Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

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onlyhere4fun
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:33 pm

Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby onlyhere4fun » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:53 pm

Hey All,

Considering that Law school seems prohibitively costly, I'm starting to consider to go part time while I stick with my current full time job. Out of curiosity what are the pros and cons of doing law school part time? Some of the more obvious pros are that you can save significant money while continuing to build work experience in the process. But what are some of the cons? I've heard that big law is not an option for part time students. Is this true even for a GT or Fordham part-timer that does well?

Also from a financial standpoint, is it even worth it to got to law school part time while you earn a 50-60k salary? Not sure if that would seriously make a dent in what you owe aside from living expenses. Assume that the person considering going to law school makes a salary in that range in a high COL city :o
Last edited by onlyhere4fun on Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sparkytrainer
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Re: Law Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby sparkytrainer » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:00 pm

I know of a firm that hires the top 1 or 2 kids from GT part-time. I have spoken to one of them and they regret it. It was too much to balance.

Just my 1 experience.

judill
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Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:13 pm

Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby judill » Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:27 pm

onlyhere4fun wrote:I've heard that big law is not an option for part time students. Is this true even for a GT or Fordham part-timer that does well?

Definitely not true, at least for Fordham. Know several part-timers at Fordham who have gotten biglaw. Part-time students are ranked against the full-timers and do OCI with them.

cavalier1138
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:23 pm

It generally isn't worth it, especially if your job is at all stressful/challenging.

onlyhere4fun
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby onlyhere4fun » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:05 am

judill wrote:
onlyhere4fun wrote:I've heard that big law is not an option for part time students. Is this true even for a GT or Fordham part-timer that does well?

Definitely not true, at least for Fordham. Know several part-timers at Fordham who have gotten biglaw. Part-time students are ranked against the full-timers and do OCI with them.


I'm happy to hear that isn't true. It seems like a lot of people think it isn't worth it though. Aside from balancing work and school (which is probably extremely difficult/taxing I'm guessing) is there anything else that I might be missing that might not make it worth it?

onlyhere4fun
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby onlyhere4fun » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:05 am

cavalier1138 wrote:It generally isn't worth it, especially if your job is at all stressful/challenging.


Hmm what if the job is pretty cushy?

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UVA2B
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby UVA2B » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:09 am

onlyhere4fun wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:It generally isn't worth it, especially if your job is at all stressful/challenging.


Hmm what if the job is pretty cushy?


If you have a cushy job, why are you trying to make the transition to get into Biglaw?

rwhyAn
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby rwhyAn » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:34 am

Part-timer here going into my last year. It's definitely an uphill battle. The time commitment is brutal. It eats up most of your free time, and you'll need an understand employer with flexible hours. I'm going because my employer is footing the bill, but if you're paying sticker it may not be worth it because the opportunities are fewer than for full-timers. I'm at Rutgers, which isn't as highly regarded as the schools you're looking at, but I would say I'm comfortably in the top 10% of my class (we don't rank), and I only got 4 interviews at OCI and did not get a single call back. Only about 2-3 of the part-timers got 2L summer gigs in biglaw, but all of them quit their full-time jobs after 1L to do internships in order to get experience.

onlyhere4fun
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby onlyhere4fun » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:14 pm

UVA2B wrote:
onlyhere4fun wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:It generally isn't worth it, especially if your job is at all stressful/challenging.


Hmm what if the job is pretty cushy?


If you have a cushy job, why are you trying to make the transition to get into Biglaw?


The job itself is dead-end, and the salary bump per year is modest apparently. Although there are opportunities to move up in the company in other roles, it would be a transition into a different department. I'm not actually that interested in the work I do here on a more substantial level, nor would I be interested in the other business/sales roles I could eventually break into.

I've always wanted to go to law school. It doesn't necessarily have to be for biglaw I just wanted to know if it was an automatic non-option if you go the part-time route. If I see the cons outweigh the pros, then I may just switch gears and focus on going full time. It's also frankly going to depend on my full-time options/scholarships. This job is definitely cushy enough to make it work (there aren't really hard-deadlines for anything and I have a lot of autonomy on the pace at which I do various tasks. That being said, I'm no slouch lol). Also, my boss is super nice and supportive. These factors are making me seriously consider part-timing as an option.

onlyhere4fun
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby onlyhere4fun » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:19 pm

rwhyAn wrote:Part-timer here going into my last year. It's definitely an uphill battle. The time commitment is brutal. It eats up most of your free time, and you'll need an understand employer with flexible hours. I'm going because my employer is footing the bill, but if you're paying sticker it may not be worth it because the opportunities are fewer than for full-timers. I'm at Rutgers, which isn't as highly regarded as the schools you're looking at, but I would say I'm comfortably in the top 10% of my class (we don't rank), and I only got 4 interviews at OCI and did not get a single call back. Only about 2-3 of the part-timers got 2L summer gigs in biglaw, but all of them quit their full-time jobs after 1L to do internships in order to get experience.


