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Messages - Duncanjp

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Non-Traditional Students / Re: Birmingham School of Law
« on: November 06, 2010, 08:22:30 PM »
I can't say anything about Birmingham, but I'm attending a locally-respected, state-accredited law school and I love it. Fortunately, I already have an established career and it would be a huge step backwards at 51 to abandon my career for a position as an entry-level attorney in some other field. If I were 20 years younger, perhaps my opinion here would be different. My tuition is a third the cost of an ABA school, so I'm paying as I go, and while I will only be able to sit for my state Bar exam when I graduate, the fact is, I'm not interested in moving out of my home state anyway. This is where my friends and family are. For a person in my shoes, the only critical thing is to get the license. Given the ridiculous cost of an ABA education, the advantages and prestige of an ABA law school mean absolutely nothing to me. My ROI would never justify it.

Non-Traditional Students / Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« on: September 23, 2010, 12:53:38 AM »
Congratulations, LadyJ!

Non-Traditional Students / Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« on: September 19, 2010, 02:33:00 PM »
Semper fi, Haus! Force troops, 2nd FSSG, Camp LeJeune, NC. A great, life-changing experience. I spent a year aboard ship and crossed the Atlantic six times (3 over, 3 back). That was fantastic. I served honorably, but at the end of my four years, I thanked 'em for the ride and got the hell out.

Hamilton, you make a good point. You have to put the time in, regardless of what the schedule looks like. I've learned to say No in 17 languages, just to make certain everybody gets the picture. I had to quit my band. I've stopped writing and recording my modest rock songs. I don't go visit anybody anymore. I'm not available to play gigs or to do any of the things I love to do in life except study law. If your commute between work and school is short - shorter than mine - perhaps five nights a week would be doable. But I can't help thinking the grind would take a toll, as LadyJ's experience illustrates. Even in my undergraduate days, taking a full course load at UC Davis, I didn't have school five days a week. Maybe four at the most, and I only worked part-time. Today, I look forward to going straight home after work on Thursday nights. Monday and Thursday my wife and I can have dinner together before I disappear into the den to study. But having that little break in the action is a bigger relief in reality than it might appear on paper. I don't get home on school nights until after 10 p.m., and on those nights I eat dinner standing over the kitchen sink. Having a couple of days during the work week where I don't have to be in class all evening serves as a very welcome pressure release valve.

Non-Traditional Students / Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« on: September 19, 2010, 02:08:28 AM »
Do either of you have any thoughts on the relative advantage/disadvantage of a three night versus five night a week schedule?

Five nights a week? Ouch. I don't know about that, Haus. Not if you're working full-time. My classes run from 6:30 to 9:15 at night. Three nights a week is manageable - barely - but I depend on the other four nights, plus all day Saturday and all day Sunday, just to keep up with the reading and briefing for the three main courses (Contracts, Crim Law and Torts). We've got Legal Writing a couple of Saturday mornings each month as well, which cuts into my time for Contracts. I'll be candid: there is so much to do, so much information to process, that I have experienced odd periods of physical fatigue - like I'm about to come down with a bad flu. It's from the constant brain activity between work and school. I slogged my way through four years in the US Marines back in the day, and frankly, that experience was only occasionally this demanding. To say it's "challenging" is an understatement. I love it, personally, but I don't know how on Earth a person would work 40 hours and attend law school five nights a week. Even 25 years ago, I think I would have found that prospect untenable. If you didn't have to work, however, it would be a different story.

Non-Traditional Students / Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« on: September 18, 2010, 03:00:27 PM »
Hi Roomdo. Interesting thread. Here's my experience...

I'm 50 years old and matriculated at Lincoln Law School in Sacramento just over a month ago after sitting the LSAT in June. I work full-time for a title insurance company and attend classes three nights a week, plus a number of Saturday mornings, which is considered a part-time curriculum. The program takes four years to complete. It's fantastic. Brutal, but fantastic. If you enjoy endlessly reading deeply-involved texts that describe various disputes between people or horrific crimes and how the law is applied to them, then you're going to love studying law. But it requires every single second of free time that a person has. If I'm not at work, I'm either in class or I'm studying. If I'm in my car, I'm listening to CDs of the rules that I need to memorize and I'm reciting them aloud as I drive. If I'm in the freaking bathroom, I feel like I'm wasting precious study time. Frankly, I cannot work full-time and complete the entire volume of work they give us, especially formally writing out my own brief for every case that I'm required to read. Impossible. I'll write a few myself for each class, but I have to book brief the rest. It comes down to figuring out which corners can be cut and which cannot. Incidentally, when the semester started, I kissed my wife and said, "I'll see you in four years." The hardest thing of all is to find quality time for her. She's very supportive, lucky me, but she deserves to receive a fair measure of my time and attention, and wow. It's a difficult assignment. Especially since all I can ever think about anymore is law law law.

If I had time - I'm wasting time right now, LOL - I could write for hours about climbing this mountain. I really, really want to do this. But I'm doing it to enhance my current career, not with any illusions that I am going to find work as an attorney for some law firm when I'm 54. You need to really, really want the education in law. If you do, then don't listen to those who tell you that there is no point at your age. Do it for yourself. It's sort of like skydiving: you'll figure out where to land on the way down.

Best of luck.

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