Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
NoMalice

New
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:35 am

Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby NoMalice » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:25 pm

If I don't know where I'll be in five years because I'll be moving wherever my military spouse is stationed and I could be admitted to schools in the 15-50 US News rankings range, should I place more of an emphasis on graduating debt free with a ~40th ranked school degree or take a chance on having some debt or otherwise making greater life sacrifices with a ~15th ranked school? In any case, I would be moving to a different time zone and possibly a different hemisphere within a year of law school graduation, if not immediately. Thanks for your time.

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3407
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby UVA2B » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:34 pm

You're taking a risk regardless if you're planning to move regularly with your military spouse. You will have an incredibly hard time being an attorney and developing any amount of professional credibility when you're moving every 2-3 years. Plus there are the concerns with needing to be barred in every state you move.

Some services move you more often than others, but they'll all be moving you. And you can't really be an attorney who does that regularly. What type of law do you want to get into? If you're thinking JAG in the same service as your spouse, school choice matters less, because getting JAG is competitive everywhere and less sensitive to prestige concerns. And that's about the only case where going to law school makes sense if you intend on moving around with your spouse all the time. If you're willing to live apart, OTOH, then it makes perfect sense to take a strong regional for cheap over the arbitrarily higher ranked school.

AJordan

Bronze
Posts: 404
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby AJordan » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:50 pm

There are ways to game the system for many of the folks in service. I've chosen all 6 of my assignments though I had to cut deals, re-enlistments, extensions, take deployments to do so. etc. Also I knew people who could make things like that happen and wasn't lying at the mercy of the service. How much does your SO know about this? If you can game it I say go for it as long as you don't mind living apart in the worst case scenarios. If you're legit tied to each other, though, don't go to law school.

In all cases don't go anywhere that ain't free.
Last edited by AJordan on Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wipfelder

Silver
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:26 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:59 pm

AJordan wrote:There are ways to game the system for many of the folks in service. I've chosen all 6 of my assignments though I had to cut deals, re-enlistments, extensions, take deployments to do so. etc. Also I knew people who could make things like that happen and wasn't lying at the mercy of the service. How much does your SO know about this? If you can game it I say go for it as long as you don't mind living apart in the worst case scenarios. If you're legit tied to each other, though, don't go to law school.

In all cases don't go anywhere that ain't free.


And if your spouse is a gunner/"team player" (I.e. going for stars or working for people who are or something) you'll basically lose all your leverage as far as choosing assignments go. If your spouse is an Army officer, you are seen as a asset, someone who can pack up household goods so they don't miss field/deployment time, or someone who can come pick them up from work when it's to safe for them drive because they haven't slept.

NoMalice

New
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby NoMalice » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:59 pm

Thanks for the thoughtful and thought-provoking replies.

I am most interested in constitutional law and would like to do pro bono work in that area. At the same time I don't want my spouse to be the sole breadwinner, especially if I have a JD. My spouse is a JAG, actually, and would probably like it if I became one as well. I am prior enlisted and very much enjoy being a civilian, but cannot rule out the JAG suggestion, I would just like to put it lower on my list of desires.

While short periods apart would be doable, past work experience in the hospitality industry led to many conversations with extremely wealthy and high-achieving people in their middle age, all of whom had put career over time with family - for objectively good reasons I might add - and all of whom regretted it, some almost uncontrollably so. Thus I am reluctant to plan on spending years apart, especially once we have kids.

AJordan, spouse is fully on board with law school, very encouraging about it. Willing to trade a good assignment for a crappy one if it would put me closer to a really really good law school.

Wipfelder

Silver
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:26 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:03 pm

NoMalice wrote:Thanks for the thoughtful and thought-provoking replies.

I am most interested in constitutional law and would like to do pro bono work in that area. At the same time I don't want my spouse to be the sole breadwinner, especially if I have a JD. My spouse is a JAG, actually, and would probably like it if I became one as well. I am prior enlisted and very much enjoy being a civilian, but cannot rule out the JAG suggestion, I would just like to put it lower on my list of desires.

While short periods apart would be doable, past work experience in the hospitality industry led to many conversations with extremely wealthy and high-achieving people in their middle age, all of whom had put career over time with family - for objectively good reasons I might add - and all of whom regretted it, some almost uncontrollably so. Thus I am reluctant to plan on spending years apart, especially once we have kids.

AJordan, spouse is fully on board with law school, very encouraging about it. Willing to trade a good assignment for a crappy one if it would put me closer to a really really good law school.


Are they Army/Navy/Air Force?

NoMalice

New
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby NoMalice » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:07 pm

The service with the second dumbest uniforms - Army.

Wipfelder

Silver
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:26 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:08 pm

Wipfelder wrote:
NoMalice wrote:Thanks for the thoughtful and thought-provoking replies.

I am most interested in constitutional law and would like to do pro bono work in that area. At the same time I don't want my spouse to be the sole breadwinner, especially if I have a JD. My spouse is a JAG, actually, and would probably like it if I became one as well. I am prior enlisted and very much enjoy being a civilian, but cannot rule out the JAG suggestion, I would just like to put it lower on my list of desires.

While short periods apart would be doable, past work experience in the hospitality industry led to many conversations with extremely wealthy and high-achieving people in their middle age, all of whom had put career over time with family - for objectively good reasons I might add - and all of whom regretted it, some almost uncontrollably so. Thus I am reluctant to plan on spending years apart, especially once we have kids.

AJordan, spouse is fully on board with law school, very encouraging about it. Willing to trade a good assignment for a crappy one if it would put me closer to a really really good law school.


Are they Army/Navy/Air Force?


I ask because Vandy and UT are both near major Army bases. Ft Hood, near UT, actually has Division and Corps HQ, so your spouse could stay there, possibly for a majority of their career (sans LLM-time at UVA). Vandy is near Ft Campbell, which has a division HQ, but no corps, so there are less jobs.

If you went to UT, you could then land a law job in Austin/Waco/Temple/San Antonio and you both could have real careers, and get to see each other.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby zot1 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:10 pm

Most if not all states have programs for allowing military spouses to practice in their state without going through the bar exam and other stuff. So this should not be a major consideration.

Wipfelder

Silver
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:26 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:11 pm

NoMalice wrote:The service with the second dumbest uniforms - Army.


I think the new "OCP" multicam is decent. The grey-winter in a digital cement factory pattern was retarded.

UW at Ft Lewis might be a good option too. They have Corps HQ, a SF group, a Ranger BN and lots of other stuff. There are also decent mid-law job prospects.

Wipfelder

Silver
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:26 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:12 pm

zot1 wrote:Most if not all states have programs for allowing military spouses to practice in their state without going through the bar exam and other stuff. So this should not be a major consideration.


But people don't hire them....

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby zot1 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:13 pm

Wipfelder wrote:
zot1 wrote:Most if not all states have programs for allowing military spouses to practice in their state without going through the bar exam and other stuff. So this should not be a major consideration.


But people don't hire them....


That's irrelevant to my point.

Wipfelder

Silver
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:26 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:16 pm

zot1 wrote:
Wipfelder wrote:
zot1 wrote:Most if not all states have programs for allowing military spouses to practice in their state without going through the bar exam and other stuff. So this should not be a major consideration.


But people don't hire them....


That's irrelevant to my point.


Then what is your point?

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3407
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby UVA2B » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:17 pm

zot1 wrote:Most if not all states have programs for allowing military spouses to practice in their state without going through the bar exam and other stuff. So this should not be a major consideration.


Fair enough. I had never heard of that before, but I'll defer to you on that.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby zot1 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:19 pm

UVA2B wrote:
zot1 wrote:Most if not all states have programs for allowing military spouses to practice in their state without going through the bar exam and other stuff. So this should not be a major consideration.


Fair enough. I had never heard of that before, but I'll defer to you on that.


It's not something you'd know unless you've had a reason to look it up. Anyway, it seems this website provides updates: https://www.msjdn.org/rule-change/

NoMalice

New
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby NoMalice » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:25 pm

Wipfelder wrote:
NoMalice wrote:The service with the second dumbest uniforms - Army.


I think the new "OCP" multicam is decent. The grey-winter in a digital cement factory pattern was retarded.

UW at Ft Lewis might be a good option too. They have Corps HQ, a SF group, a Ranger BN and lots of other stuff. There are also decent mid-law job prospects.


Their dress uniforms have too many pieces of flair. OCP is good though. Sad they didn't pick it when they had the chance 15 years ago before they sent soldiers into combat in uniforms that made them stand out. But I digress.

For some reason my (projected) numbers don't line up very well with UW. According to the tools on this site, I have a much better chance of getting in to UT or even UVA. Perhaps the sample sizes are too small. If I move forward with law school applications, though, UW would be on the list.

Wipfelder wrote:I ask because Vandy and UT are both near major Army bases. Ft Hood, near UT, actually has Division and Corps HQ, so your spouse could stay there, possibly for a majority of their career (sans LLM-time at UVA). Vandy is near Ft Campbell, which has a division HQ, but no corps, so there are less jobs.

If you went to UT, you could then land a law job in Austin/Waco/Temple/San Antonio and you both could have real careers, and get to see each other.


This sounds like a real option. Assuming, of course, I got in to UT. I think I could do it, but my work would be cut out for me on the LSAT.

zot1 wrote:Most if not all states have programs for allowing military spouses to practice in their state without going through the bar exam and other stuff. So this should not be a major consideration.


