or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Working and Student Parents › Aspiring/Active/Retiring/Recovering LAWYER MOMS!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Aspiring/Active/Retiring/Recovering LAWYER MOMS! - Page 4

post #61 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3cuties View Post
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.
There's Bill H.R. 2669, sponsered by Rep. George Miller, which provides student loan forgiveness after 10 years of a public service career. The measures would provide loan forgiveness of $5,000 for graduates who go into public service professions. After 10 years, government loans would be forgiven although 10 years is a long time, IHMO. A shorter time period would have been nice.

http://govexec.com/dailyfed/0607/061407b1.htm
post #62 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyermom View Post

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!)
I co-sign this. I did this and did just fine on the LSAT.
post #63 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
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 #64 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3cuties View Post
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.
It is SUCH a trap, isn't it? My brother and I are like case studies in the trap. I went to a 4th tier state school and have very little debt. Like, almost none now. He went to Washington U in St. Louis and is swimming in debt, debt up to his eyeballs. Fantastic school, but his options really are limited, yk? And my options are limited, too.

Fortunately, we are both happy in our jobs. But I think it's just dumb luck that it turned out that way. I doubt that every student goes into law school -- be it a top-tier school or a bottom one -- with a realistic idea of (a) what type of law they want to practice or sector they want to work in, and (b) whether their debt load or degree will permit such a job. I know that I didn't figure out that I loooove criminal law until I clerked after school was over. And I didn't know how much I would indigent defense until I began working as a public defender. It could easily have turned out badly for me.

post #65 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by BookGoddess View Post
There's Bill H.R. 2669, sponsered by Rep. George Miller, which provides student loan forgiveness after 10 years of a public service career. The measures would provide loan forgiveness of $5,000 for graduates who go into public service professions. After 10 years, government loans would be forgiven although 10 years is a long time, IHMO. A shorter time period would have been nice.

http://govexec.com/dailyfed/0607/061407b1.htm

Interesting and thank you for sharing! The thing is, $5k isn't that much and many people could pay down much more working in private practice. And I agree, 10 years is a long time for total forgiveness. Another issue with this, this relates only to "government loans", due to the high cost of legal education most people take out private loans as well.
post #66 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaska View Post
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?
Ummm, outside interests? :

I *try* to find time to exercise. I am belong to local AP groups so I can socialize as a family with other folks and not have time taken away from my family. I get to read during my commute on the train. But as far as outside interests? I haven't gotten there yet. Anyone else?
post #67 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3cuties View Post
Ummm, outside interests? :

I *try* to find time to exercise. I am belong to local AP groups so I can socialize as a family with other folks and not have time taken away from my family. I get to read during my commute on the train. But as far as outside interests? I haven't gotten there yet. Anyone else?

Wow, you're doing pretty well! I've put on a couple of sizes since I started practice - my exercise tends to amount to occasionally walking a few extra transit stops in the a.m. I read the paper on the train, although I look longingly at the book covers other commuters are holding. I do manage to do the occasional round of bedtime reading at home, and always then wonder why I don't do more. I try to have interesting conversations with my spouse.

Basically, work and family, family and work....
post #68 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
Wow, you're doing pretty well! I've put on a couple of sizes since I started practice - my exercise tends to amount to occasionally walking a few extra transit stops in the a.m. I read the paper on the train, although I look longingly at the book covers other commuters are holding. I do manage to do the occasional round of bedtime reading at home, and always then wonder why I don't do more. I try to have interesting conversations with my spouse.

Basically, work and family, family and work....
Well I have had two kids since I started practicing and developed a thyroid problem, so I think I am now about 15 pounds more than I used to be. : As I am now 19 months out from my last child, I am going to be more proactive about it. Prior to working, I worked out 1-2 hours a day, so I really want to get back into it. It helps that we belong to a nearby gym that has a separate area for kids -- pool, gym, daycare, classes. It is like a very nice YMCA. So, my husband goes there alot with the kids (he is a SAHD) and I just need to do it more often. I also found that my kids love to do yoga with me, even my 19 month. But like I said, this is my goal -- it happens about 1X or 2X a week and I would like for it be more.

But I hear you about trying to have a conversation with my spouse!
post #69 of 369
Regina, I know you and i have discussed the free time issue often. I find the more tired I am, the more time I waste at work, the more stressed out I feel, the less patience I have with the kids, the more desperate I am to stay up late to do something - anything - of my own choosing - and the cycle goes on and on.
post #70 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaska View Post
Regina, I know you and i have discussed the free time issue often. I find the more tired I am, the more time I waste at work, the more stressed out I feel, the less patience I have with the kids, the more desperate I am to stay up late to do something - anything - of my own choosing - and the cycle goes on and on.
:
post #71 of 369
Jumping in here! I did a four year evening law school and had dd between 2nd and 3rd year. I have been practicing for a year now. I am a trial attorney in a governemnt job. I LOVE it! I work for a small county with great people. Some days I feel like Im dreaming because its so perfect.

