Law School or Full Time Employment

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puropedo
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Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby puropedo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:38 pm

I am looking for advice. I am torn between practicality and fulfilling a goal.

My current employer is promising a great career, and my pay plus bonus is approximately 130K. I get health and dental benefits and a 4% match on my 401K. My hours of work are very flexible. An added bonus is that my office is only 7 miles from my house. Without sounding like a punk, I feel very blessed.

Despite all of this, I am not happy with my current career or employer. At the risk of sounding cliche, I must say that I feel like I am not living to my full potential. I decided a while back that I am passionate about the law and would thrive in a legal career. I have done approximately three years of research into the legal profession, law school and the sacrifices that one has to make when deciding to pursue a legal career. I have also talked to many people in law school and practicing attorneys. I am more convinced than ever that I want to practice law as a prosecutor. I have also been accepted to a very good law school and been given a decent scholarship (+/- 80K for all three years). I do understand that the legal market in CA is saturated, but I am a firm believer that there is always room for one more if that person is deserving of an opportunity - I don't expect anything to fall on my lap just because I have the letters J.D. after my name.

I am over 30 years old but under 35, my wife is expecting our first child, and I have estimated that I will come out of law school with approximately 150K in loans, plus 20K from undergrad that still lingers around. My wife is 100% behind my decision to go to law school, but I want to make sure I make the right decision for my family.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

6lehderjets
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:01 pm

Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby 6lehderjets » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:43 pm

You'll have to elaborate a bit on "very good school" and whether there are any stipulations attached to your scholly.

rad lulz
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:43 pm

What school? Though I doubt it will change the following answer:

FUCK NO

Dude CA state govt is broke and people volunteer at those DA offices for the slim shot of getting hired bro. To go to law school now, when you are expecting a kid, when you are going be in the hole $150k, and when I assume you are geographically limited, is lunacy. Just don't.


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bizzybone1313
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Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby bizzybone1313 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:59 pm

puropedo wrote:I am looking for advice. I am torn between practicality and fulfilling a goal.

My current employer is promising a great career, and my pay plus bonus is approximately 130K. I get health and dental benefits and a 4% match on my 401K. My hours of work are very flexible. An added bonus is that my office is only 7 miles from my house. Without sounding like a punk, I feel very blessed.

Despite all of this, I am not happy with my current career or employer. At the risk of sounding cliche, I must say that I feel like I am not living to my full potential. I decided a while back that I am passionate about the law and would thrive in a legal career. I have done approximately three years of research into the legal profession, law school and the sacrifices that one has to make when deciding to pursue a legal career. I have also talked to many people in law school and practicing attorneys. I am more convinced than ever that I want to practice law as a prosecutor. I have also been accepted to a very good law school and been given a decent scholarship (+/- 80K for all three years). I do understand that the legal market in CA is saturated, but I am a firm believer that there is always room for one more if that person is deserving of an opportunity - I don't expect anything to fall on my lap just because I have the letters J.D. after my name.

I am over 30 years old but under 35, my wife is expecting our first child, and I have estimated that I will come out of law school with approximately 150K in loans, plus 20K from undergrad that still lingers around. My wife is 100% behind my decision to go to law school, but I want to make sure I make the right decision for my family.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.


I know how you feel OP. With my undergrad alone, I have the earning potential of easily making a guaranteed six figures, because it was a technical undergrad degree. After undergrad, I made the mistake of getting a full-time job knowing full well I had always planned of attending law school. A year ago, I was sitting in my cubicle doing consulting for the Big Four and was absolutely miserable. I was sitting there one day, and I could literally not force myself to perform any work the entire day. All I thought about is how I was putting my future at risk by trying to juggle a full time job with LSAT prep, so I quit my job. Right now, I am prepping full time for the LSAT. At the end of this process, I know I gave my best effort for this test. That is all you can ask for.

In terms of your situation, it is a little bit different than mine. I don't have any kids, and I wasn't already making six figures like you. If I was in your shoes, I wouldn't attend law school if you aren't referring to Berkeley, Stanford or UCLA with a significant chunk of change. You don't want to put your family's financial future at risk by attending UC Davis or some of those other schools. It appears like you have to stay in California and are not flexible in terms of where you can attend. In my case, I have yet to apply. I only quit my job, because I had a 3.7 GPA. I wanted to know what would happen by putting all my effort into the LSAT. I will only attend law school under the following circumstances: (1) YHSC at sticker, (2) the rest of the T-14 with $/$$ or (3) UT-Austin at $$. I will not attend law school under any other circumstances.

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Shmoopy
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Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby Shmoopy » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:06 am

OP, sounds like you have it pretty good right now. I'd be wary of throwing that away unless law school will bring you a better career. To that end, I'd suggest attending law school ONLY if you can get into Stanford. Maybe UCB with a large scholarship. Anything less would be a silly waste of your current career.

eric922
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby eric922 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:15 am

If it was just you I'd say go for it, but you have a wife and child to think about. I feel like you would be taking a huge risk by going to law school right now, especially since you have a good career lined up. Honestly, I think you'd be better off talking to your wife than us.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby bizzybone1313 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:20 am

eric922 wrote:If it was just you I'd say go for it, but you have a wife and child to think about. I feel like you would be taking a huge risk by going to law school right now, especially since you have a good career lined up. Honestly, I think you'd be better off talking to your wife than us.


The problem with just talking to his wife about this decision is that she most likely has the same view that the general public does: That a JD is the road that leads to gold bars and riches. We on TLS mostly know that isn't true.

puropedo
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:16 pm

Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby puropedo » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:23 am

6lehderjets wrote:You'll have to elaborate a bit on "very good school" and whether there are any stipulations attached to your scholly.


Let's just say I personally heard from Dean Chemerinsky today and the stipulations on the scholly are 2.0.

I do have the potential to make a significant salary today, but I am banking on my work experience to give me an edge during OCI. Also, I don't necessarily know how to deal with a career that I dislike. I got into business for all the wrong reasons. I feel miserable working for a corporation, and that is the biggest mental barrier that keeps me from investing myself fully on what I am currently doing. I don't have the money to start my own business, and I don't necessarily want to work in the non-prof sector today...maybe later on in life.

@ SpaceLawLLM: thanks for the link...I needed the laugh.

rad lulz
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Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby rad lulz » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:27 am

puropedo wrote:
6lehderjets wrote:You'll have to elaborate a bit on "very good school" and whether there are any stipulations attached to your scholly.


Let's just say I personally heard from Dean Chemerinsky today and the stipulations on the scholly are 2.0.

I do have the potential to make a significant salary today, but I am banking on my work experience to give me an edge during OCI. Also, I don't necessarily know how to deal with a career that I dislike. I got into business for all the wrong reasons. I feel miserable working for a corporation, and that is the biggest mental barrier that keeps me from investing myself fully on what I am currently doing. I don't have the money to start my own business, and I don't necessarily want to work in the non-prof sector today...maybe later on in life.

@ SpaceLawLLM: thanks for the link...I needed the laugh.

Going $170k in debt to go to UCI to become a DA is sublime idiocy.

eric922
Posts: 311
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby eric922 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:32 am

puropedo wrote:
6lehderjets wrote:You'll have to elaborate a bit on "very good school" and whether there are any stipulations attached to your scholly.


Let's just say I personally heard from Dean Chemerinsky today and the stipulations on the scholly are 2.0.

I do have the potential to make a significant salary today, but I am banking on my work experience to give me an edge during OCI. Also, I don't necessarily know how to deal with a career that I dislike. I got into business for all the wrong reasons. I feel miserable working for a corporation, and that is the biggest mental barrier that keeps me from investing myself fully on what I am currently doing. I don't have the money to start my own business, and I don't necessarily want to work in the non-prof sector today...maybe later on in life.

@ SpaceLawLLM: thanks for the link...I needed the laugh.

The bolded is something you need to think seriously about. The majority of good paying law jobs for new grads are in biglaw and biglaw is a corporate environment. If you really hate that environment then biglaw may not be any better for you. Sure you can do PI law instead, but then you will have to deal with your debt and supporting a family on a mediocre salary.

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suralin
better than you
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Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby suralin » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:33 am

rad lulz wrote:
puropedo wrote:
6lehderjets wrote:You'll have to elaborate a bit on "very good school" and whether there are any stipulations attached to your scholly.


Let's just say I personally heard from Dean Chemerinsky today and the stipulations on the scholly are 2.0.

I do have the potential to make a significant salary today, but I am banking on my work experience to give me an edge during OCI. Also, I don't necessarily know how to deal with a career that I dislike. I got into business for all the wrong reasons. I feel miserable working for a corporation, and that is the biggest mental barrier that keeps me from investing myself fully on what I am currently doing. I don't have the money to start my own business, and I don't necessarily want to work in the non-prof sector today...maybe later on in life.

@ SpaceLawLLM: thanks for the link...I needed the laugh.

Going $170k in debt to go to UCI to become a DA is sublime idiocy.

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Shmoopy
Posts: 225
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:52 pm

Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby Shmoopy » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:41 am

eric922 wrote:
puropedo wrote: I feel miserable working for a corporation, and that is the biggest mental barrier that keeps me from investing myself fully on what I am currently doing.


The bolded is something you need to think seriously about. The majority of good paying law jobs for new grads are in biglaw and biglaw is a corporate environment. If you really hate that environment then biglaw may not be any better for you. Sure you can do PI law instead, but then you will have to deal with your debt and supporting a family on a mediocre salary.


Seconded. If you don't like a corporate environment, then how is getting a corporate legal job worth the huge risk of giving up your current career? I see lots of downsides and not much benefit. You could easily have much longer hours at biglaw as well. If not biglaw, money becomes a much bigger issue.

What kind of work do you want to do as a lawyer?

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bluepenguin
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Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby bluepenguin » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:51 am

He said he wants to be a prosecutor. (Then said something about OCI?)

Madness not to go to a free school or one with a kickass LRAP. It's probably irrational to go to UCLA or USC for free given the risks.

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sinfiery
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Re: Law School or Full Time Employment

Postby sinfiery » Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:15 pm

Suralin wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
puropedo wrote:
6lehderjets wrote:You'll have to elaborate a bit on "very good school" and whether there are any stipulations attached to your scholly.


Let's just say I personally heard from Dean Chemerinsky today and the stipulations on the scholly are 2.0.

I do have the potential to make a significant salary today, but I am banking on my work experience to give me an edge during OCI. Also, I don't necessarily know how to deal with a career that I dislike. I got into business for all the wrong reasons. I feel miserable working for a corporation, and that is the biggest mental barrier that keeps me from investing myself fully on what I am currently doing. I don't have the money to start my own business, and I don't necessarily want to work in the non-prof sector today...maybe later on in life.

@ SpaceLawLLM: thanks for the link...I needed the laugh.

Going $170k in debt to go to UCI to become a DA is sublime idiocy.




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