When You Need an Adult But You Are an Adult

Ian, 27    

“Education is important. Law is something that I’ve always been interested in, and I want to know as much as I can about it. Hopefully I can use what I learn in the future. When I started applying I was at a point where it felt like a “now-or-never” thing, and I decided to take the plunge.         

“I wouldn’t say I gave up my career of flying. I still do it part-time and my licenses and experience didn’t go anywhere. But, I did give up three years in a career that is entirely seniority based. So if I were to go back to flying, I would have to essentially start as a very junior pilot. 

 “It wasn’t much of a choice but my relationship of 3+ years did suffer and end during my first year. It was actually between our second and third final exams ever (after Civ Pro and before Torts). It’s hard to keep a relationship if you have one before starting law school. Although many people better than myself have made it work. 

 “Coming back to school from a career, I’d say something that you give up is the freedom of having a regular income. It’s very difficult to work during law school so you have to be reliant on scholarships and student loans. It’s frustrating and a little scary sometimes to think about the cost/benefit of taking on more loans when you could have a positive income, but that should definitely be considered before starting school. It just feels different than you expect once you start school.” 

Getting back into the “swing” of things… Studying wasn’t that hard. If you’ve worked between undergrad and law school, you have to just treat law school like a job. Just because your schedule says you may only have one or two classes on a particular day, you still have to get your time in somehow that day. Reading, writing, working on a project – there’s always something that can be done. 
Biggest shock of coming back to school… Being the complete novice. Not knowing anything about how anything works in law. Realizing you have to start from square one and not being afraid to ask really simple questions. 
Greatest challenges in law school… Just time management. I was coming from a career that had a set schedule of time you were “on” and time you were “off.” If you were off, you didn’t even have to think about anything related to work. You could go do anything you wanted. In law school, as I said before, there’s always something you could be doing, it’s a matter of you figuring out ahead of time what needs to be done and how long it’ll take you to do it. 
Greatest resources… You’re going to figure out who your friends are and you’re going to have to lean on them for the stressful times. I am very lucky to have a supportive family as well, so that definitely helps. 
Law school and your personal life… Haha – law school becomes your personal life. Just find friends at school that you can BS with and let off steam with after class if needed.    Otherwise, I generally keep my personal life separate. Others have said it long before me, but like with my prior career and “on” and “off” time, make sure you get some “off” time for yourself where you just don’t even have to think about anything related to the law or school.” 
Your Story/Advice… It’s certainly doable. 

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