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Author Topic: To go or not to go?  (Read 1512 times)

Challenge

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To go or not to go?
« on: July 16, 2011, 11:23:08 PM »
Many years ago, I decided that I wanted to be an attorney. But, life got in the way. Now that I been accepted to law school, at 39 years old, my sole concern is the cost of tuition. It will cost me $73,000 to acquire a law degree.

I currently have a Masters degree and a fantastic career that pays well. I am also married with no children. If life as an attorney does not bode well for me, the combination of a law degree and my professional experience will open doors for me and possibly advance my career.

What do you think about this opportunity to attend law school? Would you recommend a decline or acceptance?

haus

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Re: To go or not to go?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2011, 11:31:40 PM »
As with all questions in life the right answer is likely, it depends.

One can perform all forms of cost benefit analysis, but in the end, for most this will boil down to a personal question of are you willing to spend the money, give up the time, and put in the work.

If no, there is no reason to explain yourself as it is a big bill to pay. If yes, good luck to you, if nothing else, it will likely be one hell of a ride.

Happy Hunting,

sischris

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Re: To go or not to go?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 11:52:50 PM »
We are the same age.  The difference is you're in a better position than I am.  You have no kids and good paying career..two pros.  As far as the age, you are at a good age of wisdom-not too young and not too old-( whatever we constitute as old).  As far as I can see, the timing is perfect and it's a win win situation so Go For It!

Challenge

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Re: To go or not to go?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2011, 12:14:03 AM »
Thank you for your responses. I have decided that I will attend law school. I worked really hard to gain acceptance and I am very excited about the process. Thanks again.

Hamilton

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Re: To go or not to go?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 08:01:44 AM »
If life as an attorney does not bode well for me, the combination of a law degree and my professional experience will open doors for me and possibly advance my career.

I was in a similar boat (age and careerwise) and am generally a voice against doing this.  The reality is that there are not jobs out there for people like us, and the ones that are will pay <50% of what you are making now.  Law firms want young energetic associates from higher-ranked schools that they can groom and work to death.  They are not looking for older folks with opinions, personal lives, and other interests outside of work (please do not argue "but that's age discrimination," there are 50 other reasons they will have for not hiring you over the young gun). 

Having been in a sucessful career, are you REALLY willing to start out at the bottom competing against people half your age who professionally have a significant advantage over you?  You have a well paying career that you like - why try to play the bonus round or hit the reset button on a flyer?  Why not focus on something specific to your career that will help advance it?  An MBA perhaps?  Special training/certification?

Regarding the above quote, you have to ask yourself WHAT doors will be opened?  HOW? How do you KNOW they will be opened?  POSSIBLY advance your career?  3 years and $80K is a heck of a gamble on that.  HOW will your career be advanced?  Will your career opportunities best be advanced with a JD or is there a better alternative?

A J.D. does not magically open career doors and bring people running to you with new and wonderful opportunities - especially if it is from a T3 and T4 and with the glut of attorneys out there.  I would SERIOUSLY rethink this and get solid answers to these questions. 

I'm not trying to be harsh or a jerk - just presenting an unvarnished perspective that you should consider so you do not waste significant time and capital on a fruitless venture.

Challenge

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Re: To go or not to go?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2011, 09:25:47 AM »
While I can appreciate your opinion, I am thankful to say that for several reasons, the concerns you mentioned are not an issue for me. I have not fully divulged all of the circumstances in my life that make attending law school a good idea for me. My sole concern was the cost of attending law school, as I had previously worked through answering the types of questions you mentioned in your post. Needless to say, my answers led me to accepting admission. But, I can assure you that as a mature, accomplished professional - I am in no way filled with fantasy and magical ideas about what a law degree will do for me. My decision has come after careful consideration and conversation with others. Thanks again for offering your opinion. It's always interesting to hear another person's perspective. Did you attend law school?

Hamilton

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Re: To go or not to go?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2011, 10:21:45 AM »
Did you attend law school?

That is the basis of my opinion.  Graduated in top 20% of my class and passed bar.  Little meaningful opportunities that were not big steps backward careerwise and financially.  If I had to do it over again I would not go to LS and would have invested the time and money elsewhere - especially considering that I was/am in a great career I love doing well financially.

Cereal_Killer

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Re: To go or not to go?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2011, 03:13:32 PM »
My decision has come after careful consideration and conversation with others.

Since it appears you made up your mind prior to the original post (or shortly thereafter), why even bother asking for advice? Just curious. It seems a considerable waste of time for everyone involved.

Challenge

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Re: To go or not to go?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2011, 06:23:52 PM »
What? I submitted a post indicating that I had made a decision to go to law school a full 4 days or so after I submitted my original post soliciting advice from the members of this forum. Furthermore, my analyzation of whether or not law school was a good idea for me did not begin on the day I submitted a post on this forum - like most people, this forum is not my only resource and I had already begun to tap into other resources prior to the time I requested opinions from this forum. I was seeking additional insight from this forum which I received.

My post was a waste of time? I beg to differ. Your post on the other hand was unwarranted and very unhelpful to me as the OP of this discussion.

Duncanjp

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Re: To go or not to go?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2011, 12:01:53 AM »
Challenge,

For me, getting through law school and passing the Bar is just a mountain to climb in life. I could enumerate several such mountains that I've climbed in life a tour of duty in the Marines, my undergraduate degree, study abroad, etc. Everybody here has feathers in his or her cap. Law school is just another multiple-year adventure. If you feel in your heart that climbing the mountain and peeking over the top calls, then you need to do it. And enjoy the hike while you do. Law school is hard. But, wow, it's so much fun! Honestly, being so challenged, daring yourself to keep forging ahead, is what life is all about. It would be terribly boring to live as so many do, who come home from work, eat dinner and then flop down on the couch and fall asleep in front of South Park night after night. Okay, that describes what my life had become. But I grew bored and decided to get off my ass and do something cool. Something daring and difficult, but something actually rather impressive and perhaps even useful. If you've got acceptance, being a law student rules.

Rules!