Jim Edwards is 73 years old. He is also in his third year as a student at the Nashville School of Law. Nashville, which prides itself on making legal education accessible to everyone, is a four-year, evening only program. The journey Edwards took to get to law school is incredibly unique and surprising.
When Edwards was attending Mercer University (Macon, Ga.) in 1959, he was sent a letter stating “he didn’t need to return.” Edwards’ grades were not really the best. He instead spent a career pursuing different business pursuits. In 1989, he started his own company, Bailey Special Risks. The company specialized in brokering insurance deals that covered businesses facing workplace claims.
Edwards also served on the Hendersonville, Tennessee planning commission. He worked closely with an attorney and often bickered with her. The attorney, Nancy Crider Corley, suggested that Edwards put his ability to argue to use and attend law school. Edwards heeded the advice, but there was one problem. He never graduated from college.
In 2009, Edwards sold his business and began classes at Volunteer State Community College. Then he transferred to Middle Tennessee State University, where he earned a degree in political science. Edwards received the stereotypical undergraduate degree for law students and was on his way.
Edwards says retirement is really an ideal time to study law. He has the money and time to make a legal education a practical idea. A career of owning his own successful business has allowed Edwards to not have to worry about student debt or even finding a job after graduation. He can focus solely on the here-and-now and be the best student possible.
Edwards might very well be onto something. If law school doesn’t work out now for whatever reason, you can always wait until you are 73.
Source: USA Today
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