He’s in his late-30s and has been around the block and seen the world.
He can self-finance his own education and won’t need to make a whole lot of money when he gets out of school.
He has talked to actual practicing attorneys in his hometown to get a sense of what they do for a living.
He’s already thinking about his marketing strategy to sell his legal skills to clients.
Former NBA defensive player of the year Ben Wallace wants to go to law school when he’s done with basketball. He thinks he wants to be a defense attorney.
I think that would be a wonderful decision for him. Not only will he get to experience the intellectual joys of learning a new trade, he’ll be able to employ himself after he’s done and he won’t be in a mountain of debt. Don’t call me a law school hater, I just want everybody to make informed and financially sound decisions like Ben Wallace…
YahooSports has the scoop:
After he retires, the NBA’s four-time Defensive Player of the Year plans to pursue a law degree to eventually become – what else? – a defense attorney. Wallace, 36, has discussed his ambitions with lawyers in his offseason home in Richmond, Va. He also has begun looking at prospective law schools.
Pistons center Ben Wallace, in his 15th NBA season, is already researching law schools.
(Allen Einstein/Getty Images)
“That’s my ultimate goal,” Wallace said. “It’s always been one of my dreams. I think I can argue a pretty good case. I think I can convince a couple of people to see things my way.
“I’m very serious about it. Very.”
The brother is 6’9”, 240lbs, and in his prime other NBA players were scared of him. Yeah, I think he could “convince” me of a couple of things if he was “very serious” about it.
But while the sports media will look at this as kind of a whimsical fantasy from an aging player, I assure you that Wallace is significantly better prepared to be a successful and profitable attorney than scores of people.
MONEY: Ben Wallace has made millions of dollars in his NBA career. He’ll be able to pay for his education without going into debt. When he gets out, he’ll be able to take whatever job suits him, not whatever job pays him the most.
His classmates will be looking at six figures of debt to even get through three years of legal education. There are only a handful of jobs which pay enough for these people to carry that kind of debt load, and they’re all taken. Do you like your phone? Too bad, you’ll never be able to answer it again once the creditors start calling. BIG EDGE: Ben Wallace.
INTELLECTUAL EXPERIENCE: I’m not saying NBA players are dumb. I imagine that many of them are very intelligent. But not many of them have been well-educated. A lot of them went to college in name only and even then only for a short time. Being in a classroom, debating fellow students and professors about the issues of the day, that’s going to be a lot of fun for Wallace. But at times, the whole thing will move a little fast for him (again, not because he’s stupid or anything, but because he probably hasn’t sat in a classroom for 15 years).
Most of his classmates will be picking up right where they left off last spring, or only a couple of years ago. They’ll get the maximum benefit because they won’t be wasting time learning how to learn in a classroom again. EDGE: Classmates
SOCIAL LIFE: He’s Ben Wallace, he’s going to be the coolest guy on campus.
Unfortunately being the coolest guy on a law school campus is like being Eddy Curry’s bathroom attendant in Ben Wallace world. Going from the NBA lifestyle to the law school lifestyle will break Wallace. Three times a day you’ll see his eyes light up, and then his whole demeanor sour just a few seconds later. You’ll ask him why and he’ll say “Nothing, just thought I saw a stripper. Sigh.”
Meanwhile, his classmates get to go to school with Ben Wallace! BIG EDGE: Classmates
GRADES: Would you give Ben Wallace a C? I wouldn’t give Ben Wallace a C. What possible good could come from giving Ben Wallace a C? EDGE: Ben Wallace
2L RECRUITING: Not that it seems Ben Wallace wants to get into a Biglaw firm, but let’s say that he did. There are firms who would hire Wallace for his enforcement powers alone. “Hey Ben, our geeky internet start-up clients aren’t paying their bills on time. Can you… handle that?” I bet he could handle that.
And Biglaw firms like star power just like everybody else. Elizabeth Wurtzel works where? Boies Schiller that’s where. Oh, Wallace will get a job. You think Latham wouldn’t hire him? Who would be better at Lathaming colleagues than Ben Wallace?
And while the firms are wining and dining Ben Wallace, his classmates will be in a steel cage fighting to the death for the other offer the firm intends to give out to that school. BIG EDGE: Ben Wallace
KNOWLEDGE OF THE LEGAL WORLD: Yahoo says that Wallace “spends his downtime watching Court TV all day and all night.’” You’re watching Court TV, not reading Above the Law? Really? Maybe you’re not as serious about this profession as we thought. RIDICULOUS EDGE: Classmates
CAREER PREPAREDNESS: Ben Wallace has been talking to Murray J. Janus and Craig S. Cooley about his future options. Both are attorneys in Richmond. We already know that he doesn’t need the money, but to be a successful and respected lawyer he’s still going to have to bring in clients.
Can you imagine Ben Wallace in one of those cheap lawyer T.V. ads? He’d kill it. Of course criminals would check out his legal services. He’d be like a combination of Jimmy the Grunt from The Practice and Johnnie Cochran. “I’m Ben Wallace, and I’ll defend YOUR lane.” “Did the cops come into your house and arrest you without a warrant? Ben Wallace will send it back.” “Is your woman trying to break you down for all you’ve got? Ben Wallace knows about help defense.”
The marketing opportunities are endless! This man will come out of law school with a business plan.
His classmates? Please. When they go on T.V. to promote their shingle, they’ll end up looking like the Tax Masters guy (btw: how awesome is it that the Tax Masters guys put up the SNL spoof on their website). GIGANTIC AFRO EDGE: Ben Wallace
I’m telling you guys, don’t sleep on Ben Wallace’s legal career. At the very least, it’ll be more successful than mine.
Defense never rests for Pistons’ Wallace [Yahoo Sports]