Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

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CraigMac1621
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Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby CraigMac1621 » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:40 pm

I'm 22 and will hopefully be attending law school in Boston next fall. My worries about law school are unfortunately exceeding any excitement I have at the moment, and I was hoping someone might have some information/advice. Upon entering law school my son would be approaching his 2nd birthday, and I am very worried that the time I will need to spend studying, etc. in law school will be detrimental to my family and I's relationship. Obviously I am a young father, and my girlfriend is the same age. That said, neither one of us is in a position as of yet to support the other. So in other words I need to be working while I am in school.
I guess to put it all together... Will it be possible for me to balance school, time with my family, and work? FYI My job right now (which I would maintain if I pursue law school) allows me to work up to 32 hours on Sat. and Sun. alone and is very low stress (I would have plenty of time to do homework/reading there). Thank you in advance for any advice/information that can be provided.

dakatz
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby dakatz » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:44 pm

There are ABA rules that 1L students may not work more than 20 hours per week. And honestly, I don't know a single person who has a part-time job during 1L. The work load is too heavy to manage more than just a few hours of part-time work. There is very little "balance" to be had in law school. And given how important the first year is, there is little room for sacrifice from the work. I would think long and hard before making that decision.

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Fresh
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby Fresh » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:44 pm

Work and law school together often causes an imbalance that causes one of the two to suffer (poor performance at work or poor grades). Throwing a child into the picture makes this even more difficult if not impossible to effectively manage. I would suggest not stretching yourself too thin in this situation, and try to make law school wait til you can afford to not work or to wait until your son is old enough where he won't need as much of your time.

Have you considered a part time program?

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KMaine
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby KMaine » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:46 pm

Hey, man! Good luck. What I found as a dad in law school is that you find a way to manage. The weekend job certainly makes things tougher, but if you can read during a large percentage of that time, that will actually free up alot of time on the week days to spend some tme with the family.

During 1L last year, I usually got home in time for dinner, put the kids to bed and stayed up relatively late (midnight) studying. But that meant I did not have to do too much work on the weekends. I ended up doing well. I think as long as you are focused with your time, you can do well. LS work load is a bit overstated. Again, good luck.

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paratactical
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby paratactical » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:49 pm

CraigMac1621 wrote:So in other words I need to be working while I am in school.
I guess to put it all together... Will it be possible for me to balance school, time with my family, and work? FYI My job right now (which I would maintain if I pursue law school) allows me to work up to 32 hours on Sat. and Sun. alone and is very low stress (I would have plenty of time to do homework/reading there).


1) As pointed out above, you can't work this much your first year of school and it's really not adviseable to work that much considering how important your first year grades are for you.

2) Where in Boston are you hoping to attend and what neighborhood are you thinking about living in? Does your girlfriend have a job lined up? These factors will make a big difference in how much free time you seem to have.

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Paichka
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby Paichka » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:54 pm

I have a 2 year old right now, and I'm pregnant with my second one as a 2L. My husband was deployed, but I had significant amounts of help last year from my parents (child care). That being said, I did not have a job during 1L.

I balanced time at school and time with my daughter and made it work -- I picked two evenings to stay late and school and get a week ahead on all of my readings, and I worked on outlining and whatnot on the weekends while she was napping. When I was home (with the exception of reading period) I spent all of my time with her. My social life suffered, but school and my daughter were my two priorities, so I was okay with that. I think it would've been incredibly difficult with work thrown into the mix as well. If you need to work 32 hours per week, you're going to run into some difficulty with the ABA rules as a full time student. Part time, I think it would be completely doable.

Let me know if you have any questions about having a family in law school, and good luck!

Avocat Blanc
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby Avocat Blanc » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:14 pm

From someone in a similar spot I would say take the comments that the workload is too much and you will have no time in context. Most (obviously anecdotal from my LS) law students are either straight from UG or 1-2 years removed, have no family responsibilities and have a much different outlook on what "work" is let alone any concept of efficiency. I did 1L at 21 w/a 2 yr old and I worked part time intermittedly throughout and was still able to get good grades/journal/ideal summer job. It is by no means a walk in the park, but the workload is greatly exaggerated, particularly if you are able to schedule well. The 20 hour limit is for real but if you can find a way to get your hours down to that and make it financially, it is still possible to do well.

The bigger issue will be balancing your family obligations and law school stresses than any work hours. Obviously if you have to do 32hrs than part-time is your only option, but if not, listen to KMaine and Paichka, there is definitely an ability to balance in law school without sinking to the bottom or even to the middle for that matter.

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KMaine
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby KMaine » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:15 pm

Yes, people are right in saying that something may suffer. You need to have a good plan if you want to make it work, and if there is a better time to go to law school (maybe in a few years when you think you will have more time to devote to your studies), maybe you should think of putting it off until then.

You do need to give your best effort toward getting good grades during 1L, but that does not mean studying around the clock. I was able to prioritze about 4 hours of family time every afternoon and very seldom worked more than 6 hours on the weekend. My grades did not suffer. That said, I did not have a full time job.

You will get only 1 chance at 1L, and if you can go full time at a higher ranked school (BU, BC) rather than part time at Suffolk, you will have more doors open to you. I would not go PT to Suffolk now if you think you can go to BU in a couple of years. Again, I am not sure of your situation.

uci2013
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby uci2013 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:42 pm

I would consider a part time program to be sure. I also know someone who turned down BU and BC for a full ride at Suffolk and his happy with his decision. Not sure if part time programs also give out scholarships but that is something to consider. If FT at BU and BC are options, a scholarship to Suffolk is also an option.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby whymeohgodno » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:07 pm

From what I hear 1L pretty much determines your job prospects for a 200k investment...It would be disappointing if you couldn't give it your all due to external commitments.

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2014
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby 2014 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:36 am

Look into the ABA thing, I thought it was no job allowed whatsoever 1L and then only ~20 hours 2L and 3L if the school is okay with it.

jas5076
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby jas5076 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:47 am

2014 wrote:Look into the ABA thing, I thought it was no job allowed whatsoever 1L and then only ~20 hours 2L and 3L if the school is okay with it.


Nope, ABA limits 1L only (20 hours per week), 2L,3L there is no limit

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am588
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby am588 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:34 am

One of my friends is in a similar situation and goes to NESL under the special part time. She absolutely loves it and the school is very accomodating

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homestyle28
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby homestyle28 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:41 am

You should also consider the fact that if you don't work, you're income will be fairly low, so you can qualify for assistance for child care, food, etc. Most schools will increase your cost of attendance and the amount of loans you can qualify for b/c you're supporting a kid.

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rdcws000
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby rdcws000 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:30 pm

homestyle28 wrote:You should also consider the fact that if you don't work, you're income will be fairly low, so you can qualify for assistance for child care, food, etc. Most schools will increase your cost of attendance and the amount of loans you can qualify for b/c you're supporting a kid.


Yes, you should consider making a conscious decision not to work, so you can take advantage of programs designed to assist people who can't work.

Seriously though, work full time, and go part time. It's not that bad.

RTFM
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby RTFM » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:25 am

For what it's worth, my mom always said that graduate school was the best time to have kids because it was the only time she had a somewhat flexible schedule. (It wasn't law school so there wasn't the money issue as much, but it was still a lot of work.)

The thing is, classes are not what is going to take up most of your time. If you think that you will be able to study at home so you can also spend time with your son, you will be able to make it work. A part-time program sounds like it would be ideal for you, though, so you should definitely look into that.

Miznitic
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby Miznitic » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:50 am

I'm working 20 hours as a 1L. It can be done, but you need to be -very- dedicated and sacrifice something. In my case, it's sleep. I get 4 hours a day at most.

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kswiss
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby kswiss » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:01 am

I'm a 1L with 2 kids (28).

