Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students => Topic started by: ionltd on September 23, 2004, 10:37:12 PM

Title: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 23, 2004, 10:37:12 PM
I'm a 50 yo woman that owns a moderately successful small business manufacturing reproduction carousel horses and selling them to retailers around the world (we're on The Price is Right as a prize!!)

My undergrad is a BS in Medical Technology (3.2 gpa)and I worked in a hospital diagnostic lab for 14 years before starting my company where I've been for the last 14 years. (hmmmm, first time I've done the math...14 year itch?)

I've served on our area school board, raised 2 kids on our farm (my son's in med school and my daughter is finishing her masters then hopefully phd)and have been involved in many community activities.

ok...I want to sell my business and realize a life long dream of going to law school.  (I know you've heard it before a million times.

There is only one school within reasonable driving distance of where I live, so I've only got one shot.

Should I take the risk and go for it?  What are my chances?  We're finally financially and time ready.

Any help or comments appreciated...thanks

Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: dr_draino on September 23, 2004, 10:39:21 PM
Go for it...one of my best friends mother went to law school in her mid-40s and has been having the time of her life since.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: dgatl on September 23, 2004, 11:03:01 PM
if you want to pursue a lifelong dream, then go for it.  its a wonderful education.  the flipside is the job opportunities available to you upon graduation.  this will depend entirely on your person network and where you live.  you definitely have alot to offer firms, but the payoff may not be huge if you're settled down where you live and don't want to move.  you might want to consider chatting with people in your social circle that work in the legal profession and ask them. 
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 23, 2004, 11:08:01 PM
Thanks for the support.

What are my chances of acceptance? (remember I only have 1 school within driving distance) My gpa too low?  What do I need on the LSAT??

Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: foxnewssucks on September 23, 2004, 11:09:15 PM
Thanks for the support.

What are my chances of acceptance? (remember I only have 1 school within driving distance) My gpa too low?  What do I need on the LSAT??




what is the school?
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 23, 2004, 11:14:10 PM
U of I
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: dr_draino on September 23, 2004, 11:15:08 PM
Iowa?  Illinois?  Idaho?

Go to www.lsac.org and find their list of ABA acredited law schools...they've got all sorts of info about ever school.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: Casper on September 23, 2004, 11:19:27 PM
Forget about your GPA.  The fact that you ran a successful business will be good replacement.  Adcomm know that some of the great learning experiences doesn't occur in  the classroom.  Your life experiences will suffice.   
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 23, 2004, 11:20:00 PM
sorry...tunnel vision...Illinois
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: dr_draino on September 23, 2004, 11:23:57 PM
You'll need a pretty decent LSAT...should shoot to break a 160 at the minimum, probably a little bit higher than that.  That's not blowing the roof off of it, and unless for some reason you just struggle with standardized tests, isn't that hard to acheive with a little preperation (and if the test comes natural to you, might be easy to do without any prep).  Look around the LSAC website...they've got a free LSAT that you can take to gauge where you're at on that and what not.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: dgatl on September 23, 2004, 11:29:31 PM
i was accepted there with a 3.13 GPA (according to LSAC... my school GPA was a 3.3).  your experience makes you a "diversity" candidate.  i think you will be accepted. 
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: giffy on September 23, 2004, 11:47:12 PM
I say go for it as well. The 25/75 split at UofI is 3.12/3.61 and 159/164.  Your GPA is in there and if you score above a 159 you’re in there as well. That being said you have plenty of experience that shows so know how to work hard and get stuff done. Law schools love that. So if your numbers are anywhere close I would imagine that they will take you.

I would take a practice test and if you do Ok then just go take the LSAT and go for it. If you don't do so well. maybe prep a bit. A lot of the stuff in the LSAT (Reading Comprehension, Logic stuff) are skills that most people learn in college and then sort of loss with item. However with a little prep I bet you would be doing great. Running a business requires an understanding of logic and such. Regardless of all this, if it is your dream you have to go for it.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 24, 2004, 06:20:03 AM
thanks giffy.

I'm going to call the admissions office today and set up a vist.

The support I've gotten from my family and employees is unbelievabe (and my husband is a cheap ass!)

What bothers me is leaving my people at my business.  We are like family...I love many of them.   You younger guys might not understand, but these women and I are eachothers sounding board and complaining forums on a daily bases.  We've helped each other though miscarraiges, divorces (not mine), marriages, empty nest syndrome (mine) jerk husbands (all of us)...many tears, hugs, screams, hysterical laughing...I hate goodbyes
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 24, 2004, 06:25:17 AM
btw

whats with the photos of ATL desi?  Those wouldn't happen to be his sisters in the see-though lingerie?

Great...I'll post my family photo

Barb
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: desmo on September 24, 2004, 08:27:08 AM
I'm a 50 yo woman that owns a moderately successful small business manufacturing reproduction carousel horses and selling them to retailers around the world (we're on The Price is Right as a prize!!)

My undergrad is a BS in Medical Technology (3.2 gpa)and I worked in a hospital diagnostic lab for 14 years before starting my company where I've been for the last 14 years. (hmmmm, first time I've done the math...14 year itch?)

I've served on our area school board, raised 2 kids on our farm (my son's in med school and my daughter is finishing her masters then hopefully phd)and have been involved in many community activities.

ok...I want to sell my business and realize a life long dream of going to law school.  (I know you've heard it before a million times.

There is only one school within reasonable driving distance of where I live, so I've only got one shot.

Should I take the risk and go for it?  What are my chances?  We're finally financially and time ready.

Any help or comments appreciated...thanks



This just reeks of options I don't know where to start.

1) You've got the diversity factor locked up.  I have to believe most schools will look at this and drool at what your experience would add to a law school class.  I can't expound on this enough.

2) Do you have to sell the business?  I haven't looked at U of I, but do they offer a part-time evening program or is this totally out of the question?  Could you start part-time to slowly work yourself out of the business and then go full time?  Is there any possibility of taking a smaller role in the company but remaining on board?  This may be too difficult unless you have a second in command that you have faith in, otherwise I think you'd have a hard time not offering 'suggestions' all the time.  Just out of curiosity - how big of a company are we talking? 

3)  Your UGPA was 20 some years ago and I think your experience far outweighs it.  I think GPA is more of a factor with new grads as opposed to someone with heavy WE.

4)  Medical and Health law is very strong right now if your wanted to go back into this field.  Your business experience gives you a lead in any type of corporate law.  You've got a lot of background to leverage for whatever path you end up on. 

5)  I haven't been through Champaign-Urbana lately.  My first thought is the limited firms available after graduation may point you closer to Chicago, but then I looked at a map and it looks like St Louis or Springfield would be more likely choices.  I'm guessing you're in Neoga.  I've been through Mattoon and Sullivan a lot in a past life, not a whole lot there.

6)  And of course, since I'm an ass and would dissappoint people if I didn't at least make some negative comment - Why would a successful women who raised two over-achieving kids, started her own business, and put up with the same husband for so many years (My wife tells me this is very hard), have any doubt that she could smoke law school?  Geez, set your goals as you obviously have before and start practicing for the LSAT!
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 24, 2004, 09:01:16 AM
Oh my god....

I think I love you!  You make me look a lot better than I think I am.

U of I has no part time. 

My business isn't huge, however we have over 6000 retailers that purchase from us and we are with 5 rep groups across the US. I don't think I could do both. A lot of travel...and I enjoyed that.  Met some unbelievable people...Dr Ruth in NY when I did the International Toy Fair (got my picture with her), Richard Simmons there too...Kirstie Ally at the LA show in a booth next to man (wow was she big) Merideth Baxter Birney in Atlanta, buyers for San Francisco Music Box Co, Hershey Park, Disney, etc...sat next to an ex Miss America on a flight to NY and another time net to Fernando Vina's agent.  (ex-cardinal my fav...got an autographed picture!) it's been a blast.

How did you know I was in Neoga?????

We have a farm...can't move for work, however getting a job afterwords isn't a concern.

I'm calling U of I now

Thanks so much desmo



Here's the family photo (the extra young woman in the photo is my son's fiance who is in LAW SCHOOL)
(http://www.imagestash.com/uploads/19001.jpg) (http://www.imagestash.com)
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: desmo on September 24, 2004, 09:16:52 AM
So since your business (It's Only Natural) is going great, you love it, I assume it pays the bills, and since you're in charge meaning you get to call the shots - why on earth are you thinking of dumping it all for law school?

Honestly, your website looks like it's a real interesting business so what's your goal with LS - own practice?, handling your sons malpractice claims  :),
BIGLAW? 

You've got the dream most (some?) of us are aspiring to - what gives?

And BTW, you gave me enough information to figure out where you are - driving distance of U of I, and carousel horses.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 24, 2004, 09:44:11 AM
What a bright young man!

