My employer is asking me to go to law school

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

New
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:23 pm

My employer is asking me to go to law school

Postby mooncoin » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:39 pm

Myself:
Demographics: 33y/o Asian F
College Major: Finance
College GPA: 3.4
GRE (3 year old score): V 165, Q 168 -> which per ETS "translates" to 172 LSAT (supposedly)
Current Industry: Private equity
Current Position: Associate Vice President
Current Salary: $180k ~ $220k/yr
Area: NYC

My work prefers to move people internally rather than hire new people for more senior positions. We have a general counsel of the fund who's retiring in about 4 - 5 years so they are taking the approach of sending someone within the firm to a law school to replace him. Due to my seniority within the firm, I am the first one to be "offered" for this opportunity.

Full-Time Option
- No salary while attending school. Can take ad-hoc work and be paid at current hourly rate as a consultant
- Employer covers 100% of tuition and fees
- 5 year commitment after graduation

Part-Time Option
- Must be in NYC area
- 70 - 100% salary while attending school provided that my work doesn't deteriorate.
- Employer covers 100% of tuition and fees
- 5 year commitment after graduation

If you were in my shoes:
1. Would you take this opportunity or pass it to someone else?
2. I have only taken GRE - so my "part-time option" will be limited to Brooklyn Law. Worth it?
3. Should I look for full time options at better schools if possible?
4. Should I take LSAT to broaden potential schools? (But I have no confidence that I can match the level that my GRE provides....)

User avatar
4LTsPointingNorth

Bronze
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:17 am

Re: My employer is asking me to go to law school

Postby 4LTsPointingNorth » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:22 pm

mooncoin wrote:Myself:
Demographics: 33y/o Asian F
College Major: Finance
College GPA: 3.4
GRE (3 year old score): V 165, Q 168 -> which per ETS "translates" to 172 LSAT (supposedly)
Current Industry: Private equity
Current Position: Associate Vice President
Current Salary: $180k ~ $220k/yr
Area: NYC

My work prefers to move people internally rather than hire new people for more senior positions. We have a general counsel of the fund who's retiring in about 4 - 5 years so they are taking the approach of sending someone within the firm to a law school to replace him. Due to my seniority within the firm, I am the first one to be "offered" for this opportunity.

Full-Time Option
- No salary while attending school. Can take ad-hoc work and be paid at current hourly rate as a consultant
- Employer covers 100% of tuition and fees
- 5 year commitment after graduation

Part-Time Option
- Must be in NYC area
- 70 - 100% salary while attending school provided that my work doesn't deteriorate.
- Employer covers 100% of tuition and fees
- 5 year commitment after graduation

If you were in my shoes:
1. Would you take this opportunity or pass it to someone else?
2. I have only taken GRE - so my "part-time option" will be limited to Brooklyn Law. Worth it?
3. Should I look for full time options at better schools if possible?
4. Should I take LSAT to broaden potential schools? (But I have no confidence that I can match the level that my GRE provides....)


If this background info is all perfectly true as reported, this is an extraordinarily idiosyncratic offer with repercussions that will affect the rest of career over the rest of your life. In that light, a five year employment commitment does not seem like enough for you to give up a PE finance AVP position at that compensation to go to a regional law school for three years just to commit yourself to a GC position that you may not enjoy or be able to competently execute without other prior legal experience.

Given your age, current position and compensation, and well-founded stated worries, I would pass on this without a second thought if I were in your shoes.

VTDelt

New
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:07 pm

Re: My employer is asking me to go to law school

Postby VTDelt » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:48 pm

mooncoin wrote:Myself:
Demographics: 33y/o Asian F
College Major: Finance
College GPA: 3.4
GRE (3 year old score): V 165, Q 168 -> which per ETS "translates" to 172 LSAT (supposedly)
Current Industry: Private equity
Current Position: Associate Vice President
Current Salary: $180k ~ $220k/yr
Area: NYC

My work prefers to move people internally rather than hire new people for more senior positions. We have a general counsel of the fund who's retiring in about 4 - 5 years so they are taking the approach of sending someone within the firm to a law school to replace him. Due to my seniority within the firm, I am the first one to be "offered" for this opportunity.

Full-Time Option
- No salary while attending school. Can take ad-hoc work and be paid at current hourly rate as a consultant
- Employer covers 100% of tuition and fees
- 5 year commitment after graduation

Part-Time Option
- Must be in NYC area
- 70 - 100% salary while attending school provided that my work doesn't deteriorate.
- Employer covers 100% of tuition and fees
- 5 year commitment after graduation

If you were in my shoes:
1. Would you take this opportunity or pass it to someone else?
2. I have only taken GRE - so my "part-time option" will be limited to Brooklyn Law. Worth it?
3. Should I look for full time options at better schools if possible?
4. Should I take LSAT to broaden potential schools? (But I have no confidence that I can match the level that my GRE provides....)


1. Before anyone tries the look at their post count Ad hominem to undermine my thoughts, this is a new account I made after getting rid of my old name a while ago and I didn't feel the urge to post anything since creating the account.

So, this is a pretty unicorn opportunity your company is offering you. Do you have any actual interest in legal work? I'm assuming you took a basic business law class as a finance major so you should have some exposure to it, I know probably hard to remember being removed from school 10ish years but if you can, think about it. If that's a hard no, then passing seems like the right option.

However, if you do have some interest in it then you might want to explore it a little more. If you decide to explore the option, I would advise doing the LSAT. The GRE isn't widely accepted and for a little effort to learn the LSAT and if you can score in that conversion range there are far better options than Brooklyn law.

What's the potential increase in salary upon graduation either directly to the GC role or in a Jr role if there's an overlap and they haven't retired by the time you graduate? The 5 year post grad commitment is pretty common. General HR standard for those types of tuition payment programs are somewhere in the 4-5 year range and prorated cost if you separate early so that sounds pretty reasonable on the requirement.

I'm about to go to school PT and I really wish I could just go FT but my income lets me pay for my COL and about 1/3 of tuition, if I had to pay full sticker for a school, to have less debt at graduation versus full loans. The biggest issue I have with the FT option is the fact that you'll either being hitting savings or taking loans for COL expenses unless you've got a partner that can cover living expenses for you, for now I'm assuming single. Maybe you have the money saved up and can take the hit or have enough to offset through 1L year and can make enough doing some PT work for them. Since they would cover tuition, the usual ethos of maximizing rank of school for the cost/debt load has a little less weight because all you have to worry about is your living expenses so your potential debt is far lower than a lot of people deciding on schools. If you can actually score in the 170's and have the ability to minimize the debt for COL, I would take the full time option to be able to do the full LS experience, focus on school, and not be stressed by work demands so that you're setup for success post graduation either with your company or elsewhere if you ever decide to leave. This brings me to the question of do you see yourself at this firm forever, especially in the GC role? Do you see yourself living in NYC for good or do you think about moving to another part of the country? These are all factors that will impact which school you should go to. If you think you might be tempted to move on after the 5 year commitment and do legal work elsewhere, you're going to want to go to the best school possible and a lot of the higher ranked schools don't have PT programs. Georgetown is the highest ranked school with a PT program and Fordham is the best PT option for NYC. Also, do you think you can handle the change in lifestyle going from your income to "poor law school student"? If you can deal with all of this and score in the 170's, I'd say FT and try and get into Columbia/NYU.

If you do choose the PT route, I already mentioned Fordham as a better option than Brooklyn law. They're a respected regional school in NYC and are the #3 PT program and are a Tier 1 school for FT rankings which is what the judgement of your school will be based off of.

I'll have more thoughts if you can provide the answers to the questions I've posed.

Summarized for easy reference.

