Author Topic: Law school?  (Read 1220 times)

dabighen

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Law school?
« on: February 10, 2020, 07:22:56 PM »
Hi all,

I have always had a goal to become a lawyer.  I finished my masters in 2010 and was fortunate to land a decent job averaging 70k or so the past decade.  I recently changed jobs and didnt like it so left that and i have a temp job now, i am a bit underemployed but not horribly with regard to salary.

I am planning on applying to law school, because i have this goal but am not completly sold i should do it.  I really want it as a life goal, but the opportunity cost of no salary for 3 years is giving me pause.

I am 35 years old, married (wife is a teacher), 4 kids, and a $700k net worth mostly in 401k s&p index fund.  Should i do this, i will likely try to do some sort of child care share with others to swing school and study time.  Thinking 5 parents, each pick 1 day each week to care for eachothers kids would mean no child care costs.  Just a bunch of coordination and will draw up a contract or something like that.

Anyway, i am still going to apply because i took the lsat, did 146 which isnt too great but am planning a retake if needed.  ..., but am i crazy to go back? 

Lastly, i am in the guard so i would have a 100% tuitiin waiver which is what is pushing me to do this now while i am still in the national guard.  Thoughts?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 07:26:21 PM by dabighen »

sui generis

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 08:39:44 PM »
Well a tuition waiver is a big help!  But it's still a huge investment of time, so it warrants serious consideration of why you want to be a lawyer and what you would do as a lawyer...and especially if your conception of those two things is realistic. 

I'm not gonna assume you think being a lawyer is like what you see on Law & Order or The Good Wife or whatever.  Actually, it's not totally unrepresentative if you are a DA or PD (public defender) or something.  But as with all things, it's never as sexy as on TV.  But there are so many types of law.  Is there a certain type you are dying to practice because you are passionate about that subject area?  Is there a certain skill you associate with being a lawyer that you think you have in abundance and/or could cultivate and enjoy using a lot?

I worked for about a decade in one career, then got a JD and practiced as a lawyer before retiring early in 2018, so feel free to ask me more specifics.  I didn't love being a lawyer anymore than my previous career, but there were things I disliked about it more than my previous career, which were mostly really random things that might be really personal to me (here's an example - I worked at a big law firm as a lawyer and had worked in the public sector [and in non-profits] before.  I really missed the sense of us all being on one team working for the greater good...in a law firm you are just a random collection of people developing your own practice and business and leveraging some economies of scale by doing it together.  There's no sense, in my experience, of all having a collective purpose that you are trying to achieve, and that's just something random I personally missed as compared to other jobs).

I also became pretty disillusioned with the justice system as a whole.  In law school, you will learn that our adversarial system is a really awesome way of getting to "the truth" or a fair outcome.  That putting forth the best arguments on both sides makes the "right one" rise to the top and you can be really confident it has risen to the top for the right reasons.  But what I've actually seen is that smart lawyers can make a super good case, based on law, precedent and much else, for anything.  Like literally anything.  Like, you could give a good lawyer an assignment to find out why we all have an obligation to be cannibals.  I mean, seriously.  In the end, I'm finding it more morally bankrupt to take a position and find the best arguments for it than to cultivate evidence and see what position it leads to.  I mean, apart from the actual injustice in our justice system (like more money = more justice), which trained lawyers can actually work together to change...it's a bigger problem that I ended up just not being totally onboard with the basic construction of our adversarial system altogether, which no one's gonna change. 

But you know, that's very big picture.  I was perfectly happy practicing as a transactional lawyer, helping my clients create and execute good deals that would hopefully help them avoid needing a litigator in the future, without daily meditations on the intellectual bankruptcy of our adversarial system.  There are in fact so many types and ways of being a lawyer, that one of my 1L lecturers told us that if we were unhappy when we were practicing, we should do something different, because there are so many options, anyone should be able to find their calling within the field, once you've gone to the trouble of getting a JD and becoming the member of a Bar.  And if that's true, then maybe it's worth your investment of 3 years of time and lost income.  But, I do think it bears more careful thought, so feel free to post here more about why this has specifically been a goal of yours all your life and I'm sure the lawyers and former lawyers here can tell you how actually going to law school may or may not help you realize your goals.

