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Author Topic: 37 and thinking about law school....  (Read 6644 times)

Hamilton

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Re: 37 and thinking about law school....
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2010, 11:46:51 PM »
Think hard about doing this, research the job prospects, and look at your financial situation.  I had similar thoughts, went to LS at 38, finished near top of class, passed bar, and did not go into practice.  Difficult for non-trads to break into the field if not willing to take a big step back in salary.  Plus, at 45 are you really going to be prepared to start at the bottom (IF you can even find a job) and compete with people half your age working 70 to 80 hours a week?  I would hate to see someone throw away $100K+ to enrich a law school, sink themselves financially, and be unable to land a job.

Hi,

I just turned 40 last week and after 10+ years in IT anything will be better!

What I feel about law is that it interests me quite strongly, maybe no burning passion but then what job really does that?

I`m doing the PT 4 year route starting Fall 2011, so a long road but a career that I`ll do for another 30 years ..

megee333

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Re: 37 and thinking about law school....
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2010, 11:57:13 AM »
Thanks for the advice and I do herald it BUT not everyone has a passion for their work, that`s a fact, hell I worked in IT for years and I hated it but the money was good.
We are all different and I feel empowered by the fact that I like law and not that I have a passion for it (yet); I like the tempered feeling versus the manic love/hate.

That said, I start a job on Monday as a legal assistant ($10ph!), so that should definitely shed some light for me.

louiebstef

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Re: 37 and thinking about law school....
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2010, 10:11:42 PM »
Good.  The legal assistant position will give you better insight.  Hopefully you're working for a small firm and not necessarily doing transactional stuff.
"Why be a lawyer? I'm already an ass.  Might as well go professional!"

MeganEW

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Re: 37 and thinking about law school....
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2010, 09:02:47 AM »
Good.  The legal assistant position will give you better insight.  Hopefully you're working for a small firm and not necessarily doing transactional stuff.
? Why's that?
Acceptances: UIUC, IUB, Fordham, W&L, OSU
WL: Notre Dame
Rejections: NYU, Northwestern

louiebstef

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Re: 37 and thinking about law school....
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2010, 09:49:58 AM »
Megan,

Anything too specialized as a legal assistant wouldn't necessarily give him a broad view of the legal field.  I was thinking of sitting in the basement of a dirt law firm doing title searches, for example.

A smaller firm (but not a boutique firm) may give him a wider range of tasks and areas to observe.  If he were to do general scheduling, file management, preparing motions, etc., the view would be broad.  In other words, absent him having an interest in a specific field, like patent, bankruptcy, etc, broader is better.

The tedium is there no matter WHERE you go in the field.  He'll be exposed to that anyway.

"Why be a lawyer? I'm already an ass.  Might as well go professional!"

MeganEW

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Re: 37 and thinking about law school....
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2010, 10:59:26 AM »
Megan,

Anything too specialized as a legal assistant wouldn't necessarily give him a broad view of the legal field.  I was thinking of sitting in the basement of a dirt law firm doing title searches, for example.

A smaller firm (but not a boutique firm) may give him a wider range of tasks and areas to observe.  If he were to do general scheduling, file management, preparing motions, etc., the view would be broad.  In other words, absent him having an interest in a specific field, like patent, bankruptcy, etc, broader is better.

The tedium is there no matter WHERE you go in the field.  He'll be exposed to that anyway.
Ah, I see what you're saying. :)  The bulk of my experience has been at a big firm supporting the corporate transactional practice, so I was curious why that might be inadequate.

I agree a broad exposure is ideal, but I'm not sure the size of the firm really matters so much as the structure.  My first role at the big firm exposed me to tax, restructuring and IP litigation in addition to transactional law, while I imagine many small firms are highly specialized and thereby offer a very limited scope.

Regardless, congrats on the job, megee333 (though I bet that's quite a paycut for you! ;)); I hope it helps you determine which direction you'd like to go.
Acceptances: UIUC, IUB, Fordham, W&L, OSU
WL: Notre Dame
Rejections: NYU, Northwestern

P.H.M.