I'm tired of the day to day crap.  Complaining customers, lazy employees, damaged items, bad moldings, trucks not showing up etc.  If we were a larger business and I had office help it would be different, but I do EVERYTHING.  Also, I've conquered it and I feel like something is still missing.  I want to be an attorney.

ps..did the photo work?
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: desmo on September 24, 2004, 10:02:54 AM
No photo didn't work and I'm only about 10 years younger than you.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 24, 2004, 06:42:36 PM
desmo. what's your story...I need to know before I get pumped up by your knowledge. ar ar

What lsat study guides should I use.  I've decided to take it for sure and see how it goes
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: desi on September 24, 2004, 09:03:28 PM
whats with the photos of ATL desi?  Those wouldn't happen to be his sisters in the see-though lingerie?

Not my sisters.  And they're not in see-through lingerie. 

I can't decide whether you were joking in your post, or whether you expressed the ignorance that I face on a daily basis from people that see two or three brown people and automatically assume that we're related.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: RockyMtnHighMama on September 24, 2004, 10:51:50 PM
Just wanted to add my two-pennies worth... Go for it! I'm a soon-to-be-40-year-old with 4 kids doing a similar thing. A little over a year ago, I decided it was time to go to law school, so I contacted my undergrad's pre-law advisement center. They gave me some valuable tips toward studying for the LSAT (they told me to put in 6 months of study, using just the preptests, in this fashion: study 6 days/week, two hours/day. Day 1 take a prep-test under timed conditions. Day 2 study all the wrong answers - get your head wrapped around 'why' they were wrong. Day 3 study all the right answers - get your head wrapped around 'why' they were right. Day 4 practice logic problems - use logic problem magazines and the Logic Games Bible, etc. Repeat with new prep-test on day 5.) They also recommended that I take the June test. They gave me important stats about admission rates from my undergrad (even though I'm 20 years out of college, they still count), and some hand-outs on how to put together a law app resume, the personal statement, and addendums (addenda?).

So, I did that, along with spending the past year preparing my children (ages 16, 14, 10, and 6) and husband to be more self-sufficient, and tying up loose ends in some volunteer work (the above tasks will take another year yet to complete! LOL). But my apps and papers are all in to the two Law Schools in my area (CU and DU), so it's just a matter of waiting until January to hear whether I'm admitted and then August to actually go.

So that's my experience (so far). I say go for it. Good luck!
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: desmo on September 25, 2004, 05:18:00 AM
desmo. what's your story...I need to know before I get pumped up by your knowledge. ar ar

What lsat study guides should I use.  I've decided to take it for sure and see how it goes

My advice on the LSAT may not be the best, my prep was fairly light compared to most people on this board.  I stuck to actual test, used the triple prep and 10 more actual from LSAC.  Worked through Kaplan's LSAT 180, but didn't find the questions as impossbile as they advertised.  They were fully explained and failry hard so this helped.  I tried a Princeton book, but returned it when I got to the part where they recommended skipping questions - not a good way to get a high score IMO.  I worked 1-2 sections at a time, always timed, always at home with all the noise and distractions.  I didn't get the much heralded Logic Games Bible, attend a course, or try to work through every previous test.  I ended up only spending about 45 mintues 4 nights a week with more on the weekend.  Of course I never felt like I prepped enough, don't think anyone does.  My advice would be to take a test or two untimed to get the feel for the questions, take a couple timed to see where you sit.  If you don't like your score, you may want to consider a review course.  IMO if you're in the mid 160's after a couple timed tests, a review course probably won't do much for you except lighten your checkbook.

As far as my story, hmmm, no offense but I do like my anonymity.  I'm very egotistical and have a tendency to write what I think without sugar coating it, sometimes to the point of being downright nasty.  Yes, I have my faults, but I've learned to live with them.  As far as things I've already posted - BS/MS Mechanical Engineering, mid 30's, 2 kids, and a career that already provides a good living.  Some reasons I haven't posted - been there done that with my engineering career, am now bored and want something a little more challenging.  I wanted to go into Nutritional Biochemistry with focus on protein use, but I don't have the biology background for med school.  In addition, I wasn't willing to put in the time to get the pre-req's in addition to school and residency.  So the other choice that could match my current income and leverage my engineering background was law (yup it's pretty much IP for me).  Add to that the high T2 school 5 minutes from work and the decision was made.

