Parents in Law School

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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emhellmer
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Parents in Law School

Postby emhellmer » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:12 pm

I am a single mother evaluating my law school options. As you can imagine, my child plays a huge part in that evaluation process. What schools are most friendly to parents? Where do they have the best campus child care, where is child care comped for students, etc? Can financial aid pay for child care? I have found some information from P.A.L.S., but not a lot. Any other parents out there with advice, tips, etc?

I'll start with my own dilemma: I've been offered a full scholarship to Baylor Law. It is close to family, and from the looks of the website the child care facility on campus is AMAZING. However, do I really want to move my toddler to a town like Waco? I understand that the students at Baylor Law are by and large miserable and overworked. Is it worth going if I am going to be a miserable mother?

Anyway, I look forward to any coversation about these matters.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Parents in Law School

Postby Aqualibrium » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:22 pm

emhellmer wrote:I am a single mother evaluating my law school options. As you can imagine, my child plays a huge part in that evaluation process. What schools are most friendly to parents? Where do they have the best campus child care, where is child care comped for students, etc? Can financial aid pay for child care? I have found some information from P.A.L.S., but not a lot. Any other parents out there with advice, tips, etc?

I'll start with my own dilemma: I've been offered a full scholarship to Baylor Law. It is close to family, and from the looks of the website the child care facility on campus is AMAZING. However, do I really want to move my toddler to a town like Waco? I understand that the students at Baylor Law are by and large miserable and overworked. Is it worth going if I am going to be a miserable mother?

Anyway, I look forward to any coversation about these matters.



Law school is going to be a pretty miserable existence anyway, but from the people I know at Baylor and the stories I've heard, you're going to need an ungodly devotion to all things law school as well as a bit of a mean streak if you hope to keep that scholarship.

I'd advise a single parent to go to a place where they can get the best child care support. I think that generally means staying with family, or close to family. As a first year student, you're going to need to devote yourself to your studies if you want to succeed.

I don't really understand the whole "toddler in Waco" thing though. The kid is going to remember a handful of things from this portion of his or her life; the lack of big city amenities isnt going to be one of them.

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inchoate_con
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Re: Parents in Law School

Postby inchoate_con » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:24 pm

Check out U of Washington

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emhellmer
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Re: Parents in Law School

Postby emhellmer » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:40 pm

Thanks aqua! Yes, being close to family is hugely important. Just to clarify about Waco: it isn't the lack of big city amenities that worries me. It's the high crime and my stereotypical view of the populace. Perhaps I'm just ignorant. I lived in that part of Texas for awhile, and did not care for some of the values that were popular, especially among the kids. But you're right, she's young.

ArghItsBlarg
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Re: Parents in Law School

Postby ArghItsBlarg » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:22 pm

0L with little kids here. Law school is going to be brutal and you'll be spending so much time away from your kids... it's not fun to contemplate. With that in mind, you'll be miserable regardless of where you are. If you have an option of attendance wherein you'll have family close by and willing to take care of/spend time with your kids (and you're comfortable with said family doing so), I'd jump at that. The fact that you have a full ride to a T1 that gives you such circumstances makes me say jump twice. One of the ways I'm rationalizing going to law school and essentially not seeing my kids during the week is that I'll come out of it being able to give them a much better future than had I not. Coming out of law school with zero debt puts you and your child in a far better financial situation than coming out with $100k of debt.

HOWEVER: Where do you want to practice? If it's not in Texas, that's a significant extra factor to take into consideration. It's hard to get a job anywhere, and porting a non T-14 degree enhances that difficulty.

Finally, with regard to Waco in general, I'm sure there are good quality (and more expensive) daycares available. A quick google search shows at least two Montessouri schools in Waco, which schools provide excellent (with no questionable-values) care. As for crime, I can't really speak to that in Texas, but hey, New Haven isn't exactly a bastion of comfort and people still go to Yale!

oliveminna
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Re: Parents in Law School

Postby oliveminna » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:58 pm

I am waiting to hear about $$ from Penn State but it is high on my list of schools as a single parent (university park). I do have family there. My brother-in-law teaches there, but I am strongly considering also because it is also a great place for kids. I have visited and it's beautiful, safe and full of activities. Great public school system and reasonable cost of living. Plus it's a school on the rise with a huge alumni network and a solid education. Plus the university is FILLED with babysitters.

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Drake014
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Re: Parents in Law School

Postby Drake014 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:08 pm

emhellmer wrote:I am a single mother evaluating my law school options. As you can imagine, my child plays a huge part in that evaluation process. What schools are most friendly to parents? Where do they have the best campus child care, where is child care comped for students, etc? Can financial aid pay for child care? I have found some information from P.A.L.S., but not a lot. Any other parents out there with advice, tips, etc?

I'll start with my own dilemma: I've been offered a full scholarship to Baylor Law. It is close to family, and from the looks of the website the child care facility on campus is AMAZING. However, do I really want to move my toddler to a town like Waco? I understand that the students at Baylor Law are by and large miserable and overworked. Is it worth going if I am going to be a miserable mother?

Anyway, I look forward to any coversation about these matters.


Check with each of your options. I go to Berkeley and they offer daycare. Each school is different and you're best off checking with them.

Fark-o-vision
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Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: Parents in Law School

Postby Fark-o-vision » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:08 pm

ArghItsBlarg wrote:0L with little kids here. Law school is going to be brutal and you'll be spending so much time away from your kids... it's not fun to contemplate. With that in mind, you'll be miserable regardless of where you are. If you have an option of attendance wherein you'll have family close by and willing to take care of/spend time with your kids (and you're comfortable with said family doing so), I'd jump at that. The fact that you have a full ride to a T1 that gives you such circumstances makes me say jump twice. One of the ways I'm rationalizing going to law school and essentially not seeing my kids during the week is that I'll come out of it being able to give them a much better future than had I not. Coming out of law school with zero debt puts you and your child in a far better financial situation than coming out with $100k of debt.

HOWEVER: Where do you want to practice? If it's not in Texas, that's a significant extra factor to take into consideration. It's hard to get a job anywhere, and porting a non T-14 degree enhances that difficulty.

Finally, with regard to Waco in general, I'm sure there are good quality (and more expensive) daycares available. A quick google search shows at least two Montessouri schools in Waco, which schools provide excellent (with no questionable-values) care. As for crime, I can't really speak to that in Texas, but hey, New Haven isn't exactly a bastion of comfort and people still go to Yale!


We don't know what values she considers questionable. We can make some assumptions, based on our existing assumptions regarding Waco, but we aren't sure. For instance, I wouldn't move my kid tot he area because I assume things like homophobia and religious intolerance are pretty rampant. The OP may have other assumptions, other values, or have other objections.

dakatz
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Re: Parents in Law School

Postby dakatz » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:12 pm

I know of a single mother at my school who had a family emergency the night before an exam involving her baby child. The whole situation was settled by the end of the night, but she ended up oversleeping the exam. The school was so understanding of her family situation that they allowed her to take it later that day.




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