Whoa that's interesting. Wait so since they quit their jobs after 1L, did they switch to full-time for 2L and 3L? I didn't even know that was an option :shock:.

But yeah I'm getting the general tone that it's a bad idea to go part-time if you're aiming for big law. Hmm mind if I ask you what type of law you're trying to break into? Are you committed to working for your Employer since they're footing the bill? And was Biglaw an end goal you hoped for?

QContinuum
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby QContinuum » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:49 pm

Relatively few law schools offer part-time programs to begin with, and the vast majority that do (GT and Fordham excepted) are TTTs. I imagine the main hit in BigLaw prospects from attending those schools stems from the schools' low rank/reputation and not really from the part-time/full-time distinction.

That said, trying to do both work and school is BRUTAL. I have a friend who's doing Fordham part-time and working full-time. He can barely sleep 4-5 hours per night. And keep in mind it'll be like this for four years. So this is actually where the part-time thing might make a difference: When applying for BigLaw gigs, you'll be compared against your full-time classmates, who only have school to worry about.

cavalier1138
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:36 am

I think the real question you need to ask is whether you'll actually be financially better off when all is said and done.

PT programs inherently sound like they're cheaper (slightly lower tuition, you're working, etc.). But when you crunch the numbers, you often end up saddled with just as much debt, because you give up your chance at scholarships and end up in school for a longer period of time, racking up more debt.

QContinuum
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby QContinuum » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:36 am

cavalier1138 wrote:I think the real question you need to ask is whether you'll actually be financially better off when all is said and done.

PT programs inherently sound like they're cheaper (slightly lower tuition, you're working, etc.). But when you crunch the numbers, you often end up saddled with just as much debt, because you give up your chance at scholarships and end up in school for a longer period of time, racking up more debt.


The above is probably true at most part-time programs, but I know for a fact that Fordham, at least, does consider part-time students for scholarships just like its full-time students. That said, Fordham's scholarships (even for full-timers) are kinda known to be on the stingy side, sooo...

Alive97
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby Alive97 » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:40 am

The biggest argument against is probably the extra year, and the fact that you could in theory be making a higher salary as a working lawyer during that year if you had gone full time. I'm going part time because I believe it will be manageable with my job, and because my downside risk is covered. Since I'm in a JD advantage field already, if I do not get biglaw or some other higher paying job, I still 1) will have benefitted from going to law school and 2) will be able to handle my debt. So you can see these are pretty particular circumstances.

onlyhere4fun
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Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby onlyhere4fun » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:30 am

QContinuum wrote:Relatively few law schools offer part-time programs to begin with, and the vast majority that do (GT and Fordham excepted) are TTTs. I imagine the main hit in BigLaw prospects from attending those schools stems from the schools' low rank/reputation and not really from the part-time/full-time distinction.

That said, trying to do both work and school is BRUTAL. I have a friend who's doing Fordham part-time and working full-time. He can barely sleep 4-5 hours per night. And keep in mind it'll be like this for four years. So this is actually where the part-time thing might make a difference: When applying for BigLaw gigs, you'll be compared against your full-time classmates, who only have school to worry about.


GT and Fordham are really the only schools I would consider doing part-time tbh. If I didn't get in either, I would either go to the highest ranking school I get into with a reasonable scholly full-time. If none of those are options, then I'll retake, reapply and hope for better options.

But that's...unnverving. 4-5 hours of sleep a night regularly for four years does not sound fun :cry:

Man this sucks, I'm really trying to find a way to make Law school seem like a better investment but it seems to suck anyway I look at it unless you have a large scholly at a high ranking school/good regional :cry: :lol:

onlyhere4fun
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:33 pm

Re: Law School Part Time Pros and Cons

Postby onlyhere4fun » Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:34 am

cavalier1138 wrote:I think the real question you need to ask is whether you'll actually be financially better off when all is said and done.

PT programs inherently sound like they're cheaper (slightly lower tuition, you're working, etc.). But when you crunch the numbers, you often end up saddled with just as much debt, because you give up your chance at scholarships and end up in school for a longer period of time, racking up more debt.


Yeah this is the essence of what I was looking for. And it seems like the pros really don't outweigh the cons when I consider everything everyone has said so far. I guess this is why many schools did away with their part time programs.

It might end up only being worth it if your employer pays for law school for you, as another poster said. Oh well, there goes that plan. :?

Thanks everyone for your insight!




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