That is great to know.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby zot1 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:28 pm

OP it sounds like you know what the military is like but you're still saying being away from spouse is not an option, if your spouse gets deployed or sent to Europe, you will either be apart or go with spouse (if accompanied tour) and likely unable to do legal work.

If you're both JAGs, there's no way to guarantee you'll be sent to the same place.

You're setting yourself up for a very frustrating career, but that's part of the sacrifice military families make. As long as you're aware of that and the fact that you might go for long periods of time not working or being apart, then you can go on.

In my opinion, I would pick a more flexible career that you could do anywhere. But also, I wouldn't put my career in hold for someone else either. It's definitely a tough situation. Best of luck!

NoMalice

New
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby NoMalice » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:32 pm

Yeah, sorry I was giving seemingly mixed opinions on that. I'm mentally ready for the separation of one or more deployments, and deployments aren't an optional thing, but three or four straight years apart resulting from me taking a job in another state is something I'd do my best to avoid.

Wipfelder

Silver
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:26 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:34 pm

NoMalice wrote:
Wipfelder wrote:
NoMalice wrote:The service with the second dumbest uniforms - Army.


I think the new "OCP" multicam is decent. The grey-winter in a digital cement factory pattern was retarded.

UW at Ft Lewis might be a good option too. They have Corps HQ, a SF group, a Ranger BN and lots of other stuff. There are also decent mid-law job prospects.


Their dress uniforms have too many pieces of flair. OCP is good though. Sad they didn't pick it when they had the chance 15 years ago before they sent soldiers into combat in uniforms that made them stand out. But I digress.

For some reason my (projected) numbers don't line up very well with UW. According to the tools on this site, I have a much better chance of getting in to UT or even UVA. Perhaps the sample sizes are too small. If I move forward with law school applications, though, UW would be on the list.

Wipfelder wrote:I ask because Vandy and UT are both near major Army bases. Ft Hood, near UT, actually has Division and Corps HQ, so your spouse could stay there, possibly for a majority of their career (sans LLM-time at UVA). Vandy is near Ft Campbell, which has a division HQ, but no corps, so there are less jobs.

If you went to UT, you could then land a law job in Austin/Waco/Temple/San Antonio and you both could have real careers, and get to see each other.


This sounds like a real option. Assuming, of course, I got in to UT. I think I could do it, but my work would be cut out for me on the LSAT.

zot1 wrote:Most if not all states have programs for allowing military spouses to practice in their state without going through the bar exam and other stuff. So this should not be a major consideration.


That is great to know.


That's true about the flair. We look like 70's era military dictators in dress blues. It was always a bit embarrassing during formal functions with European allies.

UW is weird, their admissions kinda suck. I had friends get into CHI, Penn, Columbia, NU but not UW. They'll likely also offer less scholly money than T14's will, Vandy, UT and lower T-14 were much more "in" to me than UW.

Wipfelder

Silver
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:26 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:36 pm

zot1 wrote:OP it sounds like you know what the military is like but you're still saying being away from spouse is not an option, if your spouse gets deployed or sent to Europe, you will either be apart or go with spouse (if accompanied tour) and likely unable to do legal work.

If you're both JAGs, there's no way to guarantee you'll be sent to the same place.

You're setting yourself up for a very frustrating career, but that's part of the sacrifice military families make. As long as you're aware of that and the fact that you might go for long periods of time not working or being apart, then you can go on.

In my opinion, I would pick a more flexible career that you could do anywhere. But also, I wouldn't put my career in hold for someone else either. It's definitely a tough situation. Best of luck!


There are civilian legal jobs available in Europe through the garrison commands. They actually hire spouses quite regularly. So if your spouse does get Europe, hope is not lost.

User avatar
zot1

Gold
Posts: 4474
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby zot1 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:48 pm

Wipfelder wrote:
zot1 wrote:OP it sounds like you know what the military is like but you're still saying being away from spouse is not an option, if your spouse gets deployed or sent to Europe, you will either be apart or go with spouse (if accompanied tour) and likely unable to do legal work.

If you're both JAGs, there's no way to guarantee you'll be sent to the same place.

You're setting yourself up for a very frustrating career, but that's part of the sacrifice military families make. As long as you're aware of that and the fact that you might go for long periods of time not working or being apart, then you can go on.

In my opinion, I would pick a more flexible career that you could do anywhere. But also, I wouldn't put my career in hold for someone else either. It's definitely a tough situation. Best of luck!


There are civilian legal jobs available in Europe through the garrison commands. They actually hire spouses quite regularly. So if your spouse does get Europe, hope is not lost.


That's nice. But something for OP to consider that s/he'll be restricted to those jobs only.

NoMalice

New
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:35 am

Re: Which Law School When I Don't Know Where I'll Be

Postby NoMalice » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:28 pm

Learned some very useful stuff and have a lot to think about. I will take the June LSAT and decide from there if this is the right path. Thanks again.



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests