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Future plans...Law School??! Sound advice welcome.

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm new to SF, pardon if I break any of the forum rules. The purpose of my post is because I'm a 28-year-old college student who graduates next year with a degree in Legal studies. Yeah, I know! Ever since I went back to school a few years ago to complete my degree I had my mind set on attending law school upon graduation, but after considering the legal job market the past year or so, I'm highly skeptical. I attend a regional school in Kansas and scored a 157 on the LSAT. My gpa is 3.5. I've received some offers from various schools in the midwest and on the east coast, but none in the t-14. It's possible I could receive a partial scholarship from the regional universities law school, but I'd still be adding more loan debt to the already 45 grand or so I've accumulated already during undergrad. Should law school still be an option? Would it be wise?

If not law school, what other options are available to a 28 year old with a degree in Legal studies? To add, I have been working steadily since 22. But the last 6 years I've worked full- time in nursing as a certified medication aide. I have no desire to continue in this field which is why I chose legal studies/ pre-law courses at the university. I am a go-getter type person and the last five years or so I've made, would I believe, is very good use of my time; school, wrote a fiction novel I want to publish, involved myself in a leadership role with various community activism causes here in Kansas. I even managed to get some recognition in the local paper for my endeavors with school and the community.

I'm certainly at a crossroads, and my next few steps are critical. Any thoughts on what moves I should take next? How can I leverage my degree? What type of employment would best utilize the skills I do have and allow me to earn a decent living? Thanks.
post #2 of 41
Two realistic options for law school:

1) T-14 (but even then, the bottom of the T-14 at full price isn't a safe bet anymore)
2) Full scholarship (or close to full) somewhere else.

For either of those, you'll need way more than a 157 LSAT.

Take this advice seriously. Seriously.
post #3 of 41
Yup. Even t14 does not guarantee anything. I know plenty of people who did well at t14 schools and are still struggling to find employment. Also, even if you finish in the top 5 % at a regional school expect to make 50k or less if you are even lucky enough to be employed at all (about a 50/50 chance of employment).

In summation, don't go to law school. I don't see legal employment being much better in a few years. You are probably better off trying paralegal work. He'll, after three years of work you will probably make as much as entry level attorneys
post #4 of 41
For law school the only good options are the higher t14s and a 3.5 and 157 are very, very mediocre stats for those schools.

Please don't go to law school, you'll be in so much debt its not even funny and your job prospects are bleak because the US law school system is out of control. Too many worthless schools that only care about tuition money pumping out foolish graduates.
post #5 of 41
Some of the top schools in the nation are also guilty of being diploma mills. Harvard, Columbia, and GWU are among the worst offenders. Pumping out 500+ attorneys each year.
post #6 of 41
plus 1 to the comments above - legal profession is getting seriously crowded. Also, check out this thread:

http://www.styleforum.net/t/272877/law-schools-where-and-why
post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the advice. So it seems legal education is a no-go no matter the circumstances. I considered grinding out a few prep LSAT courses (which cost!!) trying to raise my score, but the consensus appears that that would be a waste of time.

Paralegal work is certainly an option, but a lot of those jobs are being absorbed by out of work attorneys. Any other suggestions on possible work options for someone with my degree or suggestions on what graduate school I should maybe look into that would build on what I have and has a chance of being lucrative in the future?
post #8 of 41
Not as many as you think. It is really tough for law school graduates right now because 1) there are few entry level attorney jobs and 2)they are overqualified to get a paralegal or other legal related job. Most employers won't touch a JD with a 10 foot pole because they are afraid of the person jumping ship if a better job comes along (which i don't think employers quite understand is going to be rare today).

A legal education is still good if you can go to a top 3 school and you know you will finish in the top 5 or 10% of the class or if you already know somebody in the legal field, like having your father have his own firm, and you are absolutely, 100%, guaranteed a job when you graduate.
post #9 of 41
Have you thought about grad school? as a cheaper alternative to law school. What did you want to do with your law degree? Maybe you could spin that career goal into a different education path.

A bachelors and a few core classes is all that's needed for most grad degrees (ie: you don't need a poli-sci degree to get a master's degree in poli-sci, just a few core poli-sci classes). It'll be cheaper then starting over at the bachelors level. If you shop around, it is possible to get grad studies partially/fully funded.

I'd only suggest this if you have a goal, and you don't have another option of getting there. Going to grad school without a goal is a recipe for added debt and no better job prospects.
post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
...
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
I'm considering grad school, yes. I'm not sure which direction to go now that law school is looking like an impossibility. I had planned on focusing on criminal law in law school; practicing as a cda after school.

However, I did also want to get into the non-profit sector. Having a non- profit which offers community-based services, i.e., youth literacy, job placement, overall health, career transition training etc., has been a long-term goal of mine for some time. I'm not sure how I'd spin these plans into another career path in lieu of the JD.

I'm open for ideas though?

What grad school courses would be good to pursue to accomplish this? And what exactly do I have to do to get grad school partially/ fully funded? I already have 45k undergrad debt, adding more debt thru grad school is the only concern I have about more education.
post #12 of 41

T-14 or bust - seriously.

 

Its just a infested over saturation..

post #13 of 41
T14 with full scholarship or bust.
post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the repsonses. They were very helpful.
Edited by MonMornQB - 10/22/12 at 4:34pm
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonMornQB View Post

I'm considering grad school, yes. I'm not sure which direction to go now that law school is looking like an impossibility. I had planned on focusing on criminal law in law school; practicing as a cda after school.
However, I did also want to get into the non-profit sector. Having a non- profit which offers community-based services, i.e., youth literacy, job placement, overall health, career transition training etc., has been a long-term goal of mine for some time. I'm not sure how I'd spin these plans into another career path in lieu of the JD.
I'm open for ideas though?
What grad school courses would be good to pursue to accomplish this? And what exactly do I have to do to get grad school partially/ fully funded? I already have 45k undergrad debt, adding more debt thru grad school is the only concern I have about more education.

Wait, what the hell, how do you have 45k in debt from I'm assuming a public school?  I went to a top 10 undergrad and didn't even have that much debt upon graduating!  Has the cost of college gone up THAT much?

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