Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

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CM99
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Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby CM99 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:31 am

My fiance and I are going through this "debate" and I would greatly appreciate some input from you all (specially recent graduates).

I'm a 30 year old female located in Texas. I had an interest in law school but coming from a very poor immigrant family (we also didn't have our permanent residency at that time), it wasn't a good option at that time. I graduated with a B.B.A. in 2004 (concentration Marketing). At that time, I was still waiting to receive my work permit. As a result, I had 0 work/internship experience. I finally managed to get a entry level job with a advertising agency in 2006. Worked for 2 years and was then laid off thanks to a massive layoff in the company.

After a year of trying to find something else in that field, last year, I decided to enter a paralegal certificate program. I finished the certificate program and started working for a law firm 6 months ago as a legal assistant (I get paid $28,000). Had a very hard time finding a better paying job.....once again due to no work experience.

My fiance is a M.D. (we're getting married early next year). For the past few months, he's been strongly encouraging me to go to law school. According to him, his main "concern" is that if something ever happens to him....he lfeels that having a law degree will help me find a MUCH BETTER paying job than my current situation. He thinks this will give us (me and his kids) more "security" if something happens to him.

Please keep in mind that BOTH of us agree that once we have a child, I will be a stay-home-mom until the child starts school.....and after that work part-time. And also IF I choose to go to law school full-time, my fiance has stated he's ok with me not working while in school b/c he knows it's a major commitment (so $$ isn't major issue in this decision).

Here is my position on this: I feel that giving my current situation law school is a bad idea. I'm 30 now. I'll be 31 by the time I start....and will be 33/34 when I finish. If I have a child at 34/35, and become a stay-home-mom.....once again I'm going back to having no work experience. And it's not realistic to think that I'll be able to easily find a part-time job OR start some type of practice on my own once my child starts school. And if my husband drops dead one day....it's not going to be any easy for me to find a job that pays 60k, 70k or higher just b/c I have a law degree (and no work experience). My fiance disagrees with my views.

Those of you who're more familiar with finding jobs in law firms....or any recent graduates who's been job hunting.....can you please give me some advice on this? I greatly appreciate any input.

Thank you!

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ph14
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby ph14 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:34 am

CM99 wrote:My fiance and I are going through this "debate" and I would greatly appreciate some input from you all (specially recent graduates).

I'm a 30 year old female located in Texas. I had an interest in law school but coming from a very poor immigrant family (we also didn't have our permanent residency at that time), it wasn't a good option at that time. I graduated with a B.B.A. in 2004 (concentration Marketing). At that time, I was still waiting to receive my work permit. As a result, I had 0 work/internship experience. I finally managed to get a entry level job with a advertising agency in 2006. Worked for 2 years and was then laid off thanks to a massive layoff in the company.

After a year of trying to find something else in that field, last year, I decided to enter a paralegal certificate program. I finished the certificate program and started working for a law firm 6 months ago as a legal assistant (I get paid $28,000). Had a very hard time finding a better paying job.....once again due to no work experience.

My fiance is a M.D. (we're getting married early next year). For the past few months, he's been strongly encouraging me to go to law school. According to him, his main "concern" is that if something ever happens to him....he lfeels that having a law degree will help me find a MUCH BETTER paying job than my current situation. He thinks this will give us (me and his kids) more "security" if something happens to him.

Please keep in mind that BOTH of us agree that once we have a child, I will be a stay-home-mom until the child starts school.....and after that work part-time. And also IF I choose to go to law school full-time, my fiance has stated he's ok with me not working while in school b/c he knows it's a major commitment (so $$ isn't major issue in this decision).

Here is my position on this: I feel that giving my current situation law school is a bad idea. I'm 30 now. I'll be 31 by the time I start....and will be 33/34 when I finish. If I have a child at 34/35, and become a stay-home-mom.....once again I'm going back to having no work experience. And it's not realistic to think that I'll be able to easily find a part-time job OR start some type of practice on my own once my child starts school. And if my husband drops dead one day....it's not going to be any easy for me to find a job that pays 60k, 70k or higher just b/c I have a law degree (and no work experience). My fiance disagrees with my views.

Those of you who're more familiar with finding jobs in law firms....or any recent graduates who's been job hunting.....can you please give me some advice on this? I greatly appreciate any input.

Thank you!


Not a good idea. Take a life insurance policy out on your husband and don't go to law school.

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20130312
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby 20130312 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:38 am

Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?


