Having a baby right before law school?

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micah0104
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Having a baby right before law school?

Postby micah0104 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:46 pm

I am currently expecting and due July 12, 2011. (Yay! I am super excited!) I am trying to decide whether or not it will be better to start right after the baby is born or wait a year. I have seen a few things about daddys in this situation but I am thinking it will be much harder for a mommy. I have also considered applying to a part time division to make time more manageable but I an completely on the fence about what to do. Has anyone been in a similar situation and can offer any advice?

pwyoung
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby pwyoung » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:49 pm

I'd probably recommend a part-time program. Law school is a HUGE burden and balancing new motherhood and being a full-time law student is going to be rough.

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Pleasye
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby Pleasye » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:50 pm

pwyoung wrote:I'd probably recommend a part-time program. Law school is a HUGE burden and balancing new motherhood and being a full-time law student is going to be rough.

Honestly, I think it depends on how much outside help the OP is going to get. I also think we should leave this thread to people who have had this experience, not 20 year olds who have no idea but feel like giving advice.

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Loyant
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby Loyant » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:17 pm

I'm a dad. I began law school when my little girl was a little over one year old. Knowing what we both had to go through when she was born, and knowing what my wife had to do to take care of our child while I was in school, I cannot imagine how this would be possible for a Mom. At least I don't know how it could be possible and you still succeed and get good grades.

I have known two Moms who attended, but both had children who were in elementary school. Both attended part time programs, and both always appeared haggard and near-death. One got divorced near the end of the 1L year.

You would have to make a choice: either you choose to spend very little time with your child, or you choose to accept low (but passing) grades and spend at least some time with your child.

I cut all recreation out of my schedule -- either I was studying or I was spending time with my family. I eliminated all hobbies, socializing, etc. Even with this extreme choice, my little girl still missed me terribly during the first year of school. I was able to get good grades, but only because my wife was willing to sacrifice and become (most of the time) a single parent. When my finals were done, I was sitting with my little girl one morning and she started to cry a little bit, and she leaned over and quietly whispered to me "I'm glad your test is done. I missed you Daddy."

My second year has been easier, but the first year of law school will be incredibly hard -- both for you and your child. There are no easy choices here, only hard ones. I hope you make it!

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nygrrrl
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby nygrrrl » Fri Dec 17, 2010 10:35 pm

I don't know how my grades are going to be, having just finished my first finals, but I can tell you that it is brutally hard going to law school with kids. I have 2 kids, one in elementary school and one in preschool. I go to a PT program and work 25-30hrs/wk. My husband has been amazing about picking up the slack (especially during exam time) but I really see very, very little of my kids.
Having done the New Mom thing twice, I recommend you wait a year. Funny thing about becoming a mom - you never know how it's going to affect you. Some women want to get right back to work, others just want to nest. First year with a new baby is tough/exciting/amazing/wonderful/TOUGH. Law school is a blast, but it'll be there for you in a year.
As for PT program, might be a great answer for you. I've realized that with my kids in school, there are 4 days each week that I basically don't see them (PT classes are in the evening; I miss dinner.) With a 1 year old though, it could be perfect.
Best of luck to you and congrats on the baby!

uci2013
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby uci2013 » Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:28 am

A student at UCI had a baby just before law school her first year (last year). She has done really fell, has a firm offer from OCI, etc. She had A LOT of family support though. If you have family nearby who can help it will be a lot more doable. Otherwise I suggest part-time or wait a year. The 1st year of law school is extremely difficult and I can't imagine trying to balance a newborn on top of adjusting to law school.

JJDancer
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby JJDancer » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:33 pm

Disclaimer: Not a parent.

But I imagine caring for a newborn during 1L is much less doable than caring for a newborn during 3L. Or a toddler (3 y o) during 2L.

Also the outside help (baby's father/other family support) is important.

I think I would go with a PT program at least. Maybe even wait a year. But definitely not FT with a 2 month old at the beginning of 1L.

Good luck! And enjoy being a new mom!! Soo exciting :)

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dresden doll
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby dresden doll » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:41 pm

Take a year off, without question. Law school isn't going anywhere.

ArghItsBlarg
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby ArghItsBlarg » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:02 pm

Take a year off. The first several months especially are simply brutal on parents. The baby will be waking up at all hours and you will be a zombie. That's not a good place to start law school. We just had our second child a few months ago and, while our baby's a pretty good sleeper, I'm still nowhere near full mental capacity.

On a less practical/more realistic note, the infant period goes by so fast. You'll miss it immediately once it's gone and you don't want to dilute it by sharing your time with law school. Granted, every period of your child's life is like that, but there's something extra-special about the warm little lump that is an infant.

dey206
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby dey206 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:30 am

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Last edited by dey206 on Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

boots
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby boots » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:03 am

Initially congratz!


