Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

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bigmnstyle
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Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby bigmnstyle » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:54 pm

Hi all -

Haven't been on here for a while. I was hoping to get some opinions on my thought process for post-graduation. I will be graduating from a T20 come May. I will also be close to 170k in debt. My question is twofold:

First, thoughts on getting a masters in education after law school (which would be bringing in more debt), and becoming a high school political science teacher whereby my loans would be forgiven after 10 years. My interest in the law has diminished dramatically over the years in law school and the hopes of big law out of the question. I personally think it would be better to work a 40 hour week job 9 months a year and make less money (and have loans discharged) than working for a small firm, working 60 hours a week and getting paid 50 - 60k and making those payments back. I also have a financial business that I have been thinking about putting together for the summers between teaching, which is something I have been wanting to do for a while and think I could make decent money there in my off-time.

Second, just curious what some reasons might be to work in the private sector at a small firm over public interest, government, etc when you have that many loans. Putting into perspective the hours you work, quality of life, and loan forgiveness v. salary.

Much appreciated

Gorki
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Gorki » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:15 pm

Based on your sudden disinterest in law, I really really suggest you do some soulsearching before hopping ship to education.

What is it about the law you don't like?

What about education would you like that law would not provide you?

I am also worried about your rationale of working 9 months a year... I know MANY teachers who have to take on part time work or teach summer courses.


Furthermore, depending on where you live, you simply can't apply to be a teacher. In my state you essentially take a series of tests over a 4-5 year long Bachelor's program to become certified.

I can't speak much as to loan forgiveness, so don't rely on my word about, but IIRC its REALLY REALLY hard to get student loans forgiven.

bigmnstyle
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby bigmnstyle » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:39 pm

Appreciate the comment. I was not aware that teachers HAD to get 4-5 experience in the bachelors program. I actually assumed that I would be overqualified with a Bachelors degree, a JD and masters in education. I do understand your point, however.

The federal loan forgiveness program requires 120 payments in the public sector (10 years). If you make 120 payments in public sector, your loans are forgiven, period. So it is not difficult to discharge them in that manner. What is more complicated, in my opinion, is the IBR repayment. First, your salary has to stay under a certain level and that may not be the case for 10 years. Second, that program can be changed through legislation at anytime so there is a lot of risk in my route that I mention. I obviously would not be able to afford loan repayment at a teacher's salary if IBR did not exist.

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Icculus
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Icculus » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:51 pm

As a former teacher I want to warn you that a career in education is not something to jus jmp into. I think you should first substitute teach to make sure you actually wan to do it. Also, you need to realize a master's in Ed is much like a law degree and is only good for teaching so again, make ure it's something you want to do. You coud also try and teach in a private school for a yea before the M.Ed. to see wha it's like. Unlike law you can actually try this out before dumping money into another degree. Requirements for teaching vary by state. In MA you need a BA in anything really and a master's degree and you need to pass the MA licensure test. Please don't just dump another $50K into a degree for a caree you're not sold on and you seem to have no real understanding if. Average teacher is burnt out and out of the lass room within three years.

Edit: done on my iPad forgive the typos.
Last edited by Icculus on Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:54 pm

Just join the coast gaurd bro.

bigmnstyle
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby bigmnstyle » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:01 am

Thanks Icculus. Just curious, are you saying that a masters degree is needed to teach in a public school, but it is not needed for private school? Wouldn't they essentially be the same? There is a lot of logic in your statement; try it out for a year after law school before dumping more money into another degree. I imagined, however, that I would need that masters degree (since I have no education experience on my resume), to get that job in the first place.

And technically, throwing another 50k into teaching degree (if I go the public interest route), will not really set me back any further -- due to the loan forgiveness/IBR program. If I was only making 40 - 60K within those first 10 years, IBR repayment would be, at most, around 60K paid back and the rest would be forgiven. (10 percent of discretionary income -- so it would much more likely be around 40k on average for 10 years, paying back 4,000 a year = 40,000 total). So that extra 50k would not factor into my repayment at all if that program had to stay in place during those 10 years.

bigmnstyle
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby bigmnstyle » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:01 am

Desert - my jag applications are almost completed. Is the Coast Guard application process easier?

LSATNightmares
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby LSATNightmares » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:02 am

I went to a Jesuit prep school for high school, and there were two teachers there who were former lawyers. They hated big law enough to give up on it (albeit loans were likely smaller back then). If you were to get one of those gigs, the salary can be $75-100k.

09042014
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:03 am

bigmnstyle wrote:Desert - my jag applications are almost completed. Is the Coast Guard application process easier?


I mean just join up. JAG is probably hard.

lukertin
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby lukertin » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:03 am

I'm completely amazed by the stupidity and poor decision making embodied in the OP of this thread.

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Icculus
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Icculus » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:15 am

bigmnstyle wrote:Thanks Icculus. Just curious, are you saying that a masters degree is needed to teach in a public school, but it is not needed for private school? Wouldn't they essentially be the same? There is a lot of logic in your statement; try it out for a year after law school before dumping more money into another degree. I imagined, however, that I would need that masters degree (since I have no education experience on my resume), to get that job in the first place.

And technically, throwing another 50k into teaching degree (if I go the public interest route), will not really set me back any further -- due to the loan forgiveness/IBR program. If I was only making 40 - 60K within those first 10 years, IBR repayment would be, at most, around 60K paid back and the rest would be forgiven. (10 percent of discretionary income -- so it would much more likely be around 40k on average for 10 years, paying back 4,000 a year = 40,000 total). So that extra 50k would not factor into my repayment at all if that program had to stay in place during those 10 years.


Private schools are generally not required by the state to require the same certifications as public schools. In Massachusetts you can teach in a private school with only a BA. You shoul also realize that social science jobs in public education are almost as hard to get as law jobs. When I was applying in '07 I was told many positions got 100+ applicants since many people with liberal arts degrees just go into teaching eng. or social science. Science and mtg teachers are the ones in short supply. History/English/etc are a dime a dozen.

Edit: the $50k will factor in your credit rating.

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Icculus
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Icculus » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:18 am

LSATNightmares wrote:I went to a Jesuit prep school for high school, and there were two teachers there who were former lawyers. They hated big law enough to give up on it (albeit loans were likely smaller back then). If you were to get one of those gigs, the salary can be $75-100k.


Highly unlikely as OP has no law nor teaching experience and most private schools pay far less than public schools.

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kalvano
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby kalvano » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:23 am

Just wanted to say LOL at 40 hours a week for only 9 months of the year.

But then I saw "$75K to $100K at a private school" and that made me LOL even more.

lukertin
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby lukertin » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:25 am

kalvano wrote:Just wanted to say LOL at 40 hours a week for only 9 months of the year.

But then I saw "$75K to $100K at a private school" and that made me LOL even more.

I lol'd at the thought of this guy dropping another 50k in debt to become a teacher.

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cinephile
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby cinephile » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:31 am

Private schools are terrible, low pay and low job security.

Look into alternative certification programs. Do not take on more debt! There are other ways to get certified and some of these programs even pay for you to get your masters during the evenings/Saturdays.

Also, if you're 28 or older I think you're too old for the Coast Guard.

bigmnstyle
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby bigmnstyle » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:34 am

^^ Lukertin: You don't technically drop 50k in debt is my point. Did you get my logic in that part? Anyway, thanks for that info.

And Desert: What I was asking is if the coastal guard is known to be an easier (less competitive) application process than the other JAG programs.
Last edited by bigmnstyle on Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

lukertin
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby lukertin » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:35 am

bigmnstyle wrote:^^ You don't technically drop 50k in debt is my point. Did you get my logic in that part? Anyway, thanks for that info.

sorry but your logic sucks.

bigmnstyle
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby bigmnstyle » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:39 am

Alright...

I was just pointing out that after a certain point, and assuming you are going to work in the public sector, your loans are forgiven after 120 payments. When you include IBR, taking out more loans doesn't technically matter because you wouldn't end up paying those back anyway.

lukertin
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby lukertin » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:41 am

bigmnstyle wrote:Alright...

I was just pointing out that after a certain point, and assuming you are going to work in the public sector, your loans are forgiven after 120 payments. When you include IBR, taking out more loans doesn't technically matter because you wouldn't end up paying those back anyway.

You make a lot of assumptions, none of which you have any control over.

That is why your logic sucks.

bigmnstyle
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby bigmnstyle » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:43 am

That brings up another point I was interested in: does anyone know if you can be "locked into" the federal loan forgiveness and IBR repayment? I thought the federal loan forgiveness (i.e., 120 payments), is a "locked in" type of deal where you are guaranteed that system; however, the IBR can be changed. Does anyone have any information on this?

A lot of the things I speak of are theoretical. These things have crossed my mind. I have not decided on anything. Just hoping to gather information...

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kalvano
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby kalvano » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:44 am

What exactly makes you think you can stick it out for 10 years as a teacher? It's a very hard job. And why should a school be interested in hiring you as opposed to one of the people applying who actually went to school to be a teacher?

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Icculus
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby Icculus » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:53 am

kalvano wrote:What exactly makes you think you can stick it out for 10 years as a teacher? It's a very hard job. And why should a school be interested in hiring you as opposed to one of the people applying who actually went to school to be a teacher?


This. People who have never done it don't realize how challenging a job teaching actually is, and I don't know a single teacher who only works 40 hours per week nor works only nine months.

Teaching also requires continuing education to stay certified, and not all school systems qualify for loan forgiveness, usually you need to be working in a field that is traditionally short on teachers (math/science) or in a school system that is low income. This is not as good of a plan as you think it is, OP.

Not to mention, unless you really enjoy working with kids and can deal with all that entails I doubt you will make the 10 years. I left teaching because I would never be happy in a system that has no real upward mobility or room for advancement, but I sure as hell loved teaching. The people I know who began teaching because they couldn't figure out anything else, or really liked the schedule all were out within two years either through their own choice or through the non-renewal of a contract. Remember, your first three-five years as a teacher, even a public school teacher, means you can be let go for any reason or no reason at all, and if there are ever cuts it's last one in first one out. I know a few very good teachers who lost their jobs simply because they were low man on the totem pole. I really get irritated when someone decides they want to teach for any reason other than they actually WANT TO TEACH. You don't seem to care about the teaching aspect and it doesn't appear you've done any research into the field.

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moandersen
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby moandersen » Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:43 am

Your idea OP is ridiculous. I worked in a high school for three years prior to ls, and my wife is now going on her sixth year teaching at a high school. Everything Icculus wrote is spot on. If you dont have a passion for teaching teenagers AND for the subject you teach, it will be an incredibly miserable experience. Figure out another option post ls. You will not last in a high need school for ten years.

ambiTTTTion
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby ambiTTTTion » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:54 am

I have had multiple friends go into teaching only to grow to hate it in a 2-3 short years. The hours are no where near 40/week, and like previous posters have said, unless you are incredibly motivated and love the kids and subject, it will be a horrible experience. Oh, and I horribly disagree with the notion of "Well I might as well take out more debt because if X, Y, Z, A, B, and C go right, it will all be forgiven." Imagine being 200k+ in debt and then washing out of education 8 years in.

OP, how long have you been attending law school with this plan in mind?

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Becoming a high school teacher after law school**?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:29 am

Good luck getting a job as a teacher right now - in a social science of all things! Sure you don't want to go the whole hog and do English?




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