Knowledge vs The almighty $$

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by LAfun2, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    So I have a friend (Ryalex..don't want to hear a peep out of you;) ), who needs some advice. What better place to ask then here.

    Here is the situation:

    For the story, we will refer to him as "Y". So Y has a undergrad degree from a good University. Y has two businesses, that does very well. Y owns 2 houses (1 has no mortgage, the other is very minimal).

    Y wanted to go to Law school and went through the motions. Did well on the LSAT, and got accepted to some top 5 schools. Y accepted the opportunity to go to the best law school in the country. Y would be starting there this fall and paid the deposit already.

    However, while Y was doing L-school applications and getting ready for the last 10 months or so, Y got into some new business ventures, that are making very good money. Y has a comfortable life and no debts.

    So the dilemna is

    Should Y go to law school, or continue to expand Y's current business in other fields?

    Y's motivation to go to L school isn't the money. Y is already making much more money than most attorneys. Y's life goal was to have a JD, and thus it was more about knowledge of the field. But now Y realises, spending 3 years in L school will hurt Y's business growth. Y will fall behind the curve, as far as what Y wants to do monetarily.

    Y also doesn't want to be a slave for 100+ hours a week at a firm, hoping to make partner in 8-9 years. WHen Y can make the same amount of money, and have things that are owned by Y, instead of working for the big firm.

    So is going to L school smart for Y (Y has L school $ and won't be taking any loans for the 3 years)? SHould Y instead focus Y's energy full time in business, and nurture the growth, Y's business is capable of?

    Or is going to L school, and being an attorney in the long run more beneficial?

    Or is going to L school, but not practicing, the best idea? But with this, Y would lose 3 valueable years in business, which are critical.

    It isn't like Y would be an uneducated rich business owner. Y does have an undergrad, but if Y chose to stay in business, Y would just be that, a college educated business owner. Whereas if Y went to L school, he would be more educated (JD).

    Y is also concerned with time with spouse and future kids. (Y has neither now). Y's business would allow the time with the family, whereas a 100 hour associate lifestyle might not. Then again business might be at a point, where Y would be working more hours as a business owner than as an associate. But at the end of the day, Y has something to show for as far as abusiness goes, versus being a associate at the firm.

    Your input/advice/thoughts appreciated.

    You can list the Pros and Cons as you see it.
  2. Ferrari0324

    Ferrari0324 F1 Rookie

    Mar 20, 2004
    Full Name:
    I have to first say, it is a good dillemma to be in. Sort of. I think the biggest question is, has he grown up and wanted to be a lawyer. Is he passionate about the law like he is about his business?
  3. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Full Name:
    I would think long term. If Y loses money now {falls behind the curve} can he make it back or will the business crumble? Also, he will be gaining a law degree that can be used in all parts of business. I think Y should choose what he would like to do most of all and focus on that. If he already has money and doesn't mind not being a billionaire, then he should do what he likes to do as long as he can make a living at it. The wife and kids are much more likely to follow if he is happy and isn't being controlled by someone else.
  4. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    Hi Neil. NIce to hear from you. Haven't talked to you in ages. You are correct, this is a long term scenario, and thus Y is in such a dilemna. Y will be able to make the the $$ back later, but Y will fall behind the curve, meaning 3 years in Y's business is significant. You are correct as in the law degree is very versatile, thus Y is giving this serious thought. Though, Y tends to enjoy businesses that, though the JD might help, it won't be critical. Thus its more knowledge getting the JD, rather than usefulness in Y's business.

    Y would most like to have a comfortable life and give time to his family and kids. Y feels as an attorney, Y might not be able to do that (not sure how much truth/fiction is in that, since I am not an attorney). Agree on your point about happiness with the family. Good family>$$ to Y. Y also feels something tangible is there with the business, while not so being an associate.

    I am sure when some attorneys (art/whart/f. parker/will) and others chime in, we will get a better picture of the other side.