One more thought to add - it pays to go to a well-regarded school. I mean, literally pays money if that's where even a part of your interest lies.  Where I went, we all had a chance at interviewing with top firms because of our school's reputation.  At other schools, only the top 10% of a class even had a chance at interviewing with top firms.  And same goes for opportunities that don't pay well, but could lead to prestigious positions or opportunities to really change the world (if that's more your speed).  Having a top law school on your resume gets you there, at least faster.  So yes, retake the LSAT if you decide to go and if you possibly can.  I hate to be elitist, but if you just get another job making 75k (which is definitely the starting salary in some markets at a mid or lower tier firm), are you going to be happier than you are now? Same comparison if you have big dreams of working for the Justice Department or the ICR or the Innocence Project.  Elite law schools help you get the experience and connections that make those things more possible, faster.

So, sorry that all was so long.  I hope some of it is helpful!
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 09:25:47 PM by sui generis »

Kl285528

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2020, 09:15:00 PM »
Former lawyer here - make sure you talk with some people that currently practice law to make really sure you understand what you are getting into, and why you are going to law school. A large percentage of lawyers are unhappy in their profession for various reasons. Others are reasonably happy, and some are really pleased to practice law. There can be alot of really grinding suck in the practice of law - make real sure you know what you're getting into.

Suit

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2020, 09:45:04 PM »
Lawyer here. What type of law do you want to do? Also, you should definitely talk to lawyers who work in the areas of law you are interested in. The field of law is generally time consuming and your wife will need to be on board with the sort of hours you will need to put in for your clients. Also, see if the bar association in the state you are in has an economic survey. Oregon does. It shows what realistic salary ranges are for different years of practice and areas of practice. They are plenty of legal jobs in my state where you will earn less than your prior $70k salary. Feel free to ask any specific questions.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2020, 06:58:02 AM »
Former lawyer here - make sure you talk with some people that currently practice law to make really sure you understand what you are getting into, and why you are going to law school. A large percentage of lawyers are unhappy in their profession for various reasons. Others are reasonably happy, and some are really pleased to practice law. There can be alot of really grinding suck in the practice of law - make real sure you know what you're getting into.

This is remarkably true, OP.

I know your initial post was just trying to summarize, but the lack of reasoning why you want to go to law school -- other than having a generic "goal to become a lawyer -- sticks out like a red hot fire.

My experience from law school was that you could immediately tell the difference between people who went to law school with a plan in mind versus those who went to law school because they "wanted to become a lawyer."  The people with a specific plan generally did well in school and have blossomed into great careers, the people who just "wanted to become a lawyer" did poorly in school and are slugging away doing jobs that resemble paper-pushing admin work instead of being a lawyer.

That's obviously a huge generalization on my part, but you really need to explore this.  Flesh it out.  Why do you want to become a lawyer?  What type of law do you want to do?  What's your dream first job?  Have you thought this through?  Because as you said, it's a huge commitment, so you better be sure about it.

***

The second thing I'll comment on is your LSAT score.  I'm not trying to be an Ivy League prestige whore here (I went to Ohio State), but a 146 is not a very good score.  That low of a score will only allow you to get into the absolute bottom rung of schools. 

Coming out of law school, the legal profession is extremely hierarchical -- most clerkship go to Ivy League schools, then Big Ten/Pac 12 schools, and on down.  Same goes for big firms.  Only the top 5-10% of the class at the bottom tier schools have a shot at clerkships and well paying jobs coming out of school.

Moreover, I believe the LSAT, more than any other graduate school exam, has the strongest correlation with how you will perform in law school.  So if you are at a 146, the statistical odds are that wherever you go, you will be close to the bottom of the class.  That will make getting a job extremely difficult. 

I would definitely advise retaking the LSAT.  I used the PowerScore exam prep.  I think the logic games are learnable.  I got 22/24 of those right on my LSAT.  Then I decided to really slow down on reading comp and do three of the four "short stories" very accurately, and then guess all the same letter for the last story.  Put these together and I could do really poorly on the rest of the test and still get 160ish.

***

Good luck to you.  I'm always open for questions if you want to PM me.

dabighen

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2020, 07:40:19 AM »
Thank you for your responses everyone.  Most of you asked about specifically why I wanted to pursue law and what my background was.  I am a community planner so I would further my career by doing land use law and municipal law specifically.  I was a community planner, then a construction planner, and a town administrator for a bit.  So this seems like a good progression that would add to my career not necessarily a career change.  I have worked very closely with land use and municipal attorneys throughout my career and always admired their thought, logic, and most I have run into were great people. 

Dee18

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2020, 08:17:59 AM »
You have received a lot of good advice above.  Most importantly, you recognize there is a large opportunity cost to going to law school.  Beyond the loss of salary, you would spend three years in an extremely stressful program while parenting multiple children.  For students who are not at the top of the class, the best way to try to get jobs is through externships, part time jobs on top of classes, and time intensive extracurricular activities like trial teams.  I teach at a law school and have students getting joint law and masters degrees.  They have told me that the average law school course takes three times as much time as the average masters degree course.  Given your particular interests, I would suggest you consider dipping your toe in first.  Here are some possibilities:  while keeping your job enroll in a part time program for one semester to see if you like law school and can do well at it; take short courses of particular interest to you that are open to non-lawyers (check out Vermont Law School's summer short courses, which include some on land use:  https://www.vermontlaw.edu/summer/schedule. Even if the course has a prerequisite, given your background you might be able to enroll without that.); or look for online law courses from accredited law schools that are specific to your subject area.  Many, many law schools now offer online certificate programs in specialized areas.

I would not recommend that you enroll full time in law school. Your salary on graduation would probably be below $70,000, even if you land a legal job, which many law graduates do not. 


« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 09:54:57 AM by Dee18 »

sui generis

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2020, 09:45:27 AM »
Thank you for your responses everyone.  Most of you asked about specifically why I wanted to pursue law and what my background was.  I am a community planner so I would further my career by doing land use law and municipal law specifically.  I was a community planner, then a construction planner, and a town administrator for a bit.  So this seems like a good progression that would add to my career not necessarily a career change.  I have worked very closely with land use and municipal attorneys throughout my career and always admired their thought, logic, and most I have run into were great people.

My story is extremely similar.  I wasn't in land use, but another area of municipal admin, then went to law school and ended up practicing the law portion of that same type of municipal admin.  It's not really furthering your career, per se, but rather playing a different role in that same work.  Granted, I did end up at a huge law firm with the big salary (starting at $160k), but that's not super common for anything municipal-related (and I'm in SF, a major market). 

I'll always appreciate what I learned in law school (and use the skills and knowledge a lot!) but I don't have kids so the opportunity cost was probably less costly for me.  Honestly, I think you have to have some better reasons for going to law school than that you liked the lawyers you've worked with.  Are you still in touch with them and can you take a couple out for coffee and ask them questions? 

For land use law specifically....how detail-oriented are you?  And I mean, not just attention to detail, but do you get totally lost for hours in detail and feel like it's the most amazing mystery and the most fun thing ever?  Because land use law can be extremely intricate and it requires more than just the patience to learn and to research ad nauseum for your case or client...but more of a reveling in it.  I mean, this has to be deep in your DNA, I think, otherwise you'll get bored fast.  Keep in mind that the lawyers you were most often exposed to in person were probably people a couple decades into their practice, with maybe some exposure to a 5th year or below infrequently.  So to the extent you think you may have been seeing your future, it's a future that's at least a decade off.  I may be exaggerating a bit since smaller firms with small municipal practices may get you more client interaction earlier on.  In my practice, in my early years, I was definitely on the phone with my clients and everyone else every day, but I only occasionally was the one flying around the state to go to their board/council meetings, etc.  Not that I really wanted to do that (another reason I retired early...do NOT love getting on a plane every second day!), but just something to keep in mind about what you have seen of the profession vs what's going on behind the scenes.  I have a friend that was in land use, went to law school, then practiced at a small but very well-known-for-municipal-law firm and after two years she said she was just so tired of spending 10 hours at a desk every day that she went back to land use generally and has not practiced law since. 

I just especially want to emphasize that becoming a lawyer is not a way of furthering your career in a field in which you are already working (unless you are a paralegal).  I definitely did not feel in any way further along or higher up when I was practicing in the field I was previously working in.  In fact, perhaps just a touch the opposite.  But in any case, very much just a different role to play in the process.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2020, 09:51:02 AM »
I just recommended that one poster go to law school. Iím strongly recommending that you donít.

First, your current situation is great. Youíve saved an incredible amount at a young age. Youíre salary is good and what youíd need to do to double it would take away from your large family. Those kids and your wife need you more than law school. You canít get that time back. Unless youíre in a major city, go to a top school and get in the top 10%, the most lucrative jobs are closed to you (and that life is brutal for a bit). Youíre looking at at least 6-8 years of insane hours and pressure. Not fun for anyone. If you stayed the course, you would easily almost double your stache, if not more, in that same timeframe, without disrupting your life or your familyís. There is no upside.

Second, the lawyer Dream. No one wants to shoot that down. The reality is so different. Lawyer life is rough, virtually no one has it easy. The stress is insane. Billable hours a nightmare. Itís tedious and often boring. Very few love it. You meet very few happy lawyers. They do it to pay off the loans, fund the lifestyle, and bask in the glory of being considered one of the smart ones who made it. If you were younger, no kids, Iíd say give it a whirl. But youíre not. You donít need it at all. To me this is like someone swimming in a comfortable pool, and then says, Iíve always wanted to know what quicksand feels like, should I swim in that? Um, no! Please donít! ;-)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2020, 10:08:03 AM »
Thank you for your responses everyone.  Most of you asked about specifically why I wanted to pursue law and what my background was.  I am a community planner so I would further my career by doing land use law and municipal law specifically.  I was a community planner, then a construction planner, and a town administrator for a bit.  So this seems like a good progression that would add to my career not necessarily a career change.  I have worked very closely with land use and municipal attorneys throughout my career and always admired their thought, logic, and most I have run into were great people.

Fair enough reason.  I figured you'd thought about this more and wanted to flesh it out.  Some things to consider:

1) Is there a pay difference between what you do now and what these lawyers do? 

2) Have you quantified that pay difference with the opportunity cost of going to law school?

3) Do you have an "in" in one of these municipal jobs (i.e., "Hey, if you go to law school, you can work here")? 

4) Is night school a possibility?  Perhaps cut back at work and do night school?  Not sure how this fits in with your kids.

5) What about pursuing law school after FIRE?  I had several people in my class attending just to attend and not sit for the bar.  Tuition is way less when you do this.

***

As someone else said, real estate work is horrifically detail oriented.  Don't get me wrong, I pay attention to detail, but land use is looking at land contracts from 50 years ago, looking through all subsequent transfers for the next 50 years, and realizing an interest has not been fully satisfied, and then realizing there's an easement out of nowhere, and now you need to do something about it.  It is extremely technical stuff.

If you like that type of stuff, all the power to you.  Most people hate it.  Maybe you could do both municipal work and work at a title agency on the side or something (if municipality lets you).

***

Ultimately, you do not need to go to law school to think like these lawyers.  Some books I've read that will really illuminate a lawyer's line of thinking are "Getting to Maybe" and "Checklist Manifesto."  I've basically combined those two things and that's how I run my practice.  Just a thought.

dabighen

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2020, 10:50:23 AM »
I have thought about waiting to FIRE before doing this, but I think I would lose the military tuition waiver.

as far as your considerations:

1) Is there a pay difference between what you do now and what these lawyers do? 

Not really.  I think there is more autonomy as a lawyer though which would make for a better FIRE job.  I am about 10 years from FIRE I suspect. 

2) Have you quantified that pay difference with the opportunity cost of going to law school? 

yes, opportunity cost would be about $30,000 X 3 years plus compounding...probably around $500,000 over a lifetime.  That is why I have cold feet.  haha.

