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Messages - JDWannaBeNC

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Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: What am I missing here?
« on: September 06, 2009, 07:03:21 AM »
Thanks, I've been talking to some of my friends who are now in law and I just wasn't sure if I understood the full process.

I think my biggest concern exists after law school... the whole admitting to the bar thing.  I find it very nerve wracking that they sit and ponder over your entire life's efforts and pass judgment on your "fitness." 

I don't have anything major just a stolen street sign situation (dismissed) from many, many years ago.  I heard a story (urban legend maybe??), though, who omitted a college he'd attended on his new college applications, graduate applications, and then law school applications... got through to the bar application, and they found out... and all of the other degrees became at risk for being revoked because of that omission.  Is that common?  How closely do they look anyway? Ha.

Thanks again, the numbers game sucks.

Personal Statements, Resumes, and Letters of Recommendation / LOR Advice
« on: September 06, 2009, 06:47:14 AM »
I just joined up but have lurked for a while.  I wanted to make the announcement to my family before telling the anonymous internet. Yay.

I've seen these before but wanted just some specific input, if possible.

It would be VERY difficult for me to get academic letters of recommendation.  I was not particularly close to any of my grad professors (even the one I worked for as a teaching assistant) and I'm 8-12 years away from undergrad.

Also, I am my own boss at this time...

How old can these references be... in theory?  I'm just not sure where to go at this point.  I have some professional, established friends in the field who would write more of a character reference... but that's not appropriate in this case.  All of my supervisors are a few years in the past...

Any advice appreciated.


One other thing that you can consider-but not bank on-is that some public jobs will "forgive" a certain amount of your loans. Obviously this is contingent on actually GETTING a job, but if it comes down to graduating law school and feeling forced to take a job you don't want for more money vs. a public sector job, it can be something to discuss.

I know someone who went to a lower ranked school of a top 10 just because they had a free ride at the lower (so low I'd never heard of it) school a few years back.  Not sure how that would echo similarly in this economy where  1. schools lost endowment cash as the rest of the economy evaporated and 2. more people than ever are jumping back into college

There were a couple of loan comments here and as someone who deals with finaid on a daily basis while counseling college kids, here's what I can share...

- income contingent repayment plans would NOT have you paying 2000/month unless your income could handle it... just opt for that, it won't be a walk in the park (let's say you make bottom of the barrel 40k yr to start, your income contingent repayments would prob be around 500/month DEPENDING upon your hubby's income, children, etc)  you can find a calc online and do the math for yourself, I just don't have them bookmarked here

- the new public service loan forgiveness program was signed by Bush in 07... it's actually kind of decent IF there's enough money to pay for it when it comes due... basically, if you consolidate ALL of your loans into Federal Direct loans and pay every single payment for 10 years (or 120 payments) on either the STANDARD or INCOME CONTINGENT repayment plan while working in a public service job (as per their definitions eg college level, state position, human services, etc) then your loans will be totally and completely forgiven after those 120 payments... whether you have 2 dollars left... or 100 k left...  (not that you would, b/c trust me, they are gonna want you to pay as much as you can for those 10 years)

Still, I agree that 180k for one degree is sort of WHOA scary...  I was looking at Duke and thinking that it'd be awesome to go there if only for the basketball... but especially for their practice clinics.  If I got accepted, though, without fin aid, would I still go?  125k is a LOT of cash on top of the loans I already have from undergrad/first grad degree...  I KNOW I'm not going to make that much cash since I want to stay in NC to practice...  it's just a lot to consider aside from money.

Good luck with your decision.  Let us know if you reapply!!

Oh, ditto what they said about few jobs, I've got a few friends who are in law that were laid off during this past year.  One has been rehired... one is still looking...  tough market.  Good luck.

I think you have to consider the lifestyle differences associated with not just the grad school process but also the end result of a new career.  Look at USPS vs law in terms of the things that are important to you... salary might not be the top concern.  It might be freedom to set your own hours, be your own boss, do something new/different each week, etc, etc.

Although, for what it's worth, I'm my own boss right now and that's not as much fun as you'd think! Ha.

Good luck with your decision.  I know you can make it work... it's just a matter of if it's worth it to you in the end.

Hi Secretary, I'm taking the December one as well.  I have a tendency to under-study for standardized tests... of which, I've taken WAY too many in my day.  Even more as a post-grad...  GRE, GRE Subject test, pre-licensing exam, licensing exam, ugh... now the LSAT.  I haven't allowed myself to use scratch paper for any of the logic puzzles yet, so I'm getting frustrated when I "play" the logic games.  I'm doing everything I can to make it a billion times harder on myself so that the actual test will be a breeze.

To be honest, I've never fully studied for any other test before... beginning with AP exams in high school, I just sort of buy the books, glance at them the morning of the test, and wing it.  This one, though, I want to actually try on since my undergrad GPA was less than awesome.

Good luck to you. Keep your head up!!  If you start to feel down, just remember, your ugrad gpa HAS to be better than mine... so you're at least ahead of one person.  Be well.

I doubt you're still around and I know this decision deadline has passed... but if the OP ever makes it back here... I want to share the following...

With the encouragement of my husband, I deposited to this school. However, I am now extremely nervous and having second thoughts. How can I leave my family behind? I don't want my son to have psychological issues for the rest of his life. I worked as a social worker for several years and have seen the grim consequences of children from broken homes as well as those with negligent parents. A 15 year old girl I once worked with took her own life; as a child, she had to live with her aunts for three years while her parents were in law school (and I guess never got past the trauma).

I don't know what to do. Should I wait another year (and take the lsat for the third time in eleven years), or just take the bait and hope to transfer back in a year? 

I'm a social worker too. Yay social workers...  but, as such, you know better than to compare yourself to a negligent parent.  Following your dream of completing another advanced degree is in NO WAY similar to a parent who abuses and or/neglects their child.  You are being WAY too hard on yourself and limiting your thinking to only our cultural standards.  Come on, think like a social worker who hasn't been burnt out by a broken system.  Ha. 

Think about other cultures where it's perfectly normal for children to go away to school for their entire childhoods.  They aren't severely emotionally damaged.  The families aren't ripped apart.  That situation is not that much different from you going away to school.  Even in our own country, LOTS of families have parents who travel for work.  Military families face deployment, etc.  Regardless of your personal beliefs, I doubt that you would say that a military family is negligent to their children because they comply with orders to ship out.

I think you are being way too hard on yourself and it's likely similar thinking that's kept you out of school for the last 10 years.  Of course, this is the internet, and it's easy for me to point a finger.  Mostly, because I'm in the same boat, a billion excuses not to take a chance on what I want to do in order to "help" my family.  In the end, though, they are going on and living their lives and I'm the only one with this self-destructive need to put aside my happiness in lieu of their flight of fancy.

Now, I know that's not very social workery of me to say.  I should say, "I hear you, that must be a difficult decision. I don't have children myself so I can't possibly understand what you are going through but I'm here to listen if you want to talk about it some more."  I'm not on the clock though, and neither are you, and what I wrote above is true and I think you know it.  You are speaking in extremes... one case study does not equal a trend.  It's just the fear talking.

Lots of parents (and you know this) are home 24-7 for their kids and they screw them up beyond belief... and lots of children come from single family, broken homes who grew up to be intensely compassionate, unique, and overall exceptional people.  Heck, I WISH my parents would have left me with an aunt for 3 years.... ha.  It's almost insulting to parents who choose lifestyles other than stay at home mom to have it publicly stated that children might be ruined for life if a parent makes a nontraditional decision once in a while.  It takes a LOT more than that to ruin a life... research, time and time again, has proven it to be true.

I just felt like I wanted to take the hard-edged road, one social worker to another.  Stay strong, you got this if you let yourself...and I'd like to know what you chose in the end. ok?  Also, super congrats on the full ride!!!  If you didn't take it, I'll take it! :)  Be well.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: What are the chances???
« on: September 06, 2009, 05:47:38 AM »
Just wanted to ditto on the age thing!  I'm 30 too!!  Scary heading in a totally different direction at this age... but kind of exciting as well.

In my last grad program (MSW), we only had one mom of young kids.  Our schedule was pretty hardcore (8 hrs of classes, m/t with 12 hr/day practicums w/t/f plus serious reading and assignments of 3-4 papers per week, 16 hrs a term). 

She only was able to keep up because she had her mother move in full time to watch the kids.  She struggled but she made it through it all in the end!

My sis is in grad school now and works full time and I help her a lot.  I don't think she could do it without us there to help out.

Good luck with your decision!

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / What am I missing here?
« on: September 06, 2009, 05:37:36 AM »
Please know that this is written out of ignorance, not out of any kind of patronizing nonsense.  I'm seriously afraid I'm not understanding the law school admissions process.

What makes it so stressful and/or difficult?  Is it the fact that it appears to be a numbers-based admit process with no wiggle room for subjective assessment?  I'm coming from social sciences... so our application process is MUCH different (as some of you know).

On the surface, it SEEMS like I'm more likely to get into a law school than into a clinical psych program... but obviously, this isn't that simple or no one would get stressed.

Any information appreciated so I can fill in the gaps.  I know so little about this and feel like I'm coming late to the party and don't know any of the guests!  I'll be applying for entrance next fall.  I'm transitioning from another field and mainly want to do it so I can have more broad range in my field as far as policy development, mediation, etc.  Just sort of taking it all in a different direction.

I have lurked here since I decided this was the move for me but clearly, I'm not as freaked out as I need to be and I don't want to overlook something and not be prepared for the consequences.

Thanks and good luck to you all.

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