Father, Husband, Law School. Advise Please.

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
bygbr
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:04 pm

Father, Husband, Law School. Advise Please.

Postby bygbr » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:19 pm

Hello, I was curious if any of you could help me with some advise.

I am a Police Officer in Southern California and I would like to go to Law School full time. I am married with two young children and my wife does not work. I did my undergraduate schooling fulltime while working fulltime and it was very taxing on my family. I don't think that i could handle 4 years of part time Law School while working full time. Ultimately, I would like to stop working full time and devote my time to Law School.

Assets: I have $75,000 in stocks/savings. I have a few months left of my chapter 30 GI bill and qualify for one year at 80% on the Post 9/11 GI Bill (i separated the military in December of 2003). When I leave employment with my Police department I will get about $10k more in cashing out vacation and comp time banks.

I would like to look at the two year SCALE program at South Western University to get back into the job market as soon as possible. Health insurance/car payments/car insurance/rent etc.. will be draining my bank account and my wife has no education or experience. At most she may be able to get a minimum wage/part time job, though child care would cost more than she would make.

Anyway, can anyone share their expertise in how I may be able to fund my Law School or get government assistance? How much money could I expect to get from student loans?

Thanks for you help, it is much appreciated.

yeff
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: Father, Husband, Law School. Advise Please.

Postby yeff » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:12 am

bygbr wrote:Anyway, can anyone share their expertise in how I may be able to fund my Law School or get government assistance? How much money could I expect to get from student loans?

Thanks for you help, it is much appreciated.


Loans and scholarships, yes. Consider that many law students are attending straight from college and rely entirely on new loans for law school.

Obviously you will have to consider the debt load versus future earnings, but yeah, loans.

Depending on what you plan to do as a lawyer, you will also be eligible for income-based repayment or a loan repayment assistance program (LRAP).

Some schools have additional programs, but even just from the federal government you can receive assistance repaying loans if you work in a government or public interest job.

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Father, Husband, Law School. Advise Please.

Postby Renzo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:15 am

bygbr wrote:Hello, I was curious if any of you could help me with some advise.

I am a Police Officer in Southern California and I would like to go to Law School full time. I am married with two young children and my wife does not work. I did my undergraduate schooling fulltime while working fulltime and it was very taxing on my family. I don't think that i could handle 4 years of part time Law School while working full time. Ultimately, I would like to stop working full time and devote my time to Law School.

Assets: I have $75,000 in stocks/savings. I have a few months left of my chapter 30 GI bill and qualify for one year at 80% on the Post 9/11 GI Bill (i separated the military in December of 2003). When I leave employment with my Police department I will get about $10k more in cashing out vacation and comp time banks.

I would like to look at the two year SCALE program at South Western University to get back into the job market as soon as possible. Health insurance/car payments/car insurance/rent etc.. will be draining my bank account and my wife has no education or experience. At most she may be able to get a minimum wage/part time job, though child care would cost more than she would make.

Anyway, can anyone share their expertise in how I may be able to fund my Law School or get government assistance? How much money could I expect to get from student loans?

Thanks for you help, it is much appreciated.

You will be able to do it, if you want. Schools will adjust your cost of attendance to allow you to borrow a tad bit more than a standard single student, but you'll still burn through some savings. After the first year, and maybe before, there's a good chance your family will qualify for medicaid/CHP, which will save you some coin on insurance.

Having said all that, I would really think hard about whether or not you really want to do that. There's a really good chance you'll be taking a backward career move unless you have a very and reasonable goal for yourself. I'll PM you some details about my own experience that might help.

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Father, Husband, Law School. Advise Please.

Postby Danteshek » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:17 am

The captain of the Palos Verdes Estates police department is an evening student at Southwestern. You should call the admissions department and ask for his contact information. My understanding is that he is a phenomenal student. Good luck!

bygbr
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:04 pm

Re: Father, Husband, Law School. Advise Please.

Postby bygbr » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:35 pm

Thanks for the advice. I have always wanted to be a lawyer but never thought that I would be able to afford it after draining my GI bill on my undergrad degree. I have always wanted to work in public service, but I am open to other opportunities if they came up. The fact that I may make less than I make now is an obstacle only. If I had been a lawyer for as long as Ive been a police officer I'm sure I would be making more than I make now. The fact is that I am not interested in Law School to get rich. I am very excited about doing this. I have spent hours upon hours with deputy DA's preparing cases for trial and getting coached on courtroom testimony and etiquette. I enjoy being in the court room and would love to be in public service.

Anyway, thanks again for the advice.

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Father, Husband, Law School. Advise Please.

Postby Danteshek » Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:00 pm

The monetary sacrifice will obviously be significant. You may want to consider sucking it up for 4 years and go part time if that will significantly diminish the financial burden on your family. Then you can decide later whether you want to stay in law enforcement or jump over to the DA's or do criminal defense (or whatever). The one thing I'll say is that the education is valuable in and of itself. If I were you I would NOT worry too much about the student debt, especially if you plan on going back into public service. The federal government's Income Based Repayment (IBR) system is pretty good. Google it. As far as I know the retirement package at the DA/PD is pretty damn good (over 80% I think). You may also consider the non-monetary benefits of doing more interesting work. I presume practicing law is more interesting than working as a police officer in the sense that it requires more in the way of analytical thinking. Both professions obviously require that you think well on your feet. Your kids will also probably benefit from the additional education you obtain and from the contacts you make as an attorney. The expectations will also be set higher for them if you become an attorney. I don't think you should think about this decision from a purely financial perspective.

I will try to find out the name of the PV police officer.

insidethetwenty
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:00 pm

Re: Father, Husband, Law School. Advise Please.

Postby insidethetwenty » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:32 am

Whatever you decide, good luck. Honestly, I'm excited for you and for your family as you pursue this new avenue in your life!

bygbr
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:04 pm

Re: Father, Husband, Law School. Advise Please.

Postby bygbr » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:13 am

Thanks alot :D

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Father, Husband, Law School. Advise Please.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:18 am

bygbr wrote:Hello, I was curious if any of you could help me with some advise.

I am a Police Officer in Southern California and I would like to go to Law School full time. I am married with two young children and my wife does not work. I did my undergraduate schooling fulltime while working fulltime and it was very taxing on my family. I don't think that i could handle 4 years of part time Law School while working full time. Ultimately, I would like to stop working full time and devote my time to Law School.

Assets: I have $75,000 in stocks/savings. I have a few months left of my chapter 30 GI bill and qualify for one year at 80% on the Post 9/11 GI Bill (i separated the military in December of 2003). When I leave employment with my Police department I will get about $10k more in cashing out vacation and comp time banks.

I would like to look at the two year SCALE program at South Western University to get back into the job market as soon as possible. Health insurance/car payments/car insurance/rent etc.. will be draining my bank account and my wife has no education or experience. At most she may be able to get a minimum wage/part time job, though child care would cost more than she would make.

Anyway, can anyone share their expertise in how I may be able to fund my Law School or get government assistance? How much money could I expect to get from student loans?

Thanks for you help, it is much appreciated.



You may want to check out the AJD at Northwestern if you can get the LSAT or the GMAT to qualify.




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