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Messages - Hamilton

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Leave T1 for niche TTT?
« on: July 28, 2011, 06:15:20 AM »
With all due respect I do not think a correction is in order.  With one caveat I agree w/BP's assertion that "mostly law students on this board and law students as a group are probably some of the most ill informed about job prospects;" however, rather than being ill-informed, I think many are in deliberate denial. 

Also note that its mostly law students on this board and law students as a group are probably some of the most ill informed about job prospects (else I suspect many wouldn't be law students) - in short, ask people at prospective future employers - hopefully you have a solid network in NY public service or wherever you wanna end up - call some young attorneys there and get their take.

Slight correction: pre-law students are the most ill-informed about jobs prospects. And easy to spot, too. :)

So here's my situation.  I just started a new job after separating from the military.  It's a great position, solid pay and a really awesome organization, I am psyched about the opportunity and looking forward to working there.

I think this can be handled by being honest - that is how I handled it with my company (Fortune 500).  I spoke openly with my manager and let him know some key things: (1) i love my job and do not intend to just walk away, (2) not going to LS b/c I want to leave my job or company, want to expand my role and take advantages of opportunities within the company, and (3) LS will not interfere with work (and it didn't).  Followed up with a direct "do you have a problem with me doing this?"  I got support from my management and tuiition reimbursement - which required my manager's approval prior to taking the classes.

It obviously helps to have a good relationship with your manager and to have his support for when HIS managers start asking questions.

Thanks everyone for the tips.  I guess my plan right now is to go to work and just not mention it, then if it does come out, treat it like it's no big deal.  On the plus side, I work for a company with 25K+ employees and they do have legal positions I'd be very interested in.  I guess we'll see how it goes, but many thanks to those that took the time to answer my post.  I appreciate the suggestions and will keep those in mind as I navigate these waters.

Do not "hide" the fact you are going to school.  A company that size may have a tuition reimbursement program that could take the edge off what you are paying.  Also, from my experience, do not expect to get a law degree and be embraced by your company legal department with open arms.  In-house positions generally go to folks with outside experience and from higher-ranked schools.  If you truly want to move to your legal group you should be talking to them up front and see if this is a reality: and if so, come up with a plan.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Leave T1 for niche TTT?
« on: July 26, 2011, 08:43:09 PM »
I think it's the right decision, but part of me is (perhaps unreasonably) worried about the stigma of "transferring down."

Right or wrong, you will, in large part, be judged by the school you went to when it comes to getting interviews.  It is not unreasonable to weigh this element.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Leave T1 for niche TTT?
« on: July 25, 2011, 04:32:13 AM »

I should also note that I'm willing to accept non-legal employment if need be.

Then why waste the time and money on law school?  One generally goes to law school for 1 reason - to be a lawyer.

You are in a position that is very enviable to many: you are in a decent T1 in Colorado.  T3 job prospects are not that great out there.  Tferring from a T1 to a T3 makes little sense.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: To go or not to go?
« on: July 20, 2011, 07:21:45 AM »
Did you attend law school?

That is the basis of my opinion.  Graduated in top 20% of my class and passed bar.  Little meaningful opportunities that were not big steps backward careerwise and financially.  If I had to do it over again I would not go to LS and would have invested the time and money elsewhere - especially considering that I was/am in a great career I love doing well financially.

Not sure what "huge flame" means,

The vearcity of the whole "story" is suspect.  If it is a flame, well, still getting a fair and honest response.  If it's not, you can understand that the narrative is outside of the norm and there is no way to verify.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: To go or not to go?
« on: July 20, 2011, 05:01:44 AM »
If life as an attorney does not bode well for me, the combination of a law degree and my professional experience will open doors for me and possibly advance my career.

I was in a similar boat (age and careerwise) and am generally a voice against doing this.  The reality is that there are not jobs out there for people like us, and the ones that are will pay <50% of what you are making now.  Law firms want young energetic associates from higher-ranked schools that they can groom and work to death.  They are not looking for older folks with opinions, personal lives, and other interests outside of work (please do not argue "but that's age discrimination," there are 50 other reasons they will have for not hiring you over the young gun). 

Having been in a sucessful career, are you REALLY willing to start out at the bottom competing against people half your age who professionally have a significant advantage over you?  You have a well paying career that you like - why try to play the bonus round or hit the reset button on a flyer?  Why not focus on something specific to your career that will help advance it?  An MBA perhaps?  Special training/certification?

Regarding the above quote, you have to ask yourself WHAT doors will be opened?  HOW? How do you KNOW they will be opened?  POSSIBLY advance your career?  3 years and $80K is a heck of a gamble on that.  HOW will your career be advanced?  Will your career opportunities best be advanced with a JD or is there a better alternative?

A J.D. does not magically open career doors and bring people running to you with new and wonderful opportunities - especially if it is from a T3 and T4 and with the glut of attorneys out there.  I would SERIOUSLY rethink this and get solid answers to these questions. 

I'm not trying to be harsh or a jerk - just presenting an unvarnished perspective that you should consider so you do not waste significant time and capital on a fruitless venture.

Listen to Falcon!

Listen to Falcon, he speaks the truth.  DO NOT go to Cooley just b/c you are in a hurry - do not even be tempted by the Oakland campus.  Kick butt, finish undergrad and go to U of M law (or some other T1).  With a T1, the debt is worth it compared to a T4 with no debt.

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