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Author Topic: Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please  (Read 9263 times)

Basscadet

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Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please
« on: March 09, 2008, 06:46:25 PM »
I will be attending LS fall of '09, this is something I have planned for quite a long time.  My fiancee and I are both older, I am 34 (she is 37) and we are starting to think more about having children. I didn't realize how much her biological clock is ticking and therefore kids really can't wait much longer.  Currently we both have good solid jobs but I've pretty much hit the salary ceiling in my field.

Is it foolish to try to have a child while embarking on the 3-year LS journey? My fiancee seems to think so, the thought of me coming away with $50k+ in debt scares her to the point that she thinks I need to forget about LS. Even though I will be going to a very affordable state school, loans will need to be taken and she is terrified of the debt load.  If it matters, I am currently nearly debt-free.

I feel really guilty now. I should have gone to LS long ago, but I wanted to wait until I knew I was ready. Now that I'm ready, I fear that I'm too late and the last thing I want is a wife who is stressed out about bills.

I've told myself that I'm in this to excel or not bother. If I can't do extremely well from the get-go, I'll drop out. This insurance policy doesn't instill much confidence into her.

Any advice?

Has anyone else faced this dilemma?

Thanks in advance...

J.A.A.N.

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Re: Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 06:54:51 PM »
Is part-time an option? I think it is doable but you will certainly need the support of your wife. I have a friend going to LS part-time while working full-time. She and her husband have 3 young kids. I am certain it will be a rocky road but I definitely  think it is possible.

Because I have 2 young kids, I have entertained the idea of part-time LS (with or without being employed). I still have not decided. Fortunately, my husband is backing me 100% with whichever option I choose.

Best wishes! Depedning on how well you do in LS and what you do afterward, 50K could very well be a neglible amount of debt.  :)
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Basscadet

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Re: Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 06:59:34 PM »
Is part-time an option? I think it is doable but you will certainly need the support of your wife. I have a friend going to LS part-time while working full-time. She and her husband have 3 young kids. I am certain it will be a rocky road but I definitely  think it is possible.

Because I have 2 young kids, I have entertained the idea of part-time LS (with or without being employed). I still have not decided. Fortunately, my husband is backing me 100% with whichever option I choose.

Best wishes! Depedning on how well you do in LS and what you do afterward, 50K could very well be a neglible amount of debt.  :)

Part-time is an option, but the problem I have with the part-time offerings is that the classes are all during the day! I fail to see any logic in offering a part-time program if the classes are during the standard 8-5p work schedule that the vast majority of jobs conform to.

I'm also concerned about the prolonged period to complete law school as well as the difficulty in remaining focused on school whilst balancing a regular job.

Basscadet

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Re: Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2008, 07:04:29 PM »
if the concern is $50k in debt you have a lot of options to work with.

if the concern is time with the children, that's a whole different matter.. better get the grandparents involved.

Can you expand on your first comment? 

Time with the children is certainly a concern, but as a law student I was assuming I would be able to spend at least a few hours each day with my child?

I have tons of family to assist with the babysitting, that is not a problem.

Her concern is strictly the money.  "Who will pay the bills while you're paying off the student loans?"

J.A.A.N.

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Re: Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2008, 07:15:04 PM »
I guess it depends on the school as to what schedule is offered for P/T. I agree that offering part-time classes during working hours makes no sense. Also, you're right about the balancing act. It is definitely harder to perform maximally when you are spread thin. And 3 years does sound so much shorter than four years for completion.
I worked full-time and went to school part-time while earning my MS, along with having a spouse and 1 child at the time. It was very rough. I managed to do pretty well but I never doubt that I could have done even better if I had not been working full-time.

I think at this point, I'd rather go to LS full-time and focus my efforts there without having to balance with work.

If you attend school FT (in place of your current full-time job) I think having kids is quite feasible. That just leaves the debt issue. (If you haven't already) maybe you all can do the research together in terms of what the average salary is coming out of the LS you are considering and how that will stack up to the 50K. Your wife may feel more secure if she sees the figures and can view it as an investment.

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upgrade

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Re: Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2008, 08:28:45 PM »
What is the salary ceiling for your current job?  To which schools will you be applying?  What are your job and salary expectations for the period after you graduate from law school?  Have you taken the LSAT yet?  What is your undergraduate GPA?  You could end up with a nice scholarship if you bust your butt for the LSAT.

I don't know what you mean about "how much her biological clock is ticking" and there being a window to having children like there is the the Shuttle reentering the Earth's atmosphere.  Plenty of women over 40 have healthy children.  Also, as indicated here, people have kids while in law school and do just fine. 

Since I don't know either of you, I will refrain from making comments regarding spouses who take this stance towards the dreams of their partner.  Let's just say that I have seen several marriages end in divorce because the detractor was entirely inflexible, selfish, and lacked faith in their partner to succeed and the aspiring lawyer/doctor/engineer who gave up their dreams ended up regretting the decision. 

Basscadet

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Re: Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2008, 08:59:34 PM »
I am making mid $50s right now, the ceiling is probably around mid $60s.

I will be applying to a variety of state schools in my area (Kansas City), none of which are top schools. My goal is simply to be in the top of my class because I know that when we're talking about schools ranked as low as University of Kansas, I cannot afford to be in the bottom 75%.

My starting salary expectations are pretty much the same as what I am making right now, but with a much higher ceiling. I can't seem to find data on how much starting attorneys from Missouri and Kansas make, but I have friends who have graduated from both recently who are making 68k and 72k respectively. (btw, where can I find data on this??)

What is the salary ceiling for your current job?  To which schools will you be applying?  What are your job and salary expectations for the period after you graduate from law school?  Have you taken the LSAT yet?  What is your undergraduate GPA?  You could end up with a nice scholarship if you bust your butt for the LSAT.

I don't know what you mean about "how much her biological clock is ticking" and there being a window to having children like there is the the Shuttle reentering the Earth's atmosphere.  Plenty of women over 40 have healthy children.  Also, as indicated here, people have kids while in law school and do just fine. 

Since I don't know either of you, I will refrain from making comments regarding spouses who take this stance towards the dreams of their partner.  Let's just say that I have seen several marriages end in divorce because the detractor was entirely inflexible, selfish, and lacked faith in their partner to succeed and the aspiring lawyer/doctor/engineer who gave up their dreams ended up regretting the decision. 

upgrade

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Re: Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2008, 09:37:19 PM »
I am making mid $50s right now, the ceiling is probably around mid $60s.

I will be applying to a variety of state schools in my area (Kansas City), none of which are top schools. My goal is simply to be in the top of my class because I know that when we're talking about schools ranked as low as University of Kansas, I cannot afford to be in the bottom 75%.

My starting salary expectations are pretty much the same as what I am making right now, but with a much higher ceiling. I can't seem to find data on how much starting attorneys from Missouri and Kansas make, but I have friends who have graduated from both recently who are making 68k and 72k respectively. (btw, where can I find data on this??)

You may still do fine even if you are not in the top 25%, but the higher the better for sure.  Your salary expectations are reasonable and it is good that you realize not performing well will have a negative impact on your employment prospects.  I would guess that over half of the people I have met, who are applying to law schools, think that as long as they graduate they are guaranteed $60,000.  It is good that you are realistic in your expectations. 

Schools should post median salary data on their website, but this is only from post-graduation surveys and are usually an incomplete sample.  This site has a decent array of data for your perusal, but the salary and employment data still come from school sponsored surveys: http://www.ilrg.com/rankings.html

What is your undergraduate GPA and have you taken a simulated LSAT yet?


Basscadet

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Re: Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2008, 12:45:30 AM »
I am making mid $50s right now, the ceiling is probably around mid $60s.

I will be applying to a variety of state schools in my area (Kansas City), none of which are top schools. My goal is simply to be in the top of my class because I know that when we're talking about schools ranked as low as University of Kansas, I cannot afford to be in the bottom 75%.

My starting salary expectations are pretty much the same as what I am making right now, but with a much higher ceiling. I can't seem to find data on how much starting attorneys from Missouri and Kansas make, but I have friends who have graduated from both recently who are making 68k and 72k respectively. (btw, where can I find data on this??)

You may still do fine even if you are not in the top 25%, but the higher the better for sure.  Your salary expectations are reasonable and it is good that you realize not performing well will have a negative impact on your employment prospects.  I would guess that over half of the people I have met, who are applying to law schools, think that as long as they graduate they are guaranteed $60,000.  It is good that you are realistic in your expectations. 

Schools should post median salary data on their website, but this is only from post-graduation surveys and are usually an incomplete sample.  This site has a decent array of data for your perusal, but the salary and employment data still come from school sponsored surveys: http://www.ilrg.com/rankings.html

What is your undergraduate GPA and have you taken a simulated LSAT yet?




My UG GPA is quite terrible, 2.5-2.6. My LSAT practice is not great, 157, but that was the first and only shot at it. I wanted to take a Testmasters course to see if I can get that in the mid-160s. If I can't get into the 160s for the real deal, I'll probably be forced to abandon this adventure.

Basscadet

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Re: Fiancee says kids or law school - pick ONE - advice please
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2008, 12:49:04 AM »

However, the point is that being an attorney was my dad's lifelong dream, and my parents made it happen despite the fact that it put our family in a difficult situation.  I think that this sort of thing sounds completely impossible as a hypothetical situation, but in reality it's pretty workable and most of what you might be worried about are worst case scenarios.  I mean, my parents didn't get divorced, I'm not irreparably screwed up, and they certainly are far from being crippled with debt at this point.  

This is a very inspiring story...thank you very much  :)