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Coleen Hoffmeister
Coleen Hoffmeister, Legal Assistant
Category: Legal
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Experience:  23 years in legal experience.
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Law school advice...

Customer Question

I am in the Marine Corps and I get out in October. I'll have a B.S. in Business and I have a wife and two kids. I want to follow my Bachelors with Law School but I will have to support my family at the same time. Besides being a paralegal or a felon, do you have any advice on jobs that will lead to Law School or be able to do while I'm in Law School? I'll need to make $40,000 + a year...
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Coleen Hoffmeister replied 11 years ago.
Law school is the most difficult task to get through besides a doctorate, not counting the bar exam, and requires your complete undivided attention.

I stayed on the Washburn University campus in Topeka Kansas, next to the Law School for 2 years, worked with attorneys, paralegals and law students in Topeka for 17 years, among them the most brilliant minds who went into practice.

I watched and listened as law students struggled with 3 years of what they call pure hell. You will have to be sure to have a lot of support from family and friends to do this. I applaud you for going for this distinguished degree and do not want to dissuade you.

Yes, it would be helpful for you to work in a law office. If you are in California, you will have a good chance of finding a law office that will help you in your endeavor and make the money you require to keep your family afloat. In the midwest, you would be lucky to make $20,000 a year.

Find a law firm that works in the field you are interested in. You could work in the human resources department of a large firm or as an office manager of a smaller firm. Be forwarned that if you go to a big firm, you will be removed somewhat from the action of practicing law, but may have a chance to do the required studying, etc. If you go to a small firm, they will require a lot of your time, but you will be close to the actual practice of law.

You will need to check with the school of your interest to see if they require a minimum or maximum hours of work, which some do. Some of them do not want you to work at all, some don't care if you work 20 hours, some don't care.

Most attorneys end up with an exorbatant amount of student loans, which you will certainly qualify for. They pay them off at a long stretch, and prefer this to working due to the constraints of law school. You have to decide whether you are willing to do with no sleep, lot's of interuptions, extreme exhaustion to work and take the chance of not passing your bar, or to get the student loans and completely immerse yourself into one of the most lucrative, albeit turmultuous fields in the U.S.

Good luck and God Bless.

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