Part Time vs. Full Time

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )
jdhopeful14
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:48 pm

Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby jdhopeful14 » Sun May 22, 2011 7:21 pm

Hello,

Can anyone tell me whether there are any disadvantages to entering a PT program versus a FT program at the same school.

It'd be extra helpful if someone already in a PT program can help answer my question using personal experience. Thanks.

User avatar
risktaker
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:10 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby risktaker » Sun May 22, 2011 7:30 pm

would love to hear on this as well.

kristyk
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:32 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby kristyk » Mon May 23, 2011 1:31 pm

A friend of mine is a PT student at Georgetown. He has a FT job in engineering/computer science. These are the pros/cons as explained to me by him --

Pros:
Typically easier to get accepted to PT program
Cost is offset by concurrent employment
You can switch to FT after first year (he said 2/3 of his class did this)

Cons:
Stressful given competing work/school demands
Time constraints limit ability to pursue things outside classroom (i.e., law review)
Four years to graduate instead of three
Ability to take summer associate positions is limited

To me, PT law school is for people who:
A) want to go to a certain school but didn't get accepted to the FT program -- but if they're accepted to the PT program they can do that for a year and then transition to the FT program
B) they have the job they want but they want to enhance their career trajectory with a law degree
C) simply can't afford to go FT

Those are my two cents...

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby nouseforaname123 » Mon May 23, 2011 2:53 pm

A lot of it really depends on the school and program.

I'm halfway through the PT program at SMU. There are some advantages and disadvantages.

I would be happy to take a stab at any specific questions you might have.

Wactawshus
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:59 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby Wactawshus » Mon May 23, 2011 2:57 pm

I'm interested in this as well. Specifically, I am wondering if there are any disadvantages that pt students face when it comes to qualifying for scholarships vs. ft students? Any help/perspective would be appreciated!

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby nouseforaname123 » Mon May 23, 2011 3:28 pm

Wactawshus wrote:I'm interested in this as well. Specifically, I am wondering if there are any disadvantages that pt students face when it comes to qualifying for scholarships vs. ft students? Any help/perspective would be appreciated!


My school offers the same general scholarship amounts to similarily qualified PT and FT students with the difference being that the funds are distributed over four years instead of three. Named scholarships or those scholarships administered by outside foundations may be limited to FT students.

Wactawshus
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:59 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby Wactawshus » Mon May 23, 2011 4:31 pm

nouseforaname123 wrote:
Wactawshus wrote:I'm interested in this as well. Specifically, I am wondering if there are any disadvantages that pt students face when it comes to qualifying for scholarships vs. ft students? Any help/perspective would be appreciated!


My school offers the same general scholarship amounts to similarily qualified PT and FT students with the difference being that the funds are distributed over four years instead of three. Named scholarships or those scholarships administered by outside foundations may be limited to FT students.

Thank you Nouse! I was thinking more along the lines of 2nd year and beyond scholarships based off of 1st year performance. Does what you said apply to this too?
Last edited by Wactawshus on Mon May 23, 2011 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby 09042014 » Mon May 23, 2011 4:34 pm

Do PTers who get an SA just quit their normal jobs?

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby nouseforaname123 » Mon May 23, 2011 4:46 pm

Wactawshus wrote:Thank you Nouse!. I was thinking more along the lines of 2nd year and beyond scholarships based off of 1st year performance. does what you said apply to this too?


To my knowledge, my school doesn't offer those types of scholarships. I don't really know about those types of scholarships.

Desert Fox wrote:Do PTers who get an SA just quit their normal jobs?


Depends on the student, job, and employer. Obviously, a school teacher can SA and keep the FT position. My employer knows I have one foot out the door but I have been advised me that if I want to SA I'll be able to return to the company during the school year. There will probabably be a paycut and reduced job role involved, but it would still help me.

jdhopeful14
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 6:48 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby jdhopeful14 » Mon May 23, 2011 5:48 pm

Thanks nouseforaname123.

How do PT students fare if they decide to transfer schools, whether PT to PT or PT to FT? (Assuming grades aren't a problem)

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby nouseforaname123 » Mon May 23, 2011 5:58 pm

jdhopeful14 wrote:Thanks nouseforaname123.

How do PT students fare if they decide to transfer schools, whether PT to PT or PT to FT? (Assuming grades aren't a problem)


Case by case situation. Some schools are pretty strict about their credit requirement for transferring (typically ~30 or so credit hours). Other schools don't really enforce the requirement. This is a downside to a PT program. In general, I think it is safe for you to assume that your transfer opportunities out of a PT program will not be as great as those coming out of a FT program b/c some schools won't consider you until you have the minimum credit hours completed.

Best bet is to call schools you are thinking about transferring to.

User avatar
risktaker
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:10 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby risktaker » Mon May 23, 2011 10:35 pm

Is it bad to go PT if you do not have a law related/decent full time work position lined up? When can a PT student intern/work a SA position if they work a FT job?

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby nouseforaname123 » Tue May 24, 2011 10:47 am

risktaker wrote:Is it bad to go PT if you do not have a law related/decent full time work position lined up?


