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Old 01-04-2009, 09:18 AM
Location: SW Florida
47 posts, read 272,449 times
Reputation: 40


I am lost! i admit it! I am 35 years old, have a 9 yr old son who has special needs and have done nothing with my life over the past 10 yrs. i have a BA from a very "esteemed" college and did one year of law school which i loved. that was 10 years ago. Here i am now, living in a place i truly hate, doing a job i do not like at all, and i dont know where to go from here. i have some ideas about what i "want" out of life, i can envision myself in this or that condition, but i dont know what to DO. of course going back to school seems like the only logical answer to the problems of location, obtaining a CAREER, movng somewhere better and making the kind of money i have as a goa. But the idea of going back and the logistics are so far apart! if i went back to law school i found out i would have to start from scratch and its about 3-4 years!!! of course the money would likely be good could i manage to hang in for several more years. other than that im wracking my brains as to what else i could go to grad school for that i may like, would be lucrative and may not take quite as long as the law degree. Its like, when you get older the priorities take on a new balance - yes i want to do something i am passionate about and will love a lot, but im also 35 and i would like to reach a certain level of financial freedom that comes with some careers. I dont know if i should hire a life coach or what?? i am confused, dont know what steps to take. i know what i want overall but dont know which route to take. im always so concrned with squeezing the most out of the least, i.e., what the least painful, costly, time consuming way to get from point A to point B, B being where id like to see myself in my life as described above. thanks to anyone who read this!!!
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:31 AM
1,796 posts, read 5,894,104 times
Reputation: 1164
Hello, if you really want to go to Law School, then you should go. If it is in your heart, and you feel that is your goal then pursue it. No, it won't be at all easy. Especially with a child that requires extra support educationally. But do know that if you BELIEVE that you can do something, it CAN be done. A way will be found. You have to push through any walls and barriers that will attempt to stop you. Once you push through, you will get to the other side. But it is a fight!!! A mental one, that makes you believe in yourself.

And, you have done something the past 10 years, maybe not in the career of your dreams yet, but to be a parent is something! I of course don't know you, but wish you well as you make your decisions.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:41 PM
2,838 posts, read 8,681,582 times
Reputation: 2846
I also would not say you've done nothing... you've been raising a child for the past 9 years!

Think about this: In 3-4 years, you will be close to 40, regardless of whether you go to law school. Don't let the time involved stop you, if that is what you want to do. You can either take the classes for those years or continue doing what you're doing, but either way it will be the same number of years passing. If you want to go to law school, then find a way, even if it takes double the amount of time because you need to go only half-time. Or, wait a few more years until your son is more self-sufficient in some ways (not sure what you mean by special needs, maybe this is not accurate in his case), and you will have more time to take a full-time course load or even an accelerated load, if possible.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:36 AM
9,200 posts, read 17,286,062 times
Reputation: 21797
Default Health Law

There are many programs now that offer a Master's degree in health law or healthcare law. Healthcare compliance is a growing field. Most of the programs do not require GRE's, and these are not law degrees (JD's) but MA's. Most programs are 2 years.

I am a clinical social worker by background, but got into Compliance a few years ago. I've done a lot of legal-related continuing education, and in the process, also learned that there are actual degree programs for this. People from all sorts of Bachelors's level educational backgrounds and different kinds of work experience are getting into this field.

With ever-increasing government regulation of healthcare, and increased scrutiny and sanctions on healthcare providers, there is a growing need for these professionals.

If you liked law, but don't really want to be a lawyer, it might be a good option to explore. Especially since you have valuable life experience with a special needs child (I'm sure you've dealt a lot with healthcare, rehabilitation, and support professionals).

Issues in the field include:
  • Privacy laws protecting healthcare information
  • Compliance with Medicaid and Medicare requirements
  • Healthcare fraud & abuse
  • Business-related laws
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Managing risks (preventing and responding to lawsuits)
  • Laws related to medications and drug research
  • Medical malpractice
  • Mental health law
  • Laws around death & dying
  • The legalities of consenting to treatment, medical guardianship and power-of-attorney
These are just a few issues. I know that many universities that have law schools now have MA Health Law programs. Some classes are taken in the law school, some in the medical school, etc. Here in NJ, Seton Hall University has a good program. There's one in San Diego (UCSD). Not sure where you are located, but check the universities near you. But since you also don't like where you live, maybe look into such programs nation-wide.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:30 PM
Location: Manhattan
361 posts, read 1,734,363 times
Reputation: 218
When I was going through the same decision-making process, the thought that helped me most, when I was worried about how old I was, was "well, in 5 more years I'll be X years old anyway, may as well be another 5 years older with progess towards my degree under my belt!". It's tough making a career change at this age, but you can either do it, or never do it wake up one day and be 80 (I kept telling myself over and over!).

The other thing is that as you noticed, figuring out what I what I wanted to do was A LOT of work!! It took me several years (although there were a whole bunch of other circumstances mixed in there to lengthen the process). You really do have to look closely and think deeply about all the options, but it's worth it because when you find the right path you will know it, without a doubt!

I was also living somewhere I didn't like and have moved somewhere which I consider to be better, and I too am looking at starting at the bottom in my new career, so I know what you mean! But I just kept coming back to, well, if I DON'T do it, I will just be older/unhappy/regretful.

Best of luck to you! It's a difficult journey but worth it!
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