Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students => Topic started by: devildog_jim on February 27, 2009, 06:26:44 PM

Title: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: devildog_jim on February 27, 2009, 06:26:44 PM
Has anyone here made the transition from law enforcement to law school?  I'm turning in my badge and gun for a laptop and casebook later this year, and was wondering if there were any distinct advantages or disadvantages to having worked on the "messy" side of legal employment.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: NYCFed on February 27, 2009, 06:46:47 PM
I'm considering it, although my job is more cush than "messy."  Would like to hear any other input.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: SuperSixTwo on March 02, 2009, 06:14:13 PM
I am in the process of do this now.  Sort of.  I plan on going part-time while finishing out my 20.  I have 11 in, so it is very difficult to give up being over half way to a lifetime pension.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: devildog_jim on March 02, 2009, 06:33:03 PM
I'm nowhere near my 20, but I'm federal so I figure I can take a shot at being Famous But Incompetent if I decide I really need a pension at age 50.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: SuperSixTwo on March 02, 2009, 07:35:08 PM
Being employed Federally should give you a pretty good shot with the FBI anyway.  You don't need a law degree to get hired with them as I am sure you know.  Once you start getting close to the ten year mark it makes it tougher to leave, especially when you realize you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.  With all of that being said, I wish I had made the move much earlier in my career.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: devildog_jim on March 02, 2009, 08:21:13 PM
I'll just barely be career status when I go, so I'm not leaving a whole lot.  Federal employment as an attorney has some perks too, and I figure I don't have to decide for a while.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: sarahlina on March 02, 2009, 08:40:44 PM
I had a number of years of law enforcement experience before I switched over to school.  I loved my job and was reluctant to leave but knew if I went part time either school or work would suffer and I wanted to be able to give 100%.  You will find criminal law interesting and probably wind up thinking (as I did), that's not how it happens in real life!  The rest of the stuff was all new to me, torts or contracts never came into play on the job.  I think once I start taking evidence or criminal procedure more stuff will be familiar.  But I am just a lowly 1L now...
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: SuperSixTwo on March 02, 2009, 09:07:47 PM
Sarahlina, did you start full-time or give part-time a shot first?  How long were you out of undergrad before going to law school?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: sarahlina on March 03, 2009, 08:58:56 PM
I originally applied for part time programs but then wound up going full time.  I felt like having to dash off to classes at 5 PM would really hinder my ability to give 100% to my cases.  I definitely think it is possible to balance some jobs, but law enforcement is unique.  I was working for about seven years.  It can be a weird transition.  Sitting in the library for hours makes me miss field work.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: devildog_jim on March 04, 2009, 09:12:29 PM
So a friend just let me know that DoJ runs internships about 20 hours a week all semesters.  Part time + DoJ intern for as long as they'll have you > full time?
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: k0em9u on April 03, 2009, 10:41:43 PM
Has anyone here made the transition from law enforcement to law school?  I'm turning in my badge and gun for a laptop and casebook later this year, and was wondering if there were any distinct advantages or disadvantages to having worked on the "messy" side of legal employment.

I have both former police and former military in my class, and they seem to be doing very well compared to the averages. I think your background will certainly not be a detriment, more likely the opposite. Prepare to be called on a lot in crim law.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: ArkansasFan on August 12, 2009, 05:04:43 PM
I'm in the same boat wondering if law enforcement to law school is a good choice for me.  Even when I was in field training, as odd as this is, I've been hearing, "Man, you should go to law school, and...blah blah blah."  I still hear that and heard it yesterday.  The fact is, I want to go.  I always have.  I just wonder what I'd do once I graduate, but I suspicion everyone endures that which has always been the sole barrier to my applying.

My background is unique I think.  I graduated college, taught high school science for two years while working part-time as a paramedic before becoming a municipal officer.  I did that for a couple of years and transitioned to natural resource law enforcement which is pretty unique albeit cushy in some respects particularly with my administrative reponsibilities now.  My favorite part of LE is law and procedure followed by interviewing and reporting.  Of course, we all like firearms and tactics.   ;) 

This spring I'm off to school (or scheduled) to become a narcotics investigator which I still want to train in, but right now I'm pretty sure I want to go to law school and then do something on that side of the fence.  I'm in Arkansas and really only care to go to school here for a variety of personal reasons, and I've got at GPA of 3.45 according to LSDAS which I am registered with.  Short of a bad LSAT score, and I've yet to challenge the LSAT, I'm told I stand a good chance of getting accepted.  Arkansas allows for part-time officers, and, in fantasy, it'd be great if I could do that during L2-L3. 

Having come here searching for cop turned lawyer threads I'm just wondering what others may throw at me for advice, suggestions, criticisms, or commentary.
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: duckgrl on August 13, 2009, 03:16:07 PM
When I toured a couple schools, they said they had a few students with a law enforcement background.  I was considering this career path, but had to put everything on hold when I found out I was pregnant in February!  I've been in law enforcement for six years.  I worked in TV news for four years before that.  I always wanted to go to law school, but the timing wasn't right.  The way things are going, it may never be. 
Title: Re: Law Enforcement to Law School - any thoughts?
Post by: Freak on August 19, 2009, 06:16:44 PM
I am a second year associate. I graduated over 3 years ago. My best friend graduate with me and he was in law enforcement for 3 years before law school. He is now a state prosecutor and loves it.