more about lawyers because you are not going to be one. I mean, this blog was an insider's view of law school from the perspective of a would be lawyer. Also, congrats on diluting the minds of so many future 1Ls then leaving them high and dry. This blog would have been great if you actually did what the rest of your class will do-- graduate and become lawyers.

-Diary of a non-L
I can't even begin to tell you, previous commenter, how little I care what you think. Do you think someone who has never gone to law school at all has more of a right to criticize lawyers? And if not, who has a right to criticize lawyers? Only other lawyers? If you can only legitimately criticize someone's behavior if you've walked in their shoes, who can you criticize? You can't criticize tobacco executives. You can't criticize KKK members. You can't criticize serial killers.

I went to law school. I did pretty damn good, thank you very much. I found that our legal system is not value-neutral. And I found that the values enshrined in our legal system are not my values. So I'm getting out so I won't hate myself. So WOW yourself.
Whether or not you hate yourself has little to do with your profession. Don't think that changing professions will help you with this. Personally, I think that teaching is a much harder profession than being a lawyer. However, it is no more or less noble. I also believe that if you don't get placed in a really good school with some big time nerds, public school students will eat you ALIVE!!!! Nevertheless, good luck-just should have finished your JD first, 3rd year is a breeze and you probably could have taken the classes concurrently.
C'est la vie
Why would continuing law school cause you to hate yourself? It might get you down about the law and society, but yourself? If you truly believe that, then I agree with a previous commenter that teenagers will eat you alive. I wish you luck but advise you not to make this decision impulsively. Try substitute teaching to see if it actually gives you what you are seeking. Finish your JD to increase your salary potential (and your respect amongst the little beasts you'll be babysitting, I mean... instructing.)
Geez, some of these comments are just downright hateful. Is this the type of personality of a person that becomes a lawyer? It's his life. If he's not happy, he should do what he wants to do and seek a profession for which he has a passion. Mike, thanks for your site. It has and will continue to be a great help to me! Keep on keepin' on.
Have fun on your new adventure! I have sponged off your briefs all semester...could not have made it through the first semester without them! Take Care and don't listen to all the negative comments people are writing, they are just bitter and lost! It takes a lot of courage to find your way through life and not just follow the crowd or expectations your parents have for you.
Dear Mike,

You'll find teaching is not often about intellectual stimulation, nor about inspiring your students.

Both of these happen infrequently, and makes them all the more valuable when they occur. If you wish to buck the system, you'd better have a plan, and great reserves of courage and sympathy for yourself and your students, and a good principal. It can get ugly.

No, high school teaching is a local affair, and you are a bit of an actor. Your primary responsiblity will be adhering to a ridiculously confused set of rules, and rewarding good behavior. Try not to get discouraged with the hoops you have to jump through to become certified. After being in law school, I imagine you'll be horrified at how this behemoth operates.

As for law school, it still is a noble profession, but its nobility is on the decline. The same problems (the natural course which our democracy and democratic institutions are taking) that plague our high schools are spreading up into our professional schools as well, and into the professions themselves.

It is a crisis of ideas, and it is most serious, and not serious at all. Learn to laugh!
Good luck
Wow, what a boneheaded move. With a JD you had a chance of running a school district. Now, what, you toil away for 70% of the local average salary for the rest of your life? With a JD you can do so much to make a difference. Much more than in any other profession. Pity, you would have been good.
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