IMHO, yes, it is bad to go PT and not have some kind of work during the day. You have to remember that you are always competing with other students. If you were an employer and all other things were equal how would you compare a FT student vs. PT student with FT employment vs. PT student with no employment?

risktaker wrote:When can a PT student intern/work a SA position if they work a FT job?


That is the toughest decision faced by a PT student. The advice on this topic really runs the gamut too. Some employers will tell you to quit your pre-LS career as early as possible while others will tell you to stick it out as long as possible and only quit for a SA position for the summer after your 3E year.

Personally, I chose to stick with my current employer this summer b/c I can't afford the pay cut. I'm hoping to land a SA position next summer. I'll quit my job at that time although my employer has left the door open for me to return during the school year in a reduced role.

User avatar
risktaker
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:10 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby risktaker » Tue May 24, 2011 11:31 am

nouseforaname123 wrote:
risktaker wrote:Is it bad to go PT if you do not have a law related/decent full time work position lined up?


IMHO, yes, it is bad to go PT and not have some kind of work during the day. You have to remember that you are always competing with other students. If you were an employer and all other things were equal how would you compare a FT student vs. PT student with FT employment vs. PT student with no employment?

risktaker wrote:When can a PT student intern/work a SA position if they work a FT job?


That is the toughest decision faced by a PT student. The advice on this topic really runs the gamut too. Some employers will tell you to quit your pre-LS career as early as possible while others will tell you to stick it out as long as possible and only quit for a SA position for the summer after your 3E year.

Personally, I chose to stick with my current employer this summer b/c I can't afford the pay cut. I'm hoping to land a SA position next summer. I'll quit my job at that time although my employer has left the door open for me to return during the school year in a reduced role.


Thanks for the thorough reply. I guess I will be sticking to a FT program at law school.

User avatar
EstboundNDwn
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:15 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby EstboundNDwn » Tue May 24, 2011 11:54 am

nouseforaname123 wrote:
That is the toughest decision faced by a PT student. The advice on this topic really runs the gamut too. Some employers will tell you to quit your pre-LS career as early as possible while others will tell you to stick it out as long as possible and only quit for a SA position for the summer after your 3E year.

Personally, I chose to stick with my current employer this summer b/c I can't afford the pay cut. I'm hoping to land a SA position next summer. I'll quit my job at that time although my employer has left the door open for me to return during the school year in a reduced role.


This is what I'm actually considering. What are some of the most important things you've learned in this process to secure a SA? Are the resources for the FT people useful for you?

Also, have you come across any people working PT while they're going to school PT? Any experiences to share?

User avatar
bass08
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:54 am

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby bass08 » Tue May 24, 2011 11:59 am

Although many people come into PT programs with existing full time jobs, many PT students come in wanting the availability to work during the day and gain more experience during law school. Some students choose not to work during their first year but then find part or full time legal related work during their remaining school years. Since OCI for evening students isn't until the beginning of their 3rd year, part time students can still work during the entire second and third years if they happen to land a summer position through OCI.

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby nouseforaname123 » Tue May 24, 2011 12:32 pm

EstboundNDwn wrote:
nouseforaname123 wrote:
That is the toughest decision faced by a PT student. The advice on this topic really runs the gamut too. Some employers will tell you to quit your pre-LS career as early as possible while others will tell you to stick it out as long as possible and only quit for a SA position for the summer after your 3E year.

Personally, I chose to stick with my current employer this summer b/c I can't afford the pay cut. I'm hoping to land a SA position next summer. I'll quit my job at that time although my employer has left the door open for me to return during the school year in a reduced role.


This is what I'm actually considering. What are some of the most important things you've learned in this process to secure a SA? Are the resources for the FT people useful for you??


*I just finished my 2E year which means this summer is roughly the same as the 1L summer. I [now] know that forgoing legal related employment this summer is a (possibly big) risk heading into OCI. This is probably the biggest LS related stress in my life right now. I'm eager to see how this is going to play out at OCI (I should be competitive at OCI based on all other relevant factors).

*Somewhat related, in retrospect, I would have financially planned to quit work this summer. My wife and I planned everything around the idea that I would quit next summer. I do regret that I had to pass up on unpaid positions this summer.

*Outside of specific OCS staff, my school doesn't really have different resources for FT vs. PT students. Everybody is pretty much treated the same.

*If your goal is to secure a 1L SA, send out your applications 12/1. Use the summer between your 1E and 2E years to research employers and have your cover letters ready to go.

Also, have you come across any people working PT while they're going to school PT? Any experiences to share?


PT students that work typically fall into two distinct categories. The first group typically works FT in some type of established career in a non-legal field (although you have the occassional paralegal in the PT program). The second group generally works PT in some type of law related position (working for a judge, smaller law firm, etc...).

I think the students working PT in legal related positions are in very good shape b/c they are making important contacts in the legal community.

User avatar
nygrrrl
Posts: 4948
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:01 am

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby nygrrrl » Tue May 24, 2011 12:46 pm

nouseforaname123 wrote:
risktaker wrote:Is it bad to go PT if you do not have a law related/decent full time work position lined up?


