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Author Topic: try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.  (Read 4268 times)

getfit

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try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.
« on: May 28, 2009, 12:52:12 PM »
 :-\

Sounds like a lot of people here really hate law school.  What is it that makes people regret the decision?  I chose a B.S. degree in animal science to try to go to Vet school.  I took the easy way out i guess and went to work after graduation instead of applying to vet school.  I am in an area that works with the live animals.  I absolutey hate it, can't stand getting up in the morning to come in because I hate it so much.  This was supposed to be temporary to pay off loans, and then move on.  Well, vet school is out of the question, for a few reasons, but mainly because I would have to move to go and decided did't want to relocate.  I don't want to make the same mistake again and choose a degree that I can't use anywhere else, like the one I have now.  I heard that you have a degree, it shows you can learn.  What a load of crap.  People hear my degree and it goes nowhere, nevermind I've managed people for over a decade. 
I was seriously considering law school.  I love to read or do research on topics, I love to write, and I love wathcing lawyer shows.  I know that what's on tv is not reality, and is most likely far from it, but even it's all research, I think I may like that.

Bottom line--I hear the market is over croweded with lawyers, but I need to find something different before I quit and end up homeless,all be it, probably much happier. 
Does anyone have any advice, as to not even bother with law school, or not?  What wadrew all of you to law school in the first place? 

CTL

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Re: try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2009, 01:29:58 PM »
Are there any lawyers in the town you live in whom you could call/email some questions?  You are probably a bit old to do biglaw (no offense, it's just much more common to take 'fresh blood' so to speak), but you could be relatively successful and happy in a really small local firm.

Do some google searches on 'what does a lawyer do?' or 'should I go to law school?'  Pick up 'Law School Confidential' for a sobering look at law school. 

Becoming a lawyer might be another way for you to hate your job, or you might truly enjoy it.  That's for you to figure out I suppose.  I'm sorry if I didn't really answer the question. 
If looks could kill, you would be an uzi.

mtbrider59

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Re: try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2009, 03:34:19 PM »
Don't let age deter you. I just took my last 1L exam the day after my 50th birthday, now granted as others have said, upon graduation BigLaw might not be the route I take, though given today's job market there might not be many graduates going that route. The other thing you might want to look into, is if there are any public interest/social justice groups in your area- Legal Aid, Environmental groups, etc. and if so speak with some of their attorneys to see if that might be a route for you. Speaking of your area and your desire not to move- is there an ABA Accredited law school nearby- if not check with your state's Bar Assoc. to see what their requirements are- most require graduation from an ABA accredited law school. There are some states, California being one, that don't require ABA accreditation, you can go to a smaller state accredited school or even on-line(read less expensive, though not as prestigious). So if you really want to stay where your at, if your state allows it, a non-ABA school might serve you best

RobWreck

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Re: try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2009, 11:11:24 PM »
A month away from being 38 and just finished my 2nd year of a 4 year PT program... the oldest person in my PT program was 49 the year I entered. Don't let age discourage you, but make sure you know why you want to go to law school before you sign on the dotted line for all that debt. It's not cheap, it's not easy, and it's not for everyone... if you can't answer the question "Why are you going to law school" with the answer "Because I want to be a lawyer", then you'd probably be better served someplace else. The field is overcrowded and far too many people find themselves in law school straight out of undergrad without a solid gameplan or reason for being there.
Good luck,
Rob
St. John's University School of Law '11
Part-time PM Division
Admitted in NY

getfit

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Re: try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2009, 08:45:44 AM »
Thank you very much for your responses, especially those of you that waited awhile to go like I am considering.  I read a blog from a finance person, that went to law school because the job market in his field was dwindling (this was a few years ago I think) and he regretted it because of the debt, the time, and all that and suggested people avoid it if they don't want to be in debt.  Sorry to say, after that I felt very discouraged and was thinking it was a bad idea, and felt pretty bummed.
I want to give back to society.  That and my interest in learning,reading, writing, and book research, made me think it might be a good fit.  I can't say that my dream would be to go to Washington and change the world, but being an attorney just seems so interesting to me.  There are 3 law schools in my state I believe, 1 is 3-4 hours away, and 2 are private.  1 private is huge and the other smaller, both about an hour to hour and half away.  I was thinking the smaller would be my best bet.  I went to college at the age of 25, have been out for 10 years, and don't want to coast through life hating it, and full of regrets.
I will look into the legal aid thing, this is a very small town area, so BigLaw probably would never materialize for me anyway, and to be perfectly honest the money is the furthest thing from mind.  I just want to be happy.  I mean, I make fairly good $ now, (around $60,000/yr) but I'm misearable.  I want enough to make my payments, but don't need to drive a BMW to be happy.  Another issue I have is references, would need to find someone to do this, but don't know alot of people.  My boss is a bully, so would never consider asking him, but what kind of references are needed exactly?  Firends or family are out I'm sure.For obvious reasons.  That was what kept from folowign through 3 years ago when I first thought of it.  I bought an LSAT book and tried to study while out on medical leave for a back injury but then talked myself out of it.  Guess it comes down to me and what I do or don't do, but I'm scared of making the wrong degree choice again I guess.

CTL

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Re: try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2009, 08:53:05 AM »
You can afford to drive a bimmer on 60K.  Just saying... 8)
If looks could kill, you would be an uzi.

getfit

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Re: try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2009, 09:03:42 AM »
Ah, yes, I suppose I could country time, if I didn't have other things to pay for, my fault entirely.   I just finished paying back my student loans, so that will help but as is true with most people my age, I've accrued some debt over the years when things weren't so great for me, and I need to work on that part now.  I guess when I went car shopping, I didn't think of a BMW, although I should have,  considering where the american car companies are now.  I always wanted a Lexus really.... :)

The more I talk to you guys, or read things on this board the more I want to give it a try.  Who are the best people for references, if you know very few people where you live, and you've been out of school for awhile?  Are the references that important, or is it more the LSAT score?  I've got tons of life experience, too bad that wouldn't make the case for me. 

CTL

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Re: try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2009, 09:06:54 AM »
Numbers are probably 80% of admissions, although it can vary.  You should contact the admissions offices of the schools you are considering applying to.  They will tell you who should write references.  First check the websites though ;)
If looks could kill, you would be an uzi.

Advocate

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Re: try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2009, 01:26:37 PM »
If you definitely want to be a lawyer, then yes.  Otherwise, absolutely not.  Law school is 3 miserable years long and can cost $150,000 in debt.  Also, you have the opportunity cost of not working for the three years.  In your case, that would be $180,000.  It may take 15-20 years to pay back the debt, which would have you paying off your education until age 60.  Finally, the life of new lawyers can be pretty rough.  They tend to work ungodly hours.  Also, if you don't go Big Law, you might only make $60,000 per year again upon graduation (for example if you have a state government job). Finally, you mentioned that you did not want to relocate.  Unless you live in a big city, you might have to relocate for law school because you might not get into your first couple of choices.  In conclusion, go to law school if you definitely want to be a lawyer and it is worth the cost that you will need to pay in time, money, and stress.  On the other hand, if you are just having a midlife crisis, then take a year off and travel or move to Hawaii to take up surfing. There's a lot to be said for freedom, adventure, and the North Shore. : )

getfit

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Re: try to get into law school or not @ age of almost 40.
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2009, 01:41:12 PM »
Certainly not a midlife crisis, I've been thinking about it for several years.  My Dr. told me to get a new job, this one is not good for my back.  Well, I don't have to do any of the labor anymore, but the type of business doesn't suit me.  He suggested medical school, and there you go...4 years of school, 7 intern and residency, here comes 60 faster than ever.  Law school is only 3 years.  I would love to take a year off and travel, but with responsibilities you can't just do that.  Relocating would be more expensive than staying put I think, and as far as making 60 when I'm done, I don't care.  Money is not everything, yes it releives the stress of living at times, but if you've never had a job you hate, I mean really truly hate, you will be thinking the salary will make a person happy.  Not that you do think that, but alot of people do.
I'm one of those people I guess that don't know what they were born to do.  Everyone has a purpose and talents, and that's usually where you spend your work life. Someone suggested a book "what color is your parachute: 2009" so I'm going to check that out. 
I need a quick career change, and need a different degree to do that.  The schools nearby offer Master Degrees in common fields, like MBA, nursing, teaching, things like that.  I'm not any of those, and therefor need something else.  It has to be either the law, or something medical.  I love figuring things out, hate math (strange for a science major I suppose) love to write, and want to give back to society.  There aren't many options at this point, so here I am on a law school message board pouring out my soul to strangers looking for answers.  Maybe I just want something that sounds impressive after my name, who knows.........