Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

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TopTopham
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Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby TopTopham » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:20 pm

Hi all, long-time reader, first-time poster here. Here's my situation.

I'm from the Philadelphia area and would like to stay here permanently, working in private practice and making money (can't be more specific than that at this point). I've been working as a paralegal for a biglaw firm for 4 years and have about 70K saved. My parents have agreed to match the 70K so my tuition is pretty much covered. My numbers are 2.97/170 (there is no way I can improve the 170, so "retake" is inapplicable).

I just got into Georgetown off the WL. But the problem is, the acceptance is for the 4-year evening program. I love the school and checked both the full-time and part-time boxes without thinking much about it. I called them and asked them to switch the acceptance to full-time but they said no way.

Should I go? I didn't really see myself going at night. And I don't have a day job lined up in DC, or any leads on one. And I have to borrow for the living expenses, which could run to 100K or more since it's four years.

On the other hand, I love the school, it's a T14, and I don't like my alternatives (some of the local Phila schools (not Penn) with $$, some splitter schools like Indiana and WUSTL with $$, and GW at sticker).

Should I go? Thanks in advance.

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No13baby
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby No13baby » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:12 pm

Honestly, if you have Philly ties and want to stay in Philly, I think Drexel/Temple/Villanova (presumably you got into some of these) with $$ is as good an option as any.

TopTopham
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby TopTopham » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:26 pm

No13baby wrote:Honestly, if you have Philly ties and want to stay in Philly, I think Drexel/Temple/Villanova (presumably you got into some of these) with $$ is as good an option as any.


Thanks. Yup, I got into all those and could emerge debt-free. But I've learned from TLS to look at employment stats, and those schools are all below 15% in placement to 100+ firms and fed clerkships. Georgetown's at 37%. Is that difference worth (a) taking on debt for, and (b) going at night which is not my first choice? That's what I'm wrestling with.

run26.2
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby run26.2 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:37 pm

You might think about going to a local school leveraging your relationships from your experience as a paralegal into a big law position at your current firm. Have you checked to see if there have been any other paralegals at your firm that have gone to school and gotten offers later? A friend of mine did this for a very prestigious firm, though not in Philly, so it can happen.

How are your connections with the people at your work? I imagine if you have been working there for 4 years, they should be very familiar with your work. Past good work would give you a nice cushion from a local school at your current firm.

TopTopham
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby TopTopham » Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:57 pm

run26, that's a great thought, and thank you, but it doesn't apply to me. I'm with a small specialty group within the firm and they only hire a new associate once every five years or more. And the rest of the firm doesn't really know me. Can't count on my present firm.

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Dr. Review
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby Dr. Review » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:06 pm

You mentioned that you could attend a more regional school in your home area and emerge debt free, but are concerned about biglaw prospects. Is biglaw your ultimate career goal, or do you just feel that you need biglaw to justify the relatively high opportunity cost of attending law school? Generally biglaw is more necessary when you have a high debt load, but if you have little to no debt, smaller firms which pay more along 60k/yr can provide very fulfilling professional careers. If the large volume of higher level work is your goal, then you may need a program with more reach in the NLJ250/V100.

TopTopham
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby TopTopham » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:22 pm

Bedsole wrote:You mentioned that you could attend a more regional school in your home area and emerge debt free, but are concerned about biglaw prospects. Is biglaw your ultimate career goal, or do you just feel that you need biglaw to justify the relatively high opportunity cost of attending law school? Generally biglaw is more necessary when you have a high debt load, but if you have little to no debt, smaller firms which pay more along 60k/yr can provide very fulfilling professional careers. If the large volume of higher level work is your goal, then you may need a program with more reach in the NLJ250/V100.


I don't want to take three years out of my life, spend my 70K, and take 70K from my parents, only to make 60K. I want this to pay off. That's why I'm looking at biglaw stats.

