when is it worth to go to law school?

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ypark87
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when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby ypark87 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:24 pm

Hi all!

Just wanted general advice on "when it's worth to go to law school." Going to law school has been something that I have wanted to do since high school, and I've been set on it for a while. Given the job market, and your performance in law school, I want to know at which point is it worth to invest the time and money to go to law school? For instance, should I only go if I get into a top 20? Or, should I go to another school and gamble on the chance that I become top 10% of my class?

I am currently a teacher at a high-needs public school, and I absolutely love my job. The reason I want to go to law school is because I want to work with education and public policy laws, and work with school districts to make better and fairer laws for our kids, teachers, and the education system as a whole. BUT if going to law school did not stack up for me, I would be incredibly happy to remain teaching and stay in this profession.

What do you think? Should I give up on law school given a certain set of factors? Or should I just go for it either way?

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Mustard Blood
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby Mustard Blood » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:36 pm

For your consideration. Probably a little dramatic, but worth reading.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/business/09law.html

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Bronte
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby Bronte » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:36 pm

Finding a job that you love is one of the hardest things to do. If you've already done so, I would stay put.

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DeeCee
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby DeeCee » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:52 pm

If you love teaching, are you sure that you should quit to be a lawyer? You would be leaving a field in which there is serious need for one in which there is serious glut. That being said, if this is a life goal for you, you should do it. For me, getting a professional or terminal degree has always been my goal, and I decided that I would do a JD rather than PhD because I wanted a degree that offered more than academia.

You could go through the process (take the LSAT and see where you stand, start preparing your materials, etc) and get ready to apply early next cycle and see where the ride takes you.

I know that in the course of applying to schools I have learned a lot and I have became very cynical, though honest to myself, about my choices. My personal opinion is that I would only attend a T1 for many reasons, the most important one being able to find a job in which I can pay back my debt.

That's my $0.02.....I think you might seriously consider whether leaving a job you love and is secure is worth it to pursue a profession of risk and loan debt.

Jay
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby Jay » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:01 pm

I would say go for it. You have been in a field where you have gained invaluable insight and experience and not to mention substantial contacts. Getting your law degree to further your goals is definitely worth it, because you have identified an area of law where your talents and experience can only enrich your scholastic legal experience.

Now I understand that the current legal market is hit especially hard but you probably will not experience the same hardships as younger legal colleagues with no prior experience. Your contacts in the education will be invaluable to you as you matriculate, make it work for you.

I think you should definitely start the application process and see where it takes you...

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DeeCee
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby DeeCee » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:09 pm

Mustard Blood wrote:For your consideration. Probably a little dramatic, but worth reading.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/business/09law.html


+1. Overly dramatic, but it's worth looking at the worst end of the spectrum as an example of what you should not do.

Don't go to a T4
Don't take trips out of the country on law loans
Don't try to buy a home without having a job (or without rich family at least)
Don't take out school loans without knowing that every cent of it is non-dischargeable.

As long as you know this, you'll stand a better (though by no mean guaranteed) chance of getting a job and paying your loans back.

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Shooter
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby Shooter » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:11 pm

Sounds like you are a level-headed person with a good heart and truly admirable career goals (the same cannot be said about the majority of people that frequent TLS). Make this decision on your own, because our advice might seriously ruin your life.

Good luck with everything!

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Bronte
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby Bronte » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:23 pm

Jay wrote:I would say go for it. You have been in a field where you have gained invaluable insight and experience and not to mention substantial contacts. Getting your law degree to further your goals is definitely worth it, because you have identified an area of law where your talents and experience can only enrich your scholastic legal experience.

Now I understand that the current legal market is hit especially hard but you probably will not experience the same hardships as younger legal colleagues with no prior experience. Your contacts in the education will be invaluable to you as you matriculate, make it work for you.

I think you should definitely start the application process and see where it takes you...


The application process alone is very expensive and time-consuming. OP has noble but unrealistic reasons for going to law school. There is little to suggest that getting a law degree will make it easier to effect change in the school district. Your best chance of making a difference is probably right where you are, where you're already happy.

DCLaw11 wrote:+1. Overly dramatic, but it's worth looking at the worst end of the spectrum as an example of what you should not do.

Don't go to a T4
Don't take trips out of the country on law loans
Don't try to buy a home without having a job (or without rich family at least)
Don't take out school loans without knowing that every cent of it is non-dischargeable.

As long as you know this, you'll stand a better (though by no mean guaranteed) chance of getting a job and paying your loans back.


Avoiding those four things will make a negligible difference in job success. Going to a T3, not taking trips on loans, not buying a home, and knowing your loans are dischargeable will not make $100,000+ in debt any easier to repay.

Shooter wrote:Sounds like you are a level-headed person with a good heart and truly admirable career goals (the same cannot be said about the majority of people that frequent TLS). Make this decision on your own, because our advice might seriously ruin your life.

Good luck with everything!


I think that your assertions about the TLS community are unfounded. People act out on TLS because that's the way the community is, but it doesn't reflect much on who they really are. Further, I don't think TLS advice has ruined many people's lives, although obviously OP should make the ultimate decision herself. However, there's nothing wrong with getting some advice here.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:26 pm

Bronte wrote:
Shooter wrote:Sounds like you are a level-headed person with a good heart and truly admirable career goals (the same cannot be said about the majority of people that frequent TLS). Make this decision on your own, because our advice might seriously ruin your life.

Good luck with everything!


I think that your assertions about the TLS community are unfounded. People act out on TLS because that's the way the community is, but it doesn't reflect much on who they really are. Further, I don't think TLS advice has ruined many people's lives, although obviously OP should make the ultimate decision herself. However, there's nothing wrong with getting some advice here.


iunno if they are unfounded, but only in the sense that i believe the vast majority of individuals are not level-headed nor have truly admirable career goals

the good heart bit is also extremely fishy; prob more of a fickle approach where ppl have good hearts when it suits them lol

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Bronte
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby Bronte » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:31 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:iunno if they are unfounded, but only in the sense that i believe the vast majority of individuals are not level-headed nor have truly admirable career goals

the good heart bit is also extremely fishy; prob more of a fickle approach where ppl have good hearts when it suits them lol


Yeah I don't know about level-heads (whatever that really means, it probably doesn't describe TLSers). However, when it comes to moral and ethical issues I think TLSers and law students in general (contrary to popular belief) actually hold their own.

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beach_terror
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby beach_terror » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:38 pm

Good article, by why the fuck did I read it while I'm waiting on 1L grades.

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AreJay711
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:43 pm

Bronte wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:iunno if they are unfounded, but only in the sense that i believe the vast majority of individuals are not level-headed nor have truly admirable career goals

the good heart bit is also extremely fishy; prob more of a fickle approach where ppl have good hearts when it suits them lol


Yeah I don't know about level-heads (whatever that really means, it probably doesn't describe TLSers). However, when it comes to moral and ethical issues I think TLSers and law students in general (contrary to popular belief) actually hold their own.

WHAT YOU TRYIN' TO SAY BRAH? YOU DON"T THINK I'M LEVEL-EFFING-HEADED?

On topic @ OP:
I think you should really consider scholarship offers. What you want to do with your law degree isn't going to be a big money maker and it might take some time before you can find a position/ niche doing what you want. Because of that local TTT, with connections and a strong local alumni base, might be better than higher ranked schools if you get a full scholarship. I think location would be important for working on state policy (or at least it is in some markets).

If you were talking more on the national level policy then it might be better to go to a higher ranked school but even better would be to go to a public policy school or something (IDK anything really about public policy schools) since a law degree would be such a crap-shoot in that direction.

Jay
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby Jay » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:02 am

For Bronte ok, first, how can you make the judgment that the OP has unrealistic reasons to go to law school? Who are you to make that judgement? Further more, why are you making the assumption that the OP is seeking this particular field because it may be easier to effect change with a law degree? It's about the OP's goals, so a law degree (which gives you plenty exposure and opportunity to study the legislative process and public policy formation) would definitely complement their experience as an educator and therefore could make both the benefits of the degree and experience work.

Expensive and time consuming, yes admission to law school is that. But that isn't a reason not to go. Granted there are well known stories about the dangers of jumping into the legal field as a serious gamble, but not all areas of the legal field has been affected in the same way by the recession. And given the current political climate which is calling for education reform in this country, there will be a demand for policy makers and legislators. Just because you have a law degree does not make it less relevant if you choose not to take the bar and go into policy work...(that is assuming the OP is only interested in education policy and not being a practicing attorney).

stevededalus
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby stevededalus » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:39 am

OP, I would suggest something different based on what you said your goals are. Have you considered getting a master's in public policy? It's only two years and if you go to a state school, much, much cheaper. You won't be able to practice law, but what you described wanting to do doesn't necessarily sound like practicing law. If you get an MPP, you can work for an education legislative committee on the state or federal level, working with the people who actually make laws on education policy. Getting a law degree is a less direct and more expensive path, albeit one that provides other avenues.

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gwuorbust
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby gwuorbust » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:59 am

Jay wrote:For Bronte ok, first, how can you make the judgment that the OP has unrealistic reasons to go to law school? Who are you to make that judgement? Further more, why are you making the assumption that the OP is seeking this particular field because it may be easier to effect change with a law degree? It's about the OP's goals, so a law degree (which gives you plenty exposure and opportunity to study the legislative process and public policy formation) would definitely complement their experience as an educator and therefore could make both the benefits of the degree and experience work.

Expensive and time consuming, yes admission to law school is that. But that isn't a reason not to go. Granted there are well known stories about the dangers of jumping into the legal field as a serious gamble, but not all areas of the legal field has been affected in the same way by the recession. And given the current political climate which is calling for education reform in this country, there will be a demand for policy makers and legislators. Just because you have a law degree does not make it less relevant if you choose not to take the bar and go into policy work...(that is assuming the OP is only interested in education policy and not being a practicing attorney).


yeah not all areas of the legal market have gone down the shiTTTer. I hear bird law is still booming.

HowdyYall
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby HowdyYall » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:14 pm

OP: you might want to check out some of the part-time programs that many law schools offer. itll be pretty rough but it might allow you to keep teaching while you go to LS

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DeeCee
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Re: when is it worth to go to law school?

Postby DeeCee » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:25 pm

HowdyYall wrote:OP: you might want to check out some of the part-time programs that many law schools offer. itll be pretty rough but it might allow you to keep teaching while you go to LS


Credited.




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