    Hi Brandon,

    Thanks for the quick reply. Yes the dilemna is not necessarily a bad one. However, having many choices in life, as good as may be, is sometimes harder, as one is always wondering which is the right one.

    Y has always wanted to be an attorney. Y always, and still does have passion for the law. But passion only pays the mortgage for so long ;) Y is passionate equally about the business and the law. However, both can't be done, as if Y is in law school for 3 years, it will hurt the business, not to mention the 165$K Y has to spend, that could be used elsewhere.
  5. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    Dammit Ryan, will you quit whinning and just go to Yale! Geeze Louise. How many times do I have to say it? You can always make money. But you only get one shot at doing something like Yale Law. Just go and don't look back.

  6. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Full Name:
    I am looking into finishing my University, I am debating the $$$ it will cost along with the $$$ I will lose from not working vs. the money making power I will gain from it. It's not contest really, I'm going back and in 7 years I will be so far ahead of where I "would" have been, it will seem silly at that point.

    My advice to "Y" is get an education you can use AND be happy with. If "Y" can make enough money in his life with or without the extra schooling, then decide whether or not the information he learns is worth it.

    Also "Y" seems to put himself in a win-win situation, what ever happens, he will make the most of it and won't regret either choice.

    I have to go my live-in hottie just finished supper.

    Wish your "friend" Good Luck from me.
  7. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Full Name:
    If "Y" is "Y"ou... then go to school. You seem like a bright one and the bright ones should be the smart ones.

    Yale law... there isn't a question in those two words. ;)
  8. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Jan 20, 2004
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    Internet Poseur
    Dale: You are... how should I say this......WRONG. Yeah, thats it, WRONG.

    Good businesses running well, your own boss; to drop this for a professional degree leading to more hours and less pay, likely working for SOMEONE ELSE is INSANE. Its misguide. It would be a mistake.

    Continue doing what you do well, pour your money and time into this business, make it grow.
  9. 285ferrari

    285ferrari F1 World Champ

    Sep 11, 2004
    Southern Md
    Full Name:
    F law school--build your business.
  10. Kboy007

    Kboy007 Formula Junior

    Oct 18, 2004
    Full Name:
    Mike Verinder
    whatever that persons passion is...
    thats what that person should do. period.
  11. Z0RR0

    Z0RR0 F1 Rookie

    Apr 11, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Full Name:
    Well, can Y re-apply to law school, or is this his only chance?

    If his life goal is to be a lawyer of some sort, and this is his only chance ... go for it.

    If law school can wait, and we assumed his businesses can't ... sounds like a no brainer to me. Law school will wait a few years.

    How about putting someone in charge of the businesses while Y goes to law school. May not grow as strongly as it is right now, may not make as much money, but will stay afloat, while Y goes to law school. It's easy to keep up with a certain field even when at school, much easier than actually running the business.
  12. Robin

    Robin F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    I'd compare this with the kids who get recruited into the NBA right out of high school. You only have one shot at that kind of deal. You can go to school at any time in your life, but things like an NBA deal or a great business setup don't come along every day. Heck, our own WillyH is in law school and probably 10-15 years older than most of the people there. How cool would it be to have money pouring out of your ears at 40, then heading off to law school with a bunch of 24 year old chicks. Easy decision there...

  13. TC (Houston)

    TC (Houston) Formula Junior

    Feb 5, 2002
    If you don't intend to practice law I think going to law school, even Yale, is a big waste of time. You will learn very little law in law school that will be practical to you in the real world. Law school is more about developing a way of critically analyzing situations and learning how to do legal research. If your business is going well then nurture it, law school will be there. Focus on your business now and when you get to the point where you *want* to take three years away from it or pursue another career, go to law school.

