Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

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Great Satchmo
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby Great Satchmo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:55 pm

I'm in a similar situation, but it's not that my parents will finance me either way.

They want me to move near home and go to my dad alma mater because I have a full scholly there. It's a consideration, but the pressure from my mother is getting to the point where it's affecting our relationship. Any mention of (1) a non-full scholarship school I'm considering, and (2) not in their geographic area (mostly the first), I just get a really crappy response to the point where I just want to stop talking about it all and let them know when I've start school and where.

I accept a lot of their advice and insight, but due to unique circumstances (both parents had UG and grad debt, then my father went to law school in his middle-age, then a few years of practice went by and he became disabled) it a VERY, VERY strong opinion they have.

You just have to accept it and try not to let emotions get entangled with logic and take space and time to focus on what it is that will make you happy and get you what you want.

jitsrenzo
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby jitsrenzo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:58 pm

Good luck! I think it's hard, but worth it.

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. :(

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basicgrey7
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby basicgrey7 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:02 am

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. :(

I know your parents are saying that they want you to stay close because your father went there, but maybe there is an underlying cause? Especially if you have told them you don't want to go there and have valid reasons.

If they are female, maybe they are worried about you being alone by yourself in a new city?
Maybe they are worried that they will miss you a lot and you will never come to visit?

I would sit down with them and ask them if there are any other reasons they want you to stay close to home. If they are worried about other things, invite them to go tour the school you want to go to and tour the city. Let them be involved in helping you pick out a place to stay (they can see the location, give parental advice about the condition of the place, etc). Promise that you will visit them when you can and skype when you can. I think that if you can give them these kinds of securities then they will feel a lot more at ease with you leaving.

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pearl_earrings
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby pearl_earrings » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:15 am

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Last edited by pearl_earrings on Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sawwaverunner
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby sawwaverunner » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:24 am

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. :(


I don't know. You want to go to a school that is a good fit for you, but if your parents are paying and can afford to, maybe you should consider the school a bit more. Of course, this should all be in line with your career goals.

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kalede
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby kalede » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:25 am

keg411 wrote: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.


I've gotten $5000/yr at Oregon, which is pretty inexpensive to begin with, and I'm waiting to hear from Lewis & Clark (I got the "We want to give you a scholarship, but we promised all our money away. We'll let you know how much we can offer you in April" letter). As for #2, my dad has strong connections in the West Texas area, but not so much elsewhere.

basicgrey7 wrote:I know your parents are saying that they want you to stay close because your father went there, but maybe there is an underlying cause? Especially if you have told them you don't want to go there and have valid reasons.

If they are female, maybe they are worried about you being alone by yourself in a new city?
Maybe they are worried that they will miss you a lot and you will never come to visit?

I would sit down with them and ask them if there are any other reasons they want you to stay close to home. If they are worried about other things, invite them to go tour the school you want to go to and tour the city. Let them be involved in helping you pick out a place to stay (they can see the location, give parental advice about the condition of the place, etc). Promise that you will visit them when you can and skype when you can. I think that if you can give them these kinds of securities then they will feel a lot more at ease with you leaving.


I don't think it's really that I would be alone in a new city; I go to college ~7 hours away from home and only come back a few times per semester, but for some reason, moving out of state (where it would be easy enough to fly back a couple of times per semester, if planned far enough in advance) seems too far for them. Also, when I've suggested going to visit the Portland/Eugene area, my dad says it would be too expensive for him to go. Gah. Frustration.

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basicgrey7
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby basicgrey7 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:39 am

kalede wrote:
keg411 wrote: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.


I've gotten $5000/yr at Oregon, which is pretty inexpensive to begin with, and I'm waiting to hear from Lewis & Clark (I got the "We want to give you a scholarship, but we promised all our money away. We'll let you know how much we can offer you in April" letter). As for #2, my dad has strong connections in the West Texas area, but not so much elsewhere.

basicgrey7 wrote:I know your parents are saying that they want you to stay close because your father went there, but maybe there is an underlying cause? Especially if you have told them you don't want to go there and have valid reasons.

If they are female, maybe they are worried about you being alone by yourself in a new city?
Maybe they are worried that they will miss you a lot and you will never come to visit?

I would sit down with them and ask them if there are any other reasons they want you to stay close to home. If they are worried about other things, invite them to go tour the school you want to go to and tour the city. Let them be involved in helping you pick out a place to stay (they can see the location, give parental advice about the condition of the place, etc). Promise that you will visit them when you can and skype when you can. I think that if you can give them these kinds of securities then they will feel a lot more at ease with you leaving.


I don't think it's really that I would be alone in a new city; I go to college ~7 hours away from home and only come back a few times per semester, but for some reason, moving out of state (where it would be easy enough to fly back a couple of times per semester, if planned far enough in advance) seems too far for them. Also, when I've suggested going to visit the Portland/Eugene area, my dad says it would be too expensive for him to go. Gah. Frustration.

Do you have a job or some way to get some money? If you paid for your parents to go with you, it might show them how serious you are about it.

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Reedie
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Re: Parental Influence on Law School Decisions

Postby Reedie » Wed Mar 17, 2010 5:31 am

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 don't think you are looking at this quite right. I don't think the problem is getting them to reconsider the relative merits of different law schools. I think the problem is to get them to understand why the amount of influence they are seeking over your decision about where to go to law school just isn't right. The more of your decisions your parents make the less the successes and failures will be your own. You do NOT want to be in a position 10 years from now, looking back and wondering "what if" you had made your own decision. Even if it's the wrong decision and your parents are right in every way it will at least be your mistake. I'll tell you a story about a friend of mine:

In high school I had a good friend named Jamie. Jamie was very bright, very hard working and very eager to please her overly controlling parents. She let them talk her into going to UCLA. She didn't like UCLA, and as a result didn't do all that well there (never underestimate the extent to which not liking where you are can undermine your performance), but she tried nonetheless to continue pleasing them. She worked extra jobs to keep her debt down (meaning she had even less time for her studies). She saved money like they told her to. She majored in what they told her to. And when she graduated she moved back close to her parents.

She got a not terribly great job (through connections with me actually) in a contruction company, which in the long run lead to a decent career as a project manager. Her parents liked this decision and informed her that it was time for her to buy a house (circa '06-'07). They gave her advice that had been true as long as they had been alive: you can't go wrong buying real estate in California. (Incidentally I tried once again to tell her not to base her decisions on what her parents wanted and that economists were saying that housing prices were a huge bubble.)

She put all of her savings into a down payment, and got into a 400k mortgage on a salary of ~50k. The housing market turned to shit. She went upside down on the mortgage--probably to the tune of about two hundred grand. And the construction company started laying people off. Fucked.

And you know the worst part? It wasn't HER mistake. It was her parents mistake. She didn't live and learn because she didn't make the mistake herself.

Make your own mistakes. They may not be fun, but at least they will be yours. Let me ask you: is becoming a lawyer something you want to do or something your parents want you to do? Please, don't head on out to spend 10 years living someone else's life before realizing it wasn't what you wanted.

You and your folks need to have a talk. And while they might not be happy at first, if they are reasonably people they should eventually realize that they need to back off a bit.




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