Just want to practice law...

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gl1986
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Just want to practice law...

Postby gl1986 » Wed May 18, 2011 11:00 am

For any of you out there who can provide information/advice/recommendations, etc., I have been trying to get into law school for a number of years. I have taken the LSAT twice, but I wasn't able to get a high enough score to get into any law school in New York. I then opted for law school online, and managed to finish two years at Abraham Lincoln School of Law and California School of Law. I finished Wills and Trusts in Dec 2010 and my GPA at the time I withdrew (for financial reasons) was 2.87. I have an undergrad GPA of 3.61. I have also been a paralegal for last 20 years. Obviously, my goal is to practice law in New York, because this is where I live, work and have a family. Bar admission rules in New York are about the most stringent, if not THE most stringent in the country, but practicing anywhere else is not really an option for me at this stage in my life.

I have researched and researched for several years for ways around the rules of admission here, but the more I talk to people, the more I read, the more I see myself coming to the conclusion that I will probably have to give the LSAT one more shot in the hopes of hitting a 150+. That would solve all of my problems. There is only one little hiccup...I am already 45 and have been trying to do this for the last 10 years.

Can anyone give me any advice, thoughts, comments on what I could do? I am passionate about the law, but more so, I am passionate about helping people, especially when it comes to educating those who are ignorant of their rights under the law in this country, to help them take advantage of what this country has to offer in terms of fulfilling "the American Dream", without sacrificing their integrity in the process.

Thank you in advance for your comments.

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pinkcamellia
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby pinkcamellia » Wed May 18, 2011 11:18 am

I think you should definitely retake the LSAT. This site has tons of advice on how to prepare, and if you follow that advice and truly dedicate yourself to mastering the LSAT, you will most likely be able to achieve a higher score. Your undergraduate GPA is very good, and that will help as LSAT and GPA are the most heavily weighed portions of your application.

If you are as passionate about all this as you claim to be, surely you are willing to work hard and do what it takes to put together an appealing resume, personal statement, and raise that LSAT score! Most law school grades are based on just one exam - you can retake this one, so make it count :)

Though you truly care about the law, I would perhaps reconsider attending law school. It's tough out there, and at 45, if you should graduate without a job, it would be difficult to have to pay back any loans you might accumulate. If you have a family, I am sure you have discussed what this might mean for their lifestyle, but it is certainly a lot to take on, and I would encourage you to consider the long-term impacts of attending law school. Also, it would be a good idea to browse around and read some of the threads concerning schools you are interested in attending, and whether or not they are financially viable options/risks.

I know some of this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but I hope it helps you make the decision that is right for you. Best of luck!
Last edited by pinkcamellia on Wed May 18, 2011 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Wed May 18, 2011 11:19 am

As a paralegal with 20 years experience, you have far better job prospects than any new J.D. If you want to wind up $200k in debt with nothing to show for it; unemployed, unemployable, and unable to return to your current profession; then law school will help you to that end. And unlike making this mistake at 25, going down this path at 45 will not be a recoverable error.

If your motive at this point is to help people, then get a job as a paralegal at an organization that does work you admire. You will get to do what you want for others, and you will do much more good for yourself.
Last edited by Gideon Strumpet on Wed May 18, 2011 11:29 am, edited 3 times in total.

gl1986
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby gl1986 » Wed May 18, 2011 11:23 am

Thank you, pinkcamelia...this is about the soundest advice I have heard in a long time. I am considering retaking the LSAT. As a matter of fact, I did discuss with my family and now that my kids are older and more independent, I will be able to dedicate more quality time to studying like a fiend for the October LSAT. Thanks again. :D

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby fundamentallybroken » Wed May 18, 2011 11:26 am

I think the problem you're going to run into is that, even if you did manage to get into Tuoro (149 25% LSAT) or CUNY (151 25% LSAT), your job prospects after sinking a small fortune into law school are very, very, very, very small. Even with your work experience, someone from NYU, Columbia, or any one of the dozen other schools in NY is going to beat you out for a job. On top of all that, your age will be a factor in hiring. You'll be 47 or 48 by the time you finish school, and at that age you will be facing a significant amount of ageism in the hiring process. Hell, I'll be 38 when I graduate, and I'm worried about that.

