To the life coaches (law students, 1st/2nd year associates as far as I can tell): I hear you but your opinions on social mores aren't really needed. How about you stick to your model, I'll stick to mine, and we can see in 20 years which one works better. To reiterate, money is not an issue, and a patent agent making $110k/yr with 1 yr of work experience isn't in a "menial, dead-end" job by any reasonable standard. Also, "Dual-career family" isn't the same as "Dual 50-60hr workweek family." 2Ls, 3Ls - try doing it for a few years before you give out advice to just "make it work." "Try and fail" is the more likely outcome based on observations of real couples I know.
SAHM is not the alternative to Law School Now. The alternative is Patent Agent and/or PT Law School Now, followed by an attorney position at some type of firm (perhaps even a large one) 3-5 years from now.
Anonymous User wrote:Question #2: Would I have done it again? Hmm. I certainly wouldn't have done it the same way. Honestly, I don't think I realized how crappy the crappy legal work is outside of the big markets. Yes, the hours suck, but once you get to the midlevel associate point, you really are doing interesting and sophisticated work (or at least I was). If I could go back a few years before that and positioned myself to move into more interesting fields in the secondary/tertiary market (academia, USAO, etc.), I think that's what I would have tried to do. But hindsight is 20-20!
Do you mean cities when you say "major markets?" Do you think the crappy work problem would apply to IP boutique firms around major tech hubs? Teaching is actually something my spouse is interested in long term, but I understand it's almost impossible to plan for that (prestigious federal clerkships choose you, not the other way around.)
Anonymous User wrote:Question #3: Could I now move back to biglaw? Probably. My impending job has a pretty good track record of placing people like me (more experienced, had been in biglaw but left for a bit) in firms at the counsel or "senior associate" level. But (1) I don't think that's what I want to do with three kids, and (2) I really lucked into this job -- I think it is probably much more difficult for anyone without that luck.
Do you think that it would have been easier to re-enter biglaw if you had tried to go back to your original firm/office within 3-5 years? The alternate plan I'm thinking of is 1) finish the 1L internship, 2) transitioning to patent agent work and/or PT law school for a few years, then 3) get promoted to attorney after law school. (And I'm guessing she could probably switch firms very easily given her pedigree and patent agent work at a top-tier IP firm.)
Anonymous User wrote:Hope this helps!
Again, thanks so much for your insight. It's really helpful and I'd appreciate more of your thoughts.