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Non-Traditional Students / Don't even know where to start!
« on: April 14, 2011, 10:29:06 AM »
Hi all.  First post here.

I'm writing because I've decided that I really want to go to law school.  Here's my situation . . .

I did six years in the military (1999-2005), after which I went to college and got a BA in English (GPA 3.7) at the University of Rochester, a small, private college in Western NY.  I'll be 30 in a couple of weeks. 

I graduated in May of last year, and since then I've been working in the petroleum industry, a job I got not because of my degree but because of my military experience.  However, I've come to realize that I'm really not going to be happy in this job or in this industry.  I've hemmed and hawed about going to school since I graduated last year, and a good talk with my dad recently made me realize that I should just go for it, instead of talking myself out it.

The problem is, I come from a staunch blue-collar background.  I'm the only person in my family to graduate from college, and it was a hard thing to navigate at first. (Many people may not realize that not having a parent with a degree actually makes a huge difference when it comes to things like applications, etc.  It makes it harder to apply if you have nobody to ask for advice and whatnot.)  Because of that, and because I don't know any lawyers, I don't really know where to start. 

I'm not worried about the LSAT -- I'm good at studying for standardized tests. I took the GRE last year and did very well on it, considering I didn't study (I had some major health problems, really messed me up for a while). Anyways, I've already ordered the LSAT logical reasoning bible.  I figure there's nothing I can do about that but study, study, and study some more.  My real concern is where to apply.  I don't own a house, my bills are relatively low, my car is almost paid off, and my credit cards bills are negligible.  I would like to stay in the NY/NJ/PA area if I could, as I have a family (a daughter) who lives in Western NY and I don't want to put too much distance between us, as things are hard enough in that department already. . . I currently work in NJ, about five hours away.  :(

As far as the type of law I'm interested in, I've really started to appreciate labor law.  Specifically, as a current member of USW, I'm really starting to understand the need forthe kind of work unions do and I want to help, perhaps starting at the negotiation level.  But I guess all that could change if I am misinformed or it turns out the work isn't what I think it is -- something always possible when jumping into a new career.

Anyways, any advice people can impart concerning where to go and what my chances of getting into a "good" school are would be greatly appreciated.  I realize you guys get these types of threads a lot, so your patience with this noobcake is appreciated as well.

Edited to add:

I should also mention that in my current job, I work swing shifts.  For those of you unfamiliar with how this goes, I'll explain:  I work 7 straight evening shifts, get two days off, six straight day shifts, get 1.5 days off, and then 7 straight midnight shifts, and then get 5 days off.  I'm bringing this up because this schedule makes it virtually impossible for me to go back to school, even part time.  If part-time school isn't an option for me, I might as well say to hell with it, quit my job and just go to school full time.  Otherwise, I'd have to look for another job (a daunting task in this economy) and then go part-time . . .  but that doesn't seem like it is going to happen.  But, I am willing to entertain any ideas in that department as well.     

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