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Old 01-08-2006, 05:59 PM   #1
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I am a single mother of two elementary school aged boys and a dog. So far I've been able to go to school in the evenings, work full time, and still have time for my kids. I recently found out that most of the top law schools don't have part-time evening programs and that you have to take like five classes a semester. I was just wondering if anyone out there knows of a single mom that has made it through law school. I'm hoping for some inspirational stories.
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Old 01-30-2006, 02:58 PM   #2
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I am in the same situation that you are. Starting in the fall I am going to be Pre-Med and have to go during the day. The only difference is my daughter is only 17 months old. I still don't know how it will all work out, but some advice is to go to salliemae.com and look into taking out a private loan. You borrow up to $30,000 if your credit allows just for being a student. You don't have to start paying it back until after you graduate. It may be a way to allow you not to have to work full time.
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:51 PM   #3
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Hi Ya'll.

I kinda know what your going through. I am currently 2 years into my Master's program for Social Work, I work full-time and I am doing an 14hr internship all at the same time while raising my 13month old daughter alone. My mother watches her in the evenings when I do some of my work hours. It can be done and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It is hard and you have got to manage your time and crunch your time. To help out with child care look into Child Care Assistance in your state and/or Child Care offered through your school. I have been doing this for two years so hit me up with any questions that you have.
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:36 PM   #4
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Well I know it's been a while since you posted this but I thought I'd offer some hope. I am working full-time and also going to school full-time. The advantage you have is that your kids are school-aged. That means you going to school during the day is definitely an option. What I would do is find a job (or cut back at your full-time job) that is only a few days a week. You can take out student loans that will pay your bills, and they don't have to be paid back until after you graduate. Also they're only like $25 a month so it's no big deal. After you get a law degree that will be pocket change! Do NOT give up hope! There's someone else out there that needs your story to inspire them.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:32 PM   #5
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This is way late, but in case anyone is out there searching, as I was, then here is my take. I am just finishing up my second year as a full time law student. I started when my daughter was 7 years old and beginning 3rd grade. I am a single and living no where near any family. The first year all I did was go to school full-time during the day while my daughter was at school. During year two, I have spent about 6 hours per week law clerking while going to school full-time, all while my daughter is in school. Let's face it, it's not the kids fault that you or I decided to jump into a second career, therefore I have not made her pay the price. While she is in school, I am in school. I pick her up and drop her off, she still thinks her mom is in the picture. Law school is very tough and time consuming, however, if you get your priorities straight, it will all work out. I don't strive to have the best grades, but my grades are fine, and more importantly, my daughter is getting the love and attention she needs and deserves. I live in one of the most expensive zip codes in the country and I can still make it work. How? There is tons of financial aid out there and a little thing called "foodstamps" for low income people. I spend my summers working as my daughter visits with her dad during that time and it is enough to earn spending money during the year. Financial aid covers living expenses as well as tuition. In my opinion, a little educational debt will be worth the income in the end. Hope this helps! It can be done.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:23 PM   #6
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Thanks so much!! I have just been accepted into law school for this fall--went to the law school preview just last Friday. When we were married, my ex-husband was in law school (he left me in his last semester), so I know how time-consuming it can be.

I also know how expensive--those student loans were one thing I was happy to see leave with my ex-husband. My big concern right now is qualifying for federal financial aid. Long story, lots of stress in recent days, and a very angry call to my ex-husband.... (Part of the concern in having fed financial aid is that I know you need to either work 20 hours/week or *qualify* for work-study in order to get food stamps. I've got to have it all, including child support, in order to make this thing work.)

I am also feeling guilty that my kids have had a parent in school for virtually all of their lives, and when Dad finally finishes, Mom decides to start up. When I was married I did day care out of my home. At the time of our divorce, my daughter was in preschool and my son was in kindergarten, but we moved into my sister's house and she so graciously watched my kids for me when they were not in school. My job right now is in a preschool, so for the most part I can put my kids on the bus, go to work, and be home in time to get them off. I really don't want to give up that schedule. One of the schools I am considering is here, close to my sister. The other is *much* cheaper, so I would prefer it, but 2 hours away from family. It was a relief to hear you CAN do it without necessarily having family close by and without relying on child care.
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Old 06-30-2008, 07:59 PM   #7
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I am currently going into my second year at Loyola in New Orleans. They have a part-time evening program in addition to the day program. I began when my son was 7 months old. Everyone told me it wasn't a good idea and when I became unexpectedly pregnant,it meant that school was out of the picture.

I obviously did not listen. My admissions counselor was wonderful and they have a great orientation /mentorship program and I was paired with another single mom. There is a lot of aid out there. I have a lot of loans , but also have work study
The work study makes it possible to have enough activity hours between school and work to qualify for childcare assistance, food stamps, and Medicaid for both me and my son without taking away from your school focus. Additional programs that make it work are WIC and the commodity supplemental food program and energy assistance. There are lots of programs that you just have to make it work for you. It is a pain in the ____ sometimes to deal with the different case workers and agencies, lot of them I think just want to hassle you, but it all works out in the end.

To apply, do a google search for the program name and your state. And you should then be able find the local office.

anyway and then you can find a balance of study time between classes and depending on your workstudy job you can even study at work (I was lucky enough to do this)
And now I am going into my second year with a B average. It can be done!!!
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:30 PM   #8
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Thank you j's mommy, for your story. What you say is true, and I hope some of the people who read it gained confidence that it is possible to go to school while being a single parent.

It's cool to hear the story from your point of view too, as you're in the middle of your college years. I graduated ~10 years ago and sticking it through college is almost entirely responsible for the improvements in my life since becoming a teen parent. I remember it being *really* difficult at the time; it's not a comfortable life being in college with a child. If you stick through 4 years of it, however, it makes the rest of your life so much easier...

Welcome to the site.

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Old 09-26-2008, 10:06 PM   #9
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I know I am late into this discussion, but YES, it can be done. I am a single mom of a girl and am in my second year in law school. I finished my first year in the top 15% of my class, and was one of the few people who had a paying job as a law clerk for the summer.

Beware that you have to prepare your child for the sacrafices that will be made. Approach schooling like a job. And build a support group. You can check out my blog about some of my first year experiences (I was way to busy to write as often as I wanted to) at: http://singlemominlawschool.blogspot.com. If you go back into the archieves, I wrote some suggestions and thoughts about my experience along the way.

My daughter is learning the value of an education from watching me. She is also seeing the example of a strong female chasing her dreams.
“If your expectations aren’t to be the best, then… you know, nobody rises to low expectations.” - Chip Kelly, coach of Oregon Football.
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