Page 1 of 1

"Family-Friendly" law schools

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:37 pm
by logicallauren
Do some law schools have a reputation of being more "family-friendly" than others, specifically schools in the T30?

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:01 pm
by sockpuppet

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:35 pm
by logicallauren
Thanks, Sock!

I was afraid of that. Guess I'll just have to pull up my sleeves and do some major research!

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:54 pm
by YoungFogey
Honestly I wouldn't worry about the family friendly factor.

Are you right out of UG, or have you been working for awhile? Already married?

Law school is different than UG. There are students who want to continue on as if they were still in UG, but a lot of students have been out for awhile and have more "normal" social lives. Unless you are going to a school in NYC where cost of housing is a real factor, whether a school has married student housing I don't think is that big of a deal. Many law students don't live in campus housing.

The kids issue is probably a bigger one, but really if that's the path you're going down it's going to benefit you to treat law school like a job anyway. Get up, go to work, go to class, keep working, and then take a break around dinner and get back to it later if need be.

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:29 pm
by sockpuppet

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:16 pm
by YoungFogey
I think the biggest thing to look for in a law school if your dealing with marriage and kids is the surrounding community, not the school itself. You're going to want to find one that allows you to establish the lifestyle you want and is supportive of your spouse's career.

This is going to mean different things to different people. Do you want an urban environment or a suburban one? Big city or small town? If you have kids you have to think about school districts, but you also have to think about commute times. If you can only afford a house way out in the 'burbs and you are both a 40 minute commute away, that can make things complicated.

In short, I think the schools themselves are pretty fungible on the issue. I think the bigger issue will be location and that is going to be entirely dependent on your circumstances. What will be ideal for one family could be disastrous for another.

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:44 pm
by efineman
Washington University in St Louis has a lot of married students.

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:05 pm
by Ataraxia
Keeping in mind that I can only speak for the T14 that I have applied to, here is my 2 cents on the matter.

Graduate Housing: Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Penn, UMich, Berkeley, UVA, Duke, and Cornell all have family housing. They range from one bedroom apartments to 3 br townhouses, furnished and unfurnished, and utilities may or may not be included. Often the housing budget is enough to cover at least a 2br (assuming you or your spouse will work to pay for food and recreational expenses) so it is pretty affordable (not to be confused with cheap).

As far as whether any schools are particularly "family friendly," well, I'm not exactly sure about that. Many of the schools I mention above have resources to help ppl w/ families adjust to life in the new town as well as the demands of law school. Several also have student-run organizations that can also serve as a support group.

As a non-trad w/ a husband and a child, the research that I have done has convinced me that schools, in general, are very supportive of non-trads w/ a family. But your best bet is to call the individual schools and find out for yourself. Conversely, you can just make sure that the housing options and schooling system work for you and just hope for the best. Either way, I think as long as your family is prepared for the stresses of 1Hell, law school, like everything else, is what you make of it.

But keep in mind, we are talking about an institution that is going to suck away 12-18 hours of your time per day, every day, for the next three years, and in most cases saddle you with a mortgage sized debt for that service. Oh, and launch you into a career that, at least in terms of being a ruthless time sink, will most likely subject your family to more of the same abuse for the next several decades. It's hard to imagine anything a school could do to really compensate for that to a level that your family would consider "friendly."
Really? I have never gotten the impression that law school was quite that bad. I mean, it might be like that for the first year, but 2L and 3L also? I wonder how accurate your assesment really is.