« on: February 07, 2008, 07:53:06 AM »
I'm just wrapping up my applications right now (final component is completing my Personal Statement) to be finalized this week. I've spent the last 6 months or so examining my situation and doing my best to determine what career path would be right for me. I've read Law School Confidential, I've perused these boards for months, and I've read the viewbooks. I'm still torn.
My current career is unfulfilling and unchallenging and it never really inspired me. But as someone who thrives on an intellectual challenge, I know law - in theory - would be a great option for me. I know, I know - I sound like that doosh who goes to law school just because he's not happy with his current career and only looks at law because it is something different. But I've examinined this aspect fully and can only say that is NOT the case - I have great confidence that I'd be great at practicing law and that I'd enjoy it. It is the constraints it would place on the rest of my life that I question. I've also been pondering grad school for a PhD in my area of interest in the hard sciences. My quandry is between LS and Grad School.
For some background: I completed a hard science BS with a relatively low GPA (low 3's), worked for a couple of years, returned for my MS (4.0 GPA, although I know that doesn't count for much), and have now been working again for a few years in a profession connected to my MS. LSAT = 161.
What I want is a career that stimulates me, motivates me, rewards me well, but that doesn't CONSUME me. I want to be able to tackle school head-on, but not feel as though it is all I am about. Ditto on the practice of law.
Is it reasonable to be able to attend a T1 or T2 school (my target is ranked in the 50s-60s) and do well, while not having my entire life consumed by this stuff? Can I do a roughly 8-5 kind of day M-F and perform well? Can I still go for a 5-mile run 4-5 days a week? Can I still cook my own dinner for myself and my wife instead of scrambling to nuke some ramen each night?
Same goes for the career itself. I am not gunning for BIGLAW or looking to become the next SC justice necessarily...I'm looking to make a healthy career that is invigorating and challenging, but that doesn't kill me. I am already married and would like to start a family soon - a family that I would like to be a part of, not just the breadwinner for (although that will be a primary role).
Is it reasonable to think that I could still make a decent living in law but without spending every waking minute in an office? What kind of schedule/life CAN I expect from it? Can I enter this career but still have many evenings and weekends to spend raising a family without stress doing me in? If so, I know that will be to the detriment of my rise through the ranks, but how much so?
Sorry for rambling on, but any thoughts/input is always welcome. I'm getting down to crunch time in terms of making a decision, thus the analysis...