    There are plenty of us who are in the law who are trying to figure out how to get into business. I wouldn't leave a successful business to go into the law unless you just really wanted to transition into the practice of law. :) But that's just IMHO.
  14. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:

    Robin that is a very good analogy. I hadn't thought of that. Thank you. Hope you are enjoying the 355. :)

    LOL. Dale, would your advice differ it was say Law school of Idaho (not sure there is such a thing) versus a top law school? I am curious if the school here is important, or going to law school vs. business? Just trying to pick your brain. :)

    Are you just finishing your undergrad? Y already has an undergrad. Wanted to clarify, since I was confused by your statement.

    That is the point. THe stuff he learns in a JD, though very valueable, is not something Y needs to make $. The $ formula is already there.

    Enjoy your dinner. :)

    How does it matter if Y is me or my friend? Just curious. And why do you think Yale law is special? I know H law and Yale Law might make serious money, but Y is making serious money now.

    Y, also has no political ambitions, so none of that and the "connections" are an issue.

    Good point there. Especially valuable coming from someone with a professional degree. Thanks Doc. :)

    So two Docs saying no to L school. Straight and to the point. Thank you. :)

    I wonder what all the lawyers will say on this board, once they chime in.

    Y's passion as a child was law. Then Y discovered businesses that Y was and continues to be extremeley successful. Thus decision is hard, passions are similar.

    I think as Robin said, going back to L school at 40 might be more of a good idea. However, I don't think Y can reapply to such a prestigious school. I mean Y can but who knows if Y will get in.

    Businesses will be dead if Y leaves it to someone else. THat is not an option. All businesses need to be sold, if L school entered the picture. THus making the decison even more crucial.

    very very valid points

    I know lawyers, who are sick of doing the 90 hour/weeks and want to start something on their own. BUt they are in their late 30s/early 40s, with mortgage, kids to feed, and can't take the risk of a business or opening their own firms.

    Valid point. Thanks TC :)
  15. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    Folks, we are talking about Yale Law School here. Can you say Yale?

    Trust me on this one. There are always bidness opportunities out there. If Ryan has done this well at this early of an age, he will have no problem jumping back into the race AFTER law school. But to pass on the opportunity to match your mind against some of the best of your generation just to make a buck -- big mistake.

    Ryan, if you do decide to pass on Yale, consider this. Take a year off. Get a Ferrari and drive it around the country, without a road map. Just go. You'll never regret it.

    Dr "I wasn't born to follow" Who
  16. tjacoby

    tjacoby F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    Vancouver Canada
    Full Name:
    One of the most successful (unlimited funds, does what he wants, is a genuinely nice guy - to his friends) business guys I know has a law degree - it's been very useful to him in his boardroom battles. Understanding the laws of business will only benefit your "friends" business growth and career. "He" wants it, it'll help him make 100x more bucks, and have a lot more fun doing it.

    How much money does he need? sounds like he's set, and will succeed at whatever "he" does. good luck, let us know how he turns out.
  17. AKS

    AKS Formula Junior

    Apr 11, 2004
    Sin City
    YALE. enough said.

    A JD from Yale is the most prestigous and gives you ALL kinds of options in the legal world. He would be able to take his pick of Vault 10 firms. Even if he doesn't choose to work for a firm a JD will help you in the business world.
    Especially if it is your own business. Hell, it sounds like he has the business side down so he could open a firm (with a few partners) and make very good money.

    (opinion above maybe slightly biased as I am planning on attending law school after ug)
  18. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

    Mar 16, 2002
    Full Name:
    Unless attending Yale was a life-long dream, I would suggest staying the course and getting a law degree on the side. It seems as if the law degree would be used to fortify Y's business sense, rather than as a feather for his/her cap or as bragging fodder for future social and professional cock-fights. Besides, if someone in his future ever brags about going to Yale, he can just say "Yeah, I turned them down."
  19. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 6, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
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    Ryan Alexander
    I'm with Dale. It is said that if you get into Yale, Harvard or Stanford Law, just go - unless you want to be a doctor or astronaut.

