Final Decision Time..Help!

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aumlauf
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:02 pm

Final Decision Time..Help!

Postby aumlauf » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:27 pm

Hello. It has come time for me to make a final decision on whether to attend law school. I find this to be one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make... here is my situation:

- I was accepted into Indiana University - Indianapolis part-time JD program.
- I have undergraduate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue
- I have an MBA from Butler University (just completed)
- I have 5 years of engineering experience.
- I have a very stable job were I can work 24 hrs / week and make $50,000 at an engineering company during law school.
- I have a very strong marriage, no kids
- With our combined income, I will not need to take on any debt to finance law school.
- I am 26 years old
- We plan on living in Indianapolis for the rest of our lives.

After 5 years of engineering, I have realized that I do not want to spend the rest of my life as engineer only to move on to middle management with a capped growth potential. My true passion is in business ownership, but I have not yet found the right opportunities that are worthy of this venture. My hope is that a career in IP / Patent law will 1) Give me a "trade" that will increase in value as I grow more seasoned in my career. 2) Increase my earning potential to a level that is significantly higher than a middle management engineer. 3) Expose me to more ideas and people that may one day lead to business start-up opportunities.

What should I do?

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MormonChristian
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:33 pm

Re: Final Decision Time..Help!

Postby MormonChristian » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:37 pm

aumlauf wrote:Hello. It has come time for me to make a final decision on whether to attend law school. I find this to be one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make... here is my situation:

- I was accepted into Indiana University - Indianapolis part-time JD program.
- I have undergraduate in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue
- I have an MBA from Butler University (just completed)
- I have 5 years of engineering experience.
- I have a very stable job were I can work 24 hrs / week and make $50,000 at an engineering company during law school.
- I have a very strong marriage, no kids
- With our combined income, I will not need to take on any debt to finance law school.
- I am 26 years old
- We plan on living in Indianapolis for the rest of our lives.

After 5 years of engineering, I have realized that I do not want to spend the rest of my life as engineer only to move on to middle management with a capped growth potential. My true passion is in business ownership, but I have not yet found the right opportunities that are worthy of this venture. My hope is that a career in IP / Patent law will 1) Give me a "trade" that will increase in value as I grow more seasoned in my career. 2) Increase my earning potential to a level that is significantly higher than a middle management engineer. 3) Expose me to more ideas and people that may one day lead to business start-up opportunities.

What should I do?


I think you should go to law school part-time.

Why are you having doubts?

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Nova
Posts: 9116
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: Final Decision Time..Help!

Postby Nova » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:42 pm

aumlauf wrote:- I have a very stable job were I can work 24 hrs / week and make $50,000 at an engineering company during law school.


If you attend law school FT, you are only allowed to work 20 hrs /week during 1L. Just something to keep in mind.

You sound like you got it mostly figured out.

MormonChristian wrote: Why are you having doubts?

aumlauf
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:02 pm

Re: Final Decision Time..Help!

Postby aumlauf » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:07 pm

The program will be part-time.

There is not one single thing that gives me doubts, but a couple of things collectively:

1. I have calculated about $200,000 in opportunity costs between lost wages and tuition. This means that at the end of the 4 years it would take for me to complete the program, I would have otherwise had $200,000 in the bank.
2. My hope is that with a flexible part-time work schedule (24 hrs/week) and part-time school schedule, I will still be able to have (somewhat of) a life during the years I'm in school. Some people laugh at this. Others think it is reasonable.
3. While I am certainly not opposed to hard-work (i.e. 55 hours a week on average). I do have my limits. I've read in a lot of places that lawyers work 70 hours per week. I am capable of putting those hours in here and there, but I simply do not value any career enough to consistently work 70 hours per week.
4. I'm concerned that I.P. may be a bloated industry in both employee applicants and cost to clients. I fear getting this J.D. only to find a flooded workforce and an overall decrease in business.

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JCFindley
Posts: 1283
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:19 pm

Re: Final Decision Time..Help!

Postby JCFindley » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:19 pm

aumlauf wrote:The program will be part-time.

There is not one single thing that gives me doubts, but a couple of things collectively:

1. I have calculated about $200,000 in opportunity costs between lost wages and tuition. This means that at the end of the 4 years it would take for me to complete the program, I would have otherwise had $200,000 in the bank.
2. My hope is that with a flexible part-time work schedule (24 hrs/week) and part-time school schedule, I will still be able to have (somewhat of) a life during the years I'm in school. Some people laugh at this. Others think it is reasonable.
3. While I am certainly not opposed to hard-work (i.e. 55 hours a week on average). I do have my limits. I've read in a lot of places that lawyers work 70 hours per week. I am capable of putting those hours in here and there, but I simply do not value any career enough to consistently work 70 hours per week.
4. I'm concerned that I.P. may be a bloated industry in both employee applicants and cost to clients. I fear getting this J.D. only to find a flooded workforce and an overall decrease in business.


To be honest you sound like one of the best informed new posters on TLS I have seen... Your plan is succinct and well thought out.....

Sounds like you have a great plan and are in a position to execute it.....

I don't think IP will be over done as there are only a limited amount of JDs that can even take the Patent Bar so you narrow the field a lot right there....

You will lose income/tuition but do your long term business plans need the JD or will it at least help them? If so then the lost income now will likely pay dividends in the future....

Enjoy IU




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