Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Resources for Spouse/Significant Other  (Read 1449 times)

kasper11

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Resources for Spouse/Significant Other
« on: November 01, 2005, 03:25:23 PM »
Does anyone know of any good resources (books, discussion groups, message boards) for people who are married to people working and going to law school?

I am beginning next year, and as the majority earner I need to keep working. My wife is supportive, but is very nervous about how it will affect our relationship.
GPA: 2.15 (3.29 after 3 years off and transferring)
LSAT: 175

upNdown

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 636
  • My favorite bike - cheap, ugly, heavy, and fun.
    • View Profile
Re: Resources for Spouse/Significant Other
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2005, 10:25:39 AM »
I know you didn't come here looking for this kind of advice, but I've given a lot of thought to it, so I'm going to share anyway.  Have you reconsidered your plan?  Have you explored your options?  If your wife is concerned about how it will affect your realtionship, that should probably concern you. 

I originally planned on working full time and going to law school nights.  Now, after much thought, discussion, and research, I plan on going to school full time and not working at all, at least for the first year.  I just think it would be better for my relationship and for the success of my studies to take on an extra $20,000 of debt. 

I'm not telling you to do it the way I'm doing it.  I'm just trying to tell you to look at it from every angle and consider alternatives.  That said, I'm curious to see what kind of responses you get because I'd be interested in spouse-resources too.  This isn't going to be easy for any of us no matter how we do it. 
GPA - 2.095 (It was a long time ago and I wasn't trying.)
LSAT - 161

In - Suffolk, New England School of Law
Out - BC, Northeastern
Pending - Nothing pending . . . now what?

texaschic

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 295
    • AOL Instant Messenger - faithdavis09
    • View Profile
Re: Resources for Spouse/Significant Other
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2005, 10:43:10 AM »
I don't know, because I haven't read the book in it's entirety, but I think Law School Confidential has some advice for partners/family of law school students.  Just my 2 cents!

thenextstep

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 799
    • View Profile
    • LSN
Re: Resources for Spouse/Significant Other
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2005, 11:56:56 AM »
I seem to remember there was a similar conversation about this at the beginning of the summer on this part of the board.  Maybe try searching and see if any books/resources were mentioned.  I also know that a good number of law schools have enough married/partnered students that there are pseudo-organizations that do things like social events and such to support one another.  I'm actually looking forward to being married in law school because I really actually found the shift from being engaged to being married in grad school a very positive experience (though not hugely different, still a good thing). 

I know that schools have found students who are married/partnered tend to be happier and more successful in professional schools (like law school).  But I know it will take toll on the relationship.  I would seriously look into various options for working/school splits.  Not that you should not work while in school but you might see about different options for how many hours will be reasonable (I would love to work but I think only 10 hours a week is going to be my goal as I do not want to screw up this expensive education), especially for the first year. 

If you find out more, please post as I'm really interested as well!

sck

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 929
    • View Profile
Re: Resources for Spouse/Significant Other
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2005, 12:30:10 PM »
Like a lot of other folks.. I'm planning to quit the job and go to school full time. I know from previous experience that working and graduate work don't go well with me (I tried taking 12 hours of grad school -- an overload -- and working 20 hours a week. It was terrible, and I quit the job so I wouldn't fail.)

The current plan for me is to not work the first year and work no more than 10 hours a week after that, if possible.

Now, I'm not married, but I'm seriously involved with someone, and we might very well be engaged or married by the time I start school in a couple of years. He's told me wryly that he'll miss me. It's likely he'd go along with me if I had to move for school, too; fortunately, since he's a teacher, his job does travel.

But the plan is to treat it as a 9-5 job, and always, always make sure to have couple time.

If you're going to work and go to school, you need to make the relationship a priority. Pick a night, say Friday for example, where you'll have an unbreakable date with your wife. No excuses. Neglecting one for the other is a temptation, but you have to make sure you don't.
LSN
Nontrad, with a crazy split

upNdown

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 636
  • My favorite bike - cheap, ugly, heavy, and fun.
    • View Profile
Re: Resources for Spouse/Significant Other
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2005, 09:42:33 AM »
Pick a night, say Friday for example, where you'll have an unbreakable date with your wife. No excuses. Neglecting one for the other is a temptation, but you have to make sure you don't.

That sounds like a great idea.  Will you babysit my 3 year old and one year old every friday night? :)
GPA - 2.095 (It was a long time ago and I wasn't trying.)
LSAT - 161

In - Suffolk, New England School of Law
Out - BC, Northeastern
Pending - Nothing pending . . . now what?

bobbijo2

  • Guest
Re: Resources for Spouse/Significant Other
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2005, 09:26:31 PM »
I'm currently in my third year as a "law school widow" (my husband is a FT student who works nights -- opposite your plan).  I don't have a resource but I suggest you take your spouse to all the admissions events for the law school you are going to.  My husband's law school actually had a separate session for family members in which they basically told us what it was going to be like.  They advised us to schedule family events regularly but well in advance and not to expect the law student to be able to pick up and do something anytime we wanted.  We were told to keep up the housework and whatnot and generally don't expect much out of them the first year.  It was actually sort of reassuring because they had several spouses of students speak and explain how they made it work.  One memorable husband's wife was actually nine months pregnant during her first exams, so I figured no matter how bad it got, it would never be that bad!!  After the first year, things really do get much easier.  A lot of people -- especially in the PT programs -- are married and there are other folks in the same situation to talk to/kvetch with.  Good luck!

UWHusky

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Woof.
    • View Profile
Re: Resources for Spouse/Significant Other
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2005, 12:07:09 AM »
This is a good topic. My thinking is that if we are going to do this, we need to be completely committed. For me that means quitting a $95K per year job to go back to law school and probably selling my huse and using my 401K. If there are no financial pressures, then I am free to study my ass off and be at the top of the class. That should translate into a well paying job which will allow me to recover the salary, house and retirement in spades. What better investment than yourself I ask?

As for my wife, she has endured me working full time and going to UG full time. She has seen what it takes to keep a high GPA and supports me in doing law school "the right way" as she puts it. That means she is picking up the slack. We have discussed it so much that I feel better, but I am not naive enough to think it still won't be a huge strain. I know my Mother and Step-Father have been having date night every Friday, without fail, for 25 years now and they are kind of gross with how "teenage" they can be. But, they have kept that spark, I can say that with confidence.

We don't have kids, so that makes it a lot easier. I have great respect for those of you with kids who are going to do this. That's my two cents.
3.85 GPA (4.0)Major. No LSAT yet
Never to old to teach an old dog new tricks

kmpnj

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 469
    • View Profile
    • law school numbers
    • Email
Re: Resources for Spouse/Significant Other
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2005, 09:35:45 AM »
I am in a similar situation.  I work full-time and go to undergrad school full-time and I am also taking the wife to law school with me, so to speak.  It has been hectic the past two years, but amazingly, we have made it work.  She has been through grad school already, so she knows what it is like and is fully supportive of my going back and not working, although I'm toying with the idea of grabbing a weekend gig delivering pizzas to keep my sanity.  The point is that, if the spouse is not supportive, then it will probably cause problems which, I would imagine, would be problematic for law school studies and the relationship.

There has been some very good advice on this board, but it all comes down to communication.  So, my advice (having yet to actually test my theory) is to figure out a way to do it where the spouse is actually a part of it.  For example, my fiance (soon to be wife) quizzes me and will type the occasional paper (as long as my handwriting is legible, which is a 50/50 proposition).  She also goes to all of the field trips I may have to go to.

The bottom line is, as long as you guys are honest and you communicate with, not at, each other, then you should be fine.

Good Luck

phooey

  • Guest
Re: Resources for Spouse/Significant Other
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2005, 02:29:44 PM »
I've been with my spouse for nine years, married for three, and we have a two year old. I finished my bachelors degree recently and did night school, quit my job and went back to school full-time after our daughter was born.  I got very involved with school these last two years (as I am sure we will all be in Law School), taking research jobs, writing articles with a Professor, joining scholar groups, etc. and it took a heavy toll on my relationship with my spouse. 

You know, we did the trade off with the kid at 3:00 and that was the only time we would see each other.  We became co-workers almost..it was weird.  We lost track of and interest in what the other person was doing because we were living two totally separate lives.  It's fine to have your own life, but you have to stay connected.  It got to the point where I wouldn't even talk to him about what projects I was involved in and what I was really interested in at the moment, I would tell someone else, someone more familiar with my world at school.

This time around, I am going to keep DH involved in my schooling; bring him to events and seminars, whatever I'm doing..I know law school will be my life for the next three years.  The only way to stay connected with DH is to bring him into it somehow.