You good folks are making it into a decision between G'town and Temple/V-nova/Drex. That's not how I really see it. I want to be at the top levels of the profession, and I see a T14 like G'town as the way in, not the local TTs. (I only mentioned the local TTs in my OP for the sake of background.) What's bothering me is the G'town EVENING thing. Do people from the evening program get biglaw? Is the program worth borrowing 100K in living expense for? Anyone?

score12905
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby score12905 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:57 pm

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Last edited by score12905 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Robespierre
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby Robespierre » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:12 pm

Drive a cab or something for 20 hours a week to earn food and clothing money. You'll still have plenty of time to do well in part-time LS. You'd only have to borrow for rent; maybe 65 K over 4 years. GULC with 65 K debt is a good outcome with your marginal GPA. You're lucky.

FlanSolo
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby FlanSolo » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:16 pm

Thought I'd add that in the V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer thread, the guy mentioned that his firm views evening and part time students skeptically. It may just be his firm, but my suspicion is that because evening programs, until recently, took substantially weaker candidates, that this stigma still lingers.

Still your options for Biglaw are still the best at GULC. So if that's what you want, you should do that and work part time.

TLSwag
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby TLSwag » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:30 pm

u can transfer from PT to FT after ur first year. suck it up if u want to go to law school... this is probably the best offer ull get (unless u retake for NW which u said is inapplicable)

edit: just saw post above. that sucks about them changing the ease of the transfer

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haus
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby haus » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:32 pm

Personally, I would not get so hung up on the notion of the evening program.

I would start by searching through the forum, I seem to recall others talking about transferring from PT to FT at GULC after the first year. Which is a possibility worth looking into.

If cost of living is the concern for the additional year, should you stay PT, I suspect that the skills you have already developed could be put to use to find employment in DC, allowing you to expand your professional network, and offset some of your expenses.

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top30man
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby top30man » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:34 pm

TLSwag wrote:u can transfer from PT to FT after ur first year. suck it up if u want to go to law school... this is probably the best offer ull get (unless u retake for NW which u said is inapplicable)

edit: just saw post above. that sucks about them changing the ease of the transfer

Georgetown is historically pretty Leinant with this (at least my interviewer told me it was). If you have experience as a big law paralegal, I'd imagine you could find a paralegal job for one year and then transfer to the day program.

score12905
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby score12905 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:37 pm

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Last edited by score12905 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TopTopham
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby TopTopham » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:53 pm

Yah, everyone being admitted to PT is being warned that it will now be much harder to transfer to FT. I'm assuming I won't be able to transfer. I like the idea of working part-time, though. Part-time job + part-time law school = full-time busy but not stretched too thin. And it cuts the debt. But I still wish there were more data out there about PT student employment outcomes. G'town doesn't give out any.

jcdjgd
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby jcdjgd » Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:57 pm

score12905 wrote:

I found this on the website:

In order to better serve students for whom the part-time program was designed and to remain true to the spirit in which the part-time program was established, students will now be permitted to transfer from the part-time program to the full-time program only in cases of a demonstrated significant change in circumstances.

http://www.law.georgetown.edu/academics ... /index.cfm


+1...My brother was denied twice. I think they really want to stay away from people thinking it's just a 1 year stop to the FT program.

score12905
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby score12905 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:07 pm

TopTopham wrote:Yah, everyone being admitted to PT is being warned that it will now be much harder to transfer to FT. I'm assuming I won't be able to transfer. I like the idea of working part-time, though. Part-time job + part-time law school = full-time busy but not stretched too thin. And it cuts the debt. But I still wish there were more data out there about PT student employment outcomes. G'town doesn't give out any.


I know this probably isn't what you want to hear but it's the best option that you currently have with those stats. Since re-taking is off of the table, you have to realistically consider if there is a higher ranked school you can get into next year or there's something significantly wrong with your app. Even then, it would make you a JD 4 years from now (same as going to GULC next year).

Look into some paralegal positions for the time being and see if you can find something to cover your living expense during first year. DC is really expensive for housing. After 1L, start looking for better positions that offer higher $$ and more responsibility/management. I would think that if you could get some great work experience during the upper class years, you can offset the part time stigma. Your chances for biglaw aren't great but I think by attending the part time program and working all 4 years, you'll have the highest chance with those stats and the least amount of debt.

