Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Age 22. No debt. To enroll or to not enroll?

Hello, I am 22 years old. I graduated from Western Connec durisjoctor06/04/17
How did you get your job? vespucius06/04/17
Applied cold via Indeed. durisjoctor06/04/17
You have a good job. You have potential. I dont know anyth vespucius06/04/17
I got a 164 on my LSAT. I have one professor recommendation durisjoctor06/04/17
"I would like to be an attorney and always have." Why? (A vohod06/04/17
When I was younger, I wanted to be an attorney for the prest durisjoctor06/04/17
I have a friend who does similar attorney work for 110 k per vespucius06/04/17
The few people whos LinkedIn accounts I have looked at had n durisjoctor06/04/17
Temple is pretty good. Dont discount it. But i know what vespucius06/04/17
correction: Temple is pretty mediocre dingbat06/04/17
I had such a job and while the company sometimes hired attor vohod06/04/17
Yea thats the thing. No guarantee of a legal job. vespucius06/04/17
With a GPA that high why hasn't Stetson given you a full rid 2breedbares06/04/17
I have not actually applied to Stetson. The issue is that I durisjoctor06/04/17
I think you are probably right. Your first inquiry should vespucius06/04/17
This is good advice. I greatly appreciate your feedback. The durisjoctor06/04/17
Great. Just emphasize that you like your company and job an vespucius06/04/17
Stetson gives full scholarships to the part-time program. I downwardslope06/04/17
You can figure out what sort of discounts people get on tuit lawprof06/04/17
^ This. Personally, with your stats I am confident that you ejs201706/04/17
You've got a pretty sweet setup. Congratulations, kid. kickflipninja06/04/17
I think law school would be a terrible idea in your situatio therewillbeblood06/04/17
You stole my advice. I was just about to post usf info and s trollfeeder06/04/17
Stetson Law is the kinda school that's only worth it if your anonlaw12306/04/17
With your GPA/LSAT combo, I would keep applying to UT Austin bizzybone131306/04/17
No you idiot! Just get a damn job in Florida and build a new acerimmer06/04/17
You're just jealous that it's in the 70's in February here. therewillbeblood06/04/17
IIRC ace lives in North central FL vohod06/04/17
It's freezing there! I was in Orlando once and it was like i therewillbeblood06/04/17
In Northern MN we don shorts when its 40. We suck. vohod06/04/17
It is not clear if a degree from such school would help your ternarydaemon06/04/17
This. Top 20 law degree or top 10 MBA. Or nothing. bizzybone131306/04/17
Have you considered something like an IT certificate? acerimmer06/04/17
Look at it this way, you already make $50k and live in relat 6figuremistake06/05/17
Paying a lot of money to go to a lousy law school never make anothernjlawyer06/05/17
No. Save your money and focus on starting a business. mtbislife06/05/17
The primary reason law schools give out scholarships (which onehell06/05/17

durisjoctor (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:16 am)

Hello,

I am 22 years old. I graduated from Western Connecticut State University in December of 2015 ( one semester early) with a B.S in Justice and Law Administration. Cumulative GPA 3.83. I make 50k per year working as a disability claims analyst at Sun Life Financial. I work from home full-time and have no debt. My girlfriend accepted a job at Citigroup in Tampa, Florida making the same amount of money. Long story short, we are moving to Florida. My only option, due to where we will be living (due to her job location) would be to attend Stetson law school. I would like to be an attorney and always have. My company provides tuition reimbursement up to 6k per year. This is an expensive school and is not highly rated by USNWR. I intend to go part-time and simply work in the legal department of my current company (from home) once I get my degree. For all of you attorneys out there or current students, should I just keep my work-from-home job and enjoy the rest of my debt-free days or, take the risk and go to law school?

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vespucius (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:19 am)

How did you get your job?

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durisjoctor (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:21 am)

Applied cold via Indeed.

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vespucius (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:23 am)

You have a good job. You have potential. I dont know anything about stetson but it will be a hindrance if you try to go into law.

What's your lsat? Or what level of school could you attend?

Knowing what I know now with 5 years of practice experience, if I were you, I would not attend stetson school of law because of the debt and the poor job prospects.

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durisjoctor (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:34 am)

I got a 164 on my LSAT. I have one professor recommendation and one from my employer. Stetson, i think, is a real heap. I wish that I was closer to a more reputable school in Florida. Maybe I will just hold off a bit and relocate at a later date.

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vohod (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:22 am)

"I would like to be an attorney and always have."

Why? (A common first interview question).

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durisjoctor (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:30 am)

When I was younger, I wanted to be an attorney for the prestige and money. Now that I am older I have come to realize that being a lawyer is neither prestigious nor lucrative. Nonetheless, I would like to be an attorney because I feel that there are genuine career opportunities at my current company that will not impede my ability to work from home, while allowing me to make more money and enabling me to learn more about ERISA and handling appealed claim denials. I regularly review claims that I denied and were subsequently overturned on appeal or that have had the initial denial reaffirmed. I find this type of work interesting and stimulating. The attorneys at my company make about 75k-90k per year. I really just am concerned about the cost of stetson law school.

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vespucius (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:35 am)

I have a friend who does similar attorney work for 110 k per year and 6 weeks vacation. He finds it horrendously boring and got another degree to do something else.

But you do have a uniwue situation if your company promotes you. How much legal exp do your attorneys have when they start?

If you got a 164, u should get a free ride. Im guessing you cant when you go part time?

Only go if you can stomach the debt, you sre guaranteed a legal job at your company and you want to do that work for a long while.

If you have other legel ambitions do not go to stetson.

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durisjoctor (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:50 am)

The few people whos LinkedIn accounts I have looked at had negligible legal experience. Most were claims analysts. Many were claims managers, particularly those who worked in long term disability. The only thing in common that seems shared is at least 5 years of experience working for an insurance company, in any capacity. We just got an email last week that our new legal department head got his JD from temple university, which is also poorly rated. The Vice President of group benefits earned her JD from Western New England, which isnt even rated by USNWR. It is small glimmers of hope like this that keep me somewhat optimistic. While it is certainly an achievement to go to a good school, the number of successful people at this company who either went to community colleges, unranked universities, or not at all, astounds me on a daily basis.

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vespucius (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:53 am)

Temple is pretty good. Dont discount it.

But i know what you mean sbout credentials. It surprises me how people punch above their weight and get decent jobs when many people i know simply struggle to find anything.

In any event, keep in mind that the attorneys have experience when they get hired into that job. It sounds like you might have the experiemce to do it.

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dingbat (Jun 4, 2017 - 8:51 am)

correction: Temple is pretty mediocre

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vohod (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:36 am)

I had such a job and while the company sometimes hired attorneys they did not when I needed a job.

If you want to go to LS you need to accept that your best exit option may be your current job. Florida's job market is not something I know anything about unfortunately.

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vespucius (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:41 am)

Yea thats the thing. No guarantee of a legal job.

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2breedbares (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:35 am)

With a GPA that high why hasn't Stetson given you a full ride?

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durisjoctor (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:40 am)

I have not actually applied to Stetson. The issue is that I will be attending part-time and working full-time, which means that I will not be eligible for many of the scholarships given to full time students, even if I have a decent GPA. The part-time law student, from what I have read, is at a disadvantage when it comes to scholarships because it is assumed that they are not as financially stressed as the traditional 3-year student. The part-timer is the working mom, the thirty-something, or the academic floater. I may be wrong, but I doubt they will give me anything.

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vespucius (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:44 am)

I think you are probably right.

Your first inquiry should be whether they offer financial aid to part timers.

Your second research should be on how your company hires attorneys.

If they do, it would make it a better idea, but again no guarantee of a legal job with your company and the limitations of stetsons reputation with anything else.

On the other hand, maybe you would graduate at the top and be a prime pick for a good stetson oriented firm.

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durisjoctor (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:55 am)

This is good advice. I greatly appreciate your feedback. The first thing I will do this week is request to meet with my manager to discuss this. I studied hard for the LSAT and tried my best in school, seemingly for nothing because I will likely not be eligible for any scholarships, but I will certainly do some more research.

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vespucius (Jun 4, 2017 - 1:02 am)

Great. Just emphasize that you like your company and job and that you want to grow with it. Dont give her the impression that you dont enjoy your job.

Quite honestly, you are doing okay.

I graduated in 2008 couldnt find a job and didnt want to attend the local third tier law school. Like you i was not able to move until later. So you are doing pretty good.

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downwardslope (Jun 4, 2017 - 10:01 am)

Stetson gives full scholarships to the part-time program. I was offered one. The kicker was that the GPA required to keep it was higher than the median, so I did not take it.

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lawprof (Jun 4, 2017 - 6:49 am)

You can figure out what sort of discounts people get on tuition by looking at a school's 509 disclosure form, which is required to be online. If you look at Stetson's, you'll see that last year ten part-time students got full tuition scholarships (or more), and that there's no difference between the tuition discounts that full time and part time students get, as a percentage of tuition,

Tuition discounts at law school aren't based on financial need: they're based on "merit," that is, your GPA and LSAT score. You are miles above Stetson's 75th percentile in both categories, and should get a full ride. You should absolutely NOT attend a school of Stetson's caliber for anything less than a full ride, given your numbers.

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ejs2017 (Jun 4, 2017 - 8:27 am)

^ This. Personally, with your stats I am confident that you could get a full ride at many significantly better schools. I would think this through and proceed very cautiously. Good luck.

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kickflipninja (Jun 4, 2017 - 7:21 am)

You've got a pretty sweet setup. Congratulations, kid.

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therewillbeblood (Jun 4, 2017 - 9:33 am)

I think law school would be a terrible idea in your situation considering the debt you'd have to go into.

That's not to say a graduate degree might not be a bad idea, but law probably wouldn't. Why not establish Florida residency then go for an MBA or Masters at USF:

http://usfweb.usf.edu/academics/graduate-programs.aspx

They have a bunch of medical-related programs that might help you in your career as well. It would be a much cheaper option.

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trollfeeder (Jun 4, 2017 - 9:37 am)

You stole my advice. I was just about to post usf info and saw your post. I think this fits better than a jd.

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anonlaw123 (Jun 4, 2017 - 10:48 am)

Stetson Law is the kinda school that's only worth it if your dad is a lawyer and you just need *a* law degree in order to work in and take over dad's practice one day.

Since that's not your situation I'd say don't go.

If you wanna apply your educational benefit from work towards something in order to move up in your company, you should look into what other skillsets the company might need and work on that.

maybe accounting or something would be relevant? not sure.

anyways stay away from law it's a smoking crater of a field atm and stetson is a crap school.

one caveat: your numbers are high enough that you might be able to get a really good scholarship: http://stetson.lawschoolnumbers.com/applicants?order=desc&sort=scholarship

so if you could get that it might be worth it. but i dunno how going part time might affect your aid situation.

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bizzybone1313 (Jun 4, 2017 - 10:49 am)

With your GPA/LSAT combo, I would keep applying to UT Austin for years until they admit you. It's one of the best bang for the bucks of any law school in the country. I know people that work all over the country with a law degree from there. It has worked out very well for them. I wouldn't "waste" my GPA and LSAT on such a crappy school like the one you are considering attending. It's insulting to go to such a crappy LS considering how hard you worked on your academics. Don't do other people favors. I have a similar undergrad GPA as yours.

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acerimmer (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:13 pm)

No you idiot! Just get a damn job in Florida and build a new life in the hot, sweltering, craphole of Beautiful Florida!

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therewillbeblood (Jun 4, 2017 - 12:35 pm)

You're just jealous that it's in the 70's in February here.

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vohod (Jun 4, 2017 - 1:13 pm)

IIRC ace lives in North central FL

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therewillbeblood (Jun 4, 2017 - 1:32 pm)

It's freezing there! I was in Orlando once and it was like in the 40's. I almost died.

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vohod (Jun 4, 2017 - 4:18 pm)

In Northern MN we don shorts when its 40. We suck.

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ternarydaemon (Jun 4, 2017 - 3:00 pm)

It is not clear if a degree from such school would help your career within that company. One thing for sure: it will not help your career in ANY law firm or in almost any other company.

Even with a free ride, would the time invested really pay off? Do you have the suction in the company to be more or less sure that a crappy law degree will help you? At 22 years old, I doubt it.

Quite honestly, an MBA or accounting degree would be a better investment.

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bizzybone1313 (Jun 4, 2017 - 8:46 pm)

This. Top 20 law degree or top 10 MBA. Or nothing.

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acerimmer (Jun 4, 2017 - 9:18 pm)

Have you considered something like an IT certificate?

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6figuremistake (Jun 5, 2017 - 8:44 am)

Look at it this way, you already make $50k and live in relatively low cost of living area. When I graduated college (albeit over a decade ago), I made a lot less than that and lived in a high COL area. You're coveting a position that pays between $75k to $95k. It's going to take you four years and a lot of debt to be eligible for that role. In 4 years, either with promotions or strategic "job hopping" you should be able to get pretty close to at least the lower end of that salary scale. Plus, the money you would otherwise spend on law school can put towards retirement or saving for a down payment on a house.

Other people can tell you what it's like to be an in-house attorney, but when people say they've "always wanted to be a lawyer", they usually mean something like being a prosecutor or some other role that's juiced up thanks to Hollywood. Best I can tell, an in-house attorney position is just like any other paper pushing corporate job - except you can put esq. after your name and maybe you have a better chance of getting an office.

Even if you can land a good job as an attorney, in most cases you could have made just as much money (or more) by getting work experience in another field (less the debt and workload of LS).

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anothernjlawyer (Jun 5, 2017 - 12:04 pm)

Paying a lot of money to go to a lousy law school never makes sense. If you had a full ride or your company would pay the entire tuition; maybe. Otherwise, absolutely, no.

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mtbislife (Jun 5, 2017 - 12:32 pm)

No. Save your money and focus on starting a business.

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onehell (Jun 5, 2017 - 12:57 pm)

The primary reason law schools give out scholarships (which are not really scholarships but rather tuition discounts) is that undergraduate GPA and LSAT score influence a school's USNews ranking. According to the USNWR website, they DO count the scores of part-timers in this calculation (which I think may be a change from earlier years, hence the myth that part-timers don't get aid), so they should want a part-timer with high #s just as much as they want a full-timer with the same. You're above Stetson's 75th percentile on both GPA and LSAT. Heck, their 75th percentile LSAT is 156, so with a 164 you should be looking at some good aid.

Apply and see what you get. You and the GF make 100k combined in a low cost-of-living area, so you could also pay some out of pocket to avoid debt. Whatever you do, I would not borrow more than 50k or so because that is a level of debt you could service even on your present income. Stetson part-time will run about 40k per year for four years once you count summer tuition and fees and books and such.

If they gave you 20k/yr, for example, you could then borrow 10 and pay 10 out of pocket each year and graduate with only about 40k of debt, 50k once the interest compounds and whatnot. That's a reasonable level of debt for a JD, particularly if you have no other debt.

It could work out if they give you a good scholarship and you pay some out of pocket. Apply and see what you get. Also, talk to your employer and see if there's a company tuition reimbursement policy and whether they would see the JD as an asset to them and thus a good thing for your career prospects where you're at.

The JD alone is not likely to improve your prospects on the open market, as you seem to know. But most JDs have no work experience, so if it helps you move up in your present position I'd say apply and see what you get. If you can finish within the Stafford loan limits without having to take any GradPLUS (20k per year for graduate students) and if your current employer will value it, then you might be one of the rare people for whom a low-ranked law school could be a wise choice.

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