I think that your reasons are EXACTLY why someone should go part time Loyola. No debt. Keep your income. Keep your job WHILE you look for a JD job.....
Thanks for the validation.
1. PT-programs are high risk, high reward. If you can pull off great grades while working full time you'll impress potential employers.
I hadn't really thought about this particular spin, and I appreciate hearing this perspective. It makes perfect sense.
3. You need to have a supportive boss. You have to figure out a way to allocate 45 hours a week to work and nothing more. My boss and I worked out a deal that I didn't have to take any crap assignments or travel during the academic year, but during Winter and Summer Break I took on all the hard stuff and traveled. My colleagues were okay with this arrangement.
Also, know that going to law school will kill your career with your current employer. As supportive as your employer will be, everybody understands you are looking to move on and you will be treated accordingly. You may wish to consider keeping your matriculation to yourself for at least the first year of school. If you bomb school you can bail out of LS with out paying the political price at work. I didn't tell anybody about school until after my first year.
This is what keeps me awake at night. I have these nightmare scenarios rumbling around in my head when I go to sleep on Sundays and imagine that I will begin Law School the next day (yeah, I haven't started thinking about exams yet) AND there's an important new project starting the same day at my company that is "mission critical" to my team's success. At that point, the reality of a demanding job sets in, and I begin to doubt my plans. My work ethic has always been that if I can only commit to doing a half-assed job, and not giving at least 100% of myself, then I don't do it at all (honestly, this has been a blocker for me with respect to returning to school all these years). Although I don't expect that I would begin to do things half-assed at work just because I'm going to Law School, there certainly seems to be some room for conflict to arise: what if the job demands 60+ hours from me in order to meet an important deadline? This seems more likely to happen if I don't tell my boss that I'm attending Law School. There are some valid reasons for keeping it a secret, particularly if failure is an option. If I plan for failure, is failure more likely? If I plan for success .... ?
Maybe I'm just over thinking it, but what I fear most is boxing myself into an either/or decision down the road, particularly when the same decision could have been made earlier and with a better overall outcome.
6. To answer your question, the biggest difficulty for me was a lack of downtime. During the academic year I was exhausted because I was either working or studying. Personally, I found discipline and commitment to a routine were the keys to success. Our semesters last roughly 20 weeks and I would just focus on the fact that I could recharge once the semester was over.
The other difficult part was gaining legal experience after my second year. The typical law student does some type of unpaid legal work after her first year in law school. For PT-students that unpaid work usually takes place in the summers after the first and second years. Obviously, you don't want to quit your job after the second year of law school so you'll need to find a legal employer that is willing to work with you and your time constraints.
I currently earn 5 weeks of vacation per year, and the most HR will let me accrue, I believe, is 14-16 weeks. I've always used 100% of my vacation every year, but after discussing it with my family, I'll only use two more weeks of vacation between now and when school starts for me in 2013 (vacations are already planned and paid for). I figure that by the time school starts, I will have approximately 6 weeks of vacation available. I can use it during the school year for study time and to prevent burn out, or I save some/all of it to be able to work on volunteer/unpaid legal work during the summer (if I use no vacation next year, then I would have about 11-12 weeks accrued by June 2014). My gut tells me that I will probably benefit more from having this time during the school year, and my employer would be highly unlikely to approve a 12-week summer vacation. I could reasonably take 2 days/week off during the summer to work somewhere else. What are your thoughts on how best to use vacation time?
Thanks for the insight. Now, back to examining questions that have clear right and wrong answers -- studying for the LSAT will surely calm my spirits.