Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

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geostuck
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Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby geostuck » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:34 pm

I’m deciding between cash from a lower ranked school over sticker at a school in the city I live. The lower ranked school has crappy job prospects where I will live, and the other, more costly school, has better employment prospect. I’m looking to get into something that’s not overly competitive, but who knows with this economy.

I have a family. Wife, kids, etc… that I love and enjoy being around (shocker, when you’ve been married for 10+ years). If I went to the cheaper yet lower ranked school, I’d be driving home EVERY weekend. It’s a 4 hour drive or flying, which is less than an hour, but checking time and BS will push it up. Probably a mix of both, and the cost would still be cheaper relative to tuition. Beyond the cost, we are considering this option because during the week I could be in total isolation without family obligations.

Like I said, primarily I’d like opinions from those that are currently in law school, and others, of course. Is this feasible from your perspective? I’ve had others tell me I’d be making a mistake. We're not even close to making a decision... few other things to consider. Thanks in advance.

Esc
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby Esc » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:36 pm

geostuck wrote:I’m deciding between cash from a lower ranked school over sticker at a school in the city I live. The lower ranked school has crappy job prospects where I will live, and the other, more costly school, has better employment prospect. I’m looking to get into something that’s not overly competitive, but who knows with this economy.

I have a family. Wife, kids, etc… that I love and enjoy being around (shocker, when you’ve been married for 10+ years). If I went to the cheaper yet lower ranked school, I’d be driving home EVERY weekend. It’s a 4 hour drive or flying, which is less than an hour, but checking time and BS will push it up. Probably a mix of both, and the cost would still be cheaper relative to tuition. Beyond the cost, we are considering this option because during the week I could be in total isolation without family obligations.

Like I said, primarily I’d like opinions from those that are currently in law school, and others, of course. Is this feasible from your perspective? I’ve had others tell me I’d be making a mistake. We're not even close to making a decision... few other things to consider. Thanks in advance.


Without knowing what schools you are referring to, it is impossible to answer your question, or the question of whether you should go to law school at all.

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Bustang
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby Bustang » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:41 pm

I didn't really read your thread. However, I read 400 mile commute. My answer is no.

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im_blue
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby im_blue » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:42 pm

Esc wrote:
geostuck wrote:I’m deciding between cash from a lower ranked school over sticker at a school in the city I live. The lower ranked school has crappy job prospects where I will live, and the other, more costly school, has better employment prospect. I’m looking to get into something that’s not overly competitive, but who knows with this economy.

I have a family. Wife, kids, etc… that I love and enjoy being around (shocker, when you’ve been married for 10+ years). If I went to the cheaper yet lower ranked school, I’d be driving home EVERY weekend. It’s a 4 hour drive or flying, which is less than an hour, but checking time and BS will push it up. Probably a mix of both, and the cost would still be cheaper relative to tuition. Beyond the cost, we are considering this option because during the week I could be in total isolation without family obligations.

Like I said, primarily I’d like opinions from those that are currently in law school, and others, of course. Is this feasible from your perspective? I’ve had others tell me I’d be making a mistake. We're not even close to making a decision... few other things to consider. Thanks in advance.


Without knowing what schools you are referring to, it is impossible to answer your question, or the question of whether you should go to law school at all.


Yes, we need to know exactly what's 'crappy' vs 'better' employment prospects.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby Aeroplane » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:43 pm

400 mile commute in 4 hours? That doesn't make sense. Do you mean 400 miles round trip, and therefore a 200 mile distance b/w you and family?

geostuck
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby geostuck » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:47 pm

Without knowing what schools you are referring to, it is impossible to answer your question, or the question of whether you should go to law school at all.


Yea, I'm not asking you if I should go to law school. Not sure how you got that... What would qualify you to decide this?

Anyhow, I'm simply asking for an opinion. How is it impossibe to answer? I guess... I was not clear, I'm asking about it from the perspective of workload and not studying weekends. I should have combined the two threads.

Thanks

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KmissP
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby KmissP » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:47 pm

geostuck wrote: Beyond the cost, we are considering this option because during the week I could be in total isolation without family obligations.



I am a parent of two. I have not yet entered law school, but am starting in the fall. I discovered after I was admitted that the parent of my 4th-grader's classmate is a professor at the law school I will be attending. I asked her for advice on succeeding in law school, as a parent. She said that for a lot of parents, it's actually easier to get into a good rhythm than it is for younger students. She said to treat it as a full-time job: go to school first thing in the morning, just as you would a job; stay in the library and instead of socializing, study; go to class; study some more, then instead of going out and socializing, go home to your family.

This seems quite reasonable to me. Do you really think you'll need 16 hours a day of isolation? Some couples and families do just fine apart, so you'll have to think through how it would work for you. It wouldn't work for me, though. My kids are 10 and 11. These days don't last and I could never get them back if I sacrificed them for school.

geostuck
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby geostuck » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:50 pm

Thanks KmissP... I'm amazed with how much crap a person needs to wade through to get an opinion.

geostuck
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby geostuck » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:52 pm

Aeroplane wrote:400 mile commute in 4 hours? That doesn't make sense. Do you mean 400 miles round trip, and therefore a 200 mile distance b/w you and family?


Each way, it's mix of driving fast and flying.

Esc
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby Esc » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:56 pm

geostuck wrote:Thanks KmissP... I'm amazed with how much crap a person needs to wade through to get an opinion.


You know, instead of calling our questions crap, you might try answering them, or at least giving us an idea. The legal job market is really, really terrible, and a lot of graduates from the top schools are unemployed. If you don't give us an idea of what schools you are talking about, we can't answer your question.

But if all you want to hear is an answer that will validate your opinion, go for it.

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KmissP
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby KmissP » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:57 pm

I'm feeling a bit like a wus- I was really worried about commuting an hour each way if I didn't get in to my first-choice school!

Don't forget to subtract travel time from your "at home" time. Also, I would consider where and how you would spend your summers and the effects of that.

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Billy Blanks
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby Billy Blanks » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:02 pm

geostuck wrote:
Without knowing what schools you are referring to, it is impossible to answer your question, or the question of whether you should go to law school at all.


Yea, I'm not asking you if I should go to law school. Not sure how you got that... What would qualify you to decide this?

Anyhow, I'm simply asking for an opinion. How is it impossibe to answer? I guess... I was not clear, I'm asking about it from the perspective of workload and not studying weekends. I should have combined the two threads.

Thanks


Um, have you looked around this site? TLS users are definitely going to want to evaluate your decision to attend law school, especially when you ask questions that involve ranking/employment options, money, and time. How much money you owe upon graduation should be commensurate with your plans for after graduation, so when you say you're looking into something "not overly competitive" it's still rather mysterious how this factors into your decision-making process (are talking about a small firm, a public defender position - if so, you need to compare LRAPs from the two schools - something else?). Since these questions aren't answered, Esc wasn't able to see why you want to go to law school, thereby raising the question of whether you should be going to law school at all, and, if you should be attending, which programs you should look for under what calculus of debt. Whether anyone on TLS is "qualified" to decide whether you should go to law school is dubious, but no more so than asking the same people to provide advice on which vaguely-characterized, geographically-muted law school you should attend in the absence of any relative information about your intentions.

geostuck
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby geostuck » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:05 pm

Esc wrote:
geostuck wrote:Thanks KmissP... I'm amazed with how much crap a person needs to wade through to get an opinion.


You know, instead of calling our questions crap, you might try answering them, or at least giving us an idea. The legal job market is really, really terrible, and a lot of graduates from the top schools are unemployed. If you don't give us an idea of what schools you are talking about, we can't answer your question.

But if all you want to hear is an answer that will validate your opinion, go for it.


As I said, I don't think your opinion on whether I should go to law school has any bearing on the question, but like I said, I probably was not clear. It's a question about time commitment, nothing more and nothing less. My employability has nothing to do with the question. If it was not obvious, more choices are limited because of a commitment to family. Again, I should have removed the superfluous info. And I was not asking for validation...

I read your response to this question after reading your flippant response to the other. Both of which had nothing to do with the question. Thanks for your concern, it's appreciated. I’m to know that you care about me! The world could use more "caring and concerned" people.

If you don't understand the question, I'm not forcing you to answer. Just skip it. But, again, thanks for your concern.

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bumblebeetoona
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby bumblebeetoona » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:20 pm

geostuck wrote:Thanks KmissP... I'm amazed with how much crap a person needs to wade through to get an opinion.


