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Working FT During Law School

smartaone2smartaone2 Alum Member
in General 493 karma

Hey Everyone,

I am curious. Will any of you be working FT during law school? If so, how do you plan on tackling/managing working FT and going to law school PT? I've heard a few people advise that you should not work at all your first year of law school, but honestly, that is not going to be an option for me. Is any one else facing this situation?

Comments

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Legacy Member
    1804 karma

    This question would be relevant to those who pursue part-time programs... But I know I am not working.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    Thinking about PT, but am not sure about FT. Will your job include overtime? And is it a job that requires a lot of energy?

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    3633 karma

    Don’t most schools make you agree to not work during your first year?

  • FixedDiceFixedDice Legacy Member
    1804 karma

    @"surfy surf" said:
    Don’t most schools make you agree to not work during your first year?

    That's what I heard too (Penn, for example). But OP seems to be talking about PT programs, which might operate differently from FT programs.

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    3633 karma

    @FixedDice said:

    @"surfy surf" said:
    Don’t most schools make you agree to not work during your first year?

    That's what I heard too (Penn, for example). But OP seems to be talking about PT programs, which might operate differently from FT programs.

    Oh right I missed that.
    Re-answer: Yeah, that’s what the night time part time programs are for, for people working full time. A lot of people do it. Not sure about the emotional toll it takes on you. I did intense Facebook and TLS lurking to find students who went to some of my prospective schools to ask them about their experience and they were very helpful, I suggest you do the same.

  • alyhobbsalyhobbs Alum Member
    edited May 2018 715 karma

    Throughout college I worked full time and went to school full time and it was hard but definitely doable. However, this was mostly due to the fact that when it was slow at work I was able to study. Law School on the other hand I’m not so sure it’s doable. I’ve heard the amount of reading is intense and in my opinion it’s hard enough studying for the LSAT and working full time nonetheless actually having classes and not being able to take a break when needed. I’m in a similar situation as you and think my best option is part time because I need to work. Although, i only plan on working part time. I’ve never considered working full time because I don’t want to risk my grades and don’t think I would be able to handle it as well as did undergrad. I’m hoping to get a scholarship to help alleviate how much in loans I borrow so I’m able to do a mixture of living off of part time pay and loans. I think there are many people out there that could do it and you may well be one of them, but you should really be honest with yourself by asking the question “can I handle it?” Of course we would all like to say the answer is yes because we think we can tackle anything and we say to ourselves “I will do what I have to do.” But you should really be honest with yourself about how much it will affect your performance, grades, and most importantly, will it be worth it to borrow so much money to possibly be in a situation where things may become too difficult? Everyone is different and every situation is different so you just have to figure out what works best for you.

  • sbc.mom_3xsbc.mom_3x Alum Member
    1501 karma

    My understanding is the ABA strongly suggests, if not requires, that full-time law students do not work during their 1L. But part-time is permitted to work. I could be mistaken.

  • NotMyNameNotMyName Alum Member Sage
    edited May 2018 5320 karma

    Slightly off topic from OPs question, but has anyone considered working PT and going to school PT for 1L then transferring to FT course loads starting in 2L?

    I read about someone doing this at Georgetown on their TLS wiki site. She said the transfer was easily granted. Her goal from the beginning was to work through law school but the burden was too heavy so she switched. But it got me thinking that this could be an effective way to off-set some loans and optimize 1L grades.

    I have done no research on the matter and it could be a horrible idea. For example, it may not be so easy to switch to a FT course load as she described. It's also possible that you couldn't intern your first summer since you may need to take classes. There are other plausible downsides but curious if anyone has looked into this?

    EDIT: The student I referenced was working FT. I'm assuming PT 1L would be quite manageable with a PT gig.

  • Simple ManSimple Man Alum Member
    448 karma

    I'm facing the exact situation you are, but I don't think you have anything to worry about. I plan on working FT and attending PT law school. I'd rather pad the resume and my wallet vs. coming out of law school and deciding not to be a lawyer (which I hear is very common).

    I think that some law schools do require you not to work if you attend full time. But even then, I dare them to try to make me not make some dollar bills on the side. The fact some schools try to impose that is ridiculous, especially with plenty of work study opportunities out there. I know law school will be hard, but I don't plan on scratching and sniffing debt-holes any time soon.

    To answer your question, just hustle. If you are working full-time, and are attending part-time law school, 99% of the people in your classes are going to be doing the same thing. They are going part-time because they have some other shit going on. Set up a great support group, and study with others. You're going to have to really focus the time that you do have to pound things out. But then again, so is everybody else. I've heard part-time programs are much more collaborative and supportive compared to the competitive nature of full-time.

    So the next few years of your life will be getting shit done, and making money at the same time. That's the life of a lawyer too, so it will be great training. The only downside I see to this approach is not getting summer externships and networking opportunities that you could get attending full-time. That could very well depend on where you work though. Go work at a law firm or something if it really floats your boat. Then you have 3-4 full years of experience vs. 3 summers. But like I said early, I'd rather come out of law school with money and full experience rather than limited experience and debt.

  • smartaone2smartaone2 Alum Member
    493 karma

    @lsatplaylist said:
    Thinking about PT, but am not sure about FT. Will your job include overtime? And is it a job that requires a lot of energy?

    During our AEP (Annual Enrollment Period) season (June-September) there will be OT required. I work for a healthcare company and this is our busiest time of year. The job does not require a lot of energy just time consuming at times.

  • smartaone2smartaone2 Alum Member
    493 karma

    @"surfy surf" said:
    Don’t most schools make you agree to not work during your first year?

    Not that I'm aware of hence, the part-time programs for those who work.

  • smartaone2smartaone2 Alum Member
    493 karma

    @"surfy surf" thanks.

  • smartaone2smartaone2 Alum Member
    493 karma

    @"sbc.mom_3x" said:
    My understanding is the ABA strongly suggests, if not requires, that full-time law students do not work during their 1L. But part-time is permitted to work. I could be mistaken.

    Yes, that is correct. I would not be going to law school FT. I would be enrolled in a PT program.

  • smartaone2smartaone2 Alum Member
    493 karma

    @jkatz1488 said:
    Slightly off topic from OPs question, but has anyone considered working PT and going to school PT for 1L then transferring to FT course loads starting in 2L?

    I read about someone doing this at Georgetown on their TLS wiki site. She said the transfer was easily granted. Her goal from the beginning was to work through law school but the burden was too heavy so she switched. But it got me thinking that this could be an effective way to off-set some loans and optimize 1L grades.

    I have done no research on the matter and it could be a horrible idea. For example, it may not be so easy to switch to a FT course load as she described. It's also possible that you couldn't intern your first summer since you may need to take classes. There are other plausible downsides but curious if anyone has looked into this?

    EDIT: The student I referenced was working FT. I'm assuming PT 1L would be quite manageable with a PT gig.

    This is a situation I have been told is possible by a law school admission adviser. The student enrolled in their PT program and worked FT, but later transferred to the FT program. She also stated that several students in their program work FT but tend to be exhausted/tired in class. I know people who have gone to PT law school programs and have succeeded. I'm sure it just depends on the individual and how they choose to manage this.

  • smartaone2smartaone2 Alum Member
    493 karma

    @"Simple Man" said:
    I'm facing the exact situation you are, but I don't think you have anything to worry about. I plan on working FT and attending PT law school. I'd rather pad the resume and my wallet vs. coming out of law school and deciding not to be a lawyer (which I hear is very common).

    I think that some law schools do require you not to work if you attend full time. But even then, I dare them to try to make me not make some dollar bills on the side. The fact some schools try to impose that is ridiculous, especially with plenty of work study opportunities out there. I know law school will be hard, but I don't plan on scratching and sniffing debt-holes any time soon.

    To answer your question, just hustle. If you are working full-time, and are attending part-time law school, 99% of the people in your classes are going to be doing the same thing. They are going part-time because they have some other shit going on. Set up a great support group, and study with others. You're going to have to really focus the time that you do have to pound things out. But then again, so is everybody else. I've heard part-time programs are much more collaborative and supportive compared to the competitive nature of full-time.

    So the next few years of your life will be getting shit done, and making money at the same time. That's the life of a lawyer too, so it will be great training. The only downside I see to this approach is not getting summer externships and networking opportunities that you could get attending full-time. That could very well depend on where you work though. Go work at a law firm or something if it really floats your boat. Then you have 3-4 full years of experience vs. 3 summers. But like I said early, I'd rather come out of law school with money and full experience rather than limited experience and debt.

    Thank you for this! What I was looking for---advice. I worked as a paralegal about 7+ years in the law firm and government environments so I have experience there, but your point regarding summer externships/networking opportunities is something to consider. I will just have to figure out how to work it out. Thanks again.

  • smartaone2smartaone2 Alum Member
    493 karma

    @alyhobbs said:
    Throughout college I worked full time and went to school full time and it was hard but definitely doable. However, this was mostly due to the fact that when it was slow at work I was able to study. Law School on the other hand I’m not so sure it’s doable. I’ve heard the amount of reading is intense and in my opinion it’s hard enough studying for the LSAT and working full time nonetheless actually having classes and not being able to take a break when needed. I’m in a similar situation as you and think my best option is part time because I need to work. Although, i only plan on working part time. I’ve never considered working full time because I don’t want to risk my grades and don’t think I would be able to handle it as well as did undergrad. I’m hoping to get a scholarship to help alleviate how much in loans I borrow so I’m able to do a mixture of living off of part time pay and loans. I think there are many people out there that could do it and you may well be one of them, but you should really be honest with yourself by asking the question “can I handle it?” Of course we would all like to say the answer is yes because we think we can tackle anything and we say to ourselves “I will do what I have to do.” But you should really be honest with yourself about how much it will affect your performance, grades, and most importantly, will it be worth it to borrow so much money to possibly be in a situation where things may become too difficult? Everyone is different and every situation is different so you just have to figure out what works best for you.

    Thank you! You are right...Everyone is different and every situation is different so you just have to figure out what works best for you.

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