OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

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anon sequitur
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby anon sequitur » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:15 pm

kalvano wrote:It's hard to say without knowing geographic location, but you'll be looking at not a lot more money for criminal law work than you probably make teaching plus a lot more irregular hours (think 2:30am jail runs to get some drunk out of holding), not to mention 4 years (PT) of essentially working 7:30am until around 9:00pm. As a single parent, you'll be starting over at age 40 in a job with worse hours, less time off, and not a huge increase in pay. That's going to be really rough.


First, I totally agree with the warning about PT programs, I think they really only make sense for people with specific, high-pay jobs waiting for them when they graduate. Part-time students have a hard time getting the practical experience that is necessary to get a public interest job these days, because they don't do full-time internships over the summer. You'll be competing against other law students who've had two summers (or more, with full-time externships) of legal experience to put on their resume. For a job in criminal defense, that's huge. Also, you're still looking at a major debt load since your day job probably isn't enough to keep up with tuition. How much less debt are you really looking at?

However, I'd have to disagree that criminal law jobs are necessarily more intense than teaching. Lots of teachers work more than 40 hour weeks while classes are in session. They get better vacation, but for most younger teachers, that is more than balanced by all the ridiculous professional development you have to do. Also, there are criminal defense jobs with crazy hours, but I know lots of public defenders and some prosecutors who've worked in medium and small cities who keep around 40 hours more often than not.

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kalvano
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby kalvano » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:21 pm

anon sequitur wrote:However, I'd have to disagree that criminal law jobs are necessarily more intense than teaching. Lots of teachers work more than 40 hour weeks while classes are in session. They get better vacation, but for most younger teachers, that is more than balanced by all the ridiculous professional development you have to do. Also, there are criminal defense jobs with crazy hours, but I know lots of public defenders and some prosecutors who've worked in medium and small cities who keep around 40 hours more often than not.


My wife is a teacher currently, and I am (was) certified as a teacher. I feel pretty good about saying that his work/life balance will be much better as a teacher. Not to mention paid 2.5-3 months off every year to spend time with the kiddo.

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regulartime
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby regulartime » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:25 pm

kalvano wrote:
regulartime wrote:Geographic location is St. Louis/ South Western Illinois. You make very good points.


I don't know enough about that market to speak intelligently on the job prospects or schools, but from what I've read on TLS, the market is fairly to moderately depressed. There are quite a number of schools in that area though.

Why do you want to do criminal law? What appeals to you? What do you dislike so much about teaching?



Short answer: Criminal law has always appealed to me. The idea of being a strong line of defense for clients facing incarceration or possible loss of assets appeals to me. I have also worked with several students whose parents are incarcerated or have been incarcerated or who themselves have ended up incarcerated. At least some, and I realize that their accounts are not going to be 100% accurate, have spoken about not feeling defended or being pushed into deals.

I have been teaching for three years and its been a miserable experience. It might be fine, except for the fact that this is the second year in a row that I have been moved to a different position than the one I was hired for. I am also a special education teacher in an area where I have had to deal with being hit, bitten, scratched, and attacked often. I also have to constantly worry about defending myself from kids as well as blame and parent accusations.

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kalvano
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby kalvano » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:30 pm

regulartime wrote:
kalvano wrote:
regulartime wrote:Geographic location is St. Louis/ South Western Illinois. You make very good points.


I don't know enough about that market to speak intelligently on the job prospects or schools, but from what I've read on TLS, the market is fairly to moderately depressed. There are quite a number of schools in that area though.

Why do you want to do criminal law? What appeals to you? What do you dislike so much about teaching?



Short answer: Criminal law has always appealed to me. The idea of being a strong line of defense for clients facing incarceration or possible loss of assets appeals to me. I have also worked with several students whose parents are incarcerated or have been incarcerated or who themselves have ended up incarcerated. At least some, and I realize that their accounts are not going to be 100% accurate, have spoken about not feeling defended or being pushed into deals.

I have been teaching for three years and its been a miserable experience. It might be fine, except for the fact that this is the second year in a row that I have been moved to a different position than the one I was hired for. I am also a special education teacher in an area where I have had to deal with being hit, bitten, scratched, and attacked often. I also have to constantly worry about defending myself from kids as well as blame and parent accusations.



That's rough. I completely get the being miserable with teaching because of being moved around, as well as the other frustrations. Obviously, it's ultimately your call, but I just wonder if the end result won't end up being fairly similar, in that you'll be more like an assembly line operator than Atticus Finch, and miss a good chunk of 4 years with your kid. If the kid is 14, that may be for the better, but if the kid is younger, those are some fun years to miss out on.

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anon sequitur
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby anon sequitur » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:31 pm

kalvano wrote:
My wife is a teacher currently, and I am (was) certified as a teacher. I feel pretty good about saying that his work/life balance will be much better as a teacher. Not to mention paid 2.5-3 months off every year to spend time with the kiddo.


I've both worked in criminal law (not yet a lawyer though) and as a teacher. PD's and DA's working 40 hour weeks is really common. 2:30am jail runs? Not very. That's all I meant to disagree with. As for as work/life balance goes, I think I'd also say that public school teachers have it better, but I don't think it's generally that big difference, and it's a very doable job for a single parent,

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kalvano
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby kalvano » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:34 pm

anon sequitur wrote:
kalvano wrote:
My wife is a teacher currently, and I am (was) certified as a teacher. I feel pretty good about saying that his work/life balance will be much better as a teacher. Not to mention paid 2.5-3 months off every year to spend time with the kiddo.


I've both worked in criminal law (not yet a lawyer though) and as a teacher. PD's and DA's working 40 hour weeks is really common. 2:30am jail runs? Not very. That's all I meant to disagree with. As for as work/life balance goes, I think I'd also say that public school teachers have it better, but I don't think it's generally that big difference, and it's a very doable job for a single parent,


The jail runs, that's true for PD/DA, but I have some friends that stepped right into private practice for criminal defense, and it's really, really common for them.

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regulartime
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby regulartime » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:36 pm

That's rough. I completely get the being miserable with teaching because of being moved around, as well as the other frustrations. Obviously, it's ultimately your call, but I just wonder if the end result won't end up being fairly similar, in that you'll be more like an assembly line operator than Atticus Finch, and miss a good chunk of 4 years with your kid. If the kid is 14, that may be for the better, but if the kid is younger, those are some fun years to miss out on.[/quote]

You make good points. I appreciate it. I still have time to think about it. I have to take the LSAT and see what happens as far as admissions and scholarships go anyway.

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anon sequitur
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby anon sequitur » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:38 pm

kalvano wrote:That's rough. I completely get the being miserable with teaching because of being moved around, as well as the other frustrations. Obviously, it's ultimately your call, but I just wonder if the end result won't end up being fairly similar, in that you'll be more like an assembly line operator than Atticus Finch, and miss a good chunk of 4 years with your kid. If the kid is 14, that may be for the better, but if the kid is younger, those are some fun years to miss out on.


Highly agree. I can't imagine being a single parent along with full-time teacher, part-time law student. I can't imagine being able to do a very good job at all three.

However, I know plenty of people with young kids in law school, including one single mother of two kids and a few who are the primary caregivers while their husbands hold down regular jobs. It seems tough but doable. Especially considering that full-time students basically only take an extra 3-4 credits over part-time students.

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anon sequitur
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby anon sequitur » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:40 pm

kalvano wrote:
The jail runs, that's true for PD/DA, but I have some friends that stepped right into private practice for criminal defense, and it's really, really common for them.


Ah, fair enough. Being a young private crim lawyer requires a lot of hustling, it definitely doesn't seem like a 40 hour gig.

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regulartime
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby regulartime » Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:41 pm

You are right. Teaching and part-time law school will be an awful ordeal. I would really like to be in a position to go to school full time, but that option would require significant scholarship money. I know that my aspirations will not support much student loan debt.

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anon sequitur
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby anon sequitur » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:13 pm

regulartime wrote:You are right. Teaching and part-time law school will be an awful ordeal. I would really like to be in a position to go to school full time, but that option would require significant scholarship money. I know that my aspirations will not support much student loan debt.


Do you know how much less debt part-time is? You're still paying the same tuition rate, and the same number of credits ultimately.

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regulartime
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby regulartime » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:17 pm

Do you know how much less debt part-time is? You're still paying the same tuition rate, and the same number of credits ultimately.[/quote]


But, I'll have income to offset tuition if I am working. If I would be using loans for all of it, part-time actually costs more.

