Volume 3, Number 4 • September 2005
By Mike McBride
I’m 42 and ready to go back to work after a “family break.” I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, and have worked in corporate, regulatory, and policy roles most of my career.
Cash flow being in limited supply, I want to start earning my way as I go through a law degree course. Would it make sense to become a paralegal first, then start law school? Do paralegal courses count toward a law degree?
Thanks for any help you can be.
— “Lawless in Seattle”
Dear “Lawless in Seattle”:
Congratulations on completing your family break and pursuing your dream to become a lawyer. Your corporate, regulatory, and policy experiences will serve you very well. Unfortunately, paralegal courses will not count toward a law degree. If you desire to go directly to law school and become a lawyer, I recommend that you take the appropriate steps, including preparing for the Law School Admissions Test and applying to an American Bar Association-accredited law school.
Given the limited supply of money, I recommend applying for scholarships. It might make sense to land a job at a law firm or a government or regulatory agency so you can have some practical experience while you attend law school part-time. It will also give you an excellent preview of various career fields, and potentially, a leg up on a job when you graduate.
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