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Stephy

Law School part time & raise family

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I just wanted to hear of anyone's experience or knows of anyone that has gone to law school part time and raised a family...  I am considering applying this fall and have 2 small children.  I have a pretty good support system around me also.  Is this possible?  What are your experiences?  Thank you.

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I was planning to do law school part-time with 2 small kids (18 month and 4 years) but was told by the school that the first year is best done full-time. With the great support of my husband I did the first year full-time. After that my schedule was easier and I was able to stay full time for the next two years. From my experience doing it full time and getting it done worked better for me, even though my plan when applying was to do it part time.  Hope this helps. 

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Yes Mel2019..thank you for this...well at least this way the education will get done in a faster time if it is full-time... How was the workload while trying to maintain school-family...I know you mentioned you had great support from your husband.

On 5/16/2019 at 8:09 PM, Mel2019 said:

I was planning to do law school part-time with 2 small kids (18 month and 4 years) but was told by the school that the first year is best done full-time. With the great support of my husband I did the first year full-time. After that my schedule was easier and I was able to stay full time for the next two years. From my experience doing it full time and getting it done worked better for me, even though my plan when applying was to do it part time.  Hope this helps. 

 

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We had two kids during law school. Though I like to think I wasn't absent from my kids' lives during law school, I can say with confidence that I am far less of a household staple now. Maybe I couldn't interact with my kids as much as I would have liked to, but things were a bit easier for my family and for myself knowing I was just in the next room with headphones on (I still laugh thinking about my 1 year old bursting into the room randomly with a massive smile on his face, just coming in to look for me or give me something).

I tried the whole 9-5 thing, where you just put your head down and work your arse off from 9am to 5pm, monday to friday. Well... that approach didn't work so well, especially in first year where classes go all day (at least at my uni they did). First year was definitely the toughest. In second year, I often found that I would go hard 9-4, take a break for dinner and family time, then back at it from 8-11. On weekends I would go from 9am to 3pm (immediately after nap time), then take the rest of the day off for family time. It's a tough grind, but definitely doable. I was a full time student and my wife was full time employed.

 

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11 hours ago, AJD19 said:

Sounds like a nightmare 

This was so unhelpful. 

Perhaps @providence can add some guidance. I know she was able to manage quite successfully 

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On 6/18/2019 at 8:09 PM, goalie said:

We had two kids during law school. Though I like to think I wasn't absent from my kids' lives during law school, I can say with confidence that I am far less of a household staple now. Maybe I couldn't interact with my kids as much as I would have liked to, but things were a bit easier for my family and for myself knowing I was just in the next room with headphones on (I still laugh thinking about my 1 year old bursting into the room randomly with a massive smile on his face, just coming in to look for me or give me something).

I tried the whole 9-5 thing, where you just put your head down and work your arse off from 9am to 5pm, monday to friday. Well... that approach didn't work so well, especially in first year where classes go all day (at least at my uni they did). First year was definitely the toughest. In second year, I often found that I would go hard 9-4, take a break for dinner and family time, then back at it from 8-11. On weekends I would go from 9am to 3pm (immediately after nap time), then take the rest of the day off for family time. It's a tough grind, but definitely doable. I was a full time student and my wife was full time employed.

 

Thank you for sharing @goalie 

I believe anything is possible and I could manage. My kids are a bit older so their independence at this age is quite helpful.  I wanted to hear other people's experiences to help empower me and see what kind of sacrifices have to be made before I make a big decision on whether or not to apply... It will be a lot different this time around pursing an education while taking care of a family.  I believe it is doable.  

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You could also reach out to the schools you are interested in and ask what options are available for parents of young children. Or ask if they could put you in touch with a student who is a parent so you can ask about their experiences. 

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I am a single parent of two children, and was offered part time by the school but chose to do full time.  My experience also involved a 2 hour commute each way, and this had more impact on my ability to get work done than my parenting obligations did.  Overall, it was a ton of work, but I think it was worth it and I had a good experience despite it being a difficult year.  I did strictly school from 9-3 (whether I had class or not), and played whatever readings I could through my car during the 4 hours of commuting.  Sometimes I would do more work after my kids had gone to bed, but other times I was dog tired and netflixed instead. I called it balance.  My grades turned out fine, and I didn't feel overly disadvantaged by my obligations outside of school. 

I am headed into second year now, and have elected to earn some of my credits through programming that is not a scheduled class. Very much looking forward to less commuting and more studying next year. 

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On 6/25/2019 at 3:41 PM, Iheartcats said:

I am a single parent of two children, and was offered part time by the school but chose to do full time.  My experience also involved a 2 hour commute each way, and this had more impact on my ability to get work done than my parenting obligations did.  Overall, it was a ton of work, but I think it was worth it and I had a good experience despite it being a difficult year.  I did strictly school from 9-3 (whether I had class or not), and played whatever readings I could through my car during the 4 hours of commuting.  Sometimes I would do more work after my kids had gone to bed, but other times I was dog tired and netflixed instead. I called it balance.  My grades turned out fine, and I didn't feel overly disadvantaged by my obligations outside of school. 

I am headed into second year now, and have elected to earn some of my credits through programming that is not a scheduled class. Very much looking forward to less commuting and more studying next year. 

Hi Iheartcats, thank you for your response.  What do you mean by "programming that is not a scheduled class"....it sounds like something offered online (distance education)?  Just because I would be in the same boat a possible 2 hour commute....

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On 7/12/2019 at 6:56 PM, Stephy said:

Hi Iheartcats, thank you for your response.  What do you mean by "programming that is not a scheduled class"....it sounds like something offered online (distance education)?  Just because I would be in the same boat a possible 2 hour commute....

Internships, research positions, etc. 

Also a 2-hour commute will make law school hell unless you can work in those 2 hours. 

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On 7/12/2019 at 4:56 PM, Stephy said:

Hi Iheartcats, thank you for your response.  What do you mean by "programming that is not a scheduled class"....it sounds like something offered online (distance education)?  Just because I would be in the same boat a possible 2 hour commute....

Independent research for credit, internships, legal services for credit etc.  I think a several schools offer some non-class credit options after first year.  First year is all in-class though and a bit of a grind.  My commute was by car, with me driving,  so I wasn't able to do much during it.  Any electronic readings I had I would play through my car using text-to-speech.  It was somewhat difficult to pay attention to the robot voice at first, but I got used to it eventually.  Sometimes I would have to skim the material again later, but most times the audio alone was enough to get what I needed.  That said, I was pretty limited by what I could access electronically.  If you are commuting by transit, you would be able to use the time to read as well. 

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this is good to know that these options do exist.....internships, independent research... What university is this?

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I go to U of A, but I know other universities offer similar programming for upper year students

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