Part Time Student Full Time Work.........help!!

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poslaw
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 8:51 pm

Part Time Student Full Time Work.........help!!

Postby poslaw » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:07 pm

I was just accepted as a part time student for this August. The school is located 10 minutes from my office. I'm currently working as a paralegal for an entertainment law firm. My employer wants me to stay and is throwing in 10k a year for tuition plus my salary. Does anyone know if this is doable?? Any advice would help. What is the work load, schedule really like????

cynthiad
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:16 pm

Re: Part Time Student Full Time Work.........help!!

Postby cynthiad » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:10 pm

poslaw wrote:I was just accepted as a part time student for this August. The school is located 10 minutes from my office. I'm currently working as a paralegal for an entertainment law firm. My employer wants me to stay and is throwing in 10k a year for tuition plus my salary. Does anyone know if this is doable?? Any advice would help. What is the work load, schedule really like????


This partially depends on your job. Do you work regular, predictable hours? How many hours a week? Do you have to stay late or come in on weekends? If your employer really wants you to stay, you can probably negotiate to work 40 hours a week, maybe flex time or less hours during finals.

poslaw
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 8:51 pm

Re: Part Time Student Full Time Work.........help!!

Postby poslaw » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:35 pm

cynthiad wrote:
poslaw wrote:I was just accepted as a part time student for this August. The school is located 10 minutes from my office. I'm currently working as a paralegal for an entertainment law firm. My employer wants me to stay and is throwing in 10k a year for tuition plus my salary. Does anyone know if this is doable?? Any advice would help. What is the work load, schedule really like????


This partially depends on your job. Do you work regular, predictable hours? How many hours a week? Do you have to stay late or come in on weekends? If your employer really wants you to stay, you can probably negotiate to work 40 hours a week, maybe flex time or less hours during finals.


I can get by with 35-40 hours per week. id have to talk to them about busy season and i'd use my vacation time for finals. I'm just wondering if I'll have enough time to study and do really well.

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

Re: Part Time Student Full Time Work.........help!!

Postby nouseforaname123 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:12 pm

Very doable, but you really need your employer's support. I worked for my first three years of law school, it was tough, but you can make great grades and take care of your work responsibilities. Just takes lots of discipline.

You'll need about a week off each semester for finals. 1L, you'll also probably want to take a week off each semester to deal with your memo/brief.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Part Time Student Full Time Work.........help!!

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:27 pm

From what I've heard, it's very hard but possible. If you have a family, your time with them will be very limited. You need an understanding employer and really good self-discipline and organization. Your days are work and your evenings are class, so your studying is mainly on the weekend. Your ability to take a legal summer job is curtailed (paralegal doesn't count, afaik), as is your ability to participate in any kind of law school events outside of class (depending on your work schedule).

(all based on what others have said. I decided not to do PT for these and other reasons)

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YYZ
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 3:39 pm

Re: Part Time Student Full Time Work.........help!!

Postby YYZ » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:41 pm

As long as you have the support of your employer AND family, this is very doable. You'll find it to be challenging with a ton of focus required. If you were a person in college that studied hard, this won't be too big of problem.

Here's my experience as a part time student who works full time.

I'm not trying to be negative or dramatic -- just want you to know what to expect. This was my experience and is very similar to others in my class who worked full time.

1. Assuming you take 10-11 hours for 4 courses, plan for about 20 hours of studying per week. If you're working full time, that means you'll study for almost the entire weekend. The workload never lets up, so you need to plan every weekend around your study schedule. Unfortunately, you'll find that legal writing dominates most of your time the first year as a part time student. But, even with this study load, I took off every Friday and Saturday night for family/entertainment.

2. I would take 2 days off of work for your first semester legal writing memo, which likely determines 100% of your grade. The memo is usually due just before Thanksgiving.

3. Plan to study most of the Thanksgiving break. You'll need to outline for your 3 other courses that you've neglected due to the memo. Finals come very soon after Thanksgiving.

4. If possible take about 5 days off from work before and/or during finals.

5. The biggest difference in the second semester is the legal writing brief which is way more time consuming than the memo. Our legal writing department recommends that you use Spring Break for the brief (e.g. instead of taking a vacation), and I think most people would agree. If possible, take several days off of work for the brief. 5 days off for the brief is not unrealistic. Not everyone can make it happen, but it would help.

As you can probably see, you need to limit work to 40 hours a week, and your employer must understand that you'll need time off at certain points in the semester.

Hope this helps.

arae13
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:10 pm

Re: Part Time Student Full Time Work.........help!!

Postby arae13 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:33 pm

I'm a PT student who also works part-time, so our situations aren't identical, but I think I can be at least a little helpful.

Working during 1L when you are a PT student isn't completely horrible, though this depends on your employer and the type of work you do. I work part-time in a law firm doing marketing and my employer has been extremely understanding and flexible, which has allowed me to take time off to study, especially for finals. I have a friend who works part-time as an engineer, and another one who works full time as a patent agent, and both seem to make law school work even with their more rigid jobs.

I would say about 30% of students in my section work full time and all of them find it to be managable. This is probably no secret, but working full time and going to school part time requires tremendous discipline, and you can probably kiss your weekends goodbye, too, because that is when you will have the most time to study.

Probably one of the biggest advantages to doing PT school and working (FT or PT) is that future legal employers see it as a plus. I have already submitted my resume and gotten several interviews lined up for summer positions, and have literally had employers tell me they were impressed that I worked while going to school. Employers like someone with experience a whole lot more than someone who has never worked a day in their life and will have to learn what office life is like. Our CSO also mentioned that working at least part-time when in the PT section looks better than being in the PT section and not working because employers may wonder why you're going PT if you're not working.

That said, the $10k your employer is throwing in seems super inticing, though you should probably talk to them about being able to take time off for exams. I know for some of the students in my section, taking time off for finals meant using vacation time and sick days, but they all decided whether or not it was worth it.




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