Pets during law school?

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dozefalls

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Pets during law school?

Post by dozefalls » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:15 pm

Is having a pet during law school feasible? I've been wanting to have a dog since I was in undergrad, but I put it off because it was cheaper for me to live in the dorms. Since then, I've moved around a lot, but I expect to stay in one place for law school.

Has having a dog (or any pet really) been challenging as a law student? Pets in general bring me a lot of personal joy. Even though I'd like to get a dog, I'd be open to something more manageable as well.

I know some people do summer internships or SAs in a different city. Did you bring your pet along or find someone to look after it?

Pennoyer v. Meh

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Re: Pets during law school?

Post by Pennoyer v. Meh » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:26 pm

So many of my classmates have dogs, and quite a few have gotten dogs during law school, including 1L. If you want a dog, get a dog.

QContinuum

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Re: Pets during law school?

Post by QContinuum » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:49 pm

As you know, owning a pet entails significant time, energy and expenditures, which should not be underestimated. It's feasible, but make sure you take a close look at your budget, and factor in pet food, vet expenses, and dog walking expenses (you may not always have time to walk the dog every day).
Pennoyer v. Meh wrote:So many of my classmates have dogs, and quite a few have gotten dogs during law school, including 1L. If you want a dog, get a dog.
Same, however, most of my classmates with dogs also had a backup dog-care plan (with local friends or family) in place for if they got sick or got overwhelmed. Some regularly hired professional dogwalkers/dogsitters to shoulder the grunt work, which isn't necessarily cheap.

badatlawschool12345

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Re: Pets during law school?

Post by badatlawschool12345 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 12:29 pm

I adopted a pit bull during 1L. I'm not gonna say it was a bad decision because I love her but I will say that it was an expensive one. I have to pay for dog walkers if I'm at school all day (I live pretty far from campus though). I would consider how much time you want to spend at home - for me, I don't like being on campus when I don't have to and would much rather hang in my apartment. My dog has intensified that inclination, so it works for both of us, but if you are one of those people that has to be in the library to study, definitely consider that.

JoblessAndHopeless

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Re: Pets during law school?

Post by JoblessAndHopeless » Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:04 am

I brought my cat with me to law school. Since I'm single and live alone, I don't regret it one bit. She helps a lot with the loneliness that inevitably sets in sometimes. And cats are pretty low-maintenance, so it hasn't affected my schedule or anything. I'm sure a dog will be a little bit more time-consuming, but pets are such a great way to lift your mood and help with your stress. Would recommend.

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jacketyellow

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Re: Pets during law school?

Post by jacketyellow » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:50 am

I rescued a cat from a shelter when I was a 1L. I still have him in my third year of practice. He's low-maintenance and able to be alone for 8-10 hours a day while I'm at work.

I couldn't imagine getting a dog while in law school, though. If you really want one, I'd research into some dogs that are low maintenance and can effectively deal with your absence. Also look into dog walkers and vet bills. Good luck.

JHP

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Re: Pets during law school?

Post by JHP » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:43 am

badatlawschool12345 wrote:I adopted a pit bull during 1L. I'm not gonna say it was a bad decision because I love her but I will say that it was an expensive one. I have to pay for dog walkers if I'm at school all day (I live pretty far from campus though). I would consider how much time you want to spend at home - for me, I don't like being on campus when I don't have to and would much rather hang in my apartment. My dog has intensified that inclination, so it works for both of us, but if you are one of those people that has to be in the library to study, definitely consider that.
I think this is good advice to consider and would have been the most important consideration for me as a law student (other than the obvious financial aspect and other logistics, like potentially needing to go to a different city for the summer). I adopted a dog while working in big law, and I think it was a much more difficult transition than if I had done so in law school, because the associates and partners I work with are much less amenable to a "I need to make it home in time to walk/feed the dog" when it hits 7 pm. It is feasible to head home to be with/walk/feed the dog between classes, while I simply cannot do so at the firm.

blugh

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Re: Pets during law school?

Post by blugh » Thu May 07, 2020 11:31 am

I just finished 1L. My partner and I adopted a dog in the beginning of the school year and although I'd never give her up, I honestly do regret it--at least, the timing of it. She ended up having behavioral issues including separation anxiety and cannot be home alone for even 5 minutes. We rigged our schedules and paid $$$ for doggy daycare with the result that if I wasn't -in class- I had to be home. I couldn't use the library or attend any events, whether social gatherings or career panels. My partner was able to adjust his work schedule by spring so I could finally study more on campus, but I genuinely think I'd have been happier and studied better without her, plus made more friends to study with... I love dogs but I'd say get one before school so you can adjust and figure out scheduling needs, OR after 1L (at least fall of 1L), AND/OR consider a rescue who's been in foster care and whose needs and issues are not an unknown. Rescue is a great thing to do, but it comes with some big question marks.

Or adopt an animal that's more self sufficient, like maybe a cat.

raquelislove

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Re: Pets during law school?

Post by raquelislove » Sun May 24, 2020 11:34 am

It is possible, but it does take alot of work and time from your day. If you do not permanently live close to where you study, then traveling with a pet might be difficult and expensive sometimes. So that is an additional factor to consider.

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JS623

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Re: Pets during law school?

Post by JS623 » Tue May 26, 2020 11:41 pm

Many of my classmates have animals, both cats and dogs. I have a dog myself, but he had just turned two when I started 1L. My dog is very high energy, however, and it definitely added noticeable strain to my schedule during 1L. My advice would be to get a pet if it will make you happier, so long as you are also good at budgeting your time and staying on top of things.

charlemagne20

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Re: Pets during law school?

Post by charlemagne20 » Wed May 27, 2020 2:58 pm

2L, finished in top 5% with a dog and 2 toddlers. You can do it!

Should add-- if you do decide to get a puppy, do it well before the semester starts. New puppies are pretty stressful and keep you up at night/have to be housebroken, etc. Do not go through this period right when you start school.

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