Is working during law school really that impossible?

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caruiz93
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Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby caruiz93 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:24 am

my plan is to go to law school right after undergrad. I am working during undergrad to pay as i go because i don't want to have debt. I also don't want to have debt from law school or at least as little debt as possible. Ill go to wherever they offer me the most money. But i need to find a way to live while I'm in law school! So is it really that impossibly hard to work while you are in law school or is exaggerated? i am working 30+ hours a week and doing 18 credit hour semesters and have a 3.75 GPA so i am managing fine. i know that law school will be tougher, but is it really that much tougher when you have been working and going to school during your time in undergrad?

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cinephile
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby cinephile » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:32 am

Unless you go part-time, you're not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week. Your 1L schedule is chosen for you, so you'll have a hard time finding blocks of time to do paid work.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:34 am

Lots of people work during law school. (Sometimes it's unpaid or for credit, but it's still work on top of your classes.) What's tougher is working during 1L, because while opinions may vary about whether law school is so much harder than undergrad (short answer: depends on you, your law school, and your undergrad),it's a completely different kind of education, and it takes a while to figure it out. Also, most schools have rules that 1Ls can't have a job, and the ABA rules limit full-time students to working no more than 20 hours a week (people can and do get around these rules, but it's worth knowing they're out there). I think the other issue is that law school is so damn expensive, if you have a job that lets you pay for law school and your living expenses as you go, why the hell are you going to law school??

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YYZ
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby YYZ » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:37 am

There are ABA limitations on how much you can work while you're in school assuming your a full-time law school student. I'm not sure you can work at all during your 1L year according to ABA. In 2L and 3L, I think you can work up to 20 hours a week. You should check into this to be sure.

Even if you were allowed to work during 1L, I wouldn't recommend it. Full time law school is a full time++ job in itself. It's a very competitive environment, and you should devote as much time as possible in order to get the best grades possible.

If you really need to work, perhaps you can check into part-time law program. PM me if you need more info about that.

shock259
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby shock259 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:46 am

Few things:

1) People don't work during 1L because you aren't allowed to.

2) Grades are extraordinarily important during 1L. Whatever paltry money you make working part time during your 1L will pale in comparison to the additional money you can make in just your first year as an associate and/or a summer associate if you have great grades (and go to a decent school). So it's MUCH better to spend that time studying.

caruiz93
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby caruiz93 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:55 am

Thanks for all the replies. how in the world do people pay for living expenses??? I know school loans cover tuition, but do many people also take loans to cover living expenses? I haven't taken out a single loan for undergrad so have no experience with this. i would want a job that covers the cost of tuition, just one that gives me enough for food and maybe rent at an extremely cheap place with many roommates or the like. I still have a while before law school so its not like i am definitely working during law school, i am just trying to plan ahead and get a feel of what it will be like and what i need to do to prepare financially.

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3|ink
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby 3|ink » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:56 am

I'm working through law school and it blows. HTH

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Icculus
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby Icculus » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:58 am

caruiz93 wrote:Thanks for all the replies. how in the world do people pay for living expenses??? I know school loans cover tuition, but do many people also take loans to cover living expenses? I haven't taken out a single loan for undergrad so have no experience with this. i would want a job that covers the cost of tuition, just one that gives me enough for food and maybe rent at an extremely cheap place with many roommates or the like. I still have a while before law school so its not like i am definitely working during law school, i am just trying to plan ahead and get a feel of what it will be like and what i need to do to prepare financially.


Basically everyone takes loans out to cover living expenses. It's why even full tuition scholarships some places aren't wort it because of the loans for living expenses.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby nygrrrl » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:01 am

See all of the above responses w/r/t Full Time students and ABA rules (which are serious.)

As far as working and going Part Time? It's possible, but it can be extremely difficult. While it's worked out well for me, I think that's because I have a flexible job where I can adjust my hours when needed. For my friends who are working 40/50 hour/wk jobs with limited flexibility it's just an incredible drain.
The up sides of working/going PT are that you finish with little/no debt, you maintain your contacts in the work world (if you're planning to go back to the same / similar industry) and you aren't entirely wrapped up in law school insanity.
The down sides are that you have little or no free time, you often feel you're not doing any of your work as well as you could (if you could focus on just that one job) and you can find yourself a bit isolated from your classmates.

ETA: Also, as this is an 0L thread I am moving it to the appropriate forum.

caruiz93
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby caruiz93 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:15 am

nygrrrl wrote:ETA: Also, as this is an 0L thread I am moving it to the appropriate forum.



Sorry for posting in the wrong forum :/

Cool I'm feeling a little better about it. I don't want to jump on the bandwagon and be like "well if everyone is incurring massive amounts of debt, then i will too", but it does make it clearer that it comes with the territory of law school. although i am still not happy about the idea of a lot of debt, at least i won't feel EXTRA guilty taking out loans to cover living expenses.

arae13
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby arae13 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:18 am

nygrrrl wrote:See all of the above responses w/r/t Full Time students and ABA rules (which are serious.)

As far as working and going Part Time? It's possible, but it can be extremely difficult. While it's worked out well for me, I think that's because I have a flexible job where I can adjust my hours when needed. For my friends who are working 40/50 hour/wk jobs with limited flexibility it's just an incredible drain.
The up sides of working/going PT are that you finish with little/no debt, you maintain your contacts in the work world (if you're planning to go back to the same / similar industry) and you aren't entirely wrapped up in law school insanity.
The down sides are that you have little or no free time, you often feel you're not doing any of your work as well as you could (if you could focus on just that one job) and you can find yourself a bit isolated from your classmates.

ETA: Also, as this is an 0L thread I am moving it to the appropriate forum.


I second this. I'm a part time student and working part time as well. It has worked out well because I can adjust my schedule weekly, and can leave early for review sessions or if something else comes up at school. Though I do work in a law firm, so I would guess than the attorneys are understanding of my situation.

I would say that it's probably a lot more difficult to work full time, go to school part time, and still have some semblance of downtime.

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IAFG
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby IAFG » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:19 am

caruiz93 wrote:
nygrrrl wrote:ETA: Also, as this is an 0L thread I am moving it to the appropriate forum.



Sorry for posting in the wrong forum :/

Cool I'm feeling a little better about it. I don't want to jump on the bandwagon and be like "well if everyone is incurring massive amounts of debt, then i will too", but it does make it clearer that it comes with the territory of law school. although i am still not happy about the idea of a lot of debt, at least i won't feel EXTRA guilty taking out loans to cover living expenses.

Law school is an investment. Making a shoddy investment by going to the cheapest school you get into is pennywise and pound foolish.

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cinephile
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby cinephile » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:20 am

See about becoming a RA in the undergrad dorms for free housing (and sometimes free food). There's usually a certain number of on-call hours a week, but you can use that time to study so long as nothing's happening that requires your attention.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:24 am

Wanted to make sure that it was clear that some people in here are incorrect: The ABA does not prohibit 1Ls from working; they just prohibit all full-time law students form working more than 20 hours/week. These are the minimum rules imposed by the ABA on the schools.

Some schools have stricter rules (no working during 1L, <20 hours/wk, etc).

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Icculus
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby Icculus » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:28 am

rinkrat19 wrote:Wanted to make sure that it was clear that some people in here are incorrect: The ABA does not prohibit 1Ls from working; they just prohibit all full-time law students form working more than 20 hours/week. These are the minimum rules imposed by the ABA on the schools.

Some schools have stricter rules (no working during 1L, <20 hours/wk, etc).


Just to add, as a 2L who works a part time job 20 hours/week there is no way I could have done this 1L and had the time I needed for classes. Remember, whatever money you may make 1L year pales in comparison to the long terming earning power that comes with performing well. My boss also has made it clear to me school always comes first. I was flat out told not to come in during exam/reading period and on several occasions have had to take a day off last minute for class/journal work and I have never had a problem. If you do work any year make sure it's with people who understand. Lucky for me I work in a law office so everyone here has already been through it.

Myself
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Postby Myself » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:41 am

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Last edited by Myself on Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

busted
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby busted » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:15 am

I worked ~35 hours a week at a very demanding job my 1L year. Since I exceeded the 20 hour limit for work I was a part time student by default. My school did not prohibit full time work (obviously) and it has a large part time program for working students.

It was terrible. Truly the worst experience of my life. I couldn't study much at work so I basically woke up, went to class, went right to work, got home around midnight, studied and repeated. Weekends were 99% study time. I didn't do too shabby considering the workload. I was just within the top 30% by the end of the first year but it precluded me from law review. I got a sugar mama over the summer and quit working so I could go full time. My grades got a lot better after that.

If your job has a lot of down time where you can study, sure, it might not be as hard for you to balance your time but unless you went to a really prestigious undergrad I would doubt your undergrad classes required anywhere near the amount of work law school will. Especially your first year when they are trying to scare you into submission. It's a serious risk because your 1L grades are everything. They are the key to law review, OCI, etc. There's no do overs on those grades. If you are part time, then you basically have two years where the professors are being hard asses and you have to fight to get good grades to make sure your first year courses all rinse out good grades.

KidStuddi
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Re: Is working during law school really that impossible?

Postby KidStuddi » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:34 am

Just don't do it. The potential difference in earning potential over your lifetime that you can effect by killing 1L year far outstrips whatever you're pulling in now. If it doesn't, you have no reason to be in law school.




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