Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

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Clair1331
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Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby Clair1331 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:54 am

I have narrowed my choice of law schools down two similarly ranked schools: the first I have been accepted with some money that is 5-6 hours away by plane and another one where I am waitlisted, no money of course, but in my city. In talking to admissions, I am likely to get into this school after deposit day. Both schools place well within their respective, although different, regions and have strong alumni associations to help with placements out of those regions.

My husband would likely not be able to come with me if I choose the out-of-town school. His career ambitions mean he needs to stay in our current city.

I went to the admit student day and really liked the out-of-town school and believe I would receive a richer law school experience from there but my personal circumstances would be much better if I stayed where I currently am.

How much should the quality of the law school versus quality of personal life play into selecting a school? Thanks!

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blerg
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby blerg » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:59 am

I wouldn't move away from my spouse for 3 years.

sdv
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby sdv » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:05 am

As someone who is making a similar decision, keep this in mind: your job prospects depend, in large part, on how well you do in law school (in many ways, more than the school itself). you are MUCH more likely to do well in school if you are happy, and being away from your SO for 3 years will assuredly NOT make you happy!

Sure it would be cheaper to move away, but your law school experience will probably be richer if you're not as miserable. And as far as the debt goes, of course it's real, but (contrary to most things you read here) there are more important things than money, and love and happiness is one of them!

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scruffs mcguff
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby scruffs mcguff » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:12 am

I've got to agree with the above posters. Just think about how busy you will be as a 1L. Can you imagine trying to work lengthy phone coversations into each day? It seems nearly impossible. Whereas, as long as you are living together and seeing each other each day it really makes how busy you will be seem less of an issue. I could potentially be dealing with a similar situation and pray that I will have the option you already have. Best of luck.

Cestjustemoi
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby Cestjustemoi » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:14 am

I have a friend who moved to another state for LS, her husband followed but could not find a job so after six monthes he returned totheir city of origin. After months of stressful commuting betwen states my friend decided to transfer back to the local university she intialed decline to go out of state. If you are certain you will be granted admission at your local university I say stay. Going to school in the city where it is clear you need to practice can be beneficial especially considering OCI firms will be from that city. There are more important things in life than a law school experience.

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southerngrace
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby southerngrace » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:18 am

It depends on the type of relationship you and your spouse have. There's no way for us (or you) to know how you will react until you actually it actually happens. I am debating a similar situation, but I know that I am going to be okay if I leave the state because I am the type of person that can become consumed in my studies. I am confident that as long as we make the effort to keep each other informed, this will just be a bump in a much longer road. He would have to be the type of person that can stay busy and focus on his own goals without getting too lonely though, or else he will become insecure, which will become very emotionally draining and time consuming for you.

I always think long-term though, what's best for both of you 10 years down the road, versus two.

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GobiasIndustries
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby GobiasIndustries » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:21 am

LDRs turn any situation into a stressful, frustrating one. Not a good environment for a law student, if you can avoid it. If the schools are fairly similar in terms of ranking and placement, like you say, and you're almost sure to get into your local one, I would stay.

You mention a richer LS experience at Far Away School; would you also prefer to work there after school? Or do you see yourself working closer to home, where your husband has already established himself? Think a few years out, like southerngrace said, and see what makes the most sense.

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heyyitskatie
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby heyyitskatie » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:28 am

Given that this is your husband and not just any other SO and the schools are similarly ranked, staying in your home city seems a no-brainer to me. Even if you preferred the environment of the other school, I would imagine a stable home life would trump that. Also, if you guys have agreed that him moving in the near future isn't an option, the ties the other school would give you wouldn't be that much of help to you.

Good luck with everything!

LurkerNoMore
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby LurkerNoMore » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:36 am

Clair1331 wrote:Both schools place well within their respective, although different, regions and have strong alumni associations to help with placements out of those regions.

My husband would likely not be able to come with me if I choose the out-of-town school. His career ambitions mean he needs to stay in our current city.



Given the above, I really don't see what the issue is here. It sounds like you are looking at two regional schools, one in the region your spouse's career requires him to stay in and one in a different region. If that is true, the answer seems pretty obvious. Absent a phenomenal career opportunity for you (one that would in essence "trump" that of your husband and allow you to carry the finances of the family while he transitions to a new location), there is no reason to take an out of region law school over a local one. Now if the cost of the local school is too high to justify going, then I would say that you should take a year off, redo the LSAT and reapply and hope for more scholarship money.