IMHO, yes, it is bad to go PT and not have some kind of work during the day. You have to remember that you are always competing with other students. If you were an employer and all other things were equal how would you compare a FT student vs. PT student with FT employment vs. PT student with no employment?

risktaker wrote:When can a PT student intern/work a SA position if they work a FT job?


That is the toughest decision faced by a PT student. The advice on this topic really runs the gamut too. Some employers will tell you to quit your pre-LS career as early as possible while others will tell you to stick it out as long as possible and only quit for a SA position for the summer after your 3E year.

Personally, I chose to stick with my current employer this summer b/c I can't afford the pay cut. I'm hoping to land a SA position next summer. I'll quit my job at that time although my employer has left the door open for me to return during the school year in a reduced role.

Having just finished my 1L/E year in a PT program (well, I'm still in the middle of Write-On, but otherwise...), I agree with ALL OF THIS. I don't know what I'll do next summer, w/r/t a SA position; this year, I was fortunate enough to negotiate an Internship that will allow me to continue at my day job (though it will mean a lot of night/weekend work). I love the PT program but I'm exactly the person for whom it was designed: I have a career already and need the flexibility of this program to make law school possible. Will be happy to jump in and answer questions, but so far nouse is saying exactly what I'd say!

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby 09042014 » Tue May 24, 2011 1:01 pm

If I had a PT school, I'd make all the students work at least 30 hours. Otherwise it's that's a huge competitive advantage.

User avatar
Iconoclast
Posts: 193
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 10:10 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby Iconoclast » Tue May 24, 2011 1:10 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Do PTers who get an SA just quit their normal jobs?


As others have said, it depends on the individual, the demands of the internship and the job. I recently did an internship where I interned 2 half days every week for 3 months and did some weekend work. I burned vacation days at work to cover the time I was out of the office. It worked out ok for that situation, but a real SA job will require more time away from work than I'll be able to cover with vacation time.

If I get a good SA opportunity in the summer after 2E, I plan to ask my employer for an unpaid leave of absence for the duration of the internship. If they refuse, I will quit and do the SA gig. I would rather stay at my current position until I graduate... but I'm willing to leave 2 years early if it means I'll have a good shot at my dream job after I graduate.

User avatar
CurbYourEnthusiasm
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:49 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby CurbYourEnthusiasm » Tue May 24, 2011 3:22 pm

Good posts guys. Tough to find good PT information on this site. For those that have offered their 2 cents, how were you guys able to juggle school and work? Did you do most of your reading on weekends? Still have a social life?

User avatar
EstboundNDwn
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:15 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby EstboundNDwn » Tue May 24, 2011 4:32 pm

This is awesome info. Thanks!

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby nouseforaname123 » Wed May 25, 2011 11:36 am

CurbYourEnthusiasm wrote:For those that have offered their 2 cents, how were you guys able to juggle school and work?


Pre-LS it took me about 55 hours a week to complete my job. I've learned to condense my work week into about 45 hours a week. My boss is very supportive and I take about 6 days of vacation time around finals each semester. It isn't easy but I just have to stay organized. The biggest thing is that I don't have time to waste and I have to take advantage of down time to get ahead of my work.

CurbYourEnthusiasm wrote:Did you do most of your reading on weekends?


Yes. 1E year I did about 5-7 hours of reading Mon.-Thurs (after class). I would then do roughly 20-25 hours on the weekend.

CurbYourEnthusiasm wrote:Still have a social life?


No, but this is more personality driven. The key thing for you to take away is that you will never feel like you've done enough. LS material will always be there to work on and you will always feel like there is more you could be doing. If you are the kind of person that can pull away from the books you'll find a way to maintain a social life. If you can't pull you yourself away from the books it is difficult to maintain your social life.

Friday night I did nothing LS related and my wife typically scheduled whatever she wanted us to do those nights. She quickly figured out that I was exhausted on Friday nights and we would usually do something low key. During the school year, instead of going out with friends on a weekend night it was much more common for me to meet up with friends for lunch or something like that.

Wactawshus
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:59 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby Wactawshus » Wed May 25, 2011 11:54 am

Does anybody have an opinion on those students who start out pt and then switch to the ft program?

Since the switch requires taking summer classes, is this a major disadvantage going forward?

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Part Time vs. Full Time

Postby nouseforaname123 » Wed May 25, 2011 12:19 pm

Wactawshus wrote:Does anybody have an opinion on those students who start out pt and then switch to the ft program?

Since the switch requires taking summer classes, is this a major disadvantage going forward?


Possibly. It really depends on the specific school and program. Talk to your school about the following things:

1. When will you be allowed to participate in OCI? (You could entirely miss out on OCI by doing this)
2. What impact will this have on your eligibility for Law Review?
3. At what point in time will your career services allow you to change the anticipated graduation date on your resume?

Note: You may need to talk to different people at your school. I know this sounds weird, but admissions isn't always up-to-date on the rules that OCS operates by and OCS may not really understand exactly how Law Review is governed.

Search my post history to get an idea of the impact of this decision. I've addressed why making the "switch" can be a really bad decision at my school for students at the top of the class.




Return to “Choosing a Law School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests