(Closed) Advice about law school

posted 7 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
Member
690 posts
Busy bee

I’m not a TON of help, since I’m getting married right after graduating law school – but I’ve commuted 1.75 hours each way to get to law school, so I could live at home and save money while going to school.  I survived (though it was tough) b/c I was able to do reading on public transit.  Also, in 2nd and 3rd year, i’ve been able to pick my own classes and arrange my schedule so I only have classes 3-4 days per week.  That helps.

Post # 4
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

First, as someone who is starting their third year in practice, I am going to SERIOUSLY caution you to rethink law school. I honestly can’t think of one person from my class who is really happy in their jobs. And I’m a friendly girl, I know people! So many people have already completely abandoned law. (And I went to a top tier school so it is not an issue of us all getting shitty jobs). 

Anyways… if you’re absolutely dead set on doing it then I will tell you– it will be really hard. I have never worked harder in my life than I did in my first year of law school. I was at school 12 hours per day, I measured reading assignments in inches instead of pages, I saw more of my professors than I did of my boyfriend. Although since he’s in school too at least maybe he’d understand how little time you have and not be frustrated by it? I’d probably lean towards commuting than living separate. At least you’ll get to sleep together, if not spend much other time together. 

Post # 5
Member
1480 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I think you’ll be fine. My best friend in law school, her boyfriend was in med school. They didn’t seem to have much trouble finding time to spend together, even if it was just studying/reading on the sofa together.

Law school wasn’t that horrific for me, but like Corgi said, practicing isn’t as great as I thought it would be… and I had pretty low expectations by the time I graduated. In 3L we were required to take a class called Professional Responsibility. It basically taught us how nervewracking and stressful practicing is, and that a huge percentage of us will become depressed alcoholics within the next ten years or so. I believe it. Sigh…

Post # 6
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

@jayce: lol oh man I forgot about that. That class was both hilarious and so, so sad. Lawyer rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, etc… blech. 

Post # 7
Member
1664 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I would not encourage anyone to go to law school.  Think long and hard about it.  Do you know what you want to do with your law degree?  Make sure your expectations are realistic, and that you are 100% positive that you want to be a lawyer.

I personally enjoyed law school.  I found it intellectually satisfying and met my fiance there.  So, in a way I am glad that I went.  But, I think if I knew what I knew now I would not go.  If I hadn’t met my fiance there I would have considered it the biggest mistake I ever made.

I know you didn’t ask for this advice, but I just felt like I had to warn you 🙂

As far as commuting, if you can take public transportation it might not be that bad.  Also, you can try to set your classes up so that you are only on campus a few days a week.

Post # 8
Member
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

As a current vet school student, I have to caution you, it is hard! I see my Fiance quite a bit because I study mostly at home, but it’s not quality time. Even making as much time as I can for him, it gets stressful and sometimes I feel pretty guilty. Of course, the crabby mood vet school sometimes puts me in doesn’t help either! 

When my Fiance is out of town, as he is now for a temp job, it becomes even harder. He’s moving soon for Army OCS, and long distance will be quite an adjustment for both of us. He is incredibly supportive and understanding, without that I don’t think we could keep doing this. 

As far as the commute, I drove almost an hour each way during undergrad while taking an insane course-load, and I think it actually helped me. It was a time when I could clear my head and listen to some music without studying or stressing about studying. Maybe I’m odd, but I really didn’t mind it and was so grateful that it allowed me to live where I wanted to. 

Are you even sure your Fiance will be getting into that vet school? It’s become a little easier the past few years, but is still pretty tough. My school gets about 9 applications per spot, others get anywhere from 1.5 to 14. Have you thought about what you’ll do if he gets into a school somewhere else? 

Post # 9
Member
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m in my last year of law school now, and I would say not to go at all.  I haven’t even graduated yet, and I already regret going.  If I could go back, I absolutely would not go to law school.  (And I have a job clerking for a  federal judge for 2 years after I graduate so I’m not just bitter or anything.)  But if you’re convinced you want to go, then I think it will be pretty hard.  The commute might be fine if you can take public transportation, so you can get some of your reading done during those 2 hours.  If you’re driving, then that’ll just be more reading that you have to do when you’re at home, and believe me, you’re going to have A LOT.  I’ve never worked as much than in my first year of law school, and I was a chemistry major in undergrad, so it’s not like my undergrad was a walk in the park.  That being said, I didn’t (and don’t) find law school particularly hard.  It’s just wicked time consuming.

Post # 10
Member
439 posts
Helper bee

I’m a 3L right now.  My Fi is a chef.  I have loved every second of law school (with a few exceptions)…I am scared to death of what practice will actually be like.  The ABA sends me emails three times a week about how I will never get a job.  I still have the desire and drive to be a lawyer that a lot of my friends have lost.

 

I’ll be honest, though, this has truly been a trial on our relationship.  There were many times that I wished he hadn’t moved with me while I was going to school.  

I almost dropped out of school when I didn’t make the Moot Court team.  I was heartbroken.  I came home the day I found out I didn’t make it and told him to pack our stuff.  He spent hours at grocery stores finding boxes and prepping us to move.  He talked me out of leaving (I was already 50k in the hole from school), and then I made Law Review.  