3) Do you have an "in" in one of these municipal jobs (i.e., "Hey, if you go to law school, you can work here")? 

No, but I think I have a network where I would be hired by several municipalities on a contract basis if that's what I end up doing.

4) Is night school a possibility?  Perhaps cut back at work and do night school?  Not sure how this fits in with your kids. 

Not a possibility where I would go.  it is Full time or nothing.  ABA  doesn't recognize PT school, as I understand.

5) What about pursuing law school after FIRE?  I had several people in my class attending just to attend and not sit for the bar.  Tuition is way less when you do this.

Definite possibility.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2020, 11:14:24 AM »
Hi all,

I have always had a goal to become a lawyer.  I finished my masters in 2010 and was fortunate to land a decent job averaging 70k or so the past decade.  I recently changed jobs and didnt like it so left that and i have a temp job now, i am a bit underemployed but not horribly with regard to salary.

I am planning on applying to law school, because i have this goal but am not completly sold i should do it.  I really want it as a life goal, but the opportunity cost of no salary for 3 years is giving me pause.

I am 35 years old, married (wife is a teacher), 4 kids, and a $700k net worth mostly in 401k s&p index fund.  Should i do this, i will likely try to do some sort of child care share with others to swing school and study time.  Thinking 5 parents, each pick 1 day each week to care for eachothers kids would mean no child care costs.  Just a bunch of coordination and will draw up a contract or something like that.

Anyway, i am still going to apply because i took the lsat, did 146 which isnt too great but am planning a retake if needed.  ..., but am i crazy to go back? 

Lastly, i am in the guard so i would have a 100% tuitiin waiver which is what is pushing me to do this now while i am still in the national guard.  Thoughts?


100% tuition waiver is a MAJOR incentive to go.

If you decide to go  the  VERY demanding reading/studying requirements will consume most of your time. Less time for  wife/children is a drawback.

 In the CASE STUDIES FORUM  a 33-year-old member  is also mulling whether  she should go to law school. She has a  scholarship that will pay most of her tuition. What concerned me about her situation is that if she decides not to go she may someday regret not availing herself of the scholarship which could cause her unhappiness. I have the same concern for you  if you don't take advantage of  the tuition waiver.

When I started law school I wasn't sure I wanted to practice. After the 1st year I decided not to but I enjoyed studying law  so much that not graduating was out of the question.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 11:20:03 AM by John Galt incarnate! »

Catbert

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2020, 11:35:06 AM »
Not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.  I have thoughts about you attending law school, but they've been covered much better above by those who know much more than I do.

I will say that your child care plan sounds wildly improbable.  You have 4 kids and want to find 4 other parents who will take care of them one day a week in exchange for you taking care of their 1 (or maybe 2) each one day.  Doesn't seem fair on the surface.  Plus your 4 children plus at least 4 more equals 8 (or more) - too many for one person.  I'm also no clear on the time logistics.  I'm assuming your teacher wife works Mon-Fri and that full time law school is also Mon-Fri.  So...who's taking care of the 8+ kids during the week?  Or maybe you're each going to skip one day a week of school??




red_pill

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2020, 12:03:50 PM »
Are there other education programs you could consider that could achieve similar goals?  A masters in urban design or public administration or something like that? Ideally that you could attend part time?  I would imagine that with law school youíll be graduating and starting at the bottom rung like everyone else, and your current experience will not elevate you beyond that in the short term.  Versus a masters in your current stream would elevate you beyond where you are now.


Car Jack

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2020, 01:34:58 PM »
Not a lawyer but was part of a program at mega tech where they would send me to law school to become a Patent Attorney.  I took the LSAT, which I later said that I'd prefer putting a light bulb in my mouth, breaking it and chewing on it to taking it again.  But I 170'ish'd it.  Accepted into law school and then took another job instead.

As others asked, what kind of lawyer.  For me, it was easy because the company would have paid my way and I'd be committed.  Salary was already set, with a graduation date around 1996 of $93k.  But pay is all over the map.  I mean, you can be a low key real estate lawyer an push papers for a mortgage company or litigate and stare down corporations. 

From others who were already in the program, I was told that law school was lots of work but that all of the professors actually speak English and are very clear.  I'm an engineer and college involved translating words nobody understands from non-English speaking professors.

Finally.....with a family and 4 kids.  Nope.

dabighen

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2020, 02:11:58 PM »
Are there other education programs you could consider that could achieve similar goals?  A masters in urban design or public administration or something like that? Ideally that you could attend part time?  I would imagine that with law school youíll be graduating and starting at the bottom rung like everyone else, and your current experience will not elevate you beyond that in the short term.  Versus a masters in your current stream would elevate you beyond where you are now.

I currently have a Masters in Public Administration.  A JD would be the next logical progression in my mind.  Part-time would be my preference but the American Bar Association typically does not accredit Part time programs or I would have started one a decade ago.  Don't know why they are sticklers for that, but any school that has a Part time program I am told to steer clear from.  The public school I am considering does not have one.

dabighen

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2020, 02:17:48 PM »
Not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.  I have thoughts about you attending law school, but they've been covered much better above by those who know much more than I do.

I will say that your child care plan sounds wildly improbable.  You have 4 kids and want to find 4 other parents who will take care of them one day a week in exchange for you taking care of their 1 (or maybe 2) each one day.  Doesn't seem fair on the surface.  Plus your 4 children plus at least 4 more equals 8 (or more) - too many for one person.  I'm also no clear on the time logistics.  I'm assuming your teacher wife works Mon-Fri and that full time law school is also Mon-Fri.  So...who's taking care of the 8+ kids during the week?  Or maybe you're each going to skip one day a week of school??

Yes indeed, my kids and the time logistics are what is preventing me at this point from going.  Trying to think outside the box is what led me to this seemingly reckless childcare plan.  We would each forgo 1 day per week of work/school was my thought and watch each others kids once per week.  Only way to make it work financially but would require heavy coordination.  I should add that only 2 of my kids are daycare age so it would be more like 6 kids.  Also will be difficult finding someone who would devote proper attention and commit to such a reckless plan.  :)

Gizsuat2

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2020, 02:41:39 PM »
(Recently) former lawyer here.  Great advice on this thread.  And I echo the "TV lawyering is nothing like you see on TV," though I'd add the correction that likewise, being a prosecutor and public defender is nothing like what you see either.

A year out of law school, I was in a miserable job and ended up having coffee with about 50 attorneys.  I asked them what they liked and didn't like about their jobs.  90% of them told me they did not like their jobs, usually within the first 5-10 minutes of meeting.

I ended up loving being a lawyer for a very long time, but as with many professions the further along you go the harder it is to pivot to something else.  My sense is this is perhaps more true within the legal profession.

Dee18

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2020, 06:07:43 PM »
Just wanted to make clear that there are ABA accredited law schools with part-time programs.  Here is a list of 69 of them:
https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/part-time-law-rankings

Queen Frugal

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2020, 06:53:43 AM »
Lots of good comments here and I don't want to repeat what has already been said.

I am a lawyer myself. Personally, I found law school fascinating. I loved it. But I was young and I did not have kids.

I was good friends with a much older student in my class. I am guessing he was 45 at the time. While he did well in law school, he didn't land any decent offers from interviewing with firms. I suspect in large part because of his age. So he hung his own shingle. He found that his best referrals came from his previous line of business and now his work is limited to his previous industry. And I think that is pretty typical. He has been very successful, although I bet it took him 5 years after law school to start turning a decent profit.

I know plenty of lawyers who went to law school later in life and regretted it. Unless you have a special niche to begin with it is hard to justify the opportunity cost of being in law school and work as a lawyer long enough to make up the cost.

From my perspective, what most lawyers don't like about the practice of law is that your business is other people's problems. For the most part, people don't hire lawyers unless something is wrong. Dealing with other people's problems is emotionally draining. It sounds like with your background, you aren't going to be dealing with the guy going to prison, or the mom whose baby died, etc. That is a plus for your emotional wellbeing!


wellactually

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2020, 10:16:33 AM »
Are you sure you'd get the tuition waiver for a JD?

