Law School Discussion

25 year old needs help


25 year old needs help
« on: August 10, 2008, 08:45:03 PM »
My situation is complicated and I'm hoping that someone here can provide some guidance for me.  I turned 25 last week.  I graduated undergrad when I was 20 (with a 3.5 gpa). Yes, I graduated in 2 and a half years from Texas A&M. After graduation, I enrolled in law school at SMU. I completed my first year and even got the highest grade in immigration law class. I also managed to get a clerkship working for an immigration attorney.  However, this was to be the peak of my law school success.  I stopped going to classes and eventually I got kicked out of SMU since my gpa dropped below a 2.0.  I did not even bother to take the tests. For the past 2 years, I have been working as a teacher.  I enjoy my work a great deal but immigration law is something that I REALLY enjoyed. I would like to teach and practice immigration law part time.

I am trying to decide on whether I should pursue a masters in education or whether I should try law school once again.  My biggest 2 obstacles are 1) I got kicked out of law school at SMU so this would show up on my record and 2) I cannot ask for anymore financial aid. I am still trying to pay all the debt that I have for loans I took out at SMU.  I live in TX and TX does not offer any online (correspondence) law schools.  I have heard that CA is the only state that offers such type of schooling.  Therefore, I am thinking about applying to one of these online schools and taking the CA BAR.  It is my understanding that while TX does not recognize JDs from other states, one can practice in any federal court if one passes the CA BAR.  Immigration law is federal law so I am thinking about going this route.  I could continue working as a teacher.  If I were to fail the CA BAR, my losses would not be as great as if I enrolled in a traditional law school whose costs would be considerably higher.

Please let me know what you guys think concerning my idea.  Again, my other option would be to forget the law career altogether and pursue a masters degree in education.  Perhaps I could be a principal or something. 


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Re: 25 year old needs help
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2008, 06:22:00 AM »
Based on previous experience, what do you feel would be different this time around?  If not much -> education.  State or municipal benefits and 401k ftw.  Esp. since you like your job... teaching requires a special temperament.  Ive tried :(


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Re: 25 year old needs help
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2008, 06:58:28 AM »
Not to add fuel to the alternate route fire, but in Virginia you can read for the bar. I know two people who are doing this right now. You don't have to spend a dime.

Maybe you should go work for an immigration attorney and see upclose if it is something you would enjoy more than teaching.

There is also a new federal program to help people who want to practice public interest law. It is called the CCRAA and you can read all about it at equaljusticeworks. Pays almost all of your debt, and holds your payments down to a reasonable level.

I would go work for an immigration attorney wherever you think you want to end up practicing, go PT to a decent school with a good immigration program, and use the CCRAA after graduation to pay off the debt. Stay working in your field while in school, you'll end up in a much better spot to get a job upon graduation.

Be sure this isn't just "I fubar'ed that, I want a do over." You need to really want to practice law more than any other option.

Re: 25 year old needs help
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2008, 10:17:59 AM »
honestly?  if i were you, i would pursue your masters in education.  chances are slim that you are going to get into a decent law school...i don't think online law schools would be considered decent, and i don't think that you would necessarily be able to get a job after graduating from one.  you already have a lot of loans to repay, and going back to law school would mean more loans.  prospective employers are also going to be turned off by the fact that you got kicked out of SMU.  you need to consider not only can you get into a law school, but can you get a job after law school.  it sounds like you are having success doing what you are doing now.  stick with what you know you can be successful at.