Law school with wife and two kids

Not sure where your numbers will get you? Dying to know where you stand? Come have your palms read by your fellow posters!
JBJ
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:26 pm

Law school with wife and two kids

Postby JBJ » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:32 pm

I haven't applied to any schools yet, but I wanted to get some feed back from anybody in the same, or similar circumstances. Thanks.

User avatar
randyn
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:25 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby randyn » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:34 pm

It depends...do you have to work? My cousin is in law school with 3 kids and is doing fine. She does not have to work. That is one example, I don't know how helpful that is.

User avatar
FacistCommunist
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:19 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby FacistCommunist » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:39 pm

I would say as long as everyone has realistic expectations (money will be tight, less time with your family, etc) then it can work out.

One thing I would strongly advise is visiting schools as a family. While you are checking out the classes and campus, your family can check out the schools, parks, employment opportunities, etc. It needs to be somewhere everyone can see themselves living. It might not be perfect for everyone, but if someone feels slighted it could bring resentment. This is what I'm doing, though my situation of girlfriend and cat is slightly different than wife and two kids.

nodummy
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:20 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby nodummy » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:44 pm

I'm pretty sure that Mall-Cop$ guy was in a similar situation. You might send him a PM but I haven't seen him on here lately..

JBJ
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:26 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby JBJ » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:11 pm

randyn wrote:It depends...do you have to work? My cousin is in law school with 3 kids and is doing fine. She does not have to work. That is one example, I don't know how helpful that is.


No, I won't work for the three years it takes to complete the JD. My wife will take care of that end, and mind the kids.

I appreciate the feedback.

Papa Bear
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby Papa Bear » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:59 pm

I'm a married law student with a gang of kids. All my single friends at school think things must be very tough for me, but I think of it as just a different set of benefits and challenges than they have.

Doing well in law school required about twice as much time as I thought it would going in. My spouse and I also found it much more difficult than we expected to scale back our lives to accommodate my lack of income. Finally, I didn't expect as many serious challenges with my children as we faced. Even with all that, things have worked out reasonably well, but I guess I count myself lucky. I also have an understanding and supportive spouse.

Best of luck!

bahama
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:23 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby bahama » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:32 pm

Money is obviously a big issue. This is mitigated if your spouse is working, but that creates the childcare issue, which can also be expensive. If you are moving to a new city for school, cost of living is a big issue. Look at what rent and other expenses will be before deciding where to go. Try living on your new budget for a while before you go to see what it is like. Another thing to look at when you are deciding is the details of the fin aid policies at the schools you have been accepted to. Schools aid formulas treat spousal income and assets differently. Moving is expensive too. Depending on where you are going you may need to put down 3-4 months rent to sign a lease on a place. Also, you may not get your loan refund right away if you are depending on that to help with expenses so have a back up plan for what you will do if there is a delay.

Another thing that may be a challenge is that few of your classmates will be in the same situation. You won't be able to go out to all the bar reviews or random things that come up. Some folks won't understand your situation and will occasionally say ignorant things. You'll still make friends and stuff but it's not the "typical" law school experience. It would be a good idea to work out an agreement on social events with your spouse beforehand. How often and what types of events? How much notice? If you are going out all the time and spending money on beer while your spouse is working, keeping a very tight budget, and taking care of the kids there will be issues.

Time wise school is not that different from working full time (although I suppose this depends on what your job was). In some ways it can be better because you have flexibility with when you study. You have to be more self-disciplined though since there isn't anyone looking over your shoulder.

Kids may react badly to any move. Especially when you are making a major life change like starting law school.

Good luck!

Papa Bear
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby Papa Bear » Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:56 am

bahama wrote:Time wise school is not that different from working full time (although I suppose this depends on what your job was).


Not to be a jerk or anything, but based on my experience and the reported experiences of many students at my school who worked career-type jobs prior to attending law school, this statement is not true for the substantial majority of individuals.

OP - take your initial estimate of how much time you think it will take, multiply by two, then everyone will be pleased if it turns out not to take that long. This continues from year to year, because even though you will get faster at doing things, you will probably still underestimate how much time they will take. Everything about the law, including the tasks I do both as a student and as a PT law clerk, takes about twice as long as I initially think it will. For some people it takes three times as long.

User avatar
DelDad
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:26 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby DelDad » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:28 am

I'm a 3L at Penn with a wife and a 2 kids. I commute from home (90-120 minutes away) each day I have class, amd am not working except for a small stipend I'm getting now for teaching legal writing. My wife picks the kids up from school each day, except when I get home in time to do it. I'm really enjoying law school; my family is kind of ready for me to be done with it.

I'd been out of school 11 years before going back. My first semester, I tried to treat law school as a 50 hour per week job (as I'd been advised). That, rustiness caused by being away from academics for so long, and commuting 3+ hours a day, were probably the biggest factors in my decidedly median grades that semseter. Grades have gotten much better since then, but the time I've put in has also increased. A lot. To the point where my wife is not so happy about it, though she is willing to put up with it because there is only a semester left. My son and daughter aren't too thrilled with it either, but I'm glad a winter break without work for either them or me is coming. Next semseter, my workload should be quite a bit less, and all are looking forward to that. Next year, I'll be clerking 3 miles from my house.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like me to go into any more detail sbout anything.

JBJ
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:26 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby JBJ » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:57 am

bahama wrote:Money is obviously a big issue. This is mitigated if your spouse is working, but that creates the childcare issue, which can also be expensive. If you are moving to a new city for school, cost of living is a big issue. Look at what rent and other expenses will be before deciding where to go. Try living on your new budget for a while before you go to see what it is like. Another thing to look at when you are deciding is the details of the fin aid policies at the schools you have been accepted to. Schools aid formulas treat spousal income and assets differently. Moving is expensive too. Depending on where you are going you may need to put down 3-4 months rent to sign a lease on a place. Also, you may not get your loan refund right away if you are depending on that to help with expenses so have a back up plan for what you will do if there is a delay.

Another thing that may be a challenge is that few of your classmates will be in the same situation. You won't be able to go out to all the bar reviews or random things that come up. Some folks won't understand your situation and will occasionally say ignorant things. You'll still make friends and stuff but it's not the "typical" law school experience. It would be a good idea to work out an agreement on social events with your spouse beforehand. How often and what types of events? How much notice? If you are going out all the time and spending money on beer while your spouse is working, keeping a very tight budget, and taking care of the kids there will be issues.

Time wise school is not that different from working full time (although I suppose this depends on what your job was). In some ways it can be better because you have flexibility with when you study. You have to be more self-disciplined though since there isn't anyone looking over your shoulder.

Kids may react badly to any move. Especially when you are making a major life change like starting law school.

Good luck!


Oh wow, how does a school's financial aid treat spousal income and assets differently? Will it help or hurt?

bahama
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:23 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby bahama » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:30 am

JBJ wrote:Oh wow, how does a school's financial aid treat spousal income and assets differently? Will it help or hurt?


Each school is different. Some schools will count spousal income or assets against you dollar for dollar, other will use a %, and some will use everything or a % over $XXXX. Some may even ignore it, although I don't know of any that do.

In general, it will reduce your eligibility for need based grants but won't impact loans.

User avatar
DelDad
Posts: 234
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:26 pm

Re: Law school with wife and two kids

Postby DelDad » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:25 pm

For us, it meant I get no unsubsidized Staffords, although that's b/c my wife's income is very good.

Also investigate how it will affect LRAPs if that is an issue for you. Most programs count your spouse's income when determining whether you are eligible.




Return to “What are my chances?”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests