To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

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airwrecka
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To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby airwrecka » Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:51 pm

Not sure which forum I should post this in, so apologies if it shouldn't go here.

Do any of my other fellow ladies (who are or want to be moms) feel anxiety when thinking about being a mom while also having a successful legal career?

I'm married, and I will be 25 or 26 when I start law school, which is not old by any means. However, biologically it is best for me to have kids before my mid-30s, which means if I want children, I should probably get on it soon after graduating. But this will be right at the same time as I'm finally starting my career in law.

Does this stress anyone else out? Is it something to be worried about? Will I face "adversity" if I try to get a job and I'm pregnant? Or will it be frowned upon if I have to go on maternity leave shortly after being hired (i.e. within 1-2 years)?

I'm not so concerned about being a working mom (I'm okay with daycare and my husband might even be willing to be a stay at home dad), it's more the lead-up to it, of being pregnant and going on maternity leave and how that will affect my job prospects.

Maybe I'm over-thinking this, but I don't want to sacrifice either my legal career or my hopes of having a family, so it's something I need to consider.

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call-me-bubbles
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby call-me-bubbles » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:14 pm

.
Last edited by call-me-bubbles on Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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airwrecka
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby airwrecka » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:17 pm

call-me-bubbles wrote:
airwrecka wrote:Not sure which forum I should post this in, so apologies if it shouldn't go here.

Do any of my other fellow ladies (who are or want to be moms) feel anxiety when thinking about being a mom while also having a successful legal career?


YES!

airwrecka wrote:I'm married, and I will be 25 or 26 when I start law school, which is not old by any means. However, biologically it is best for me to have kids before my mid-30s, which means if I want children, I should probably get on it soon after graduating. But this will be right at the same time as I'm finally starting my career in law.

Does this stress anyone else out? Is it something to be worried about? Will I face "adversity" if I try to get a job and I'm pregnant? Or will it be frowned upon if I have to go on maternity leave shortly after being hired (i.e. within 1-2 years)?

I'm not so concerned about being a working mom (I'm okay with daycare and my husband might even be willing to be a stay at home dad), it's more the lead-up to it, of being pregnant and going on maternity leave and how that will affect my job prospects.

Maybe I'm over-thinking this, but I don't want to sacrifice either my legal career or my hopes of having a family, so it's something I need to consider.


I'm not married (yet -- we're workin' on it :wink:), and I'll be a year or two younger when I start law school, but I feel the exact same way and am constantly asking myself the same questions. I don't have any answers, but I'll be watching this post in hopes of seeing others' answers. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone!


Thank you! i'm glad to hear I'm not the only one thinking about it. I want to believe that our society is progressed enough that no employer would hold it against me if I get pregnant, but sometimes I just don't know....

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viz-luv
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby viz-luv » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:29 pm

3l baby. Seriously. You can do it, and I know there are other moms on here. My stats looked very similar to yours going in and I'm on the other side of it all now. Pm me if you (not just op) like and I will share more.

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airwrecka
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby airwrecka » Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:39 pm

viz-luv wrote:3l baby. Seriously. You can do it, and I know there are other moms on here. My stats looked very similar to yours going in and I'm on the other side of it all now. Pm me if you (not just op) like and I will share more.


Thank you!

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Unfathomableruckus
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby Unfathomableruckus » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:07 pm

I am a 1L and my daughter is 2 years old. I really recommend this way round if you can swing it, or at least it really worked for me. During law school and right after are much harder times to have to navigate taking time off. Most of the attorneys I know don't have their kids until their mid-thirties or beyond because they have to get situated in a career. Most workplaces don't like it if you take leave immediately, especially if you're having multiple kids. I know that if I hadn't had my daughter when I did, I'd be really bummed out in law school, because for me, as soon as I hit 20, not having a kid was a point of sadness for me. I knew I wanted as much time in my life with my child as possible. I had my daughter a couple months before I turned 23. Now, when I graduate, I can go right into my work and not have to worry about when the right time to have a child will be, or whether it's OK to have a child before any debt is paid off. Not judging anyone for different decisions, just saying what worked for me.

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airwrecka
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby airwrecka » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:13 pm

Unfathomableruckus wrote:I am a 1L and my daughter is 2 years old. I really recommend this way round if you can swing it, or at least it really worked for me. During law school and right after are much harder times to have to navigate taking time off. Most of the attorneys I know don't have their kids until their mid-thirties or beyond because they have to get situated in a career. Most workplaces don't like it if you take leave immediately, especially if you're having multiple kids. I know that if I hadn't had my daughter when I did, I'd be really bummed out in law school, because for me, as soon as I hit 20, not having a kid was a point of sadness for me. I knew I wanted as much time in my life with my child as possible. I had my daughter a couple months before I turned 23. Now, when I graduate, I can go right into my work and not have to worry about when the right time to have a child will be, or whether it's OK to have a child before any debt is paid off. Not judging anyone for different decisions, just saying what worked for me.


Thanks for your perspective! Yeah, that's what I'm worried about (taking time off for a baby) so I can definitely see why having a kid before starting is a good way to go. For me, though, I am just not ready for a child quite yet. But I am also okay with waiting to have kids until I'm a little older. I'm also open to adoption which opens up more options.

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viz-luv
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby viz-luv » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:27 pm

Unfathomableruckus wrote:words
that could work too, it's all about what works for your family. For the sake of multiple viewpoints, I personally was in no way interested in having a kid that early and actually was not willing to have one until I had my career sorted out. So a different logistical approach than yours :D

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Unfathomableruckus
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby Unfathomableruckus » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:44 pm

viz-luv wrote:
Unfathomableruckus wrote:words
that could work too, it's all about what works for your family. For the sake of multiple viewpoints, I personally was in no way interested in having a kid that early and actually was not willing to have one until I had my career sorted out. So a different logistical approach than yours :D

Nothing but love here on TLS! I respect our differences.

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viz-luv
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby viz-luv » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:48 pm

Unfathomableruckus wrote:
viz-luv wrote:
Unfathomableruckus wrote:words
that could work too, it's all about what works for your family. For the sake of multiple viewpoints, I personally was in no way interested in having a kid that early and actually was not willing to have one until I had my career sorted out. So a different logistical approach than yours :D

Nothing but love here on TLS! I respect our differences.
also if your tar is you guys = adorable

laggyking
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby laggyking » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:18 pm

airwrecka wrote:Not sure which forum I should post this in, so apologies if it shouldn't go here.

Do any of my other fellow ladies (who are or want to be moms) feel anxiety when thinking about being a mom while also having a successful legal career?

I'm married, and I will be 25 or 26 when I start law school, which is not old by any means. However, biologically it is best for me to have kids before my mid-30s, which means if I want children, I should probably get on it soon after graduating. But this will be right at the same time as I'm finally starting my career in law.

Does this stress anyone else out? Is it something to be worried about? Will I face "adversity" if I try to get a job and I'm pregnant? Or will it be frowned upon if I have to go on maternity leave shortly after being hired (i.e. within 1-2 years)?

I'm not so concerned about being a working mom (I'm okay with daycare and my husband might even be willing to be a stay at home dad), it's more the lead-up to it, of being pregnant and going on maternity leave and how that will affect my job prospects.

Maybe I'm over-thinking this, but I don't want to sacrifice either my legal career or my hopes of having a family, so it's something I need to consider.

ok, Im not a mom, but Im a daddy. Worst thing about having a kid is that you dont have time to be with them. My parents helped me out, but I still feel stressful every day. You won't be the first one to hear your baby calling "mom", you won't be the first one to see your baby walk. You will definitely miss lots of important things in their life. But you could give them a no worry future. You need to balance it. I really have no advice for you, everyone has a different situation.

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airwrecka
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby airwrecka » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:06 pm

laggyking wrote:ok, Im not a mom, but Im a daddy. Worst thing about having a kid is that you dont have time to be with them. My parents helped me out, but I still feel stressful every day. You won't be the first one to hear your baby calling "mom", you won't be the first one to see your baby walk. You will definitely miss lots of important things in their life. But you could give them a no worry future. You need to balance it. I really have no advice for you, everyone has a different situation.


thanks for your perspective! even though it seems so obvious when I read what you wrote, I honestly hadn't thought that much about it. thanks for sharing!

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pinkpaperdragon
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby pinkpaperdragon » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:59 pm

Long-time lurker, first-time poster, and a little late to this party but I felt like this was a great topic for a first post!

I'm in my early 30's, expecting my first, and starting at a T14 school next fall (deferred admission). Obviously, I can't speak with the authority of either a law student or mother, but I thought I'd share my strategies when I was considering schools, in case they're helpful.

I had a lot of the same anxieties about trying to start a career with young kids in tow. Before making a decision about law school, I spoke to several mom lawyers in my area of interest (public interest, non-profit setting) to see what it's really like and what the challenges are. Every career culture is different (indeed, every non-profit is different), but I came away with enough confidence that I'd be able to find jobs with the kind of flexibility and maternity policies that would work for me. I've also worked in this career setting, so I've had colleagues (both lawyers and non) with children and could directly observe how things went for them.

In my case, it's not really an option to wait until I graduate before starting a family - it's either kids during law school or push into the danger zone of fertility science. So the question of how schools treat student-parents was a big part of my decision process.

In all of my admissions interviews, I asked how the schools accommodated student-parents. The variety in the responses was striking. In general I found that the schools with the best responses were those that highly valued work experience in the admissions process. More work experience = slightly older than average student body = more students with spouses and kids. These schools were regularly accommodating parents, and the admissions staff could give specific examples of what kinds of challenges turn up and how they have handled them in the past.

In contrast, other schools were much vaguer. Not necessarily because they don't want to accommodate student parents, but simply they don't have many and it's not familiar to them. I didn't want the experience of being the only student my professor has ever seen who misses class because her kid got pink-eye, so these schools sunk to the bottom of my list.

Once I knew where I was admitted, I started finding students who were moms and asking them about their experiences. Most schools have some kind of women's law association, so I contacted them in order to find student-moms. This helped me further differentiate the schools that really welcome (and plan for) student parents from those where the parents felt like they were swimming against the current.

A couple interesting tips I learned from student-parents:
- Those at highly supportive schools actually recommended having kids during/just before law school - not something I expected! The consensus was the student schedule, unlike the working-parent schedule, is more flexible and accommodating. This made me feel much more positive about having little kids in school.
- HOWEVER, everyone recommended NOT being pregnant/giving birth during 1L. Pre law school, 2L and 3L seemed fine, but 1L is a bad time to be dealing with morning sickness or delivery.
- Students at both semester-system and quarter-system schools were able to manage taking leave post-partum, if they wanted to. Not all did - some wanted to graduate on schedule because they had clerkships lined up or some other reason - and the schools helped them through this. However, students who took leave pointed out that a quarter is a really convenient length of time for a maternity leave and lets you segue back into classes easily.
- Lots of schools these days have parenting resources - including on-site daycares, systems for emergency childcare, and programs for partners.

A few other things that helped my decision:
- The grading and ranking system. I made sure to talk to students at "no grades" schools to ensure that "no grades" actually feels like no grades. Realistically, if the kid spikes a fever and can't go to daycare, I'll be the one staying home. Choosing a no-grades school means for me that I'll feel less pressure when the inevitable childcare crisis arises.
- Internship opportunities. Since it won't be easy for me to pick up and move across the country for a summer internship, I wanted to make sure there were plenty of local internship opportunities in my field.
- Finances. I think our financial advisor learned we were expecting even before some of the grandparents-to-be. He's known for years that we were planning for maybe law school, maybe a baby, and maybe both at once; so he's helped us make sure we're prepared.

I still have loads of anxieties, of course - this is a lot of life-change to happen in one year, no matter what way you slice-and-dice it - but I don't think it will be a complete disaster (at least I hope not!)

Airwrecka - whatever you decide to do, hope this is useful, especially if you start thinking about having kids during school. Also - not to presume to know your medical situation or life goals - but consider that if you graduate at 29/30 you still have a couple years to establish yourself before you hit your mid-30s. For many women, 31 or 32 is definitely not too late to start trying to conceive if you wanted to work one or two years first.

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airwrecka
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby airwrecka » Sat Nov 26, 2016 4:50 pm

pinkpaperdragon wrote:Long-time lurker, first-time poster, and a little late to this party but I felt like this was a great topic for a first post!

I'm in my early 30's, expecting my first, and starting at a T14 school next fall (deferred admission). Obviously, I can't speak with the authority of either a law student or mother, but I thought I'd share my strategies when I was considering schools, in case they're helpful.

I had a lot of the same anxieties about trying to start a career with young kids in tow. Before making a decision about law school, I spoke to several mom lawyers in my area of interest (public interest, non-profit setting) to see what it's really like and what the challenges are. Every career culture is different (indeed, every non-profit is different), but I came away with enough confidence that I'd be able to find jobs with the kind of flexibility and maternity policies that would work for me. I've also worked in this career setting, so I've had colleagues (both lawyers and non) with children and could directly observe how things went for them.

In my case, it's not really an option to wait until I graduate before starting a family - it's either kids during law school or push into the danger zone of fertility science. So the question of how schools treat student-parents was a big part of my decision process.

In all of my admissions interviews, I asked how the schools accommodated student-parents. The variety in the responses was striking. In general I found that the schools with the best responses were those that highly valued work experience in the admissions process. More work experience = slightly older than average student body = more students with spouses and kids. These schools were regularly accommodating parents, and the admissions staff could give specific examples of what kinds of challenges turn up and how they have handled them in the past.

In contrast, other schools were much vaguer. Not necessarily because they don't want to accommodate student parents, but simply they don't have many and it's not familiar to them. I didn't want the experience of being the only student my professor has ever seen who misses class because her kid got pink-eye, so these schools sunk to the bottom of my list.

Once I knew where I was admitted, I started finding students who were moms and asking them about their experiences. Most schools have some kind of women's law association, so I contacted them in order to find student-moms. This helped me further differentiate the schools that really welcome (and plan for) student parents from those where the parents felt like they were swimming against the current.

A couple interesting tips I learned from student-parents:
- Those at highly supportive schools actually recommended having kids during/just before law school - not something I expected! The consensus was the student schedule, unlike the working-parent schedule, is more flexible and accommodating. This made me feel much more positive about having little kids in school.
- HOWEVER, everyone recommended NOT being pregnant/giving birth during 1L. Pre law school, 2L and 3L seemed fine, but 1L is a bad time to be dealing with morning sickness or delivery.
- Students at both semester-system and quarter-system schools were able to manage taking leave post-partum, if they wanted to. Not all did - some wanted to graduate on schedule because they had clerkships lined up or some other reason - and the schools helped them through this. However, students who took leave pointed out that a quarter is a really convenient length of time for a maternity leave and lets you segue back into classes easily.
- Lots of schools these days have parenting resources - including on-site daycares, systems for emergency childcare, and programs for partners.

A few other things that helped my decision:
- The grading and ranking system. I made sure to talk to students at "no grades" schools to ensure that "no grades" actually feels like no grades. Realistically, if the kid spikes a fever and can't go to daycare, I'll be the one staying home. Choosing a no-grades school means for me that I'll feel less pressure when the inevitable childcare crisis arises.
- Internship opportunities. Since it won't be easy for me to pick up and move across the country for a summer internship, I wanted to make sure there were plenty of local internship opportunities in my field.
- Finances. I think our financial advisor learned we were expecting even before some of the grandparents-to-be. He's known for years that we were planning for maybe law school, maybe a baby, and maybe both at once; so he's helped us make sure we're prepared.

I still have loads of anxieties, of course - this is a lot of life-change to happen in one year, no matter what way you slice-and-dice it - but I don't think it will be a complete disaster (at least I hope not!)

Airwrecka - whatever you decide to do, hope this is useful, especially if you start thinking about having kids during school. Also - not to presume to know your medical situation or life goals - but consider that if you graduate at 29/30 you still have a couple years to establish yourself before you hit your mid-30s. For many women, 31 or 32 is definitely not too late to start trying to conceive if you wanted to work one or two years first.


Thank you so much for your detailed and thorough reply! This was all very helpful and I really appreciate it! :) And good luck to you as you start law school AND become a mom! :D

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34iplaw
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby 34iplaw » Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:02 pm

I think I posted this elsewhere on a similar thread. Not in the category of the above, but I visited a friend from undergrad at Berkeley Law School who is my age but started law school about a year ago. Given I was a bit concerned with my age and atypical background, she said it's really not something to worry about. She also pointed out how many second career people and how many mothers / mothers to be were in the program.

I guess the point of this is that there are definitely mothers and mothers to be in top law programs. Y'all can rock it. I yield to others with actual firsthand experience and knowledge.

Keilz
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby Keilz » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:46 am

pinkpaperdragon wrote:Long-time lurker, first-time poster, and a little late to this party but I felt like this was a great topic for a first post!

I'm in my early 30's, expecting my first, and starting at a T14 school next fall (deferred admission). Obviously, I can't speak with the authority of either a law student or mother, but I thought I'd share my strategies when I was considering schools, in case they're helpful.

I had a lot of the same anxieties about trying to start a career with young kids in tow. Before making a decision about law school, I spoke to several mom lawyers in my area of interest (public interest, non-profit setting) to see what it's really like and what the challenges are. Every career culture is different (indeed, every non-profit is different), but I came away with enough confidence that I'd be able to find jobs with the kind of flexibility and maternity policies that would work for me. I've also worked in this career setting, so I've had colleagues (both lawyers and non) with children and could directly observe how things went for them.

In my case, it's not really an option to wait until I graduate before starting a family - it's either kids during law school or push into the danger zone of fertility science. So the question of how schools treat student-parents was a big part of my decision process.

In all of my admissions interviews, I asked how the schools accommodated student-parents. The variety in the responses was striking. In general I found that the schools with the best responses were those that highly valued work experience in the admissions process. More work experience = slightly older than average student body = more students with spouses and kids. These schools were regularly accommodating parents, and the admissions staff could give specific examples of what kinds of challenges turn up and how they have handled them in the past.

In contrast, other schools were much vaguer. Not necessarily because they don't want to accommodate student parents, but simply they don't have many and it's not familiar to them. I didn't want the experience of being the only student my professor has ever seen who misses class because her kid got pink-eye, so these schools sunk to the bottom of my list.

Once I knew where I was admitted, I started finding students who were moms and asking them about their experiences. Most schools have some kind of women's law association, so I contacted them in order to find student-moms. This helped me further differentiate the schools that really welcome (and plan for) student parents from those where the parents felt like they were swimming against the current.

A couple interesting tips I learned from student-parents:
- Those at highly supportive schools actually recommended having kids during/just before law school - not something I expected! The consensus was the student schedule, unlike the working-parent schedule, is more flexible and accommodating. This made me feel much more positive about having little kids in school.
- HOWEVER, everyone recommended NOT being pregnant/giving birth during 1L. Pre law school, 2L and 3L seemed fine, but 1L is a bad time to be dealing with morning sickness or delivery.
- Students at both semester-system and quarter-system schools were able to manage taking leave post-partum, if they wanted to. Not all did - some wanted to graduate on schedule because they had clerkships lined up or some other reason - and the schools helped them through this. However, students who took leave pointed out that a quarter is a really convenient length of time for a maternity leave and lets you segue back into classes easily.
- Lots of schools these days have parenting resources - including on-site daycares, systems for emergency childcare, and programs for partners.

A few other things that helped my decision:
- The grading and ranking system. I made sure to talk to students at "no grades" schools to ensure that "no grades" actually feels like no grades. Realistically, if the kid spikes a fever and can't go to daycare, I'll be the one staying home. Choosing a no-grades school means for me that I'll feel less pressure when the inevitable childcare crisis arises.
- Internship opportunities. Since it won't be easy for me to pick up and move across the country for a summer internship, I wanted to make sure there were plenty of local internship opportunities in my field.
- Finances. I think our financial advisor learned we were expecting even before some of the grandparents-to-be. He's known for years that we were planning for maybe law school, maybe a baby, and maybe both at once; so he's helped us make sure we're prepared.

I still have loads of anxieties, of course - this is a lot of life-change to happen in one year, no matter what way you slice-and-dice it - but I don't think it will be a complete disaster (at least I hope not!)

Airwrecka - whatever you decide to do, hope this is useful, especially if you start thinking about having kids during school. Also - not to presume to know your medical situation or life goals - but consider that if you graduate at 29/30 you still have a couple years to establish yourself before you hit your mid-30s. For many women, 31 or 32 is definitely not too late to start trying to conceive if you wanted to work one or two years first.


very interesting reply, thanks for contributing! I am curious to hear your thoughts regarding the most accommodating schools that you were considering?

aalvez
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby aalvez » Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:26 am

I am a 27 (about to be 28) mom of a 9 year old, just finishing up my undergrad, and applying to start law school fall 2017. I am married and worked full time during the day and attended school full time during the evenings and online - my God has it been hard - however, I am really starting to feel it right now that I am studying for February's LSAT; I feel like I'm being swept away into an ocean (and I've never learned how to swim). :wink: :lol:

My husband has been my biggest support, my best friend, the one who comes home after work every night and cooks and cleans while I study. There are soooooooooooooooooooooo many times when I feel guilty about this (I cannot stress that enough) but with the right spouse it works. As a mom, we all have this inner-feeling that we can deal with whatever comes our way, we're warriors; however, parenting, marriage and life goals are a team sport and as long as everyone understands the common goal you will be successful (crossing fingers, I still have to get accepted into the one law school in the city where I live). Babies are *totes adorbs* and no matter what they'll always have all the love you can give, you'll never give any less - even if at times you feel like school is a priority or you're tired, emotionally you'll give all you can, it's all about their future and so no matter what you do - you are being the best mom you can be, no matter what you do and no matter when they come.

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pinkpaperdragon
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby pinkpaperdragon » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:58 pm

Keilz wrote:
pinkpaperdragon wrote: a short essay.


very interesting reply, thanks for contributing! I am curious to hear your thoughts regarding the most accommodating schools that you were considering?



So with the huge caveat that this is based on my impressions only, not even my own experience, and that I def. recommend everyone do their own research; here are my thoughts. (see, I'm practicing being a lawyer already)

I was considering several schools, but gave most of my time and attention on the parenting question to my top choices, which were SLS, YLS, UVA and Michigan. At all four, students said they felt really supported by professors and admin regarding their top parenting problems: missing/being late to class and needing to reschedule exams, and they still felt like they were able to take advantage of outside-of-class experiences, clinics, etc.

Stanford was really the standout. When I looked for student parents to talk to, so many people responded I didn't have time to talk to them all (and this from the smallest of the schools). Everyone had great things to say about feeling supported, one student talked about bringing her infant to clinic. SLS has the "no real grades = we're serious, no real grades" mentality and a quarter system, so some students took leave for a quarter. Also, the professors I spoke with seemed highly supportive of students-with-kids, had pictures of their own kids in their offices and talked about them, and in one of the classes I attended the prof talked about his kid during the class. The ASW had a nice session just for women, which made me feel warm fuzzies about the administration's commitment to women, but it's also worth noting that male parents reached out to me and male professors stood out as family guys as well. Also, I've lived in the Bay Area and know many professionals with kids, and while things still get hectic the culture here is laid back. Stanford U also has a few daycares on campus; I have friends with kids there and they really like it; for folks with school-age kids, the Palo Alto school system is renowned, and I believe (don't quote me) has good options for kids with developmental disabilities.

Ultimately, if I were only choosing based the maternity question, SLS seemed like the best option, but I wound up elsewhere for two reasons: 1) expense: the Bay Area is enormously expensive, and adding daycare onto rent would be tough. and 2) SLS lacked strength in some of my primary academic areas of interest, plus we want to move back to the East Coast. Having a West Coast degree + being unable to travel East for internships (on account of baby) + no standout programs in my main areas of focus made SLS somewhat less desirable for me than it otherwise would have been.

YLS, like SLS, has a big concentration of student parents compared to its size, also has the "no grades = really, no grades" philosophy that I really value. The students I spoke with said it was really helpful being at a small school, one said all her profs knew she had a kid and some of them even approached her first to ask how they could help; she felt this really set the tone, and she was in fact accommodated when needed. Many of the profs also have their own families, and while the topic didn't come up as organically as it did at SLS, when I asked directly professors were hugely positive about students with kids. Aside from students with kids, there are also lots of students with partners, so people spoke of having family commitments as a norm, not an aberration. I suspect the culture is likely quite a bit less relaxed and more achievement-oriented than Stanford/the Bay Area, but the students I spoke to felt very comfortable setting their own priorities for involvement, and felt like the choose-your-own adventure structure let them get the most out of limited time. The cost of living is much less, and Yale has several affiliated daycares (including a tiny one in the law school), plus there's a good number of accredited daycares in New Haven generally. NYC would be great for internships in my field, and is close enough to be a plausible (though not easy) option with a baby.

UVA and UMich came across pretty similarly. Both administrations, once they learned this was a topic of interest for me, jumped at finding me students to talk to who were pregnant. Compared to SLS and YLS, there seemed to be fewer of these students, even drawing from a larger student body; however, they said they definitely felt their profs and admins were very invested in making sure they were successful even while pregnant. Older-than-ave students, both parents and non, said it felt a bit alienating being one of a few older students in a sea of 25-year-old-singles, but nobody thought that was a reason not to attend. It just struck me as a little lonelier. At both schools I only talked to students pregnant with first child, so I didn't get as much a sense of how it is to be a student with a child. However, I know parents living in both Ann Arbor and Charlottesville, and I've lived in C'ville myself and love the college-town vibe, so I felt comfortable that both communities are good places to have and raise kids. Ann Arbor would have internship difficulties in my case, there's Detroit but again my East Coast concern; C'ville, though small itself, is also within striking distance of Richmond and DC.

I ruled out NYC schools mostly due to location + cost of living - I've never lived in NYC and felt terrified at the prospect of trying to figure it all out with an infant. Plus one student memorably quipped that "raising a child in NYC is like trying to grow an oak tree in a thimble." My bravery might have been influenced had I felt really excited about either NYU or Columbia and had a scholarship, but since that wasn't the case I didn't do too much probing.

Ruled out HLS because it wasn't the right fit for a variety of reasons, so I never got to the point of evaluating it for the parental perspective - but it was something I asked about in my admissions interview and my interviewer had a good answer without missing a beat.

At the risk of sounding stuck-up, once I was getting accepted to the above I stopped doing research on lower-ranked schools, but I suspect many of them are also interested in attracting students with families, and honestly I wish more of the T14 than just Georgetown were willing to have part-time programs - that would open up even more possibilities for those of us, esp women, who don't want to put off starting families.

SolRs
Posts: 48
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby SolRs » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:01 am

airwrecka wrote:Not sure which forum I should post this in, so apologies if it shouldn't go here.

Do any of my other fellow ladies (who are or want to be moms) feel anxiety when thinking about being a mom while also having a successful legal career?

I'm married, and I will be 25 or 26 when I start law school, which is not old by any means. However, biologically it is best for me to have kids before my mid-30s, which means if I want children, I should probably get on it soon after graduating. But this will be right at the same time as I'm finally starting my career in law.

Does this stress anyone else out? Is it something to be worried about? Will I face "adversity" if I try to get a job and I'm pregnant? Or will it be frowned upon if I have to go on maternity leave shortly after being hired (i.e. within 1-2 years)?

I'm not so concerned about being a working mom (I'm okay with daycare and my husband might even be willing to be a stay at home dad), it's more the lead-up to it, of being pregnant and going on maternity leave and how that will affect my job prospects.

Maybe I'm over-thinking this, but I don't want to sacrifice either my legal career or my hopes of having a family, so it's something I need to consider.



I'm interested in this forum as well. Not pregnant, but married for 7 years and closely approaching my 30s. I'll be 29 when I start school next year and I'm a bit overwhelmed with the idea of being pregnant while in school. That said, I also feel like it may be the best option for me (considering I don't want to have one now, right before school, and I don't want to have one while first starting a job).

I'll graduate when I'm 32. Yes, I can have kids after that, but I'd like to have the first (out of two, maybe 3) prior to that.

Obviously this is a concern that most law school applicants don't have, so I'll be following closely what you all say.

One thing I do take into consideration that many applicants don't is accessibility to family for help. I'll be moving to go to school and the only place I have family is in Colorado, which makes the two schools out there way more appealing. They are both T2 schools. Ideally, I'd stick with T1, but I feel like at this stage of my life, I may need to prioritize proximity to family and lower debt. I'm not looking for big law in the NE, so T2 may not be so bad. I'll want to stay in the area I go to school in. Not interested in moving my spouse again and uprooting kids, etc.

It's overwhelming but I'm glad to hear that there are more out there with similar concerns!

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haley12
Posts: 536
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Re: To my ladies who want to be (or are) moms

Postby haley12 » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:50 pm

Begging you to read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg if you haven't already. It will change your life/mentality!

I'm on the younger side and can't speak to being a parent, but I was raised by two working parents. My mom traveled and worked more than my dad (VP level corporate job), and while I remember missing her a lot... I wouldn't have it any other way. She is my inspiration and I hope to accomplish as much as her while having a family. She is/was the best mom ever and I never felt abandoned or unloved AT ALL (in fact suffocation was much more common). I am so glad and proud that she worked her butt off during her career.

So yes, you may miss things. But in the end, from a kid's perspective, it is worth it. I am so proud of both my parents for working and I grew up in a household where everyone contributed. Especially as a woman myself I know that really changed my life for the better.




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