I am lucky enough to live very close to work so I have a 3 minute commute. I do often work on the weekends, but its easy to put in a few hours at a time.
I mostly work 7:30 to 5 M-F unless Im in trial. The pay is not what Id be getting in the private sector, but I never really saw myself doing that sort of work. The social justice aspect was always the most important one for me, which is most likely why Im so satisfied with my job.

I had wanted to be a lawyer since undergrad, but had to put it off when we got married and moved - it took awhile to get settled down. I started law school at 29. I owe alot of money - more than I want to admit But its just another bill that we pay every month and live with it.

The only thing that is hard is that because I am often in court I cant be too flexible with taking dd to school. She is starting a new school in September that has an 8 am drop off time : That gives me 15 minutes to drive for 10 minutes, find a parking spot, grab my files and be in court. :
post #72 of 369
Wow, this is fascinating. This is my first post on the forum - I came looking for info about midwives in my area.

I am a fifth-year litigator at a midsize regional law firm, making about $10k-shy of big firm bucks at a somewhat more family-friendly firm.

I went to a Top 3 law school right out of college, like another poster said, "just because I could." I didn't know what else I wanted to do. Honestly, I had no clue what I was doing. I remember a few people asking about loan forgiveness at my orientation, and I thought, "Ha! Who cares? We're going to be lawyers!" Hahahaha! I did a lot of public interest work during school, including asylum cases, capital defense, and work with Indian tribes in Maine. But of course, despite the wonderful loan forgiveness at my school (your loans are paid in full each year if you make less than $50k, in a nutshell), I was seduced by the money. A big part of that was the fact that my husband has been working on his PhD in English for the past eight years...

I am thrilled to have finally gotten pregnant after two years of trying, because it marks my departure from firm life (and the legal profession in general). I didn't want to leave until I got the chance to take advantage of the fabulous 12 weeks paid maternity leave! And I figured, who cares if I'm stressed, work too much, and hate my job, if I don't have kids to worry about? So the second thought I had after getting my BFP was "yes! Only eight more months at the firm!" Honestly, for those of you who are TTC, I think that the stress of my job had a lot to do with my difficulty conceiving. I am just not suited for legal work of any kind.

After I graduated from law school, I worked as a second grade teacher for a year. That is my passion, and I can't wait to go back to elementary school. I think I will try for a good private school - there is things that drive me up a wall about our public schools, though I am a big supporter of the system.

What gave me the ability to take a $100k pay cut? We bought a house three years ago, and we sold it for a $65k profit. We are using the money to pay off all of my husband's student debt, most of mine, our car loan, our credit card debt, etc. etc. We plan to live in a much smaller house and otherwise live more frugally. It is worth it to us for me to have summers off (with my husband) and be generally a happier person. Of course, whatever of my debt we can't pay off will be covered by the loan forgiveness program. And my husband should be getting a full-time teaching job at some point (though academia is tough and we can't count on it). The wonderful thing is I will even be able to take an extra unpaid three months of maternity leave, which will take me right up to September (and hopefully, the start of my new career!)

Sarah

ETA - I worked for The Princeton Review, and they have a great program, but honestly, I would say Kaplan is probably better for grad school tests. I really prefer The Princeton Review's home study books, though.

And debt? UGH! I had about $95k worth of debt, from law school alone (thank goodness I went to a public undergrad with a scholarship and a job). And that was accumulated from 1999-2002, AND I had a large scholarship the second year ($20k)... the way costs have spiraled upward is mindblowing.

And part-time... my firm offers part-time work to litigators, and literally EVERY women who has a schoolage child or younger works part-time. It's hideous. Doesn't that tell firms something? Most of these women are on the partner track, but we are just now hitting the wall where they are starting to vote down part-timers and put them up the next year. It will be interesting to see how that develops. I know I don't want anything to do with partnership, building business, etc., that's why I'm jumping ship. I may take advantage of the part-time route if I don't manage to get a decent teaching job without my certification, but even the idea of working 50% and going to school for my certification while taking care of a baby is dizzying.

Our maternity leave policy is in writing, standard. There are NO negotiations before you leave, which I think is wonderful. They don't ask when you are coming back, whether you will be full-time, etc. You can work all that out when the end of your leave is approaching. That way no one can hold it against you before you go out on leave. I know there are several women who have been granted extra unpaid leave - up to 10 months beyond the 12 weeks paid - but it's on a case by case basis.
post #73 of 369
Welcome to MDC, sarahz5!

Congrats on your pregnancy -- sounds like you're thrilled about it! When are you due? If you're due in December then we're in the same Due Date Club.
post #74 of 369
Thanks, Erin! I am over the moon excited! I'm not due until March 1st... risking the Leap Year baby!
post #75 of 369
Congrats, Sarah!

I'm a litigator as well. Your firm sounds relatively impressive with the part-time availability! I've never asked about it here, although I know of a couple of women who work part-time.

So what haven't you liked about practice? It sounds like legal work just isn't your thing?
post #76 of 369
Thanks!

Pretty much. I am easily stressed - I take things far too seriously and worry over them incessantly - so cases just eat at me. I find myself rehashing phone conversations with adversaries and agonizing over the other side's arguments on the way to and from work every day, and I can feel it eating away at me. I am a procrastinator and easily distracted, and I often push things off until the last minute and then have to race to get them done. I work best that way, but I don't think it's good for me! I am horrible with the billable hour.

Much better for me is a job where I just have to perform all day. When I taught second grade after law school, sure, I had to prep lessons and things like that, but mostly I just had to be ON for seven hours. That is MUCH more suited to my personality. I like to clock in and clock out - I'm very bad at self-motivation. You'd think that maybe more of a public defender position would suit me - but that would be just as agonizing, in terms of the win/lose issue. I can't bear that everyone hangs in the balance of my ability to argue my client's point, and there's no do-overs. With teaching, if you mess up a kid one day, there is always the next day to fix it, kwim? Nothing is carved in stone.

There was one legalish job that appealed to me, that isn't like anything I've done before - an investigatory/strategy position at the Dept. of Ed / Office of Civil Rights. There was just one open where I live, but I'm not ready to move on and take the enormous pay cut just yet - I'm taking advantage of that firm maternity leave, I've earned it! LOL.

If anyone has any advice on how to motivate myself to focus on work right now, I'd love to hear it. I am having the hardest time just buckling down and working. I think in some senses my firm's flexibility is bad thing - as long as I get my hours in, I can work wherever I want, whenever I want. They aren't big on face time. So here I am, in my robe, on MDC, at 10:45 in the morning!!! I know I'm pregnant, but that isn't going to explain away a 50-billable hour month, which is what I'm on track for if I don't get my butt in gear!!!
post #77 of 369
Sarah, with regard to billables & motivation, I'm no help there.

But let me say this: It is possible that once your babe arrives, your perspective will change and you may not agonize over work this way anymore. I know you are SAHMing, so obviously you won't be testing out my theory immediately, but for me it's true. Once I had my babe, I continued to represent my clients vigorously, but just without the concomitant agony. It just isn't the most important thing to me anymore.

post #78 of 369
Everyone says that, and I bet it's the case. I'm only going to stay at home for 6 months, and then it's back to some grind. If my firm will still have me, I may try the very part-time thing (say, 50%)... I will still make a lot more than I would as a teacher! And I'll have more motivation to just get my work done and get home...

I think the core problem at the root of all this is that I feel like I should be doing something more meaningful with this many hours of my life. I'm sure some of you who also work for firms struggle with that. In the end, I just want to be able to look my kids in the eye and say I feel good about the work I do.
post #79 of 369
Thread Starter 
I wrote a reply yesterday but the computer ate it. So, I'm trying again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahz5 View Post
And I'll have more motivation to just get my work done and get home...

I think the core problem at the root of all this is that I feel like I should be doing something more meaningful with this many hours of my life. I'm sure some of you who also work for firms struggle with that. In the end, I just want to be able to look my kids in the eye and say I feel good about the work I do.
Sarah, the way you've described yourself sounds just like me. I am hoping that things change when I'm actually doing something I enjoy. Right now I am just so incredibly bored.
Once you have kids yes, things change (obviously). And that job that you used to hate now has a purpose-- to support your family. I might hate what I do, but I give my son an at-home (and therefore, happy) father by doing it. I will be able to afford music lessons and vacations. I'm supporting my family, the way working fathers have for generations. And that makes me just as much of a parent as being a SAHM.
I think many of us went to law school to "change the world." I know I did. But I run a big ship and I have a lot of debt. I don't mind that I'll have to work at a big firm, as long as I make the hours work so that I can spend good time with my family. Later in my life I can "change the world" if I want. Until then, I'm not going to feel guilty about what I do, because I'm taking care of the people I love.

It may be, once you have a child, you'll feel the same way.
That being said, if my DH could earn what I earn and I could stay home, I'd probably be all over it.
post #80 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selesai View Post
I wrote a reply yesterday but the computer ate it. So, I'm trying again.



Sarah, the way you've described yourself sounds just like me. I am hoping that things change when I'm actually doing something I enjoy. Right now I am just so incredibly bored.
Once you have kids yes, things change (obviously). And that job that you used to hate now has a purpose-- to support your family. I might hate what I do, but I give my son an at-home (and therefore, happy) father by doing it. I will be able to afford music lessons and vacations. I'm supporting my family, the way working fathers have for generations. And that makes me just as much of a parent as being a SAHM.
I think many of us went to law school to "change the world." I know I did. But I run a big ship and I have a lot of debt. I don't mind that I'll have to work at a big firm, as long as I make the hours work so that I can spend good time with my family. Later in my life I can "change the world" if I want. Until then, I'm not going to feel guilty about what I do, because I'm taking care of the people I love.

It may be, once you have a child, you'll feel the same way.
That being said, if my DH could earn what I earn and I could stay home, I'd probably be all over it.
Great wakup for me -- and inspiring. Thank you.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Working and Student Parents
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Working and Student Parents › Aspiring/Active/Retiring/Recovering LAWYER MOMS!