Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

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kalede
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Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby kalede » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:32 pm

I've been very lucky in that my parents have financed my education so far (and at a not-inexpensive private college). But now, as I'm looking at law schools and starting to make decisions, I'm getting really frustrated with them steering me towards one school in particular, Texas Tech, where my father went to law school.

I don't want to go to Tech. Period. I have told them as much, and their response has been essentially that I should keep my mind open, which I agreed to do. On a weekly basis, they send me newspaper clippings and/or email me statistics about the school. Last Thanksgiving, my dad arranged a tour of the law school for me (without asking me if I wanted to do one), and while I said okay when he told me he had done this, I felt a little uncomfortable about it. Now, don't get me wrong; Tech is a good school, especially in West Texas and even in Texas in general. And it would be worth seriously considering if I had any inclination to stay in state, which I do not. I've made this very clear to them. The response I get is essentially that they think I'm being selfish, and that I'm only looking at schools that would be "fun" to go to (i.e., schools that are in places where I'd actually like to live) without regarding finances or my family. And while they tell me to be open minded about a place I do not want to go and have made it clear I think I would be miserable in, all conversations about other law schools have basically been limited to them telling me why they're bad choices.

Has anyone been in a similar situation? How have you dealt with it?
Last edited by kalede on Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Pearalegal
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby Pearalegal » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:36 pm

That sucks, it seems like you've tried to do the mature thing and talk to them about your frustration and concern.

I'd try one more time to have a discussion with them, outlining the reasons you're looking out of state for schools and thanking them for their interest.

And if that doesn't work, you just have to ignore them and move forward with your own decision. They have to deal with the fact that you're a grown up, capable of making your own decisions...and you have to feel comofortable being a grown up and ignoring them.

That totally sucks though, sorry.

td6624
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby td6624 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:38 pm

If they're footing the bill, then you can't really limit their influence.

If they're just "contributing" substantially or otherwise, find a place to go where you get a generous scholarship, take out some loans, and do what you want, risking the fact that you lose their contribution.

rando
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby rando » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:41 pm

If you are contributing to their assumption that you want to go to a certain law school because it is "fun" then you should stop. Remind your father that even if law school was fun when he went to school, TLS posters assure you it is not anymore. NO matter where you go.

Philaw
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby Philaw » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:42 pm

Although my parents have not financed my education up to this point (as I have firmly refused any assistance), they, too are very insistent that I stay local. I wouldn't have a problem with this if I had numbers to go to the only T20 school in the state, but I don't. I've explained to them that I'm not willing to sacrifice my education and future employment opportunities to stay close to mommy and daddy (and the rest of the family), but this is a hard sell, especially for my dad. The problem is, they like to control things rather than simply having a regular family value, which is enough to make me want to move anyway.

Really, the only thing I could do is explain my position and reasoning thoughtfully and carefully, and let them know that this is my decision to make, and I will make it keeping their interests in mind but ultimately must do what is right by me. I firmly refuse financial support from my parents, as although they can afford it, it does two things. First, doing things on my own and earning them, rather than having mommy and daddy pay for it makes it more meaningful to me, which is important to me. Second, they use money and things like this as a manipulation technique, which gives them a say in the matter. I'd rather go into debt.

So, this is where I stand. I have earned my way so far, worked 56 hours a week while attending to a full time schedule (this term it is 20 credit hours), volunteered 7 days a week, and will now be going to law school, paying for it out of pocket. It's tough to be a man, baby, but well worth it.

ragnarok545
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby ragnarok545 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:42 pm

Kalede, if you do not want to stay in Texas, then attending Texas Tech is very dangerous idea career wise, and your relationship with your family will have to take the hit. I've dealt with a sort of situation and (I think) and going to go with what my parents want, but it's a lot more nuanced. In my case, I live in Philadelphia, Pa area and have been urged by my parents to stay local at Temple instead of attending various T-30 schools that I got into but which are 4-8 hours away from home. What makes things different is that I actually do want to stay close to home to practice, and I received some awesome aid at Temple. So, even though I'm probably going along with what they want, it's more of a correlation than a cause. Staying local is turning out to probably be the right choice for me, and staying close by a tight knit family is just a convenient bonus on top of that.

In short, if you find yourself at all thinking that your family might be worth staying close to, consider what they want, but if not, heck no.

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im_blue
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby im_blue » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:43 pm

Where are you looking to go outside of Texas, and where do you want to work?

mhernton
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby mhernton » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:47 pm

Really??!!?? I have to ask if this is serious. You have to live with consequences of your choices. YOU have to do the time. If the discussion was about UT then maybe they have an argument, because of the kind of reach that UT has as a law school, but until this post I didn't know Tech had a law school. Its time to be a grown up and put your foot down and let them know that you don't have an open mind any more, your not going to Tech under any circumstances, and its because of the pressure they are putting on you. I just hope your ready for the fallout from that choice. (Coal in your xmas stocking) I've had to deal with some similar issues from my wife. She didn't want to leave California, certainly not to move to Virginia, so we looked at the situation and she is going back to school in Rhode Island and we will live apart for almost 2 years. I have faith that my marriage will survive, but this is an important enough opportunity to risk the displeasure of my wife and risk living apart for almost 2 years. Good Luck

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kalede
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby kalede » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:58 pm

im_blue wrote:Where are you looking to go outside of Texas, and where do you want to work?


I'd like to live and work in the Pacific Northwest eventually, and most of the schools I'm considering are either regional schools in the PNW or schools that are highly ranked enough to put me in a decent position to get a job there. My profile has a link my lsn page with all of the schools I applied to.

jms1987
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby jms1987 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:23 pm

My parents are kinda like that too, they want me to stay in Cincinnati but I have no desire to at all (I actually want Texas)

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby Kilpatrick » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:34 pm

Are you in some kind of Doogie Howser situation where you're applying to law schools but you're only 15? Because if you are an adult, why in the world would your parents be involved in this decision? Go to school where you want to go to school. If that means your parents won't pay for it... well then GOOD. It's time to grow up and start paying your own bills.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:41 pm

kalede wrote:
im_blue wrote:Where are you looking to go outside of Texas, and where do you want to work?

I'd like to live and work in the Pacific Northwest eventually, and most of the schools I'm considering are either regional schools in the PNW or schools that are highly ranked enough to put me in a decent position to get a job there. My profile has a link my lsn page with all of the schools I applied to.

Then go to those schools and finance it yourself if you have to, like everyone else does. That's what loans are for. You start paying them back once you graduate.

djgoldbe
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby djgoldbe » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:44 pm

I am in a very similar situation as you OP. Let me start by saying that other posters so far are correct: this is your decision and you ought to make it based on what you think will make you happy and give you the lifestyle you want. That being said, I went through a similar process for my undergrad (and I, like you, picked an expensive private school), and let me just say that looking back I think my parents were largely making good points. The school I picked wasn't worth the money, and I would have been better served going to a less expensive in-state school (Which I, like you, was adamantly against at the time). I only bring this up to say that it is easy to shrug off their parental advice as simply out-dated, uneducated, and muddied by emotional influence - it is far harder to really consider the fact that they might be making some sense. However, I think that undergrad is different than law school - the quality and ranking of the school effects your job prospects significantly more.

Be mature about it, and most importantly be honest with yourself about why exactly you are making your decision - and then explain it to them. Then move on with your life. That's all you can do.

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rayiner
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby rayiner » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:49 pm

I turned down Georgetown (my parents live right outside DC) for Northwestern, and I don't regret the extra $60k in loans for a second. Getting to be a grownup is worth a lot more than that.

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PDaddy
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby PDaddy » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:59 pm

kalede wrote:
im_blue wrote:Where are you looking to go outside of Texas, and where do you want to work?


I'd like to live and work in the Pacific Northwest eventually, and most of the schools I'm considering are either regional schools in the PNW or schools that are highly ranked enough to put me in a decent position to get a job there. My profile has a link my lsn page with all of the schools I applied to.


Then don't go to Tech b/c it can't get you there. Your parents' influence can actually have a long-term, deleterious effect on your career, marriage, etc. You're looking at T14, UW-Seattle, Seattle-U, Oregon, Gonzaga, L & C, UCLA, or USC.

jitsrenzo
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby jitsrenzo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:04 pm

I'm guessing you're in undergrad. As a person over 21-years-old, you want to be supporting yourself, not cashing checks from mommy and daddy by the time you're 25.
Last edited by jitsrenzo on Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Pearalegal
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby Pearalegal » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:06 pm

Hey, guys....he asked for way to deal, not what to do. Chill out with the, "be an adult," stuff.

OP obviously appears to be pursuing all the schools he/she wants...but wants help in dealing with a frustrating situation with his parents.

