good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

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what do you think i should do?

keep my current job and not attend law school part time
18
50%
keep my current job and attend gw part time (IP)
12
33%
keep my current job and reapply next cycle to gulc part time
5
14%
try for deferred admission to MVPB and stop working in a year
1
3%
 
Total votes: 36

Anonymous User
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good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 11:02 am

Looking for advice on my current situation (whether to attend law school part time or go to a T-14 in a year/quit job):

currently working for a fed gov't regulatory agency. have been here about 2 years and make ~$80k.
job has pretty decent hours, good contact with senior officials, low stress and great benefits.
downside is that i think i've maxed out my promotion potential without a terminal degree or will very soon.
should be getting a 10k promotion in the next 8 months or possibly sooner making my salary a little over $90k.
previously spent a year on the Hill before that working for a prestigious congressional committee and worked in clinical science research during graduate school. i'm in my mid 20's.

have an ivy undergrad and an ivy masters in public policy.

i'll admit that i don't have the greatest of stats but i was accepted at gw in the part time program. i am on the waitlist at georgetown's part time program and an MVPB.

i received a small scholarship at gw that would make tuition around 20k. i'm also interested in a patent law career in DC after law school and am sitting for the patent bar this summer. i have a great network here, both socially and professionally, and gw is offering a mentorship program in addition to the scholarship for incoming students with practicing pat law attorneys (not sure if this is a valuable but all the lawyers i know work in reg affairs or on the Hill so it'd be nice to get some insight).

my concerns are:
--it will be extremely difficult to continue working my job and going to law school, whether gw or gulc. worried i might tank at work and school.
--i'm not convinced that my job prospects coming out of gw will be significantly better than just keeping my head down and working here for another 3-4 years then transitioning to private industry.
--trying to get off the waitlist at gulc but not sure its possible. they have a ton of people on there and aren't showing any love. also, tuition is higher and they won't offer a scholarship for part time. also am unsure whether there would be significantly better job prospects than attending gw.
--going to a mvp would be great if i got in but im concerned if i end up in the bottom half of the class, i might not get a great job coming out.

financially, i'm not very concerned with tuition. no previous student loans, was on scholarship for college and grad school. obviously i would rather use the money for other purposes but i'll have around 200k available for law school.

what do you think i should do?

caveats: no guarantee or hint that i'll get into gulc next year. im on the lowest rung of their waitlist now.
i can try for a deferred admission at mvpb-- not sure if they'll give it to me but do you think it's worth it?

EDITS to make it make sense.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed May 16, 2012 12:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: quitting good job for mediocre job prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 11:25 am

do not go to law school.

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Ludo!
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Re: quitting good job for mediocre job prospects

Postby Ludo! » Wed May 16, 2012 11:32 am

Please PM your address so I can come slap the shit out of you for thinking of giving up an 80K/year job to go to GW part time

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Law Sauce
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Re: quitting good job for mediocre job prospects

Postby Law Sauce » Wed May 16, 2012 11:36 am

You are not in a rush, you have a great job and you never know what could come of it (something may happen and other doors may open). At the least, wait. Do not go to gw. Retake the lsat until you get into Georgetown at least. You have great work experience and background so you should do well with firms regardless of grades as long as you are at the right school, namely a T14 school. If you already got on the wait list this year, you have a chance next year, retake, and try again.

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rinkrat19
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Re: quitting good job for mediocre job prospects

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed May 16, 2012 11:38 am

I'd have a hard time arguing that anyone should quit an 80k (soon to be 90k) job to go to YALE, let alone GW part-time.

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Law Sauce
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Re: quitting good job for mediocre job prospects

Postby Law Sauce » Wed May 16, 2012 11:41 am

rinkrat19 wrote:I'd have a hard time arguing that anyone should quit an 80k (soon to be 90k) job to go to YALE, let alone GW part-time.


Clearly an exaggeration. But it is true that law school is risky (one bird in the hand...).

Also, I don't understand why people ask whether they should fight to get off the waitlist, yea, do whatever you can, but if you are on the waitlist its not in your control really, there nothing that you can really do that makes much of a difference. But, if you get into MVP and are really sure that you want to go, I would consider it, but I still think that retake and reapply is the correct response.

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2014
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Re: quitting good job for mediocre job prospects

Postby 2014 » Wed May 16, 2012 11:49 am

It's not like you are working a shitty job, seems like no reason to career change at this point.

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Re: quitting good job for mediocre job prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 11:55 am

thanks for the comments.

to clarify: wow, i am an idiot and incorrectly named the thread. i am not quitting unless i get into mvpb. i would be working my current job and going to gw in the evenings. under no option would i quit my job and go to a part time program only.

my concern is that the longer i wait, the more responsibility my job will require. it's a now or never situation for part time. i could see myself going full time later in my life to a t-14 school if i ever got in. outside of that, i think gw part time or gulc part time are the best options for going. i have a non-supervisory position for now but i'd assume that going to law school later (2-3 years from now) while still working would become even more difficult than going now.

do the job opps out of georgetown pt vs gw pt differ significantly?

ive taken the lsat twice and firmly believe there is no way it will go up. my highest score is almost 20 points higher than my "diagnostic" (and i studied for a month before taking the diagnostic).

fyi, the part time programs are tiny: gw is around 30 and gulc is 60.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed May 16, 2012 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: quitting good job for mediocre job prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 11:58 am

Law Sauce wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:I'd have a hard time arguing that anyone should quit an 80k (soon to be 90k) job to go to YALE, let alone GW part-time.


Clearly an exaggeration. But it is true that law school is risky (one bird in the hand...).

Also, I don't understand why people ask whether they should fight to get off the waitlist, yea, do whatever you can, but if you are on the waitlist its not in your control really, there nothing that you can really do that makes much of a difference. But, if you get into MVP and are really sure that you want to go, I would consider it, but I still think that retake and reapply is the correct response.


def agree that it's out of my control.

Black-Blue
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Re: quitting good job for mediocre job prospects

Postby Black-Blue » Wed May 16, 2012 12:01 pm

If you're doing patent law, the school's rank isn't nearly as important. Also, what is your technical background? If it's electrical engineering, then great. If it's not, then your marketability in patent law is not assured.

However, there's no reason not to wait and retake to get a scholarship. There's no reason to go to law school immediately right now. GW without a scholarship is too expensive, IMO. [Edit: Sorry, didn't read that you had retaken twice. I withdraw this comment]

Also, an 80k government job is more desirable than a generic 80k job.

Since you have a job already, I would go to part time law school over MVP or even CCN. Losing the job for full time law school isn't worth it unless it's HYS.

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Re: quitting good job for mediocre job prospects

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 12:20 pm

Black-Blue wrote:If you're doing patent law, the school's rank isn't nearly as important. Also, what is your technical background? If it's electrical engineering, then great. If it's not, then your marketability in patent law is not assured.

However, there's no reason not to wait and retake to get a scholarship. There's no reason to go to law school immediately right now. GW without a scholarship is too expensive, IMO. [Edit: Sorry, didn't read that you had retaken twice. I withdraw this comment]

Also, an 80k government job is more desirable than a generic 80k job.

Since you have a job already, I would go to part time law school over MVP or even CCN. Losing the job for full time law school isn't worth it unless it's HYS.


undergrad degree not ee or cs. basic bio. :( 3 years of research experience (undergrad and grad school) and im slowly learning that everyone has at least that...

i received a ~$10k/yr scholarship to gw part time. it would make tuition around $25K and i make enough to support myself while in law school (rent, car, food).

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roaringeagle
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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby roaringeagle » Wed May 16, 2012 12:35 pm

If you think you can hack it, go to GW part time. What was your LSAT? Did you take a prep course, a good one like testmasters or powerscore? they generally run in the evenings to accommodate people like you. my score went up ~27 points of the diag, and i skipped 8-9 LR questions because I didn't read the powerscore LR bible. I don't think that taking part time evening classes will kill you. you take less subject matter per semester so it's not a clusterfuck like most 1L experiences are. I considered GW or Gtown part time. PM me if you have any questions.

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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 2:04 pm

just got into the mvpb i was waitlisted at! what crazy timing!!!

i'd be nuts to go to gw part time and work instead of mvpb, right?

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Ludo!
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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Ludo! » Wed May 16, 2012 2:27 pm

I still think you'd be nuts to leave the job, but it would be less nuts to do it for a T14

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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 2:33 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:I still think you'd be nuts to leave the job, but it would be less nuts to do it for a T14


well it maxs out at 90k. i'd still get the basic 2-3k per year raise but nothing significant. i think that with 3 years of experience with the federal govt, you can come back at the highest level you left at. so i think i would still qualify to return as a gs-13.

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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 2:43 pm

You can come back at the current salary for the grade/step you left at, IF someone is willing to take that on. This is not always the case.

Danteshek
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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Danteshek » Wed May 16, 2012 2:49 pm

Just man up and go to GW. You can do it. Do NOT leave your job.

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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 2:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You can come back at the current salary for the grade/step you left at, IF someone is willing to take that on. This is not always the case.


that's a good point. i didn't know that. do you have any insight into why they wouldn't?

Anonymous User
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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 2:54 pm

Danteshek wrote:Just man up and go to GW. You can do it. Do NOT leave your job.


why do you say that?

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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 3:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You can come back at the current salary for the grade/step you left at, IF someone is willing to take that on. This is not always the case.


that's a good point. i didn't know that. do you have any insight into why they wouldn't?



freezes, budget/FTEs, unhappiness of current employees about a newbie getting more $$$

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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 3:20 pm

I'm at a T1 evening program, while simultaneously working FedGov. The work experience, and the efficiency proven by working a meaningful position while in school, has elated employers in interviews. I am starting in patent prosecution at a V25 firm that never would have accepted me based on my UG performance, school rank and/or class rank.

The point being, working through school is a boon. Turning down GW PT + meaningful FedGov employment to incur massive debt at MVP is a fool's errand. You'd be giving up the one thing that sets you apart from the pack for a coin flip at a better job, all at an insane price tag.

The opportunity cost of going to GW is the cost of tuition, which appears to be roughly 80k. The opportunity cost of going to MVP is tuition + 3x90k + health insurance + interest = perhaps $500,000+. You'd have to be crazy to pay over $400,000 for a marginally better brand name. Crazy, I tell you.

Anonymous User
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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 3:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a T1 evening program, while simultaneously working FedGov. The work experience, and the efficiency proven by working a meaningful position while in school, has elated employers in interviews. I am starting in patent prosecution at a V25 firm that never would have accepted me based on my UG performance, school rank and/or class rank.

The point being, working through school is a boon. Turning down GW PT + meaningful FedGov employment to incur massive debt at MVP is a fool's errand. You'd be giving up the one thing that sets you apart from the pack for a coin flip at a better job, all at an insane price tag.

The opportunity cost of going to GW is the cost of tuition, which appears to be roughly 80k. The opportunity cost of going to MVP is tuition + 3x90k + health insurance + interest = perhaps $500,000+. You'd have to be crazy to pay over $400,000 for a marginally better brand name. Crazy, I tell you.


does your job have stable, consistent hours?

my current job is usually pretty consistent but can get nuts in later nov/early december. i'm ultimately concerned that the busiest time for us here is when we work with the white house on budget cycle things after thanksgiving. that will coincide with law school exams almost exactly. last year i didn't leave the office before 9:30 for at least two weeks.

also, im kind of tired of dc but i think appreciate your point-- i should suck it up.

Anonymous User
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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm at a T1 evening program, while simultaneously working FedGov. The work experience, and the efficiency proven by working a meaningful position while in school, has elated employers in interviews. I am starting in patent prosecution at a V25 firm that never would have accepted me based on my UG performance, school rank and/or class rank.

The point being, working through school is a boon. Turning down GW PT + meaningful FedGov employment to incur massive debt at MVP is a fool's errand. You'd be giving up the one thing that sets you apart from the pack for a coin flip at a better job, all at an insane price tag.

The opportunity cost of going to GW is the cost of tuition, which appears to be roughly 80k. The opportunity cost of going to MVP is tuition + 3x90k + health insurance + interest = perhaps $500,000+. You'd have to be crazy to pay over $400,000 for a marginally better brand name. Crazy, I tell you.


does your job have stable, consistent hours?

my current job is usually pretty consistent but can get nuts in later nov/early december. i'm ultimately concerned that the busiest time for us here is when we work with the white house on budget cycle things after thanksgiving. that will coincide with law school exams almost exactly. last year i didn't leave the office before 9:30 for at least two weeks.



Yes, I have stable hours. I discussed attending school at length with my supervisor. Perhaps by doing the same you could arrange some level of stability during exam periods. Alternatively, (and this would not be easy), you could do the bulk of your studying throughout the semester so that during exams, all you need to do is review your already-made outlines whenever you have a chance. Seems burdensome, but certainly worth nearly half a million dollars.

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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 16, 2012 4:17 pm

also, im kind of tired of dc but i think appreciate your point-- i should suck it up.

Sorry, off topic, but would you mind sharing why this is? I am going there this summer so any info is appreciated. Thanks.

As for what to do, take the GW evening prog and run with it. This "T14 or bust" mentality that is prevalent here is thankfully less so in the patent field. However, your bio undergrad is less than optimal. They usually want advanced degrees for bio. But I think in your situation, the risk is worth it. Not withstanding your feelings about DC, the area is a patent hub, and a quick search will show that GW places very well at firms in the area. Your personal connections are also a great asset.

Whatever happens, do NOT quit your job unless it is for a summer associate gig leading to a full time job.

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roaringeagle
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Re: good job + mediocre job prospects from part time law school

Postby roaringeagle » Wed May 16, 2012 4:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
also, im kind of tired of dc but i think appreciate your point-- i should suck it up.

Sorry, off topic, but would you mind sharing why this is? I am going there this summer so any info is appreciated. Thanks.

As for what to do, take the GW evening prog and run with it. This "T14 or bust" mentality that is prevalent here is thankfully less so in the patent field. However, your bio undergrad is less than optimal. They usually want advanced degrees for bio. But I think in your situation, the risk is worth it. Not withstanding your feelings about DC, the area is a patent hub, and a quick search will show that GW places very well at firms in the area. Your personal connections are also a great asset.

Whatever happens, do NOT quit your job unless it is for a summer associate gig leading to a full time job.


Dc is a city of transients. It lacks character and charisma. No wonder we have so many lawyers.




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