Sorry to be harsh, but you may need to reconsider your options. You've worked for 20 years as a paralegal. If you really want to help people understand their rights, take that experience and go find work with the city or state consumer protection agency. You'll be doing a hell of a lot more advocacy there than you would as a lawyer, would probably be more fulfilled, and would have a public servant's retirement package to boot.

gl1986
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby gl1986 » Wed May 18, 2011 11:35 am

Thank you, fundamentallybroken...this is really good advice. And don't worry about being harsh...I have a thick skin and I pretty much agree with what all of you are saying. I guess I'm just stubborn and resistant to giving up my dream of being a lawyer. The financial prospects are grim to say the least, and I do realize the amount of debt that I will be incurring if I decide to go down the path in spite of the odds. I will think on it some more. I have a solid job right now and the firm has actually offered me a position here as an attorney if I decide to go for it. However, what you are telling me is making good sense too. Let's see what other people have to say here in the forum. I'm curious as to what those of you who are more knowledgeable about the rat race can contribute to this thread. Thanks again for your comments. :D

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Wed May 18, 2011 12:11 pm

gl1986 wrote:I have a solid job right now and the firm has actually offered me a position here as an attorney if I decide to go for it.

That changes the equation. If you soberly and reasonably believe the offer is 100% reliable, then this could end well. A guaranteed job with your current firm could be enough to make the risk worth it. I have also heard of firms paying tuition for people they really want to have join them as attorneys; you have to judge your chances of negotiating that.

Go to school part-time and keep working (you should consider this required, to maintain your solid connection with the firm); attend CUNY four years at rock-bottom in-state rates; have guaranteed paid SA jobs in the summers; and come out with a guarantee of a new associate job in your current firm . . . yes, that could work; IF you have 100% confidence you can rely on this entire plan panning out.

You've been around lawyers for 20 years, so you know how they live. You still have to decide if that's what you want. And I'm not sure if you see staying at your current firm as meeting your goal of "helping people."

If you want to get a 150, just dig up the LSAT prep threads here. Bust your ass every day with some good self-study books for a month or three. With 20 years work experience, you have enough work ethic that you will not need a prep course to keep you on track. The good news is that this test is completely teachable.

Scoring as high as possible is the best thing you can do to improve your odds of getting in where you want to go; and working as hard as you can on improving your score will pay off more than anything else you can do at this point.
Last edited by Gideon Strumpet on Wed May 18, 2011 2:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby fundamentallybroken » Wed May 18, 2011 12:12 pm

gl1986 wrote:I have a solid job right now and the firm has actually offered me a position here as an attorney if I decide to go for it.

Well that changes everything. If you're sure about the offer, and don't think they'll back out, study hard for the LSAT and see if you can get some $$ from a lower ranked school.

Being older than the average TLSer, I know there's no such thing as an "unrecoverable error", but I do think we need to think through things quite a bit more - partially because we know that it's possible to continually reinvent yourself as you go, but also because risks should be more calculated as you gain experience.

09042014
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 18, 2011 12:21 pm

Taking on debt at your age to "help" people is just robbing your family.

Furthermore you've proven you aren't going to do well in law school.

I then opted for law school online, and managed to finish two years at Abraham Lincoln School of Law and California School of Law. I finished Wills and Trusts in Dec 2010 and my GPA at the time I withdrew (for financial reasons) was 2.87.


First of all, taking online law school that you know won't get you the bar admission in your state is really fucking stupid. Really fucking stupid. And you didn't even do well.

If you have the money to blow, go on the LSAT forum of this website and do the Pithy Pike Method and get a respectable LSAT score. Some NYC TTT will take you.

Even if you have a job lined up (which I wouldn't count on after being gone 3 whole years in school), you got to make sure it's worth 150K in tuition. Maybe part time is the better option if you get.

drs36
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby drs36 » Wed May 18, 2011 12:26 pm

Part-Time sounds up your alley, OP. If you can get mid-150's you'll have a shot at the part-time NY programs. I don't know where you live in NY, so that would obviously come into play. You'd be able to keep your job while attending classes, which could minimize your debt as well as maintaining your presence at the firm. Study for those LSAT's diligently and efficiently and you should be able to break the 150's. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't drop my job and take on law school and all it's debt full time.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Wed May 18, 2011 12:39 pm

fundamentallybroken wrote:Being older than the average TLSer, I know there's no such thing as an "unrecoverable error"

I guarantee I'm older than you. And I've watched a lot of people make them.

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby fundamentallybroken » Wed May 18, 2011 12:44 pm

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
fundamentallybroken wrote:Being older than the average TLSer, I know there's no such thing as an "unrecoverable error"

I guarantee I'm older than you. And I've watched a lot of people make them.


We should totally have a pissing match over that statement then!

Sorry, I should rephrase myself - the only unrecoverable error is one in which you end up dead. Everything else you can move on from (perhaps not as comfortably as you could have been, but you can move one and recover.)

Is that better, O old one?

gl1986
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby gl1986 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:09 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Taking on debt at your age to "help" people is just robbing your family.

Furthermore you've proven you aren't going to do well in law school.

I then opted for law school online, and managed to finish two years at Abraham Lincoln School of Law and California School of Law. I finished Wills and Trusts in Dec 2010 and my GPA at the time I withdrew (for financial reasons) was 2.87.


First of all, taking online law school that you know won't get you the bar admission in your state is really fucking stupid. Really fucking stupid. And you didn't even do well.

If you have the money to blow, go on the LSAT forum of this website and do the Pithy Pike Method and get a respectable LSAT score. Some NYC TTT will take you.

Even if you have a job lined up (which I wouldn't count on after being gone 3 whole years in school), you got to make sure it's worth 150K in tuition. Maybe part time is the better option if you get.


I was always hesitant to join forums like this, because there is always that one poster who thinks it's ok to respond to someone they don't know from Adam in the above manner. Although I could care less for your choice of words, I thank you for your comment.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Wed May 18, 2011 1:16 pm

gl1986 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Taking on debt at your age to "help" people is just robbing your family.

Furthermore you've proven you aren't going to do well in law school.

I then opted for law school online, and managed to finish two years at Abraham Lincoln School of Law and California School of Law. I finished Wills and Trusts in Dec 2010 and my GPA at the time I withdrew (for financial reasons) was 2.87.


First of all, taking online law school that you know won't get you the bar admission in your state is really fucking stupid. Really fucking stupid. And you didn't even do well.

If you have the money to blow, go on the LSAT forum of this website and do the Pithy Pike Method and get a respectable LSAT score. Some NYC TTT will take you.

Even if you have a job lined up (which I wouldn't count on after being gone 3 whole years in school), you got to make sure it's worth 150K in tuition. Maybe part time is the better option if you get.


I was always hesitant to join forums like this, because there is always that one poster who thinks it's ok to respond to someone they don't know from Adam in the above manner. Although I could care less for your choice of words, I thank you for your comment.

Dude, you're the one that said you had thick skin. I second the PT option (if it actually is an option). Also, I didn't read everything in this thread, but it you don't have a wife and kids, then do whatever the hell you want.

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Ginj
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby Ginj » Wed May 18, 2011 1:19 pm

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:
gl1986 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Taking on debt at your age to "help" people is just robbing your family.

Furthermore you've proven you aren't going to do well in law school.

I then opted for law school online, and managed to finish two years at Abraham Lincoln School of Law and California School of Law. I finished Wills and Trusts in Dec 2010 and my GPA at the time I withdrew (for financial reasons) was 2.87.


First of all, taking online law school that you know won't get you the bar admission in your state is really fucking stupid. Really fucking stupid. And you didn't even do well.

If you have the money to blow, go on the LSAT forum of this website and do the Pithy Pike Method and get a respectable LSAT score. Some NYC TTT will take you.

Even if you have a job lined up (which I wouldn't count on after being gone 3 whole years in school), you got to make sure it's worth 150K in tuition. Maybe part time is the better option if you get.


I was always hesitant to join forums like this, because there is always that one poster who thinks it's ok to respond to someone they don't know from Adam in the above manner. Although I could care less for your choice of words, I thank you for your comment.

Dude, you're the one that said you had thick skin. I second the PT option (if it actually is an option). Also, I didn't read everything in this thread, but it you don't have a wife and kids, then do whatever the hell you want.


While DF's language may be a bit harsh, I agree with his input.

gl1986
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby gl1986 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:20 pm

Sorry, "dude", not getting into a "who's got the foulest mouth" contest with anyone in this forum. Thank you all for your comments.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Wed May 18, 2011 1:21 pm

gl1986 wrote:Sorry, "dude", not getting into a "who's got the foulest mouth" contest with anyone in this forum. Thank you all for your comments.

Good, because I'm sure I would FUCKING win.

09042014
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby 09042014 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:22 pm

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:
gl1986 wrote:Sorry, "dude", not getting into a "who's got the foulest mouth" contest with anyone in this forum. Thank you all for your comments.

Good, because I'm sure I would FUCKING win.


Don't be a cunt about it.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Wed May 18, 2011 1:23 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
BackToTheOldHouse wrote:
gl1986 wrote:Sorry, "dude", not getting into a "who's got the foulest mouth" contest with anyone in this forum. Thank you all for your comments.

Good, because I'm sure I would FUCKING win.


Don't be a cunt about it.

You're right, I'm being a cock sucking jerk.

tittsburghfeelers
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Wed May 18, 2011 4:12 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Taking on debt at your age to "help" people is just robbing your family.

Furthermore you've proven you aren't going to do well in law school.

I then opted for law school online, and managed to finish two years at Abraham Lincoln School of Law and California School of Law. I finished Wills and Trusts in Dec 2010 and my GPA at the time I withdrew (for financial reasons) was 2.87.


First of all, taking online law school that you know won't get you the bar admission in your state is really fucking stupid. Really fucking stupid. And you didn't even do well.

If you have the money to blow, go on the LSAT forum of this website and do the Pithy Pike Method and get a respectable LSAT score. Some NYC TTT will take you.

Even if you have a job lined up (which I wouldn't count on after being gone 3 whole years in school), you got to make sure it's worth 150K in tuition. Maybe part time is the better option if you get.


Why do you have to jump all over the OP? It's pretty obvious the OP made a mistake, but you don't have to say that their decision was "fucking stupid". You come off with a certain amount of arrogance and are a perfect stereotype of why people look at this board and are hesitant to join because they're unnecessarily attacked by people such as yourself. I hope that by attacking the OP you feel better about your own embarassing life decisions.

I do agree with you when you say that OP should go part-time. OP, if there's a part-time program near your current job that would allow you to continue to work your paralegal job whlie attending law school in the evening, then I would suggest that route if you really, really, really want to attend law school.

Good luck.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby vanwinkle » Wed May 18, 2011 4:25 pm

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Don't be a cunt about it.

You're right, I'm being a cock sucking jerk.

You both get timeouts.

Anyone who wants to argue/debate/respond to this here also gets a timeout. Go to the mod Q&A thread in the Lounge if you have a problem.

Everyone else may carry on.

Tsispilos
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby Tsispilos » Wed May 18, 2011 4:26 pm

i don't think law school is the right choice for you unless you can get your LSAT up to 165+ (in which case you can probably go somewhere for free or else go somewhere good enough to give you a reasonably decent shot at getting a job). Right now, you have people depending on you. Don't screw them over.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Just want to practice law...

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Wed May 18, 2011 5:49 pm

fundamentallybroken wrote:Sorry, I should rephrase myself - the only unrecoverable error is one in which you end up dead. Everything else you can move on from (perhaps not as comfortably as you could have been, but you can move one and recover.)

When you're young, you assume you will live forever. When you're middle-aged, you hope that you will. When you're old, you realize that worse things than death can happen at the end of your life. The point is: Life does have a point of no return. It may take a bit of work to find it, but some people will. If you're lucky you won't pass it until long after you're gone.




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