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Aspiring/Active/Retiring/Recovering LAWYER MOMS! - Page 3

post #41 of 369
Thanks Trish Throwing the love right back at ya. Fancy running into you here

Well I've run my idea by my dh, my inlaws and my mother and all think its a fine idea. So, I guess I just need to make sure its a fine idea for me. My older three will all be out of the house "soon" in 2, 4, and 5 years. And 4 years from now, my youngest will be entering kindergarten.

Back when I was 22, 3 years for law school seemed like it would be an eternity. Now I know its just a flash, and I can either be in law school 3 years from now, or still sitting at home, trying to figure out what to do when I grow up.
post #42 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by gethane View Post
Now I know its just a flash, and I can either be in law school 3 years from now, or still sitting at home, trying to figure out what to do when I grow up.
That's what a dear friend told me, "god willing, you're going to turn 30 either way; do you want to be finished w/ law school or do you still want to be thinking about whether you should do it or not." Of course, easier said than done when factoring kidlets into the equation. The people in my class with family obligations did as well or better than us swinging singles. They were more focused and didn't goof around as much. They knew they had limited study time and really made it count. Please let us know what you decide to do.

And it was so great to run into you here. I really do miss you. I might just have to put you on my "to be stalked" list...
post #43 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prairiemother View Post
Just curious - there have been a few posts mentioning student debt - what is typical student debt in the U.S. after a law degree?
The school I will be attending is a private school. Tuition is $29,000/year and the school estimates $18,000 for living expenses. This means you can take loans for up to $47,000 for this year. As you can see, if you were to take loans for everything, you could easily end up with $150,000 in debt after 3 years.
post #44 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenegirl View Post
The school I will be attending is a private school. Tuition is $29,000/year and the school estimates $18,000 for living expenses. This means you can take loans for up to $47,000 for this year. As you can see, if you were to take loans for everything, you could easily end up with $150,000 in debt after 3 years.
WOW. I'm in Canada, and tuition here is going up, up, up, but still none of the schools are at 29K. My end-of-law-school debt was about 30K, since I had scholarships that covered tuition and then some, but also had dependents. DH also has some student debt and that definitely affected my choices. I simply cannot imagine owing 150K without getting a house out of it! Of course, big firms in Canada don't pay NYC starting salaries either, but still...
post #45 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
WOW. I'm in Canada, and tuition here is going up, up, up, but still none of the schools are at 29K. My end-of-law-school debt was about 30K, since I had scholarships that covered tuition and then some, but also had dependents. DH also has some student debt and that definitely affected my choices. I simply cannot imagine owing 150K without getting a house out of it! Of course, big firms in Canada don't pay NYC starting salaries either, but still...
The worst part of this is the school I'm attending is a 4th tier school, so that means it can be much more difficult to get a job when you finish school, unless you are at the top of the class. And starting salaries in Orlando, even for the big firms, are not in the NYC level by a long shot.

Given all of the above, my goal is to make it through with no loans at all. I am set for the first year as I have a scholarship for most of the tuition and we are planning to pay cash for the rest of it. As long as I can maintain a 3.0 GPA (which is top 40% of the class according to the Student Handbook), I can renew the scholarship for subsequent years.
post #46 of 369
I graduated in 2001 from UCLA, before the UCs raised their tuition, so I am fortunate not to have a huge debt load though it is not insignificant. Nonetheless, I am the main breadwinner and for various reasons the best places for us to live are high cost of living so I am only so flexible in what I can do.

After law school I worked almost 3 years in a small New York office of a large British law firm which means basically large firm work/lifestyle/expectations. It wasn't the worst as far as large firms go, but I knew from the outset I was not going to do it long term and after DS was born, I found my tolerance for the whole long hours/lack of predictability thing going way down. I looked one day when I was particularly ticked at the website of the government agency I was most interested in working for and -- voila they were hiring! So I sent in my resume and went on the interview and started to freak out b/c now that I had a whiff of freedom, I wanted the job really bad!

Thanks to God and the nice people here, I got the job, moved to D.C., and have been here since (it's regulatory work, not litigation -- but I would say our litigators actually work less than us). It's regular hours (I work flex schedule 7:40 to 5:40), I get every other Friday off, and have only worked late a limited number of times (and pretty much have never worked on the weekend). I get to work out pretty much whenever I want as my lunch break. The work has been actually more interesting than what I did at the firm, more involving intellectual exercise and less paper shuffling.

