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Author Topic: 38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?  (Read 3105 times)

suziqueues

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38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?
« on: January 23, 2012, 05:14:03 PM »
I'm a 38 year old mom.  I have over 13 years professional experience in IT project management but it does nothing at all for me.  I am in a position now where money is no longer an obstacle yet this seems to make decisions about my future even more difficult.  I am fortunate to live close to an excellent law school and feel that my chances of getting in are very good with an great GPA and LSAT.  I have always wanted to be in law (judicial/government), and I have always been told that I should be in law.

I just want a good idea of what I'll be giving up for the next few years.  I'll have a full time (possibly live-in) nanny, but I do not want to ignore my mom responsibilities for the entire period.  Money is not a factor in any regard (cost or post-graduation).  My concerns are all surrounding what my life will be like while in law school.  I put myself through undergraduate part-time while working full-time as an IT PM working 50-60 hr/week.  I've never been one that had to study to get A's, but I know that law school is completely different.  I just don't know how different. 

FalconJimmy

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Re: 38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 10:31:45 AM »
It can be done.  Our backgrounds are remarkably similar.  (13 year IT career, worked full-time or more during undergrad.)

I'm in my 2nd semester of a full-time program.  I can still coach/assist my son's various teams.  I still have business interests outside of school.  I'm divorced, and my ex has a schedule that means I've got my kid more days than not.  My grades?  I thought I worked pretty hard for them, but they're pretty unremarkable.  (3.088 on about a 2.8 curve.)  I do think that the time I spend with my son is part of the reason why I'm not closer to the dean's list, but that's a tradeoff I'll take any day.  We went to Disney for Thanksgiving, for instance, instead of me using that precious time to prepare for finals, which is what I should have been doing from a Law School perspective. 

Personally, I don't think it's that hard to graduate from law school.  It's very hard to graduate from the top of your class, though.  So, it sort of depends.  If you really want to set the curve, you're going to have to put in more time and effort than I did. 

Personally, I feel like I've got 17 years with my son, then he's off to college and off to make his way in the world.  I want to make the most of every single year.  Even if I could get top 10% (which is debatable and maybe even doubtful), would I give up 3 of my remaining 7 years to do it?  Then plug away 60-70 hours a week as a new associate in a big-money job for 5 years afterwards?   

Been there.  Done that.  Made a good amount of money working in a corporate career.  Made just as much, with less effort, and a lot more enjoyment, having my own company.  I'm not eager to return to a desk for 60 hours a week.

Money isn't everything and I think there are plenty of ways to make a lot of money in the law without selling your soul and giving up your family life.  In fact, if family is a priority, the law allows you to have a career with flexible hours where you're well compensated for the hours you work.  It can be the worst thing that ever happened to your family life, or the best.  I think which one it is is entirely up to you.

I say go for it.  You seem like a smart, focused, capable person.  Maybe give it 110% for the first semester.  If you place top 10%, you can assess what to do from there.  If you are, say, in the middle of the pack, frankly, you can probably stay there with a lot less effort. 

I don't think you're selfish or crazy, but if you are, so am I.  So, maybe I can't recognize it.

jonlevy

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Re: 38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 12:12:08 PM »
Get real, it's not like you are joining a monastic order. Many students raise families and hold down jobs while in law school.  If law was that difficult, how do explain all the stupid, lazy, and incompetent lawyers out there?

If anyone questions your judgment, just tell them its not like you signed up for something really stupid lifetime spinning lessons.


I'm a 38 year old mom.  I have over 13 years professional experience in IT project management but it does nothing at all for me.  I am in a position now where money is no longer an obstacle yet this seems to make decisions about my future even more difficult.  I am fortunate to live close to an excellent law school and feel that my chances of getting in are very good with an great GPA and LSAT.  I have always wanted to be in law (judicial/government), and I have always been told that I should be in law.

I just want a good idea of what I'll be giving up for the next few years.  I'll have a full time (possibly live-in) nanny, but I do not want to ignore my mom responsibilities for the entire period.  Money is not a factor in any regard (cost or post-graduation).  My concerns are all surrounding what my life will be like while in law school.  I put myself through undergraduate part-time while working full-time as an IT PM working 50-60 hr/week.  I've never been one that had to study to get A's, but I know that law school is completely different.  I just don't know how different.

Morten Lund

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Re: 38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 02:31:33 PM »
I have always wanted to be in law (judicial/government), and I have always been told that I should be in law.

I just want a good idea of what I'll be giving up for the next few years. 

I agree with the previous posters as to law school itself - but I would emphasize what FJ hints at, and ask (or suggest that you ask yourself) what your plans are for AFTER law school.  Most people have no particular sense of what it means to be "in law" - usually when someone tells you that you should be "in law" it simply means that you have an argumentative streak.  And while that isn't a bad thing, it is not a particularly good predictor for whether you will find happiness in a legal career.

A law degree offers a wide variety of career options - so wide that it is impossible to plan without narrowing it down a bit.  And many of those careers require time commitments far beyond what is required in law school itself, so you should consider that as well.

You suggest "judicial/government" as your immediate target - and those are options that could involve a more humane job schedule, but still pretty open-ended.  Prosecutors and defense attorneys, for instance, both typically work quite hard, and for very limited pay.  Judges may have a better gig, but appointments are hard to come by and require experience in harder-working jobs.  Government employment is perhaps the safest, and the Federal government (at least) is hiring - but here again it is pretty broad. 

I do not mean to dissuade you, but I encourage you to think about in some detail what you plan on doing with your law degree (and ask questions here, as many others are thinking on the same thing).  If you are simply collecting degrees, then there is of course no particular concern, but if you are planning a career shift you should make sure that you are shifting to a career that will meet your needs.

Good luck.

sollicitus

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Re: 38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 02:34:32 PM »
I've seen ladies in their 60's enroll. Compared to them you'd still be a spring chicken young one.  ;)

jonlevy

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Re: 38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2012, 06:14:49 PM »
Compared to real labor like landscaping or farming, legal work is a walk in the park.  All those poor suffering lawyers remind me of the pigs in Animal Farm whining for their next mocha latte. Government/Judicial work doesn't sound like hard labor to me.

sollicitus

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Re: 38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 07:39:04 PM »
Compared to real labor like landscaping or farming, legal work is a walk in the park.  All those poor suffering lawyers remind me of the pigs in Animal Farm whining for their next mocha latte. Government/Judicial work doesn't sound like hard labor to me.

 ??? As someone who does done both manual and non manual labor and heard the "that's easy"  argument from both sides in reflection to eachother I have to ask, have you done both?

Which govt agencies have you worked for?

jonlevy

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Re: 38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2012, 08:05:12 PM »
Child Protective Services and it was still easier than painting 8 hours a day.

sollicitus

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Re: 38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2012, 09:22:06 PM »
Child Protective Services and it was still easier than painting 8 hours a day.

I've done both and if you are doing your job right it shouldn't be. Anyone can keep doing manual labor or any other mindless task (some desk related yes) but after being both physically and mentally exhausted I would rather climb one more hill or dig one more ditch (or paint one more fence) than look up the law, brief it and have to look pretty at the same time/be polite.

CPS, I've seen them in action. I agree that most civil servants don't work as hard as they should, but that's on them for just being lazy. Uncle Sam and it's safety net jobs at their best.

jonlevy

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Re: 38 yr old mom - #14 law school - selfish/crazy?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2012, 06:46:58 PM »
That wasn't my point, whether it is government work or legal work, it is not back breaking manual labor.