Attention: All attorneys out there!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2008 4:04 PM GMT
    Hey guys,

    I have been thinking about this for a while, and I have decided it might be time for me to go back to school and get that JD I have been avoiding for the last few years. I love my current job, but I know I can be doing more... and one thing that this job has done for me is opened me up to a lot of avenues concerning issues of safety, security, transfer of information (FERPA and HIPAA) and insurance-related matters that really have drawn my interest.

    While the prospect of going back to class is daunting as hell, the thought of going nowhere is looming larger by the minute. I think it's time, and I need to get off my ass and do this.

    Here are some of my questions/concerns:

    --> BA earned in 1996, MA earned in 2000, both in Japanese studies. Have I been out of the academic game too long and in the wrong field?

    --> I turn 33 next week... not too old to start, right?

    --> most law schools offer a "night program," which may be how I have to do this. Any of you taken this route? What's the terrain ahead look like if I do so?

    --> Planning on signing up for Kaplan Test Prep... took Kaplan for SAT and Princeton Review for GRE, and I like the program better for Kaplan, I think. Any other alternatives or LSAT tips/books to keep in mind

    Thanks in advance, guys. I look forward to hearing from you, and please contact me by mail too if you want (sahem62896@yahoo.com).

    --Adam
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2008 5:10 PM GMT
    ugh...law school? do your parents know?

    ok, well, if they can accept you that way, I guess I can.

    Law School is great, if you don't want to be a lawyer. If you do want to be a lawyer, you need to rethink your life choices and why you are in this sad and lowly state.

    Having said that, no, you havent been out too long, some law schools look for people with life experience as well as good background academics. You're not going to be going to harvard, but you'll be able to get into a fairly good public school. My law school class had lots of older people in it.

    Night classes...they are fine if you never want to work as an attorney. If you want a job, you'll need to go to an ABA accredited law school. And they do not offer night classes, or classes by phone, or classes on the net, or classes by mail, or anything else. Understand that once you get into a school...they will do everything they can to make you drop out in the first year. And usually a third of people do. If you make it past 1L...you are IN, baby...it's all downhill from there on.

    I never took an LSAT prep course, so I don't know about that. LSAT wasnt that hard, though...the BAR EXAM on the other hand...SUCKS ASS! (and not in a good way).

    good luck..email me if you have any other questions.

  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Feb 05, 2008 5:35 PM GMT
    I took the LSAT, and while I was taking the test I looked around the room and came to the decision that I wasn't one of "them."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2008 5:38 PM GMT
    lol...that is perfect.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2008 5:56 PM GMT
    I was 42 when I started law school. I was working a full time plus job as a paralegal and had four young kids. I was doing everything a lawyer was doing and not getting paid for it. Since I couldn't be promoted to lawyer, I had to go to law school.

    I went at night. And, yes, there are many ABA accredited night schools. In fact, night school was much better. Most of the students were older and working. The life experiences made the class much more interesting. I took tax classes with CPA's and I specialized in estate taxation. We took only one class less than the day students and we weren't involved in the day students' petty politics.

    Before I started people asked my how old I'll be when I finish. I said the same age that I would be if I didn't go.

    You get back into the academic routine easily so don't worry about that. And remember, in law school, you are buying the ticket for admission. What you do with it once you are in is up to you. And it is a education in itself that translates into many other fields.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2008 6:53 PM GMT
    Make sure it's something you really want to do. I got my JD as a day student but then a few years later went back to school at night while I was working for an LL.M -- they were two miserable years of no social life in order to get that degree. For a night school JD, you're looking at 4 years of big sacrifice -- think of how it will affect your job and family/friend relationships.

    My other advice is to start saving your $$ for it now and to go to a state school. Your tuition will be much cheaper than any private law school even with any tuition assistance. I'm still paying off law school loans -- not fun!

    One comment about what Tommysguns said about your law school trying everything they could to make you drop out during your first year. I'm not sure where he went, but I didn't have that experience at all. My first year was tough but I never got the sense they were trying to weed anyone out. 185 of us started as first years -- 180 of us graduated three years later.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2008 7:03 PM GMT
    I'm done dating lawyers. Don't go to law school.
    icon_evil.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2008 7:03 PM GMT
    I may be in the minority but I'm an atty and enjoy what I do....estate planning related work. While I didn't like law school itself, my practice is very rewarding. People in my law school class however who worked for a few years and then went back tended to like law school better than those of us who went straight from undergrad.

    I've been out toooo long to know what prep course is best for you, but my advice is to go to the best school you can whether it's in a night program or otherwise. I did practice for a long time at a large firm and helped a lot with recruiting, and going to the best school you can (and making the best grades you can) will give you more options after you graduate.

    Good luck!
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Feb 05, 2008 7:22 PM GMT
    I don't know nuthin' 'bout bein' no lawyer, but I knows sumpin' 'bout Cleveland. (Did you know it was originally spelled Cleaveland? It's true, look it up.)

    Case Western Reserve University is in the area, and a great school, but expensive. Also, Cleveland State has a law school that is very highly thought of. There may be other options in Lorain or Elyria as well (closer to Amherst).

    And don't worry about losing your social/night life - the biggest city near you is Cleveland, what will you really be missing?

    Pick your dream and live it! icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 05, 2008 7:38 PM GMT
    I took the LSAT, and thought it was an interesting career choice at the time. I even scored well in the final LSAT test, and I could've gotten into UCLA or UC Berkeley.

    However, when I thought of the long-term scenario of being a lawyer, I just couldn't see myself putting in 70-hour work weeks, meticulously billing clients, while coddling (i.e.: kissing their asses) to prospective clients just to make partner at a law firm.

    Not to mention, dating lawyers is the worst!! In law school, you would be developing your mind to think and perceive things a certain, unshakable way. And this can result in your blurring the line between your personal life and your professional career to the point of analyzing everything said and done. For example, do you really need to analyze why someone maybe wanting a Diet Coke? I mean, why analyze that? Yet, individuals who are attorneys do so. It's almost sad. Thankfully, I discourage friends (both gay and straight) NEVER to date attorneys, providing them with reasons why.

    As for you, think long-term, and see if this is the correct career step for you. Are the law school loans you take out going to be worth the subsequent interest? Can you stay in the top 5% of your class upon graduation to be looked upon by a law practice as a serious candidate for them? What field of law will you be wanting to eventually practice? (That's a question for yourself to answer.)

    Sure, law can be great to know, but practicing it, and how it's practiced is another story depending who you're working for.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 06, 2008 12:49 AM GMT
    Hey, lawyers arent all bad. Some of us are quite good at keeping business and pleasure seperate. As to whether to go to law school, seriously think about it. Do you really want to be a lawyer? A lot of people I go to school with dont really want to be lawyers, they are just doing it because they dont know what else to do with there lives. It sucks to watch, they are miserable. Best of luck though, if you really want to be a lawyer, it is an amazing subject to learn. But law school sucks. Its just a means to an end for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 06, 2008 12:57 AM GMT
    I strongly encourage you to do everything you can to get into law school, and then do your darnedest to finish. If you don't try, you will regret it for the rest of your life. You are absolutely not too old!!

    I don't know anything about night class or preparatory courses. The courses that were available when I was getting ready to take the LSAT can't possibly exist anymore...and I didn't take one anyway.

    I hated law school, but I love practicing law. I began in a general practice firm, took over the civil/commercial litigation arm and have evolved into an Estate Planning/Estate administration attorney. If I had it to do again, I'd bust my butt in law school, get as high a class ranking as you can and get myself into a mid/large lawfirm doing accident/malpractice cases.

    Good luck! BTW since you've got a partner, you can ignore all the advice about not dating lawyers...or worry about getting dated once you are one!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 06, 2008 1:54 PM GMT
    Thanks a bunch, guys. It's a lot to think about... right now I just wanna get through the LSAT and see what happens next. Whether or not I will actually become a lawyer after earning the JD is another thing.

    And as for the "dating lawyers" comments... I guess that's information to pass on to my partner. Though I will say that I am grateful he has been supportive of this and assured me this was not some pipe dream I am having.

    But seriously, thank you all... especially those of you who emailed me directly.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 06, 2008 2:01 PM GMT
    I think its also important that your law school experience and JD degree can be used for far more than law... While I am in the financial business, my legal education permeates everything I do. I have never regretted doing it.

    In a conversation with another attorney on this topic a couple of weeks ago.. she said 1/3 of her law school class is doing something other than law.

    I would just ensure that you really want to go through the process and how it is going to improve your life.
    Best of luck on your decision!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 12, 2008 3:02 PM GMT
    Okay guys.... first visit to Cleve State Marshall Law School today.
    Going to find out what's in store...

    Incidentally, I am signed up now for a Kaplan course and will take the LSATs in June. I found a book that gave me a pretty good run down on the test, and I am perusing it before I go to the class, so I don't seem like a complete mo-ron! icon_razz.gif

    I'll letcha know what I find out.

    Thanks again, everyone.

    --Adam