Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

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PureGenieus
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:31 am

Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby PureGenieus » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:09 am

I've been accepted to the Day Program at Loyola (LA) and orientation is just a week and a half away. But I recently got a job offer at a law firm that specializes in immigration---I could work there part time as a legal assistant while attending Loyola's Evening Program.

What would you do?

Go the regular route and do full-time study for 3 years

OR

Make some money, gain some experience, and get your JD albeit in 4 years?

Any Loyola alumni with advice?

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jchoggan
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 1:26 am

Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby jchoggan » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:04 am

PureGenieus wrote:I've been accepted to the Day Program at Loyola (LA) and orientation is just a week and a half away. But I recently got a job offer at a law firm that specializes in immigration---I could work there part time as a legal assistant while attending Loyola's Evening Program.

What would you do?

Go the regular route and do full-time study for 3 years

OR

Make some money, gain some experience, and get your JD albeit in 4 years?

Any Loyola alumni with advice?

Can you go for a year part time and then transfer into the full-time program? I'm not at Loyola, but GULC (where I am) offers that option, and about half the PT program takes advantage of it. I'm staying PT (3E now) because I have a family and what not, but I will tell you 4 years feels SO MUCH LONGER than 3 years while you're in LS.

That being said, I've mock-interviewed, spoken with, and read comments from numerous partners and senior associates at major law firms who say that ITE, work experience (especially legal work experience) goes a long way in hiring. You'll just have to weigh the options...

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rbgrocio
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:58 pm

Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby rbgrocio » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:07 am

PureGenieus wrote:I've been accepted to the Day Program at Loyola (LA) and orientation is just a week and a half away. But I recently got a job offer at a law firm that specializes in immigration---I could work there part time as a legal assistant while attending Loyola's Evening Program.

What would you do?

Go the regular route and do full-time study for 3 years

OR

Make some money, gain some experience, and get your JD albeit in 4 years?

Any Loyola alumni with advice?



I would go full time, the extra year of law school would cost you to lose money. Every year that you are in school, is a year that you are not making a lawyer's salary, assuming you get a job upon graduation.

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Jarndyce
Posts: 104
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Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby Jarndyce » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:35 am

rbgrocio wrote:
PureGenieus wrote:I've been accepted to the Day Program at Loyola (LA) and orientation is just a week and a half away. But I recently got a job offer at a law firm that specializes in immigration---I could work there part time as a legal assistant while attending Loyola's Evening Program.

What would you do?

Go the regular route and do full-time study for 3 years

OR

Make some money, gain some experience, and get your JD albeit in 4 years?

Any Loyola alumni with advice?



I would go full time, the extra year of law school would cost you to lose money. Every year that you are in school, is a year that you are not making a lawyer's salary, assuming you get a job upon graduation.



Big assumption. But I agree.

PureGenieus
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:31 am

Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby PureGenieus » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:11 pm

rbgrocio wrote:
PureGenieus wrote:I've been accepted to the Day Program at Loyola (LA) and orientation is just a week and a half away. But I recently got a job offer at a law firm that specializes in immigration---I could work there part time as a legal assistant while attending Loyola's Evening Program.

What would you do?

Go the regular route and do full-time study for 3 years

OR

Make some money, gain some experience, and get your JD albeit in 4 years?

Any Loyola alumni with advice?



I would go full time, the extra year of law school would cost you to lose money. Every year that you are in school, is a year that you are not making a lawyer's salary, assuming you get a job upon graduation.


Well, the part-time tuition is a lot less than the full-time, so it evens out basically: $40,000 for 3 years, or $30,000 for 4 years.

radek
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:05 am

Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby radek » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:15 pm

PureGenieus wrote:
rbgrocio wrote:
PureGenieus wrote:I've been accepted to the Day Program at Loyola (LA) and orientation is just a week and a half away. But I recently got a job offer at a law firm that specializes in immigration---I could work there part time as a legal assistant while attending Loyola's Evening Program.

What would you do?

Go the regular route and do full-time study for 3 years

OR

Make some money, gain some experience, and get your JD albeit in 4 years?

Any Loyola alumni with advice?



I would go full time, the extra year of law school would cost you to lose money. Every year that you are in school, is a year that you are not making a lawyer's salary, assuming you get a job upon graduation.


Well, the part-time tuition is a lot less than the full-time, so it evens out basically: $40,000 for 3 years, or $30,000 for 4 years.


but you start making money 1 year later, dood

PureGenieus
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:31 am

Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby PureGenieus » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:02 pm

radek wrote:
PureGenieus wrote:
rbgrocio wrote:
PureGenieus wrote:I've been accepted to the Day Program at Loyola (LA) and orientation is just a week and a half away. But I recently got a job offer at a law firm that specializes in immigration---I could work there part time as a legal assistant while attending Loyola's Evening Program.

What would you do?

Go the regular route and do full-time study for 3 years

OR

Make some money, gain some experience, and get your JD albeit in 4 years?

Any Loyola alumni with advice?



I would go full time, the extra year of law school would cost you to lose money. Every year that you are in school, is a year that you are not making a lawyer's salary, assuming you get a job upon graduation.


Well, the part-time tuition is a lot less than the full-time, so it evens out basically: $40,000 for 3 years, or $30,000 for 4 years.


but you start making money 1 year later, dood


Too true, too true...but I'd also be making money while in school that might make up for that 1-year salary loss?

Thanks for all of the help, legal friends. I'm going to call the school and see what they think, or whether or not it's even possible this late in the game to switch over from the day to the evening program.

thwalls
Posts: 215
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:28 am

Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby thwalls » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:26 am

So here are the real options:

1. Go full-time, finish in 3 years and completely roll the dice with a job after your done. Maybe you'll be in the top 10-15% of your class, maybe you won't. You might have a job all lined up by the time you graduate based on your 2L summer and maybe you won't.

2. Go Part-time, finish in 4 years and have a job that pays some of the bills and enables you to NOT take out massive loans to live on. Also, you'll gain valuable experience and possibly network yourself into a job with this firm. Anything that ensures the outcome of a position after graduation is ridiculously important.

I'm going part-time, so maybe I'm just a bit biased, but I'd go with option #2.

PureGenieus
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:31 am

Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby PureGenieus » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:58 am

For anyone remotely interested, the verdict: part-time work, part-time school.
I talked to two lawyers and two law students over the weekend, and all four agreed that going part-time if a legal job is to be had is the way to go. The school changed my enrollment with no problem, so now I'm in for the long haul...thanks for all of the advice!

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haus
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Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby haus » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:24 pm

PureGenieus,

I suspect that you have made your decision by now. My first question is about the job offer, is immigration law a area that you hope to work in after school?

If you did decide to change over to PT, was your school helpful in making the transision from the FT prorgram?

PureGenieus
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:31 am

Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby PureGenieus » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:20 am

The school was absolutely supportive and helpful when I asked to transfer; I didn't get pushed around to different bureaucracies, but deans helped me courteously, personally, and made my life so much easier. The didn't ask any questions, just supported my decision and got me all the information I needed right away.

I had no idea going into law school what kind of law I wanted to practice. I knew that choosing to intern/work with an immigration firm would be sort of a "narrow" experience, since immigration involves pretty different work from what a standard lawyer might be expected to do. For us, it's mostly filing government petitions, writing letters to government agencies, meeting and counseling clients, researching people's backgrounds, etc--some legal research involved, but that usually involves federal immigration statutes rather than case law. I'm not sure if immigration is what I want to do forever, but it certainly has been a good experience so far--to just learn the business of lawyering and law firms, be able to talk to attorneys on a daily basis, and learn how to manage clients, etc.

I am very glad I decided to go to night school--not to dis the day students, but I feel like evening students are more mature as they're not only older in age, but also have more life/career experience and are going through law school AS they still maintain real-world responsibilities. I love my classmates, and we are very supportive of each other!

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haus
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Re: Work Part-Time + Law School Part-Time OR Just Go Full-Time?

Postby haus » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:36 am

Thanks for the reply, I am glad to hear that the school treated you well through the transition.

As a non-traditional student considering applying to PT law school in the next few years I have no problem seeing benefits to adding considerable work experience to your resume, then again I might be biased. Perhaps I am wrong, but I think that over the next few years you may find that the types of experience that you describe as not as narrow as you may currently perceive them. My day job is in InfoSec working on government projects, from time to time I get to work with members of out corporate legal team. From my point of view they seem to spend most of their time writing letters to government agencies, researching possible contracts, and counseling the sales and technical representatives of out company, while not the same as you described, it is not that far off either.

Regardless I hope that you have a great time, both at the new job, but in law school as well.




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