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anon sequitur
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby anon sequitur » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:10 pm

Have you looked at tuition numbers? Part-time tuition at most schools runs about $35,000 a year just for tuition. It seems likely you'll end up having to pay most of that through loans anyway. The actual cost of attendance for part-time vs. full-time at most schools is only around $10-15,000.

The thing is, law schools won't tell you this, but the point of part-time programs is mostly just a way for law schools to admit applicants with lower scores without hurting their rankings. (law school rankings are based on the stats of the full-time programs, not part-time students). Most students admitted part-time try to transfer to full-time because there's really so little benefit to part-time programs, and a lot of drawbacks. Anyway, good luck, but I'd really try to work out the numbers and see if it actually makes sense what you're thinking about.
Last edited by anon sequitur on Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:13 pm

Not that it should make any difference in your decision but FWIW part time students' numbers have been included in US News rankings for the last few years.

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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby ookoshi » Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:46 am

anon sequitur wrote:Have you looked at tuition numbers? Part-time tuition at most schools runs about $35,000 a year just for tuition. It seems likely you'll end up having to pay most of that through loans anyway. The actual cost of attendance for part-time vs. full-time at most schools is only around $10-15,000.

The thing is, law schools won't tell you this, but the point of part-time programs is mostly just a way for law schools to admit applicants with lower scores without hurting their rankings. (law school rankings are based on the stats of the full-time programs, not part-time students). Most students admitted part-time try to transfer to full-time because there's really so little benefit to part-time programs, and a lot of drawbacks. Anyway, good luck, but I'd really try to work out the numbers and see if it actually makes sense what you're thinking about.


It depends on what you're doing during the rest of the time. If you're making $85k a year working full-time, you should absolutely stay part time and reduce your cost of attendance by $85k * 3.

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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby kartelite » Tue Aug 12, 2014 6:52 pm

Anyone else in the over-30 crowd doing JD/MBA? And are you looking to practice law afterward or do something else?

Lying Lawyer
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Lying Lawyer » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:26 am

spleenworship wrote:Do not go to Florida International.

Find a way to finance Miami. You're welcome in advance.


Can you elaborate a little if you don't mind? My plan was FIU because of in state tuition and the part time program. Miami is full time as far as I know. Thanks

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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby Lying Lawyer » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:56 am

kalvano wrote:
It's hard to say without knowing geographic location, but you'll be looking at not a lot more money for criminal law work than you probably make teaching


I've heard that from a few attorneys. Criminal law doesn't pay very well. As someone who spent some time in a classroom, nothing can be worse than a classroom. I spent two years teaching "at risk" kids in the ghetto. All our kids were kicked out from the surrounding high schools. We were a charter school that targeted these "troubled" kids because the state will give the school more money. No one respects the teacher. The kids cuss you our for nothing and administration blames you for not being able to control your classroom. These are kids that in parent conferences cuss out their own parents. Administration doesn't want to set foot in a classroom. They got their masters degree to get out of a classroom. Beauracrats have stripped all your power away other than the ability to paperwork a kid to death. They've turned you into nothing more than a replaceable cog in a system. Whenever a kid doesn't learn its your fault and not the fact that the kid is only in school to avoid jail or part of his probation. After two year of being a punching bag I decided to dedicate full time to my real estate stuff.

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kalvano
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby kalvano » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:41 am

Lying Lawyer wrote:
kalvano wrote:
It's hard to say without knowing geographic location, but you'll be looking at not a lot more money for criminal law work than you probably make teaching


I've heard that from a few attorneys. Criminal law doesn't pay very well. As someone who spent some time in a classroom, nothing can be worse than a classroom. I spent two years teaching "at risk" kids in the ghetto. All our kids were kicked out from the surrounding high schools. We were a charter school that targeted these "troubled" kids because the state will give the school more money. No one respects the teacher. The kids cuss you our for nothing and administration blames you for not being able to control your classroom. These are kids that in parent conferences cuss out their own parents. Administration doesn't want to set foot in a classroom. They got their masters degree to get out of a classroom. Beauracrats have stripped all your power away other than the ability to paperwork a kid to death. They've turned you into nothing more than a replaceable cog in a system. Whenever a kid doesn't learn its your fault and not the fact that the kid is only in school to avoid jail or part of his probation. After two year of being a punching bag I decided to dedicate full time to my real estate stuff.