    This does not apply to other law schools, maybe Columbia, NYU or Chicago to an extent. Other than "HYS" I agree with TC that law school isn't worth it if you're not going to practice. But the game is completely different with the Big Three. From these schools you have your pick of careers - not just in law, but HYS law students get recruited for banks, consulting firms and management and can apply for nearly any corporate/MBA job out there if they don't find a job with the 500+ employers that come and interview.

    My suggestion, if the businesses must be sold and can't be turned over to a manager in the interim, is to:

    - Build up for a sale by the end of this year
    - Go to Yale Law, cross-registering as much as possible for Yale B school courses
    - Don't take a law job, but work on starting/acquiring another business with the money
    - Use your school and new alumni connections and get to know more power players
  20. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave F1 World Champ

    Jul 26, 2004
    Full Name:
    Ryan, is this an option for Y? Or do Y's businesses have any sellable value?

    What I mean is, is Y the business?


    Had to take a phone call before I completed this thought. Just to clarify: would the businesses continue as a going concern without the contacts and relationships developed by Y? I may have a misconception about the business that Y is in.

    That said, I have no strong feelings one way or the other... Yale Law is a great opportunity, but so is owning your own businesses.

    Let me know if there's any other matters I can't help with. :)
  21. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    Ryan-H, you're right, but for the wrong reasons. I think that Ryan-Y should go to Yale Law just for the experience. He is not married. Doesn't have any kids (or not any that he will admit to). Whenever a young person has a shot at being among the very best, he or she should take it. I'm not talking about the money. I know that this is hard for you young bucks to understand, but the money will come. Life is a trip. It is not a desintation.

    I'll use my daughter as an example. She went to high school at Andover and undergrad at Dartmouth. (She is currently a rising senior.) When asked, she will tell you that the best part of both schools was and is the people. Her plan is to go the best law school she can get into, even though she is a creative writing major and wants to write poetry.

    But, at the end of the day, Jessica will end up going places, meeting people, and doing things that I will never even dreamed existed. Regarding money, my bet is that she will end up making more money than I ever did. Life has a funny way of doing what you least expect.

  22. LAfun2

    LAfun2 F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:

    Ryalex, very good points as usual. No doubt Y/H/S opens up doors to many places in the world. However, one has to want to walk through those doors to reap the benefits. ;)

    If a person goes to Yale Law, but wants to sell shoes on the street in Sudan, no amount of career options from Yale connections will help.

    But selling the businesses might be doable.

    Yes selling the businesses are an option. They have significant resale value. There won't be any losses. However, there will be long term losses, i.e. the money you won't be making from them, since they are at a very good stage, and will only grow up from here. There is 5100 new homes(600K$+) being built around the business, so the customer base will infinitely grow. Kind of like sitting on a gold mine (relatively speaking).

    However in about 3 years, buying back these business locations without significant finance help will be next to impossible.

    Y is the person.

    Yale wasn't a life long dream. I have no idea why Yale Law even accepted Y. But that is besides the point currently. I do like the law degree on the side, as few others, like Robin, has mentioned ealier.

    Problem is Yale Law doesn't have a night program. :eek: And I am not sure how challenging a Chapman night law/southwestern night law would be compared to a fully rigorous Yale JD program.

    You must have not read the post thoroughly. Y does not want to the firm job. Also his own business, will benefit nothing from a JD, whether from Yale or your average crappy law school.

    Opening a firm isn't as easy as you may think. Good luck with your studies.

    I don't think Y needs much money. Y is doing rather well compared to people twice the age. I will keep you guys posted. Thanks.

    Thanks Dale for the clarification. I assumed initial post was directed that way, because it was Yale. I think you would recommend staying in business and foregoing the JD. Your opinion is very valueable, and I needed the clarification. Thanks.

    I like the Ferrari and road trip idea..

    Dale on a similar note. Wouldn't you say, a person who "isn't born to follow" would go against the grain, say "F Yale, lets do business and take the risk?"

