Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

To Enroll or Not to Enroll: A Sequel

Hello. Last summer, I requested some advice on whether or no durisjoctor01/20/18
Get into crypto currency. Seriously. unlearnedhand01/20/18
You didn't say what the total tuition at Stetson was. Is it wolfman01/20/18
It doesn’t sound like the OP is a paralegal. It sounds lik downwardslope01/21/18
Hi. You mention what you get p.a. from the LS and your co.' inho2solo01/20/18
you will likely be coworkers with the same lawyers, since yo whiteguyinchina01/21/18
OP, forget law. The action in the next 10+ years will be in heythere01/21/18
durisjoctor (Jan 20, 2018 - 1:07 am)

Hello. Last summer, I requested some advice on whether or not I should attend Stetson Law School on a part-time basis (currently ranked 96 by USNWR) due to a recent move to Tampa, Florida. I will not be leaving this city for the forseeable future due to my girlfriend having accepted a job at Citigroup making $50,000 per year with a bachelors degree in psychology. This is her first job. I consider that to be a respectable income for someone in their 20s with no work experience, and this second income is not something I will sacrifice to simply move to a location that has a higher ranked law school. I work from home about 25 hours per week making $50,000 per year also as a short term disability claims analyst with Sun Life Financial (although I am classified as a full time employee, I do not work a full 8 hours per day). I have no debt. I applied to Stetson’s part-time program and was accepted with a $25,000 per year scholarship. My company reimburses $7,000 per year. I previously stated that I would have simply liked to move into the legal department of my current company (likely focusing on ERISA), but my few interactions with the attorneys in our legal department have been negative. Most have responded to my claim inquiries in unhelpful, unintelligent, and simply incorrect ways. Anyways, I do not mind my current job due to the respectable pay, benefits, and the fact that I work from home but have no desire to work with those people. Since I work only 5 or so hours per day, I have time, if I am to go to Stetson, to perhaps do something on the side for supplemental income once I graduate. I have an interest in wills, trusts, and estates. Is that decent for part-time law? What do you guys think?

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unlearnedhand (Jan 20, 2018 - 2:34 am)

Get into crypto currency. Seriously.

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wolfman (Jan 20, 2018 - 4:05 am)

You didn't say what the total tuition at Stetson was. Is it close to the scholarship plus your company match per year? If so, and if you really want a law degree, this seems like a low-cost way to get it, at least in terms of $. How much is this degree going to cost you, total?

Be warned though: LS is hard, especially while working, and it's not because the material is all that interesting or the knowledge all that valuable - it's just a lot of work, and if you do law review it's even more work. And for what? You didn't like interacting with lawyers at your company... why do you think that is? I'm always amazed by folks who had a bad experience working as a paralegal or whatnot, and still want to go to LS... why do you think you'll have a better experience in law school or afterwards? If, God forbid, you're going to "show them," that never works... most lawyers really don't care.

For the record I get on quite well with the lawyers in my present job - they seem like fairly nice people in a fairly crappy profession; some seem to really enjoy their work, others not so much (it's a government agency though, and one that is considered fairly "prestigious" - and thus often hires lawyers with "good" clerkships and/or big firm experience who ultimately did not care for or were not cut out for long-term private practice, which is a pretty self-selecting group).

The real question is this: for the time, money and effort you will spend on a part-time JD from Stetson, you could do many other things, like a part-time coding boot camp, learning another language, or studying for done sort of insurance or financial certification to help you advance in your current job... or you could just work out a lot and get really ripped (I wonder if your gf might appreciate that more than having you spend all your free time on 1L lectures and law books... but hey, what do I know).

Only you can ultimately answer these questions for yourself though... for me, all these things sound more productive and more fun than a JD, but then I already have one and don't particularly like where it's gotten me.

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downwardslope (Jan 21, 2018 - 9:24 am)

It doesn’t sound like the OP is a paralegal. It sounds like he’s in a different department that he likes but occasionally interacts with the legal department. If everyone ruled out a career because of a bad experience with a person in that profession, I think we’d all end up just sitting on our couches all day not leaving the house. In my of my jobs, there were at least a few incredibly unpleasant people in my department. I certainly wouldn’t recommend coding boot camp in Tampa. If he elects not to go to law school, doing more study in his current field is probably the best option.

He does need to keep in mind that in the past, Stetson used to offer scholarships contingent on a GPA way higher than the median GPA. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but he should look into it.

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inho2solo (Jan 20, 2018 - 4:08 am)

Hi. You mention what you get p.a. from the LS and your co.'s annual stipend (very generous, btw) but not what your remaining out-of-pocket will be.

If negligible (e.g. you can pay it from your own disposable income and won't need to take on debt), why not go for it.

As for going inho at your corp, I wouldn't give up on that bc of a few bad interactions. Maybe they're buried in work, maybe lazy chair warmers, who knows, but if you could get in and last a couple years that could spring you into something else.

Note though that a lot of corp law depts are stodgy and may be unlikely to hire a new lawyer who wants to WFH.

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whiteguyinchina (Jan 21, 2018 - 5:53 am)

you will likely be coworkers with the same lawyers, since you have experience in the industry. how much are their salaries? just be aware of that.

otherwise, part time law school while working is a decent idea.

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heythere (Jan 21, 2018 - 3:05 pm)

OP, forget law. The action in the next 10+ years will be in business, small and medium size businesses that actually design, make or finish physical things. It's a paradigm shift as large as the Reagan/Bush I shift was from making stuff into services. The pendulum has swung back.

Fill in the gaps in your education. If you have a libarts degree, read about businesses - accounting, processes etc. Start a small side-hustle business selling something. Just get some experience and keep growing your experience so you can move on. Law will get you nowhere.

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