The cost of two households and the strain on having a LDR would seldom be worth it -- maybe if you were forced to choose between a top law school and a local one with limited career options and sticker price. But if you plan to stay in your region, there is really no reason to go outside of it for law school.

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hhg
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby hhg » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:46 am

although you may not get much monetary aid from the local school, will you be able to live at home with your spouse? if so, you're going to save money by not having to set up two households and also be not needing to buy lots of plane tickets over the years... could negate the benefit of having a scholly.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:01 am

Clair1331 wrote: 5-6 hours away by plane

Um. That's really, really far away. You're going to be in a much worse position than most LDR couples: weekend visits won't be feasible, the visits you do have will screw up your sleep cycle, phone calls will be limited because of the difference in time zone (I don't think there's a north-south flight in the US that takes 6 hours), and of course travelling to one another will cost the earth. Given that the schools are similarly ranked, I can't see why you're even considering the (very) far away school.

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Tweek
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby Tweek » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:02 am

Nothing is worth leaving my wife for 3 years.

If I were in your shoes, I would have a serious conversation with my wife and the options would be either 1) she sacrifices her career for a few years so that I can go to a "better" school somewhere else, or 2) I go to a "worse" school or defer so she can continue her career.

In the end, one or the other option is bound to be more beneficial for you as a family in the long run. IMHO, in a marriage, it's not about what's good for one or good for the other, it's about choosing the course of action that benefits both of you the most in the end. It is almost inevitable that you will have to make concessions throughout your lives if you both want to be working professionals - even after law school, you may encounter this problem if you are offered a job in another city, for example.

For me, being happy trumps work/school 100% of the time. And I would certainly not be happy if I were away from my wife.

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as stars burn
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby as stars burn » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:12 am

I'll probably be facing near the same thing; however, it shouldn't be for the entire 3 years, but I'm prepared to possibly go 6 months apart until my fiance can find a job in the state I'll be attending law school in. My fiance is an actuary who currently works at a decently large life insurance firm. The place I'm more than likely moving to will actually open up more doors for him so I'm praying to God he finds a job right away. We've been planning this law school thing for almost two years now so I was careful to apply to the areas that would be the best for him to find a job. Now, if he can't find a job within 6 months...that's just going to suck, but we'll deal with it if that happens. With him working, I should be able to keep my law school debt at around 65k for all 3 years (and that includes COL) so dealing with long distance in the long run will set us up better for the future (even if we're paying for two households for 6 months and taking place rides).

It really depends on the type of person you are. Law school will probably consume most of my life, and I'm not going to say it will be easy to do long distance, but when is life ever easy? I'd go to the school that you feel will you give you the best employment opportunities/education/future. Your future is what matters. My only concern is that if you move out of state and it is a regional school...will he ever be able to move to be with you? Because that JD may not be able to follow you back home. We did long distance my last year in high school and my last year in undergrad. My last year in undergrad was harder for me emotionally, but I still managed to graduate in the top 15% of my class. I'm pretty self-motivated so I normally can just channel any sadness/anger into just working harder.

Hope this was helpful. Good luck to you.

Edited twice for spelling.

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j.wellington
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby j.wellington » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:55 am

I'm in a similar situation. I imagine this is quite common. I don't mean to be a pessimist, but managing a long distance relationship is very stressful in itself. When you compound that with the stress of law school, it is going to take a very serious toll on everything. It will both hurt your relationship and impair your ability to do as well as you can in school, a big risk on two fronts. I don't say that to scare you; I'm just taking a realistic outlook.

Fortunately, my fiance mostly works from home and has been given tentative approval to relocate while keeping her full-time job. We discussed places we would both like to be while I was applying and she will have a real say in where I choose to go. I don't mean to sound like Dr. Phil, but I would seriously discuss with your husband all the possibilities that would allow you stay together while both having a situation can live with. Don't assume it'll just work out when you're hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

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foxyeconomist
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby foxyeconomist » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:51 pm

southerngrace wrote:It depends on the type of relationship you and your spouse have. There's no way for us (or you) to know how you will react until you actually it actually happens. I am debating a similar situation, but I know that I am going to be okay if I leave the state because I am the type of person that can become consumed in my studies. I am confident that as long as we make the effort to keep each other informed, this will just be a bump in a much longer road. He would have to be the type of person that can stay busy and focus on his own goals without getting too lonely though, or else he will become insecure, which will become very emotionally draining and time consuming for you.

I always think long-term though, what's best for both of you 10 years down the road, versus two.

I think long-term as well. My fiance has to stay in CA to be with his son and because he is a business owner. He knows that I *need* to live in NYC at some point in my life. Working there means a mediocre school in my area isn't worth it. I'm waitlisted at Berkeley which would be the most convenient school, but I've already been accepted with $ to Duke.

We don't want to be apart for three years, but we both agree that I should go to the best school I get into, because it's better for both of us in the long run. His big thing is that there need to be direct flights between the closest airports (which is not the case for Duke, but is the case for Chicago, NYU, Columbia and Georgetown) because that makes the trip a lot shorter and easier.

I'm planning on throwing myself into law school completely and studying super hard, and I know that my man would be a nice distraction. Being apart will be incredibly difficult, but I also think it will be good for me academically. I'm planning on doing my summer work in our home city. Obviously, I'd be home for holidays and we'd each visit the other once/term. So yeah, we'll be spending $3k in airfare, but we're thinking about how great things will be in 5 years when we can live in NYC together.

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jmaan
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby jmaan » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:55 pm

Normally im completely against LDR's but in the context of marriage I feel different. My cousin and cousin in law got married right before she went to med-school...in Chicago, her husband worked in CA. They visited eachother, but pretty much just worked on their own things and before they knew it, med school was over and everything is fine.

So my advice is do what's best for your career which will be beneficial to both of you guys and in 3 years you guys can reap the benefits.

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adameus
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby adameus » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:23 pm

jmaan wrote:Normally im completely against LDR's but in the context of marriage I feel different. My cousin and cousin in law got married right before she went to med-school...in Chicago, her husband worked in CA. They visited eachother, but pretty much just worked on their own things and before they knew it, med school was over and everything is fine.

So my advice is do what's best for your career which will be beneficial to both of you guys and in 3 years you guys can reap the benefits.


marriage is where you don't want a LDR IMO.

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existenz
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby existenz » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:53 pm

Google Video Chat ftw.

But seriously, if these schools are similarly ranked I'd go with the close one. The poster above who recommended retaking the LSAT and applying next cycle has a point as well, though that's a bigger hassle than many on TLS make it out to be.

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Shot007
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby Shot007 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 4:51 pm

I understand the situation that you are going through, myself I am faced with a very similar situation, except that I currently live in Canada and will be coming to the US to study law.
My SO is going to the Caribbean for Med-School -- which is obviously far way. This is problematic because we will only be seeing each other on the occasional summer break, if possible. In my case it is even more concerning for me because med-school can be anywhere from 4-7 years, over which time period we would essentially be seeing each other only over Webcam or possibly on a summer.
I guess, since we are both on the path to professionalism, all is well that ends well?

In regards to the OP, I would be happy if I were in your situation, I say take the school that is closer especially considering the fact that the schools are similarly ranked...in regards to your question I do not know how you are as a person, maybe being away from your SO/Spouse is not that big of a deal, and you can strive in such an environment...everyone is different...anyway all the best in your endeavors.

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keiko
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby keiko » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:58 pm

+1

My SO will probably be going to Berkeley, and I'll probably be going to Michigan. 6 hour plane rides = not fun, and I have no idea what kind of effect/stress that will have on us.

To the OP, I think you should go to the better school where you'll get a better experience if you think your relationship can handle it. If you know you're going to be utterly unhappy away from your husband, that's another story. But you guys are married! That's a really strong bond. And if your bond can't handle three measly years of distance (and it won't be three consecutive years, I'm sure you'll see each other during breaks and such)... I'll just leave it at the ellipses. :) But that's just my perspective, since I'm going through a similar situation.

Best of wishes!!

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:06 pm

keiko wrote:+1

My SO will probably be going to Berkeley, and I'll probably be going to Michigan. 6 hour plane rides = not fun, and I have no idea what kind of effect/stress that will have on us.

To the OP, I think you should go to the better school where you'll get a better experience if you think your relationship can handle it. If you know you're going to be utterly unhappy away from your husband, that's another story. But you guys are married! That's a really strong bond. And if your bond can't handle three measly years of distance (and it won't be three consecutive years, I'm sure you'll see each other during breaks and such)... I'll just leave it at the ellipses. :) But that's just my perspective, since I'm going through a similar situation.

Best of wishes!!