And to satisfy my curiosity, how (or why) does one start a business refurbing carousel horses - pretty niche market - in the middle of southern Illinois farmland?  Not an obvious match at first glance.

Desmo
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 25, 2004, 07:56:29 AM
Not my sisters.  And they're not in see-through lingerie. 

I can't decide whether you were joking in your post, or whether you expressed the ignorance that I face on a daily basis from people that see two or three brown people and automatically assume that we're related.


Oh for crying out loud!

I was having fun with your youth and testosterone!  I had no idea if you were purple, green or midnight blue.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 25, 2004, 08:53:17 AM
And to satisfy my curiosity, how (or why) does one start a business refurbing carousel horses - pretty niche market - in the middle of southern Illinois farmland?  Not an obvious match at first glance.

Desmo

It sort of just happened.  Actually the rent on my warehouse is only $475 a month for 4000 sq ft.  In a larger community I would pay thousands more.  I'm in showrooms in major cities that my reps have to pay for so it's actually the perfect situation.  My product is seen by thousands of buyers and my overhead is very low. The horses aren't actual carousel horses that we refurbish.  We have the horses molded and we prep and paint them from scratch.  They're reproductions.

You answered my "what's your story question" (just wanted your law education situation,  sorry if you thought I was digging for more) except where you are in the process.

You know...I think we are somewhat similiar.  You asked me why I want to go to law school when I'm in a situation many are striving for.  You too have a career that makes you a "good living" and it's not enough for you.....I also say what I think and get disgusted with stupidity.  I despise people that can't be responsible for their actions and can alter facts to support their cause. Sometimes I think it's just youth and lack of experience, therefore laughable, but lately I think some people have narcissism so deeply embedded (either by nature or nuture) that they'll always be able find a way to make their situation or problem someone or something elses fault.  Most of it IS just laughable, but I can't shutup when it comes to complete dishonesty. (like you did with the kid that wanted to write to 3 schools and tell them all they were his first choice...he couldn't see how it was immoral and it made me sick to my stomache)  I've had to teach myself to keep my mouth shut in some business situations and honestly I'm tired of that, too.  I've been like that since childhood and my reward was more bruises than my brothers and sisters got.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 25, 2004, 09:01:08 AM
quote author RockyMtnHighMama 
So that's my experience (so far). I say go for it. Good luck!

Thanks!  You are an extremely orgainized woman.  Taking a year to put everthing in order is admirable.  I have the advantage of my kids being out of the house, I only have a husband that will have to learn to feed himself and wipe his own rear!
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: jacy85 on September 25, 2004, 02:04:02 PM
Is there anyway you could keep the business?  it sounds like you have a great thing going.  Or maybe you could sell half, and keep half?  You can be like the silent shareholder, adn someone could buy in and put time in to run the place?

I don't know exactly what your situation is financially, but I don't see why you should have to completely abandon a great thing, especially if it pays the bills.

And don't worry, if you're as close to the women you work with as it seems you are, a little thing like a business and law school won't change that.  You don't have to work together to go out and have dinners and get-togethers.  My bf's mom has a great group of friends who all, at one point or another, lived in teh same area of CT.  All but 1 has since moved elsewhere, one down south, one in PA, adn one to frozen Alberta, Canada, and they're all as close as ever!  If they can do it over hundreds of miles, you can too!

And I'm sure you'll rock law school, and do better than many of us young'uns.  :)
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 26, 2004, 03:38:43 PM
Of course you're right Jacy...it's sort of the same thing I went through when my kids left home for school.  It was what was right and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way, but it's just the change from being with someone you like and love every day, to not seeing them much.  I'll get over it.

Funny thing, I was just thinking yesterday about figuring out a way to do just what you said about not giving up the business totally.  I'll be working on that.

Thanks
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: jacy85 on September 27, 2004, 08:38:55 AM
Well, good luck with everything!  :)
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: desmo on September 27, 2004, 10:39:14 AM
We have the horses molded and we prep and paint them from scratch.  They're reproductions.

My mistake on the refurb/repro - didn't read close enough.
I'm assuming you don't mold in house, too much overhead.  Prep and paint sounds fairly simple, inventory storage has to eat space though but at such cheap rent, who cares.

Good luck on the business decision.

And yes, I can be politically correct if need be.  I just don't always feel that on this board I need to be...
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on September 27, 2004, 03:36:34 PM
Thanks
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: linquest on October 07, 2004, 01:02:12 PM
Go for it!

