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Author Topic: 28 year old new father trying to decide  (Read 1302 times)

justin02c

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28 year old new father trying to decide
« on: January 28, 2012, 03:20:22 PM »
Hi:

   I am currently a 28 (just turned) year old new father who has had some serious problems in the past (I would like to not get into in, but lets just say I did not have the opportunity to attend college).  I currently have about one year of school under my belt, so I am for the most part at the very beginning of my secondary education.  I am wondering what course of action would give me the best chance to succeed.  Unfortunately, due to being a new father and primary breadwinner (only one right now) many of the usual options are off the table.   For what it is worth (probably not much), I do have SAT scores above 1300, and am a member of MENSA.  I realize that this has nothing to do with law school, but it may help the readers grasp where I am coming from and what my possible aptitude for success could be.
  I will most certainly consider all options, but I am currently trying to decide between a couple.  My ultimate goal would be to pass the bar exam one day and be moderately successful (I would be very happy making 65,000 a year with a house and two cars, I aspire for more but am being realistic here).  My question (finally) is: what path will give me the best possible chance of reaching my goal?  I am currently employed full-time, and currently pursuing my under-grad degree in Tampa, FL.  I have no current work experience in the legal profession, and would not like to discuss my motives but just assume that this is something that I very much want to make happen.  Should I pursue first a paralegal certificate and try to gain entry into the legal community that way, and then finish my undergrad and pursue law school?  Should I continue undergrad and wait until I have completed to apply for law schools and plan to enter the job market with no experience in the legal community?  If there are any other suggestions that may help I would be more than happy to hear.  I am really at a fork in the road here, and do not know where I should focus my energy and assets.  I really appreciate any help, and look forward to any responses.

LincolnLover

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Re: 28 year old new father trying to decide
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2012, 05:00:41 PM »
You should finish undergrad. You need at least a BA to get anywhere near the $65,000 figure you mentioned. If you have less than an AA right now, at a minimum get that (regardless of long term goals, an AA is viewed the same way a GED was 20 years ago, without it expect to enjoy the welfare line)

As for law school, I'd say take the LSAT. See how you do. Worth a shot right?

If you are too busy working (or looking for work) to do regular college, try online. Many are even selfpaced.

Hi:

   I am currently a 28 (just turned) year old new father who has had some serious problems in the past (I would like to not get into in, but lets just say I did not have the opportunity to attend college).  I currently have about one year of school under my belt, so I am for the most part at the very beginning of my secondary education.  I am wondering what course of action would give me the best chance to succeed.  Unfortunately, due to being a new father and primary breadwinner (only one right now) many of the usual options are off the table.   For what it is worth (probably not much), I do have SAT scores above 1300, and am a member of MENSA.  I realize that this has nothing to do with law school, but it may help the readers grasp where I am coming from and what my possible aptitude for success could be.
  I will most certainly consider all options, but I am currently trying to decide between a couple.  My ultimate goal would be to pass the bar exam one day and be moderately successful (I would be very happy making 65,000 a year with a house and two cars, I aspire for more but am being realistic here).  My question (finally) is: what path will give me the best possible chance of reaching my goal?  I am currently employed full-time, and currently pursuing my under-grad degree in Tampa, FL.  I have no current work experience in the legal profession, and would not like to discuss my motives but just assume that this is something that I very much want to make happen.  Should I pursue first a paralegal certificate and try to gain entry into the legal community that way, and then finish my undergrad and pursue law school?  Should I continue undergrad and wait until I have completed to apply for law schools and plan to enter the job market with no experience in the legal community?  If there are any other suggestions that may help I would be more than happy to hear.  I am really at a fork in the road here, and do not know where I should focus my energy and assets.  I really appreciate any help, and look forward to any responses.

jonlevy

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Re: 28 year old new father trying to decide
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 12:04:21 PM »
There are a lot faster ways to earn $65K a year with incurring far less debt, just get an undergrad degree in a high demand area in IT or medicine.

Your MENSA capabilities will also work against you in the law which has little do with logical reasoning.


LincolnLover

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Re: 28 year old new father trying to decide
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 01:40:45 PM »
I think that he means that as his minimum that he'd be ok with as an attorney, with his long term goal being higher and the lawyer title being a part of it.

There are a lot faster ways to earn $65K a year with incurring far less debt, just get an undergrad degree in a high demand area in IT or medicine.

Your MENSA capabilities will also work against you in the law which has little do with logical reasoning.

FalconJimmy

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Re: 28 year old new father trying to decide
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 07:02:24 AM »
I guess my question is:

Is your priority to earn $65,000?  Or is it to be an attorney?

I would hope as an attorney you could earn that sort of money, or much more.  (And frankly, I'd be leaning towards the "more" side of the equation.)

However, if what you want to do is to earn $65,000, as others have pointed out, there are easier ways to do that.  There are quite a few schools that offer an associate's degree RN program, for instance.

I disagree that your intellect is a non-factor.  One thing that stands out pretty readily is that the folks in Law School are smart.  You will occassionally run into a person who is not on Law Review and not in the top 10% who will tell you that Law School success has nothing to do with intellect.  Although they're not entirely wrong, they're probably 90% wrong, at least in my opinion.  Yes, being the smartest person in the class is no guarantee that you'll make law review.  However, for the most part, smarter people do well.  There's no magical aptitude that allows a person who isn't that bright to make law review.

This is very analytical work.  Contrast to business where, frankly, most of the work for most of the people isn't analytical at all. 

If you want to be an attorney, here's what I'd advise:

1.  The name of the game is getting into the best law school you can find. 

2.  To get into the best law school you can find, you need the highest GPA you can get.  That A you got in a government class at a community college counts the same as an A in quantum mechanics for most intents and purposes. 

3.  You also need the highest LSAT you can get.  If you can't afford a prep course, get some books (like the Powerscore books, and whatnot.)  Make sure you blast that thing out.  If you can crush the SAT, you can crush the LSAT.

As for the difficulty of your circumstances, who knows, maybe back in the 60s and 70s, that would have drawn a lot of attention.  These days, frankly, the people who DON'T go to school without having to work a job, etc., seem to be becoming the rarity.

When you apply you can use your circumstances as a soft-factor, but frankly, those soft-factors are probably, at most, about 2% of the admissions decision at all but maybe the top 10 law schools.  (My non-expert opinion, only.)  Admissions officers will always say they take a wholistic approach, etc, but when they're being candid, they'll usually admit that given the amount of applications they have to deal with, they don't have time to look at much more than easily quantifiable data.  In the case of law school, that means GPA, LSAT and yes/no on being a URM.

So, get a monster GPA and go from there.  Best of luck. 

legend

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Re: 28 year old new father trying to decide
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 01:58:07 PM »
When you mention problems etc if they are criminal legal problems etc then you may not be able to pass the bar. I know my state and I imagine every other state out there has a moral character application that you need to pass. It is not to stringent, but felony convictions have prevented some people from being able to practice law. Or it could be a host of other problems, but if it is something you would not want a background investigator to find out I would call the state bar you want to practice in before putting any effort into law school. Hopefully, none of those things are a problem, but if they are it is something you should look into before pursuing a law degree.

As for Jimmy's advice most of what is saying is right especially about an A in clay pottery counting the same as an A in advanced molecular biology for law school admission purposes. As for the "Best School" that is often difficult to define there are a few "best" schools and then a lot of mediocre to less than mediocre schools and the majority of people don't know or care about the difference between the mediocre and less than mediocre schools. You can get a scholarship to 132 best school in the location you want to live in or admitted into the 88th best school in across the country paying full price . In most situations it would be smarter to take the money at the lower ranked school. The rankings fluctuate greatly year by year particularly with the mediocre schools so don't give them to much weight.


ipscientific

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Re: 28 year old new father trying to decide
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 11:22:58 PM »
Hi:

   I am currently a 28 (just turned) year old new father who has had some serious problems in the past (I would like to not get into in, but lets just say I did not have the opportunity to attend college).  I currently have about one year of school under my belt, so I am for the most part at the very beginning of my secondary education.  I am wondering what course of action would give me the best chance to succeed.  Unfortunately, due to being a new father and primary breadwinner (only one right now) many of the usual options are off the table.   For what it is worth (probably not much), I do have SAT scores above 1300, and am a member of MENSA.  I realize that this has nothing to do with law school, but it may help the readers grasp where I am coming from and what my possible aptitude for success could be.
  I will most certainly consider all options, but I am currently trying to decide between a couple.  My ultimate goal would be to pass the bar exam one day and be moderately successful (I would be very happy making 65,000 a year with a house and two cars, I aspire for more but am being realistic here).  My question (finally) is: what path will give me the best possible chance of reaching my goal?  I am currently employed full-time, and currently pursuing my under-grad degree in Tampa, FL.  I have no current work experience in the legal profession, and would not like to discuss my motives but just assume that this is something that I very much want to make happen.  Should I pursue first a paralegal certificate and try to gain entry into the legal community that way, and then finish my undergrad and pursue law school?  Should I continue undergrad and wait until I have completed to apply for law schools and plan to enter the job market with no experience in the legal community?  If there are any other suggestions that may help I would be more than happy to hear.  I am really at a fork in the road here, and do not know where I should focus my energy and assets.  I really appreciate any help, and look forward to any responses.


You need an undergraduate degree and to take the lsat to get into law school. Get an undergraduate degree that you can actually use like in something IT or Engineering related just in case you don't go to law school. It takes 2 years to be a RN. You can do that at a community college. Of course make sure your interested in whatever you choose to be your major. Your major in your undergraduate does not matter unless you want to be a patent attorney. Then you would need a STEM undergraduate degree. But then you don't even have to have a JD.

But each individual can borrow up to $138,000 in loans for college.

Don't worry about your age. The time will pass by anyways and it would be wise of you to use this time to get an education. You will be like 31 when you have your BA or BS. I know a guy that went to law school when he was 43. He is doing very well and barely works.

If your that interested you could start reading law books. I would buy Gilberts on Criminal Law, Torts, Legal Writing and Contracts. Then get a copy of black laws dictionary. Read them and study them. Look up outlines and learn IRAC.

Just go for it. ABA schools should be your first choice. Also keep in mind that you will make the most money working for yourself. No one becomes wealthy working under anyone unless your like the CEO of Exxon. Go for it and believe in yourself. It will be hard on you sometimes and sometimes you will want to quit but no matter what keep going. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck, you can do it.