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Author Topic: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane  (Read 3253 times)

Dano

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Re: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2005, 12:14:37 PM »
Depends on the work experience.  If it was at a law firm or USPTO, then definitely.  My concern with PT is that it could show a lack of commitment to some employers.  They might think that you are dabbing in law only to leave as soon as the $hit hits the fan (i.e. crazy work hours and difficult assignments). 

Not to mention the shear stress of working a challenging job, paying attention to family, and attending law school.  Seems like a recipe for burnout.  Also, with PT, you lose at least a year of hopefully big salary as a full-fledged lawyer.  In my case, the salary difference is not great, but for some a legal salary could represent several times their current salary, so someone making $40,000 currently could have made $100,000+ during that 4th year resulting in an opportunity cost of $60,000+ ignoring taxes).

Plus, I already did the work hard/study hard thing in undergrad and grad.  Basically, it sucked.

Draino, for IP Patent stuff, your strategy probably makes sense.  The USPTO is probably full of agents going to law school requiring flexible schedules, etc.  Other employers might not be so accomodating.  What are people going to do when a crisis happens at their jobs requiring their immediate attention, and an exam is being administered at the same time?  It's no fun ... I've been there.

Don't you think four years of full-time work experience will beat a summer internship hands down any day of the week?  My plan would be two years at USPTO and then two years at a firm if I wind up at GMU part-time.

Isn't it difficult to get summer firm positions as a part-timer?  Going part-time at GW while denying a FT position at Emory seems like a bad move to me.  Emory does quite well placing in the Northeast, DC, and NC areas.  I attended Emory undergrad and most of my peers were from DC, NY, and FL and had mucho dinero (as a poor GA native I was in the minority :;).  Many of the FL kids even had older parents that had either retired to FL from NY or where snowbirds.

BTW, the neighborhood around Emory and the campus are beautiful, plus you are only minutes from Virginia Highlands / Little Five Points (many bars and parties).

eileen2004

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Re: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2005, 12:29:31 PM »
Depends on the work experience.  If it was at a law firm or USPTO, then definitely.  My concern with PT is that it could show a lack of commitment to some employers.  They might think that you are dabbing in law only to leave as soon as the $hit hits the fan (i.e. crazy work hours and difficult assignments). 

Not to mention the shear stress of working a challenging job, paying attention to family, and attending law school.  Seems like a recipe for burnout.  Also, with PT, you lose at least a year of hopefully big salary as a full-fledged lawyer.  In my case, the salary difference is not great, but for some a legal salary could represent several times their current salary, so someone making $40,000 currently could have made $100,000+ during that 4th year resulting in an opportunity cost of $60,000+ ignoring taxes).

Plus, I already did the work hard/study hard thing in undergrad and grad.  Basically, it sucked.

Draino, for IP Patent stuff, your strategy probably makes sense.  The USPTO is probably full of agents going to law school requiring flexible schedules, etc.  Other employers might not be so accomodating.  What are people going to do when a crisis happens at their jobs requiring their immediate attention, and an exam is being administered at the same time?  It's no fun ... I've been there.

Don't you think four years of full-time work experience will beat a summer internship hands down any day of the week?  My plan would be two years at USPTO and then two years at a firm if I wind up at GMU part-time.


I really don't see how attending law school while holding down a full-time job shows lack of commitment.  I'd love to do nothing but go to class and read books for three years, but I have other responsibilities.  As you point out, it's not exactly the easy way to do things.  Why do you think someone would interpret that level of commitment as dabbling? 

Your opportunity cost calculation doesn't really make sense.  The person going to school PT is making money for those other three years (using your numbers, $160,000) whereas the person going FT is not (wrapping up the 4th year with $100,000).  If you figure in the tuition benefits many employers offer, the cost to the FT student is significantly higher.   


Dano

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Re: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane
« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2005, 01:00:34 PM »
If you can demonstrate to your employers that you truly have strong commitments preventing you from going full-time such as a single parent with kids or a disabled spouse or something, you are fine.  However, if your reasons for going PT are to keep your cushy house and BMW or because you don't want to live in Atlanta, it seems like a lack of commitment to me.

Also, my opportunity cost calculations were only for the last year.  Of course you'll make more money as a PT student during the first 3 years.  However, if you are going to mention the first 3 years then you need to include any lost financial aid due to PT status (most schools give few if any grants/scholarships to PT students) plus the increased expenses (i.e. transportation, insurance, fancy clothing, etc. required of most working folks.

As far as employee tuition reimbursements, there are mucho restrictions.  Typically, the field of study must be within the scope of your position at the company which excludes most of us.  Secondly, some companies have vesting periods for these funds requiring the employee to pay back a portion of the reimbursement if they leave the company within some specified period (similar to moving expenses).  And, finally, by applying for law school tuition reimbursement, many employers will automatically assume that you are leaving the company once you complete the degree.  Guess who gets laid off first?  The average but sufficient plodding employee that is dedicated to their employer or the ambitious law student that is leaving as soon as they get the degree?


I really don't see how attending law school while holding down a full-time job shows lack of commitment.  I'd love to do nothing but go to class and read books for three years, but I have other responsibilities.  As you point out, it's not exactly the easy way to do things.  Why do you think someone would interpret that level of commitment as dabbling? 

Your opportunity cost calculation doesn't really make sense.  The person going to school PT is making money for those other three years (using your numbers, $160,000) whereas the person going FT is not (wrapping up the 4th year with $100,000).  If you figure in the tuition benefits many employers offer, the cost to the FT student is significantly higher.   


drowles

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Re: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2005, 01:08:36 PM »
Man, this $hit is very helpful!!  Thanks a bunch guys.. Keep up the debate.. Seems like it'll come down to Emory and GW pt or GMU pt for me..
ATTENDING... UGA.. GO DAWGS!!!
Accepted: UGA, GW PT, Tulane
Dinged:GMU PT/FT
Priority Waitlist: Gtown PT
Waitlist: BC, WUSTL, Emory
Applied: GMU PT/FT, GW PT, Gtown PT, Emory, UGA, BC, Tulane, WUSTL

norm012001

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Re: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2005, 01:10:38 PM »
Beyond commitment, I think employers are going to look first at how quickly you can bill and thus benefit them.  If you get the experience through working while in school or by working summers, the experience is still the key.

I personally worked while in udnergrad and worked full time+ while getting my master's.  I don't think that stopping work for me is the right decision now.  Because the USPTO is flexible, I do intend to go part time at work my first semester, but I don't plan to switch to full time.

I have several friends who just finished the GMU full time program.  When they first went to school, they looked down ont he night students and definitely thought that the night students were at a disadvantage.  Now every single one of them say that they enjoyed the few night classes they took and the night students did just as well coming out.

It's really decision for the individual, I don't think it hurts your chances of doing well after school.  The only possible way is that the prospective emplyer has a personal beef with PT programs, but I figure it's just as good a chance the emplyer went to a PT program and will have a bias towards it.
3.19/165, 6yrs work experience, EE Master's

Accepted: GWU, GMU, American
Waitlist: Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, UVa
Withdrawn: UNC (withdrew in mid March, tired of waiting)

WoeIsMe

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Re: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2005, 01:13:08 PM »
isn't there a payback period for the USPTO on tuition reimbursement?

upon graduation do you get a big promotion?

i heard the work-telecommute balance is pretty flexible.

norm012001

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Re: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2005, 01:17:49 PM »
Based on what you said about tuition reimbursemen t, I would guess that you have never tried to utilize the tuition reimbursement at a company.  I took Chinese classes paid for by Boeing.  Boeing also offered to pay for law school on the off chance that I would be willing to stay there when I finished.  They are not stingy with the dollars, and I have never in 6 years of working with lots of folks in school seen anyone be skipped over for promotion or laid off because of the fact they were in school.

It has nothing to do with the cushy house or BMW, it has to do with personal satisfaction and the need to feel that I am being responsible.  It would not be responsible for me to rack up 100k in debt just to possibly make some employer think I was a bit more "committed" to the idea of law school.  It is much more responsible for me to continue furthering my patent law experience while getting the degree I need to move forward.  Now if I was doing a totally unrelated job, I would probably try and move into the legal field, but I don't think it would be necessary to quit and go full time.  

I think a lot of the comments about part time come more from the human need to feel better about one's own decisions.  I think it's great for people to go to full time.  They will get a fully different social experience from law school than I will.  
3.19/165, 6yrs work experience, EE Master's

Accepted: GWU, GMU, American
Waitlist: Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, UVa
Withdrawn: UNC (withdrew in mid March, tired of waiting)

norm012001

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Re: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2005, 01:21:00 PM »
For the record, I am paying for law school, I'm not using the PTO reimbursement, although I do think it's a good program.  I have been given a couple of other opportunities with firms that I may be taking in the next few months.

The PTO's telecommute policy is actually pretty bad.  You have to be a primary examiner to telecommute, and that takes on the order of 4 years minimum, and for most everyone, 5-6 years.

The reimbursement program requires you to pay back 1 month of time for every 3 credits the Office pays for.  What many people do is let the Office pay for the first 3 years, and then start working off their commitment in their fourth year which they pay for on their own or with another loan.
3.19/165, 6yrs work experience, EE Master's

Accepted: GWU, GMU, American
Waitlist: Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, UVa
Withdrawn: UNC (withdrew in mid March, tired of waiting)

eileen2004

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Re: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2005, 01:23:07 PM »
Okay - I think we'll just have to agree that the "lack of commitment" issue is just a matter of opinion as neither of us has any hard data on this.  When looking at a pile of resumes, I have infinitely more respect for someone who works their way through college supporting themselves while attending part time than I do for someone like myself who went to school full-time with mom and dad writing tuition checks.  Maybe it's just me, or maybe there's some key difference when it comes to law school that I'm missing.  Does anyone else have an opinion on this?  

If you're going to weigh the opportunity cost of attending law school part-time vs. attending law school full-time you need to look at the whole picture rather than merely pulling out the bits that support your argument.  It makes for a kind of pointless debate.  Am I going to make less money in 2008 than someone who finishes law school in three years and gets a good job?  Probably.  Am I losing money by going to law school part time?  No.  

As for the company-paid tuition thing, I can only speak to my situation.  They pay the tuition upfront and are directly billed by the university.  They pay for books.  If I fail a class, I have to reimburse the tuition for that class.  I can quit the job whenever I want.  I can leave immediately upon graduation although there are additional financial incentives if I choose to stay.  I can cut my hours down to as few as 20/week without loosing benefits as long as my manager approves the reduction.

As much as I'd like to go to school full-time, I really think it would be foolish for me to do so.      

eileen2004

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Re: UGA, GW pt, GMU pt, Emory, Tulane
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2005, 01:27:04 PM »
Based on what you said about tuition reimbursemen t, I would guess that you have never tried to utilize the tuition reimbursement at a company.  I took Chinese classes paid for by Boeing.  Boeing also offered to pay for law school on the off chance that I would be willing to stay there when I finished.  They are not stingy with the dollars, and I have never in 6 years of working with lots of folks in school seen anyone be skipped over for promotion or laid off because of the fact they were in school.


Where were you working for Boeing?  What kind of commitment were they looking for from you in order to finance law school?