No. It will only guarantee more debt. Especially if you don't plan on working full time. There are plenty of worthy part time options (non-legal) that won't cost you three years and $100k+. You're much better off continuing down the professional paralegal route that you've already started. See this thread for an idea of how scary the legal market is right now.

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MTal
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby MTal » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:00 am

No. It will most likely guarantee you the opposite.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:08 pm

It's a bad idea to go to law school and then not work for at least a couple years afterward. The pay scale distribution for new lawyers is fairly binary---not a lot of jobs pay a lot more than you're making now, and those are very competitive. Also, those competitive jobs tend to hire you while you're in law school, with the expectation that you work there after graduation for a few years. They aren't going to hire you with no work experience after you took time off to raise your child for a few years straight out of law school, and certainly won't be willing to take you on part-time in the beginning. You don't seem especially interested in being a lawyer either, so if your motivation is greater earning power, it's a gamble that it'll be that and also incredibly incompatible with your personal plan.

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Strange
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby Strange » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:10 pm

Do you even want to be a lawyer? Doesn't seem to be indicated by your post.

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IAFG
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby IAFG » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:11 pm

Well as far as your timeline goes, law school is a great time to get pregnant and have a baby, so that's not really a factor. However, even if you get into a good school and get a good job, part-time work for lawyers is really fucking hard to find.
Last edited by IAFG on Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:13 pm

CM99 wrote:My fiance and I are going through this "debate" and I would greatly appreciate some input from you all (specially recent graduates).

I'm a 30 year old female located in Texas. I had an interest in law school but coming from a very poor immigrant family (we also didn't have our permanent residency at that time), it wasn't a good option at that time. I graduated with a B.B.A. in 2004 (concentration Marketing). At that time, I was still waiting to receive my work permit. As a result, I had 0 work/internship experience. I finally managed to get a entry level job with a advertising agency in 2006. Worked for 2 years and was then laid off thanks to a massive layoff in the company.

After a year of trying to find something else in that field, last year, I decided to enter a paralegal certificate program. I finished the certificate program and started working for a law firm 6 months ago as a legal assistant (I get paid $28,000). Had a very hard time finding a better paying job.....once again due to no work experience.

My fiance is a M.D. (we're getting married early next year). For the past few months, he's been strongly encouraging me to go to law school. According to him, his main "concern" is that if something ever happens to him....he lfeels that having a law degree will help me find a MUCH BETTER paying job than my current situation. He thinks this will give us (me and his kids) more "security" if something happens to him.

Please keep in mind that BOTH of us agree that once we have a child, I will be a stay-home-mom until the child starts school.....and after that work part-time. And also IF I choose to go to law school full-time, my fiance has stated he's ok with me not working while in school b/c he knows it's a major commitment (so $$ isn't major issue in this decision).

Here is my position on this: I feel that giving my current situation law school is a bad idea. I'm 30 now. I'll be 31 by the time I start....and will be 33/34 when I finish. If I have a child at 34/35, and become a stay-home-mom.....once again I'm going back to having no work experience. And it's not realistic to think that I'll be able to easily find a part-time job OR start some type of practice on my own once my child starts school. And if my husband drops dead one day....it's not going to be any easy for me to find a job that pays 60k, 70k or higher just b/c I have a law degree (and no work experience). My fiance disagrees with my views.

Those of you who're more familiar with finding jobs in law firms....or any recent graduates who's been job hunting.....can you please give me some advice on this? I greatly appreciate any input.

Thank you!

The only options that should include law school are working right after graduation or taking a life insurance policy and using that to float while in school. Unless you get into a really solid school, both are bad choices

mighttransfer
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby mighttransfer » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:21 pm

Based solely on your post, I strongly advise you to NOT attend law school. To answer the title of your post, law school will absolutely not guarantee you a higher paying job. Indeed, as one of the above posters said, the only thing that law school WILL guarantee is DEBT, which is clearly not what you are seeking. Beyond that, your post doesn't really indicate that you want to go to law school or become a lawyer. And the types of legal jobs that pay high salaries (i.e., biglaw) are (1) highly difficult to obtain (e.g., top law school, top grades, etc.) and (2) demand exorbitant amounts of time and effort. Disregarding the issue of even obtaining a biglaw job, since you indicated that you intend to have children after law school, it is unlikely that you will be able to invest the amount of time necessary to maintain such a job. In short, find another career path that will provide you with less debt, greater job stability, and more manageable hours.

