Big law or bust 30 something

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newlawyertobe
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Big law or bust 30 something

Postby newlawyertobe » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:58 pm

I currently work in IT in Finance and make about what a 1st year associate at a biglaw firm would make. I have become interested in the law over the years and I am looking to get into Corporate or Finance Law. Unfortunately for me, my life circumstances mandate that I pursue this part time and I therefore would only realistically be able to attend a law school in the NYC area. I really feel I have accomplished all I want to in Software development and want to move on to something that interests me in law. However, I really need to maintain my current salary which means I need to do biglaw. I have a 3.6 in Electrical Engineering and a 169 on my LSAT and I would like to minimize the cost of school while still maximizing my big law potential. Is big law realistic with my stats and limitation to part time schools only? Would my only option be IP as an EE grad, or does that not really help at all? Thanks for any insight.

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Veyron
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby Veyron » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:06 pm

Your goals are not realistic. The only way I could even see this happening is Fordham on scholarship (you should get a decent one) part time/super high class rank --> IP biglaw. I'd put your odds at about 1/4 that this happens if you decide to go down this road.

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MrKappus
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby MrKappus » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:08 pm

Veyron wrote:Your goals are not realistic. The only way I could even see this happening is Fordham on scholarship (you should get a decent one) part time/super high class rank --> IP biglaw. I'd put your odds at about 1/4 that this happens if you decide to go down this road.


A 169 should put OP near the top of the Fordham PT class (and FT one, for that matter). If LSAT's at all predictive of 1L success, I'd say OP's biglaw chances are better than 25%, just IMO.

itsfine
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby itsfine » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:11 pm

Yeah the fact that you absolutely require to keep your salary is rough, big law or bust is risky in a normal economy, but especially so right now with such uncertainty. If you were ok with not making big law, then there is a lot you could do especially with stellar numbers like you have, unfortunately, the big law OR BUST part really makes this such a high risk move, that I know I wouldnt undertake it, especially given that you are clearly successful right now and making good money

nbhatia
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby nbhatia » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:22 pm

you're making 160,000 a year right now?
I would stay and enjoy the 9 to 5 job

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MrKappus
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby MrKappus » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:25 pm

nbhatia wrote:you're making 160,000 a year right now?
I would stay and enjoy the 9 to 5 job


I think one has to have been in a job that one no longer finds interesting or challenging to realize that the money is not the only issue here. OP has maxed out his IT career and gotten all he thinks he can out of it. That said, his biglaw or bust attitude is, undoubtedly, setting up the strong possibility of some serious disappointment. I guess if it all went pear and you couldn't live w/o a mid-100's salary, you could get your old job back (or one like it).

nbhatia
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby nbhatia » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:31 pm

MrKappus wrote:
nbhatia wrote:you're making 160,000 a year right now?
I would stay and enjoy the 9 to 5 job


I think one has to have been in a job that one no longer finds interesting or challenging to realize that the money is not the only issue here. OP has maxed out his IT career and gotten all he thinks he can out of it. That said, his biglaw or bust attitude is, undoubtedly, setting up the strong possibility of some serious disappointment. I guess if it all went pear and you couldn't live w/o a mid-100's salary, you could get your old job back (or one like it).


yea but that is after four years (assuming PT) of hard work and tuition

Im sure if OP is making 160,000 comfortably, and has "accomplished all he wants to in software development" than he is pretty smart/experienced. He can move into other IT areas, start up a company, or go into the business side of things.

Obviously all I am trying to say is that what he is trying to do is risky, and that if he is bored, there are other things he can do. But if he wants to go to law school, then who am I to tell him not too.

Total Litigator
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby Total Litigator » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:44 pm

A prestigious MBA could set you up for a high level position in the IT field, and propel your career. Have you thought about taking the GMAT?

newlawyertobe
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby newlawyertobe » Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:08 pm

I have considered other areas in IT as well as moving to the business side.

I have heard through this forum that Fordham is stingy with merit money, so I wasnt expecting much from them. St Johns would give me a full ride but then my opportunities are limited. It would be a shame to put in 4 years of work and time only to remain in my current position/profession, but it does provide a nice fallback compared to others graduating from St Johns who may not have a job at all.

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gdane
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby gdane » Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:54 pm

MrKappus wrote:
Veyron wrote:Your goals are not realistic. The only way I could even see this happening is Fordham on scholarship (you should get a decent one) part time/super high class rank --> IP biglaw. I'd put your odds at about 1/4 that this happens if you decide to go down this road.


A 169 should put OP near the top of the Fordham PT class (and FT one, for that matter). If LSAT's at all predictive of 1L success, I'd say OP's biglaw chances are better than 25%, just IMO.


