Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

What option do you recommend?

GSU part-time
11
33%
GSU full-time
2
6%
Emory full-time
4
12%
UGA full-time
2
6%
Don't go to law school
14
42%
 
Total votes: 33

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LawsRUs
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby LawsRUs » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:33 pm

I just voted in the poll: Don't go to law school.

BigZuck
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:33 pm

I'm curious as to how you see Georgia State helping you become in house counsel somewhere. Your own company doesn't even seem too keen on helping you get a JD, why do you think other companies will hire you on? And do you think Georgia State part time gives you a legitimate shot at big law?

Passing on a 100K job in a relatively cheap city seems kind of crazy to me. But if you're going to go down this path, I think you have to go to a school that gives you a legitimate shot at achieving the goals you say you have. I don't think either Emory or Georgia State is that school.

I guess Georgia State is the middle ground here but I think that's just going to be a waste of time and money unless you can convince your current company to hire you on.

MKSY
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby MKSY » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:20 pm

BigZuck wrote:I'm curious as to how you see Georgia State helping you become in house counsel somewhere. Your own company doesn't even seem too keen on helping you get a JD, why do you think other companies will hire you on?


Where are you getting the impression that companies are throwing around tens of thousands of dollars at their employees to get their law degrees? This just doesn't happen. Some companies will give small amounts of tuition reimbursement (ex: up to $5,000 per year), my company gives out merit-based scholarships in the same range.

And do you think Georgia State part time gives you a legitimate shot at big law?


I'm not interested in working at big law. Why would I trade a $100K job with 8-9 hours of work per day for a $100K starting job with 12 hours of work per day?

My interest is, long-term, to open my own small practice. If I'm not working for myself, then I would pursue an in-house counsel job. My MBA and 7+ years of actual experience negotiating transactional contracts puts me in a different league than young JD's with zero real-world experience. With a JD, I believe I can find an in-house counsel position if I want one, though it may be at a smaller company.

Passing on a 100K job in a relatively cheap city seems kind of crazy to me. But if you're going to go down this path, I think you have to go to a school that gives you a legitimate shot at achieving the goals you say you have. I don't think either Emory or Georgia State is that school.


If Emory doesn't give me that advantage, then there is certainly no point in leaving my existing job.

I guess Georgia State is the middle ground here but I think that's just going to be a waste of time and money unless you can convince your current company to hire you on.


I don't think it will be a waste of time. Regardless, I will talk to the lawyer that makes the hiring decisions for my company to get his thoughts. Even if this track won't help me get an in-house position at my current company, I want to invest in myself. Unlike young JD's, I'm not as keen to "get a job" working for someone. They have lots of debt, no capital, and no experience. They are dependent on being hired to get above water. I'm frankly at a different stage of life. I have no debt whatsoever, I have two homes fully paid off, and I have cash in the bank. I'm looking at a JD as my way to transition from "employee" to "small business."

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chuckbass
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby chuckbass » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:28 pm

So don't go to law school; start a business.

BigZuck
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:47 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:So don't go to law school; start a business.

Yup

OP- I've seen numerous posters on here claim that their company would pay for their JD. Maybe they were all lying, I dunno.

Anyway, JD from rando school= opens up worlds of opportunities seems very boomerish to me and I'm not sure it's very well grounded in reality but maybe. Good luck, sounds like you'll be STACKING FAT STACKS no matter what choices you make in life so it doesn't really matter what you choose here. You'll be fine.

MKSY
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby MKSY » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:20 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:So don't go to law school; start a business.


As a starting solo practitioner, the capital required to sell my services is minimal: a desk, computer, and phone line. IMO, law is one of the least capital intensive services to sell. Compare that with doctors (very expensive equipment, insurance, clinic space, and specialized staff) or business consultants (significant out-of-pocket travel expenses for a start-up consultant to visit potential clients and dominated by large firms). And if you aren't selling your services, what are you selling? Restaurants, real estate / rental property, retail (even online retail) all require substantial capital. Your risk isn't limited to zero income - you have the potential to lose huge sums of money because your business model is attempting to turn money into more money. With services, you are attempting to turn your time into money. So long as you have sufficient reserves to put food on the table and keep the lights on, you can afford to spend time waiting for your client base to grow.

In this sense, I consider lawyers to be like plumbers, accountants, electricians, personal trainers, etc. Sure, you'll find a lot of those professions working for someone else... but it's not capital intensive to go solo, either. If you're ambitious and good at what you do, there's little stopping you.

What is stopping fresh lawyers from going solo? Massive soul-crushing debt and desperation for a paycheck. Many of them went through undergrad and law school completely dependent on their parents. Without their parents, they can't pay rent next month. So yeah, they need to work for someone to put food on the table and keep the lights on... and begin paying off the mountain of debt.

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chuckbass
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby chuckbass » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:28 pm

Nothing about OP's posts implied that he meant he wanted to open up shop as a lawyer.

BigZuck
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby BigZuck » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:52 pm

scottidsntknow wrote:Nothing about OP's posts implied that he meant he wanted to open up shop as a lawyer.

Yup

Also, I've never paid for malpractice insurance or an office space or anything but I'm kinda doubting that being a successful solo is as cheap and EZ GAME as the OP thinks it is

This thread got weird, this whole time I thought we were talking about Emory/GSU for someone who wanted to be in house counsel.

Anyone OP, what I said before still stands- You've got it figured out and are destined for success, no reason to ask advice from the debt pwned, boot strapless kids at TLS. The conventional wisdom of the hivemind doesn't apply to you, you're playing by your own rules now.

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ek5dn
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby ek5dn » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:23 pm

MKSY wrote:Hello everyone,

I live/work in Atlanta and I have been accepted to Emory and Georgia State. Emory is offering me a $60,000 scholarship spread over three years whereas GSU is offering no scholarship but is still cheaper as an in-state student. I'm looking for advice on which of the two would be the better choice for me. Although Emory is the stronger of the two schools, I'm leaning heavily towards the part-time program at GSU since I'd rather not quit a good job. Attending GSU part-time would be easily affordable for me if I continued working. Attending Emory full-time would be a challenge but I could still manage it without taking on debt if I liquidated some assets.

A bit of background: I got my MBA right after undergrad and I have been working for the past 7+ years as a sourcing manager (negotiating contracts) at a Fortune 100 company based here in Atlanta. Financially, I'm doing well (approximately $100K/year) and I enjoy my job but I see my career as having plateaued somewhat and I'm eager to invest in myself. I'm mostly interested in law to pursue a career as in-house counsel at major companies. I work with in-house lawyers on almost a daily basis to get their take on legal terms as part of my contract negotiations. My assumption is that my experience and depth of knowledge negotiating commercial terms would position me well for this career path (but please shoot me down if I'm mistaken). By the time I would graduate the GSU part-time program, I would have 11.5 years of experience.

Please share your thoughts on my "plan," Emory FT vs GSU PT, and anything you think I may be overlooking (ex: if there are other lines of legal work where my experience and skill set would be better suited for).

As a side note, I've also been accepted to UGA (like GSU, no scholarship but in-state tuition is affordable). However, UGA is at the bottom of my list because in addition to quitting my job, I would have to leave Atlanta (I own a home in Atlanta and my wife works here too).


Have you reached out and attempted to negotiate with GSU or UGA? Are they aware of your scholarship offer from Emory? I'm surprised that you weren't offered any $$ at all if you got into Emory with $.

CTuch
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby CTuch » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:34 am

I would definitely go to GSU part time with no debt and keeping a good job than liquidate assets to go all in at Emory. You still run the risk of not making as much money as you are now going to Emory. I know some people who went to GSU who got better jobs than those coming out of Emory, it had more to do with where they placed in their class at GSU. They had better jobs and less debt, overall better outcome. I will be at GSU part time starting in August, moving wasn't an option for us either as we have young kids in school and a mortgage here in the Atlanta area.

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deadpanic
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby deadpanic » Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:19 pm

This thread is turning into an absolute disaster. Don't say we didn't warn you not to go to law school 3 or 4 years from now. The Atlanta legal market is so overcrowded it should just banish all newly minted JDs from its market for the next decade.

Starting as a solo practitioner is a recipe to fail and/or get sued and lose your law license. The overhead is not as much as a doctor's office, but who cares about the overhead if you have no business? How can you drum up paying clients to trust a guy that has never tried a case in his life or has no experience as a practicing lawyer? Especially ones that are going to come to your no-frills home office which is just a desk, computer and phone line? Look, there are lawyers in ATL with way more experience than you'll ever have that are STARVING for clients. How you are going to get business over them as a lawyer with no practical lawyering skills whatsoever is beyond me. Any business contacts you have from your current job are likely pretty sophisticated and are not going to the solo shop guy out of law school with his office by his kids' playroom. If you happen to get in-house experience, that is truly not practicing law and will not translate into what you do in a solo practice.

Outside of drumming up business, and this kind of ties in to retaining and getting new business, law school in no way prepares you for the actual practice of law or the business aspect of law. They don't teach you how to draft (much less good ones) motions, complaints, discovery, orders, or what procedures to actually go through - none of that (and if a class does, it isn't enough to know what you are doing). So, you are going to get your ass knocked off by local attorneys that have been "in the trenches" and know how to procedurally screw your case to hell and back. Basically, you are going to drop 50ishk to have a learning experience, which means you will just pay a lot of money to read a thousands of cases you'll never use. I would highly recommend just staying at your current job and just buying a bunch of law school textbooks and reading them in your free time as a hobby.

Not trying to kill your dreams, just give you a harsh dose of reality. Best of luck and I hope it works out for you.

treeey86
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby treeey86 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:30 pm

I'm an Emory Law grad, who is in-house counsel in Atlanta and makes over $100k/year.

Don't go to law school. Don't leave your job. Don't waste all that money. Going part-time route is going to be miserable at GSU, the hours are long, the stress will be there, your grades will suffer in class and your work will suffer at work.

If you go to Emory, you are all in, and basically after 3 years will be working to get a position like the one you are about to leave.

You are in a business role. In-house counsel answers to business. Keep working and saving. Transition to another company if you need that salary bump. Throwing all those years away to go to law school for 3 years just to try to work your way back to a scenario you are currently in is just a waste of time, money, and likely your happiness.

MKSY
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Re: Advice: Emory FT vs GSU PT

Postby MKSY » Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:33 pm

Wow that got dark. :shock:

The vibe I'm getting is that most of you are jaded recent law school grads with lots of debt and little prospects or mediocre jobs. Hence, you still spend your time on a forum such as this as a post-grad. Maybe my assessment is totally flawed but that's my feeling and that's why I find it hard to take the whole Debby-downer attitude here seriously. You'll find the same exact sentiments on forums for engineers, MBA's, MD's, etc. "Oh my God, don't do it, you'll hate your life!" My experience is that there are always bears, even in a good bull market. When the housing market bottomed in 2012 and I bought my second property, there were bears who said I was insane and the market was only going down, down, down (which was just as blind and insane as those who said the market only goes up, up, up). If someone can speak from facts or experience that a JD after an MBA is a disaster, please share it. Otherwise, I'm inclined to discount the negativity here.

Yes, in-house attorney is my preferred option but I was responding to the suggestion to "start your own business" instead of spending $50K on law school. You guys (with law or law school experience) are saying it isn't easy for lawyers, I'm saying it isn't an easy to start your own business. If it was, nobody would put their money in the stockmarket where it is at the mercy of forces beyond your control or influence and hoping to average out with a 6% return on investment.

I accepted the GSU where I'm set to begin PT. GSU orientation is August 10th.




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