<p>what are the pros and cons for someone who wants to work in the day and go to law school at night? is this even possible... perhaps at a 2nd tier law school? is it recommended, or just stick with pure 3 years concentration?</p>

<p>I would strongly discourage anyone from trying to earn a law degree on a part time basis. You will not learn as much, you won't be able to retain as much information because you will be exhausted all the time, and your family will suffer great hardship. If you are really serious about a part time program, check out the pass rate on the bar examination for the part time students. That should help you make a decision.</p>

<p>thinkingoutloud, have you ever done a night law program? Know anyone who has? I have done it, and the first misconception is that it is "part-time." Unless you call 4 nights a week, for 4 years (including 3 Summers) part-time, it is more like 3/4 time. Learn less? Hardly! I got to clerk a year longer than the day students. Care to take a guess at how much learning having a real clerking job adds to your knowledge base.</p>

<p>I will grant you that family life suffers, but that is only for the duration of school. After that, I would argue that for someone who went to law school to better their economic/financial position will benefit his/her family way more than harm it.</p>

<p>Finally, you are right that bar passage rate -- especially in a state like California -- is much lower that for day students. But, that does not really tell the whole story. In California, there are -- in addition to ABA schools with nigh programs like Loyola and Southwestern -- opportunity schools that operate at night and have a lower admission bar. I have not studied the stats (if they even exist), but in my class the pass rate for night students from my ABA school was equal to the day students.</p>

<p>The real point is that for many, like myself, going to law school was only going to happened if I went at night. And I, for one, was glad it was an option.</p>

<p>Thinkingoutloud, I think you go too far. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that part-time programs are the ideal or that everybody should do part-time. But to say that nobody should do part-time or that you will discourage anyone from going part-time - you take it one step too far. </p>

<p>Look, part-time programs carry their own strengths and weaknesses. Yes, it is true that many part-timers probably don't learn as much or retain as much information, and probably are exhausted. But that is based on one simple characteristic of part-time law students, which is that, for some reason, they feel that they need to be working during the daytime, for if that wasn't the case, then they would surely be considering fulltime programs. Hence, the issue is not with the part-time program itself, but with the fact that they feel that, for whatever reason, they need to maintain a job. </p>

<p>Hence, I don't think you can just categorically come out and say that nobody should do a part-time program. The fact is, some people don't want to have to give up their job in order to go to law school, either because they really like their job, or because they need the income, or whatever. And the part-time programs are entirely appropriate for these people. Some people have no intention of actually practicing big-time law, they just want to get a JD because their career would benefit from them having some legal knowledge and/or a formal law degree. I know one guy who works in real-estate during the daytime, but goes to law-school at night because he feels that because of all the contracts and all the legal documents that are part and parcel of the real-estate industry, he would benefit from having a formal law degree - not because he wants to practice law, but because he wants to be able to stand on a more even keel with the lawyers that he has to deal with. The fact is, he loves his job, and he's not going to give it up, and so to say that he shouldn't consider a part-time law program is to basically tell him that he should never get a law degree ever. That's a bit harsh, don't you think?</p>

<p>Furthermore, you talk about a family suffering great hardship if one were to attend a part-time program. I would counter that by saying that for those people who have a family with an established lifestyle, it may be far harsher for the family if the breadwinner were to quit his/her job and hence lose that commensurate income just to be able to to go to law school. In a perfect world, everybody would have so much money in the bank that the head of the household could simply quit work and go to law-school for 3 years, with no financial impact on the family. I think we all know that we don't live in a perfect world. Some people simply can't afford to take off 3 years of work and lose 3 years of income. And even for those people who can, many of them don't feel that it's fair to subject their families to that kind of financial stress. If you're young and single without any attachments, sure, you can go into hock for a full-time law program, for the only person that is affected is yourself. That's a far more daunting prospect when you have people depending on your income. </p>

<p>Furthermore, not only will you continue to earn your paycheck while you're working but many companies will offer educational reimbursements to you ... but only while you're still working for them. Again, that real-estate guy I know, not only continues to earn a paycheck, but also has a large chunk of his law-school tuition and books paid for by his employer. Hence, he can get the law-degree that he wants, with minimal financial impact on his family. </p>

<p>I would also point out that while obviously you want have the wide choice of many of the top law schools that you would if you attend full-time, many highly ranked law-schools, almost elite law schools, offer part-time programs. This gets to the question of kfc4u was asking - no you are not necessarily restricted to lower-tier programs. Your choices are constrained, but getting into a top-flight program is still possible. For example, both Georgetown Law and George Washington Law offer part-time JD's.
Both of these are top 25 law schools. I'm sure there are others. </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Finally, about the difference between the bar-passage rates between daytime and nighttime programs, I think we are looking at apples and oranges. I think it's really a matter of self-selection here. Those who went to law-school during the daytime generally have accumulated a huge amount of debt which they need to pay off quickly, and so therefore have a huge incentive to pass the bar as quickly as possible. Not only that, but they all have 'burned their bridges', in the sense that they don't have another job they can go back to, so they have little choice but to become full-blown lawyers. Those who went part-time generally leave with much less debt, and therefore feel less urgency to pass the bar as quickly as possible. Many of those part-timers, like I said, have no true desire to become bonafide practicing lawyers anyway- they just want some legal credentials to help them with their current job. Hence, the point is, many of them feel that they don't really need to pass the bar on their first shot, and if they have to try it over and over again, that's not the worst thing in the world. This is particularly true of those part-timers who are not only getting tuition-reimbursement from their employers, but are also getting their employers to foot the bill for the bar exam. Since they're not paying for the bar exam, and they never really intended to really work as true lawyers anyway, then just taking the bar over and over again until they finally pass is not such a bad thing. </p>

<p>And yes, I will acknowledge the gorilla in the room. Part-time students are probably not as qualified as full-time law students. It was probably easier for them to get in than it is for full-time students, and they probably didn't learn as much as full-timers did. But, again, that's the tradeoff you make by going part-time. You are probably getting a lower-quality legal education than you would if you had gone full-time, but on the other hand, you get to keep your job and maintain your income. Whether that tradeoff is worth it is something that everybody needs to determine for him/her-self. You can't just categorically say that that tradeoff is never worth it to anybody ever.</p>

<p>wow, thanks sakky! really good insight!</p>

<p>Gerald Ford went to night law school at Yale, and it didn't hurt his career. He ended up president of the United States.</p>

<p>Nowadays there are surveys and figures on just about everything, so there may be some on how many part-time students plan to pracice law and how many don't.</p>

<p>When I was in evening law school ("part-time", as said above is a misnomer) just about all my classmates had a family, and needed to work.</p>

<p>Some policemen go to law school not to become lawyers but because a law degree gives opportunities for promotion in the police department. Some patent examiners do the same, to become elegible for promotion to highrer positions in the USPTO that require a law degree, without becoming lawyers. One of my classmates was a marketing executive; he had no intention of becoming an attorney but his employer wanted him to have legal training. A few of my classsmates did not take the bar exam, for such reasons. Some who did take, and pass the bar exam, nevertheless did not become practicing lawyers, for such reasons.</p>

<p>Many people go to evening law achool to see whether or not they can carry out a career change, while not dropping out of the work force. Etc.</p>

<p>Uh, coureur, I believe you are referring to Harry Truman, who did go to night law school (and never graduated - and in fact, is one of the least formally educated Presidents in modern history). I am not aware of any evidence that Gerald Ford went to night law school, nor am I aware of Yale ever running a night law school. If you have data that says this is the case, I'm all ears.</p>

<p>I didn't go to night law school but I did take some of my classes at night. Night school people formed a very cohesive group at least at my school.</p>

<p>I went full-time, starting when I was 37. My kids were 13, 11 and 9. </p>

<p>I'm not real happy with having student loans at my age. Working would have alleviated that.</p>

<p>You need to either be single or be married to a very understanding spouse if you want to work full time and go to law school at night. If there are children, you need to be married to a saint. The only people I met in law school who were married to saints were men.</p>

<p>Gerald Ford was able to take classes at Yale Law School by virtue of being employed as an assistant football coach at the university. He ultimately graduated in the top third of his law school class.</p>

<p>If you mean 'by virtue', as if to say that that's solely how Ford got into Yale Law, I have to disagree. The popular perception of Ford being a clumsy oaf aside, the fact is, Ford did graduate Phi Beta Kappa from Michigan, while at the same time being an All-American superstar football player of the Michigan team that won the college football national championship in '32, and was Michigan's MVP in '33, and who had offers to play in the pre-NFL version of professional football. So I think we can all agree that he enjoyed a highly highly impressive college career, both academically and athletically. I don't think anybody can seriously say that Ford was unqualified to be at Yale Law.</p>

<p>However, he did coach the Yale football team while at Yale Law in order to earn the money to pay for Yale Law. Ford came from a modest background, unlike most of his classmates at Yale Law at the time (or even today).</p>

<p>CNPMom, from your post I infer there are no male saints.</p>

<p>(If I draw inferences like this, can I get into a Top 14 Law School?)</p>

<p>No! But you can stay at a Holiday Inn, TD.</p>

<p><<cnpmom, from="" your="" post="" i="" infer="" there="" are="" no="" male="" saints.="">></cnpmom,></p>

<p>Sure there are. There's that one who felt compelled to drive nails into his head. </p>

<p><<(If I draw inferences like this, can I get into a Top 14 Law School?)>></p>

<p>Idk. Mine was second tier.</p>


<p>Many universities offer their staff the chance to take classes part-time, without paying tuition. That is the route Gerry Ford took to Yale Law School.</p>

<p>I would never suggest that anyone who graduated in the top third of his law school class (a fact which I pointed out in my previous post) was unqualified to be there.</p>

<p>Here's a quote from an on-line biography of Gerry Ford:</p>

<p>"Throughout his life, Ford believed in setting long-term goals. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he wanted to go to law school, so he turned down offers to play professional football for the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers and instead became an assistant football coach at Yale University. Practically broke after college, he needed the income, but his burning ambition remained a law degree. Taking classes part-time at Yale Law School, he worked piecemeal toward his goal and eventually was admitted as a full-time student. In 1941 he received a Yale law degree, graduating in the top third of his class, all the while working full-time as an assistant football coach."</p>

<p>CD, well...I <em>did</em> save a lot of money by switching to GEICO.</p>

<p>CNPMom, I'm more likely to drive nails into random objects.</p>

<p>I knew that if anyone would get the TV commercial reference it would be you, TD.</p>

<p>If you are foolish enough to go to night law school here is a way to improve your odds of getting a good job upon graduation. Good jobs depend on class rank. If you go to night law school but do not have a full time job (perferably no job at all), you can devote your entire day to studying. You will be competiting against people who will be taking classes at night and then studying at night and on the weekends. You will have at least double the amount of study time they have. If you are a good test taker, your studying will translate into better grades and a higher class rank. Being able to walk around saying you are in the top ten percent of your law school class is pretty impressive to employers even if it is night school. The down side of this approach is that you won't have income for four years instead of three and you have to take classes at night, which is not the best time for learning.</p>

<p>how many hours are recommended for studying at law schools?</p>

<p>My boss went to night law school; the CFO of the company I work for also went to night law school. I can assure you, "foolish" is not a word anyone would apply to either of these people. Both of them have enjoyed far more success than the average graduate of a daytime law school program.</p>