Should I wait out this cycle or go all in?

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mattclew23

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Should I wait out this cycle or go all in?

Postby mattclew23 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:55 am

Hey everyone! Long-time lurker first time poster. I was hoping that I could get some advice from some of you regarding my situation and what you would do in my shoes. I graduated from college about a year ago and have been working at my current job ever since. My wife (25) and I (24) have been married for about a year and a half and live in Utah near her family.

I have been studying for the LSAT since January and have seen a pretty good increase in my practice scores since then (151 blind ---> 162 latest). I am registered to take the July test and hoping to score at least a 165. If I don't, I will cancel my score and schedule a re-take in September.

My wife and I are going back and forth on whether or not I should even apply to schools this cycle. We are planning on having a child within the next year and are trying to save up some funds to establish an emergency fund and have some living expenses for when I am eventually in law school. We both do not have any student loans, no credit card debt, and only have a small car payment ($180/month) and her tuition for a certification program (~$300/month).

Do any of you see any clear advantages/disadvantages to waiting until next year to apply for school? I see the pros as giving me more time to study, improve my score, save up financially, and get accustomed to parenthood. I see the cons as I may be missing out on practicing law a year earlier, I would be 27 at the time I enter school (are there any disadvantages to being older as a 1L?) and 30 by the time I graduate, and that I am just kicking the can down the road when I am already eager to get moving!

Thank you all so much for any feedback you have. Like I said, we are both torn on the issue and would appreciate any advice!

cavalier1138

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Re: Should I wait out this cycle or go all in?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:57 am

There are no disadvantages to waiting before starting law school. Better question: where are you planning on applying, and what job/salary are you hoping for after graduation?

mattclew23

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Re: Should I wait out this cycle or go all in?

Postby mattclew23 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:19 am

cavalier1138 wrote:There are no disadvantages to waiting before starting law school. Better question: where are you planning on applying, and what job/salary are you hoping for after graduation?


Thanks for the reply! I am very a debt-adverse person and so my thinking is to go to the best school I can for lowest cost. Preferably, I do not want to go more than $100K in debt. There are a few schools I think I can do that with if I have the right LSAT. BYU, Vandy, and Notre Dame. Some other schools I would love to go to, even if I have to pay a little bit more, would be GWU, GULC, UV, UT, Duke, UCLA, Cornell, NU, or Chicago.

I fell in love with DC when I interned there about 2 years ago. I consider myself a policy "wonk" of sorts and am very interested in either clerking or practicing administrative/regulatory law there when I graduate. My long term goal is to end up back in Utah and make my way into politics, but I would be happy to work elsewhere for a little while if need be.

A follow up question I do have is that although you mention there are no disadvantages, isn't there the lost opportunity cost of entering the market later and potentially losing out on income and setting me back on my career? Thanks!

cavalier1138

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Re: Should I wait out this cycle or go all in?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:28 am

mattclew23 wrote:I fell in love with DC when I interned there about 2 years ago. I consider myself a policy "wonk" of sorts and am very interested in either clerking or practicing administrative/regulatory law there when I graduate. My long term goal is to end up back in Utah and make my way into politics, but I would be happy to work elsewhere for a little while if need be.


Don't go to law school.

Get an MPP if you really want a graduate degree. Or try to get a job in a relevant political office right now. Law school is good for one thing: becoming a practicing lawyer. If that doesn't describe your interests, do something else.

Additionally, DC is the most competitive market (in terms of credentials, not ties) for legal work, especially of the caliber you've mentioned. A school like BYU is not likely to place you in DC. A 165 on the LSAT is not likely to get you into the T13, but it's difficult to be more precise about that without knowing your GPA. But none of that is relevant if your career goals don't include practicing law.

mattclew23 wrote:A follow up question I do have is that although you mention there are no disadvantages, isn't there the lost opportunity cost of entering the market later and potentially losing out on income and setting me back on my career? Thanks!


If you decide to go through with applying, you're presumably going to be working between now and then. You haven't identified a particularly high-paying field, so you're not missing out on a massive salary.



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