A 169 LSAT score DOES NOT necessarily mean that someone will be at the very top of their class. Although the LSAT is the "best" measure of predicting 1L success, its not perfect. A .4 correlation leaves a LOT of room for error and a high LSAT score doesnt always translate to a high GPA. Dont fall into the trap of believing that since you have a high LSAT score law school will be easier for you and that you'll coast by. Remember that 90% of a class is not in the top 10% and of those 90% MANY were high LSAT scorers.

OP, do whatever you want, but I would stay in your current situation. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to legal employment and if you have something good right now, keep it.

Good luck!

rando
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby rando » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:01 pm

It's not a .4 correlation either, it's ~.16 I believe. I think the .4 is LSAT+GPA

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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby rando » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:04 pm

rando wrote:It's not a .4 correlation either, it's ~.16 I believe. I think the .4 is LSAT+GPA


Nevermind, it's ~.33, I was thinking of something else - http://www.lsac.org/pdfs/LSAT-Score-Predictors-of-Performance.pdf

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MrKappus
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby MrKappus » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:56 pm

gdane5 wrote:A 169 LSAT score DOES NOT necessarily mean that someone will be at the very top of their class. Although the LSAT is the "best" measure of predicting 1L success, its not perfect. A .4 correlation leaves a LOT of room for error and a high LSAT score doesnt always translate to a high GPA. Dont fall into the trap of believing that since you have a high LSAT score law school will be easier for you and that you'll coast by. Remember that 90% of a class is not in the top 10% and of those 90% MANY were high LSAT scorers.

OP, do whatever you want, but I would stay in your current situation. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to legal employment and if you have something good right now, keep it.

Good luck!


Dude, I didn't say (1) a 169 would put OP's grades at the top of the class (at least I didn't mean to...I just meant his LSAT would be high for Fordham), (2) that law school would be easy for OP and he could "coast by," (3) or that a high LSAT "always translate[s]" into a high GPA. I did say that, IMO, I thought OP's chances were better than 25%. FWIW, I had a median LSAT and am top 5-10%/LR, so you don't have to tell me (i.e., I totally agree w/ you) about the LSAT's predictive value.

Also, I just have to point out: I don't think the OP's asking whether to stay. He's asking for law school options that fit his goals/schedule. (Edit: Maybe TCR is "No law school," but OP seems set on getting out of I.T. eventually.)

rando
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby rando » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:06 pm

^ In all fairness, MrK, your post did sort of read like he would be at the top of his "law school" class. But if you read it closely it is pretty clear that you mean OP's "LSAT" will be at the top of either of the classes.

And... FWIW, I agree with MrK, that despite the LSAT's weaknesses and lack of predictive value, being at the top of your class LSAT wise certainly gives you better odds of doing well than someone with a lower than median LSAT score.

Assuming that top25% at Fordham goes biglaw for IP, MrK's post is credited IMO.

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MrKappus
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby MrKappus » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:16 pm

Tah-rue. My post was not very well written. Anyway, OP: you plan is not credited, especially if it involves biglaw aspirations and St. Johns. That's just too risky. Fordham's a little better, but as rando and Dane point out, that's pretty risky too. If you want to be a lawyer, commit to being a lawyer and apply to a full-time program. Yes, you'll have to give up your mid-100's salary. If you're truly going to law school b/c of intellectual curiosity or credited aspirations (hint: $$ is not a good reason to go to law school these days), then you won't mind giving up some salary, taking some loans, and going to the best FT program you can get into in NYC. Lotsa luck.

I know you didn't ask for it, but I have to say it (like dane did): if I were you I'd stay. What can I say? I'm a risk-averse future atty.

newlawyertobe
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby newlawyertobe » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:17 am

I would love to be able to commit to full time, but unfortunately I just dont have the money saved up to be able to do that. I have a mortgage and family with 3 kids to support. So I will definitely be limited to part time. If I can get full tuition somewhere, perhaps I can save up enough money to handle a drop in salary to 100K or slightly below if my biglaw aspirations dont work out. I am not all that interested in Big law anyway, I just want it initially for experience and limited salary drop. I would definitely be lateraling out within a few years, hopefully to work in house or something like that.

newlawyertobe
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby newlawyertobe » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:19 am

MrKappus wrote:
gdane5 wrote:A 169 LSAT score DOES NOT necessarily mean that someone will be at the very top of their class. Although the LSAT is the "best" measure of predicting 1L success, its not perfect. A .4 correlation leaves a LOT of room for error and a high LSAT score doesnt always translate to a high GPA. Dont fall into the trap of believing that since you have a high LSAT score law school will be easier for you and that you'll coast by. Remember that 90% of a class is not in the top 10% and of those 90% MANY were high LSAT scorers.

OP, do whatever you want, but I would stay in your current situation. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to legal employment and if you have something good right now, keep it.

Good luck!


Dude, I didn't say (1) a 169 would put OP's grades at the top of the class (at least I didn't mean to...I just meant his LSAT would be high for Fordham), (2) that law school would be easy for OP and he could "coast by," (3) or that a high LSAT "always translate[s]" into a high GPA. I did say that, IMO, I thought OP's chances were better than 25%. FWIW, I had a median LSAT and am top 5-10%/LR, so you don't have to tell me (i.e., I totally agree w/ you) about the LSAT's predictive value.

Also, I just have to point out: I don't think the OP's asking whether to stay. He's asking for law school options that fit his goals/schedule. (Edit: Maybe TCR is "No law school," but OP seems set on getting out of I.T. eventually.)


If staying is TCR, I would like to hear that as well. I will evaluate all possibilities, as I am not a single 25 year old making this decision, I cant make an irresponsible decision just because I want out of IT.

Favor2010
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby Favor2010 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:44 am

If you are going part-time and are able to maintain your salary (or something close to it), I do not think that attending law school (especially on a scholarship) is going to hurt your career or finances. If you are unable to get big law, I would assume that you could continue to work in IT. Part of me feels that four years are going to go by one way or another, so why not do something you that interest you along the way. However, as a wife and mother of three, I definitely feel like the disadvantage of going to law school part-time is the time spent away from your family. I would assume you would work all day, have classes in the evening, and spend any free time studying. I know many people that have done it, but it was a major sacrifice. I think your consideration should be how will this four year time-commitment affect your family?

newlawyertobe wrote:
MrKappus wrote:
gdane5 wrote:A 169 LSAT score DOES NOT necessarily mean that someone will be at the very top of their class. Although the LSAT is the "best" measure of predicting 1L success, its not perfect. A .4 correlation leaves a LOT of room for error and a high LSAT score doesnt always translate to a high GPA. Dont fall into the trap of believing that since you have a high LSAT score law school will be easier for you and that you'll coast by. Remember that 90% of a class is not in the top 10% and of those 90% MANY were high LSAT scorers.

OP, do whatever you want, but I would stay in your current situation. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to legal employment and if you have something good right now, keep it.

Good luck!


Dude, I didn't say (1) a 169 would put OP's grades at the top of the class (at least I didn't mean to...I just meant his LSAT would be high for Fordham), (2) that law school would be easy for OP and he could "coast by," (3) or that a high LSAT "always translate[s]" into a high GPA. I did say that, IMO, I thought OP's chances were better than 25%. FWIW, I had a median LSAT and am top 5-10%/LR, so you don't have to tell me (i.e., I totally agree w/ you) about the LSAT's predictive value.

Also, I just have to point out: I don't think the OP's asking whether to stay. He's asking for law school options that fit his goals/schedule. (Edit: Maybe TCR is "No law school," but OP seems set on getting out of I.T. eventually.)


If staying is TCR, I would like to hear that as well. I will evaluate all possibilities, as I am not a single 25 year old making this decision, I cant make an irresponsible decision just because I want out of IT.

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romothesavior
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby romothesavior » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:51 am

newlawyertobe wrote:If staying is TCR, I would like to hear that as well. I will evaluate all possibilities, as I am not a single 25 year old making this decision, I cant make an irresponsible decision just because I want out of IT.


Staying is TCR.

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Veyron
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby Veyron » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:46 pm

newlawyertobe wrote:I would love to be able to commit to full time, but unfortunately I just dont have the money saved up to be able to do that. I have a mortgage and family with 3 kids to support. So I will definitely be limited to part time. If I can get full tuition somewhere, perhaps I can save up enough money to handle a drop in salary to 100K or slightly below if my biglaw aspirations dont work out. I am not all that interested in Big law anyway, I just want it initially for experience and limited salary drop. I would definitely be lateraling out within a few years, hopefully to work in house or something like that.


Legal salaries are bi-modial. If you don't make 160, its not like you will make 100. Instead, you are much more likely to make around 50k.

r6_philly
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Re: Big law or bust 30 something

Postby r6_philly » Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:09 pm

I am in a very similar situation. I am an accomplished software developer with a CS undergrad degree. I do enjoy SE but do not enjoy the enviornment that I have to work in as a developer. I want to start up my own firm and practice IP/SE related law as well as continue to do consulting work. So I am not aiming for big law. I guess you can say I am not trying to get out of IT, but rather use my skills to do something I really like to do. I also have a mortgage and kids, however it sounds like I have much less debt obligations than you do. If you have to maintain your standard of living, you have to do PT. It will also allow you to stay in your job/industry just in case big law doesn't work out. If you leave completely to do full time, you will have a harder time coming back after 4 years. I on the other hand will continue to work part-time in SE while I am in law school full time. I think you need to consider incorporate your experience into your future plans. Simply "getting out of IT" doesn't sound like a prudent move especially you have a sizable family and have less time to retirement.

Also, if you pursue a MBA, with your accomplishments and experience, you can get more than big law money. But I do understand the need to not be a developer, as I want to do something better with my life as well. Good luck! Just be careful because it would be a very costly mistake...




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