Getting Close to Decision Time

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
Andy8069
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:01 pm

Getting Close to Decision Time

Postby Andy8069 » Fri May 13, 2011 10:56 am

Good morning.

I'm not really sure where that this falls under frequently asked questions, but I don't think it really fits accurately anywhere else either.

I am a 28 year old currently working in finance for a large healthcare network in Indianapolis. I do not make great money, but not terrible (~55K). I recently completed my MBA (IU-Kelley), but have also wanted to complete my JD for a number of years and was accepted at IU-Indy for the PT program this fall.

The goal at the end of my career is to be working in executive management for a healthcare organziation (hospital, insurance, pharma, etc.). However, I believe that at this point in my life, not only would I find the legal side of healthcare extremely interesting, but that I am well suited for it and that it would the accelerate the speed at which I move up in my particular company, or another local healthcare related company.

As I have read over the forums, I have seen mixed reviews on IU-Indy. I realize it is a T2 school, but by completing it in Indy, I could maintain my job and complete it at the same time. I do not believe that I would be accepted to a T1 school with my undergraduate GPA or LSAT score, but am not sure it is worth taking on an additional ~60K worth of debt (already have about 68K, which I will hopefully be paying down on during LS) to complete this at a T2 school. I am leaning toward going, but I would like to know what you guys think...Would you go? Would you apply anywhere else? Can someone talk about their experiences doing a PT program and working FT?

UG GPA: 2.98
LSAT: 157
Grad GPA: 3.47

I appreciate the insight that I have received from reading these boards. I would also appreciate it if no one told me to read other topics, posts, etc. as my situation is unique to me and while I have gained some insight from others posts, I would like some real responses to my specific situation.

User avatar
Magnolia
Posts: 548
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:06 pm

Re: Getting Close to Decision Time

Postby Magnolia » Fri May 13, 2011 11:48 am

I assume you're currently working in Indianapolis? If so, are you willing to stay there? A degree from IU-Indy isn't going to travel very far, but should be fine in Indianapolis. Have you spoken with your company about the possiblity for advancement both with and without a JD? Make sure that the degree is actually going to help you in your career before you invest the time and the money.

All that aside, going to IU-Indy PT while you work doesn't sound like a terrible option. I assume you either have a scholarship or will be able to pay a large portion of the tuition from your savings/salary (otherwise I'm not sure how you expect to pay down your existing debt during school). If you have job security at your current company, I don't see any reason to give that up in order to attend a higher ranked school. Sounds like PT at IU-Indy will fit your needs pretty well.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Getting Close to Decision Time

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri May 13, 2011 11:54 am

If you have the time & energy and are willing to shoulder additional debt, then get your law degree. Going back to school usually gets much more difficult with age, family & increased work responsibilities.

Isn't IU-Indianapolis in a new facility & well respected in Indiana ?

To answer your questions posed in the original post: No, do not apply elsewhere with your numbers & due to your opportunity to attend law school part-time while working full-time at a job you enjoy. Yes, attend law school.

I suspect that your combination of work experience, MBA & law degree will get you where you want to be. I am always amazed at the success of others similiary situated who attend, for example, Georgia State University part-time MBA & JD programs.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Getting Close to Decision Time

Postby bdubs » Fri May 13, 2011 12:20 pm

Have you discussed this with the people in the positions you desire at your current company? If your idea that the law degree will help comes from a mentor or senior person within your company, then it sounds great. If your notion that the law degree will help is purely speculation on your part, I would be very wary.

There are occasionally causal reasons for JD's having leading positions in companies, but often times it is merely correlative reasons why these individuals end up in their position (i.e. they really didn't need the degree in the first place). I wouldn't spend $60k and stress yourself out to get a second professional degree unless there are tangible reasons why you need one.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Getting Close to Decision Time

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri May 13, 2011 12:32 pm

Might be a touch unrealistic to expect your boss to encourage you to get a law degree in order to be better qualified for a promotion unless the position specifically requires a law degree or bar membership. If they say "yes" & no promotion follows, then too many issues arise.
Most management positions do not require a law degree, so the answer is likely to be given by someone without a law degree who has no idea as to whether or not it would help.
The right question to ask, however, is whether or not the company will reimburse your expenses for tuition, fees & books.

P.S. As a sidenote: It is somewhat surprising to see those with Univ. of Phoenix online MBAs get promotions. With work experience & within the same company, only the degree matters, not the degree-granting institution.
Even the most famous educational consultant in the nation earned her PhD online from a no-name institution in order to enhance her credibility as an author & consultant & lecturer. She wanted the title of "Dr.". She still claims to be making well over a million a year & caters to those seeking Ivy League & other elite, ultra-selective university admissions. Ironic.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Getting Close to Decision Time

Postby bdubs » Fri May 13, 2011 12:53 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Might be a touch unrealistic to expect your boss to encourage you to get a law degree in order to be better qualified for a promotion unless the position specifically requires a law degree or bar membership. If they say "yes" & no promotion follows, then too many issues arise.
Most management positions do not require a law degree, so the answer is likely to be given by someone without a law degree who has no idea as to whether or not it would help.
The right question to ask, however, is whether or not the company will reimburse your expenses for tuition, fees & books.


Agreed, it is silly to ask if a promotion will follow. You should ask someone who is not your supervisor how it might benefit you and whether they consider it to be a substantial asset in attaining your goal.

Andy8069
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:01 pm

Re: Getting Close to Decision Time

Postby Andy8069 » Fri May 13, 2011 2:34 pm

As always, thank you all for your responses...it is much appreciated.

My current position is in Indianapolis and I would like to stay here, so location is not necessarily a concern. IU-Indy does have a relatively new, but definitely beautiful facility. I have also been impressed with the faculty I have spoken with.

As far as the finances go - I phrased my original post poorly. I will be paying for part of the tuition for law school as I go (or paying down my original loans from UG and MBA - however you want to look at it - just will depend on which makes the most sense from an interest rate perspective, etc.), but will probably not be able to afford to pay it all as I go. I would anticipate having ~100-110K when I graduate (as compared to ~68K now). My current company will not pay for any tuition or expenses (they did give me a portion towards my MBA).

I'm not sure it is so much that I NEED one, as much as I feel like I would enjoy climbing the legal side of the corporate ladder more than the finance side (although I am attracted to the business/law combination that would be involved with an in-house counsel position at my company or another). The MBA is something that I did more so that once I reach a higher level of managmeent, that I would have the necessary skills to succeed there. I'm not sure it is HOW I want to get there, if that makes sense.

As far as promotional opportunities with or without it. The network I work for is very big on furthering your education. My boss has been very encouraging about any educational opportunities presented to me. While I do not expect my company to explicitly say that a promotion would follow, I have been encouraged by the response of many network leaders that I have worked with in the past to pursue a legal education and it has been implied that it would help within the network.

That being said, the area of finance that I work in (reimbursement), is a very demanding area from a legal standpoint and I feel that this experience along with a legal education would allow me to have a skillset that would be marketable to other healthcare companies within Indianapolis for corporate positions. I guess the best way to phrase that is that it has been implied that it would help in my company, but it is conjecture that it would help outside of my company.

Also, I would still like to get some experiences of some people who have worked FT gone to LS PT.

Last, I would agree that if you are wanting to stay within the same company, the school that the MBA is received from does not necessarily matter. However, to try to move, I believe that having a solid school on your MBA does make it much easier, than say a U of Phoenix (much like some law schools are much more portable than others). As a Purdue UG, it is hard for me to say that I loved IU, but I did learn a lot and made some good friends during the Kelley MBA program.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest