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Author Topic: seeking advice  (Read 1459 times)

smartandunique

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seeking advice
« on: October 07, 2010, 11:31:27 AM »
I am hoping someone can offer me some good advice. As I wait to hear from law schools I'm starting to have doubts. I KNOW I want to be an attorney but I also KNOW I want to be a public interest attorney. I currently have a mortgage and I'm starting to have fears about leaving my job, in this economy, based on the possibility that I could be a legal aid attorney.
I understand I need a law degree to be a legal aid attorney but I also know the law degree isn't a guarantee and I don't think I want to practice any other type of law.
I think I'd be more hopeful if I lived in a bigger city with more opportunity but I'd prefer to stay in Iowa.
I don't want to enter law school naive but I don't want to have regrets later..(not attending law school or having mortgage sized debt and still not doing what I want to do)


Tanrael

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Re: seeking advice
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2010, 10:42:07 PM »
What are you doing now to support your family and why do you want to leave it for a law degree?

bigs5068

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Re: seeking advice
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2010, 01:33:32 AM »
Does Iowa have part time programs? That would be your best bet and that way you can keep your job and still get a J.D. There are plenty of people at my school that continue to work and go to school. It is more difficult, but it can be done. Law School is not really that difficult. The stress is intense, but when you really sit back and relax it is not that complicated.  You probably won't finish at the top of your class or anything if you are working full time, but I wouldn't think you need to if you wanted to do public interest work etc.

Thane Messinger

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Re: seeking advice
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2010, 05:05:33 AM »
I am hoping someone can offer me some good advice. As I wait to hear from law schools I'm starting to have doubts. I KNOW I want to be an attorney but I also KNOW I want to be a public interest attorney. I currently have a mortgage and I'm starting to have fears about leaving my job, in this economy, based on the possibility that I could be a legal aid attorney.
I understand I need a law degree to be a legal aid attorney but I also know the law degree isn't a guarantee and I don't think I want to practice any other type of law.
I think I'd be more hopeful if I lived in a bigger city with more opportunity but I'd prefer to stay in Iowa.
I don't want to enter law school naive but I don't want to have regrets later..(not attending law school or having mortgage sized debt and still not doing what I want to do)


Aloha, Smart & Unique -

Have you worked in a public interest office?  If not, volunteering might be a great way to talk with those in the field able to give you the real story.

In general, your interest is just fine.  (And quite commendable!)  There are many variables in terms of practical success, especially now.  If you've not yet had the opportunity, visit your favorite public-interest offices, and chat.  Seriously.  Find a lawyer on staff (presumably, in a larger organization), and hear it from their perspective. 

As to location, there seems this fascination with cities, but in fact that is not always the most practical route, especially with what might be termed non-traditional law jobs.  Check the various agencies in Iowa, and talk with folks there.  A salary in Iowa is almost certain to go many times as far as it would elsewhere.  (And there's not much use comparing higher salaries in law, as these are usually apples-to-oranges comparisons.)

In short, if you want to be a lawyer, that's exactly the energy you need.  Add to that a practical perspective, from practicing lawyers in offices you want to be in.

marcus-aurelius

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Re: seeking advice
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2010, 07:20:59 AM »

I cannot speak of your mortgage situation.  I can speak about your apprehension as you wait for responses from law schools.  I am in the same situation and at times doubt if I have chosen the right path.  I had a crisis of the mind this week and thought about staying in undergrad and pursuing a degree in physics (that would have to be at least another 3 years of undergrade, why move on?) At times when I am in my senior seminar class for Communication, I think about how much I enjoy it.  At those time, I think maybe grade school.

But everytime I put on a suit to go to a law school forum or an interview, I know I am making the right choice.  The world is not black and white as most think.  There are only barely indistinguishable shades of gray.  Looking within myself, I find the law is calling. 

It is natural to feel melancholy as the next chapter in our life begins.  A beginning requires as ending.  This loss is one that needs to be grieved over before we can move on. 

My point is it is natural to have doubts.  Look within yourself to find the answer.  A (lawyer's) mind is a powerful, if not the most powerful tool, known to all.

smartandunique

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Re: seeking advice
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2010, 08:02:54 AM »
Thanks for the advice guys.

I have a full time job. As an undergrad I worked full time and attending school full time.I knew I wanted to go to law school after college but I took a longer than expected break.My job is tolerable but I'd rather be doning something else.Besides, I don't want to substitute good for better.
I have also been working part time jobs to supplement my income in hopes of saving money for my first year in law school.
I have an interview later this week for a full time evening job.It's a three month seasonal job but I worked for the company last year as a temp so I'm hopeful.
I think I'm just nervous and afraid of the unknown.I do want to attend school full time. ( neither law school in Iowa has part time programs. Drake does but it takes 6 years because it's still part of the day program) But I've worked since I was 14.

Hamilton

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Re: seeking advice
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2010, 08:14:44 AM »
Is this a "job" or potential career?  Would your law school mortgage likely equal your home mortgage?  Will you earn enough as a public interest attorney to pay your 2 mortgages?  Money is not everything, but you need to earn more than you owe.

Thanks for the advice guys.

I have a full time job. As an undergrad I worked full time and attending school full time.I knew I wanted to go to law school after college but I took a longer than expected break.My job is tolerable but I'd rather be doning something else.Besides, I don't want to substitute good for better.

smartandunique

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Re: seeking advice
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2010, 11:21:43 AM »
I've been employed here for 5 years but I still view what I do as a job because even though I've been promoted I don't want to stay here for the remainder of my working life or in the insurance field.
I doubt I'd make enough to pay both mortgages but I really don't want to let money deter me from pursuing my goal.
I've put off school for a long time because I always thought it wasn't the right time for me to go. Now I know that there isn't a right time. Maybe a better time but not a right time. However I want to go now because I've waited long enough.If I wait any longer I probably won't do it.

Hamilton

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Re: seeking advice
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2010, 12:01:24 PM »
This is a problem that should not be ignored.

I doubt I'd make enough to pay both mortgages but I really don't want to let money deter me from pursuing my goal.

smartandunique

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Re: seeking advice
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2010, 02:07:54 PM »
I'm not ignoring this potential problem, I'm weighing my options.I'd like to not work the first year of school but I would if I had to. Now I have 7 months of mortgage payments saved. I'm concerned with the remaining months and misc obligations. ( utilities, food)
I think I will visit our local legal aid organization and seek their advice.