Any Students Out There With Kiddos?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
BeerMaker
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:01 am

Any Students Out There With Kiddos?

Postby BeerMaker » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:56 pm

Wondering if you have any experience or knowledge of students in your class that brought babies to law school. What is their story? How do they make it work mentally and financially?

User avatar
AlexanderSupertramp
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:30 pm

Re: Any Students Out There With Kiddos?

Postby AlexanderSupertramp » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:16 pm

I am a 1L with three kids. When I started they were 8, 4, and 2.5 months old. It's tough but having been a working mother I'm pretty good at managing time and multitasking. I treat it like a job. I'm on campus from 8am until about 5 or 6 pm. I bring work home at night but sometimes don't get to it. I try to dedicate 9pm-midnight to school on Fri, Sat, and Sunday nights.

My baby is now 5 months. There are three other girls at school with babies (that I know about) and probably a few dads too. Mine is the yougest, or she was until one of the 3Ls had her baby last week. She's only taking 2 classes this semester, though.

I thought studying with a baby would be a lot easier. I thought I'd be able to just hold her and work on my reading but I find that tough. Maybe because casebooks are so heavy and so is she. There are other things I hadn't thought about that might not seem obvious at first. For instance, I have to take 2 or 3 breaks to pump milk which has to be worked in around my classes. I also have to miss school when they're sick or have appointments or school is canceled. Most professors are very understanding. When I told my torts professor that I had been up all night with the baby she mentioned that she had her son her 3L year and when the school called me to come get my older child who had been injured my property professor gave me a hug and told me not to worry if I ever had to miss class due to kids.

garthwayne
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:00 pm

Re: Any Students Out There With Kiddos?

Postby garthwayne » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:40 pm

In my experience it is the professors that have had kids that are naturally the most understanding. Those professors are likely to give you a pass if you have to take care of the family because your wife/husband is sick. The professors without any children can occasionally lack sympathy. In those cases the passes that you would hope for might be lacking.

The school as a whole, however, has been really good in how they handle families. It's actually their strongest aspect. They have a married couples club where everyone has kids so that they can help each other out and babysit for each other. It's very helpful for the young mothers in that sense. Our campus is very family friendly. Some of the other students who want to go out and party are free to do so, just as long as the party stops when they get back to campus. The last thing that anyone wants is their infant or toddler waking up when they're trying to study because some johnny jackass feels the need to sing Biz Markie's Just a friend at 1:00 in the morning. In fact, I'm pretty sure the mothers on campus would feel no qualms about killing the person who wakes up their kids at that point.

Family housing is readily available and really nice on campus. A lot of families get the houses while about as many are in the 2-3 bedroom apartments. Electric and laundry are free and they might give you a slight discount (to about what those off campus would pay). If after your first year you're rank is really good they might give you a full ride (if you don't already have one) or offer to take care of housing as I have heard of in 1 case.

How does my family deal with the stress of law school? We need to be extra efficient with our time to be able to have family events. I need to be in constant dialogue with my wife. I need to make sure I study in the library so that the temptations from the family don't distract my studies. And my family needs to understand that what I am doing is for the betterment of us all. And I need to be realistic that I won't get to see them as much as I would want to.

It's very difficult to go to law school with a family (as it is without one), but it's something that I see about 1/5 of my classmates do every day.

User avatar
BeerMaker
Posts: 232
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:01 am

Re: Any Students Out There With Kiddos?

Postby BeerMaker » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:35 pm

Great info. thank you! How do you handle the financial aspect? Day care, general living expenses, etc.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Any Students Out There With Kiddos?

Postby bdubs » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:45 pm

AlexanderSupertramp wrote:I am a 1L with three kids.


I LOL'ed at your username

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Any Students Out There With Kiddos?

Postby Renzo » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:20 pm

I have a kid that was born almost exactly a year before I started 1L.

You can't study and play parent; you gotta treat that shit like a job. Go away in the morning, go to class, do all your reading, then come home and be a parent and don't think about school. I tried to study after baby bedtime, but that just made my wife crazy, since that was really the only time we spent alone together.

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Any Students Out There With Kiddos?

Postby nouseforaname123 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:46 pm

Renzo wrote:I have a kid that was born almost exactly a year before I started 1L.

You can't study and play parent; you gotta treat that shit like a job. Go away in the morning, go to class, do all your reading, then come home and be a parent and don't think about school. I tried to study after baby bedtime, but that just made my wife crazy, since that was really the only time we spent alone together.


+1.

I am a third-year evening student, I work FT during the day, I attend class at night and we had our first kid the summer after 1E year.

Your spouse has to be 100% behind you. The non-student spouse will sacrifice just as much as the student spouse.

You also have to be somewhat selfish with your schedule. Take care of your school business so that you can take care of your family.

ETA:

BeerMaker wrote:Great info. thank you! How do you handle the financial aspect? Day care, general living expenses, etc.


My wife and I both work. We pay as we go on everything. It kind of sucks because we had set things up for my wife to quit working once we had kids but then I switched things up with this law school experiment. We didn't want to take out loans so she kept working.

As for daycare, some universities have daycare services that are available to students. Look into that first. You might have to go on a waiting list and the daycare typically keeps the same schedule as the academic calendar.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests