Work or Law School

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kekepania
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Work or Law School

Postby kekepania » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:58 pm

I will be completing a Masters of Public Health (Health Policy and Administration) in May 2012. I potentially have 2 options: law school or work. I have no experience in law and some experience in various fields of public health. I did a summer internship with a hospital and they are offering me a job, although I have not talked to them about anything specific. However, I know that I am interested in something health policy related, so I thought law school was a good next step. After talking with my public health professors though has made me really conflicted as they are all pretty much recommending me to get some work experience first. I feel like I am old (and I know I'm not at 25) because I want to be established and start thinking about family etc. at around age 30, which I feel like I wouldn't be able to do if I worked first and then went back to law school.

Does anyone have any advice/suggestions? Thank you!

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Wholigan
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby Wholigan » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:07 pm

So you already have some full time work experience under your belt, even if it was before you did you masters? Do you think you would like the job you were offered? What is the pay, and is that important to your decision? What was your UGPA?

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kekepania
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby kekepania » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:17 pm

Wholigan wrote:So you already have some full time work experience under your belt, even if it was before you did you masters? Do you think you would like the job you were offered? What is the pay, and is that important to your decision? What was your UGPA?


The summer internship was just part-time, in between the two years of my masters degree. Other work experience is not related to law or public health.
I have no idea what type of job I'd be offered and the logistics of it. I guess I should contact them and start talking with them soon. Pay is definitely important, but the most important thing would be opportunity for advancement. I would want a job that would allow me to work my way to the "top" (in quotes because my top may be different from others' top).

My UGPA is 3.6. I took the LSAT in December so I'm waiting on my score. I'm only applying to my state school because I know I want to live here for the rest of my life and it's all about who you know and connections here. I know that they do really a good job of networking at my state school.

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NoleinNY
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby NoleinNY » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:27 pm

kekepania wrote:
Wholigan wrote:So you already have some full time work experience under your belt, even if it was before you did you masters? Do you think you would like the job you were offered? What is the pay, and is that important to your decision? What was your UGPA?


The summer internship was just part-time, in between the two years of my masters degree. Other work experience is not related to law or public health.
I have no idea what type of job I'd be offered and the logistics of it. I guess I should contact them and start talking with them soon. Pay is definitely important, but the most important thing would be opportunity for advancement. I would want a job that would allow me to work my way to the "top" (in quotes because my top may be different from others' top).

My UGPA is 3.6. I took the LSAT in December so I'm waiting on my score. I'm only applying to my state school because I know I want to live here for the rest of my life and it's all about who you know and connections here. I know that they do really a good job of networking at my state school.


Personally, I'd work for the next year or two, save up as much cash as possible, then apply to law school if the itch remains. That way, a) you'll have substantive work experience on your resume, b) you'll have less reliance on loans (even if marginally), and c) you'll make contacts in the health industry if you wanted to return in some law-related capacity.

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mrtoren
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby mrtoren » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:10 pm

Without knowing your specific situation, I would assume you have quite a bit in education loans between both undergraduate and graduate degrees. If this is the case, I would caution you against jumping into law school right away. Work for a while, pay down the loans, and see if you're still interested in law. The health sector should remain strong in the coming years...perhaps even experiencing a 'boom' as more baby boomers retire. There will be fantastic job opportunities there for quite some time. As for law, I believe we have seen it's plateau. I'm not a doom-and-gloom kind of guy, but outsourcing is a logical step for a lot of the work in this profession. This field is going to continue to slowly, but steadily contract.

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Wholigan
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby Wholigan » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:35 pm

kekepania wrote: I'm only applying to my state school because I know I want to live here for the rest of my life


This is a bad idea, even if the state school is the only one you would consider attending. You should apply to several ranked close to and higher than your state school so that you can use the acceptances to negotiate for merit aid. It sounds like you are kind of scrambling if you are thinking of starting law school in 2012. Unless you rock the LSAT and get a full ride to your target school, (and maybe even then) I would get a job and at least work there until fall 2013. That way, you can prepare to retake the LSAT if you need to, apply early, get scholarship money, and win. Of course, it'll give you a chance to see if you like the other job too and maybe you will change your mind about law school.