All in all, I feel I am very blessed and any way I look at it, the only thing that would be better anywhere else is salary, and the money just isn't worth it. DH is at home with the kids (sometimes he works on weekends, sometimes his mom or dad comes for long visits and he works then on remodeling projects). We are pretty satisfied with everything, we just have to budget carefully.
post #47 of 369
Found out I'm pregnant - when to tell the boss??? Any words of wisdom out there?

A questions for all you Canadians...

I am now expecting #3 and am not sure how to negotiate an EI top up. I don't want to commit to returning at a particular date or on a particular workload. I would love to take a full year and then return part time. But I'm worried if I ask for top up then there will be an automatic expectation I'll be coming back full time and soon! Any thoughts?
post #48 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyermom View Post
Found out I'm pregnant - when to tell the boss??? Any words of wisdom out there?

A questions for all you Canadians...

I am now expecting #3 and am not sure how to negotiate an EI top up. I don't want to commit to returning at a particular date or on a particular workload. I would love to take a full year and then return part time. But I'm worried if I ask for top up then there will be an automatic expectation I'll be coming back full time and soon! Any thoughts?
CONGRATULATIONS!!

You're at a small firm, you said? Does it have any written mat leave policy? You'd think if it's a labour law firm it would have cast its mind to it..

At my firm, they will top you up to 100% of your salary to I think 16 weeks, but you may have to pay it back if you don't return for one year of full-time or two years of part-time....I don't know how it works in practice, but it seems to be something of a middle ground: you need to commit to coming back, but there is some flexiblity around date and degree. I've often wondered how it really works, of course, since like you I had my daughter while in law school.

Since you litigate, I would think through just how one would do part-time, for when you do discuss it. There's an assumption often that you can't litigate part-time, and you would probably need to stress your willingness to be flexible if, for example, a short-notice hearing came up or something had to be scheduled on a day you weren't in the office. I would emphasize the flexibility coupled with lower billable targets.
post #49 of 369
3cuties - I know you thanks for sending the link!

I'll post more later - but I'm a practicing lawyermom - graduated in 1996 from Tulane and have been practicing ever since. I am at an EXTREMELY family friendly firm, I'm on partner track, I make my own schedule and work when I want (within reason, of course.) I love being a lawyer - I hate my law school debt. If I had to do it over, I would've chosen a less expensive school, and would've not taken every dollar offered me. Even with my "scholarship" (I was so excited when I was told I was getting the biggest scholarship offered.... All $1500 of it. I feel suffocated by the debt.

I also went to school later in life, graduating at 29.

I better get to to work - I'm glad someone started this tribe!
post #50 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenegirl View Post
The worst part of this is the school I'm attending is a 4th tier school, so that means it can be much more difficult to get a job when you finish school, unless you are at the top of the class. And starting salaries in Orlando, even for the big firms, are not in the NYC level by a long shot.
I am on the recruiting committee for my firm (mid-sized national firm in Chicago) and we won't even interview someone who went to a school that is not in the top 25. It is so silly. With the increasing debt there is such a pressure on students to not take gov't jobs or small firm jobs (if they have that choice). I know most of my colleagues that I graduated with would have loved to work in non-profit or the public sector - -but with our debt, we had no choice.
post #51 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaska View Post
3cuties - I know you thanks for sending the link!
:

Quote:
Originally Posted by alaska View Post
I'll post more later - but I'm a practicing lawyermom - graduated in 1996 from Tulane and have been practicing ever since. I am at an EXTREMELY family friendly firm, I'm on partner track, I make my own schedule and work when I want (within reason, of course.) I love being a lawyer - I hate my law school debt. If I had to do it over, I would've chosen a less expensive school, and would've not taken every dollar offered me. Even with my "scholarship" (I was so excited when I was told I was getting the biggest scholarship offered.... All $1500 of it. I feel suffocated by the debt.

I also went to school later in life, graduating at 29.

I better get to to work - I'm glad someone started this tribe!
I knew we had alot in common -- but I am even more surprised -- I also graduated at 29. And ugh, my law school debt : it is oppressive.
post #52 of 369
29,000 isn't even all that bad for an American law school.

Where I went to school, tuition was over 40,000 last year, so tuition alone over three years was about 110,000. And we were in a high cost of living locale, so their estimate (which all my friends told me was under stating it) was over 20,000 (don't remember exactly).

True, it was a "better" school, so most people who wanted a big firm job could get it, but not everyone wanted that.
post #53 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
CONGRATULATIONS!!

You're at a small firm, you said? Does it have any written mat leave policy? You'd think if it's a labour law firm it would have cast its mind to it..