"First Professional degrees are NOT eligible (i.e. doctorate degrees, Juris doctorates)."

Source: https://www.nationalguard.com/education-programs/federal-tuition-assistance

Air National Guard seems to have a more limited pilot program going too, but with a pretty low assistance cap. I'm no military expert, just wondered if you had confirmation of the waiver.

I agree with above posters saying the childcare option sounds completely impractical.

historienne

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2020, 02:34:25 PM »
Yes indeed, my kids and the time logistics are what is preventing me at this point from going.  Trying to think outside the box is what led me to this seemingly reckless childcare plan.  We would each forgo 1 day per week of work/school was my thought and watch each others kids once per week.  Only way to make it work financially but would require heavy coordination.  I should add that only 2 of my kids are daycare age so it would be more like 6 kids.  Also will be difficult finding someone who would devote proper attention and commit to such a reckless plan.  :)

Yeah, this does not seem like a plan you can count on.  You could plan on putting those kids in part-time childcare while you attend class, and then doing most of your studying and other work on evenings/weekends.  But you won't see your wife very often, nor will you have time for exercise, friends, hobbies, or basically anything else other than childcare and school.  It sounds pretty miserable for me, for you but also for your wife.

dabighen

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2020, 06:16:49 PM »
Are you sure you'd get the tuition waiver for a JD?

"First Professional degrees are NOT eligible (i.e. doctorate degrees, Juris doctorates)."

Source: https://www.nationalguard.com/education-programs/federal-tuition-assistance

Air National Guard seems to have a more limited pilot program going too, but with a pretty low assistance cap. I'm no military expert, just wondered if you had confirmation of the waiver.

I agree with above posters saying the childcare option sounds completely impractical.

I am sure.  Its a National Guard tuition waiver for in state tuition including professional degrees.  State, not federal.  (Federal is just as you said.)

dabighen

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2020, 06:20:00 PM »
Yes indeed, my kids and the time logistics are what is preventing me at this point from going.  Trying to think outside the box is what led me to this seemingly reckless childcare plan.  We would each forgo 1 day per week of work/school was my thought and watch each others kids once per week.  Only way to make it work financially but would require heavy coordination.  I should add that only 2 of my kids are daycare age so it would be more like 6 kids.  Also will be difficult finding someone who would devote proper attention and commit to such a reckless plan.  :)

Yeah, this does not seem like a plan you can count on.  You could plan on putting those kids in part-time childcare while you attend class, and then doing most of your studying and other work on evenings/weekends.  But you won't see your wife very often, nor will you have time for exercise, friends, hobbies, or basically anything else other than childcare and school.  It sounds pretty miserable for me, for you but also for your wife.

It does sound miserable.  I want to thank everyone for their thoughts.  They were so helpful.

daymare

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2020, 09:44:06 AM »
I'll add more thoughts. I am a fee-only financial planner who is attending law school in the evenings (at an ABA-certified law school that gave me a 100% tuition waiver, not conditional on anything). I'm going for fun, and it's awfully interesting and going well academically (only in my second semester though). That said, I have always loved school and learning, I have no kids, and I was able to orchestrate my life to be optimized (ie, 15 minutes walk between work and school). I would look at the ABA Required Disclosures for the schools you're thinking of, and suggest you look at a part-time evening program. Your LSAT score is a concern because it's indicative you wouldn't be at the top of your class, meaning opportunities are limited. I categorically do NOT want to be a lawyer, most paths seem tough from an autonomy/compensation/time balance perspective. ABA salary stats, or conversations with attorney in the areas you want to work in, may be sobering ...

CNM

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Re: Law school?
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2020, 10:04:59 AM »
If you decide to go into municipal law, that usually means working for the attorney's office in your city, county or state.  These wages are not typically very high as you're a public employee.  This is often public information so you can see what you'd make if you were hired into your local municipal attorney's office.  I would be surprised if a junior attorney made $70K.