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Author Topic: I'm 38, mother of 4 under 6yrs. old and want to do law school -can it be done?  (Read 1699 times)

candiceo

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Hi,
 I stay at home with my kids and my husband works full time. I have always wanted to study law and since I will be re-entering the work force in a few years, I'd like to take a shot at law school. The only problem is the time factor. My kids are 6 (first grade), 4(preschool - kindergarten full days next year) and 2.5 yr old twins (preschool starting fall 2006 2-3 mornings a week). It is a busy house. I'm looking at an evening program, 3 nights a week. Am I crazy? I won't be working while I go to school - I'll just be studying, and taking care of kids. My husband helps a lot after work and he is willing to help all he can. I have a 3.3 undergrad, and a 3.7 MBA. I know they don't really care about the MBA but it was at the same school I want to apply to (UConn). I am willing to study hard, but is this a viable option for me? I was considering teaching but it does not thrill me at all. Going to law school does thrill me, and I want to do something I feel fantastic about - not something I feel ho-hum about. When my twins go to kindergarten(in 3 more years) I would have all the kids in school so I could wait, and then do a part-time or full-time day program then. I do love reading about law (I loved my MBA law course and got a solid A) - I am thinking if I really love it then I can do it. Or is this just a pipe dream? I would love to hear others' thoughts. I know - as soon as you saw the word 'twins' you thought I was crazy!

Also, how long do you need to study for the LSAT?

Candice

PS I am looking at entering part-time in Fall of 2007. I will have my 2 older children in elementary school(full days) and the twins will be in school either 3 or 4 mornings a week. I am hoping if I can take 5 or 6 months to study for lsat, that I can kick butt on it.  Thanks for the great responses so far. All have been very helpful.

Vannabunny

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Depeding on when you want to start, I'd say around 6 months of LSAT study time.

Now, do I think you're crazy. No. My oldest sister was in a similar situation - for children then aged 5 (twins), 4, and 3.5 when she went to grad school. An evening program could work nicely for you, and if it something you want to do, I'd go for it. Good luck to you.
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upNdown

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Hi,
 I stay at home with my kids and my husband works full time. I have always wanted to study law and since I will be re-entering the work force in a few years, I'd like to take a shot at law school. The only problem is the time factor. My kids are 6 (first grade), 4(preschool - kindergarten full days next year) and 2.5 yr old twins (preschool starting fall 2006 2-3 mornings a week). It is a busy house. I'm looking at an evening program, 3 nights a week. Am I crazy? I won't be working while I go to school - I'll just be studying, and taking care of kids. My husband helps a lot after work and he is willing to help all he can. I have a 3.3 undergrad, and a 3.7 MBA. I know they don't really care about the MBA but it was at the same school I want to apply to (UConn). I am willing to study hard, but is this a viable option for me? I was considering teaching but it does not thrill me at all. Going to law school does thrill me, and I want to do something I feel fantastic about - not something I feel ho-hum about. When my twins go to kindergarten(in 3 more years) I would have all the kids in school so I could wait, and then do a part-time or full-time day program then. I do love reading about law (I loved my MBA law course and got a solid A) - I am thinking if I really love it then I can do it. Or is this just a pipe dream? I would love to hear others' thoughts. I know - as soon as you saw the word 'twins' you thought I was crazy!

Also, how long do you need to study for the LSAT?

Candice

Last thing first - how long do you have to study for the LSAT?  As long as you can.  Some people study for 2 months, some people study for 2 years.  It is impossible to understate the importance of this test.  Score high enough and you'll get into the school of your choice.  Score higher than that and you'll get scholarship money from the school of your choice.  Score low enough and you won't get in anywhere, regardless of your transcript.  

Uconn's full time program is pretty competitive.  Its 75/25 LSAT numbers are 164/160 and GPA is 3.58/3.13.  Your GPA is right in the middle of their range, so you'd probably need an LSAT score in the 161-162 range to be a decent candidate there.  A 165 would get you in and a 170 would get you some scholarship $$.  Their part time program seems easier to get into, so you could probably get in there with a score in the high 150's.  So download the free LSAT, take it timed, and see how you do.  That will give you some idea of how much progress you need to make.  

As far as whether a mother of 4 can do this, that's a question only you can answer.  You need to get as much information as you can and then talk to your husband.  I think a full time program at Uconn would require you to dedicate your life.  Perhaps a part time program there or somewhere else would allow you to maintain some semblance of a family life.  Check out this board: http://www.nontradlaw.net/cgi-bin/ubbcgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=forum;f=1
and get some people there to talk about their experiences.  
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?

Phatmal

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UpNdown's response about the LSAT is really right on.  Take a diagnostic test to see where you are starting from.  I studied for 3 months (2 hours a day/5 days a week) and needed to come up at least 10 points from my diagnostic (which I accomplished during practice) to get into the school I am applying to.  I just took the LSAT so I don't know if 3 months is enough, but I ran out of time.  Since you are not planning on applying to go to school next fall, take 5 months, plan on taking the test in June, and if in May you are still having a tough time, postpone until October.

As for "can law school be done", studying for the LSAT took a lot of the luster out of this idea for me.  I finished my masters about 18 months ago and I forgot what a pain working full time and being in school is.  It really takes a lot of motivation to seclude yourself, give up time with friends and family and the things you like to do to study.  The knowledge that this is what it could be like for the next 4 years in a PT program makes the idea of LS something I have to think long and hard about if I get accepted.  If you really struggle with finding the time to study for the LSAT, that will give you a clue as to whether you will have the stamina to continue on. 

The thing for me was getting over taking the LSAT and the time committment for studying.  Take the test, get accepted, and then wonder if it's for you.  You're like me...you're looking at one school and one school only.  Until you get in, the rest is a mute point.

syntheticapriori

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don't be discouraged - the average entering 1L age is rising which means that law schools pride themselves in being able to court people who have both work and life experience, which you seem to have plenty of.  part time programs are great for people in your situation, and if you want to practice in connecticut, uconn is the way to go, except of course for that school in new haven. i am not familiar with the area, but i would assume that most attorneys in connecticut are yale or uconn grads, and getting a good job would be a piece of cake.  and although your MBA may not get you a auto-admission to whatever school you like, you have to remember that once you are out and are a JD-MBA, you are going to command some serious earning potential, perhaps even more than your husband, although i dont know what he does. i hope this helps

drama gal

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I am not trying to be pessimistic but instead realistic... It really is going to depend upon what support you are going to get from your husband. Does he have a stressful job, because your absence will undoubtedly cause more. Your children are also really small and have alot needs, they need attention.  It is hard enough for people with no children, and even harder for people who have older children to do well in law school.  Unless you have a nanny or some live in help such as a friend or relative, I really don't see how it is possible without your family life suffering. 

Personally, I would take this time and just prep for the LSAT and do some charity/volunteer work or work part-time, or even take some unlawschool related classes to strengthen your law school application.  If you can not find the time to do any of those things, I don't think you would be able to devote the necessary time to succeed in law school.  The last thing you want to do is drop out or worse, fail out.  Don't forget, besides being able to have the time to attending class, you need to be able to devote the time to study outside of class.

Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.  I personally would wait until the kids were a little older and a little more self-sufficient.

The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.

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mobo

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crazy? yes. buti mean that in a good way! in my humble opinion, we need more people in their 30s-40s who are "crazy" enough to take on the challenges of ls. it sure will add welcome diversity to the classroom.

i would give yourself at least six months to study for the lsat, since it really is as important as your gpa, if not more so for non-trads (since our gpa is often representative of our abilities in another life!). i found that cramming for the lsat didn't work for me, i ended up cancelling the score and taking it again, after six months of spread out consistent studying. you can search for lsat tips and my name to see some of the advice i have given on lsat studying in other threads.

also, i would consider your lsat study time as a test run for law school itself. get out of the house to study, and do it at the same times and for the same number of hours that you expect to dedicate to class and studying. that way you, your husband, and your kids can adjust to your new inaccessibility to the family, and you can work out the kinks that are sure to come up.

i think it is doable, although it will definitely be a challenge for you, and everyone in your family. with a strong support system, excellent time management, a super sense of humor, and commitment that it is what you want, then i believe you will not just do it, but do it superbly!

EDIT: and that attitude and skill set applies to every student in law school!

drama gal

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crazy? yes. buti mean that in a good way! in my humble opinion, we need more people in their 30s-40s who are "crazy" enough to take on the challenges of ls. it sure will add welcome diversity to the classroom.


Mobo, I totally agree with this statement, however, I was wondering if you had any kids? If so, how many and what are their ages?
The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.

Sir James Matthew Barrie

mobo

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no kids, though does it count if i AM the one all my child-bearing mom-friends call at 2am when they are in desperate straits with their own children?

hey. wait. am i being called out for giving advice to a mom when i have no kids of my own? (there was no offense meant at all, i actually meant to be supportive...more moms in law school! more moms in law school!)

drama gal

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no kids, though does it count if i AM the one all my child-bearing mom-friends call at 2am when they are in desperate straits with their own children?

hey. wait. am i being called out for giving advice to a mom when i have no kids of my own? (there was no offense meant at all, i actually meant to be supportive...more moms in law school! more moms in law school!)

You are not being called out.  I don't have any kids, either.  I was just wondering, because I thought perhaps I was missing something.  I simply don't see how it is doable with the number of small children she has.

Let's face it, having no kids is going to be alot of work... But 4 with the oldest being only six. Personal relationships with significant others, family and friends all suffer while one is in law school.  She's a mom of 4 small children. 

I also keep stressing the word, small, because at their ages they are really needy, they can't help it and they shouldn't have to.

Also, for the record, I am not saying she shouldn't go to law school. I just think she should wait until they are older.  Also I think she needs to realistically consider not only  what she's getting herself into, but what she would be giving up. Her children are only going to grow up once, law schools are not going anywhere.  But on a lighter note: I think I can understand her strong desire for intellectual stimulation.  :)
The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply that they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.

Sir James Matthew Barrie