Admissions Question: June 17
Q: I am considering applying to your part-time program because I would like to keep working while getting my law degree. I am also married with two children. How doable is taking on law school while also working and having a family?
A: Juggling full-time work, part-time law school and a family can be overwhelming, but it is also manageable. We have held evening courses for over 100 years and have had time to establish a very well-run, flexible program for students who have other work & life commitments. One testament to that is our low attrition rate – few students leave the law school regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time students.
Even so, some students are able to handle the load better than others. Time management and prioritizing skills come in very handy! The best advice is to get everything (and everyone) on a schedule. That way you allot time to all that you have to do. Also, your family and your employer will all know what to expect and when you will be available. We encourage you to work with your employer to allow some flexibility into your schedule if possible. For example, maybe you could work less, or even take time off, when it is time to study for final exams.
Having the support of your family and friends is key. Because working law students are stretched for time, your loved ones may end up with much of the burden of running a household and taking care of children, if applicable. You are all going to be in this together so if they are not on board with your goal, or have unrealistic expectations, then things will be more difficult for everyone. Lewis & Clark has a session during Orientation specifically for spouses and significant others of law students. The session helps prepare them for what to expect and allows them to meet others in the same situation.
It is very important for you to think about your goals, your current situation, the type of work you are doing, and whether you might need to make some changes to make it all work with law school too. In the end, if going to law school is a goal of yours, we think our part-time option makes that goal a reality for many people. We have hundreds of alumni who went through the part-time program, either all four years or for part of law school, who can attest to the reality of doing it!