Your life will never be the same!


Secondly-do what you need to do, part time might be more doable. Everything and I mean EVERYTHING will change once the baby is born.


I have three kids, my oldest will soon be five and my youngest is 14 months. I did this the stupid way WHILE in grad school. I'm not in Law School yet, I'm looking to start in 2012. I'm a chemistry grad student working on my PhD. I'm going to be finishing my PhD about 1-2 years later than most of my classmates. I'm not the only one who has had children while working on a PhD. My adviser in undergrad told me it took her 7 years to get her PhD in organic chem but it was because she had 2 children while in grad school. My labmate just had a baby last year and seriously considered dropping out of the program altogether because she just....fell in love? Its not that we're NOT independent career-oriented women, but....having a baby changes EVERYTHING.

If I could drop out.....to be honest....at times I would. But I remember that I want my kids to follow my example in life and I need to be able to provide for them and be happy with myself. My dad reminds me that I only have kids for 18 years and then they'll be off living their own lives.


You can prioritize. I've never taken off more than 2 weeks after giving birth, but thats my situation. If I could have taken off longer I would have. I have a great prof I work for and I kinda would do part-time for a few months (half days/half weeks) before going back full-swing.


Its tough, I pumped the first year so I could still nurse and breastfeed. There's lots of tiny inconvenient annoying logistics....and having my prof *sigh* when reaching around the bottles of breastmilk in the lab-office fridge for his pepsi's hahaha! Working in pumping milk between teaching classes/taking classes, toting around a pump and milk with my books! There's so many smaller details that no one thinks through to tell you about! (also make sure you're more consistent with the birth control, I've nicknamed my three kids after my failed methods of birthcontrol. The last one is The Pill, if I get pregnant again I'm naming it The Shot)


But don't lose your own goals and your own life by becoming a mother imo. You still have to do what you want to do with your life and live your life parallel to your kids lives. You don't want to make your children the only focus of your life. Not fair to you or your children.


But thats just my opinion. Definitely want to spend time with them though, and ALL your feelings on the subject will change once the baby is born.


Part-time would be ideal the first year, I think that was a good suggestion another poster mentioned.


Unless you're overflowing with money or have family around to help, you might want to look into what childcare assistance you can get as well. Childcare is extremely costly and many government agencies won't help you out with grad school because you already have a bachelors degree.


I'm sure you can do it. Its not easy, but you can do it.

ArghItsBlarg
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby ArghItsBlarg » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:29 am

I'm a father of two, and my youngest is 3 months. Take a year off, no question. Law School isn't going anywhere. From a school standpoint, 1L is the hardest and most important year and you're going to be a full-on zombie for a least the first few months of your child's life. Pumping is a huge pain in the ass if you want to breastfeed, and, frankly, kids are just more stable once they're eating solids. Also taking a year off puts another year between you and this crappy economy.

From a emotional and realistic viewpoint, you will forever regret not being able to spend as much time as possible with your newborn. You're never going to want to start missing your kids' lives for work/school, but the infant years are something special. You can take your "spare time" this year you take off to study for the LSAT, work your application essays to a polish, maybe earn a bit of money to sock away for future expenses.

mala2
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby mala2 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:31 pm

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Last edited by mala2 on Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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stintez
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby stintez » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:33 pm

pwyoung wrote:I'd probably recommend a part-time program. Law school is a HUGE burden and balancing new motherhood and being a full-time law student is going to be rough.

+1

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TLSanders
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Re: Having a baby right before law school?

Postby TLSanders » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:51 am

micah0104 wrote:I am currently expecting and due July 12, 2011. (Yay! I am super excited!) I am trying to decide whether or not it will be better to start right after the baby is born or wait a year. I have seen a few things about daddys in this situation but I am thinking it will be much harder for a mommy. I have also considered applying to a part time division to make time more manageable but I an completely on the fence about what to do. Has anyone been in a similar situation and can offer any advice?


Congratulations.

I never tried to go to law school and raise a baby at the same time, but I did graduate from law school and I did raise a baby (to age 15 thus far). Having been in both boats separately, I have to tell you honestly that I could never imagine doing both simultaneously--and I say this as someone who worked three jobs during law school. Three jobs is nothing compared with parenting an infant. You don't get to schedule an infant's needs, and you don't get to sleep through the night for a long time.

You're talking about two different ventures that require a high level of focus and commitment, and also that take a physical and emotional toll on most people.

On a personal note, totally aside from the possibility or impossibility of it, I think you'd be cheating yourself if you were forced to prioritize law school the way a 1L is during that early stage of your baby's life.




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