How To Quit Law School

Quitting law school is done best in one specific way... as soon as possible.

Hi!  I am among the most recent class of law school dropouts and want to share my story to aid others who find themselves in the quandary of law school prison.  What is law school prison?  It's when you've decided you're going to stick with it.  You go for a while, you don't love it, but you tell yourself, "I can do this for a while.  I can just be a lawyer for a few years, then I'll move on to what I really want to do."  This shortly leads to "I hate this.  But I'm SO in debt.  How could I possibly do anything else now?"  Prison.  Law-school-debt prison.  Well, that's how I felt anyway.  There are a myriad other reasons to quit law school, and certainly I have many more of my own, but whatever your reason, you should know that you're not alone, that you're not hopeless, and that life will just keep moving.


  • Law schools lose students every year:  
    • Various schools' 2011 attrition rates 1st year / 2nd year:
      • Akron:                                19.6% / 4.4%
      • George Mason:                   16.2% / 1.7%
      • George Washington:          6.4% / 4%
      • Loyola Marymount:          11.5% / 2.2%
      • Michigan State:                  14.5% / 1%
      • Quinnipiac:                         10.4% / .9%
  • Some are even advocating that students be paid to leave law school because legal education is such a mess!
  • I'm still here.  Blogging this right now.  I didn't die.  I told all my friends and family.  I didn't die of embarrassment.  I didn't disappoint them to death.  My law school administrators were GREAT.  They worked with me and helped me talk it out, and come to the best decision for me.
  • Yes, I'm going to have to get a move on, and find a job, move forward with other plans, but it's not terrible.  People sympathise with my situation, and are very willing to help.  
  • People hate lawyers anyway, you can at least be glad to be done with lawyer jokes!

The comment from two different loved-ones that made the feeling that I've made the right choice really hit home?  


I am.

If you find yourself in the aforementioned prison, just shut the books, take the key off the wall, and let yourself out.  It might not be the easiest thing you ever did, but it won't be the worst.  Certainly, I am still fresh to all of this.  But hindsight right now is 20/20.  Without the specter of all things law school looming around me, I can see clearly that I should have done this a long time ago.

If you're still not completely convinced, take a break.  My law school was surprisingly chill about me taking a leave of absence.  I did, and it gave me a great chance to really think this over.  At the very least, talk to people!  Talk to your family, friends, school administrators, counselors, financial aid office,  professors, gurus, pastors, rabbis, priests, God, therapist... whoever!  (Me?)  If you keep it all locked up, you'll only get more miserable.  

Yes, some people are capable of hating their jobs, but still being successful.  But you don't have to be one of those people.  If you've just had a bad few weeks of school, give it some time and things may very well turn around.  But if you find yourself in prison, and you find yourself reading an article like this... give it a rest already.  Take a break or quit, but don't torture yourself any longer!

Next time on How to Quit Law School:  The legal-style memo I wrote myself to analyze quitting law school.


  1. SO happy for you! My husband is paid almost nothing (police officer) but he loves his job so it's totally worth it. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Angie! I'm feeling a little crazy, but I am glad that I'm headed toward a job I know I'll like. Another friend just told me she was shocked I ever went to law school because she thought I was dead set on teaching in the first place. Guess I never actually shook that.

  2. HI! I really appreciate your blog. It makes me feel not alone in my dilemma of whether to quit or not to quit law school. I have just processed my thoughts regarding quitting law school and posted my reasons on my blog ( I think I would also feel relieved once I finally leave law school but I haven't completely decided yet. Thanks for writing this blog.

    1. Thanks for stopping by MC! (Pardon the months it has taken for me to respond.) I'm sure you've probably made your decision by now, but if not, best of luck, hope this blog proved helpful at all.