I rejected a top law school for tech entrepreneurship—here’s why.

I have thought about this long and hard, and law school isn’t for me.

I have a firm belief that in our new digital economy, those who are able to scale their ideas most effectively will triumph. Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape once said: “Software is eating the world”. My corollary to this statement is that “the geek shall inherit the Earth.”

The geek shall inherit the Earth.

From hospitality, to transportation, we live in a world where minute connections of individuals can actually change the world for the better—within a span of months, rather than decades.

Technology has accelerated both the potential for good, and for bad, but as a catalyst the effects are undeniable. From sidestepping the conventional financial system, to underpinning the democratic aspirations of a people, the ability to communicate frictionlessly has fundamentally changed what we view as possible.

Download / By Namphuong Van

Changing the possible with code(love)

While I appreciate the value a law school education holds for those who want to learn and practice law, I no longer think that is my true calling. Having talked with multiple lawyers, I have come to the conclusion that the impact I can have is best served by scaling my aspirations, and those of others throughout the digital realm, rather than through slogging it out one jurisdiction at a time.

I hold a high amount of respect for those who fight the good fight throughout legal and political channels: society has a need for this. I just don’t see myself being as effective at that as I can be with digital engagement.

My feeling in the startup scene is one akin to coming home.

I have advised on several ventures that have the potential to grow into something beautiful and meaningful not only from a monetary sense, but from a societal one as well.

When I sit down to talk with people, it’s about creating a secure communications platform for doctors and underserved patients in rural Bangladesh, or about tackling urban homelessness through a crowdfunding solution—these are not only realizable, but people are working on these right now. It is liberating to be able to talk about these issues, and see action straight away that helps chip away at some of the biggest problems this world faces—all of this in a matter of days, rather than years.

This isn’t only a passion-borne argument. Fundamentally, I believe working in technology is a more rational decision for me than working in law.

Fundamentally, I believe working in technology is a more rational decision for me than working in law.

Download / By Marco sama

Rejecting Law School with code(love)

I am motivated by three things in life: knowledge, impact, and love. It is only in technology that I have found all three—and it is only in technology where my passion can be translated into tangible, and material well-being. While I believe the current valuation bubble will burst, leaving true technologists behind to pick up the pieces, the truth is Silicon Valley is on the upswing, while Wall Street and Main Street is on the downswing.

With the doubtful legal market in Canada and the United States, and the overwhelming need for engineers across both sides of the border, I think I am better suited to learn outside of school, or to pursue a formalized degree in computer science (an option I have not precluded) for the age we live in.

I’d rather fight it out getting paid to gain experience rather than taking on debt for experience for a field I’d rather not be in. I have always been more of a kinetic learner, someone who learns by doing. I cannot afford either the time nor the money that would be invested in learning less efficiently otherwise, and this has been made even clearer in the last few weeks than all of the preceding year.

I’d rather fight it out getting paid to gain experience rather than taking on debt for experience for a field I’d rather not be in.

I love what I do, and I know what I am fighting for. The next following days will determine where I will head, but I feel that I can preclude law school, even though I recognize it is a great opportunity.

This is not a choice I made lightly, but it is something I have to do to move towards the love, knowledge, and impact I believe I can have. I hope you can understand.


The author

Roger is an entrepreneur who has co-founded a social network entitled ThoughtBasin that looks to connect students looking to make a difference with organizations looking for difference makers. This experience has given him some setbacks, but also some priceless insights. He is deferring admission from the law school of University of Toronto to pursue his dream of creating impact through entrepreneurship, and he is constantly looking to learn and create, and to do more. He contributes to social entrepreneurship projects with his fellow Global Shapers, coordinates a volunteer tutoring site, and on his off time he unwinds by reading, writing, and dancing---sometimes, all at the same time. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Rogerh1991.