Wondering if becoming a part time law student
is right for you? Today I provide you with the pros and cons
of attending a part time law school program. Hi, this is Professor Beau Baez. Having taught part time law students, let
me provide you with the advantages and disadvantages of entering a part time program. Part time law students usually go to school
in the evening and complete their JD in four years, rather than the three years
it takes full time law students. But some students stretch it out to five or even
six, depending on the law school’s graduation policies. In addition to evening options, some law schools
have weekend only programs and hybrid programs, allowing you to complete some of the classes
completely online. Currently, about ten percent of all law students
graduate from part time programs. Inward, outward, upward! Inward transformations, that help make
outward changes, to propel you upwards! Let’s discuss the advantages of a
part time law school program. Earn Money. For most part time students, they attend part
time because they have a good job that they’re unwilling to give up. Some in this group are second career students,
making over six figures in their current jobs. Others have families, and they want the security
of a paycheck to cover living expenses. And some are just unwilling to borrow money,
finding they can cover living expenses and tuition by working. Flexibility. Most law schools that offer part time programs
offer night classes, providing students with the flexibility they need to attend. While most students work a day job, there
are other reasons students need flexibility. For example, some part time students are parents
who need to take care of their children during the day and wait for their spouse to come
home to care for their children. Also, because these are four year programs,
some without any outside commitments choose this route hoping to earn higher grades—more
time to study. Classroom Discussion. The typical full-time student began school
at age 5 and has never known anything other than the classroom. They often are called K to JD. Part-time students, on the other hand, bring
their work experience into the classroom, which brings a different perspective to the
classroom discussion. Admissions. Often, law schools have lower criteria for
part time evening students. For example, while you might not be competitive
for Georgetown’s full-time day program, you might be able to get into their part time
evening program. In other words, you might be able to get into
a higher ranked law school going to a part time program. Alright, now for the disadvantages. Well Being. Almost every part time law student works during
the day, and still needs to spend 40 hours a week to attend classes and study. When I taught evening classes, students took
two classes a night over three days— 6 pm to 9:30 pm. The students were tired, having put in a full
day at work. And during the last thirty minutes, some actually fell
asleep in class. Because of job demands, that means spending
the weekends studying and neglecting your family and friends for four years. Some relationships don’t survive that kind
of strain. Exams. Oddly, even though classroom discussion tends
to be better with the part time students, they don’t do as well on their exams. That’s because they don’t have the same
amount of time to dedicate to their exams. One semester I got to teach three sections of Torts: twice during the day and once in the evening. If grades were based on classroom discussion,
that evening section would have had the highest grades. But, when I gave the students the same exam, the
evening students did significantly worse. Now, because of the law school had a grading policy that equalized grades section by section, the evening section did just fine. So keep in mind, most law schools have a mandatory curve and that is enforced for each class. I suppose this could be an advantage for anyone
that enters the part time program but does not have any outside obligations, meaning they can spend their time studying and really move to the top of the class. Graduation. As a part time program it will take you longer
to graduate. If becoming a lawyer right away is important,
then you delay that by at least one year. Law School Opportunities. Most of the opportunities in law school go to the full time day students. This includes law review, moot court, special
lunch speakers, and the like. And even if you can get into something like
law review, you may find it difficult to attend meetings as they are unlikely going to have
them in the evening for one or two part time students. Summer Jobs. One of the ways that law students find permanent
jobs after graduation is by securing summer jobs. But part time students often take courses
over the summer, and are unwilling to give up their day job for a temporary summer job. Prestige. There is a perception–is it a perception– by some that part time students are somehow less competent than full time students. That’s just not true. The perception is there though. This may limit your ability to get a clerkship
or other legal employment. One of the most famous part-time law students
was the future U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, who spent one semester in Georgetown’s part-time
program in 1939 before dropping out to pursue a political career. Faculty. Many law schools staff the evening classes
with adjuncts as it is difficult to get the full time faculty to teach at night. While I never liked teaching at night, I always
loved teaching the students. They made the classroom discussion interesting,
more than compensating for the long day. Law School Options. About 70 law schools, a third of them, offer
part time programs. And only one T14, Georgetown, offers a part
time option. This means you will have fewer options as
to where you can attend. You now have to decide what makes sense for
you. By the way, even if you start in the part
time program you might be able to move into the full-time program later. Also, I’ve seen full time students, who
can’t handle the academic strain, move into the part time program. If you have more questions on part-time programs
put them in the comment section below. New videos every other Wednesday, so hit the
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Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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