First let me thank you for being frank, and for giving me at least some hope. Most guys on the web are very negative. After weighing everything out in my head while showering today, I had a thought. As it stands now I have nothing. I have a crap degree an OK family business which will be carved up and divides between 5 of us if anything ever happens to my mom (God forbid). 9 years of work in this business making it what it is and I will end up having an equal inheritance as my sisters who went out and made their lives outside the business.If I have a chance at getting in with a 2.0 and a 160 CUNY Law is a real possibility. It is close to home and only 12K per year. I can leave with between 36-60k in debt, closer to the lower end I'm guessing. T14 is not in my future unless I can get my records expunged, and even then I will be looking to go to a T14 to work for a great law firm and make 165k straight of too LS, lots of money and a set future, but do I really want to work 2300 hours a year to make money I can't enjoy? Nah, not really. I want to hang my own shingle, open an office in my rent free office space in Manhattan, and practice some kind of law. In that case it won't matter where I went to LS so long as I am licensed. If I can run the business right I can make a great living and still have relative freedom. In short T14 and a "good school" is only worth it if I want to work like a mule and earn great money if and when I'm hired. 100-200k in debt an at least 8 years to pay it off. Probably not getting in anyway, so, sour grapes?The schools I'm most suited for given my possible 1.8 GPA and 160+ LSAT are cheap, get me a degree and a career if I can hack it as a business man, and I've shown that I can do that running one business well, and creating another from scratch.I have a flimsy job now, and need some stability to support a wife and 2 kids if my mom is ever taken from us.
As I've said on many other threads, the work of a lawyer is unpredictable. Saying you want to be a lawyer is like saying you want to work in a science field. There are wildly different work environments, workloads, types of work, and fields of law that you might end up dealing with. I try to dissuade people from going to law school to practice a very specific type of law in a specific type of firm. For example, if you said, "I want to go dominate law school, and do Mergers and Acquisitions for an international firm," I'd tell you that your chances are worse than playing roulette. You are unique, however. If you really want to be a solo practitioner, you can do it with a law degree. If that's your dream, there's really no other way to do it. One word of caution, however. I don't know you, and I have now way to determine what your skill set is. I will say that business management skills are important for a solo, but they are nowhere near as important as networking and marketing skills. A new firm, especially one run by a baby lawyer, lives or dies depending on whether the lawyer can make quality contacts and find paying clients. Such abilities are far more important than the ability to create a positive client experience, the ability to balance books, or the ability to manage support staff.If you are sure you have rent-free space, and you are sure you would enjoy the awful grind that is solo practice, then your question comes down to math. (Obviously, if you are only concerned with chasing your passion, the math won't matter)If you have 60,000 in debt, your annual loan payments will be approximately $4992 per year for 25 years. As a result, your financial decision comes down to whether your average salary will be $5000 more as a lawyer per year than it would be as something else.The statistics out there are really bad. (And cost of living in Manhattan is brutal) But you don't see a lot of statistics for average salaries 10 years after law school. It's my impression that lawyers still do quite well as opposed to bankers, managers, marketers, and the average salesperson. If you can survive the first five years, I believe it would probably be a great financial investment, even though the market sucks. That said, it takes a special person to survive five years as a solo. What kind of law would you like to practice? Are you cut out for the grind that is family law or criminal law in the most competitive market on earth? Do you have the education to take the patent bar? Do you have the education and smarts to do estate planning and tax? Why would someone trust you with their business, when there will be countless attorneys out there with a similar billing rate and more experience? How many solo practitioners have you sat down with? (They tend to be a social bunch, and they tend to be very honest with how things are going).
Live cheap during law school + Free Rent + Hispanic + willing to do family law, permits, and immigration?That's about as good a recipe as I've seen. There is no guarantee you'll like it, but it sounds like you are more cut out to go to law school than 90% of those inquiring on this board.
ConclusionIn my anonymous internet poster opinion I recommend taking the LSAT seeing what score you get. Until you have an official score you cannot get into any law school. Once you have the LSAT score you don't need to enroll in law school right away and you can work for a law office or legal clinic and try it out. If you love it and want to pursue a legal career you have the LSAT score and can proceed. If you find being a lawyer is not for you then you are not obligated to enroll you will be out $100 for the LSAT fee and you will have saved yourself 3 years and 100,000 + dollars. However, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT go to law school simply because you do not know what else to do. No matter what profession you are in finding your first job is really difficult and starting as a lawyer is no different. Good luck.
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