I have recently found myself in a conundrum of sorts. I was all set to go to law school (T4) in a few months with half of my tuition paid. When school began, I planned to simply reduce my hours of employment to about 10-15 hours per week to pay for gas (commuting to school) and living expenses. However, today, my current employer offered me a management position at the college based research facility I work at with a 40K per year (with benefits) compensation package. Now, I still want to go to law school and my intent is to be in the top 10% of my class-not just a straggler. That being said, is there any way I could realistically accomplish this with a 40 hour work week? I understand the part-time division is an option, but that also may jeopardize my financial aid and scholarship package if I were to switch from full-time day division to evening division. However, assuming the switch doesn't impact my aid, is it realistic to stay within the top 10% of my class working a 40 hour per week job?Also, if I were to go to law school in the full-time day division and just keep my part-time (20 hours) job as a researcher for the college, would even this amount of time committed to work allow me the time needed to be succesful in school (top 10% in my class being the goal)?Any thoughtful responses, experiences, and other pertinent information is greatly appreciated.
As someone who did exactly, what you're suggesting, I can give you the good and the bad. The good: it's entirely possible, and even reasonable, to work those hours during 1L. If you can handle a 50-60 hour work week (which you should be ready for if you're going into this field), you can balance work and a 1L schedule. It's hard work, and you need to figure out how to take off work for at least 2 weeks during finals time, but you can do it. The bad: kiss your fun and free-time goodbye. Thinking of joining intramural teams, public service organizations or student government? Forget it. Happy hour on Thursday nights with your classmates? Not on your schedule. Going to see that Supreme Court justice that's giving a speech at your school? You'll probably be working then. Work, class, study will pretty much be your life. Law school has a lot to offer outside of class, and you will not be a part of it. I had a decent law school experience, and good grades, but it was a tradeoff. It's possible, but you will have to decide whether it's worth it for the law school experience you want to have. PM me if you have any other questions.
Quote from: M112 on March 25, 2010, 06:48:17 PMPart 4 is . . . are you sure you wouldn't want to wait a few years, retake the LSAT if necessary, and find a better fit? (If, indeed, a different school would be a better fit.) If it's an academic-related environment you're eventually interested in, academicians are even more status-oriented than firms.Speaking to the above point, I already have a Master's Degree under my belt and with it am getting higher in age and resolved that it was either no or never for law school as I didn't want to get my career going much later than I already will. So I probably will stay put at where I am and with that being said, have decided against accepting the position at my current employer. My future job prospects, flexibility, and compensation cumulatively outweigh the benefits of the offered promotion. In terms of my hours of employment, unfortunately, because of my financial situation, I must work the 15-20 hours I mentioned earlier while staying in the full-time division. There really is no other way I could support myself even with additional loans for a myriad of reasons.And finally, academics is something I do want to get into eventually, but it is not the be all end all for me, being a practicing lawyer and just that would be okay with me. However, with your observation regarding prestige and academic job offerings, transferring to a higher ranked school (if grades permit) is always an option.
Part 4 is . . . are you sure you wouldn't want to wait a few years, retake the LSAT if necessary, and find a better fit? (If, indeed, a different school would be a better fit.) If it's an academic-related environment you're eventually interested in, academicians are even more status-oriented than firms.
Working as a 1L? NO.Anyone who tells you differently are just trying to tilt the curve in their own favor.
And finally, academics is something I do want to get into eventually, but it is not the be all end all for me, being a practicing lawyer and just that would be okay with me. However, with your observation regarding prestige and academic job offerings, transferring to a higher ranked school (if grades permit) is always an option.
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