TopTopham
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby TopTopham » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:17 pm

Ouch, this idea of a "stigma" worries me.

NavyLaw
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby NavyLaw » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:43 pm

FlanSolo wrote:Thought I'd add that in the V15 Senior Associate/OCI Interviewer thread, the guy mentioned that his firm views evening and part time students skeptically. It may just be his firm, but my suspicion is that because evening programs, until recently, took substantially weaker candidates, that this stigma still lingers.

Still your options for Biglaw are still the best at GULC. So if that's what you want, you should do that and work part time.


I'm doing the PT program next year and have heard multiple times that transferring after your first year won't be happening. What is this stigma with PT? Does it still hold if you work a legit job during your four years? I was thinking that this would actually put you at a leg up with potential employers.

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haus
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby haus » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:24 pm

NavyLaw wrote:I'm doing the PT program next year and have heard multiple times that transferring after your first year won't be happening. What is this stigma with PT? Does it still hold if you work a legit job during your four years? I was thinking that this would actually put you at a leg up with potential employers.

I suspect that this will vary by firm. Some will likely have the firm belief that they must shape their people and will prefer those with little or no real work experience so that they will have no real frame of reference of what work should be like.

Some firms may appreciate candidates who have demonstrated work experience, and may view successfully juggling work and school as a promising sign.

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crossarmant
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby crossarmant » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:57 am

Go to Georgetown and work a paralegal gig during the day. It ups your appeal to employers that you're working in the field, puts money in your pocket, and you'll be going to a T14. This would definitely be the path to choose. It may be a bit more costly, but with employment during the day it'll be less so and the returns will be far greater than Temple/Villanova (Drexel shouldn't even be in this equation).

TopTopham
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby TopTopham » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:55 am

For what it's worth -- probably not much -- the law school itself doesn't believe in the "stigma": http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admission ... rogram.cfm

See the fourth FAQ.

jcdjgd
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby jcdjgd » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:38 pm

Here's a recent thread on Part-time programs that may help you make up your mind:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=101525


FreshPrince wrote:Non-traditional here also.

I would say if you don't need the money, don't work. There are a lot of advantages to going full-time. Usually, part-time programs are set up for 4 years instead of 3 years full-time. You'll miss out on a lot of programs held for students during the day if you have a 9-5 job. Also, from the research I've done comparing the two options, you will have more of a community feel and form lasting relationships with professors, classmates and future colleagues in a full-time program whereas the part-time community is often disjointed.

In addition, there is somewhat of a negative stereotype among the corporate world when evaluating part-time law students compared to full-time students from the same schools or even similar ranked schools. I've talked to a lot of lawyers in my workplace and around my community about a part-time and a full-time program in my locale and how they are viewed. I've been outright told that full-time students are preferred candidates unless you have a really good reason for not giving up your day job or you did exceptionally well in your part-time program.

score12905
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby score12905 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:37 am

TopTopham wrote:For what it's worth -- probably not much -- the law school itself doesn't believe in the "stigma": http://www.law.georgetown.edu/admission ... rogram.cfm

See the fourth FAQ.


You should take anything on a law school website with a grain of salt, especially something that has no quantitative supporting data. For instance, compare the career services data on the Georgetown website vs. law school transparency. Misleading at best.

Stigma is that the gpa/lsat to get into the part time program is significantly less than the full time. I know that they are in the process of changing this but, for example, your stats would have no shot at the full time and you don't have a job in DC or a specific reason to go part time.

https://officialguide.lsac.org/Release/ ... lData.aspx

Working 4 years as a paralegal isn't considered significant, attractive work experience for biglaw, especially compared to what DC has to offer.

That being said, it's the best option on the table but I think that with 4 years of your life on the line, you owe it to yourself to approach this as aware of the disadvantages as possible. There's a reason they cut the program size in half over the last year.

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Borhas
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Re: Georgetown Part-Time Program, Should I Go?

Postby Borhas » Sat Aug 04, 2012 10:04 am

If you can figure out a way to get a semi-legit job it will make employers less skeptical. If you don't work during the day then they will rightly think of you as a student that couldn't get into the FT program.




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