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NoleinNY
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby NoleinNY » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:37 pm

Wholigan wrote:
kekepania wrote: I'm only applying to my state school because I know I want to live here for the rest of my life


This is a bad idea, even if the state school is the only one you would consider attending. You should apply to several ranked close to and higher than your state school so that you can use the acceptances to negotiate for merit aid. It sounds like you are kind of scrambling if you are thinking of starting law school in 2012. Unless you rock the LSAT and get a full ride to your target school, (and maybe even then) I would get a job and at least work there until fall 2013. That way, you can prepare to retake the LSAT if you need to, apply early, get scholarship money, and win. Of course, it'll give you a chance to see if you like the other job too and maybe you will change your mind about law school.


Just curious, what IS the state school in question?
EDIT: Directed at OP, not Wholigan

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kekepania
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby kekepania » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:10 am

It was a pretty last minute decision. I've been thinking about law school for a few years but it wasn't until the middle of this year that I decided to go for it (well, at least apply). I chose to take the LSAT in December instead of October so I would have adequate time to prepare....hopefully it works out!

How do you use multiple acceptances to negotiate for more financial aid?

School is Hawaii, bottom of tier 2 (#95).

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kekepania
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby kekepania » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:26 am

mrtoren wrote:Without knowing your specific situation, I would assume you have quite a bit in education loans between both undergraduate and graduate degrees. If this is the case, I would caution you against jumping into law school right away. Work for a while, pay down the loans, and see if you're still interested in law. The health sector should remain strong in the coming years...perhaps even experiencing a 'boom' as more baby boomers retire. There will be fantastic job opportunities there for quite some time. As for law, I believe we have seen it's plateau. I'm not a doom-and-gloom kind of guy, but outsourcing is a logical step for a lot of the work in this profession. This field is going to continue to slowly, but steadily contract.


Fortunately, I didn't have to pay tuition for grad school. I do have some undergrad loans, but it's not considered high (well, to me it is). Thanks for the advice!

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Wholigan
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby Wholigan » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:21 am

W
kekepania wrote:It was a pretty last minute decision. I've been thinking about law school for a few years but it wasn't until the middle of this year that I decided to go for it (well, at least apply). I chose to take the LSAT in December instead of October so I would have adequate time to prepare....hopefully it works out!

How do you use multiple acceptances to negotiate for more financial aid?

School is Hawaii, bottom of tier 2 (#95).


For negotiating, let's say you get a small merit aid award for Hawaii and a larger scholarship offer to a West Coast T1 or something. Many schools will match or negotiate a scholarship offer if you have a one from a higher ranked school. I don't know specifically about Hawaii. I imagine they are not competing for applicants as much as a lot of other schools, and tuition is relatively cheap already for in-state.

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TommyK
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby TommyK » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:31 am

Wholigan wrote:For negotiating, let's say you get a small merit aid award for Hawaii and a larger scholarship offer to a West Coast T1 or something. Many schools will match or negotiate a scholarship offer if you have a one from a higher ranked school. I don't know specifically about Hawaii. I imagine they are not competing for applicants as much as a lot of other schools, and tuition is relatively cheap already for in-state.


Yeah, Hawaii is likely an exception. Makes sense to apply there and only there (if OP decides he wants to go to law school). Hawaii doesn't really throw around a lot of merit cash based on LSN data. Their tuition is pretty low already ($17k/yr of in-state). And it's not liking using Alabama $$ to leverage against Emory $$, where there may be significant cross-over between GA & AL. Students at UH are almost universally wanting to stay in HI. The class size is super small. It just seems to be a different animal than the typical state school so standard advice may not be relevant in this situation. I wouldn't burn money wasting it on apps for schools you have no interest in attending.

Nobody
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby Nobody » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:50 pm

Hawaii is probably one of the most insular states in the nation as far as hiring, too, so OP probably has a better idea of that situation than anyone here speaking generally.

What I would say is that law degrees are a) very expensive and b) not as widely applicable as people think. You should definitely work, and go on to get an MBA or something, if anything. Unless you have a goal in mind that specifically requires a law degree, law school is probably not a good choice.

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:00 am

Without reading the other replies, I'd like to recommend the year (or more) of work experience. Also, make sure it's REAL work, and that you can actually point to something you've accomplished.

There's something people who've had a career understand better than people right out of undergrad: experience itself is an asset in mastering LIFE. You only really realize that when you come across someone who has no experience. You can just tell they don't know what they're doing. I don't mean that in an elitist way, because there are somer very competent yet inexperienced people out there.

Explore your strengths and weaknesses as a professional. "Am I effective? How can I become more effective? Do I have any leadership capacity? Ability to solve actual problems? What do I really want to do? WHO AM I?" These are all questions a person with experience is better equipped to answer.

I don't know how it will effect your LS admission, but I think it will will only make you a more well-defined person. I'm willing to bet at least one adcomm cares about that sort of thing.

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kekepania
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby kekepania » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:23 am

TommyK wrote:
Wholigan wrote:For negotiating, let's say you get a small merit aid award for Hawaii and a larger scholarship offer to a West Coast T1 or something. Many schools will match or negotiate a scholarship offer if you have a one from a higher ranked school. I don't know specifically about Hawaii. I imagine they are not competing for applicants as much as a lot of other schools, and tuition is relatively cheap already for in-state.


Yeah, Hawaii is likely an exception. Makes sense to apply there and only there (if OP decides he wants to go to law school). Hawaii doesn't really throw around a lot of merit cash based on LSN data. Their tuition is pretty low already ($17k/yr of in-state). And it's not liking using Alabama $$ to leverage against Emory $$, where there may be significant cross-over between GA & AL. Students at UH are almost universally wanting to stay in HI. The class size is super small. It just seems to be a different animal than the typical state school so standard advice may not be relevant in this situation. I wouldn't burn money wasting it on apps for schools you have no interest in attending.


Yes to all of this. Thanks! You're not from Hawaii too are you :wink:

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kekepania
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby kekepania » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:26 am

3v3ryth1ng wrote:Without reading the other replies, I'd like to recommend the year (or more) of work experience. Also, make sure it's REAL work, and that you can actually point to something you've accomplished.

There's something people who've had a career understand better than people right out of undergrad: experience itself is an asset in mastering LIFE. You only really realize that when you come across someone who has no experience. You can just tell they don't know what they're doing. I don't mean that in an elitist way, because there are somer very competent yet inexperienced people out there.

Explore your strengths and weaknesses as a professional. "Am I effective? How can I become more effective? Do I have any leadership capacity? Ability to solve actual problems? What do I really want to do? WHO AM I?" These are all questions a person with experience is better equipped to answer.

I don't know how it will effect your LS admission, but I think it will will only make you a more well-defined person. I'm willing to bet at least one adcomm cares about that sort of thing.


Thanks! Would you recommend still applying and possibly asking for deferral to work? I've checked the website and there is no mention of deferring...

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3v3ryth1ng
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby 3v3ryth1ng » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:37 am

kekepania wrote:
3v3ryth1ng wrote:Without reading the other replies, I'd like to recommend the year (or more) of work experience. Also, make sure it's REAL work, and that you can actually point to something you've accomplished.

There's something people who've had a career understand better than people right out of undergrad: experience itself is an asset in mastering LIFE. You only really realize that when you come across someone who has no experience. You can just tell they don't know what they're doing. I don't mean that in an elitist way, because there are somer very competent yet inexperienced people out there.

Explore your strengths and weaknesses as a professional. "Am I effective? How can I become more effective? Do I have any leadership capacity? Ability to solve actual problems? What do I really want to do? WHO AM I?" These are all questions a person with experience is better equipped to answer.

I don't know how it will effect your LS admission, but I think it will will only make you a more well-defined person. I'm willing to bet at least one adcomm cares about that sort of thing.


Thanks! Would you recommend still applying and possibly asking for deferral to work? I've checked the website and there is no mention of deferring...


Hawaii eh? Luck you! I wanted to go there just so I could study in nice weather year round!

First you need that LSAT score, then you need to apply, then you need to get accepted. I don't know if hawaii does deferrals. You need to call them. Personally, I'd only apply to LS if I knew I want to go. It's a huge investment if you don't get a full scholarship. If you don't have a clear idea what you're going to use your degree for yet, I wouldn't go. Not only will it be harder to stay motivated through those difficult study sessions, but you may find yourself with 150K of loans and NO OTHER OPTION but to work at a law job that you HATE just to pay them back.

I'm certain now: take the job instead.
I'm not one of those "law school is a scam" posters. I just think it sounds like work is the right choice for you at this point, regardless of whether you get in to LS.

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TommyK
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Re: Work or Law School

Postby TommyK » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:05 am

kekepania wrote:Yes to all of this. Thanks! You're not from Hawaii too are you :wink:


I wish! Ohio, the hawaii of the midwest. They say that, right? I used to have a client in HI and learned a bit about the culture. Seems like a great place, but pretty insular. Tough to do business if you're not seen as part of the community. Good luck.




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