Law School Discussion

what are some of the disadvantages of part-time evening students...

what are some of the disadvantages of part-time evening students as compared to full time students? What about advantages? are there any?

If the reason you're going PT in the evenings is because you have a FT job, then one of the drawbacks would be limited opportunities. I can't begin to tell you how many events I've had to miss out on, from guest speakers to workshops and club meetings, because I have to work during theday... or because the event was in the evening when I had class. Similarly, most clinics require a significant weekly time commitment and don't have evening or weekend hours... by default, you need to be available during the daytime to take advantage of them. Then theres's always the restriction on study time... your FT classmates don't have the same demands on their time, so in the competition for that final grade, they have an advantage that they probably capitalized on. And then there's the summer placement opportunities... kinda hard to get actual legal experience if you're working another job FT. Of course, all these reasons only apply if you're working a FT job...
On the plus side, well... you're probably not taking out loans to support yourself, so that lowers your debt. Your employer may have some tuition assistance program that can help as well.
Generally, there are no benefits to going PT evening over FT... but if your life requires you to work to pay bills/mortgage/etc... then PT evening is an option when the alternative is not going at all.
Good luck,

I work at a law firm full-time as a patent agent and attend an evening program.  Working 50+ hours a week and going to school really, really sucks.  Well, the first year was awful, anyway.  It does seem, however, that those people with less demanding jobs have decent lives.

The upside of my situation, is that I already have a job at a firm and am gaining relevant experience.  When I graduate from law school, I won't be considered a first year associate.  The downside is that four years is a long, long time to have a crappy life.

Oh, and I get paid pretty well.  That's good too.


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Re: what are some of the disadvantages of part-time evening students...
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2009, 11:24:57 AM »
I work in a large firm (1000 attys) full time as an IP paralegal and attend law school at night (4 classes a semester).

I think the biggest plus to this is that I am gaining valuable experience and am creating a network. I also worked for three firms prior to my current firm.  To me, in this down market, I think that attending law school at night was a wise decision. When I graduate, hopefully my resume will stand out a bit.  I think (hope) that most employers will see diligence when they look at the resume of an individual who works full time and also attends law school in the evening.

That being said, the biggest downside is the enormous time commitment and stress of working a full time job while coupled with a rigorous legal curriculum.  You need to be truly dedicated and stick to a routine to make it work.

Re: what are some of the disadvantages of part-time evening students...
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2009, 08:42:52 PM »
It really depends on your situation... I have heard at GULC some people are just in the program because it's slightly easier to get into, and are either not working at all or working a non-legal (or even retail) job.  I can't see any benefit to doing that unless you are really that set on GU.

But, if you are (1) gaining valuable employment experience and/or (2) providing for yourself and your family, taking on less debt against expensive tuition and expensive cost of living, it can make a lot of sense.

As you probably know there is some controversy about how the law schools sell these, since most use a very high percentage of adjuncts to teach the evening courses.  I think that point has its merits, but is ultimately not very important because no one knows or cares who taught the classes once you have the JD that says where you went to school.


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Re: what are some of the disadvantages of part-time evening students...
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2009, 09:08:32 PM »
I went to law school PT while working FT for four years.  Trudging up and down the freeway; out late; up early; when not at work or in class briefing and studying; no weekends.  Ultimately worth it but it requires an almost inhuman level of dedication. The biggest downsides are very little free time and living in a perpetual state of exhaustion for weeks on end.  It's a freakin' killer...