Ladies and Gentlemen,I am working on a short term plan which is based on my retirement from the Marine Corps in late 2015. I'll have 22 years of service at that point and look forward to drawing a small pension from Uncle Sam. I'll be 40 years old in December 2015, but I think that is a great time to begin a new career in law. Thanks to the dialogue of all of those nontraditional students who have gone before me, I have no fear in taking on this challenge. Just a couple questions:1. Since I have a few years to go before I become a 1L, what kinds of publications or courses should I be focused on now? My undergrad was Criminology and Criminal Justice, but I can see myself continuing to serve in public interest or environmental law.
2. Can someone recommend a Masters program or course of study that would give me a good foundation for law school?
3. If I retire in December and the 1L program does not begin until August, what are some options to gain legal experience in the "off time"?
4. I qualify for the Illinois Veteran's Grant for 120 SH of free tuition in any Illinois State funded university. Add in the monthly GI Bill Benefit and I should be looking at leaving Law School with zero school debt. (Dave Ramsey would love that.) Currently looking at SIUC, U of I, then NIU. I don't care about tiers and rankings at this point, just looking for the best quality of life for my family and the most indepth clinical experience. Any ideas from the group on personal experiences at each university?
5. How is the job outlook for a 44 year old law grad with military service? I'm not looking for special entitlements, but GPA and class standing aside, does that service count for anything?
Okay, so I have asked more than a few questions and I will appreciate any response provided. Thank you for your time and assistance.Regards,William
I am looking to do pretty much the same thing, although I am Air Force and haven't finished my undergrad yet. Switched from Physics to Criminal Justice due to ops tempo making it impossible to attend class. Sadly I am not smart enough for hard science online. :-pAnyways.
I am definitely curious about why you want to retire in December. In the Air Force if I retire in Decemeber, I would have to start terminal and outprocessing as much as 8 months prior to that. Short of an active duty service commitment, wouldn't it be better to start the process in January? By then if you applied early, you should have the information on what school you are actually going to attend.I am counting on having the military move my family and I to wherever I end up going to school and I am going to try to time it so that I have a full paycheck for as long as possible. There is very little chance of finding work for 6 to 8 months with benefits that comes close to a military paycheck.
Do you still have you GI Bill benefits. With the yellow ribbon program it might be worth looking at schools outside of Illinois. Some of them end up being a full ride. I am hopeful that those programs plus retirement will be enough to get me through law school with little or no debt and none of the scholarship worries that a lot of other students face.
Will,Good to hear that Devil Dog motivation. Don't listen to the naysayers here. We are used to working our collective asses off for barely adequate pay. Stress? Pressure? Lack of Security? WAH! Try having someone throw a few ROUNDS your way, right?Every indicator I have gotten from my local attorneys is that if we non-trad military folks aim for a niche job, ignoring the stereotypical "BigLaw-Gimme Gimme" mentality (that many folks here have, sadly), we stand a very good chance of being competitive in the market.Honestly, I have a paid internship now that is more like a clerkship. It could very well develop into a job, post-JD. Opportunities are everywhere, you just have to WORK for it.A word of advice. Like law school, the ABA will not accredit a totally online paralegal program. Message me privately with your area and I'll see if I can find something for you. Semper Fi,Louie
Ladies and Gentlemen,I am working on a short term plan which is based on my retirement from the Marine Corps in late 2015. I'll have 22 years of service at that point and look forward to drawing a small pension from Uncle Sam. I'll be 40 years old in December 2015, but I think that is a great time to begin a new career in law. Thanks to the dialogue of all of those nontraditional students who have gone before me, I have no fear in taking on this challenge. * * *