    Dale, I do agree here. THe intellectual challenge is something one can't put a price on. Your wisdom and experience really comes through from that point, and thanks for giving us a different angle on that.

    Dale, respectfully I think Jessica's situation is not comparable. Jessica has you for a dad, who has done quite well in his own life. She has been able to afford Andover and Darthmouth, and that is totally different from the postion Y is in. Yes Y can afford Yale Law, but Y isn't surrounded by family that is well of and Y can let his/her hair down and follow the dreams. There are responsilibities and other mouths to food, and many other things to worry about.

    Not everyone has the freedom in life to decide between writing poetry or making big bucks. Jessica is a very lucky girl.
  23. 62 250 GTO

    62 250 GTO F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Full Name:
    The personal scale I would use is this:
    If what I learn is important to me {even if it doesn't factor into my business}, then I would weigh that against the money/ time I would lose from the business'. If the business' would crumble and a lot of money were to be lost or large amounts of future monies were to be lost, then perhaps I wouldn't leave the business'. It all depends on how much would be lost and if it would affect the security of my future.

    It doesn't matter who "Y" is. But if it is you, the same advice applies. I would tell anyone in a situation what I would do. I wouldn't screw a family member over or a stranger, it doesn't matter.

    Yale Law is Yale Law and only a very select few will ever have that opportunity, it rings in the ears of many people. It's a very large feather in your hat that should give you an incredable feeling {once finished} for your whole life.

    Personally I wouldn't look at a balance sheet before making this decision. If I had enough money to live on while at Yale with a high earning potential after I left, that would put my mind at ease while I was at Yale.

    "Y" should use his/ her gut feeling. They shouldn't be afraid about making the wrong choice, they should feel positive about which way they go. If Yale doesn't ring a bell with them and in 20 years, they can't imagine caring about their educational history, then I guess it isn't "that" big of a decision.

    Ryan, myself and "Y" are in two very different positions, perhaps my advice isn't up to snuff. Listen to your family and friends and the more educated/ wise people on F Chat.

    What ever happens with "Y", I'm sure he will make the proper choices for his life.
  24. mchas

    mchas F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 5, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    In my opinion, I think you should consider the potential regret in the future. If "Y" decides to turn down Yale Law, will they regret it later on in the future? On the flipside, I guess they might regret selling their current profitable business(es), but I'd bet turning down the opportunity to go to Yale Law would be a bigger regret. "Y" has been successful in business thus far, there's no big reason they wouldn't be successful at others in the future. If Yale is a one-shot deal, I'd take it in a heartbeat. As far as a JD not being applicable to anything "Y" will do in the future, I don't believe that. I think a law degree would be VERY useful in many aspects of life. You never know what sorts of lawsuits you'll be invoved in, ESPECIALLY as a business owner. Just my opinion, hope it helps. :)

    PS - Tell "Y" congrats ;)
  25. Aureus

    Aureus Formula 3

    In High-School I wanted to simply get it done with so I left, deciding that Ivy wasn't what I was interested in and closed that door. I've since deeply regretted that decision and have set the goal of making it to an Ivy/similar graduate school. As such if I had gotten into Yale Law I'd take it in a heartbeat. It is something that will make you proud for the rest of your life and will likely always give you a plan B.

    But you say your goal isn't anything like the above. So I think you'll just have to weigh for yourself whether you think you can keep your businesses and attend Yale. If you can't keep your business you need to decide yourself if attending Yale Law School is worth the loss of your businesses. I know that from my perspective it wouldn't be. I might have it as my personal goal to make it to Tuck but I wouldn't cast aside successful and prospering businesses I had built to attend any school.

    I'm also not sure why this is "your only chance." Yale will take LSAT scores from as far back as October of 1999. While you might not get into Yale the second time I find it hard to believe that you wouldn't get into any of the Top 5 or top 10.

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