Law School Discussion

new with questions

Re: new with questions
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2009, 04:52:41 PM »

You are right, I am trying to figure out ways to not live like a poor grad student. I am just exploring the possibility of not doing it. I was homeless when I was a teenager and have worked very hard by myself to get to this point in life ( do not live in luxury by the way, very thrifty). I don't want my children to suffer because of something I want to pursue. I hope you understand that point. I could be the happiest person as long as I have my health but my family should not have to sacrifice so much maybe? I can't quite justify it as an investment because it is really more of something I want to do rather than hoping to get financial returns (though it would be nice). I would probably start my own practice after law school to practice law in my industry, which has a need for lawyers with technical expertise.

Iím going to suggest again you look into part-time. Like I said Iím part time, I also own my own small business and I clerk part time for a lawyer, I end up working about 20-30 hours a week most weeks. I also donít live like a law student at all. In fact I just sat down last week and figured out what I have spent in the last 3.5 years, it was north of 300k, most of that living expenses because, well, I am NOT thrifty and I like buying stuff. Hell I just spent $600 bucks on a pair of ski pants (WTF I knowÖ).

Point is you can still live very well going to school PT if you can find decent paying jobs to work while youíre not in school By the way PT is only 3-4 credits less than FT at most schools per semester, Iíll be done in four years but only because I purposely set it up so I would only be taking 1 class this semester so I could study for the bar at the same time, otherwise I could easily be done in 3.5 or less like many of my classmates. You can also get all the financial aid FT students get (minus the extra tuition money they get for having 3 more credits) if you want to borrow along the way. 

Another advantage to going PT is that you have lots of extra time to network. Networking will be KEY if you plan to start your own firm right after law school. You will need to have a core group of lawyers and judges who will mentor you, give you advice and send you referrals. Meeting people like that and developing relationships takes time so you need to start doing that right away, have your days more open will help a lot with that.

you have very good points. It is not that I just totally discount the possibility of PT programs. I have to go to school in philly, and I should have the grades and score to get into Penn, hopefully, and they do not have a PT program. if I end up going to Temple I will most definitely seriously consider their PT program, which seem to be very good. But if I get into Penn then I will have to try to make it work if at all possible. I will surely keep PT in consideration when the time comes to choose. For now just planning :)

to Stole Your Nose!, you are making some huge assumptions on what I mean by not suffering. You don't really have any idea what my standard of living is right now, or what I want to retain. I do understand and appreciate your views, and I thank you for your advice. I have read some pretty good info on here, I hope with some luck and hard work I would be able to do it!

Re: new with questions
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2009, 05:13:43 PM »
If you get into Penn then:
 You should be able to get biglaw for 1L and 2L summer, but at least 2L summer.
 Personally, i would think that it would be better to start out in biglaw and then start your own firm or join a smaller firm. It's pretty nice to be able to learn to be a lawyer on someone else's dime, getting paid $190k a year starting and having benefits. You don't always make money in your first year or two opening up your own shop.
  I also think it's irrelevant what standard of living you would like to maintain.  The best standard of living that you can maintain when you are in law school full-time is what your loans + wife's income + your savings + <20 hours a week of work + summer job all adds up to.  Working more than 20 hours a week is definitely going to be against your school's policies, and it would probably be an honor code violation.  Going to law school with the plan of violating the honor code is crappy.

Re: new with questions
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2009, 08:43:38 PM »
I will be going for IP law, maybe litigation, with some international focus, and I do want to practice biglaw for a little bit to get financials situated and get some exeprience, if I can stand working in biglaw. I can't say yet because I dont know enough. I only had big corporate experience so I don't know what to expect yet. I just know I probably won't be pursuing a whole career in biglaw because my own practice would fit my personality much better. That is the reason why I left corp. world and came out on my own. all the horror story I am reading about long hours and low appreciation makes me wonder if it would suit me. But I am certainly willing to try it and see.

again I want to thank you for your inputs. I think I will try to go with 20 hours and summer biglaw job. I have minimal undergrad loans and I am just going to hope that I get a scholarship! i am practing for LSAT like my life depends on it...