Post # 17
I went to Quinnipiac Univ. School of Law, class of 2006. I’m not sure what lists you’re looking at, but it’s a damn good school, very competitive, excellent faculty, and it’s only moved up in the rankings since it has been established. It’s been accredited since 1996, less than 20 years old (was previously Univ. of Bridgeport). They are preparing to move to a new campus in North Haven this year with all new facilities. Also, a much smaller student population, with a student to faculty ratio of 11 to 1.
With that said, in the 7 years since I graduated, I’ve had a great deal of difficulty with finding employment, but not the school’s fault. I don’t live in CT, which I think was part of the problem. The school doesn’t (or didn’t) have a great career placement service outside of CT. There are many successful attorneys in CT from my class, though. Either way, the market for attorneys is very dim. I advise against it. I am buried in debt, and as much as I love the law, I don’t have any confidence that I will ever practice again. I’ve been unemployed for 2 years, though I just gave birth 3 months ago.
In my opinion, law school is no longer a good investment.
Post # 18
@KatieBklyn: There are only 2 CC in my state that have ABA approved programs. One of them is 22 minutes from work, but I would be battling NYC traffic during rush hour to get there and my drive home after class would be close to 1.5 hours.
The other school is closer to home, but it takes an hour to get there from work and not all their courses are offered during the evening.
The program I mentioned is more expensive than a CC would probably be, but the courses are all offered during nights or on Saturdays which means I could continue working during the day.
Do you think going with an ABA-approved program makes a difference at all when it comes to hiring (and I’m talking about Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Certificate programs here)? I’ll definitely do my best to find out about employment prospects though. I’d prefer to avoid getting a second Bachelor’s degree because of the time committment and cost, but I may have to consider it.
@tksjewelry: I honestly have no clue. Everyone I know of that works as a Lawyer has a JD, so I would assume you need to do that (plus every job wants you to have experience in order to be hired; its a vicious cycle).
@McBezel: I feel the same way, which is what is making this so difficult. I want to have the security of knowing I can take care of myself if I need to, but its so much money for no guarantee of a job later. It definitely gives me pause to consider having so much debt and no job to pay it off, especially because we do want kids in the next few years.
Post # 19
@LoggerHead91207: I’m not really sure what employers want, but looking at some paralegal job postings might be a good place to start. Also, for what it’s worth, I think I’d take a longer commute to save $12k or so, especially if starting a family is in the somewhat near future.
Post # 20
you need to get a JD to sit for the CT bar. Most people trying to go to law school are super uber type a and would know that- …. are you Sure law is something you reallly really want? It is not the type of thing you should commit to because it seems like something to do or because you want another degree. It is a very expensive and time intensive commitment.
Post # 21
@tracylesq: I have a feeling there are a ton of different lists out there. It makes it difficult to try and find information that is actually relevant and helpful. I know Quinnipiac in general is supposed to be a good school, so I will take your word for it about their program (the cost would still make it a difficult program for me to get through though).
@namarie: Thank you for being honest and sharing your experience. I had a gut feeling that it probably wouldn’t work well with other goals we have in life, but I guess I got my hopes up a bit. I’d rather be brought down to earth now rather than after starting Law School though.
@bluefrog33: I was thinking about the paralegal certificate because half the jobs I see posted ask for some Paralegal education and the other half ask for job experience in the legal field – which I can’t get without having a job first. The job market is tough right now, so employers can be really specific about what they’re looking for at the moment. I’ll keep looking at job listings and see what they say. If I find some that don’t specify type of experience or education then I’ll apply.
@Natalieh86: I’m not really worried about enjoying law school. I’ve always been interested in it and I think I could do well with it. The financial cost may not be worth it though, at least at this point.
Post # 22
@bluefrog33: I assumed that most people would need a JD to become a Lawyer in CT. As I said earlier, no one I know working as a Lawyer doesn’t have their JD, so I always assumed that you needed to get one here (plus the fact that everyone I have spoken to has mentioned the need for a JD).
Being a Lawyer is something that interests me a lot. It has since I was young (about Middle School aged). It doesn’t seem like the financial considerations and my desire for a family are going to make it feasible though. I think it’d probably work better for me if I focus more on Paralegal work.
@KatieBklyn: If I wait to start a program until after we’re married then the commute wouldn’t be as much of an issue – we don’t rely on my income to pay bills or the mortgage, so we could definitely stay afloat. Right now though, I wouldn’t be able to make it to class on time because I’m working full-time; and I can’t leave my job because I need the Insurance. It might be a better idea to just wait until I can stop working to start a program (the CC programs are closer to 30 credits, while the other program is closer to 19 – the CC programs may cost more overall, but I may get more education for my buck).
I’ve found the cost per credit for the CC schools, but no information about whether the cost for the certificate would be covered under that. I think it would be, but its something to look into more.
Post # 23
@LoggerHead91207: or… You could send your resume to every law firm in your area. I was a paralegal at some very prestigious firms and while things may have changed since I was a paralegal, if you are waiting for a job posting, I don’t see much movement in terms of getting a paralegal job. I got my first job out of college by sending my resume to every law firm in the city. Look up a couple of firms in NY. You may need a paralegal ceritficate for Aparalegal job but maybe not for a project assistant or legal assistant position? Project assistant is the low man on the totem pole job but it would get you experience without costing you money. The bigger firms list the resumés of even the project assistants so you can see what type of experience they all have before they were hired.
Post # 24
@bluefrog33: That could be a good place to start. Thanks for the suggestion!