Law School Discussion

New opportunity means no JD

New opportunity means no JD
« on: June 05, 2012, 07:15:45 AM »
Hey all,

     Yesterday I received some information that could prove to be incredibly beneficial to my future, but would require me to no longer attend law school. I figured I would post here for a little advice from other who may have more knowledge in the legal/education arena than I do, and can help me make a wiser decision. A little background, I spent the last year taking the LSAT (audited a prep class with only a month left and didn't do so well) and applying to several law schools, none of which were in my home state because I have no desire to live here after my education. I got accepted into several T3 and T4 schools, the most notable probably being Southwestern in LA and STCL. However got minimal scholarships to both. This means going to law school with little saved up and taking on debt not only for education but for living expenses as well for my first year. My parents have been generous enough to agree to pay for my rent however. Yesterday though I was contacted by the CEO of my current job, who informed me he would be willing to give me a better job within the company to cover local living expenses, and would also agree to pay for my graduate education as long as it was an MBA with any specialization to choose. All this in return for going part time and continuing to work with the company over the next three years. This is exceptional mostly because the company disbanded this program several years ago before I worked there. The largest problems with this is I have no desire to stay here at this company what so ever. Its safe to say I got my education so I didn't have to work here, yet here I am anyway. Before if I had decided no on law school I planned on quitting and looking for another job. However the local business schools are extremely well ranked, and I know how great it is to graduate with no debt as this same company payed for my undergraduate degree. I suppose it is worth mentioning that my goal job is really more working in house in healthcare, probably something I could do with a MPH. But all this means giving up on my JD dream that I have been working towards the last year at least for the next three years. Normally I would take my time to weigh the pros and cons but I found out yesterday and have to make an appointment sometime today to speak with him about it. Thanks for any help/advise.


Re: New opportunity means no JD
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2012, 07:30:43 AM »
I'd take the MBA, stick it out for 3 years, then leave to get my JD.  Chances are, by then, you'll probably be capable of getting into a better law school and be able to better weigh what you want to do.


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Re: New opportunity means no JD
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 03:14:49 PM »
This advice might be to late, but I think you certainly see the pros to getting a paid for MBA and mainting a steady salary,  but the odds are if you do not attend  law school now it will never happen.  Whether that is a good or bad thing is heavily depenedent on you.   For your foreseeable financial future the better bet would be to stay with your company and get an MBA. However, there many people that regret never going to law school and if you go down this path life is probably going to get in the way. You might have a kid, get married, another promotion will come up, or any number of possiblities will prevent you from attending law school. If like doesn't get in the way you will likely be to tired to attened law school after going through an MBA program  It is possible none of those things will happen and you will get end up in law school,   but you can see the likelihood of life getting in the way if you don't go now.

Something to consider that may influence your decision is remember that there is nothing wrong with explaining this situation to the law schools you have been accepted to obtain more scholarship money.  Worse case scenario they say no best case they increase your scholarship. Remember that law schools are a business and your a customer if you can pull out an extra 20-30k in scholarship money based on this offer go for it. When I was a 0L I got an extra 5k annually tacked on to my scholarhsip a year which resulted in a savings of 15k and I did nothing more than ask for an increase.

You are essentially posed with the question of the steady path or taking the mystery door. Law school is not a safe bet at the moment and there are many people it does not work out for, but there many who go on to have successful legal careers and you simply cannot be a lawyer without going to law school. If you want the J.D. soley for the supposed economic increase do not go because the MBA and job option is the safer bet financially. If being a lawyer is truly what you want you should take that path.

This would be a very difficult decision for anybody and I am just an anonymous internet poster so do not take anything I take to seriously. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Re: New opportunity means no JD
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2012, 07:27:51 AM »
Oh my god this is the easiest decision ever.  Give up your dream.  You won't realize it anyway, paying sticker at the type of schools you're applying to.  If you have a good job and they're willing to finance your MBA, for the love of god don't throw that away to make a quarter million dollar mistake.  This should not be up for any debate. 

Re: New opportunity means no JD
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2012, 10:07:56 PM »
If you want to work in the business world, go for the MBA. It sounds like a great deal. If, however, you want to be a lawyer, there really is no point in delaying law school. The longer you wait the tougher it will be to return to school. If you have everything set to make that leap now, you might want to just do it.

Also, getting the MBA only makes sense if you truly intend to work in business for the rest of your career. If you intend to eventually go to law school, the MBA will not help you land a legal job.

I'm not trying to persuade you in either direction, I know nothing about your personal situation. Law school can be expensive and the job market is tough. You may not get your dream job straight out of law school. I'm not sure that the market is much better for MBAs, however. But here's something to consider: three years from now you're going to be three years older whether you like it or not. You can be three years older with a law degree, or three years older without a law degree. The choice is yours.   


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Re: New opportunity means no JD
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2012, 04:44:40 PM »
I don't know the OP and I really can't give specific advice, but it's generally true that prospective law students are terrible at predicting what job or type of work they will land in after law school.  Honestly, a job as a prosecutor and a job as an associate attorney who works in estate planning have next to nothing in common.  I know many people dream of becoming lawyers, but most of those people don't know what it's like to be a lawyer.  Those who do often don't end up in the type of law they wanted to do anyway.  I graduated from a T2 where 80% of 2010 graduates work in a job now that requires a JD and only around 45% work in law firms. 
Even if you are certain that being a lawyer in a specific type of firm in a specific type of practice group is your dream, your chance of getting there from a T3 can't possibly be better than a 50/50 shot.

You probably have better odds than someone who wants to be a neurosurgeon,  on-air newscaster, or rock star, but you still take a pretty substantial risk.