Am I shooting myself in the foot?

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airbud
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Am I shooting myself in the foot?

Postby airbud » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:28 pm

USMC Captain transitioning to UT Law in the fall of 2014. Married with two young kids. Post-LS goal: Texas BigLaw. I'm very interested in staying in the reserves, but am concerned about it adversely affecting my law school performance/experience and, more importantly, my employment prospects. For those who are unfamiliar, the reserves will require me to be away training for one weekend per month and two whole weeks per year. Here's how I break down the pros/cons for staying in the Marine reserves:

Pros
- Am able to be called back in the case of nat'l emergency. Don't want to feel like I'm the sidelines. Important to me.
- $700/mo, can buy family health insurance for $200/mo.
- Signing bonus between $10K and $20K.

Cons
- One weekend/mo that would be used for studying is occupied by training.
- Two weeks/yr possibly conflicting with summer employment. This training is pretty flexible. Might be able to do during Christmas/New Year break.
- Employment discrimination. This is the biggest concern. Yes, I know federal law supposedly prevents discriminating against reservists, but there are a million ways to work around this. I can imagine a scenario like "No, no -- your service in the reserves is not an issue. We support you and the troops! But, man, competition is stiff and we can't offer employment to everyone, so, I'm sorry to say, we cannot offer you a job at this time." I'd probabaly do the same if I had a guy that'd be guarateed to be gone too.

Note: I do NOT rate the post-9/11 GI Bill.

So, what do you all think? Am I screwing my legal career by staying in the reserves? The reserves will provide my family with the short term financial security they need and will provide me with the sense that I'm "ready to go". But, will it all be for naught if I can't get a job or my grades will suffer?

Thanks!
Last edited by airbud on Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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goldeneye
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Re: Am I shooting myself in the foot?

Postby goldeneye » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:25 pm

I have a friend in naval reserves. It really hasn't been an issue for him. In fact he enjoys that weekend away to get a break. Plus he's the only one with a revenue stream.

You can't control the discrimination. If they don't respect your choice, you don't want to work there anyways. As a 1L summer, you'll be fine taking that week.

Anonymous User
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Re: Am I shooting myself in the foot?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:32 pm

I have a friend (T10) who is in the reserves and has done very well (circuit court clerkship). You might have to sacrifice on the extracurriculars a bit, although s/he is also on law review. Sounds like you'll be pulling more family time and less extracurricular time anyway though.

Redfactor
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Re: Am I shooting myself in the foot?

Postby Redfactor » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:36 pm

PM'ed

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Am I shooting myself in the foot?

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:38 pm

I would think that employers would be more concerned about you getting pulled into active duty for an extended period than the two weeks a year/one weekend a month thing. Just my two cents.

ETA: I'm just saying that if I walked into an interview and told them I might need to take an indeterminate leave of absence lasting months or years, and told them they would be legally required to hold the position for me until I came back, they might have reservations.

sgt101st
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Re: Am I shooting myself in the foot?

Postby sgt101st » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:12 pm

If money is your concern, here's some things to consider:

1. If you use the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you'll get $1,422/month while taking classes (basically, 9 months of the year) at UT Law.
2. Assuming UT Law structures their tuition charge like every other top school, you might get free healthcare from the Post 9/11 GI Bill for yourself.
3. You're already able to check the box off for military experience, plus you have the golden ring of being an officer. Assuming you get grades at least within 1 std dev of UT Law's median, biglaw firms are going to be throwing offers at you.
4. You're going to be extremely competitive for paying 1L jobs through the government's veterans preference, which can hit $10k for a summer.

As someone who's been there/done that, you've paid your dues man. The minor gain of the reserve pay is trumped by the BAH you'd get under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The signing bonus might be nice, but you really wont need it and a paying 1L summer job can take care of that. If you're really that strapped for cash, look around for some veteran groups that might give you a low interest loan or one of the military credit unions. A $20k loan to survive 1L that a biglaw job could pay off in less than a year is, to me at least, well worth the extra time you'll get to spend with your family and relaxing (and studying).

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airbud
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Re: Am I shooting myself in the foot?

Postby airbud » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:34 pm

goldeneye wrote:I have a friend in naval reserves. It really hasn't been an issue for him. In fact he enjoys that weekend away to get a break. Plus he's the only one with a revenue stream.

You can't control the discrimination. If they don't respect your choice, you don't want to work there anyways. As a 1L summer, you'll be fine taking that week.


Anonymous User wrote:I have a friend (T10) who is in the reserves and has done very well (circuit court clerkship). You might have to sacrifice on the extracurriculars a bit, although s/he is also on law review. Sounds like you'll be pulling more family time and less extracurricular time anyway though.


It's encouraging to hear yall know people who have not just made the reserves+law school work, but are doing well. Thanks for the input!

MarkinKansasCity wrote:I would think that employers would be more concerned about you getting pulled into active duty for an extended period than the two weeks a year/one weekend a month thing. Just my two cents.

ETA: I'm just saying that if I walked into an interview and told them I might need to take an indeterminate leave of absence lasting months or years, and told them they would be legally required to hold the position for me until I came back, they might have reservations.


Ha! Well, let's hope I don't phrase anything like that in an interview ever. But you're probably right about the larger concern being potential deployments. Hopefully with the US's involvement in large-scale war coooling off (for now), employers will be less worried that I'll get scooped up for a long time.

sgt101st wrote:If money is your concern, here's some things to consider:

1. If you use the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you'll get $1,422/month while taking classes (basically, 9 months of the year) at UT Law.
2. Assuming UT Law structures their tuition charge like every other top school, you might get free healthcare from the Post 9/11 GI Bill for yourself.
3. You're already able to check the box off for military experience, plus you have the golden ring of being an officer. Assuming you get grades at least within 1 std dev of UT Law's median, biglaw firms are going to be throwing offers at you.
4. You're going to be extremely competitive for paying 1L jobs through the government's veterans preference, which can hit $10k for a summer.

As someone who's been there/done that, you've paid your dues man. The minor gain of the reserve pay is trumped by the BAH you'd get under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The signing bonus might be nice, but you really wont need it and a paying 1L summer job can take care of that. If you're really that strapped for cash, look around for some veteran groups that might give you a low interest loan or one of the military credit unions. A $20k loan to survive 1L that a biglaw job could pay off in less than a year is, to me at least, well worth the extra time you'll get to spend with your family and relaxing (and studying).


Thanks for the great post. But, you should know that I don't rate the post-9/11 GI Bill! (I'll edit my OP to make that clear.) I commissioned via ROTC and so would have to put in several more years to get GI Bill benefits. This is something they definitely don't tell eager 20-year-olds when they sign up. Buy, hey, it is what it is, and I do at least benefit from Texas's Hazelwood Act, which waives my tuition. Hopefully my Oct LSAT retake will get me some more points and some more money.

Plus, it's not ALL about the money. It's good, sure. But I think the first bullet under my "Pros" list is most important.




Anyone currently at a BigLaw firm work with any reservists? Thoughts?

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Am I shooting myself in the foot?

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:51 pm

airbud wrote:Ha! Well, let's hope I don't phrase anything like that in an interview ever. But you're probably right about the larger concern being potential deployments. Hopefully with the US's involvement in large-scale war coooling off (for now), employers will be less worried that I'll get scooped up for a long time.


I wish you the best. I only put it that way because that's the way I think a potential employer would view it. It's a risk that everyone knows about, especially since we (the US) can't seem to stay out of the Middle East. We almost went to Syria, and you'd think we would have learned by now.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Am I shooting myself in the foot?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:52 pm

Since you're getting good answers, I'm going to move this to the correct forum rather than lock, but for future reference:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=189981

(This includes people accepted to law school who haven't started yet.)

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airbud
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:01 pm

Re: Am I shooting myself in the foot?

Postby airbud » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:52 pm

^Thanks for the fix.

Bump. Anyone else?




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