I'm applying to UI as well.  Maybe I'll see you there :)
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: swifty on October 18, 2004, 12:23:55 AM
I keep hearing everyone touting work experience and life experience.  That's the only thing I got going for me.  My problem is that when I went back to school two years ago, I really only had around a 3.00 GPA since coming back, my younger college days were a joke, and LSDAS calculated my GPA at 2.06.  My work experience includes tax and accounting, plus I was self employed doing that for 5 years, and quit that to go get rich running a business on the Internet.  How do schools see this without the auto reject button turned on when the machine sees 2.06?  I've read Montauk, I'm still not convinced, and to you older folks, I am 40, I am not trying to rain on your parade, but wouldn't it be nice if we could here from someone in our position that actually did get into a decent school?  Can anyone suggest some good links to get this not so crazy notion that a 2.06 will be spit out before a human sees my file.  Not that this helps, but LSDAS screwed up, and my GPA will be 2.62, still not enough for a human to see it.   >:(

Rocky, I would have asked you out in high school.  Nice pic  ;)
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: gobears on October 18, 2004, 02:15:16 AM
This isn't precisely relevant, but maybe it'll be encouraging in another way?  It's the website of a 48 year old lady who's at the University of Michigan Law School:

http://musingsonlifelawandgender.typepad.com/about.html

(And sorry for interreputing!  I'm in my 20s so I probably shouldn't be here. ;) )
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on November 04, 2004, 09:44:28 AM
Go for it!

I'm applying to UI as well.  Maybe I'll see you there :)



Wouldn't that be great!

Are you an old bag like me? Where are you from?

Have you taken the lsat yet?  What are you studying

Barb
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on November 05, 2004, 06:23:12 AM

A lot of people think I'm crazy for stepping out of the corporate ladder since I went straight into a position where you would normally need 3-5 years of experience

  Do you guys think it's naive of me to have this line of thought? 

My family and friends are pretty used to "crazy" by now.  If I didn't throw something from left field every 14 years they would probably think I was dead.

You're quite lucky to have gotten your urge at such an early part of your life.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ohwellok on November 07, 2004, 06:10:39 PM
well, i know you have already received lots of encouragement, but i am here to offer more!  my best friend's mother just graduated from law school.  she's an amazing woman who was a teacher for 25+ years, a single mom, and had already gone back to school for her master's in higher administration.  law school was always a dream for her, and she decided to go for it.  in conversations with her, i can tell that she is so happy that she did.  it sounds like the two of you are similar in that you already have a well established career that pays the bills.  the thing is, there is a lot more to life than just paying the bills.  if this is a dream that you have, i say go for it!  it sounds like you have some great work experience under your belt, and although your undergrad gpa seems fairly average, i will re-iterate what others have already said and point out that i believe your work and life experience will outweigh an outdated gpa.  go for it, have fun with it, and good luck!  i am sure you will shine!
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: john6675 on November 07, 2004, 06:58:20 PM
ionltd:

I want to live inside your avatar; it's beautiful.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: JFK on November 10, 2004, 02:12:19 PM
I dont know if this will help.  But my mother raised 6 kids and was a stay at home mom, and while the 6th was in 4th grade, she went to law school starting at age 48.  She went full time and I can not tell you how much she has changed because of it. My father was already a corporate lawyer so we she did not go for monetary purposes.  She is now a Deputy AG and loves her job.

You are running a successful business so the situation is not totally analogous, but I say go for it....if it is what you want. 

It has been said a million times but you have a 0% chance of getting in or succeeding in LS if you don't try.
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on November 10, 2004, 05:44:25 PM
 

It has been said a million times but you have a 0% chance of getting in or succeeding in LS if you don't try.

What a great story...especially as I'm sitting her studying wondering if I have even a morsel of a chance.

Thanks
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: john6675 on November 11, 2004, 12:10:15 PM
ionltd:

I want to live inside your avatar; it's beautiful.


For the record, I wrote that before you changed it to a picture of yourself and your therapist-

Not that that necessarily changes anything, but I thought I'd mention it... ;)
Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on November 11, 2004, 02:09:34 PM

I want to live inside your avatar; it's beautiful.



How's this one?

Title: Re: My story...any advice appreciated
Post by: ionltd on November 11, 2004, 02:11:58 PM
It's hard to see, but it's my husband holding the dead squirrel he shot in my building that was running around freaking us out