Law School Discussion

Full time Dad, Full Time Career, Part Time Law School

Full time Dad, Full Time Career, Part Time Law School
« on: December 27, 2008, 08:26:06 PM »
I'm scheduled to take my LSAT's on Feb 7th. I'm looking to start school in Sept and will be maintaining a full time career and going to school part time. I'm thirty years old and I have to admit, how hectic it will be is a concern. It's what caused me to give the concept a Google and allow me to find this forum.

I'm not one to back off and I never say die. I push as hard as possible all the time but I am concerned about what toll this will take. My wife is obviously concerned as well. We have a 16 month old son, another child due in the summer, and she's an at home Mom (who runs a small non-profit). She doesn't want to hold me back but she doesn't want me to disappear. I'm pretty well established in my career - 10 years with the top two, well known, industry leading companies on my resume, a seven year entrepreneurial venture, and pulling in an easy six figure income in enterprise IT sales, while working primarily from home. So a huge positive is that I manage my own time.

It's safe to say that I'm dead set on going to law school even if it takes me six years to graduate. I don't really want to practice afterward. I will be doing it to position myself for a higher level corporate position, which is another concern of mine - is that realistic? I would go after an MBA but I don't think it will offer me what law school will, intellectually.

Lastly, I'm also considering a degree from an online university. If the school isn't Ivy league (only one app is going to an Ivy, three are going to accredited local schools within a 2hr drive) then perhaps an online degree wouldn't be such a bad idea.

I'd really be appreciative to hear what readers think of my position. Especially if you have had similar experiences. I welcome you to be as blunt as you feel necessary to get your idea across. The extreme aside, I won't get offended and I'll look to learn from the advice.

Kind Regards,

Re: Full time Dad, Full Time Career, Part Time Law School
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2008, 04:53:32 AM »

Similar situation but different eventual decision. I had a bit over 10 years in work experience when I took the LSAT, and I have three children (youngest at 6 months when I enrolled into law school). My wife stays home (and doesn't run a small non-profit unless my family counts as a 501c3).

We are doing the full-time law school track, though. I have several friends who went part-time to keep them with their companies and to help them make it through financially. But most now say they would go full-time if they could redo it. Part-time is often just one less class per semester, so not much lighter of a load. If you work during the day, have class every night, and then do your reading early in the morning, during lunch, late at night, and then on weekends, four years is a long time.

I'm at a top ten school. I quit my job and moved my family. I still work part-time, but not nearly enough to make even one end meet, but we have savings, live frugally, and make wise decisions. The biggest difference, though, it that if you are *truly* intent on staying with your corp., then the additional 4 years of tenure/contacts/401k/salary/etc. would be enormous. If you *might* move or leave that field, then think hard.


Re: Full time Dad, Full Time Career, Part Time Law School
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2008, 01:55:36 PM »
I enjoyed these blog entries... you might too..

Unlike a law degree, which is looked upon with suspicion if you donít actually use it to practice law (and the same probably applies to other weird degrees, such as a PhD in Philosophy), the MBA is always viewed as a plus factor in the business world. A plus factor means that no one will hire you because you have the credential, but itís looked at favorably when you are compared to candidates who donít have it, especially if you are looking to get promoted to management. But keep in mind that itís a small plus factor and not a huge plus factor.

And despite the fact that the article presents a sobering view of the situation, it doesnít go far enough and it cites some statistics that are kind of dubious. For example:

    Thus out of 22,684 starting salaries reported for 2006, 4,809, or 21.2 percent, were in the $125,000 to $145,000 range.

This falsely implies that 21.2% of law school graduates get plum jobs. 22,684 is only around half of law school graduates in 2006. The ABA reported that 42,673 law degreed were awarded in 2006. Given the bias in the way these statistics are accumulated (schools try very hard to account for every graduate with a high paying job in order to brag about their placement records), I suspect that close to 0 out of the missing 19,989 law school graduates had high salaried legal jobs, and the majority of them have no legal employment at all. Thus only 11.3% have quality jobs at graduation, and perhaps a few more get such jobs after their judicial clerkships end. Probably, about 13% of law school graduates get the good jobs, another 7% or so get decent jobs but not in the super-high end range, and the other 80% get screwed.

Re: Full time Dad, Full Time Career, Part Time Law School
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2008, 10:59:27 AM »

Would you consider getting hired here ( or a firm like them as being one of those top 7%?

Re: Full time Dad, Full Time Career, Part Time Law School
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2008, 02:38:11 PM »

Here's the answer to your question:

Note when reading the $140k, pay attention to the Low Bonus  :)

FYI:  I read the other posts and agree, if you're earning $200k already, not going to a top 10 law school is a step in the wrong direction.  I'm almost wondering if you'd be better off with a top10 MBA instead of a top 10 JD.  With a MBA you should make at least what you're earning now, but I believe salaries with a JD are lockstep with little room for negotiation.  Also, you may want to research if you'd even be allowed to use your sales/rainmaking skills as a junior associate.


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Re: Full time Dad, Full Time Career, Part Time Law School
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2008, 02:51:26 PM »

Most would agree that WLRK is the most prestigious firm in the US. Even the Yalies won't be guaranteed an offer there.

BTW that infirmation page is outdated. WLRK first years took home 280k this year. They also worked 110hrs a week.