Work FT attend law school PT?

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wallaw
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Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby wallaw » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:01 am

...need some input...especially from current law students who work ft.

general q's:

1)how is downtime managed...burnout?

2) study time management? how hard/challenging is it while working full time?

3) how long does it take to graduate(assuming you work eveery year) ...4 years?

situation: in chicago.

... so it is highly probable that I will be attending a T-4 (accepted), or a T-2 (applie for PT)

my reasoning is..

Since my numbers are not great, I will not be getting scholarship dough..therefore in order to avoid debt I want to work through LS and spend a major portion of my salary for cost of attending etc.( fortunatley I can stay with the rents to avoid COL)

so, is this a good strategy? to salvage FT law school eexperience and logging in full time work hours and handling the rigor of graduate school -attending LS part time.

since I will be coming out of a t2/t4 school I want to come out with 0-minimum debt.


It would be great to hear from someone that is doing this, or has done this. also am open to suggestions/concerns/mockery from all posters.

thanks

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Pizon
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby Pizon » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:51 pm

Believe you can get your degree going PT in 4 years, but this involves summers. As far as the workload, that depends on you. Some can handle that, some can't... but people definitely do it.

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InBrief79
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby InBrief79 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:41 pm

In Chicago, you have 4 options for PT...Loyola, Kent, DePaul and John Marshall. If I read your OP correctly, did you say you were in at UC or NW? Obviously, you know that neither of those schools have PT programs.

So, weighing the FT/PT vs. debt issue...

If you're in at UC or NW, forgo the PT options. I'm applying only PT to those schools, so I wish I was in your position. But while you will graduate with a heap of debt from UC or NW, the placement options at big firms in the city are tremendous. You can still land those jobs coming out of LUC, Kent, or DePaul, but your odds drop significantly. If you can carry the debt, never sacrifice for a lesser school. Take the education, the money will come later.

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Giles Rich
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby Giles Rich » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:00 pm

I'm plainning on doing this (FT job/PT school). The schedule is going to be tough. Work 8am-5pm, school 6pm-10m, Mon-Thurs. Somewhere in there you've gotta get your homework done too. I think if it was just a matter of debt I would go FT and pay it off when I got out. For me, I have a mortgage and family, so not working is not an option. One important thing I think is to make sure you're in a job where they understand the rigors of Law School and give you some leeway. My job is encouraging me to go, paying for some tuition, and giving some extra breaks before exams, so I think it's going to be doable... but brutal.

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AR75
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby AR75 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:43 pm

Yeah, I know it can be done, but I wouldn't recommend it at all. The actual transition from scheduled appointment to scheduled appointment (school to work, vice versa, etc) wouldn't be that bad, but those first-year classes and the learning curve demand SO stinking much time. That said, it can obviously be done. I just wouldn't want to get part of the way into the semester and realize that you had to give up one of the two. If you had to drop work, you'd be just ever-so-slightly behind the curve with scheduled credit hours, and if you had to give up law school, it would just seem a bit frustrating to go through the process again.

Good luck with your decision, though.

Connelly
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby Connelly » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:44 pm

I work full-time (40 hours plus random overtime) and am a 1L going PT. I am married, but I have no children. There are people doing the program, working full-time, that have several children.

wallaw wrote:
1)how is downtime managed...burnout?


What is this "downtime" you speak of? :lol: The semester is a race. You get started and you just keep going. During the holiday break, I "just" worked, and it felt like a vacation. Working 40-50 hours a week is a joke compared to doing that and handling law school. I did end up getting several days off around Christmas, and I became a vegetable. My suggestion would be to get away from all things school related that you can during legitimate breaks.

2) study time management? how hard/challenging is it while working full time?


The obvious problem (lack of time) has a silver lining. I do not have a choice about my free time - it goes (almost) completely to studying. The good thing is I actually WANT to do that, as I really enjoy this stuff. I don't even know if I would consider myself disciplined. I just seem to have a switch that I turn on and leave on.

There is little time to do anything during the week. If you slack during the weekend, you spend every available moment (e.g. your lunch break, on your way to school, etc.) catching up during the week. If you are disciplined on the weekend, you can knock out your week's work during that time. The biggest time drain will be your research/writing/advocacy cource. I need to devote more time to that this semester, but you have to remember that it is less important to your GPA than your substantive classes.

3) how long does it take to graduate(assuming you work eveery year) ...4 years?


4 years for most people. Our program plans for 4 1/2, but that is with absolutely no summer work. 1 course a summer, and you'd be out in 4 years. Also consider that having the flexibility to graduate 6 months earlier or later might be good depending on the economic situation. Would you rather have graduated this past December or this coming June? Not a huge deal, but at least you have the option.


You need an understanding employer. Also note that a job that is listed as 40 hours but lets you cut out an hour early every day is vastly different from a job that has 5:00 as the starting point at which negotiations for you to leave for the day begin.

To get from a T4 to a T2, I'd probably do it. If the schools were close in local prestige, I would definitely go full-time. Remember that you would be out a year earlier and you would have the summers to defray some of the costs. You could also focus on your work better. FT is no cake walk, but compared to working 40 hours a week (which moves to 50-60 when you consider lunches, transportation, getting ready, etc.) and going to school PT, it seems like it would be a vacation. I will say that I would probably be more likely to screw off if I went FT, as there would be more time available to do so.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

Fourttier
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby Fourttier » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:46 pm

It has been done but your GPA will certainly take a hit.

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neskerdoo
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby neskerdoo » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:48 pm

InBrief79 wrote: If I read your OP correctly, did you say you were in at UC or NW?



where did you get this?

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ruleser
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby ruleser » Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:49 pm

Connelly wrote:I work full-time (40 hours plus random overtime) and am a 1L going PT. I am married, but I have no children. There are people doing the program, working full-time, that have several children.

wallaw wrote:
1)how is downtime managed...burnout?


What is this "downtime" you speak of? :lol: The semester is a race. You get started and you just keep going. During the holiday break, I "just" worked, and it felt like a vacation. Working 40-50 hours a week is a joke compared to doing that and handling law school. I did end up getting several days off around Christmas, and I became a vegetable. My suggestion would be to get away from all things school related that you can during legitimate breaks.

2) study time management? how hard/challenging is it while working full time?


The obvious problem (lack of time) has a silver lining. I do not have a choice about my free time - it goes (almost) completely to studying. The good thing is I actually WANT to do that, as I really enjoy this stuff. I don't even know if I would consider myself disciplined. I just seem to have a switch that I turn on and leave on.

There is little time to do anything during the week. If you slack during the weekend, you spend every available moment (e.g. your lunch break, on your way to school, etc.) catching up during the week. If you are disciplined on the weekend, you can knock out your week's work during that time. The biggest time drain will be your research/writing/advocacy cource. I need to devote more time to that this semester, but you have to remember that it is less important to your GPA than your substantive classes.

3) how long does it take to graduate(assuming you work eveery year) ...4 years?


4 years for most people. Our program plans for 4 1/2, but that is with absolutely no summer work. 1 course a summer, and you'd be out in 4 years. Also consider that having the flexibility to graduate 6 months earlier or later might be good depending on the economic situation. Would you rather have graduated this past December or this coming June? Not a huge deal, but at least you have the option.


You need an understanding employer. Also note that a job that is listed as 40 hours but lets you cut out an hour early every day is vastly different from a job that has 5:00 as the starting point at which negotiations for you to leave for the day begin.

To get from a T4 to a T2, I'd probably do it. If the schools were close in local prestige, I would definitely go full-time. Remember that you would be out a year earlier and you would have the summers to defray some of the costs. You could also focus on your work better. FT is no cake walk, but compared to working 40 hours a week (which moves to 50-60 when you consider lunches, transportation, getting ready, etc.) and going to school PT, it seems like it would be a vacation. I will say that I would probably be more likely to screw off if I went FT, as there would be more time available to do so.

Good luck with whatever you choose.


Thanks for the thorough answer, was wondering myself...

wallaw
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:45 pm

Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby wallaw » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:04 am

InBrief79 wrote:In Chicago, you have 4 options for PT...Loyola, Kent, DePaul and John Marshall. If I read your OP correctly, did you say you were in at UC or NW? Obviously, you know that neither of those schools have PT programs.

So, weighing the FT/PT vs. debt issue...

If you're in at UC or NW, forgo the PT options. I'm applying only PT to those schools, so I wish I was in your position. But while you will graduate with a heap of debt from UC or NW, the placement options at big firms in the city are tremendous. You can still land those jobs coming out of LUC, Kent, or DePaul, but your odds drop significantly. If you can carry the debt, never sacrifice for a lesser school. Take the education, the money will come later.


Lol, There is no way I had a chance at UC or NW, with my numbers, I didn't even think about applying for 1 second. I have better odds to win the megamillion jackpot, no joke.

wallaw
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:45 pm

Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby wallaw » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:15 am

Thanks a lot for posting everyone, great information and facts!

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InBrief79
Posts: 6
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby InBrief79 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:21 am

wallaw wrote:
InBrief79 wrote:In Chicago, you have 4 options for PT...Loyola, Kent, DePaul and John Marshall. If I read your OP correctly, did you say you were in at UC or NW? Obviously, you know that neither of those schools have PT programs.

So, weighing the FT/PT vs. debt issue...

If you're in at UC or NW, forgo the PT options. I'm applying only PT to those schools, so I wish I was in your position. But while you will graduate with a heap of debt from UC or NW, the placement options at big firms in the city are tremendous. You can still land those jobs coming out of LUC, Kent, or DePaul, but your odds drop significantly. If you can carry the debt, never sacrifice for a lesser school. Take the education, the money will come later.


Lol, There is no way I had a chance at UC or NW, with my numbers, I didn't even think about applying for 1 second. I have better odds to win the megamillion jackpot, no joke.


My bad. I thought I read you saying that you were already accepted at a top 4 school (and since you were discussing chicago area schools I just assumed you were talking about UC or NW. Not a Tier4 school.) Anyway, you can basically ignore my whole post now. But without knowing your numbers, you should probably have a high 150s LSAT and a GPA over 3.0 for all the PT programs I listed in Chicago.

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oberlin08
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby oberlin08 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:21 am

Bump.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Norlan
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:45 pm

Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby Norlan » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:27 am

oberlin08 wrote:Bump.

Anyone else have any thoughts?


GPA will get crushed, I've been there myself.

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legalease9
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby legalease9 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:00 pm

Don't do this if you have an alternative (which with the Federal Loan system you DO). It will be tight living without a full time job. But if you work full time your law career will be hampered when your GPA takes a hit, you won't have any time to network, and the stress will be terrible. Take out the Fed Loans.

Norlan
Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:45 pm

Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby Norlan » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:55 pm

Can't you apply for scholarships and financial aids (not sure if Pell Grants and such apply to law school)?

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nahgems
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Re: Work FT attend law school PT?

Postby nahgems » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:04 pm

I just finished 1L at a T4 while working full time. Most days I leave my house for work at 6:24am. I go to work. I go straight from work to class. I get home between 9:30pm and 10:00pm. I do my reading on the weekend, during lunch and while I am commuting (I take a train to work). Even if I only give myself an hour for breakfast/dinner/showering/getting ready for work, that means I get less than eight hours of sleep a night. I don't have a social life. I don't see my husband or my dogs much. I'm tired and grumpy most of the time. If I don't take summer classes, I will graduate in four years. I'm taking summer classes to graduate in 3 and a half.

Many of the other students in the part-time program don't work (or work 20 hours a week). This means you are competing against people who have substantially more study time than you do. You may find this frustrating. Some of the other students do work full time and you may find class discussion frustrating because they didn't do the reading and aren't prepared for class.

When you are talking with non-law-school friends, you will find that you are boring. You used to volunteer, and do interesting things. Now you go to work, go to school and go home. No one wants to hear about work or class. You may find yourself struggling to stay informed about current events. Even if you *do* stay informed enough to have causal conversation the exhaustion may cause you to space-out during conversation and drool a little.

If you really want to go to law school, it may be worth it. In four years you can make new friends and become an interesting person again. Unless you get a crazy law job that requires 70+ hours of work a week. But since you are at a T4, you probably won't.




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