Part time JD at low ranked school?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
Sarahamelia
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:57 am

Part time JD at low ranked school?

Postby Sarahamelia » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:51 pm

Not sure if this is in the right place but I have posted on here before...about a year ago. Anyways, I'm still considering law school and I will be graduating next year with my bachelors. I'm really interested in doing law school part time but I don't know how the night classes would work for me. So, I started looking at part time day programs and found one in Atlanta. If I decide to go to law school I am considering to attend either in Florida (I live in FL) or Georgia. The school is called Atlanta John Marshall but the rank is not that good. I plan on working while in school to get money and legal experience. If I already have a job at the time and experience could that help since the school is not that great? Should I even consider it? What about doing a law journal or clinic etc to make myself more appealing?

Also, I have not taken the LSAT yet I will be taking the exam in December but right now I at least want to have a list of prospective schools laid out.

zeglo
Posts: 664
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: Part time JD at low ranked school?

Postby zeglo » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:19 pm

.
Last edited by zeglo on Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Mr. Archer
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:08 pm

Re: Part time JD at low ranked school?

Postby Mr. Archer » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:38 pm

Sarahamelia wrote: The school is called Atlanta John Marshall but the rank is not that good. I plan on working while in school to get money and legal experience. If I already have a job at the time and experience could that help since the school is not that great? Should I even consider it? What about doing a law journal or clinic etc to make myself more appealing?


The rank is not good, because the school is not good. The most successful people who attend AJMLS are the ones who transfer after 1L. You would struggle mightily to find a legal job if you graduated from there. Non-legal work experience would not help much, if at all. Law journal and clinics are really just expected aspects of school, so it wouldn't make you special. If you have to do part-time, you would be much better off at somewhere like Georgia State. I'm pretty sure that's cheaper than AJMLS anyway.

Also, you should probably figure out if you actually want to go to law school. If you're picking schools based on ones that offer day time classes for a part-time program, as opposed to night time classes, it doesn't sound like you're that serious.

ookoshi
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:30 am

Re: Part time JD at low ranked school?

Postby ookoshi » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:06 pm

Sarahamelia wrote:Not sure if this is in the right place but I have posted on here before...about a year ago. Anyways, I'm still considering law school and I will be graduating next year with my bachelors. I'm really interested in doing law school part time but I don't know how the night classes would work for me. So, I started looking at part time day programs and found one in Atlanta. If I decide to go to law school I am considering to attend either in Florida (I live in FL) or Georgia. The school is called Atlanta John Marshall but the rank is not that good. I plan on working while in school to get money and legal experience. If I already have a job at the time and experience could that help since the school is not that great? Should I even consider it? What about doing a law journal or clinic etc to make myself more appealing?

Also, I have not taken the LSAT yet I will be taking the exam in December but right now I at least want to have a list of prospective schools laid out.


Full Disclosure - I am a part-time law student at Georgia State.

Georgia State has a part-time program (and you can do part-time day, because the part-time students are intermingled into the full-time sections). I'm curious why you looked at Atlanta John Marshall but not Georgia State.

AJM is a private school that costs almost as much as Emory. No one should have AJM on their radar, ever. Ever. If you can't even get into Georgia State, don't go to law school. Georgia State is 75% cheaper, has decent job placement numbers for their ranking and cost of attendance. AJM's bar passage rate is a joke (42% for the most recent bar exam).

All of AJM's best students transfer to other schools, and even then most of the students that transfer struggle because their 1L education is so bad they don't have a good foundation when they get to a real law school. Seriously, GSU took a larger AJM transfer class last year, and I think almost half of them may not graduate on time due to having to repeat courses.

If you really want to be a lawyer, go full time. Honestly, unless you have special circumstances which requires you to go to law school part-time, neither AJM nor GSU should be on your radar. That's right, as a GSU student, my advice is that GSU shouldn't be on the radar for you (a student in Florida with vague law desires). If you have a very targeted goal, focused on the Atlanta market, with Atlanta connections or a patent eligible undergrad, then GSU may make sense. Otherwise, assuming going to law school is what you definitely want to do, graduate with the highest GPA you can, get the best LSAT score you can, and go to a school with placement numbers that will allow you to the best chance to get a return on your investment.

Sarahamelia
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:57 am

Re: Part time JD at low ranked school?

Postby Sarahamelia » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:54 pm

Thanks for the responses. I will take it off my list. One of my majors is in legal studies and I have an associate in science degree in paralegal studies. My plan was to attend law school part time while working as a paralegal, that way I would have legal experience. Also, if I can't get into a good enough school I won't bother going to law school. I haven't decided what state I would attend/live in. I've been hesitant about law school because of the job market. If I have to do night classes at a better school so be it, I was just hoping for something more flexible.

cavalier1138
Posts: 4651
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Part time JD at low ranked school?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:23 am

Sarahamelia wrote:Thanks for the responses. I will take it off my list. One of my majors is in legal studies and I have an associate in science degree in paralegal studies. My plan was to attend law school part time while working as a paralegal, that way I would have legal experience.


This is the wrong approach. Paralegal work is helpful for about two weeks of school, because you'll have a slight edge in understanding citation formats and general legal processes. But it is not considered "legal experience" when you start applying for jobs as an actual lawyer.

Now, if you want to work through school for financial reasons, that's fine. But don't do it for the experience.

ookoshi
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:30 am

Re: Part time JD at low ranked school?

Postby ookoshi » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:56 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Sarahamelia wrote:Thanks for the responses. I will take it off my list. One of my majors is in legal studies and I have an associate in science degree in paralegal studies. My plan was to attend law school part time while working as a paralegal, that way I would have legal experience.


This is the wrong approach. Paralegal work is helpful for about two weeks of school, because you'll have a slight edge in understanding citation formats and general legal processes. But it is not considered "legal experience" when you start applying for jobs as an actual lawyer.

Now, if you want to work through school for financial reasons, that's fine. But don't do it for the experience.


This, the experience isn't that helpful for law school, and I want to add that "for financial reasons" should be something so significant that justifies taking a hit on the odds of leaving school with a good job that can offset the costs of law school. If you have a wife and/or kids, and a mortgage, then sure, do what you have to do to pay for stuff while going to school. But if you comfortably survive while going to school full time, your loss of paralegal income is offset by 1) the savings in tuition because you graduate a year earlier and don't take classes over summer, 2) the extra income from being able to start working as an attorney one year earlier, and 3) the salary difference from a better exit trajectory from graduating from a school with better job prospects.

If you can't go to a T-14 school, if you want to stay in Florida, go to Florida or FSU. If you want to practice in Georgia, go to Georgia or GSU. Or, nowadays, Alabama travels to the other southern states reasonably well and they give out a lot in scholarships. A basic rule of thumb is, you either go to a school whose job placement numbers are good enough that it's worth the higher cost of attendance (i.e. T-14), or if that's not an option, you minimize your cost of attendance to minimize your debt as much as possible among schools with decent job placement numbers (i.e. public T1 schools).

User avatar
guynourmin
Posts: 3426
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:42 pm

Re: Part time JD at low ranked school?

Postby guynourmin » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:08 am

Sarahamelia wrote: My plan was to attend law school part time while working as a paralegal, that way I would have legal experience.

Sure, it would technically be considered "legal experience", but not in any substantive way that would help you get a job (except, maybe, as a paralegal?). If you want to have that experience, that's fine, but just work as a paralegal for a couple years then go to law school. Doing both at the same time really doesn't make sense.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest