Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

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PrelawSteve
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Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby PrelawSteve » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:55 am

Hello,

I am a reasonably bright paralegal that is considering attending law school. When I mention this to many people, they say "well go apply." Conventional wisdom says that if you want to be a lawyer, than go apply to Law school right now.

Based on my softs and stats, I would say that I am realistically looking at T30, but unlikely T10, and a real stretch for T6 and no for HYS.

However, I am aware of the following about law school, the legal market and myself:

1. The Legal industry is very pedigree oriented and at some law firms, whether you went to Cornell compared to Harvard has a strong affect on your ability to get hired. In other words, even among t14, the pecking order has a real affect in terms of hiring decisions.

2. With as reported two applicants for every job, law school can be a kind of crapshoot investment.

3. Law school loans are non dischargeable and have very high interest rates!! I played some Blackjack back in the day and a 50/50 shot of having no job and nondischargeable debt in the mid six figures, does not sound like a fun bet.

4. My ability in life to get jobs is strangely hit or miss, in both directions:
It is a long story why, but there have been times when I got jobs that no one could believe I could get which paid great and times when despite trying I couldn't get any job for 4 months.

However, however,

I have the following opportunities:

1. A real life wealthy cousin who is a mega-millionaire with tons of investments and various enterprises (mid 8 figure net worth). He has been real close to my mom since they were kids. My family in general is not wealthy, but we have a token rich entrepreneur. This man has agreed to mentor me and let me play a role in some of his new projects. The compensation will be a combination of salary and a piece of the action. I would say that if everything goes smoothly, I could save about 200,000-400,000 over the course of 3-6 years. ( I Included worst and best case scenarios and subtracted money spent on living and fun.

with that amount of cash, I will have delayed by several years my legal career, but will be able to pay cash for law school. This means that Law school will only involve risk of capital invested, rather than the possibility of a non-dischargeable debt where the principal could easily double in a few years thanks to high compounded interest rates. ( I have heard of some law students owing 500,000!). I could even have some money to tide me over if I don't get a job as a lawyer (which often does happen).

2. My other high level token contact is someone I knew as a child (long story how) who is a brand name state wide politician. I have the chance to work with him in a minor role on a resume building project and to serve on a commitee related to a childhood problem I had.

Note, I am not well connected or a great schmoozer in general, I have an average network and average family, but have a token millionaire in my family and a token high level state politician as a friend.

Working with the cousin for several years could allow me to be able to pay for law school (inc. living expenses in cash) and working with the politician friend over several years could allow me to upgrade my softs, thereby allowing me to have a shot at a better school. My cousin is time flexible about my schedule so I can do both over the next few years.

My questions are the following:

1. Would you ever delay Law school for a multiyear period if it would allow you to either, be able to go to a better law school or be able to obtain a large pot of money to pay cash for law school? If so, what would be an acceptable delay/improvement ratio? For instance, would you be willing to delay law school for 7 years if it meant upgrading from T 30 to HYS and being able to pay for HYS with cash and have 200,000 left over 4 years to upgrade from tier 2 to T14 and to save 100,000 to allow partial payment of law school in cash, 3 years to be able to have 150,000 to pay just the tuition in cash and upgrade from T20 to Columbia, how bout an extra year so that you can time your application to the binding early decision cycle, etc?

2. If I my decision actually is sensible in the long run, how do I explain to potential dates and other's why I am doing what I am doing? If one guy who went into 200,000 in debt to attend a TTT law school walked up to a girl in a bar and said I'm in law school and I walked up and explained freakanomics style why waiting 5 years to gain enough cash and upgrade to a T6 school is a better choice who would do better in the bar?

Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks very much,

Steve

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thelawyler
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby thelawyler » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:22 am

Sounds like if I was in your shoes I would take the cousin's offer and run with it for a few years. Law school will always be there, and the economy seriously isn't that great either. If you can bank up $500,000 doing something else for half a decade, go for it. Hell, maybe you'll end up liking that better. And unlike law school, it seems like that offer won't be there 5 years from now, will it? If it will be, then why not just go now and work this job if you strike out.

Also I have a feeling that it would actually be a strong soft for you should you apply.

As far is how to explain it to the ladies? LOL dude, just say you were interested in this other life possibility and wanted to check it out because law school would always be there. But that you're still a future lawyer. And you got half a mil in the bank. Boom.

In terms of how long to wait and how much debt to have... I think that's really your call man. Time-value is something worth very differently to different people.
Last edited by thelawyler on Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:24 am

This is my favorite thread ever.

Image

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IAFG
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby IAFG » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:46 am

Are you kidding? If you can't find a better use for your time and energy after working closely with a successful entrepreneur than fucking bullshit legal work, you and LS are meant for each other.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby Lawquacious » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:02 am

love the Mugatu tar of the lawyler

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sunynp
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby sunynp » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:47 am

My family has a token abusive drunk, which is why I was motivated to get out and go to law school so I could reliably support myself (I have no debt.) If I had a token millionaire in my family to work with, I would have taken that job and not considered law school at all.

Renzo
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby Renzo » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:13 am

Delaying law school is an unmitigated good. It's always, in all situations a good idea. But it's a crazy good idea in your situation.

PrelawSteve
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby PrelawSteve » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:33 am

Two quick follow up points:

1. If I am in my thirties by the time I start practicing, will that hurt my chances of getting into Biglaw?

2. Why is it that in our society, someone taking out a huge loan to go to even a TTT gains more respect than someone building wealth via a blue collar job, business, or even average bachelor's degree job.

Thanks

bhan87
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby bhan87 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:06 am

PrelawSteve wrote:Two quick follow up points:

1. If I am in my thirties by the time I start practicing, will that hurt my chances of getting into Biglaw?

2. Why is it that in our society, someone taking out a huge loan to go to even a TTT gains more respect than someone building wealth via a blue collar job, business, or even average bachelor's degree job.

Thanks


1. Probably not. In some cases it could help you (depending on how successful you are between college and applying)

2. Because our country is full of idiots.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:40 am

Renzo wrote:Delaying law school is an unmitigated good. It's always, in all situations a good idea. But it's a crazy good idea in your situation.


With respect to the first bolded: Not true. People who go K-JD who have useless undergrad degrees and would "delay" by working BS jobs, who get into T14 schools, not so much.

But for OP: Seriously, explore your other options thoroughly before you decide to go to law school. Law school will always be there; the other options may start to close off if you go to law school before exploring them.

fingersxd
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby fingersxd » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:43 am

How about you go to LS instead of me this year and I go work for your cousin?

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Aeon
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby Aeon » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:36 pm

You'll basically have to weigh the costs and benefits of starting law school sooner or starting it later. Your personal preferences play a role as well, so if you really want to explore the entrepreneurial opportunity and will regret not doing so, then you should.

I've not seen it mentioned often, but consider also that law school tuition generally increases faster than the rate of inflation, so attending law school several years from now is more expensive (in real and relative terms) than attending today. That extra expense can often be outweighed by other considerations, but it is something to consider.

071816
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby 071816 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:40 pm

Yes.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby yngblkgifted » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:43 pm

1. Hang out with your millionaire cousin.
2. Make money
3. Fuck bitches
4. ????
5. Profit


Why throw law school in that mix? If impressing people at a bar is high on your priority list, the above plan seems like a better route than going to any law school.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby yngblkgifted » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:48 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Renzo wrote:Delaying law school is an unmitigated good. It's always, in all situations a good idea. But it's a crazy good idea in your situation.


With respect to the first bolded: Not true. People who go K-JD who have useless undergrad degrees and would "delay" by working BS jobs, who get into T14 schools, not so much.
But for OP: Seriously, explore your other options thoroughly before you decide to go to law school. Law school will always be there; the other options may start to close off if you go to law school before exploring them.



Have we met before?

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GATORTIM
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby GATORTIM » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:58 pm

STFU

Renzo
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby Renzo » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:16 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Renzo wrote:Delaying law school is an unmitigated good. It's always, in all situations a good idea. But it's a crazy good idea in your situation.


With respect to the first bolded: Not true. People who go K-JD who have useless undergrad degrees and would "delay" by working BS jobs, who get into T14 schools, not so much.

But for OP: Seriously, explore your other options thoroughly before you decide to go to law school. Law school will always be there; the other options may start to close off if you go to law school before exploring them.


No, I think delaying law school to work temp jobs, wait tables, throw boxes for UPS, etc. is still always a positive for everyone everywhere and always.

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bk1
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby bk1 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:25 pm

Renzo wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Renzo wrote:Delaying law school is an unmitigated good. It's always, in all situations a good idea. But it's a crazy good idea in your situation.


With respect to the first bolded: Not true. People who go K-JD who have useless undergrad degrees and would "delay" by working BS jobs, who get into T14 schools, not so much.