That was when I knew he was the man I was going to be with for life.  He was willing to move from MI to FL for me to do this program, and then when I wanted to drop out, he was willing to find a solution.  I was willing to quit on myself, but he wasn’t willing to quit on me.  If he hadn’t been here, I would have quit.

It will be hard, but you can do it.  All I want now is to be a lawyer.  I think it is right for me.  I have more gray hairs than I can count.  My crow’s feet have never been deeper.  But it has been worth every second of it.  This is what I was born to do.  This is what I should have been doing my entire life.  

Post # 11
Member
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I am in my last year of a doctor of physical therapy program and during my first year, my Fiance (then bf) was getting his teaching certificate. We never saw each other. Like corgitales said, the only time we were together was when we were passed out in bed after being on campus for 12 hours a day. It was a rough year to say the least, but we adjusted and now we are able to spend a lot of time together. At least your Darling Husband will understand all the stress you are under. Just remember to support each other and you will make it out alive! Good Luck!

Post # 12
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

I just made a profile to comment on this thread.

Law school sucks, no question, and the job market is less than ideal. HOWEVER, if the poster really wants to be a lawyer, she should go to law school.. it’s the only way. I am a 3L at a top tier school, and yeah, most of my friends don’t know what they are doing yet. Our class also has the worst job prospects in recent history. Buttt, presumably, if you went because you wanted to practice law.. it wasn’t a waste of time.

That said, it is very doable to make a strong relationship work when you are going through something like 1L. Honestly, I knew my Boyfriend or Best Friend was the one from the way he treated me during my first year. I am personally glad our relationship underwent that test. You guys will bond over the fact that your lives will be crazy, and you will be able to spend weekends in the library together. I think the commute concerns me a little, only because you aren’t going to have time to waste driving back and forth. If you can live closer, I would do everything I can to try.

Good luck with your applications! 

Post # 13
Member
2154 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

A voice from the other side:

I go to grad school and FH is in 2nd year law school. I work pretty damn hard. He works RIDICULOUSLY hard. He works every single spare moment.

You might think that’s exaggeration. That’s not exaggeration. He works

Every.

Single.

Spare.

Moment.

Like others have said, before you go to law school, be VERY VERY VERY sure you want that degree more than anything. It’s very expensive and very soul-killing. My FH is on full scholarship, but it’s still a big strain on me to support us both on my tiny teaching salary. We live below the poverty line. We eat dinner together each night, talk for 10 minutes before bed, and maybe squeeze in a pickup game on the weekend if he doesn’t have too much to do. During the week, I don’t bring up my problems, bills, etc, because there isn’t time for him to address them/process them, and even if there was, he doesn’t have the mental energy.

My FH usually doesn’t have time to exercise, or watch tv, or go to a movie. I spend a considerable amount of each day making sure that he eats, sleeps, and isn’t too stressed.

Now, I love him, I’d do anything for him, and I wouldn’t give up our life for anything. But to be honest, I wouldn’t put myself in his shoes for anything. 

If this doesn’t sound like what you want your marriage to be like, reconsider.

If there’s ANYTHING else you’d like to do with your life, reconsider. It’s as expensive as hell and there aren’t many jobs out there, from what I hear. (And that’s coming from someone in Academia – ha!)

Like I said, FH is on full scholarship. He also has contacts from when he used to work in the film industry that will probably lead to some kind of job after graduation. But this is not the case for the vast, vast majority of law school graduates. Most end up with no jobs or shitty jobs and mountains of debt.

If it’s your dream, go for it. It will be insanely rewarding and insanely hard. But if I’m scaring you at all, reconsider.

Post # 14
Member
493 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I think you might be at an advantage since your husband will also be studying a lot. There was a rumor at my school that law school relationships last 6 weeks… but don’t be scared by that. I think law school is tough on a relationship if the other person has a normal 9-5 job and has a lot of free time. I met my Fiance in law school (we started dating our first year) and it was great. It was nice to know that the person you are with is going through the exact same thing and understands that you can’t go out every weekend night b/c you have to study. Your commute may suck but if you can take public transportation that would help so you could do your reading. I know a ton of people who commuted. If you have to drive a car, you can always listen to CDs of your courses. 

A piece of advice- take out as little in student loans as possible. That’s my one regret. My Fiance and I are looking close to 300K in student loans… 

Post # 15
Member
1480 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@EleanorRigby: Oh my gosh, I tell myself the same thing whenever I start thinking, “I hate this, whyyyy oh why did I get myself into this…” I also met my Fiance at the university I went to for law school (he was a grad student, not law). If it wasn’t for meeting him there, I would gladly take a do-over.

Post # 16
Member
4824 posts
Honey bee

OK this is not about the Law School, but about the commute. That is very common in the “real world” my FH commutes on averate 2.5 hours total each day.  Many of my coworkers and his commute the same or more.  It sucks, but its doable. As my mom says “You can do anything for a finite period of time”.  

As long as this is really what you want to do, then you wont mind the commute. If the commute is your biggest worry than this might not be the direction for you.

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