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Author Topic: Working during law school...need advice!  (Read 3328 times)

TheJesus

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Working during law school...need advice!
« on: July 28, 2005, 12:43:22 PM »
I need help with a decision, and I was hoping that those of you who work full time during law school could give me some advice.

I have been working full-time in the IT field for the past four years paying my way through undergrad. I am currently a network administrator making about $40,000 per year(which isn't bad for this line of work in Detroit)and the job itself is fairly easy, stress free, and was perfect for me while I completed my undergrad degree.

Well, I just graduated in June and I was just offered a job at my current employer that will increase my salary by about 25% for the first year. The problem is, this job will require a lot more dedication than my current job does and I am reluctant to leave a job that I like and that was perfect for me to have while completing undergrad since I plan to start law school in the Fall of 2006.

My question is, how difficult is it to work a full-time “real” job during law school. I am applying to the part-time evening programs at all my prospective schools and hope to finish in 4 years, but will it even be possible with a job that demands great responsibility? The hours I will have to work will be about the same, however the job will be more stressful.

Please help!

abomb

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Re: Working during law school...need advice!
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2005, 01:15:46 PM »
Well, that's the whole point of the night program isn't it, so that you can have a full time job.
I've noticed that there doesn't seem to be many evening program people on here, and I admit I'm not either, but I'd say that it should be doable.
I'd contact the schools and ask them about the time committment though, thats the surest way.

anoddduck

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Re: Working during law school...need advice!
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2005, 06:51:19 PM »
I think you should probably keep the less stressful job. Law school will be stressful enough... Besides, if it really is that easy, you could probably sneak in some studying while they pay you...

BUT if you keep the lower-paying job, you will need to explain to them why--you want to go to law school part time and don't want to over-extend yourself or let the job suffer.

If you don't explain it, you'll just look like you're lazy...  GOOD LUCK!

thelawfool

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Re: Working during law school...need advice!
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2005, 08:05:07 PM »
i'm working and going to PT program.  my job requires about 90-100 hours during the summer but it's a 9-5 situation in the off-season.
FIU Class of 2009

aggie actuary

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Re: Working during law school...need advice!
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2005, 12:41:21 PM »
There are a number of other threads on this subject here and on other boards and sites. I recommend you read as many of them as you can and consider carefully.

What are some other boards and sites that could help?

I'm in a similar but different situation.  I'm an actuary which is a job that I enjoy.  My reason for looking into law school is that I think I could combine my actuarial background with law and really do some interesting and lucrative work.

gemesq

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Re: Working during law school...need advice!
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2005, 06:49:37 PM »
I have to disagree with schwing.  Of course, I am an evening student, working full-time, so I may be a little biased.  I currently work in a law firm and participate in hiring of new attorneys and I can honestly say that law review, moot court and internships don't hold a candle to true work experience.  Many law students went to law school directly from undergrad, and thus have no clue what the real world is about.  That said, everyone will be defensive of their choices, so you have to decide what is right for you.  I have a demanding job and I think that forces me to be more organized and budget my time appropriately.  I have many friends who went to LS during the day and said they had a hard time budgeting their time for studying and that evening division students seemed to have more structure.  Just think about people who work full time and have kids.  If you are only juggling a full time job, you have it easier than many evening division students. 

And, trust me, the debt issue is nothing to sneeze at.  I will graduate with FAR less debt than most LS graduates I know, and they are still struggling to pay their loans, buy houses, etc.  When you get out of LS and get your first job, moot court, law review and internships won't mean much when you have to take a substantial chunk of money off the top of your salary.  Besides, nothing about law school really matters after you get your first job.  After that, we only look for what type of experience you have and how much. 
"Oh, I'm sorry, you must have been absent the day they taught law at law school..." Tom Cruise, A Few Good Men

TheJesus

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Re: Working during law school...need advice!
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2005, 01:51:37 PM »
Thanks for the replies...

And for me, it has never really been a decision of Full-time Day v. Part-time Evening...rather, just whether to keep my current job or accept the promotion...

I think I am going to stay where I'm at, stick with my current job...it kills me too because I just found out that promotion will pay me even more that I previously though...yikes!!!


NeXD

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Re: Working during law school...need advice!
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2005, 10:47:15 AM »
Thanks for the replies...

And for me, it has never really been a decision of Full-time Day v. Part-time Evening...rather, just whether to keep my current job or accept the promotion...

I think I am going to stay where I'm at, stick with my current job...it kills me too because I just found out that promotion will pay me even more that I previously though...yikes!!!




I am sure you will make that money back and then some as a lawyer.

SouthWesternNight

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Re: Working during law school...need advice!
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2005, 09:13:38 PM »
Here's an alternative thought:  by not being full-time / your entire life is being a law student, you stand a better chance of not going crazy (e.g. all the horror stories of depression etc. faced by grad students).  I'm starting part time next week, and I for one want to keep having a paycheck and some non-school element to life.  But if you're straight out of college and had always been a full time student that wouldn't make sense.

Kayria

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Re: Working during law school...need advice!
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2009, 03:27:14 PM »
There are a number of other threads on this subject here and on other boards and sites. I recommend you read as many of them as you can and consider carefully.

What are some other boards and sites that could help?

I'm in a similar but different situation.  I'm an actuary which is a job that I enjoy.  My reason for looking into law school is that I think I could combine my actuarial background with law and really do some interesting and lucrative work.

I came across this post while doing some research on non-traditional actuary roles as a potential reason for getting into the actuarial sciences.  I have a law background that I'd like to leverage.  One of my key questions on this remains whether those in the non-traditional roles are able to make as much or more than the traditional actuary salary.  Too bad this thread is dead... but at least this gives me some support for my idea on combining two fields...