Don't break the ABA rule. Its there for a reason, and I really can't imagine working 32 hours and being able to engage the material correctly. 20 hours is VERY doable...people who say otherwise either waste too much time or have never been very time crunched before. Just realize that if you go full time there are certain times in the semester where the time gets far more restricted (when memos are due and during finals.) I have finals starting in a week and I would not be able to find 20 hours a week to work and feel like I was adequately prepared for finals at this point. So your work would have to be flexible.

I would look into the financial aid options at all of the schools you are considering. If you work the 20 hours and make up the other 12 with financial aid you wouldn't be at much of a disadvantage time wise. You might be able to find some grants and other assistance so it wouldn't all have to be extra loans. I guarantee that half of my classmates spend 20 hours a week combined doing all of the stuff that I no longer do: sleeping late, playing video games, spending evenings at bars, etc. I choose to spend that extra time either studying, playing with my family, or doing other things that take my mind of school. You would end up working/studying, so it wouldn't be that much different.

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kendraston
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby kendraston » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:21 pm

CraigMac1621 wrote:I'm 22 and will hopefully be attending law school in Boston next fall. My worries about law school are unfortunately exceeding any excitement I have at the moment, and I was hoping someone might have some information/advice. Upon entering law school my son would be approaching his 2nd birthday, and I am very worried that the time I will need to spend studying, etc. in law school will be detrimental to my family and I's relationship. Obviously I am a young father, and my girlfriend is the same age. That said, neither one of us is in a position as of yet to support the other. So in other words I need to be working while I am in school.
I guess to put it all together... Will it be possible for me to balance school, time with my family, and work? FYI My job right now (which I would maintain if I pursue law school) allows me to work up to 32 hours on Sat. and Sun. alone and is very low stress (I would have plenty of time to do homework/reading there). Thank you in advance for any advice/information that can be provided.


Hey me too! I am 22, have a 2 1/2 y.o. who will be 3 when I start, and I am expecting a second child in May. I also have to work part time to keep my childcare, and I am a single mom. My advice, that has so far worked for me, is finding an awesome school with a part time program in my hometown. Also see if you can skip working and just rack up loans instead. I know that some people look at it like "taking gov't assistance when you don't need it" but you do need it to provide for your family in the long run. Plus its not like your not going to pay taxes back into the system after you graduate. Sheesh! Hope this helps. Good luck to you, and I wish you and your family all the best!

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MisterManager
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby MisterManager » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:32 pm

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Last edited by MisterManager on Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TNMSW
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby TNMSW » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:50 pm

I'm curious about this as well. I am 26 and have FOUR kids. Mine are getting older now so things are easier.

That being said, I pretty much had a kid each year of undergrad and this included a husband in the Army Reserves who had 1 year+ deployments to Iraq. I am currently in an Advanced Standing Masters program at the Univ of TN and have a 4.0 so far. All this to say, I'm a pretty good multi-tasker and have good time-management ;)

savagecheater
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Re: Balancing Kids, Work, and Law School... At Age 22

Postby savagecheater » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:58 pm

CraigMac1621 wrote:I'm 22 and will hopefully be attending law school in Boston next fall. My worries about law school are unfortunately exceeding any excitement I have at the moment, and I was hoping someone might have some information/advice. Upon entering law school my son would be approaching his 2nd birthday, and I am very worried that the time I will need to spend studying, etc. in law school will be detrimental to my family and I's relationship. Obviously I am a young father, and my girlfriend is the same age. That said, neither one of us is in a position as of yet to support the other. So in other words I need to be working while I am in school.
I guess to put it all together... Will it be possible for me to balance school, time with my family, and work? FYI My job right now (which I would maintain if I pursue law school) allows me to work up to 32 hours on Sat. and Sun. alone and is very low stress (I would have plenty of time to do homework/reading there). Thank you in advance for any advice/information that can be provided.


Please tell me you're not actually thinking this is the right move.

I have a long distance SO and it's hard enough. I would be at breaking point between LS, wife, kid, and work.




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