Law School Discussion

Part-time work as 1L?

Part-time work as 1L?
« on: January 23, 2005, 08:13:46 PM »
I will be a 1L come this fall. I am planning on working part-time 5-10 hours a week while in school, to pay for groceries, books, etc, while my wife brings home the bacon. Does anyone have any thoughts for types of jobs? I did the waiter thing as an undergrad.. don't really want to spend nights away from my wife..... Or experience working as a 1L?

Stories, thoughts, anecdotes appreciated.

Re: Part-time work as 1L?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2005, 10:12:02 PM »
I don't know that you will have time as a 1L to work, even for 5 to 10 hours a week, unless you can find a job where you can study.  Also, ABA approved law schools have a rule that 1L's can't hold jobs.  I think you would be better off using 5 to 10 hours a week as a break from your studies to spend time with your wife.


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Re: Part-time work as 1L?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2005, 07:05:17 AM »
I am working full time and going to PT night, and I would love to have the opportunity to work at a law firm part time (but my situation does not permit). 

So, if I were in your situation, I would probably try to find some PT clerkship. But I do see SLJ0720's point of view, you will get burned out, especially in the first semester since you won't know what or how to study very well, so you may need some down time away from law.  Don't know if I would turn to the wife though.   ???

Re: Part-time work as 1L?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2005, 12:12:52 PM »
Also, ABA approved law schools have a rule that 1L's can't hold jobs.

The ABA standard1 doesn't prohibit work entirely.  It prohibits students who are full-time (12 or more hours) in a given semester from working for more than 20 hours per week during that time.  Also, the rule only applies to work for pay, so internships and volunteer activities are fair game (of course, whether it's a smart idea to take on that much is another matter entirely). 

Work at your law school (computer lab, library, admissions office, etc.).  Chances are, the school will be sensitive to your "condition" (that is, the condition of being a law student) and just let you sit around and study.  Make them pay you for 20 hours of studying each week. 

1ABA Standard 304(f) states "[a] student may not be employed more than 20 hours per week in any week in which the student is enrolled in more than twelve class hours."


Re: Part-time work as 1L?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2005, 06:03:40 PM »
DO NOT WORK as a 1L.  you only priority should be your grades.  take out loans or beg from your parents.  this will lead to doom.  a friend of mine thought he coould work last semester - he goes to a shittty school out west anyway, and now he is in the bottom 25% of his class.

Re: Part-time work as 1L?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2005, 04:05:55 PM »
Wow, some pretty vehement opinions.... For those of you who say you should not work during 1L: There are plenty of people on this board and others who are currently attending LS who have said they have this schedule or that schedule in which they only do school work from say 7-5 during the week and on a bit on weekends. Then there are some who say, "DON'T WORK!" Can anyone comment on this gap in information? If you can be disciplined enough to get your studying/reading done and have time to chill at night, why can't you work a few hours?

As for borrowing from my parents... Nope, not gonna happen. My wife and I have been married for almost 4 years and are quite financially stable, the reason for wanting to work is to avoid as much debt as possible.

Anyhow, thanks for your opinions...

Anyone out there who is working as a 1L or LS student?

Re: Part-time work as 1L?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2005, 05:33:54 PM »
I think the response is so strong because most students find that the level of work that they need to put in their first year is very high.  It is also stressful.  The expectations are often unclear and there is a lot that doesn't make sense right away.  It takes a little time to get into the flow.  If you are the very disiplined type, you may be fine.  The level of work required is much higher than for most undergrads (and many very smart students finds they have to work hard for the first time).  However, as you are married and presumably a bit older, you  might be a bit more steady.
I am married and put in time with some rental property and a small business we run.  I was crazy busy first year.  But my schedule was very flexible and I could dump most of my responsibilities on my husband come exam time.
I agree with JD_MSA, get a job at the school.  You will get the flexibility and understanding you need.


Re: Part-time work as 1L?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2005, 07:26:55 AM »
I think the difference of opinions is because people study for law school differently.

I refuse to work myself to death for school, period. So I won't spend all my time studying, and I found that it wasnn't necessary either.

I worked part time sporadically my first semester, doing pet sitting/dog walking.

This semester I'm looking for more work, even though my law school workload has increased. So I'm looking for a job at a library, or at a call center. The dogwalking thing was fine, but it was too sporadic, and I need a good 500 a month steady. Or more.

Law school for me is NOT the end all to be all, so if I need to work, I will work. And I did. And I will.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

I know law students who studied law ALL hours of the day. when I got home, I watched TV. This semester I'll study more, though, since we have a heavier workload. At the same time, I intend to work at a job more than last semester.

Finally, law school doesn't stress me. NOt being able to pay my bills does stress me. I think the varied responses are people who have very different priorities in life, which is fine. Just different. Age might make a difference too. You and I have families to consider, which may make our priorities different than those who don't.

Hope this helps! Feel free to PM me!


Re: Part-time work as 1L?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2005, 07:35:21 PM »
Lavia, thanks for the info... I appreciate your thoughts. I'm kinda torn between working and not working. My wife and I could swing it for me to not work (but it'd be more debt) but, and please anyone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that most/some schools give scholarships to 2nd and 3rd year students who perform well their 1st/2nd year. If this is true (of the school I end up attending) I think it might be worth it to concentrate on school only and try for some scholarships 2nd year.... Any thoughts, comments on this approach?

Re: Part-time work as 1L?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2005, 03:36:08 PM »
Top three at our school get full rides.  Not much to bank on- the grades are unpredictable.  10 hours a week at let's be generous and say 8 bucks an hour.  That's not much after taxes.  Then again, it's not a huge time investment either.

Ultimatetly you need to do what makes you comfortable?  Are you thinking about working just because you think you ought to- but you would really rather concentrate on studying?  Or are you going to be truly stressed out by every book and study aid that goes on the charge card?

One of my friends can't stand the thought of being even a penny in debt.  It makes him feel trapped.  So he makes time for his job.  I on the other hand would hate to have to work and feel like I'm having my last hurah as a full time student.  So I am comfortable with racking up a bit more debt now. 

The other thing that occurs to me is that it can definately shift the balance of power in a relationship when one person earns money and the other does not.  The working partner may subconsiously resist the non-worker partner's decisions to spend money.  So a part-time job could make you feel more free to decide to splurge at the Starbucks.