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joeshmo39
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby joeshmo39 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:28 pm

The timeline doesn't work out for you. 3 years of school, maybe 2 years working then walking away from the field to raise children for, I don't know, 5 years at least. Then trying to re-enter in your 40s with only 2 years work experience. I just don't see committing to that schedule being a wise idea. Your husband seems really supportive and it looks like you guys are thinking of all the right things. The only factor in your equation that's wrong is the earning power and stability of a JD. With that, this path is probably unwise.

cattleprod
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby cattleprod » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:48 pm

I agree with the advice to AVOID law school in your situation.

If your husband is worried about the family if something happens to him, take out a $2 million term life insurance policy (20 years) on your husband. That is only about $600-$700 per year if he is healthy and in his mid 30s.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:28 pm

Not a guarantee, and the likelihood is probably not enough to pay off the debt. If you can go to UT for free, or something like that, then go ahead, otherwise forget it.

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NinerFan
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby NinerFan » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:44 pm

I wouldn't recommend people attend law school as a general principle. Your situation is even worse than a normal person's because you wouldn't be practicing after graduation. In essence you'd be wasting a ton of money (unless you got a full ride somewhere) to get a degree you'd never use. You can't just get a law degree, wait a few years, and use it. If you don't start utilizing it soon after graduation, you've missed the boat.

You'd have a better chance of success playing the stock market at home or starting an online business or something at home.

I echo the life insurance sentiments. Also, there's always remarriage!

headandshoulderos
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby headandshoulderos » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:54 pm

It is a terrible idea. Read some of the recent New York Times coverage of the legal industry. If you went to law school, overwhelming odds are that you will graduate with 200k in debt and no job.

If you did get a job that could pay off your debt, you would be working 80-120 hour weeks. A JD is an expiring asset too -- if you don't get a job and work experience in the first couple years you can basically never be a lawyer, because a new class is minted every year.

Finally, a JD will preclude other job options. You will find it much harder and nearly impossible to get a marketing job once you have a JD. People will think you will bolt for a legal job or that the JD has beaten the creativity out of you.

If your husband is worried about what happens when he's gone, get life insurance. It would be a cruel thing to force someone in your position to go to law school given the systemic problems in the legal industry. It's not just due to a down economy, it's due to the structure of legal education in America. Once the economy improves, a JD will still be a losing proposition. The NYT covers this pretty well and should be enough to convince your husband.

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Opie
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby Opie » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:50 pm

What about just investing? Also +1 on the insurance.

desertlaw
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby desertlaw » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:47 pm

joeshmo39 wrote:The timeline doesn't work out for you. 3 years of school, maybe 2 years working then walking away from the field to raise children for, I don't know, 5 years at least. Then trying to re-enter in your 40s with only 2 years work experience. I just don't see committing to that schedule being a wise idea. Your husband seems really supportive and it looks like you guys are thinking of all the right things. The only factor in your equation that's wrong is the earning power and stability of a JD. With that, this path is probably unwise.



I know JoeShmo personally and he's credited for being a very very smart guy. Listen to him. And we all envy you for marrying a doctor.

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IAFG
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby IAFG » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:06 pm

Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:04 am
Last visited: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:49 am
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I don't think she's listening anymore.

Citizen Genet
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby Citizen Genet » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:25 pm

IAFG wrote:Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:04 am
Last visited: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:49 am
Total posts: 1

I don't think she's listening anymore.


Or, more likely, troll.

thebrookdweller
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby thebrookdweller » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:40 pm

Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Even as someone who still has 2 years left undergrad I can tell you law school won't even guarantee you a job, let alone a higher paying one.

Arbinshire
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby Arbinshire » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:31 pm

Just graduating from law school will not earn you a higher paying job. Doing well, however, in law school may.

apollo2015
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Re: Will law school guarantee me a higher paying job?

Postby apollo2015 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:14 pm

CM99 wrote:
Here is my position on this: I feel that giving my current situation law school is a bad idea. I'm 30 now. I'll be 31 by the time I start....and will be 33/34 when I finish. If I have a child at 34/35, and become a stay-home-mom.....once again I'm going back to having no work experience. And it's not realistic to think that I'll be able to easily find a part-time job OR start some type of practice on my own once my child starts school.


At this point in your life you need to be focused on having kids as soon as possible, before you hit menopause. You can gain professional skills later on, but your biological clock cannot be reset. I recommend taking accounting classes instead. A couple of girls in my current accounting classes are pregnant, so I assume accounting fits in better with motherhood.




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