Attend law school or accept job offer?

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careerconundrum

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Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby careerconundrum » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:51 pm

Hey all. Not sure if this is the right section to pose this question but I may have a difficult decision to make and would like some advice from people in similar situations. I currently live in Chicago and would like to work in Chicago. I was accepted by UIUC with a full-tuition scholarship offer (in at other schools but this was by far the best offer) and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am. However, I applied to a suburban police department over a year ago and as I was preparing to send my law school applications out I was contacted by this department asking if I was still interested in the job, so I told them I was and they moved me forward in the hiring process. I am now at the last step in the hiring process, and could receive a formal job offer as early as next month. Starting pay is ~$60k base and within 5 years would be bumped up to nearly $100k base. I have been thinking about law school for a long time and think I would love being a lawyer, but I am not positive that I would. I have seen so many disheartening stories on forums about lawyers and law students who hate what they are doing, as well as stories of lawyers who can't find well-paying jobs that make me question what I should do (which I realize is the goal and to my benefit). If I choose law school I would aim for biglaw, in which only 25% of UIUC graduates are employed, and risk being in the 35% of UIUC grads who don't find jobs as full-time lawyers. I don't think I would entirely love being a cop, but the salary certainty, the hours, and opportunity cost of about $200k (including loans for additional CoA while at law school) make the job difficult to pass up. What would you guys do in my situation?

Tl;dr: Should I attend UIUC w/ full tuition scholarship (take out loans for the rest) or accept potential job offer to be a suburban cop making $100k in 5 years?

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UVA2B

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby UVA2B » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:59 pm

You're actually in a great spot, even if it might not feel like it. Why not spend some time in the former profession (being a cop), making decent money without debt, and figuring out if the career is for you? At the worst, you can spend a few years experiencing criminal law from the enforcement side, only to find out it's not for you. At the best, you found your career that will be a stable profession.

Take the job as a police officer if you get it, and reengage law school down the road if you feel the job isn't for you. You got a full ride at UIUC this cycle, and I think you can reasonably predict you'll get similar options 2-4 years down the road.

Law school will always be there. Make sure it's something you want to do.

ambrajdurbra131313

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby ambrajdurbra131313 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:42 am

UVA2B wrote:
Take the job as a police officer if you get it, and reengage law school down the road if you feel the job isn't for you. You got a full ride at UIUC this cycle, and I think you can reasonably predict you'll get similar options 2-4 years down the road.


arose928

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby arose928 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:31 pm

Take the job. Think about the opportunity cost - you would both have to take out loans for living expenses (let's say you can do that on $30k/year), and miss out on making $60k+/year in the meantime. So that's -$90k in loans, and minus the $180k (and up) you would have made had you not gone to law school. So that's $270,000 for something you're not even sure you want to do, and for a slim chance at the thing you think you might want to do.

Law school will always be there later if you change your mind, or end up not liking what you're doing.

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby Rigo » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:00 pm

Take the job if you get it.

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poptart123

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby poptart123 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:03 pm

Sounds like a good job and would be good experience. It's difficult to just say take the job because you really need to think about the consequences and what you are risking. If you were a salesperson you wouldn't need to think about your life or others', and it might be easier for me to tell you to go. It could be a great opportunity, though, especially if you want to explore your interest in the law further before school.

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zot1

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby zot1 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:04 pm

Ask UIUC to let you defer for a year. Go be a cop. See how it feels. Never look back.

Rigo

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby Rigo » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:07 pm

zot1 wrote:Ask UIUC to let you defer for a year. Go be a cop. See how it feels. Never look back.

It'd probably just be better to reapply since you can't defer scholarships generally.

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zot1

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby zot1 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:13 pm

Rigo wrote:
zot1 wrote:Ask UIUC to let you defer for a year. Go be a cop. See how it feels. Never look back.

It'd probably just be better to reapply since you can't defer scholarships generally.


True. Also better because then OP can forget about law school.

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby Rigo » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:29 pm

zot1 wrote:
Rigo wrote:
zot1 wrote:Ask UIUC to let you defer for a year. Go be a cop. See how it feels. Never look back.

It'd probably just be better to reapply since you can't defer scholarships generally.

True. Also better because then OP can forget about law school.

Yeah. I also just don't think binding deferrals are good options unless it's for HYS, because of how their aid is structured and because there's really no room to improve for someone inclined to choose HYS over T13 money.

There's also a question of yield protect. Whereas if you get accepted by UVA only to turn them down and reapply, they'll probably WL you the second time unless you slit your wrists on your Why X to prove how dedicated you are the second time.
For an Illinois resident reapplying to UIUC, I don't see them yield protecting. So basically, there is really no utility in deferring and it can instead be detrimental to OP.

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Johann

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby Johann » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:38 pm

take the job. dont forget that biglaw benefits are basically nothing and police benefits are very good (including sometimes education benefits so you can get a law degree part time FOR FREE). i'd take the job and do law school at night on the side. illinois pension benefits are legit though. if you are making 100k salary at that job, with benefits you are usually looking at total comp in the range of $140 which is damn near big law money for way less hours of work (probably 33-50% less hours).

us3rnam3

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Re: Attend law school or accept job offer?

Postby us3rnam3 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:04 am

I would say take the job. In undergrad I had a few professors who were cops that earned there law degree during their first few years as cops. Also you can always quit your job and reapply to law school. And you can save money so that you don't have to take out a ton of loans for living expenses. If you don't mind me asking why do you want to be a cop if you're intrested in biglaw they don't usually go together...



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