That's like saying you work at a ID sweatshop and it's the worst job ever, so being an attorney must suck across the board.

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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby ASCIII » Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:01 pm

sarahh wrote:
anon sequitur wrote:As someone mentioned a while back, I think that 30+ have no problems at all getting good PI jobs relative to their younger peers. I didn't get that feeling so much for Biglaw jobs, but I think that's because I had a very non-businessy, free spirit background (I had a biglaw interviewer say to me "It looks like you've lived a very interesting life. Do you think you'll be able to adjust to the drudgery of working at a law firm?"). I don't think someone with 10 years of solid business experience would be at a disadvantage.


Agree. I took off six years between undergrad and law school. Do not think that the 6 years itself was a problem, but many law firms seemed to have a problem with the fact that I spent those six years working for non-profits. I got asked about it a lot in a negative tone. I think that is one of the reasons I did not do as well at OCI as I was told I would do based on my grades. But I did get a job at a great firm that did not care about my non-profit background.


This surely echoes my experience. Many years between undergrad and law school, with grad degree thrown in. Very PI/academic WE, a number of job changes, and an average GPA didn't help. While most BigLaw interviewers didn't seem to have a problem with my background on the surface, either they didn't buy my narrative of why I wanted to do corporate, or their firms would rather take on typical law students while knowing many would leave. I was second in command in my previous career, had to multitask with very little resources, met every client demand, and worked long hours (consecutive 7-day weeks). I don't think BigLaw appreciates that PI is very high pressure and involves a lot of responsibilities.

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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby spleenworship » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:44 pm

Lying Lawyer wrote:
spleenworship wrote:Do not go to Florida International.

Find a way to finance Miami. You're welcome in advance.


Can you elaborate a little if you don't mind? My plan was FIU because of in state tuition and the part time program. Miami is full time as far as I know. Thanks


I'm working a lot right now, so I'll just say google "law school transparency" and look at the employment numbers. I know your position is a little different than most, but things can change and you need to maximize your chances of success.

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ldlamb
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby ldlamb » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:51 pm

I dont have anything to add to the teacher/law school discussion, except this.

I am (was) a public school teacher.... i start law school in two weeks, so you can guess where I stand on the desirability of teaching.

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chem!
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby chem! » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:20 pm

I resigned after many years teaching and I'm about to start my second year of law school. I miss the positive interactions with the students, but that's pretty much all I miss. So, yeah, I have a pretty good idea you fellow teachers/ex-teachers feel.

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regulartime
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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby regulartime » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:16 pm

Lying Lawyer wrote:
kalvano wrote:
It's hard to say without knowing geographic location, but you'll be looking at not a lot more money for criminal law work than you probably make teaching


I've heard that from a few attorneys. Criminal law doesn't pay very well. As someone who spent some time in a classroom, nothing can be worse than a classroom. I spent two years teaching "at risk" kids in the ghetto. All our kids were kicked out from the surrounding high schools. We were a charter school that targeted these "troubled" kids because the state will give the school more money. No one respects the teacher. The kids cuss you our for nothing and administration blames you for not being able to control your classroom. These are kids that in parent conferences cuss out their own parents. Administration doesn't want to set foot in a classroom. They got their masters degree to get out of a classroom. Beauracrats have stripped all your power away other than the ability to paperwork a kid to death. They've turned you into nothing more than a replaceable cog in a system. Whenever a kid doesn't learn its your fault and not the fact that the kid is only in school to avoid jail or part of his probation. After two year of being a punching bag I decided to dedicate full time to my real estate stuff.


This exactly. I'm not looking for law as a way to make more money than teaching. I am looking at law as something I want to do way more than teaching, even if it does not raise my salary at all. If I had a marketable skill that would pay what teaching does, I'd be gone today.

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Re: OLD SCHOOL (must be 30 and over ITT)

Postby RCSOB657 » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:12 am

kartelite wrote:Anyone else in the over-30 crowd doing JD/MBA? And are you looking to practice law afterward or do something else?


No, but I am looking hard at other joint degree programs.




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