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Author Topic: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old  (Read 2011 times)

Mason09

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Re: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2009, 09:24:20 PM »
It could be a good way to develop skills/credentials if you're interested in advocacy/legislative work. Some people might think it's helpful if you want to do direct legal service with populations traditionally served by social workers - I tend to think that the benefit in those cases will probably be marginal and not worth the time/money (especially since most people who are sincerely committed to that kind of work already have a background working or studying in the area) unless you can do an accelerated MSW program (and even then it might not be worth it).
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So do you think a JD would open up more job opportunities as opposed to a MSW?

Here's my situation: I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice. My cumulative gpa was 3.75. Unfortunately, I don't have a squeaky clean background (nothing too serious) and many jobs within law enforcement are not an option for me. So I figure grad school or law school are my only logical options.

Susan B. Anthony

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Re: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2009, 09:39:41 PM »

So do you think a JD would open up more job opportunities as opposed to a MSW?

Here's my situation: I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice. My cumulative gpa was 3.75. Unfortunately, I don't have a squeaky clean background (nothing too serious) and many jobs within law enforcement are not an option for me. So I figure grad school or law school are my only logical options.

I think the more important question is what kind of job you want, rather than which will give you more opportunities, for two reasons:

1. Both law and social work are fields that most people need to be at least somewhat interested in to be happy. Social workers in particular have incredibly high rates of burnout.

2. The degrees will, for the most part, give you really different opportunities. This is especially true if you're considering law generally rather than public interest law specifically.

Mason09

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Re: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2009, 09:51:56 PM »
Well I definitely want to work with and help people. I am certain about that. Law appeals to me but I'm getting older (just turned 31) and I have a 3 year old daughter. I'm just afraid that law will give me very little time with my family. Also, the earliest I could get in would be the fall of 2010. But I already submitted my grad school application and if I get accepted, I could get in this year. Either way, it's gonna be a tough decision.

contrarian

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Re: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2009, 02:21:23 AM »

Here's my situation: I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice. My cumulative gpa was 3.75. Unfortunately, I don't have a squeaky clean background (nothing too serious) and many jobs within law enforcement are not an option for me. So I figure grad school or law school are my only logical options.

i'm assuming you've already confimed it's nothing too serious as to give you issues with character and fitness?  It'd suck to go through law school to find out you can't legally practice.

Mason09

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Re: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2009, 01:11:54 PM »


i'm assuming you've already confimed it's nothing too serious as to give you issues with character and fitness?  It'd suck to go through law school to find out you can't legally practice.
[/quote]

Well I had an undergrad professor that was a lawyer. He said I wouldn't have any problems.

jack24

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Re: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2009, 02:35:34 PM »
To the OP: (You may already know all of this)  The debt really sucks, and a huge percentage of law graduates have to deal with it.  Your viewpoint will be a lot different because there is a statistical likelihood that you will not make more after law school than you did before (For the first 5 years at least). 
So I would suggest analyzing the debt problem from a monthly payment perspective.   Most law school loans are set up on a 10 year repayment plan, but the fed loans and grad plus loans generally allow you to refinance those loans or extend them to 20-30 year terms.  Longer loans suck (see below) but some people get them for the lower minimum and plan to pay them back faster.   
The interest rates vary a little bit, but lets pretend that your loans will average 8.0 percent.  (Fed loans are in the 7s, grad plus are in the 8s right now)
Monthly Payments:
30 year loan : $769  (Total Payments = 276,840)
20 year loan: $867  (Total Payments = 208,080)
10 year loan: $1239.85  (Total Payments = 148,680)

So you can make it happen, but only do it if you are okay with being a lawyer even though you'll be poor for at least 10 years.  Maybe you'll be a genius, get straight A's, get sucked into big law, and never have to worry about money again.  But maybe not.

Julie Fern

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Re: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2009, 02:44:13 PM »
fear of employment.

lol......my fear is unemployment.

then only one little syllable separate us.

mdbutler71

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Re: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2009, 05:37:08 PM »
fear of employment.

You have a fear of anything beyond your left or right hand....

Mason09

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Re: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2009, 10:15:25 PM »

So do you think a JD would open up more job opportunities as opposed to a MSW?

Here's my situation: I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice. My cumulative gpa was 3.75. Unfortunately, I don't have a squeaky clean background (nothing too serious) and many jobs within law enforcement are not an option for me. So I figure grad school or law school are my only logical options.

I think the more important question is what kind of job you want, rather than which will give you more opportunities, for two reasons:

1. Both law and social work are fields that most people need to be at least somewhat interested in to be happy. Social workers in particular have incredibly high rates of burnout.

2. The degrees will, for the most part, give you really different opportunities. This is especially true if you're considering law generally rather than public interest law specifically.

I'm still having a really hard time making this decision. I just received an acceptance letter from grad school to pursue my MSW but I'm still a little indecisive. I wasn't expecting to get accepted. I was anticipating getting a rejection letter and then shifting my efforts to pursue law and prepare for the LSAT.
 
I was really excited yesterday but I had an interview at a law office this afternoon that left me indecisive once again. It was rather awkward in that the majority of the interview was spent discussing the pros and cons of law school versus grad school. The gentleman that interviewed me (a laywer) felt very strongly that social work was not a good field to pursue. His opinion was that it is a highly competitive field and the income is not very good. He seemed willing to hire me and said that it was a good job for somebody who is pursuing a law degree.

So I'm kind of conflicted again about what to do. I'm afraid to pass up the opportunity to go to grad school but I'm also afraid of passing up the opportunity to pursue law school. I've gotten the opinions of many people about this. Some have said law is the way to go and that you can do anything with a law degree. Others have said lawyers are miserable, unhappy people that are overworked with little time to spend with their families. The people that have spoken well about social work generally feel that it is good field, that it's growing, and that the income is very good if you go into private practice.

So given the two vastly different fields, do you feel that law would be the better choice of the two? You don't have to go into detail or anything I'd just like to get some more opinions before I make my final decision.