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Re: 37 and thinking about law school....
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2011, 05:26:44 PM »
I went to law school in the mid west in 2007  (from NYC) to my first choice, a Top 100 school. I was unprepared for the academic program involved and began experiencing severe anxiety towards the end of my first semester due to the pressure of family obligations 2000 miles away and returning to school at a fairly advanced age (39). I was given the bad advice by a teaching assistant to proceed with my finals because "no one gets below a 'C' with the curve;" my grades were: B, D-, and an F. I took a medical leave of absence to have the symptoms of anxiety and depression I was experiencing evaluated and treated by university medical professionals. I returned the following Fall semester to repeat the classes, and found myself unable to balance work, and school, and still a little bit rattled by having receiving the poorest grades of my lifetime in my first semester. With the loneliness I was feeling, symptoms of depression, and concern about not being able to work as a part-time student in the prime earning years of my life, I withdrew from school. Two months later, I immediately regretted the decision, and was re-admitted for the third time to retake the first semester already $30,000.00 in debt. My third semester was somewhat of a success however I made two critical mistakes: I did NOT take practice exams in preparation for two finals, and handed a paper that represented 60% of my grade late by twelve hours; I ended up with a B-, C, and C this time around. The anxiety of being on academic probation and having little margin for error eventually resulted in more severe health problems for myself, an inability to concentrate, pressure from my family and friends, a decreased and weakened confidence in myself, and I eventually withdrew from law school altogether, $79,000.00 in debt. I will always regret having quit, even with the mounting debt, and not securing the J.D., and not having found a way to enhance my mental fortitude, find the right help and resources and the right mindset and support system to get the job done. I am now faced with trying to explain to my family and friends what went wrong, address psychological issues I never experienced before attending law school, and returning to a career I have been absent from for three years without being able to explain why I went to law school and did not work for three years and do not have a law degree to show for it. If I had to do it all over again, I would have went to a Tier Three school and a little more relaxed environment for someone my age - the first year is the toughest and if I was successful I could transfer; otherwise I could remain in the Third Tier School and earn one of the most coveted of graduate degrees: a J.D. Think carefully about yourself, especially if you have been out of school for sometime, about what you are capable of, and what this degree might mean to you. I now dread turning 55 without a professional degree, and not a minute goes by that I do not wish I knew in 2007 what I know now; as of today, the law school experience, while providing some of the fondest memories of my life, has in many ways ruined my life. A law school curriculum, particularly for non-conventional students, should be designed to give such students every possible chance for success (e.g., three exams per class in the first semester, not one final and an automatic dismissal for students with a G.P.A. of 2.20 or less).

legalized

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Re: 37 and thinking about law school....
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2011, 08:08:41 AM »
I went to law school in the mid west in 2007  (from NYC) to my first choice, a Top 100 school. I was unprepared for the academic program involved and began experiencing severe anxiety towards the end of my first semester due to the pressure of family obligations 2000 miles away and returning to school at a fairly advanced age (39). I was given the bad advice by a teaching assistant to proceed with my finals because "no one gets below a 'C' with the curve;" my grades were: B, D-, and an F. I took a medical leave of absence to have the symptoms of anxiety and depression I was experiencing evaluated and treated by university medical professionals. I returned the following Fall semester to repeat the classes, and found myself unable to balance work, and school, and still a little bit rattled by having receiving the poorest grades of my lifetime in my first semester. With the loneliness I was feeling, symptoms of depression, and concern about not being able to work as a part-time student in the prime earning years of my life, I withdrew from school. Two months later, I immediately regretted the decision, and was re-admitted for the third time to retake the first semester already $30,000.00 in debt. My third semester was somewhat of a success however I made two critical mistakes: I did NOT take practice exams in preparation for two finals, and handed a paper that represented 60% of my grade late by twelve hours; I ended up with a B-, C, and C this time around. The anxiety of being on academic probation and having little margin for error eventually resulted in more severe health problems for myself, an inability to concentrate, pressure from my family and friends, a decreased and weakened confidence in myself, and I eventually withdrew from law school altogether, $79,000.00 in debt. I will always regret having quit, even with the mounting debt, and not securing the J.D., and not having found a way to enhance my mental fortitude, find the right help and resources and the right mindset and support system to get the job done. I am now faced with trying to explain to my family and friends what went wrong, address psychological issues I never experienced before attending law school, and returning to a career I have been absent from for three years without being able to explain why I went to law school and did not work for three years and do not have a law degree to show for it. If I had to do it all over again, I would have went to a Tier Three school and a little more relaxed environment for someone my age - the first year is the toughest and if I was successful I could transfer; otherwise I could remain in the Third Tier School and earn one of the most coveted of graduate degrees: a J.D. Think carefully about yourself, especially if you have been out of school for sometime, about what you are capable of, and what this degree might mean to you. I now dread turning 55 without a professional degree, and not a minute goes by that I do not wish I knew in 2007 what I know now; as of today, the law school experience, while providing some of the fondest memories of my life, has in many ways ruined my life. A law school curriculum, particularly for non-conventional students, should be designed to give such students every possible chance for success (e.g., three exams per class in the first semester, not one final and an automatic dismissal for students with a G.P.A. of 2.20 or less).

wow...this post is SCARY.

And makes the case for (if possible to do and still pass your classes) hanging on to a continuous work history in case things don't work out...of course there's always temp agencies to get your foot back in the door after a long absence!

megee333

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Re: 37 and thinking about law school....
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2011, 04:42:30 PM »
hi, I just wanted to add a later thought to this discussion.

I have now been reading a lot about law and law school and guess what? I love it!

I am now massively excited and keen to start in the Fall. Law, for me, is a fascinating topic, most particularly compared to IT. It is real-life situations about real cases (and hypo's), which, to me, is like being in the multitude of law shows currently on TV and I am not being flippant or media-excited.

For me, law is so interesting because it addresses plenty of issues I, as a older person (40), have personally experienced and battled with my whole life, e.g. property law - rental/purchase contracts; why did OJ get off?; why are some things admissable or not?; why can companies do such and such? why? why?

as they say - education is wasted on the young.

john4040

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Re: 37 and thinking about law school....
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2011, 09:37:51 AM »
It is real-life situations about real cases (and hypo's), which, to me, is like being in the multitude of law shows currently on TV and I am not being flippant or media-excited.

Lol... what?   ???