Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Responses to Reader Sarah

Q:  How did you do it? I am a single mom, seriously contemplating how i could do it - mainly - do you quit your job...do the loans cover all the living expeneses on top of tuition?
A:  ABA rules prohibit a student working over so many hours a week.  If you work your first year of law school, you are insane!  That cannot be done.  For me, I weighed the cost of student loans against my earning potential in the end and came up feeling like the loans were doable. Yes, you will get living expenses, daycare costs, and sometimes transportation costs on top of all of that.  Is it expensive....yep, I have a small mortgage in loans.  Is it worth it?  Absolutely.  I will be providing security for my child.   I like knowing this.  My second year of law school, I did work minimum part-time as a law clerk [about 15 hours a week and fulltime in the summer]. You make sacrifices, but you need to decide beforehand whether you are serious about making those sacrifices.....

Sarah, I do not regret making the decision to go to law school.  First, I am a different person. I have more confidence, I have better earning potential, I think and see the world differently....I like me.  These are things that I personally would have spent ANY amount of money in order to accomplish.  And they are things that I really didn't consider when I considered going to law school.

Second, my daughter has seen me study and work hard for my education.   She talks about "when" she goes to college, not "if."  She sees the value in an education.  Also, she is a MUCH better student for watching me and is way above her classmates in her studies.

More than anything for me, this is a calling in my life.  I have known since I was a small child this was my purpose.  To ignore this would have been impossible for me. Also, without that deep need to pursue this, I would have not made it through the last several years.  When I felt like I couldn't go on any further, this is what held my head above water.

Good luck!  Let me know what you decide.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited for the challenge of law school and, thanks to you, I don't feel like such an oddity as a single parent embarking on this. Actually, I've had the wonderful fortune of meeting a few other single moms at various "Admitted Students Days" and have found that faculty and staff are receptive and supportive of my concerns. Still, I can't help but to feel a little insane for taking this on.

    I've accepted the fact that I will be a borrower of many a loan. And I will take out loans to cover child care costs for those times when I can't be fully devoted to parenting or need a break...something I didn't feel the need to do as an undergrad.

    My biggest parenting concern is that I may get so overwhelmed at times that quality time with my daughter suffers. I plan to take your advice and make law school an "8 to 5"...have you found this do-able all through law school? Even in the first year??