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Day vs. Evening Programs

Day vs. Evening Programs
« on: June 15, 2005, 05:39:07 PM »

I am trying to decide between the Denver Day and SMU Evening programs.  Here's some background info: I am 33 and have a job open for me in Dallas if I want to transfer.  Denver has offered 8k/yr with no strings attatched i.e. class ranking requirements but working full time while attending SMU would offset the scholarship.  Day requires 3 yrs. to complete while Evening will take 4 yrs to finish.  Denver: better lifestyle  SMU: better job prospects.

Re: Day vs. Evening Programs
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2005, 06:59:17 PM »
A lot depends on your school. I have an unusual perspective because even though I'm in the part-time program, I take half my classes at night and half during the day to accommodate a night-shift job.
Students at other schools report that they encounter discrimination in their job hunt from potential employers who think working full time plus spending four nights a week in school is somehow "easier" than going through the day program. Fortunately, my school's part-time program has a good reputation so this hasn't been a problem. But it's definitely something to investigate.
At many schools, the students in the evening program tend to be more diverse racially, economically and by age.


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Re: Day vs. Evening Programs
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2005, 06:56:11 PM »
I am older also and just finished my 1L as an evening part time student. 

If I was to do it all over again, I would still pick evening part time.  Not one regret.

Re: Day vs. Evening Programs
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2005, 09:16:01 PM »
I'm 36 with 3 kids and had a full-time job, and just finished my 1L full-time days.

My two choices were part-time at Capital while working full-time, or full-time at Ohio State while working part-time.  I don't have any regrets choosing days.  Sorry to be so little help, but I think you are on your own on this one.  If it helps, I doubt I would have regretted going the other way, either.  I did an evening MBA about 10 years ago without kids, and it was pretty tough.  With 3 kids I didn't want to go through that again.  Anyone who says part-time is the easy route is crazy!

Best of luck with your decision,

I am curious to know how you manage to work a full-time job and go to school full-time?  Are you self-employed?  Do you work nights?  When do you study?

Oh, and as for the three kids, I'm sure you have a wife or significant other  taking on the bulk of the responsability there.  There's no way you can tell me you're squeezing in a significant amount of face time on top of full-time work, school, and study.  How's that working out?  Do you ever come and your wife's like, "Aaaaaagh!"

Re: Day vs. Evening Programs
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2005, 04:36:36 AM »
I am in my 30s and I chose the day program.
Here's something you should try to prepare for:
you will be older than all the other students.  Most of them are coming right out of college.  They have never had jobs, and they don't understand real responsibility.  When you go home to your family, they will go out and play drinking games you've never heard of.
And many of them will do better you.  That's tough to swallow.
I know all the people over 30 entered the day program at the same time in my school, and none made law review.  From my section, all eight students who made law review were right of college.
But while none of the OWLS secured the summer associate position, most of them did remarkably better in the second year. 

By the way, in the evening program, you get judged by the same benchmarks, graded on the same curve, and considered by law review just the same.  If you have great grades, employers generally won't care if you did it in the day program or night program.   

Re: Day vs. Evening Programs
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2005, 04:38:17 AM »
that being said, if I had to do it over again I still would have done the day program.  I have one year left, and I am looking forward to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Re: Day vs. Evening Programs
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2005, 05:11:45 AM »
I am sure you will know more about the law from a practical sense, as opposed to a purely academic sense.  That might make you a better lawyer, but not necessarily a better first year law student.  Most first year professors are professional academics.  Most have never practiced law.  My civil procedure professor told us that he had never seen a trial. 

It's great that you can maintain your work, family, and school.  It's admirable to balance to your life.  Most law students immerse themselves completely in their studies for the first year, and it just does not reward them. 

In my second year I got married and balanced my life.  It made me a much better person and student. 

Re: Day vs. Evening Programs
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2005, 02:40:26 PM »
I have read this thread with interest and I must say I am breathing a sigh of relief..

I am giving up my part time job to go to school full time in the fall for the same reasons as Todd.  I have 2 young kids, and a very supportive significant other.  I am approaching school as my 9 - 5 job - I know I can't hang out during the day - I need to study while at school.  I hope that I can then pick up my kids at after care and spend the evening with them, and finish up with any remaining work after they go to bed at 8:30 and on the weekends.  It's nice to know that someone has actually acoomplished this plan - thanks for making my day!! :D

Re: Day vs. Evening Programs
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2005, 01:56:39 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback.  I am wrestling with the decision to attend day or evening.  My SO would prefer the normalcy of treating the day program as a job (7:30 - 6) thereby leaving us some evening hours together.  I, however, have trouble justifying giving up key earning years while I pursue a degree.  That being said, only a complete masochist would enjoy four years worth of balancing a demanding career with studying a new and complex subject. 

Can anyone share their evening program experiences?  Having clases four days a week until 10:00 then studying on the weekends must be real grind and could strain a relationship.

Re: Day vs. Evening Programs
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2005, 05:14:48 PM »
my .02 - I turned down FIU evening program ( price tag $8k per year) because it was 4 nights a week for 4 years, and am going to St Thomas ( $25K per year) for 3 years - I just want to get it over with.  I have 2 kids, so my situation is different than yours.  I think if you can swing not working for 1 year, and then working PT the next two, suck it up for 3 years and go days- that way you may be poor for three years, but you will have a chance at a life and some time with your sweetie.

Good luck in whatever you decide