NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

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PE51
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NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby PE51 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:08 pm

I am 32yrs old, single, and a senior manager/CPA at a BIG 4 Public accounting firm. I like my job, have opportunity to grow and like the people I work with. However, law has always been an interest of mine and some of the more fun/interesting parts of my job are when I get to research the tax code and read cases. The itch to go to law school will just not go away, and I don't think ever will. I am going to pursue a JD, but now need advice on which of the following two approaches to take. The end goal would be to obtain a job at a big law firm upon graduation.

A. Jump right in and attend Northwestern Law full time. A top rated school from which big law firms regularly hire. The fear here is that I won't be generating income for the next couple of years while giving up a good salary and at the same time accruing a huge debt for something that isn't a sure thing. If I end up hating it and leaving, it would be hard to get my old job back.

B. Attend IIT/Kent Law part time. A safer bet. I try it out part time for a year and if I find that this is my passion, attempt to transfer into a higher rated full time program. It looks like most of the T14 schools accept part time transfer applicants. Its cheaper so if I end up hating it and leaving the program it won't set me back as much and I'll still have my current job.

What would you do?

srfngdd6
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby srfngdd6 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:13 pm

PE51 wrote:I am 32yrs old, single, and a senior manager/CPA at a BIG 4 Public accounting firm. I like my job, have opportunity to grow and like the people I work with. However, law has always been an interest of mine and some of the more fun/interesting parts of my job are when I get to research the tax code and read cases. The itch to go to law school will just not go away, and I don't think ever will. I am going to pursue a JD, but now need advice on which of the following two approaches to take. The end goal would be to obtain a job at a big law firm upon graduation.

A. Jump right in and attend Northwestern Law full time. A top rated school from which big law firms regularly hire. The fear here is that I won't be generating income for the next couple of years while giving up a good salary and at the same time accruing a huge debt for something that isn't a sure thing. If I end up hating it and leaving, it would be hard to get my old job back.

B. Attend IIT/Kent Law part time. A safer bet. I try it out part time for a year and if I find that this is my passion, attempt to transfer into a higher rated full time program. It looks like most of the T14 schools accept part time transfer applicants. Its cheaper so if I end up hating it and leaving the program it won't set me back as much and I'll still have my current job.

What would you do?



Option C. Keep the job and forget law school

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Doorkeeper
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:14 pm

I don't know what the accounting market in Chicago looks like at the moment, but would your career really be set back that much if you go to Northwestern for a year, but decide to go back to accounting? If your job is to work biglaw, you're going to need that Northwestern degree to get in the door, and IIT/Kent just won't do that. You can't go into law school betting that you're going to transfer because you have no idea how you're going to do...and if you want to go from IIT/Kent to T14, you're going to be at the very tip top of your class. I wouldn't bank on this.

I don't know from your post whether or not you already applied to schools this year, but whenever you apply, make sure to apply broadly around the T14. Even if you goal is Northwestern, you might be able to use scholarship money at similar schools to leverage scholarship money out of Northwestern.

Renzo
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby Renzo » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:00 pm

I am also an older student who left a good job that paid the bills to go to law school. My advice is that if you need to be 100% sure you want to be a lawyer; sure enough that you are willing to give up just about everything you have to get there. You can't hedge your bets. It's extremely tough to get the kind of job you have in mind, so you need to be willing to bear the risk.

Law is the most prestige-obsessed industry I have ever encountered, so without a fancy pedigree, it's just not possible for you to get your foot in the door. You will have about a 0% chance of getting the kind of job you have in mind from Kent, no matter how competent or experienced you are. So if you want to be a lawyer bad enough to give up your current job, then there's no reason these should be your only options. You should be considering other top 10 schools as well. Cut your ties, quit your job, sell your house, and go to the best goddamn school you can.

wiscohopeful
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby wiscohopeful » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:17 pm

Transferring = crap shoot. I wouldn't go to Kent part time in the hopes of transferring if I end up liking law school and where it's heading. Then again, if you don't mind sticking with Kent after 1L more power to you. Can just keep your Big 4 job.

09042014
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby 09042014 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:23 pm

Paying for Kent if you want big law is stupid. Ask for a full ride.

MrAnon
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby MrAnon » Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:37 pm

Don't leave your career for law school.

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Simplicity
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby Simplicity » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:45 pm

Since you're already a senior manager, I would stay till partner and make bank.

I'm about start working at a Big 4 firm, but I plan on only working a year so I can fulfill the work requirement to get my CPA, then going to law school. I interned last Spring and didn't really enjoy the work too much, although the people I worked with were awesome. Not to mention, the pay isn't all that great until you make partner. For me, that would be so far off I don't have much to lose by going to law school. You've already worked there for 10 years, and you'd probably make partner in just a few more. If I were in your position, I'd for sure stay.

CanadianWolf
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:38 pm

Assuming that your current income level is above six figures, then the opportunity cost combined with paying full tuition make law school full-time an unwise choice in this economy.

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20130312
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby 20130312 » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:44 pm

I understand the totally irrational urge to go to law school, despite all the warnings about this economy, so I'm not going to advise you to not go (except for the part at the end of this post where I do). But if you MUST go, then it has to be all or nothing. Don't dip your feet in with Chicago-Kent. That degree will be meaningless. Leave the job and go to Northwestern if you have to go to law school.

But any rational person would say don't go at all.

caminante
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby caminante » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:55 pm

Have you taken the LSAT? Even studied it a bit? If not, you have no idea what your actual choice will be regarding law school opportunities. You might instead be choosing between relocating to another city, continuing your work at another Big 4 office location, and doing, say, Georgetown PT... or cutting ties and going to Chicago full time.

You first need to decide exactly how much you are willing to sacrifice for a career in law. I really believe that since you only have one life to live, you should go for the career that you really want rather than making it a purely financial consideration, assuming you will be able to support yourself either way. If you decide that law is what you really want, your next step would be to do some cursory LSAT studying and take a PT to see how realistic your career goals would be given your aptitude for the LSAT (and knowing that you can improve a lot with more studying).

Good luck, and congrats on your career success so far!

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ThreeRivers
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Re: NEED ADVICE! NU Full time or IIT Kent Part Time

Postby ThreeRivers » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:00 pm

PE51 wrote:a senior manager/CPA at a BIG 4 Public accounting firm. I like my job, have opportunity to grow and like the people I work with. However, law has always been an interest of mine and some of the more fun/interesting parts of my job are when I get to research the tax code and read cases.

What would you do?

So you have a job you enjoy, that pays well, like your co-workers, and you have the opportunity to advance even further / make more $

Not trying to be rude, but I honestly think the odds are really high that your life will be worse if you go to law school. I'd continue to have fun researching tax codes / cases

This isn't meant to be rude as I understand the urge, but imo the grass most likely won't be greener (especially since you're appear to have a good thing).

The risks just don't match up to the rewards imo




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