Why does everyone use this argument? lol it seems so utterly flawed to me, esp. in light of the OP's situation

as others have said, it isnt a very pronounced advantage if she were to go to the school farthest away from her husband -- that is just putting your marriage through unnecessary stress and burden for little to no gain

i should be putting a +1 next to the poster that said a marriage isnt about what is best for you anymore, but rather what is best for both of you or the family...now if you REALLY preferred the other school over the home-region one and would resent your husband for yrs/ever if you did not go to it, that is a diff story (and something you should think about on another level), but unless that is the case, i wouldnt do it -- of course this is all simply my opinion and could easily not apply to you or others

i just get irked when i see that argument used (and i see it a lot for LDR debates) though i cant quite put my finger on the reason why yet

it reminds me of someone driving recklessly to test out her sturdy car and seat belt (bad example) or constantly eating something she doesnt like merely because it requires an "acquired taste" lol (assuming the said item doesnt offer some obvious advantage)...life's tough enough as it is, let's not make it harder when there isnt even that much to gain from doing so haha

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:14 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
keiko wrote:+1

My SO will probably be going to Berkeley, and I'll probably be going to Michigan. 6 hour plane rides = not fun, and I have no idea what kind of effect/stress that will have on us.

To the OP, I think you should go to the better school where you'll get a better experience if you think your relationship can handle it. If you know you're going to be utterly unhappy away from your husband, that's another story. But you guys are married! That's a really strong bond. And if your bond can't handle three measly years of distance (and it won't be three consecutive years, I'm sure you'll see each other during breaks and such)... I'll just leave it at the ellipses. :) But that's just my perspective, since I'm going through a similar situation.

Best of wishes!!


Why does everyone use this argument? lol it seems so utterly flawed to me, esp. in light of the OP's situation

i just get irked when i see that argument used (and i see it a lot for LDR debates) though i cant quite put my finger on the reason why yet

it reminds me of someone driving recklessly to test out her sturdy car and seat belt (bad example) or constantly eating something she doesnt like merely because it requires an "acquired taste" lol (assuming the said item doesnt offer some obvious advantage)...life's tough enough as it is, let's not make it harder when there isnt even that much to gain from doing so haha

I see where you are coming from on that. Having a strong bond doesn't mean nothing should be able to kill my relationship; it means I shouldn't go around doing things that do kill relationships!

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keiko
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby keiko » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:15 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:life's tough enough as it is, let's not make it harder when there isnt even that much to gain from doing so haha


That I definitely agree with. To provide a better context, both my parents and my SO's parents were separated for a few years near the beginning of their marriages because of job opportunities, academic opportunities, etc. - but their bonds were strong, so I have those examples to go by. I think it's necessary to have a balance between doing what's good for the individual and doing what's good for the marriage. If you're not happy with yourself, and you know you gave up something you wanted for something you share with your SO, then the resentment can really build up. (You pointed that out too.) But again, that's just my perspective and it could be totally different for the OP and others.

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jks289
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby jks289 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:31 pm

keiko wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:life's tough enough as it is, let's not make it harder when there isnt even that much to gain from doing so haha


That I definitely agree with. To provide a better context, both my parents and my SO's parents were separated for a few years near the beginning of their marriages because of job opportunities, academic opportunities, etc. - but their bonds were strong, so I have those examples to go by. I think it's necessary to have a balance between doing what's good for the individual and doing what's good for the marriage. If you're not happy with yourself, and you know you gave up something you wanted for something you share with your SO, then the resentment can really build up. (You pointed that out too.) But again, that's just my perspective and it could be totally different for the OP and others.


+100 to Double Checks

I think its a fairly naive view of marriage to think that a "strong bond" is what it takes to keep a relationship intact. Marriage requires lots and lots of work, daily communication, a shared vision, and so on. Put a 6 hour plane ride in the mix, and you are asking for a really tough situation. It is also a very different kind of relationship than dating, regardless of how committed you may feel. Do some people make it work? Yes, of course. But beginning an entirely new stage of your life thousands of miles from your spouse is going to harm either academic focus and well being, or the well being of the marriage. One or the other has to suffer. I get making it work when there are no other options. But I just can't imagine choosing that in the context of the OP's scenario.

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mazzini
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Re: Long-Distance Relationships and Law School

Postby mazzini » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:34 pm

Yikes... hard to believe that this is even a debatable issue. +1 for staying with the spouse.




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