Should I work for a year?

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s0ph1e2007
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Should I work for a year?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:15 pm

So I'm hoping someone can give me some unbiased advice.
My sister worked for a year before she went to law school and made law review and said that everyone on law review had worked for at least a year and that it helped a lot to do well on your 1L year.

Shes trying to convince me to work for a year before going to law school, claiming its absolutely essential to being succesful you 1L year.

Agree, disagree?

Admittedly I do not want to, but obviously if it's really helpful I'd consider it seriously

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j.wellington
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby j.wellington » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:27 pm

I'm not in law school, but seeing that a JD is more of a professional degree than an academic one, I think it's important to get some work experience first. A lot of schools advise outright that applicants have at least some professional experience before they apply. I think they're wary of people who have been students their whole lives making such a large life decision. This is probably a little different at the very top law schools, where a career in academia or legal theory is a more serious possibility.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby Kiersten1985 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:30 pm

Most definitely.

I would advise every single prosepective law student to work in the legal field especially before making the final decision to go to law school. I know way too many lawyers who didn't know the reality of what they were signing up for and who now hate their lives.

Don't be one of them.

Oban
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby Oban » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:38 pm

Kiersten1985 wrote:Most definitely.

I would advise every single prosepective law student to work in the legal field especially before making the final decision to go to law school. I know way too many lawyers who didn't know the reality of what they were signing up for and who now hate their lives.

Don't be one of them.


Defenitely TCR.

Also, studies have shown that students with work experience do better in lawl skool.

jjones73
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby jjones73 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:40 pm

I agree that working for a while is essential. It is tempting to go to law school straight from UG, but I don't think it's wise. Take a while away from the academic world. You may find that law is not your calling, especially if you work at a law firm. Better to find that out before you spend a ton of money and time investing in something you hate.

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S de Garmeaux
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby S de Garmeaux » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:40 pm

definately work unless you have incredible numbers

its a preview of things to come

i dont know how much of a soft it would be, but going up against someone w/ identical numbers for a spot, the one w/ professional experience would prob win out

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s0ph1e2007
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby s0ph1e2007 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:49 pm

So, say I apply and get into Michigan with some money or a similar school non T-3 but T-14.
Would it be wise still to work for a year and apply again next year?

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby Kiersten1985 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:54 pm

s0ph1e2007 wrote:So, say I apply and get into Michigan with some money or a similar school non T-3 but T-14.
Would it be wise still to work for a year and apply again next year?


You're missing the point - how do you know you really want to be an attorney? Unless you've worked a ton in college and have had some experience in a firm/DA office/etc.

If you don't have the numbers for HYS, work experience won't get you in unless that experience entails curing cancer.

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chadwick218
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby chadwick218 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:59 pm

Personally, I would advise working a couple of years before law school, but if you do so, I would do something substantive. I worked for 5+ years before attending law school and believe that I really got a lot out of it!

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rockchalk86
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby rockchalk86 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:20 pm

There are plenty of people who are successful in law school coming out of UG. That being said, Taking an academic break could really help refresh you. Plus WE looks good on a resume. If you get into Michigan though, I think you should take it and run. There is only so much a year of work can do for you.

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j.wellington
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby j.wellington » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:26 pm

For those who have worked in law firms before going to law school, do you know of any good web resources for finding such positions? I wanted to work in a legal setting but found such jobs really hard to come by. I'd even be open to a volunteer thing. I just don't know where to look beyond the obvious places.

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby Kiersten1985 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:33 pm

j.wellington wrote:For those who have worked in law firms before going to law school, do you know of any good web resources for finding such positions? I wanted to work in a legal setting but found such jobs really hard to come by. I'd even be open to a volunteer thing. I just don't know where to look beyond the obvious places.


I just researched the top firms in the vault rankings and sent out a ton of resumes. My goal is BigLaw, though, so not sure if it's what you're talking about necessarily. Many big firms have legal assistant programs that you can usually find on their websites. They may refer to them as paralegals, too.

Oban
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby Oban » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:36 pm

rockchalk86 wrote:There are plenty of people who are successful in law school coming out of UG. That being said, Taking an academic break could really help refresh you. Plus WE looks good on a resume. If you get into Michigan though, I think you should take it and run. There is only so much a year of work can do for you.



you can succed without work experience, but you are also probably more likely to end up hating your career unless you experienced long work weeks and legal type experience. That said, if you get into a good school and there are no job oportunities go.


Also, the rummors have it that people with work experience are out performing their numbers at OCI

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby Kiersten1985 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:37 pm

Oban wrote:Also, the rummors have it that people with work experience are out performing their numbers at OCI


Makes sense.

