Law school instead of a MSN - page 2

I have been thinking of not getting a MSN, but instead of going to Law School because I think that with having nursing background it give me a unique specialty area in which to work in. Please let... Read More

  1. by   lindarn
    Quote from Dr.Nurse2b
    Ten times?? How much do the masters prepared nurses you know make?

    My significant other just happens to hold a JD and has been practicing law for about 10 years. She earns a great living but no where near 10x a nurse. None of our friends make 10x that of a nurse either.

    I am seeing $65,000 as a median salary for a masters prepared nurse...this is a base average. Experience and location may affect salary in either direction. NPs tend to make a bit more...about $90k, again depending on location and experience. I just read a job ad for a deparment head position...requires a masters degree or BSN with experience considered...salary is $120k.

    Ten times a nurse...$650,000 to $900,000 per year for an attorney...I don't think so. Perhaps if you're a senior partner is a large downtown Manhattan firm.

    Based on my experience and knowledge attorney income is about $80k per year...that's average median. Some make much more, some make a little less.

    Now what everyone forgets is you don't start making this kind of money out of law school. Trust me! I lived it...

    Another important factor...Depending what school you graduate from the first thing you may notice is that your monthly student loan payment is comparable to a mortgage payment.

    You will spend the first year out of law school clerking for a judge and earning about $40k a year. You'll work 50 - 70 hours a week and you may get to see the inside of a courtroom once in a while. My wife was hooked up with a large firm and was sent to trial often which was invaluable experience.

    Third year out of school is when you can think about a new BMW and hitting career cruise control. By now you should have a nice office, a secretary, Blackberry, perhaps a gas card and the firm may even make your car payment for you. This is where you start to get paid for all your work. $70k - $80k plus perks.

    Year 5...if you are ambitious, agressive and in firm that likes you then you should be approaching that $100k mark if not already exceeded it. You're working 70+ hours per week, in court most of your day. You've turned in your Beemer for a Mercedes and you're putting 50,000 miles a year on it because you drive allover the state for court. Your secretary never know's where you are and you like it this way...your spouse doesn't know where you are either and often wonders if you are really in court or taking a nap somewhere. You have enough money to do pretty much whatever you want but no time to do it...this is actually great for the spouse who will be able to buy toys and find new hobbies that don't involve you.

    I thought lawyers made millions...my wife always tells people "Yeah, lawyers on TV". Unless you're planning on becoming an ambulance chaser...doing personal injury where you get a third of the take I would plan on a regular income.

    My 2 cents...if you're primary reason for going to law school is "for the money" I'd recommend considering some other profession....or better yet just stick with nursing. Most of the lawyers I know work for large firms, make a good living but have no time for a life. Trust me when I tell you that I wish my spouse was a Veternarian!

    PS: A masters degree in nursing will take you about 18-24 months. A JD is three years. I would suggest using average income numbers and perform a "ROI" - Return on investment. You are spending time, money and unearned salary by extending your education not to mention time away from "life" itself. Make certain you are going to acheive the financial goal you set for yourself based on real numbers...not the numbers you "could make" or "should make".

    Finally...one of our friends just purchased his first air plane...a little 4-passenger Sesna. He also has a small home overlooking the ocean and drive's a very nice car too...

    He's a nurse by the way.
    In Washington State, you don't even need to go to law school to become a lawyer. We have a policy here in Washington, where you can "read for the law". You have to find a practicing attorney who is willing to sponsor and tutor you. You do just what it says- there is a set curriculum that has to be followed, and you are tested, I think, every month and the testing is quite vigorous. I think the program is 4 years long. But in the long run, you can become an attorney, sit for the Bar exam, and be a licensed attorney. You work for the law firm who is sponsoring you, so you do have an income until you graduate.

    For anyone who is interested, look up the Washington State Bar Association web site, and look up "Rule 6". It is the bylaw that allows the "reading for the law". You can read it and see what you think. For the most part, the individuals who actually go through this program are former paralegals, who are already accustomed to law practice from working with law firms. They teach an incredible amount of law in paralegal programs, and it comes in handy if you decide to go to law school. Many practicing attorneys started their career as paralegals.

    By the way, I applied to law school several years ago, and did not get in.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  2. by   Jo Dirt
    Quote from lindarn
    I would go to law school over earning an MSN. How much do Masters prepared nurse earn? Not very much, compared to what an attorney makes, and will make over the course of a career. The earning potential is much lower for a nurse, regardless of what type of degree one has. A law degree is very marketable. An attorney who has a nursing/medical background is a very desirable career altenative. That is the reality of being a nurse. JMHO and my NY $0.02.

    Lindarn, Rn, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    I know for a fact not all (or even most) attorneys are raking in the dough. I know attorneys making about $50,000 a year.
  3. by   subee
    Quote from krazykev
    I have been thinking of not getting a MSN, but instead of going to Law School because I think that with having nursing background it give me a unique specialty area in which to work in.

    Please let me know what your thoughts are on this idea.
    Finally, I would be going to Law School to defend medical professionals from lawsuits. Not to become an ambulance chaser.
    Either way, you will have an interesting life (if you prefer "life" over money!). You will always have work as a nurse-attorney because nurses who have licensure issues will always benefit from an attorney who is intimately connected to the profession. Your clients aren't wealthy and you probably will never become rich but your efforts would
    make the world a little better place. If you're relatively young and can swing an education financially, pick the world that makes your heart beat a little faster. You're in a win-win situation.

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