Law School Discussion

Some basic questions from an old fart


Some basic questions from an old fart
« on: March 21, 2004, 10:41:39 PM »
Just found this forum and have been reading much.

I'm wondering if I should have my head examined?

I'm male, 41, married, 2 kids (7 and 10), own a successful real estate business, make $100K+/yr, have done well in real estate and have healthy retirement accounts I am able to feed each year.

Life is pretty much on cruise control and I expect, if everything goes as planned, I can quit working forever by the year 2015.

Problem is, I'm bored and I'm tired of being a landlord.

Instead of having a mid-life crises, I thought maybe I should look into law school. I have other reasons also, which I won't go into.


- I don't like working for others. Is there any reason I can't set up my own small practice doing real estate and landlord/tenant law right out of law school? I know I'd have to drum up my own clients, but that part doesn't worry me. My question is whether I have to have some years under my belt first or work under someone (like a real estate agent working under a Broker).

- Since I have no desire to work for a big firm, is a top tier school that important?

- I have a 17 year old felony drug conviction and I'm having a hard time finding information on how that might affect me in Texas. Does anyone know?

- How many hours a week should I expect to devote to school? Is running my business 25 to 35 hours a week while in law school out of the question? I don't aspire to be an honors student, just getting through with a B average will make me happy.

- I had a 4.0 GPA for 2 years in community college before transfering to UT Austin where my GPA was about 2.5 (worked full time, new baby). How will they compute my GPA and does GPA really matter since I graduated 10 years ago?

- I can't relocate. If I can't get into UT Law school, I've found only Baylor (in Waco) St. Mary's (in San Antonio) that would be commuting distance. Are there others I don't know about?

- What else should I be asking? Any feedback will be appreciated.



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Re: Some basic questions from an old fart
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2004, 12:53:40 AM »
some answers:
-the drug conviction will have to be disclosed, if you don't do it now, the bar will probably find out and screw you then, best to have it out in the open
-gpa will matter, just not as much, don't know how they'll deal with the community college
-just imo, but I would think youd need to work for someone before setting up a practice, becasue they don't really teach you anyhting in law school as far as specifics go. Sure you'd proably be able to take a real esate class, but I don't think itd be enough, a year or so should proably get you the requisite experiance, but im not sure about all that.
-if you get into a top 15-20 law school then go. if not then go where theyre giving you $, or whereever is most convieniant, as you don't seem like you need the prestige. but you simple can't turn down a top school (Austin in your case im guessing)
-check out's guide to ABA schools for all the law schools that are worth a damn in your area.
-at your age and with your experiance, it really comes down to the lsat. nail it and youve got a chance at UT.


Re: Some basic questions from an old fart
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2004, 06:36:12 AM »
1) Yes, you should have your head examined.   100K+ ??  ;)
2) You're too young to be an old fart.  Wait 'til you are knocking on the door of 50, like me, then you're an old fart.
3) Have the midlife crisis.  It's a lot cheaper than law school.
4) Your question about starting your own practice might be better answered on the student discussion board or perhaps there is a real estate law discussion board.
5) From what I've read and taking your goals in mind, I would think a top tier school is not necessary, but you should try for one just the same.
6) GPA and LSAT seem to be the primary measure for admissibility .  They will calculate it based on all undergraduate work that lead to your 4 year degree, as I understand it.  I your undergraduate GPA will matter.  I got my BA 20 years ago and they still wanted to know my GPA.  They wanted all my transcripts including the ones from 30 years ago.
7) As to schools... there are schools that are not ABA approved that you could consider if you can't get an ABA approved school.  That's what I'm doing.  Circumstances more or less force me to go that way, but I'd rather go to an ABA school given the choice.
8) If you think you'd enjoy the law as a career go for it.  Age should not hold you back, but before you do make sure you understand what you'd be getting into.  There are many books that have been suggested here and elsewhere that will give you an inside peak to law school and practicing law.  Read them over and then see what you think.  From what I've read, you might eve n want your wife to read or at least have a good understanding of what will be expected of you and indirectly of her.

Good luck.

Re: Some basic questions from an old fart
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2004, 07:38:22 AM »
You can hang out a shingle and practice on your own as soon as you get admitted to the bar.  If this is the way you want to go, where you go to law school will not matter much.  This is a pretty common carreer path for grads from my school.  Just find a school that you can get into and go from there.

Look into part-time programs.  You can get a JD in about 4 years this way and still have time for your business.

Check out my website for a list of part-time schools. Several Texas schools have part-time programs and all of them are ABA approved.

I have several classmates in my section in similar situations to yours. If you choose the right school the law degree can be a great asset to your current business.

Good Luck.


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Re: Some basic questions from an old fart
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2004, 09:42:26 PM »
Don't be concerned with the Felony.  I suggest you contace the State Bar in Texas and discuss your situation.  Texas will not allow you to practce law until 5 years after probation.  I assume you are not on probation so your good to go.