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JazzOne
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby JazzOne » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:46 pm

OP: I'm a non-trad who had nine years of WE when I entered law school. I definitely think that working helped me develop perspective and a stronger work ethic. However, you certainly can compete and succeed in law school straight out of UG. But you should be prepared to increase the dedication you put into your education. If you're not sure whether or not law is for you, consider shooting for substantial scholarships at slightly lower ranked schools instead of blindly enrolling at the highest-ranked school that accepts you. If you graduate with minimal debt, you still have a world of options.

Things change a lot in your 20s. The things you find interesting today may not be so interesting five years from now. There is much to be said for WE, but if you get into a top school or snag a scholarship, law school becomes a more attractive option. The real question is, do you want to go to law school?

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fathergoose
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby fathergoose » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:50 pm

All three of my older sibilings took a year off before grad school in various fields and talked me into it too. I don't know that it will help me get into schools but it has helped me mature and appreciate the enormouty of the financial and lifestyle burden I'll be taking on.

Just my two cents

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vanwinkle
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:53 pm

s0ph1e2007 wrote:So, say I apply and get into Michigan with some money or a similar school non T-3 but T-14.
Would it be wise still to work for a year and apply again next year?

Two things:

1) You can ask for a one-year deferral if you are accepted. Tell them you've decided you'd like to work for a year and get some real-world experience before attending law school. If you put it in the form of a question and phrase it like that they're very likely to say yes and grant it to you; that benefits them as well, because you're more likely to be successful if you have a year of work experience under your belt, so they'd probably like you doing this.

2) The work you do does not have to be in the field of law. I have 5 years of WE under my belt from between college and law school, and while it was not at all law-related, it still taught me a huge amount about responsibility and work ethics and the reasons why we need rules for people to follow. These things make you take the classwork more seriously, because you have a point of view that someone who's only lived in academics doesn't have yet.

It also helps you understand how it's hard work that pays off, not just raw intellect like it may have been for you in college. Law school success requires a lot of hard work outside the classroom, and I think the reason people with work experience are so successful is that experience, living in a situation where it's the person who does the most work that wins, instead of just the person that is the "smartest". Every one of your classmates will be the "smartest" in what they did before, it's the work ethic that will set you apart most.

If you've already gotten into a school you want to attend, the one-year deferral option will keep that seat open for you next year and let you go work for a year. That's a win-win for you.

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straxen
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby straxen » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:14 pm

I agree that substantive work experience before law school is invaluable, I don't think working in law is essential, I think any professional experience would be as good. I'm in my second year off and here are my thoughts on why WE is valuable:

1. You only get one shot at a career out of law school, so the time between UG and Law School is a bit of a freebie. I'm treating these interim years as a time to learn what it is I want out of a career as well as gettingaccustomed to work life so that I can inform my education accordingly.

2. If you're financially responsible for yourself for a year or two, the realities of life become pretty clear. I know I'll be more motivated in law school with a more concrete sense in my mind that this is what will put food on the table for many years to come and not merely an extension of college.

3. You will be more motivated going into law school because you'll think "oh thank god I get to be a student again" rather than "ah crap, 3 more years of school". Personally I didn't know how much I'd mourn the loss of the student lifestyle, e.g. not having to wear a suit everyday, and am looking forward to three years in which to live out that life with a better appreciation of it. Plus, if your job is tough, you'll have discipline you can apply to your studies to make it more manageable.

Finally 4. I feel like I have something real to put on a resume and something to talk about in interviews that will help me stand out. Interviewing out of UG I always had problems because I drew on a very limited student experience that doesn't translate as well in the real world. I feel like my WE was a good career move even if the impact on law school admissions is negligible...just because law schools don't care doesn't mean employers won't.

ughOSU
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby ughOSU » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:16 pm

Also, it can help for mitigating debt load (although not substantially if you're only working for one year). And it helps you understand the value of a dollar. Sounds really cliche, but I find it holds true. After working a couple years, I know that I will be taking a completely different work ethic and understanding of the professional world to law school, and I think that can only be a good thing. Although, of course, some freaks are like that in UG.

regardless, it will help you in OCI, and it will put another year of distance between your OCI and the Great Recession.

ughOSU
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby ughOSU » Tue Jan 19, 2010 5:18 pm

straxen wrote:Personally I didn't know how much I'd mourn the loss of the student lifestyle, e.g. not having to wear a suit everyday, and am looking forward to three years in which to live out that life with a better appreciation of it.

This for sure

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Should I work for a year?

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:50 pm

I vote work.




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