Well, you're asking a bunch of 23- to 26-year-olds who don't have families what they would do. Not many posters have been in this situation so you probably won't get a lot of useful answers.

Personally, I have spent the equivalent of several years apart from my spouse (not by choice). It is doable, but it definitely takes its toll. I considered commuting for school and decided it isn't worth it to me. If I were you, I'd attend school in my own city and bust my ass to get a job. Unless you're commuting to a HYS type of school you're going to have to bust your ass anyway. At least have your family close by to keep you grounded. Just my two cents.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:26 pm

geostuck wrote:As I said, I don't think your opinion on whether I should go to law school has any bearing on the question, but like I said, I probably was not clear. It's a question about time commitment, nothing more and nothing less. My employability has nothing to do with the question.

If this is true, you probably should not have opened with this:

geostuck wrote:I’m deciding between cash from a lower ranked school over sticker at a school in the city I live. The lower ranked school has crappy job prospects where I will live, and the other, more costly school, has better employment prospect. I’m looking to get into something that’s not overly competitive, but who knows with this economy.

Because it creates the impression you were asking people to weigh in on the school choices themselves, which honestly does factor into the whole equation regardless.

Would I recommend you commute 400 miles to go to Temple instead of Pitt? HELL no. Would I recommend it for Penn instead of Pitt? Possibly, if you were really sure you were up for the commute. It matters because if the difference between the two schools is small, people will tell you "no, don't do the commute", whereas if the difference between the two schools is enormous, people will be more likely to say "if you're that crazy, go for it".

You're the one that brought up the quality of the schools, and it does factor in, so you need to chill out a little about everyone bringing it up.

scionb4
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby scionb4 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:31 pm

geostuck wrote: I have a family. Wife, kids, etc… that I love and enjoy being around (shocker, when you’ve been married for 10+ years). [b]Beyond the cost, we are considering this option because during the week I could be in total isolation without family obligations. Like I said, primarily I’d like opinions from those that are currently in law school, and others, of course. Is this feasible from your perspective? I’ve had others tell me I’d be making a mistake. We're not even close to making a decision... few other things to consider. Thanks in advance.


I think you would seriously regret being away from your family that much. I know that you are probably thinking that you could give them a better lifestyle by getting a higher paying job, but they need your time more than they need improved living conditions. It's a different situation, but my parents divorced when I was 9 and I only ever saw my dad every other weekend. I really missed him during the week and we definitely missed out on a lot of time together. I'm not trying to criticize you, I know that this is a different circumstance and you are trying to do what's best for your family which is of course very admirable. I just think that being far away from your family during the week will pose a lot more problems than it solves. Good luck on your decision.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:38 pm

geostuck wrote:
Esc wrote:
geostuck wrote:Thanks KmissP... I'm amazed with how much crap a person needs to wade through to get an opinion.


You know, instead of calling our questions crap, you might try answering them, or at least giving us an idea. The legal job market is really, really terrible, and a lot of graduates from the top schools are unemployed. If you don't give us an idea of what schools you are talking about, we can't answer your question.

But if all you want to hear is an answer that will validate your opinion, go for it.


As I said, I don't think your opinion on whether I should go to law school has any bearing on the question, but like I said, I probably was not clear. It's a question about time commitment, nothing more and nothing less. My employability has nothing to do with the question. If it was not obvious, more choices are limited because of a commitment to family. Again, I should have removed the superfluous info. And I was not asking for validation...

I read your response to this question after reading your flippant response to the other. Both of which had nothing to do with the question. Thanks for your concern, it's appreciated. I’m to know that you care about me! The world could use more "caring and concerned" people.

If you don't understand the question, I'm not forcing you to answer. Just skip it. But, again, thanks for your concern.
Last edited by Mr. Matlock on Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

geostuck
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby geostuck » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:47 pm

[quote="vanwinkle]You're the one that brought up the quality of the schools, and it does factor in, so you need to chill out a little about everyone bringing it up.[/quote]

Yea, I suppose it was a bit clearer in my mind. As I said, it's nice that he does care so much!

[quote="Mr. Matlock]I'm a non-trad with a family.... and you're a fucking dick![/quote]

And......

geostuck
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby geostuck » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:48 pm

jayzon wrote:
Mr. Matlock wrote:I'm a non-trad with a family.... and you're a fucking dick!


THERE'S that famous Matlock charm. :mrgreen:


Famous for canceling..

Pearalegal
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby Pearalegal » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:51 pm

My parents lived in different countries for the better part of 20 years and almost all of my childhood (ok, just Canada).

I never resented the distance because I knew it was necessary for their careers, and my parents stayed happily married. Its rough, but its life. I'd imagine you knowing that you would only have three years (and only 9 months of those years anyways) in such a situation would make it easier...especially with webcams, cell phones and the like.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:54 pm

...
Last edited by Mr. Matlock on Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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yeast master
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby yeast master » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:43 pm

I can only speak for myself, but based on my experience having been separated from my family for a couple months due to circumstances beyond our control, I think we'd probably survive the experience of me being away during the week, but it would be enormously stressful. Probably stressful enough that it would adversely affect my academic performance. It doesn't seem like it is necessary for you to put that stress on your family. You have a better option nearby. It'll cost you more money, but to me the costs of being away from family would be greater. Add in the benefits of attending the better school, and the decision becomes pretty easy the way I see it. I would go to the school nearby. That, or I would move the family to wherever I ended up going to school, but that may not be an option for you.

Further, I've not been in law school, but I would bet that you could perform up to your potential, even with the added "burden" of family obligations. As was mentioned above, if all you're doing is full time school (no job), I expect you should be able to get enough studying done in a 10-hour average "workday" to perform up to your potential. I did my last year of undergrad and all seven years of grad school with 1 to 3 kids and it's been fine. Go in to the library early, come home in the evening around dinner time, play some Nintendo with the kids, have some quality conversations with the wife, do your share of the housework, put the kids to bed, then study some more in the evening if you need to. If not, cuddle with the wife and read a book or watch The Office together. Go to bed as early as you can, get up early, and repeat. Or at least that's my plan for law school. I've performed my best in grad school when I've lived that way.

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1WingedAngel
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby 1WingedAngel » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:02 am

Hmm, tough decision. It's also really hard to give an opinion on this without knowing the schools/scholarship information. Because choosing a law school is a holistic choice, it's difficult for readers to break it down into a transit-only question.

So with the lower ranked school, you'd be essentially moving there and living there, and visiting family on the weekend. Being that you seem like a big family man, I think the local college is better. It will cost more, but the price you're paying is for the intimacy and affection of your loved ones. This especially is worth it if you're one of those people who is emotionally supported and invigorated by being with loved ones, since law school is stressful and you could definitely use their support during this time. Plus, what about the costs of living there and flying so much? Now if the far school is offering you an OMG $$$ incredible amount of money, I might lean more toward being debt-free...

It's like the dilemma of taking a direct flight somewhere, or taking a cheaper flight route that involves a few transfers/long airport wait times. There, it's a matter of "How valuable is your time, as opposed to your wallet?" Personally, I like the direct flights because I don't mind paying a little extra for those intangibles like less stress and less time wasting.

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gochrisgo
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby gochrisgo » Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:38 am

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Last edited by gochrisgo on Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

bahama
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Re: Opinion on "idea" of a 400 mile commute

Postby bahama » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:54 am

Is it doable - absolutely. There are lots of people who have jobs where they only see their family on the weekend or even less. I've done it for work and know quite a few people who have as well.

Is it hard? You bet. Honestly, it will probably be harder on your spouse than on you because they pick up all the family responsibilities, plus deal with any adjustment issues the kids have, plus deal with missing you, plus keep doing everything they are now.

Is it worth it? It seems like you don't want to go into specifics and I'll respect that. A few things to keep in mind however:
- Don't underestimate the costs of maintaing 2 households. It is going to cost more to feed you living apart, plus you will have a lot of bills doubled up (housing, utilities, etc). Plus you will end up buying more stuff, such as a new alarm clock or toothbrush when you forget to bring it back with you one weekend. With all the driving your car expenses may go up as well. Make sure you factor this into the financial decision.
- Be conservative when estimating the boost in job prospects. It's really hard to predict what things will look like in a few years.
- If you are getting merit based scholarships make sure there are no strings attached like maintaining a certain gpa.




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