But for OP: Seriously, explore your other options thoroughly before you decide to go to law school. Law school will always be there; the other options may start to close off if you go to law school before exploring them.


No, I think delaying law school to work temp jobs, wait tables, throw boxes for UPS, etc. is still always a positive for everyone everywhere and always.


I'm not sure whether I agree with you (haven't made up my mind on that), but I think the "useless undergrad degrees" line is a load of bullshit.

Renzo
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby Renzo » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:41 pm

bk1 wrote:
I'm not sure whether I agree with you (haven't made up my mind on that), but I think the "useless undergrad degrees" line is a load of bullshit.


They're all useless insofar as learning a trade. That's why they have "trade schools." But there's this weird sense on here that people fresh out of college are somehow entitled to something other than an entry-level job, and I don't get it.

071816
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby 071816 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:44 pm

Renzo wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Renzo wrote:Delaying law school is an unmitigated good. It's always, in all situations a good idea. But it's a crazy good idea in your situation.


With respect to the first bolded: Not true. People who go K-JD who have useless undergrad degrees and would "delay" by working BS jobs, who get into T14 schools, not so much.

But for OP: Seriously, explore your other options thoroughly before you decide to go to law school. Law school will always be there; the other options may start to close off if you go to law school before exploring them.


No, I think delaying law school to work temp jobs, wait tables, throw boxes for UPS, etc. is still always a positive for everyone everywhere and always.


Everyone? Really?

Renzo
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby Renzo » Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:51 am

chimp wrote:
Renzo wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Renzo wrote:Delaying law school is an unmitigated good. It's always, in all situations a good idea. But it's a crazy good idea in your situation.


With respect to the first bolded: Not true. People who go K-JD who have useless undergrad degrees and would "delay" by working BS jobs, who get into T14 schools, not so much.

But for OP: Seriously, explore your other options thoroughly before you decide to go to law school. Law school will always be there; the other options may start to close off if you go to law school before exploring them.


No, I think delaying law school to work temp jobs, wait tables, throw boxes for UPS, etc. is still always a positive for everyone everywhere and always.


Everyone? Really?


Well, you could probably dream up some absurd counterfactual about someone with a trust fund that can only be used to pay for law school, or else the money goes to start a foundation to give HIV to babies. But short of that, yes, everyone.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:40 am

Renzo wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
Renzo wrote:Delaying law school is an unmitigated good. It's always, in all situations a good idea. But it's a crazy good idea in your situation.


With respect to the first bolded: Not true. People who go K-JD who have useless undergrad degrees and would "delay" by working BS jobs, who get into T14 schools, not so much.

But for OP: Seriously, explore your other options thoroughly before you decide to go to law school. Law school will always be there; the other options may start to close off if you go to law school before exploring them.


No, I think delaying law school to work temp jobs, wait tables, throw boxes for UPS, etc. is still always a positive for everyone everywhere and always.


Yes, because giving up several years of productivity is an intelligent thing to do (???). I've done a lot of the jobs you just listed, and I would have given up a lot of future income + delayed getting my life started for absolutely no benefit whatsoever.

I delayed law school for a year to teach, and I go back and forth on whether it was a waste of a year of my life. But taking a year off to freaking wait tables and do manual jobs of the kind I've done since I was in middle school? Seriously?

For (i) incredibly immature people (ii) who never worked in HS/UG, maybe taking a year or two to work random jobs makes sense. Otherwise, what in god's name do you think the benefit is from this? What does someone gain from graduating law school at 28/29 instead of 25/26, if all you have to show for it is incredibly minimal savings and a delayed start on adult life?

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby Holly Golightly » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:07 pm

I don't get K-JDs. I don't understand how anyone who has had no real life experiences whatsoever could possibly make that type of decision. I'm with Renzo.

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bk1
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby bk1 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:15 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:I don't get K-JDs. I don't understand how anyone who has had no real life experiences whatsoever could possibly make that type of decision. I'm with Renzo.


I think I side with ToTransfer that if someone has worked their way through high school and/or college they have already gotten that life experience.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Is it ever worth it to delay for several years law school?

Postby Holly Golightly » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:18 pm

bk1 wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:I don't get K-JDs. I don't understand how anyone who has had no real life experiences whatsoever could possibly make that type of decision. I'm with Renzo.


I think I side with ToTransfer that if someone has worked their way through high school and/or college they have already gotten that life experience.

Eh, I also worked through both. Still needed actual experience on my own to make such a huge decision.




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