My sad situation - advice needed

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
TSLexi
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My sad situation - advice needed

Postby TSLexi » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:26 pm

Hi guys!

Here is my sad situation:

Up until June, I was studying for a BSc in Microbiology with Immunology at University of Leeds. In my penultimate year, I came out as MTF. I began my transition, and I was doing quite well in my studies, and my social group was pretty accepting. My goal was to become a biotech patent attorney.

Unfortunately, when I told my parents, they freaked out, stopped funding my degree, and took my hormones, make-up kit, hair extensions, etc. Luckily, they haven't kicked me out, and they are willing to pay for me to get my ABA-accredited paralegal AA degree at my local community college, Cerritos College. So there's that to be thankful for.

Since my program includes work experience, my goal is to get hired at one of the firms I extern at, retransition, and engage in the Law Office Study Program to become a licensed attorney.

So I have a few questions:

1. How is the job market for paralegals?

2. Law Office Study Program...if you had a fresh UCLA grad vs a person who read law while working as a paralegal and passed the bar, who would you hire?

3. For a few months in Leeds, I worked as an independent high-class escort (desperation for money and loneliness). I was pretty successful, and I learned a lot of transferable business skills (marketing, customer management, etc.) I think I should keep that under wraps, but honesty is very important in business, especially in the practice of law, since anyone can find out everything about you these days. I would not want to hire someone who kept secrets from me.

Whatever advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Lexi

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Hipster but Athletic
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby Hipster but Athletic » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:31 pm

Have you seen the television show on USA called Suits? It's got a lot of great characters --one a is a chick who is trying to make the transition from paralegal to law student, and another full of secrets. I think you might enjoy the show.

TSLexi
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby TSLexi » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:38 pm

Hipster but Athletic wrote:Have you seen the television show on USA called Suits? It's got a lot of great characters --one a is a chick who is trying to make the transition from paralegal to law student, and another full of secrets. I think you might enjoy the show.


I haven't, but I'll look into it. Sounds very interesting.

Now, what would you advise in my situation?

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ScottRiqui
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby ScottRiqui » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:44 pm

You're in your last year for your B.S., right? Is there any way you can finish your degree without your parents' support?

TSLexi
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby TSLexi » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:52 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:You're in your last year for your B.S., right? Is there any way you can finish your degree without your parents' support?


Only if I come up with GBP30K. They ruined my life. Alas, we can't change the past. We must look forward.

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rinkrat19
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:54 pm

TSLexi wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:You're in your last year for your B.S., right? Is there any way you can finish your degree without your parents' support?


Only if I come up with GBP30K. They ruined my life. Alas, we can't change the past. We must look forward.

Aren't there government student loans in Britain?

TSLexi
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby TSLexi » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:59 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
TSLexi wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:You're in your last year for your B.S., right? Is there any way you can finish your degree without your parents' support?


Only if I come up with GBP30K. They ruined my life. Alas, we can't change the past. We must look forward.

Aren't there government student loans in Britain?


I'm Californian! I was an international student over there. They were paying for it with US federal loans, which I can't take out myself.

I really enjoyed my time there; education was top-notch, and the people were wonderful.

Basically, my hopes of returning to my degree are dead. I need advice as to my current situation.

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rinkrat19
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:04 am

TSLexi wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:
TSLexi wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:You're in your last year for your B.S., right? Is there any way you can finish your degree without your parents' support?


Only if I come up with GBP30K. They ruined my life. Alas, we can't change the past. We must look forward.

Aren't there government student loans in Britain?

They were paying for it with US federal loans, which I can't take out myself.

Why not?

If you need to transfer back to a US college, do that.

TSLexi
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby TSLexi » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:11 am

I can't because the loans require a cosigner, and they won't cosign. I have no credit history.

Once again, let's look at my current situation, as I start paralegal school in Spring.

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Nova
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby Nova » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:14 am

Federal student loans do not require a cosigner or credit check

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Nova
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby Nova » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:16 am

Cali is super saturated and competitive. You will probably never be a practicing attorney if you don't go to a good aba accredited law school. You need to figure out how to get a BA/BS

TSLexi
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby TSLexi » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:32 am

Nova wrote:Cali is super saturated and competitive. You will probably never be a practicing attorney if you don't go to a good aba accredited law school. You need to figure out how to get a BA/BS


I know. I plan to get a BA/BS at some point. Once I get a job as a paralegal, I can start saving up.

Why would someone who read law be looked down upon, especially if they had years of experience working as a paralegal? The fresh LS grad has no real experience. Both have passed the bar, and the former has actual experience.

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Joe Quincy
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby Joe Quincy » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:34 am

TSLexi wrote:
Nova wrote:Cali is super saturated and competitive. You will probably never be a practicing attorney if you don't go to a good aba accredited law school. You need to figure out how to get a BA/BS


I know. I plan to get a BA/BS at some point. Once I get a job as a paralegal, I can start saving up.

Why would someone who read law be looked down upon, especially if they had years of experience working as a paralegal? The fresh LS grad has no real experience. Both have passed the bar, and the former has actual experience.



Assuming this isn't a flame, your situation sucks. Probably shouldn't have come out without knowing how they'd react.

Reading law is nearly impossible because no lawyer is willing to take on the major non-billable time commitment. You can't do it by simply working as a paralegal. And many states prohibit you from also being employed by the supervising lawyer.

They are looked down on as it is no long traditional and lawyers are extremely traditional. Nor is it very good training in most cases.

Cali is full of shitty law schools whose grads can't find jobs. There is no room left in the market for someone who read law. LS is really only an option for you if you can finish your BS and score high enough on the LSAT to get into a T14 school. Until that happens, attending should be a secondary goal. Get a degree in something that can lead to employment on its own.

TSLexi
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby TSLexi » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:42 am

Joe Quincy wrote:
TSLexi wrote:
Nova wrote:Cali is super saturated and competitive. You will probably never be a practicing attorney if you don't go to a good aba accredited law school. You need to figure out how to get a BA/BS


I know. I plan to get a BA/BS at some point. Once I get a job as a paralegal, I can start saving up.

Why would someone who read law be looked down upon, especially if they had years of experience working as a paralegal? The fresh LS grad has no real experience. Both have passed the bar, and the former has actual experience.



Assuming this isn't a flame, your situation sucks. Probably shouldn't have come out without knowing how they'd react.

Reading law is nearly impossible because no lawyer is willing to take on the major non-billable time commitment. You can't do it by simply working as a paralegal. And many states prohibit you from also being employed by the supervising lawyer.

They are looked down on as it is no long traditional and lawyers are extremely traditional. Nor is it very good training in most cases.

Cali is full of shitty law schools whose grads can't find jobs. There is no room left in the market for someone who read law. LS is really only an option for you if you can finish your BS and score high enough on the LSAT to get into a T14 school. Until that happens, attending should be a secondary goal. Get a degree in something that can lead to employment on its own.


I'd be quite happy being a paralegal.

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Joe Quincy
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby Joe Quincy » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:45 am

TSLexi wrote:
I'd be quite happy being a paralegal.


How do you know this? Have you ever done it? It's quite different at a small firm or solo's office. A large firm is unlikely to hire you with a certificate from a community college. I know at least three people in a much less crowded legal market with paralegal certs and not one has ever worked as a paralegal. Think of how alum a year get churned out versus the number of jobs.
Last edited by Joe Quincy on Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

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IAFG
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby IAFG » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:46 am

Start applying for 4 year programs here that you can afford on the amount of loans and aid you will get here. Do not start any sort of paralegal program. The end.

NYstate
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby NYstate » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:48 am

Your sad situation is based on your relying on your parents to pay for your school and life. Many people here come up with ways to go to school and finish their degre without needing or taking money from their parents. Or by becoming escorts.

As a US citizen you should be able to get student loans . Getting student loans is one of the simplest things to do. If your parents are wealthy, then you might have to make it on your own for a year first. Do you have a drug or criminal history that is stopping you? I

Figure out how to finish the degree you started and don't throw away those years of work.

Going to school to be a paralegal is not the best use of your time.

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Joe Quincy
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby Joe Quincy » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:55 am

I think people ITT may be confusing getting law school student loans for undergrad. Many undergrads require a co-signer because of adverse credit, even for federal loans. There are ways around it though and no credit isn't the same as adverse credit.

TSLexi
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby TSLexi » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:06 am

Joe Quincy wrote:I think people ITT may be confusing getting law school student loans for undergrad. Many undergrads require a co-signor, even for federal loans.


I'd like to work for a small firm, the degree would be an AA, and my parents wouldn't let me take the loans out in my name...

This isn't my fault...everything was going fine until they flipped.

Why does everyone here assume every future lawyer wants to work for a big firm? I'd be happy working solo.

Once again, if someone who read law isn't getting a good education, its because they're not motivated. You get what you put in. For centuries lawyers read law. Why spend $100K+ when you don't have to.

TSLexi
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Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:04 pm

Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby TSLexi » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:08 am

Joe Quincy wrote:I think people ITT may be confusing getting law school student loans for undergrad. Many undergrads require a co-signer because of adverse credit, even for federal loans. There are ways around it though and no credit isn't the same as adverse credit.


I need to wait until I'm 26 to take PLUS loans out myself. Then I'll return to UG.

rad lulz
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby rad lulz » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:10 am

TSLexi wrote:Hi guys!

Here is my sad situation:

Up until June, I was studying for a BSc in Microbiology with Immunology at University of Leeds. In my penultimate year, I came out as MTF. I began my transition, and I was doing quite well in my studies, and my social group was pretty accepting. My goal was to become a biotech patent attorney.

Unfortunately, when I told my parents, they freaked out, stopped funding my degree, and took my hormones, make-up kit, hair extensions, etc. Luckily, they haven't kicked me out, and they are willing to pay for me to get my ABA-accredited paralegal AA degree at my local community college, Cerritos College. So there's that to be thankful for.

Since my program includes work experience, my goal is to get hired at one of the firms I extern at, retransition, and engage in the Law Office Study Program to become a licensed attorney.

So I have a few questions:

1. How is the job market for paralegals?

2. Law Office Study Program...if you had a fresh UCLA grad vs a person who read law while working as a paralegal and passed the bar, who would you hire?

3. For a few months in Leeds, I worked as an independent high-class escort (desperation for money and loneliness). I was pretty successful, and I learned a lot of transferable business skills (marketing, customer management, etc.) I think I should keep that under wraps, but honesty is very important in business, especially in the practice of law, since anyone can find out everything about you these days. I would not want to hire someone who kept secrets from me.

Whatever advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Lexi

How was bein an escort?

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Joe Quincy
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby Joe Quincy » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:10 am

TSLexi wrote:
Joe Quincy wrote:I think people ITT may be confusing getting law school student loans for undergrad. Many undergrads require a co-signor, even for federal loans.


I'd like to work for a small firm, the degree would be an AA, and my parents wouldn't let me take the loans out in my name...

This isn't my fault...everything was going fine until they flipped.

Why does everyone here assume every future lawyer wants to work for a big firm? I'd be happy working solo.

Once again, if someone who read law isn't getting a good education, its because they're not motivated. You get what you put in. For centuries lawyers read law. Why spend $100K+ when you don't have to.


Your parents have no choice what you take out in your name. It's called being an adult. And no, it isn't what you put in. It's what the person training you puts in. Also, there are about 100x more laws now than when they did this in the past, they are way more complex, and there are now lots of ancillary things to worry about. Even a solo in a small market can run up against an international treaty for example.

Working solo is nearly impossible straight from school. And many solos end up bankrupt, even from great law schools.

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Nova
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby Nova » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:25 am

TSLexi wrote:Why would someone who read law be looked down upon, especially if they had years of experience working as a paralegal? The fresh LS grad has no real experience. Both have passed the bar, and the former has actual experience.

Almost all law students get real experience during law school. Almost everyone gets experience over the summer, and many work part time during the year or do clinics.

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Nova
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby Nova » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:31 am

It doesn't seem like you want advice

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guano
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Re: My sad situation - advice needed

Postby guano » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:40 am

TSLexi wrote:
Joe Quincy wrote:I think people ITT may be confusing getting law school student loans for undergrad. Many undergrads require a co-signor, even for federal loans.


I'd like to work for a small firm, the degree would be an AA, and my parents wouldn't let me take the loans out in my name...

This isn't my fault...everything was going fine until they flipped.

Why does everyone here assume every future lawyer wants to work for a big firm? I'd be happy working solo.

Once again, if someone who read law isn't getting a good education, its because they're not motivated. You get what you put in. For centuries lawyers read law. Why spend $100K+ when you don't have to.

Because whoever is doing the hiring doesn't know what you've learned. But they do know that if you went to X school that you at least have a certain minimum understanding.

The expensive degree is what gets you the job, not your actual knowledge of the law.
As for going solo, unless you gave actual experience running a business, you're probably gonna fail - and that's assuming you know how the law works in practice.

But, if you really want to go that route, you will need the following: phone, computer, access to legal books (can be your LS's library), malpractice insurance, advertising, cash to cover costs you will incur, cash to live on until you miraculously convince some sucker that you can adequately represent them then do all the required work until it's time to bill them before finally waiting for them to actually pay you (which could be a while).
I'm gonna estimate minimal startup costs, if you can live with your parents, to be about $25,000 - but that assumes being able to do everything on the cheap and requires a fuckton of luck.




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