PT law school while working full time

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admichal
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:11 pm

PT law school while working full time

Postby admichal » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:16 am

Is anyone here currently employed full time while attending law school part time? If so, care to share your field of employment and experience in school so far?

To give a little background about myself, I finished my undergrad with a degree in finance from a satellite campus of a large public university in December. I finished in three and a half years and finished with a 3.55 GPA, and started a masters degree (also in finance) at the same school in January. During my undergrad, I worked part-time at a large law firm (top 10 in the state in terms of number of attorneys) in the banking and real estate department under three paralegals and did a great deal relating to the securitization of commercial loans. I learned a ton regarding Article 9 of the UCC; my job responsibilities included things such as ordering and summarizing UCC lien searches, filing UCC-1 and UCC-3 financing statements, ordering title searches and obtaining title policies for loans secured by real estate, ordering corporate documents (such as articles of incorporation, good standing certificates, etc.), ordering flood certificates, and filing other documents (mortgages) in their respective jurisdictions.

A few months after I graduated and with the referral of a well respected partner at the firm, I accepted a full time position underwriting commercial loans at a large regional bank. I currently underwrite syndicated loans, with loan commitments ranging from $10 million to $50 million. In terms of compensation, I make pretty average money for a recent college graduate and have typical corporate benefits including tuition reimbursement for grad school. It's generally assumed that underwriters will transition into commercial lenders with a couple of years of experience, at which time I would receive a sizable pay increase.

I've been interested in attending law school since my first year of college, but really had no idea what kind of law I wanted to practice. After working at the law firm and starting a career in banking, I've realized that my "dream job" so to speak is the drafting and negotiation of credit documentation for commercial loans. I guess my main issue is that I don't want to give up my job in banking to attend law school full time considering the salary that I would be giving up--the only way I would attend full time would be to attend a T14.

Just wondering if anyone has any input/comments/suggestions? I guess other items of note, I won't be done with my masters until late 2014, so I have roughly two years to continue studying for the LSAT. I don't plan on moving out of state unless I were to get into a T14 school, and the only in-state PT program I would consider is at a TTT school (again, assuming I don't get into a t14). My time at the bank will also allow me to stay connected to many of the partners at the firms that we use as outside counsel.

tigershark
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 5:01 pm

Re: PT law school while working full time

Postby tigershark » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:18 pm

LOL at
admichal wrote: I don't plan on moving out of state unless I were to get into a T14 school, and the only in-state PT program I would consider is at a TTT school

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twenty
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Re: PT law school while working full time

Postby twenty » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:25 pm

Only attend the TTT if:

1) It's free
2) You realize the only job you'll get out of a TTT is potentially moving up in your own corporation.
3) You actually would move up in said corporation.
4) You don't mind giving up the opportunity to do "real law school" at a T14.

With your creds, I wouldn't even consider this as an option unless you were married or on state parole or something. Get a 172+, have a great life EDing at NYU.

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SuperCerealBrah
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Re: PT law school while working full time

Postby SuperCerealBrah » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:03 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:Only attend the TTT if:

1) It's free
2) You realize the only job you'll get out of a TTT is potentially moving up in your own corporation.
3) You actually would move up in said corporation.
4) You don't mind giving up the opportunity to do "real law school" at a T14.

With your creds, I wouldn't even consider this as an option unless you were married or on state parole or something. Get a 172+, have a great life EDing at NYU.





:lol: at the bolded


And OP, it doesn't have to be free. But it does need to be cheap. Don't take out six figures in loans. Also, it matters a lot on what kind of law you want to practice and what type of good connections you may have. If you want to work in a big firm, then you need to get into a t14 or just not go at all. Connections matter a lot for smaller firms, but not much for big firms. If you want to do more traditional smaller law firm type work, then make sure you are going cheap. You can get legal jobs out of a TTT, but they are typically smaller firms and you better have connections. Don't bank on just going to school and landing a small firm gig after graduating. This is where the majority of lawyers in this country practice anyway.


Also, keeping your current job and going part-time is a good decision. In a worst case scenario, you at least would not be graduating unemployed. You would still have your current job. That would make the risk for you lower than people who give up 3 years of work experience to only graduate without any job whatsoever.

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twenty
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Re: PT law school while working full time

Postby twenty » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:43 pm

I came back to this thread to recant my earlier statement. OP would probably be around 27 after graduating from law school. That, your pretty sweet work experience you've got going, MA in Finance, and all the time in the world to prep for the LSAT, CCN is pretty well within reach. Don't settle for TTT. ;)

admichal
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:11 pm

Re: PT law school while working full time

Postby admichal » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:56 pm

I suppose I should have specified from the beginning that I live and work in Michigan, which may be relevant given our "unique" legal environment. That being said, the TTT school that I was referring to is Wayne State, which dominates the legal market here. The state seems to be retaining more Michigan grads than in the past but the firm that I was at did hire a large number of WSU grads, all of which were obviously at or near the top of their class.

The way I see it, I have two years to shoot for the 168+ that I'll need to be considered at the lower half of the t14. I'm hoping that if my score doesn't end up as desired that I would at least be offered some decent money at Wayne (and I might also receive some reimbursement from my employer).

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howell
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Re: PT law school while working full time

Postby howell » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:54 pm

Just don't do Wayne State without significant help from your employer and/or scholarships. Tuition and fees alone right now will run you over $78,800 for that degree going part-time. That doesn't include books, interest on any loans, or the normal tuition increases (5-10% every year). It also doesn't include possibly having to switch to full-time your last year if you have to quit your job to pick up a 2L SA (I've known several people "lucky" enough to be in this position). It doesn't include bar loans either, if you have to take them. You'll essentially have 2-3 months after law school where you can at most work part-time if you want to study for and take the bar. Then there are the costs of the bar itself and possibly a bar prep course.




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