How hard is life as a part time law student?

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gopats
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How hard is life as a part time law student?

Postby gopats » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:34 pm

How hard is life as a part time law student?,Is it really worth it to go part time? how much debt is the average part time student able to take off? and full time vs part time pros and cons???? A big thanks to anybody that can help!

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Yvonnella
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Re: How hard is life as a part time law student?

Postby Yvonnella » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:10 pm

My husband did it while working full time, and he has a successful law practice. Now I'm doing it as well, with my employer's cooperation and support. (No financial help, though, unfortunately.) But the demands are absolutely animal. I mean, it's very hard to hold down a career in middle management and attend a brick and mortal night law school. I've cried over the difficulty of juggling work, home and school a couple of times. But I've got a supportive husband and I'm maintaining a good GPA despite working for a career company. So it can be done if you are completely dedicated. But you have no life other than work and school for four years. It takes a toll on your relationships. A lot of people who start out in part-time law school don't finish. But it's been great for me. I haven't needed to get a student loan and when I pass the bar, I already have contacts and employment options available - one little advantage to not attending law school until 10 years out of college. So I'm able to dodge most of the disadvantages of not going to a TLS where law students with nothing but their pedigree need every advantage they can get.

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jbagelboy
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Re: How hard is life as a part time law student?

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:06 pm

Yvonnella wrote:My husband did it while working full time, and he has a successful law practice. Now I'm doing it as well, with my employer's cooperation and support. (No financial help, though, unfortunately.) But the demands are absolutely animal. I mean, it's very hard to hold down a career in middle management and attend a brick and mortal night law school. I've cried over the difficulty of juggling work, home and school a couple of times. But I've got a supportive husband and I'm maintaining a good GPA despite working for a career company. So it can be done if you are completely dedicated. But you have no life other than work and school for four years. It takes a toll on your relationships. A lot of people who start out in part-time law school don't finish. But it's been great for me. I haven't needed to get a student loan and when I pass the bar, I already have contacts and employment options available - one little advantage to not attending law school until 10 years out of college. So I'm able to dodge most of the disadvantages of not going to a TLS where law students with nothing but their pedigree need every advantage they can get.


This is exactly the type of person who should be going PT and for whom the decision made sense. Congratulations!

For many others though, it would be preferable to either attend a full-time program at a top school, or not go at all. You have to know in advance how it will benefit you.

aliens
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Re: How hard is life as a part time law student?

Postby aliens » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:07 pm

Former evening student here. What the other poster described is very accurate. You give up a lot to go in the evening. I spent the bulk of my time working at work, working on school work, or attending classes. I missed weddings, parties, get togethers, etc. I have an extremely supportive spouse and family, so that really helped. I did lose some friends who didn't understand my commitment to school, so they walked away from the friendship.

Also, working full time during law school didn't save me all loans. I worked so support my family so I didn't have to take loans for the cost of living. I still have loans for tuition.

Finally, my employer during law school couldn't hire me afterwards. I continued there in my current role for a year, did a two year clerkship, and am now just getting ready to finally start an attorney role. It's been a LONG path to get here (I started law school in 2006 and graduated in 2010) and I never thought it would take so long to add "attorney" to my resume.

If you have other specific questions, feel free to PM me.

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LAWYER2
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Re: How hard is life as a part time law student?

Postby LAWYER2 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:32 pm

It's definitely not for everyone, as evidenced by the select responses to your thread.

Pro's:
You are a grown-up and attend classes with other grown-ups
No low-functioning smart adults w/o a clue
No Living expense loans
helps maintain a rigid productivity schedule (work/school all week, read/study all weekend)
Builds discipline & character
Almost everyone is there because they want to be, not because they didn't know what else to do
I already possess professional experience and don't need to pad my resume with clubs, clinics, volunteering, and college entry-level jobs to appear substantive


Con's:
Most of my night-school professors were Adjuncts some were phenomenal most were . . . meh
You will have NO LIFE, I shed a few friends who just couldn't understand why I was never available
it takes longer, and at some schools you end up paying more.
It's tough (did I say that already, lol), work 8-5, class from 6-9 Monday through Thursday, no exceptions
Less electives offered in the evening hours
Being in school with your little brother/sister (if attending day classes at all)

ThePretender
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Re: How hard is life as a part time law student?

Postby ThePretender » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:27 pm

If classes are offered Monday to Thursday from 6:00 - 8:00 pm or so, and if students work full-time from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, where do they find time to review before class? Do part-time students complete their readings in the morning before going to work? For example, they review from 5:00 am to 7:00 am, get ready for work afterwards and then drive to work at 7:40 am to be at work by 8:00 am?

How many hours a week do part-time students spend each week reading, researching and writing outside of class?

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Danger Zone
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Re: How hard is life as a part time law student?

Postby Danger Zone » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:30 pm

ThePretender wrote:If classes are offered Monday to Thursday from 6:00 - 8:00 pm or so, and if students work full-time from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, where do they find time to review before class? Do part-time students complete their readings in the morning before going to work? For example, they review from 5:00 am to 7:00 am, get ready for work afterwards and then drive to work at 7:40 am to be at work by 8:00 am?

How many hours a week do part-time students spend each week reading, researching and writing outside of class?

You do all the reading on the weekend, or sneak off during your lunch break to do some. It's truly awful, but you can make it work if you really want it to. As you settle in and figure out what's happening, you'll spend less and less time on reading each week.

helfer snooterbagon
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Re: How hard is life as a part time law student?

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:00 pm

Part timer here - The first year really did suck, but it kind of sucks for everyone. It really wasn't too bad after that. I tried to load up on classes so I was only going in twice to three times a week. My employer was cool though and would let me leave early enough to attend 4pm classes - I would typically be there until 9:30-10 on those nights and not home until 11 - but you get used to it. Here's the thing, and I hope I don't come across as an angry old man - For many who have never worked before, law school is probably the hardest thing they have done. Typically, those who have worked before have been exposed to long hours, tight deadlines etc. For me, yes it definitely wasn't easy, but I had been out in the work force already.

My calculus was also impacted by having a wife and kids to support. So, I took the money at a lower ranked school where I worked, rather than going full time to a lower T-14 at sticker. It was a tough decision, partly because I started law school in 2007 when the economy was going full tilt. Hindsight being 20-20, it was the best decision I made. I finished at the top of my class, have a great job (not the one I had during law school) and have no loans. I do not recommend going part time simply because you could not get into the full time program though.

JFoNN
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Re: How hard is life as a part time law student?

Postby JFoNN » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:22 pm

Danger Zone wrote:
ThePretender wrote:If classes are offered Monday to Thursday from 6:00 - 8:00 pm or so, and if students work full-time from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, where do they find time to review before class? Do part-time students complete their readings in the morning before going to work? For example, they review from 5:00 am to 7:00 am, get ready for work afterwards and then drive to work at 7:40 am to be at work by 8:00 am?

How many hours a week do part-time students spend each week reading, researching and writing outside of class?

You do all the reading on the weekend, or sneak off during your lunch break to do some. It's truly awful, but you can make it work if you really want it to. As you settle in and figure out what's happening, you'll spend less and less time on reading each week.


Especially after the first year, some people will either read the assignments or attend classes. And then cram like hell before exams.

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LAWYER2
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Re: How hard is life as a part time law student?

Postby LAWYER2 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:48 pm

I'm in my last semester taking 4 classes, 3 of which, require a combined total of 200 pages of reading a week. I was able to maintain up until midterms. Now, I skim the chapters and read case-briefs when I can. In addition to work, school, and family, I am also running for office, and any extra time I had is gone.

Funny thing is, even w/o reading, I still aggressively participate in class. Once you're a 3L, you know how to do a lot with a little, and most everything turns on your understanding of the law ;=)

I'm also big on forming interpersonal relationships with the Professors, most night prof's are adjuncts, and its a great way to network. Correlation or not, I've yet to receive an unsatisfactory grade from a professor I had a good relationship with!




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