1. Do you have any actual interest in legal work?
2. What will the salary increase be upon graduation if you transition directly to the GC position?
3. What will the salary increase upon graduation if there's overlap and the GC hasn't retired yet so you're in a "Jr" position?
4. Do you see yourself at your firm forever or for how long?
5. Do you see yourself living in NYC forever or do you have desires to move elsewhere at some point in your professional career?
6. How do you plan on covering the COL expenses if you went to school FT?
7. Do you think you deal with the change in lifestyle with being a FT student and general loss of income?

mooncoin

New
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:23 pm

Re: My employer is asking me to go to law school

Postby mooncoin » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:59 pm


If this background info is all perfectly true as reported, this is an extraordinarily idiosyncratic offer with repercussions that will affect the rest of career over the rest of your life. In that light, a five year employment commitment does not seem like enough for you to give up a PE finance AVP position at that compensation to go to a regional law school for three years just to commit yourself to a GC position that you may not enjoy or be able to competently execute without other prior legal experience.

Given your age, current position and compensation, and well-founded stated worries, I would pass on this without a second thought if I were in your shoes.


Thank you

Hutz_and_Goodman

Gold
Posts: 1554
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:42 am

Re: My employer is asking me to go to law school

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:16 am

It sounds like you are well situated in your career. I think this boils down to one question: do you want to be a lawyer? If so, this is a great option to become one both in terms of financing and job security. If not, it makes no sense to attend law school and train for a job you don’t want.

mooncoin

New
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:23 pm

Re: My employer is asking me to go to law school

Postby mooncoin » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:59 am

Thank you for all your answers everyone.

1. Interest in law

At my level, you do deal with more of soft & legal aspects of a deal over quantitative aspects (that's for mid-20s junior employees). Getting a company into signing a non-binding MOU/ binding letter of intent/ asset sale agreement/ purchase agreement/ "oh is that default provision too onerous? then I will agree to take 12.5(c)(ii) out but let me ask my lawyer first"/ etc, etc.

So yes, the interest is already there (and is sorta relevant to my job).

2. Practicality / FT vs PT

Ideally, trying to find a best FT school that I can go would be the way to go. But there's also a practical component of it such as how will I pay for my mortgage, can I move back into being a roommate with someone if I have to move to another city, etc etc.

3. Conclusion

Unless you guys disagree, I think if I want to take up this offer and go to law school, my best course of action would be to prepare for LSAT and try for Fordham as (1) it would allow me to keep my current pay and (2) not cause any career interruptions.

rwhyAn

Bronze
Posts: 324
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:09 pm

Re: My employer is asking me to go to law school

Postby rwhyAn » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:35 pm

Given your salary, I'm going to assume that your job is fairly difficult and you're working more than 40 hours per week. The part-time option is a grind. I'm set to graduate from Rutgers' part-time program in a few weeks. I have a relatively low-stress government job with good hours, and even then, the last four years have been extremely difficult. Most of the part-timers I started with either switched to the full-time program or stopped working full time. Unless you really want to be a lawyer or your employer requires the degree, I'm not sure if it would be worth it, even for free.

boushi

Bronze
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:06 am

Re: My employer is asking me to go to law school

Postby boushi » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:22 pm

One more thing to consider--you will not actually learn the skills you need to thrive as a GC during law school. I think there is thus some risk going forward that your job becomes highly stressful and you may have a lot of difficulty laterally out to comparable legal positions (either in house or in firms) because people will worry about your training. As you probably know, the typical route to a GC position is a few years in a firm followed by a few years as an associate GC. You may be in for quite a challenge in taking the reins after just 1-2 years of mentorship in house.

User avatar
Mullens

Silver
Posts: 1049
Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:34 am

Re: My employer is asking me to go to law school

Postby Mullens » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:53 pm

I recommend reaching out to some of the lawyers you use on your deals and get their thoughts. I know a pretty substantial number of the Deal lawyers at my firm would kill to trade places with you and would likely tell you not to go to law school. That’s my advice - don’t do it. It’ll pigeonhole you in one role (and frankly one company) for the rest of your career.

As others have mentioned, law school doesn’t actually teach you how to practice law and won’t give you any of the practical training you will need to do your job competently. You’re definitely in a better position to be able to be a PE fund GC than 99% of law schools grads and many practicing lawyers, but you would need several years of training to be a competent GC.



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Socratease and 26 guests