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Author Topic: Part Time Law  (Read 2067 times)

rav1984

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Part Time Law
« on: June 29, 2010, 02:51:29 PM »
I am preparing for LSAT. I am also considering PT Law schools. I am currently working as a Project Engineer. It is hard for me to quit my job and go to school full time. I am having a hard time evaluating the advantages of going to Law school PT. Although, I have earned a Masters Degree going to School PT, it was till a nightmare.

I have a 3.83 GPA and 165+ LSAT (prep tests), should I quit my job and try for top-tier law schools full-time or keep my job - study PT at a low rank school?

mac n cheese

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Re: Part Time Law
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2010, 04:39:12 PM »
I am preparing for LSAT. I am also considering PT Law schools. I am currently working as a Project Engineer. It is hard for me to quit my job and go to school full time. I am having a hard time evaluating the advantages of going to Law school PT. Although, I have earned a Masters Degree going to School PT, it was till a nightmare.

I have a 3.83 GPA and 165+ LSAT (prep tests), should I quit my job and try for top-tier law schools full-time or keep my job - study PT at a low rank school?

Seeing as though you've had experience with working and going to school part-time, you would have an idea as to whether or not you should quit your job. I will say that if you found it difficult to balance a master's degree program with a full time job, you will certainly find it difficult to balance a law program with a full time job. Not to discourage you because there are many people that have successfully managed. I would suggest that you take the LSAT and get an official score before you start to make plans. You may also find it helpful to talk to some part-time students at schools in your range. There are some benefits of being full time day as opposed to evening and you would obviously have to weigh the pros and cons. Going full time will enable you to finish sooner. There are also some clinics that you may not have access to if you go part-time evening. So basically, it will depend on your needs. Good Luck!!
maCNCheese

Joey Porsche

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Re: Part Time Law
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2010, 12:01:05 AM »
If you want to hang a shingle and do wills and divorces, part-time is fine.  If you want to clerk for Scalia or make the big law monies, don't do part-time.  Put these two extremes on a sliding scale and see where you land.

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Part Time Law
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2010, 01:47:17 AM »
how do you think going part time and getting a higher GPA as a result, make you less hireable?

If you want to hang a shingle and do wills and divorces, part-time is fine.  If you want to clerk for Scalia or make the big law monies, don't do part-time.  Put these two extremes on a sliding scale and see where you land.

mac n cheese

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Re: Part Time Law
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 03:38:56 PM »
If you want to hang a shingle and do wills and divorces, part-time is fine.  If you want to clerk for Scalia or make the big law monies, don't do part-time.  Put these two extremes on a sliding scale and see where you land.


Enrolling in full time program does not increase your chances of earning "big law monies" or your ability to land a prestigious clerkship. It basically just lets you finish earlier. There may be some "extra curricular" activies (for lack of a better term) that you may miss out on but nothing more than that.
maCNCheese

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Re: Part Time Law
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2010, 09:55:21 PM »
I'd guess that you are probably a lot better off as an engineer with a masters and some experience than a new lawyer :)  Legal market sucks and law school is expensive no matter how you go about it.

If you want to hang a shingle and do wills and divorces, part-time is fine.  If you want to clerk for Scalia or make the big law monies, don't do part-time.  Put these two extremes on a sliding scale and see where you land.

Not really true - I know more than a few part time graduates working big law and even clerking (none for scotus, but they wouldn't have been clerking on scotus even if they were nonpt by the odds).  Georgetown, GW and the like have PT programs that seem to be just as good as the full time programs. Like full time, school rank, grades etc all make a huge difference.  If you are comparing GULC part time to HYS full time, then yeah, you are better off (career wise) doing HYS full time, but GULC part time to GULC full time probably makes no difference. 

As for lifestyle, PT seems to work for people who either have no kids or social life or are amazingly productive and require little sleep. 
HLS 2010

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Part Time Law
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2010, 10:50:52 PM »
PT would give you more time(not less) for kids, social life, etc.

I'd guess that you are probably a lot better off as an engineer with a masters and some experience than a new lawyer :)  Legal market sucks and law school is expensive no matter how you go about it.

If you want to hang a shingle and do wills and divorces, part-time is fine.  If you want to clerk for Scalia or make the big law monies, don't do part-time.  Put these two extremes on a sliding scale and see where you land.

Not really true - I know more than a few part time graduates working big law and even clerking (none for scotus, but they wouldn't have been clerking on scotus even if they were nonpt by the odds).  Georgetown, GW and the like have PT programs that seem to be just as good as the full time programs. Like full time, school rank, grades etc all make a huge difference.  If you are comparing GULC part time to HYS full time, then yeah, you are better off (career wise) doing HYS full time, but GULC part time to GULC full time probably makes no difference. 

As for lifestyle, PT seems to work for people who either have no kids or social life or are amazingly productive and require little sleep.

latenightlaw

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Re: Part Time Law
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2010, 11:12:34 AM »
I'm a part-timer, just finished 1L.  I go to a lower ranked (between 50-100) at night, after work.  I was forutnate enough to drop my hours from 40 to 32, just so I could have some sleep and sanity time. 

Going part time does not save you tons of time, you only take one less class per semester (Con law and Criminal law for me).  My 1st semester was Intro to Law for 2 wks, then the remainder of the semsester Contracts, Torts & Legal Writing (11 credits).  2nd semester Contracts II, Property, Civ Pro & Legal Writing II (12 credits).  It is not easy and you will have little time left for family and friends.  I had class until 10:30 at night 2 nights 1st semester and 3 nights a week 2nd semester (and sometimes four to make up snow days!!!!!!!!!)   You also miss out on things like clinics, unless you can find a way to get time off during the week.  The advantage is I was able to work and still be able to pay my mortgage while attending school.  If I could afford to go full time without working, I definitely would.

On the plus side going PT forces you to be organized (as you already know from going PT in the past) and you will probably do very well.  My class has many students who do not work in the evening program (though many are planning to transfer to FT this semester).  I've heard that many schools will admit students who could not make it into the FT program into the PT one because PT didn't count towards the US News Rankings, but I don't think this is true anymore (I'm sure others on this board will know). 

Good luck whatever you decide to do!

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Part Time Law
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2010, 12:28:50 PM »
First, you CAN afford to go without work(student loans) second, MOST people in the 9 credit program dont work. They live off mommy,daddy. or hubbie. If life is so hard with 12 why not bounce down to 9 or 6?

I'm a part-timer, just finished 1L.  I go to a lower ranked (between 50-100) at night, after work.  I was forutnate enough to drop my hours from 40 to 32, just so I could have some sleep and sanity time. 

Going part time does not save you tons of time, you only take one less class per semester (Con law and Criminal law for me).  My 1st semester was Intro to Law for 2 wks, then the remainder of the semsester Contracts, Torts & Legal Writing (11 credits).  2nd semester Contracts II, Property, Civ Pro & Legal Writing II (12 credits).  It is not easy and you will have little time left for family and friends.  I had class until 10:30 at night 2 nights 1st semester and 3 nights a week 2nd semester (and sometimes four to make up snow days!!!!!!!!!)   You also miss out on things like clinics, unless you can find a way to get time off during the week.  The advantage is I was able to work and still be able to pay my mortgage while attending school.  If I could afford to go full time without working, I definitely would.

On the plus side going PT forces you to be organized (as you already know from going PT in the past) and you will probably do very well.  My class has many students who do not work in the evening program (though many are planning to transfer to FT this semester).  I've heard that many schools will admit students who could not make it into the FT program into the PT one because PT didn't count towards the US News Rankings, but I don't think this is true anymore (I'm sure others on this board will know). 

Good luck whatever you decide to do!

rav1984

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Re: Part Time Law
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2010, 12:41:02 PM »
Thanks for your comnts guys............Big reason is that my employer will pay almost 50% of my tuition and while working I will be able to pay my mortgage and my tuition too. I am just looking for improvement in my career, something better.

I am Okay with a mid size law firm that gives me decent money and a decent life. I just wanted to know if it possible or even the mid-size firm are going to throw away my resume just looking at the School name. How much does it matter? I have always been a good student in the past. GPA is not a problem for me.