Needing some advice

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mcj29
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Needing some advice

Postby mcj29 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:41 pm

I'm a junior in college and I need some advice about law school. I have a plan and I just want to know what other people think about it.

I am planning to take the LSAT in October 2010. By that time I will be a senior in college. After I graduate, I am planning to obtain my paralegal certificate the summer of 2011 through Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. They have a summer intensive program. By August 2011 I could go to law school or I could work and attend law school the following year. Does this plan seem worthwhile? Am in too much over my head? Should I build up work experience before law school? What do you think? I just want to do something realistic.

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ggocat
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby ggocat » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:46 pm

No need to get a paralegal certificate unless you want to work as a paralegal.

And I don't think you need a paralegal certificate to have a decent shot at a paralegal job in DC. I knew a couple paralegals in biglaw and DOJ, and none of them had a certificate.

mcj29
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby mcj29 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:54 pm

So I guess if I wanted a break from school, I should go the paralegal route before law school?

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ggocat
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby ggocat » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:30 pm

mcj29 wrote:So I guess if I wanted a break from school, I should go the paralegal route before law school?

Depends what your other options are and what you want to do. I'd replace "could" with "should" in your question, and I'd answer "yes." You could go the paralegal route. You could also do Teach for America. You could also do Americorps or Peace Corps. You could do anything you want.

mcj29
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby mcj29 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:38 pm

Thanks for the advice :)

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Cupidity
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby Cupidity » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:48 pm

TAKE IT IN JUNE

TAKE IT IN JUNE

TAKE IT IN JUNE

You need to be sending off you applications by october, submitting in november will hurt you.

Also, the LSAT is a test prone to a bad day....if you are tired, stressed or sick, you could bomb out. Taking it in June leaves september/october for a retake (I did this 159-->166), if you take it in october your senior year and mess up, there is no chance of applying before January and that IS too late.

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Massimiliano
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby Massimiliano » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:50 pm

I tried this exact route and failed miserably. I didn't obtain a paralegal certificate but my sense was that it wasn't necessary, though I bet it would help your chances to some degree.

Long story short, the legal market is in horrible shape right now. In the past couple years, law firms laid off a massive number of paralegals, support staff, and attorneys with limited experience. Not saying finding a paralegal job is impossible first year out of college, but it's certainly tough.

I tried finding a paralegal job in Boston for 3-4 months after graduating and failed (only got 1 interview.) Now I've ended up waiting tables and it sucks. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise -- I'm going to Korea to teach English for a year and I've had the last 4 months to prep hard for the LSAT. It made me realize how much I really want to go to law school.

If I were you, I'd either work for a year doing something unique (teaching abroad, peace/ameri corps, etc.) or just go straight to law school. Just make sure you figure it out by your last semester so you're not screwed like me for 6 months.

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JordynAsh
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby JordynAsh » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:59 pm

Cupidity wrote:TAKE IT IN JUNE

TAKE IT IN JUNE

TAKE IT IN JUNE

You need to be sending off you applications by october, submitting in november will hurt you.

Also, the LSAT is a test prone to a bad day....if you are tired, stressed or sick, you could bomb out. Taking it in June leaves september/october for a retake (I did this 159-->166), if you take it in october your senior year and mess up, there is no chance of applying before January and that IS too late.


+1000

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ggocat
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby ggocat » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:47 pm

Massimiliano wrote:Long story short, the legal market is in horrible shape right now. In the past couple years, law firms laid off a massive number of paralegals, support staff, and attorneys with limited experience. Not saying finding a paralegal job is impossible first year out of college, but it's certainly tough.

+1. Most firms let go more support staff than attorneys.

mcj29
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby mcj29 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:04 pm

Taking the LSAT in June :? I rather have 8 months to prepare than 4 :?

HoyaParalegal
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby HoyaParalegal » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:27 pm

I thought I'd put my 2 cents in on this topic. I am more than a bit biased given that I am the current director of the GU Paralegal Program, but here is what I hear from alumni who have a paralegal certificate from our program and then matriculated to law school . . .Taking our program helps them tremendously in law school because they do not need to spend time learning basic terms, theories, concepts, etc., as not only have they studied them, they also were taught how to practically apply them - something that most law schools fail to address. How many times have you heard how new attorneys have no idea how to really "practice" law? In addition, our program heavily focuses on critical legal research and writing skills so important in law school and beyond.

Questions regarding employment - The DC legal market is really not much different than any other employment market in the country. It is tough to find a job and it is tough to keep a job - especially for those straight out of college. Why wouldn't you want to have a leg up on the employment competition right now - even if this is not your professional calling? Maybe investing in education up front can move your resume up in the gigantic pile of resumes. Based on discussions with paralegal managers across the DC area, that is often what they do with resumes from prospective applicants who have graduated from our program. These managers know the immediate value educated paralegals can bring to a firm.

Teach for America, Peace Corps - all incredible life changing opportunities to explore, as is the ability to enhance your life with additional education.

Feel free to contact me directly at paralegalstudies@georgetown.edu to continue this "conversation."

HOYA SAXA!

mcj29
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby mcj29 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:27 pm

So I failed to mention I am a Georgetown undergrad :) hoya saxa indeed lol. But as I've been talking to more people I think that getting my paralegal certificate would be a wise decison because the more education the better. I definitely think it would help rather than hurt.

HoyaParalegal
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby HoyaParalegal » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:42 pm

Yeah HOYAS (except that they got "orange" crushed this weekend)! Enjoy your next year and a half and know that I am available anytime to chat. :D

attendantgodot
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Re: Needing some advice

Postby attendantgodot » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:48 pm

mcj29 wrote:Taking the LSAT in June :? I rather have 8 months to prepare than 4 :?


if you get serious about studying, 4 months is plenty of time




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