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#181 of 369 Old 05-11-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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Hi changingseasons... Personally, I think it's easier to have a baby in law school, if your school allows you to take leaves of absence - you may get 6-8 (or 12 if you're lucky) weeks of maternity leave at a job, but in law school, you can take an entire semester (or two) off with no worries, no planning for a replacement, no disgruntled boss or co-workers. And, when you go back, it'll just be for a few hours a night, not 40-60 a week. Also, a new employer may not be so thrilled with hiring you only to see you take leave after a few months or a year. And if you're worried about waiting too long to get pg again, you should do it now - it'll be 3-4 years before you finish your degree, and then at least another 1 before you'll feel okay about taking leave. I say, go for it if you want another baby now!

Here are my words of wisdom for 1L:
* Don't wait until right before finals to study! I do that and it's miserable. : * Make friends! * Try to join at least one or two student groups so you can be involved outside of classes. See if there's a group for older (i.e. not fresh from undergrad) students, or a group for parent students. * Get as many notes & outlines from upper-class students as possible (another benefit of the student groups). * Don't waste your money on study guides unless you really need them, and then only buy one. Better yet, use the ones on reserve in the library. * Contracts, Civ Pro and Property are hard and not intuitive - give them more time than Torts and Crim, which are at least a little more familiar. * Read a non-law book every now and then - even if it's 10 pages at a time before you fall asleep. Then you won't dream about law school, which sucks!

Good luck!
Thanks for all your words of wisdom!! I will definitely keep them in mind.

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
geek.gif I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
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#182 of 369 Old 05-11-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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Hi, I didn't know this tribe existed. I graduated in May 2006, had a baby in June, and finally just took the bar exam the past February and passed. I am in the beginning stages of opening my own practice. It's been a mental/emotional/spiritual journey getting to this point.
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#183 of 369 Old 05-12-2008, 11:52 PM
 
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I am so excited that I found this website and this thread! I am in the same boat as so many of you and reading your experiences makes me feel a little better. My story: I went straight from college to law school and graduated law school in 2001. I've worked at the same Big Firm since graduation as a transactional lawyer in the real estate section. Long hours, but big firm pay. I met my husband in law school. He works for a smaller firm in litigation. We had our first child in January. We waited 7 years (!) to have our first child partly because of our careers and partly because we were busy playing. I took 6 months of maternity leave. My firm offers 3 months' paid leave and 3 months' unpaid leave "at the discretion of the section head." Well, after 6-1/2 years of loyal service, I pretty much told them I was taking the extra time and forget any discretion on their part!

I return to work in mid-July. I am so anxious about it. I want to return on a reduced hours' schedule (hopefully around 130 billable hours a month), but I have not yet discussed it with my bosses. I plan to approach them in early June, about a month before my return. I am just anxious because I work for a very demanding client who is accustomed to me answering emails, voicemails, basically their every request at any time and working for mostly 2 male bosses (both with Stay at home wives) who just don't get it. We have a nanny lined up who I am very happy with, so that part is good.

We both did private school undergrad and then public school law school (Univ of Texas), so our student loans are substantial and I need to return to work just to pay off those.

I am just so worried that the demands of my job will give me a nervous breakdown. Since I've been on maternity leave my firm's Dallas office (where I work) has lost 4 female associates who have children who just couldn't handle working with kids any more. I must also admit that I haven't missed working ONE BIT since I've been on maternity leave!! My boss emailed me when my baby was about 2 months old and "suggested" that I sit in on a conference call on an important deal. I got out of it by telling him that I didn't think I could nurse while on the call. Isn't that terrible of me?
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#184 of 369 Old 05-13-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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I just found this tribe- and I would love to join!

I start law school next month (aak!), June 23rd to be exact. I'm doing an evening program so that I can be at home with DD (6mo) during the day, and she can be home with DP at night- saving on the childcare costs.

Anyone have some words of wisdom for a first-year?

Also- thinking ahead to the distant future... I would love to have another baby some day, but not sure how it will fit in career wise. Do you think it would be harder to have a baby during law school, or in the first couple years of a career?? Neither seem like great options, but I'm already in my 30's and don't want to wait too long before getting pregnant again.
Yay for another Seattle area law student! I'm assuming that you're at SU, which is a fun place.

As for having baby in law school, I'm currently finishing my 2L year and pregnant (with my first), and I'm finding it doable but tougher than I thought it would be. I did not really anticipate just how physically draining the entire experience would be, and I was also really, really sick during the first trimester. (Still throwing up occasionally, but it's so much better than it was.) So my advice when making this decision would be to imagine your pregnancy as not disaster, catastrophe tough but not easy either and evaluating whether or not you can really see yourself doing classes as well.

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#185 of 369 Old 05-13-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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Yay for another Seattle area law student! I'm assuming that you're at SU, which is a fun place.

As for having baby in law school, I'm currently finishing my 2L year and pregnant (with my first), and I'm finding it doable but tougher than I thought it would be. I did not really anticipate just how physically draining the entire experience would be, and I was also really, really sick during the first trimester. (Still throwing up occasionally, but it's so much better than it was.) So my advice when making this decision would be to imagine your pregnancy as not disaster, catastrophe tough but not easy either and evaluating whether or not you can really see yourself doing classes as well.
Yep- Seattle U. Can't wait to start!!

I know- my first pregnancy (last year) was exhausting... I could barely keep my eyes open the first trimester. So it will definitely take some planning to make sure I'm not in school during the roughest parts of it.

Congrats on your pregnancy!

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
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#186 of 369 Old 05-18-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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Hello! I graduated in '04 and then clerked for federal Dist. Ct. and Ct. App. I haven't worked since my DD was born 10 months ago. Pre-baby I had planned an academic track. Two unexpected things happened: (1) I never expected to be so attached to baby and not want to leave her. (2) I became a single parent.

I'm debating whether to become a law prof or practice. As a new single mom, I don't know what would be best and give me the most time with DD. Any advice?
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#187 of 369 Old 05-18-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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I graduated in 2002, took the bar, and went to be a litigator for a big law firm. I hated it, and they weren't enchanted by me either. I left after two years and planned to go to library school, but got waylaid by a job at a small firm doing trademarks and copyrights, and everything else they ask me to do except appear in court.

After DD was born in Feb. '07, I went to half time. I work Mondays and Fridays all day, and Wednesday mornings I take DD to work with me. I never leave after 5:30, and never work weekends. I love this schedule because it gives me so much precious time with DD, but it wouldn't work for someone with career ambitions. I'm just working for the paycheck! When DD goes to school, I think I'll find a nonlegal part-time job since I'll be able to work every day. I just don't care enough about my career to make the stress of achievement worth it.

DH and I always say that law school was the best and the worst investment ever - we met there so that's an advantage, but both of us hate being lawyers. He makes nothing working for the government, but "works from home" one day and leaves early most days. Weren't we all supposed to be rich and/or fulfilled by the law??? I'm neither...

-Marisa, ecstatic mommy to amazing DD Sidonie, 2/07 :
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#188 of 369 Old 05-18-2008, 11:27 PM
 
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Hi Mamadeo:

I am a mom of two who has a small consulting practice as well as consistent adjunct teaching gigs (and have also worked in a big firm and large non-profit) so I have some perspective on your question. There is no question in my mind that an academic career has more flexibility, and so is an easier fit with parenting. The academic life is not nearly as cushy as many people believe--pre-tenure you spend a LOT of time writing and satisfying service requirements--and when you first start teaching (or change textbooks/editions) class prep can be surprisingly time consuming. However, much of the work can be done on your own terms--after DD is asleep, or in the morning before she wakes up--which is not the case as much with practice.

Even though my teaching obligations can sometimes be heavy (having finished grading last week, that particular hell is still fresh), if I need to hunker down on a weekend day and do it all when I have child care, I can. Those pesky clients, though, expect you to deal with them on their terms, when it's convenient for them (imagine that!). I've been pressured to do conference calls while home with sick kids and unless they're screaming or on the verge of hospitalization I feel like I can't really say no.

I assume you're familiar with the hiring process since you said you'd been thinking about this for a while. If not, feel free to PM me. There is great advice on some of the law prof blogs (prawfsblawg, concurring opinions) in the summer before applications are due and in the fall right before the hiring conference.

Beth
DS (8), DD (5)
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#189 of 369 Old 05-19-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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Hi Beth,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful and helpful reply. I am not planning to go on the market right away, but to possibly apply for fellowships and visiting positions first. I would like to improve my candidacy and also delay the tenure track until DD is older.

Would you mind sharing more about your experience with adjunct teaching? You could PM me if you prefer. The reality of pre-tenure demands have been on my mind a lot, and I want to explore creative alternatives, like adjuncting or other part-time arrangements. I have also thought of Legal Research and Writing teaching which doesn't pay as much but usually doesn't have the publication demands.

The career center at my top Ivy alma mater can't understand why I would consider anything but a prestigious tenure-track law prof position. But I don't want to miss precious moments with DD any more than I have to.

I'd love to hear more about alternative academic career paths and opportunities.

Thanks again.
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#190 of 369 Old 05-19-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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I just got home from my school's Welcome Day for the new law students. Bought my books while I was there for my first class (Criminal Law) which starts in one month! I am totally psyched. And scared. But excited to begin my law school adventure.

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
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#191 of 369 Old 08-22-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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I am twenty years out of law school but have not been in full-time practice for about ten years. I have kept my license current and have made a career in writing (mostly about law) and lots of consulting for free. But I have been specializing in pro bono practice areas (no firms out there specializing in breastfeeding law ) I still have major home responsibilities - home school three kids, one with special needs. I am now facing the reality that I may have no skills for which I can be paid a living wage (my writing career is far from self-supporting).

I see that there are more part-time options now than when I started having kids but I am concerned that I can't compete for the few of those that exist because I haven't worked for a firm in so long.

I feel as if I would have more options if I were graduating now than I do with ten years of practice and ten years of sorta kinda legal work. Any advise on getting back into the workforce after an extended absence? Particularly when I still can't WOH full-time? I am considering getting an LLM and trying to teach but academia does not look like an inviting community - particularly to someone who will by then be nearly fifty.

Thanks!

J.D. and mother to three. Sustainable Mothering and check out my Writing and Speaking
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#192 of 369 Old 08-23-2008, 12:45 AM
 
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whew! just finished up my first week in law school. I don't even know what to say about it. whew!
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#193 of 369 Old 08-23-2008, 01:54 AM
 
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whew! just finished up my first week in law school. I don't even know what to say about it. whew!
I with you there- WHEW! I just finished my first class (crim law), and am starting 3 new classes on Monday.

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#194 of 369 Old 09-01-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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Hello!

In the interest of limiting FYT to subjects not hosted elsewhere on the board, we have moved your tribe here. You're still a tribe, which means you're still support-only.

If you have any questions about the move, please do not discuss it on the boards. Rather, contact an administrator (in green) via Private Message or start a thread in Questions and Suggestions where one of the administrators will answer you.

Thanks, and happy posting!

Wife of 1. Mom of 3. Conquering disability challenges, one achievement at a time.
 

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#195 of 369 Old 09-01-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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I just found this group. I was totally clueless when I went to law school. I loved my pre-law classes and totally enjoyed law school. But I borrowed WAY too much money and now owe so much that I'm really restricted in my options.

I have to work, although I'd love to cut back to part-time. I'm fortunate to be in with a wonderful small-town firm - we are the largest firm in my town, with 11 attorneys though. I do family law and am in the courtroom a lot. However, last year I turned down partnership to keep a primarily 8-5 schedule with lunches free and very little weekend work. I do put in some hours in the evenings.

I am now due with #2 (any day now) and will take 4-6 weeks totally out of the office. Then I'll do a work from home - in the office with baby - husband take time off, combo through the end of the year.
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#196 of 369 Old 09-02-2008, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I totally forgot I started this thread. :

I changed jobs, had another kid, and now am relatively happy. I don't think I will ever figure out this balancing thing, though. Even though DH is a SAHD I always feel forces pulling me home. I would be a much better worker if I did not have a family, but of course I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Will go back and read as I can.
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#197 of 369 Old 09-04-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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Yay! I just found this thread too! I graduated from law school in May of this year, after having had DD in October of my third year (so if anyone still has questions about having a baby in law school that are as yet unanswered, feel free to ask!). I took the Bar in July (won't get the results back until October, gulp), and I just started a full-time job at a law firm (doing estate planning work) yesterday. So far, so good. I have to say though--I REALLY miss DD, and totally understand what the last poster said about feeling like there are so many forces pulling her home. DD stays with my mom during the day, and it seems like when I get home she's just kind of cranky. I know it's silly--but I just can't help but thinking, will she like my mom more than me? That's silly, right? I don't know. I didn't really feel this bad about leaving her to go to class, even though she was younger then--maybe it's because I stayed home with her all summer and got used to it, or maybe it's that when I went to class, I wasn't gone for the entire day, every day, with a long commute to boot. On the other hand, I always had a ton of school work to do when I got home from law school--which isn't the case now (I can leave work at work...or at least, that's my hope!).
Anyways, good luck to everyone in law school!!! Try not to get too stressed out, you'll be fine

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#198 of 369 Old 09-05-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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I just found this tribe too. I graduated from law school in 2006, and I had DD in March of my third year of law school. I ended up taking a year off before taking the bar, partly because DD was so high needs. Soon after I passed the bar, I found a clerkship with my state's supreme court, which I began 5 weeks ago. So I was basically a SAHM with DD for almost 2.5 years (with the exception of taking the bar exam), and now I'm working full time. Being a clerk is an awesome mom-job, since so far I've been able to arrive at 8:30 and leave at 4:30. Going back to work was quite a transition for both of us. I'm hoping to begin TTC#2 soon, take another year or two off with #2 and then find something part-time or another clerkship. Fortunately my husband makes enough money so I can be flexible.

mama to DD (7), DS (3.5), and another DS arriving in August!

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#199 of 369 Old 09-05-2008, 01:09 AM
 
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...that I keep forgetting to ask you smart attorney mamas.

Just thinking ahead to when I'm done with law school (in 2011), and taking the bar... I know nothing about the process. How long do people usually take to study for and take the bar? And do your student loans stay on deferment through that process?

TIA!

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
geek.gif I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
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#200 of 369 Old 09-05-2008, 10:11 PM
 
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I am home with my 5-month old daughter and go to law school at night. I am currently in the thick of OCI for next summer's jobs, so my head is spinning. But for the 3 semesters of law school I was also working FT as a paralegal and my daughter was born in the middle of last semester, so I should really be used to the juggling!

This thread re-appeared at a perfect time for me - I am really giving serious thought to how we as a family are going to juggle two parents with FT jobs (DH is a partner in his own law firm) and children (assuming we have another.)

Mama to my monkey since March 2008, wife to my husband since February 2004. After three early losses, we were successful with IVF!  joy.gif
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#201 of 369 Old 09-06-2008, 10:49 AM
 
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Never saw this tribe.

I started law school (at a top school) in 2001, hated school b/c all the people and profs seemed so boring, and as an anthropology major, I thought their ideas were so stupid.

Got a big firm 1L summer job and hated it. Cried under my desk every day, while cashing my big paychecks.

Met my husband that summer, and never went back to law school.

A shame, b/c I enjoyed my clinics, and just shouldn't have taken the high-paycheck job. I still think about going back, but at this point, I would have too go to school locally and only if I could get scholarships. Still toying with taking the LSAT again this fall. (My scores are too old to use.)

I was just too young and too lacking in self-confidence when I went. That is different now!

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
On hospital bedrest for pPROM since 23 weeks
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#202 of 369 Old 09-06-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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this is such a great resource for me...i've been thinking about law school. it would probably take me a year or two to get ready.
i actually took the LSAT 10 years ago but kind of lost my steam for a number of reasons. i guess i just wasn't ready.
i'm still not sure its the right option for me (cost, my age, my ability to parent and be in school and maintain my part time business?) but i love reading about all the different experiences you ladies have had. it's helping me get more clarity so thanks!
part of the challenge for me would the fact that i would be 41 or 42 and just getting started with law school and there are only two programs in my area. the public university is very competitive (not sure i could get in) and the private university is outrageously expensive.
i would have to be really fired up to move the whole family in order to make this dream a reality!

anyway, i could ramble on but let me just end by saying i'm glad to hear all the different experiences and we shall see what's ahead...

this thread makes me feel like it's really a possibility and not some crazy pipe dream.
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#203 of 369 Old 09-06-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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...that I keep forgetting to ask you smart attorney mamas.

Just thinking ahead to when I'm done with law school (in 2011), and taking the bar... I know nothing about the process. How long do people usually take to study for and take the bar? And do your student loans stay on deferment through that process?

TIA!
changingseasons--
Most people who follow the "traditional" schedule graduate from law school in May, then start studying for the Bar in May as well--Bar/Bri bar review classes sometimes even start the day after graduation! (For me, they started a week after graduation.) Classes run until mid-July or so, and then they give you a rigorous review program to follow for the last two weeks of July, until the Bar exam (which this year was July 29-30, for my state (GA)). With Bar/Bri, you can attend classes, or do self-study at home (I did self-study--it was easier for me, since I am nursing DD). You usually get a six-month grace period after graduation before you have to start paying your loans back, although that depends on the loan.

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#204 of 369 Old 09-07-2008, 07:40 AM
 
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I am really just starting my career (I am 2 years out) and am already struggling with balancing my finances (high COL area, lots of school debt) with good, quality work and reasonable work hours.
So glad to see this thread! (although it's an older one)

I am an aspiring attorney. I have been thinking of going to law school for a long time now (years and years) actually. I know I'd love it and I know that I'd be good at it because I've done work related to the law before and, well, I love it and I was good at it!

So, anyway, the post above kind of gets to the heart of my inner conflict. I already have a degree and an established career (although currently a SAHM). I had a long career before having a baby, and I liked it. It pays pretty well.

I could do that, and not have to take out any more student loans! Also, it's not extremely family friendly, but the hours are probably way more family friendly that a beginning attorney's hours would be. (I've heard horror stories and I know it takes quite a while to establish a career in law).

Also, I have a husband with a good career who is firmly established. He's not going to give up his career, nor is it very flexible, and he's not going to be a SAHP or do much more than he's currently doing in terms of child care responsibilities. He does help, but there's a compelling reason I'm a SAHM and that is inherent inflexibility in DH's career.

So, my questions are:

Is it worth it to go to law school if you have to take out student loans to do it (assuming mega student loans given the cost of law school)???

And is employment as a beginning attorney in any way family friendly?

And what if you already have a pretty decent career? I don't make as much as an attorney, but I make pretty good money and nearly have my existing student loans paid off.

And how much did it cost for you to go to law school? And how much do you make now as an attorney? And what are your hours? (family friendly)???
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#205 of 369 Old 09-07-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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Never saw this tribe.

I started law school (at a top school) in 2001, hated school b/c all the people and profs seemed so boring, and as an anthropology major, I thought their ideas were so stupid.

Got a big firm 1L summer job and hated it. Cried under my desk every day, while cashing my big paychecks.

Met my husband that summer, and never went back to law school.

A shame, b/c I enjoyed my clinics, and just shouldn't have taken the high-paycheck job. I still think about going back, but at this point, I would have too go to school locally and only if I could get scholarships. Still toying with taking the LSAT again this fall. (My scores are too old to use.)

I was just too young and too lacking in self-confidence when I went. That is different now!

actually i envy you for having the courage to quit. i wish i had. if you didn't like law school or the job you probably would have hated being a lawyer. quite honestly i really don't know any lawyer who likes it anymore. working at a big law firm sucks but so does hourly billing in general. working for the state is okay sometimes but where i live state workers haven't gotten a raise in seven years. and more is taken out each year for healthcare so you actually earn less each year!
so these things aren't always bad. i wish i had followed my gut and quit and found something i enjoyed before spending all the money and more importantly the time....

Legal Mama to TWO homebirthed, unschooled, unvaxed, cloth diapered, mei tei loving, still breastfeeding baby girl 1/14/07 and an intact 8 pound 10 ouncer baby boy 4/5/10.
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#206 of 369 Old 09-07-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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So, my questions are:

Is it worth it to go to law school if you have to take out student loans to do it (assuming mega student loans given the cost of law school)???

And is employment as a beginning attorney in any way family friendly?

And what if you already have a pretty decent career? I don't make as much as an attorney, but I make pretty good money and nearly have my existing student loans paid off.

And how much did it cost for you to go to law school? And how much do you make now as an attorney? And what are your hours? (family friendly)???
I would love to hear opinions about this too. Starting law school (3 months ago) was one of the hardest decisions I've even made. On one hand, it's something that I really want to do... but on the other hand, I don't want to get stuck in an 80 hour a week job and missing years of DD's life. I will have over $100K in student loans when I'm done (some of that is my undergrad though).

Mom to DD1 (10/07) and DD2 (3/11)
geek.gif I blog about our life with food allergies and eosinophilic disorders.
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#207 of 369 Old 09-08-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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I would love to hear opinions about this too. Starting law school (3 months ago) was one of the hardest decisions I've even made. On one hand, it's something that I really want to do... but on the other hand, I don't want to get stuck in an 80 hour a week job and missing years of DD's life. I will have over $100K in student loans when I'm done (some of that is my undergrad though).

I have about $85,000 in school loans now but I had over 6 figures when I graduated. I am with the biggest firm in my town which is a medium sized town. We have 11 attorneys. Certainly NOT big-law though.

My group of friends and I have all taken different paths. Two are big-law. One is single and childless. Loves her job and the hours. Loves entertaining clients. The other has 3 children. Her husband works part-time and her MIL helps out a lot. She rarely sees the kids.

One friend rotated through several firms and now has her own firm. She got divorced soon after that and she finds it really hard to balance work/home life. BUT she sets her own schedule of work and makes it to most family functions.

One friend does contract work from her home. She has two children. Her oldest is in school now and her youngest starts next year.

One friend just quit to become a SAHM. But she worked BIGLAW for many years and paid almost all her debt down.

Two of us went smaller/medium firm. My one friend worked 4 years in a 3 person firm (small town) made partner and then had a baby. She works from home some and takes the baby in with her some.

I cut my hours back last year. I also took myself off the partnership track. I work in the office 7:30 - 5 on weekdays. Very little evening or weekend work. My office is family friendly. With this baby I will be out of the office 4-6 weeks. Then work from home, bring baby here, husband will take 1/2 day off a week, combo type schedule until we put baby in daycare at 12 weeks. Then DH will take an earlier schedule and I'll do a later schedule. I'll also go to daycare at lunch to nurse the baby.

A lot of rambling to say this - you can be a successful attny and mom and wife if you go into things with your eyes wide open. Really think and research your career paths. Find an area of law that is more family friendly and a firm that is more family friendly. Also accept that if you want to pay off loans faster, you may sacrifice home life in the interim. As for me, I'll pay these loans off SLOWLY but have a better home life doing it.
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#208 of 369 Old 09-08-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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I have about $85,000 in school loans now but I had over 6 figures when I graduated. I am with the biggest firm in my town which is a medium sized town. We have 11 attorneys. Certainly NOT big-law though.

My group of friends and I have all taken different paths. Two are big-law. One is single and childless. Loves her job and the hours. Loves entertaining clients. The other has 3 children. Her husband works part-time and her MIL helps out a lot. She rarely sees the kids.

One friend rotated through several firms and now has her own firm. She got divorced soon after that and she finds it really hard to balance work/home life. BUT she sets her own schedule of work and makes it to most family functions.

One friend does contract work from her home. She has two children. Her oldest is in school now and her youngest starts next year.

One friend just quit to become a SAHM. But she worked BIGLAW for many years and paid almost all her debt down.

Two of us went smaller/medium firm. My one friend worked 4 years in a 3 person firm (small town) made partner and then had a baby. She works from home some and takes the baby in with her some.

I cut my hours back last year. I also took myself off the partnership track. I work in the office 7:30 - 5 on weekdays. Very little evening or weekend work. My office is family friendly. With this baby I will be out of the office 4-6 weeks. Then work from home, bring baby here, husband will take 1/2 day off a week, combo type schedule until we put baby in daycare at 12 weeks. Then DH will take an earlier schedule and I'll do a later schedule. I'll also go to daycare at lunch to nurse the baby.

A lot of rambling to say this - you can be a successful attny and mom and wife if you go into things with your eyes wide open. Really think and research your career paths. Find an area of law that is more family friendly and a firm that is more family friendly. Also accept that if you want to pay off loans faster, you may sacrifice home life in the interim. As for me, I'll pay these loans off SLOWLY but have a better home life doing it.
THANK YOU!

This is really, really helpful information and it confirms what I've heard from other lawyers I've talked to.

I don't have any family to help, and it sounds like some of the women you talked about have a family member to help with the kids. Also, my husband has his own career, which is fairly inflexible in terms of time off, going part time, and working off peak hours. (which is exactly why I'm a SAHM now). My husband would never consider giving up his career for a few years or working part time.

I just looked again at law school tuition. I would graduate with at least $50k in student loans, probably much, much more.

So, I have to question whether another $50k in student loans is worth it, especially if I am not able to be on the partner track and most importantly since my baby is young and I have no help to juggle family-career.

Also, I had a pretty darn good career before I had a baby, which I spent years building and getting certifications in and I wouldn't mind returning to that. It pays well (not as well as an attorney) and I am almost done paying off my college education.

So, I'm just not sure.

I've not heard of many part time attorney positions. Most of the women I know who are attorneys either 1. don't have kids 2. have a lot more family and husband help/flexibility than I have 3. are the main breadwinner with a husband/partner who works part time or is a SAHP or 4. aren't practicing law anymore!
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#209 of 369 Old 09-08-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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Based on your last comment, I just wanted to chime in.

I have been out of law school for 5 years (graduated in 2003). I am an attorney at a large law firm (600+ attorneys) and I work "part-time" on a 75% schedule. I stay home one day per week with my DS (almost 14 months), and then I am able to work reasonable hours the rest of the week (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and not work much on weekends or at night. I love staying home one day a week, and I love going to work 4 days a week. It may not be my perfect dream schedule, but it is really close!

My hours requirement is 75% of full-time associate attorneys, and my salary is also 75%. Everything is pro-rated. My firm allows part time attorneys to choose their schedule and percentage (between 60% and 100%), although the department chair has to approve it.

I am really lucky to work with a wonderful group of attorneys who are really supportive and who are willing to accomodate my schedule. My firm started allowing part time schedules because they were losing too many talented women and tried to come up with ways to retain more.

In some respects, I think large law firms can do this better, because they have greater resources and can spread work/resources around as needed. I have always maintained a good work/life balance (even before DS was born) by setting limits and making it clear what I was willing and not willing to do. However, I also am not gunning to make make partner early, if at all. I think that many large firms will work to accomodate bright, talented attorneys, particularly once they have invested several years in training them.

Every day, I consider whether my job is the right thing for my family and for me. It may change at any moment. But so far, I love being a PT WOHM.
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#210 of 369 Old 09-08-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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I've not heard of many part time attorney positions. Most of the women I know who are attorneys either 1. don't have kids 2. have a lot more family and husband help/flexibility than I have 3. are the main breadwinner with a husband/partner who works part time or is a SAHP or 4. aren't practicing law anymore!
I never see part-time positions posted, but I know a lot of people (including me) who had full-time jobs and transitioned to part-time after becoming moms. That could be one of the downsides of having a baby during law school, now that I think of it.

I accepted this job after telling the partners that I planned to have a family soon and work part-time. I worked full-time for about 2.5 years until I had DD. Now I work half-time (2.5 days per week), and make next to nothing, but I get to spend tons of time with DD. I have no career ambitions, though, so this might not work for someone who wants to do great things with their law degree. I'm just cashing my measly paycheck

-Marisa, ecstatic mommy to amazing DD Sidonie, 2/07 :
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