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Reedie
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby Reedie » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:07 pm

Sounds to me like your parents are being selfish not you. It's your life, your career and your education not theirs. Don't listen to them. It will be good for neither you nor them if you go to Tech, hate it and then resent them for it.

brocklanders12
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby brocklanders12 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:14 pm

According to the profile, the OP is female. So the nut up and man up comments are a little silly.

keg411
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby keg411 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:18 pm

I think I kind of "get" what the OP's situation is -- his/her father went to Texas Tech, so he has a strong sense of alumni pride and wants his kid to go to the same school, have the same type of job, etc. etc. OP, you can tell your dad that you respect his legacy and his school, but you really want to live/work in the PNW and not in Texas -- and therefore it would be better for you to go to school there. It's probably also a good idea to tell them why you specifically want to move there. Maybe it will help them be more understanding; most likely they are acting this way because they are your parents and love you and don't want you to move away. I think as long as you continue to handle it in a mature manner they will stop picking.

jitsrenzo
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby jitsrenzo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:19 pm

........
Last edited by jitsrenzo on Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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im_blue
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby im_blue » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:39 pm

keg411 wrote:I think I kind of "get" what the OP's situation is -- his/her father went to Texas Tech, so he has a strong sense of alumni pride and wants his kid to go to the same school, have the same type of job, etc. etc. OP, you can tell your dad that you respect his legacy and his school, but you really want to live/work in the PNW and not in Texas -- and therefore it would be better for you to go to school there. It's probably also a good idea to tell them why you specifically want to move there. Maybe it will help them be more understanding; most likely they are acting this way because they are your parents and love you and don't want you to move away. I think as long as you continue to handle it in a mature manner they will stop picking.

Not bad advice, but I think you underestimate how crazy parents can get when they hear you want to move away from them and start your own life.

a.shoshana
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby a.shoshana » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:50 pm

mhernton wrote:Really??!!?? I have to ask if this is serious. You have to live with consequences of your choices. YOU have to do the time. If the discussion was about UT then maybe they have an argument, because of the kind of reach that UT has as a law school, but until this post I didn't know Tech had a law school. Its time to be a grown up and put your foot down and let them know that you don't have an open mind any more, your not going to Tech under any circumstances, and its because of the pressure they are putting on you. I just hope your ready for the fallout from that choice. (Coal in your xmas stocking) I've had to deal with some similar issues from my wife. She didn't want to leave California, certainly not to move to Virginia, so we looked at the situation and she is going back to school in Rhode Island and we will live apart for almost 2 years. I have faith that my marriage will survive, but this is an important enough opportunity to risk the displeasure of my wife and risk living apart for almost 2 years. Good Luck


Posts like this make me question whether or not I belong on TLS. I would rank law as a priority over many things... but... seriously... your SPOUSE? Especially when there are good law schools in every region of California? Could you explain this further, please? Is nobody else fazed by this?

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kalede
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby kalede » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:13 pm

Thanks for all the responses so far! I'm definitely not going to base my decision solely on what school my parents will finance, but at the same time, I don't want to alienate them by my decision. I think that taking on some loans on my own will probably make me feel like a lot more of an adult than letting them pay for everything as they have for the last four years (which has definitely made me feel kind of pathetic next to my friends who put themselves through school). But I can't imagine that this decision will help the debate with my parents, who are extremely debt-averse on my behalf. I predict there will be a huge fight just before deposits are due, and I'm not sure it's avoidable. :(

keg411
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby keg411 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:46 pm

kalede wrote:Thanks for all the responses so far! I'm definitely not going to base my decision solely on what school my parents will finance, but at the same time, I don't want to alienate them by my decision. I think that taking on some loans on my own will probably make me feel like a lot more of an adult than letting them pay for everything as they have for the last four years (which has definitely made me feel kind of pathetic next to my friends who put themselves through school). But I can't imagine that this decision will help the debate with my parents, who are extremely debt-averse on my behalf. I predict there will be a huge fight just before deposits are due, and I'm not sure it's avoidable. :(


Two questions:
1) Have you gotten scholarships at any of the PNW schools?
2) Does your dad have enough legal connections that you won't have a problem getting a job out of Texas Tech?

If the answer to the #2 is "yes" and #1 is "no", then your parents do have a point. But that's the only way because Texas Tech is not even a T100. Is it a 3rd tier or 4th tier? I don't know... but either way that's typically not good. Most people say for Texas: UT>SMU>UH - not including T14ers w/TX ties.




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