Law School Discussion

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Messages - Hamilton

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281
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Is law school even worth it?
« on: September 17, 2010, 10:53:51 AM »
Perhaps law is not the career for you.  I am not reading anywhere that you really want to be a lawyer.  When you love what you do and have a passion, you dont put a limit on how many hours/week you are willing to do it.  Law school is a huge time and money commitment - it would be a waste to do it if there was no passion for it.

As I have said before - do something you love and that actually benefits society.

My next question is that I have done some research about the lifestyle and working conditions of lawyers who work at big law firms.

I can come right out and say that I don't have the desire to earn 100K+ meaning making anywhere from 80k-95k will make me happy. I can spread the loan on a 30 year term even though it will cost me more in interest, it will increase my monthly cash flow.

I want to work 9-5 and have good vacation days etc. I know that its possible in the Federal Government as an attorney, along with job security which you cant put a price on.

... 60-80 hour work weeks are not my thing.

282
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Is law school even worth it?
« on: September 17, 2010, 09:18:42 AM »
The key is to BOTH go to the highest ranked school you can AND rank as high in the class as you can.  Those 2 factors will be huge in improving employment odds.  Then you must balance whether you will take on more debt going to school A or school B.

It is tough out there - but if you truly want to be a lawyer, then your best bet is to excell lat law school and finish at or near the top of your class.  Middle 50% is not going to cut it these days.

WRT employment stats presented by m-a, one needs to dig much deeper and find out what "93% after 9 months" truly means.  93% as associates in firms, or 10% as associates, 30% in previous non-law jobs, 50% doing crap jobs scrounged up by the law school, and 13% in solo?  You can't take the law school employment numbers at face value.

283
Law School Applications / Re: Questions about this Application Cycle
« on: September 17, 2010, 07:55:56 AM »
I do not think a W on the transcript is that big of a deal - ESPECIALLY if you are going to LS.  Heck, if you are going to be a lawyer, would be surprised if anyone ever looked at your undergraduate transcript, they will care about what law school you went to and how you did.  IF they look at your undergrad transcript, a W will not be a big deal.

284
Law School Applications / Re: Questions about this Application Cycle
« on: September 16, 2010, 03:31:46 PM »
GPA and LSAT score are critical to getting into a decent school and scholarships.  You need to max out both, so you may want to think about focussing on the GPA and make sure you ace your last semester (you have quite a load), THEN worry about the LSAT.  You can always retake the LSAT, but you cannot go back and fix your GPA.

285
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« on: September 16, 2010, 08:17:38 AM »
Alright, now getting a sense of where we are at.  Yes, the LSAC web site has most, if not all, of the info you need to get started.  I hammer on tuition costs as a big downside - are you aware that a JD requires 90 credit hours and that tuition costs alone are in the neighborhood of $850/credit hour without scholarship (maybe half that at some schools)? 

Thanks- I am on it.

286
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Part-time or Full-time???
« on: September 16, 2010, 08:07:38 AM »
Part time is good if you have a job paying decent money so you can keep any law school debt to a bare minimum.  The downside of part-time (the route I took) is that it takes longet to finish.  Also, if doing part-time and working, will not be inclined to be a summer associate or extern at a firm - and that is where a lot of hires come from.

287
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« on: September 15, 2010, 08:27:01 PM »
I think people are happy to answer that question and provide good advice; however, your initial post simply asked whether at 62 you should go to law school.  The nature of these boards being what they are, asking a question like that will get the breadth of responses you saw.  I do not think the intent of anyone was to be rude or disrespectful.

I think restating the questions or being more specific will get you some very good information.  I think people here genuinely want to provide meaningful dialogue and feedback.  Your situation is certainly unique.

Specific to obtaining a degree and license your age may cause you difficulty in 2 areas, and I am not trying to be cute here: (1) LSAC will need your undergraduate transcripts and GPA, asuming that was 40 some years ago, that could be a problem?and (2) the bar application typically requires a complete and accurate accounting of addresses and employers - for me that was tough going back 25 years, I cant imagine going back 40 some years.

Actually, it seems I "stumbled" onto the wrong forum.  It was not my intention to spend most of my day bantering with someone  over what he said, she said. What I wrote is what I meant. I did not ask my question to have my motives judged or my finances questioned. I was hoping to hear from an older either current student or degreed person who might share any experiences from step A to Z in obtaining a law degree. But instead my future in law was the afternoon's topic of  much speculation.

288
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« on: September 15, 2010, 08:06:12 PM »
I did not get the sense that he was being codescending, just frank.

Fortunately, I suspect that most law professors will not choose her age as a reason to address in a condescending tone has you have opted to do.

289
General Board / Re: These discussions are killing me....
« on: September 15, 2010, 06:14:27 PM »
I think this is an unfair characterization by you toward anyone speaking about the downside and pitfalls of law school.  I am sucessful in my non-law career and quite happy.  I blame nobody for anything, nor do I feel entitled to a job.  And I think those feelings are applicable to most others.  We are merely pointing out realistic pitfalls that we have encountered.  When we say the job market is brutal we are simply pointing out a fact, not blaming anyone for lack of legal employment.

Also ask yourself what kind of person goes on a website and blames all their failures on someone else. Generally the person in a lot these negative comments about schools blames everyone, but themselves.

290
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« on: September 15, 2010, 08:12:48 AM »
First - I disagree with the "little time left" notion.  Speaking as a lawyer, I do not see the practice of law making the world a better place generally speaking.  There are so many people and organizations out there who need the help of intelligent caring people willing to share their experience.  Find your interest and passion and find a school or organization, contact them, and ask how you can help.

I think john articulated the pitfalls well.  Law school is an expensive, time consuming, and greuling process.  Then there is the cost and time to pass the bar.  Finally, in an already difficult job market (that wont be improving) the realistic prospects of a fresh new 66 year old lawyer landing a job are extremely slim.  Heck, I ran into that wall in my 40s and I brought a ton of practical experience and business contacts.

I'm sorry, that is the reality and I would hate to see some law school screw you out of $100,000 with a bunch of false promises and a smile on their face.
John 4040 and Hamilton

How do you see me "actually benefiting society" in a personally fulfilling way in the little time I have left?

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