At my firm, they will top you up to 100% of your salary to I think 16 weeks, but you may have to pay it back if you don't return for one year of full-time or two years of part-time....I don't know how it works in practice, but it seems to be something of a middle ground: you need to commit to coming back, but there is some flexiblity around date and degree. I've often wondered how it really works, of course, since like you I had my daughter while in law school.

Since you litigate, I would think through just how one would do part-time, for when you do discuss it. There's an assumption often that you can't litigate part-time, and you would probably need to stress your willingness to be flexible if, for example, a short-notice hearing came up or something had to be scheduled on a day you weren't in the office. I would emphasize the flexibility coupled with lower billable targets.
Thanks mammastar2! That's so interesting - the one year full time, two years part time rule. I have never heard of a part time commitment - that's one I would be willing to make! I'm just not sure about committing to full time work before the baby's even born. We have no written policies - I think I may be the first woman to take a mat leave (other than one secretary). yes, we're labour, but we're pretty old school!

Part time litigation can work, I think - I agree that the key is flexibility. I knew women in government who did it, and they just had to be willing to move their hours up when a trial loomed. I love litigation and I don't want to give it up.
post #54 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyermom View Post
Thanks mammastar2! I think I may be the first woman to take a mat leave (other than one secretary). yes, we're labour, but we're pretty old school!
.
I'm not in labour (law, or the real thing!), but I've had occasion to deal with labour lawyers on a few occasions - there do seem to be a lot of 'old school' types and a certain amount of macho posturing.... Still, you'd think they'd get the notion of having written employment policies, hey?

Good luck!
post #55 of 369
Hi lawyer mamas! I only made it halfway through the thread before I just had to post. Great thread.

I graduated in 2001 and then clerked for a justice on my state's Supreme Court. Now I am a public defender doing appeals. I've been doing this job for 5 years and I LOVE it.

I just went part-time last week and I am moving out of my office and setting up an office in my house. I hope that a 50% caseload and working from home will be a workable arrangement for a newborn/toddler combo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gethane View Post
I'm starting to wonder if anyone is happy being a lawyer .
I am.
post #56 of 369
Me, too (happy that is)... but here's a question for you all. The one thing I really struggle with is finding "me" time. Do any of you lawyer-moms find time to pursue your own interests?
post #57 of 369
Well I'm glad there are some happy lawyer moms. I applied for an received a fee waiver from lsac and am planning on taking the test Sept 29. I have 3 prep books on the way (1 free from lsac, 2 for 1 credit each from paperbackswap) and I plan on getting the logic bible and the 10 tests material next month.

LSAT prep weekend from testmasters. Yes or No?
post #58 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by gethane View Post
Well I'm glad there are some happy lawyer moms. I applied for an received a fee waiver from lsac and am planning on taking the test Sept 29. I have 3 prep books on the way (1 free from lsac, 2 for 1 credit each from paperbackswap) and I plan on getting the logic bible and the 10 tests material next month.

LSAT prep weekend from testmasters. Yes or No?

I didn't do any courses - I study well independently, and did lots of practice tests, reviewed some prep books. It's one of those skills you acquire specifically for the test and then never remember again!
post #59 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3cuties View Post
I think it depends. I went to a state school and I was an in-state resident thus I got in-state tuition, I graduated in 2001 with $60k in law school debt. However private school would be a lot more. My alma mater recently raised in-statae tuition so that most people will likely graduate with $100k in debt. These numbers include tuition and living costs.
Regarding this and other responses to my question about tuition: how awful! I can't recall what my tuition was, but after 7 years of post-secondary schooling, 3 of those years being law school, my student debt was about $30,000. Now it would be greater (I graduated in 2000) but it would still not be as high. I admire people willing to take on such a challenge. I hope that salaries compensate somewhat for the investment.

Lawyermom - I'm sorry but I don't really have any good ideas since, being in public practise, I'm just told what the deal is. Part time would be great - I hope you can work that out.

Mammastar2 and Lawyermom, where did you go to law school? I went to the U of Alberta.
post #60 of 369
I'm a UBC law grad!

Re the LSAT: I highly recommend the Princeton Review prep book. I think if you can work through the book and do some practice tests, the prep weekend may be a waste of money. Princeton Review treats the test for what it is: a hoop you have to jump through, not a measure of your intelligence. There are a lot of tricks in their books. Check it out (no, I don't work for them!)

Me time???? Well, there's always lunch time....I am starting a yoga class one night a week. Aside from that - there's not much me time. But my SAHM friends are in the same boat. Once you have kids, I think me time is just catch as catch can.
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