Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Were you happy with your decision to take a gap year?

Yes
164
82%
No
9
4%
Didn't take a gap year and happy
22
11%
Didn't take a gap year and not happy
6
3%
 
Total votes: 201

User avatar
WrappedUpInBooks
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:19 am

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby WrappedUpInBooks » Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:52 pm

j.wellington wrote:I must be part of that strange group for which "gap years" are known as "real life."



+1.

I worked, I paid bills. I've had a good couple years, but it's not like I had some planned "gap year" full of fun activities and living off my parents.

It was helpful for me because I have been working at a non profit in the general field I want to be in after law school, which will help show my dedication to PI.

I also got some needed time off from that whole school atmosphere. Working full-time is different, and I actually know what that's like now. Not only am I sure I want to go to law school, but I am excited to be in school again! If I had gone right out of undergrad, I would have been so burnt out.

I have saved up enough to travel for an entire month before law school though, so I'm excited for that!

User avatar
r2b2ct
Posts: 134
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:33 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby r2b2ct » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:08 pm

I'm taking a year off. It's given me time to prepare for the LSAT, but it's not doing any good for my resume so far. If I had taken the LSAT during UG, I would have preferred going to law school right after UG.

User avatar
S de Garmeaux
Posts: 434
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:00 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby S de Garmeaux » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:31 pm

In my year off right now. I work during the day as a legal assistant at a small firm near UG and deliver pizzas a couple nights a week at my UG job for extra cash. I recommend doing it if for nothing else than to live not-as-a-student for a while. My parents paid my rent and everything through UG. I'm now financially independent aside from being on my dad's health plan. It's an eye opener, living off ~16,000/yr in southern california can get pretty difficult, and I couldn't be more ready to be a student again.

User avatar
Kchuck
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:49 am

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby Kchuck » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:39 pm

I really needed to see this thread.

I'm contemplating taking a year off. Does anyone know how residency is affected during a gap year, say I move out of state for a year to work/live but still have family with a house in-state can I just claim that as my residence/ keep my driver's license in state, etc. Is that possible/ allowed?

User avatar
iShotFirst
Posts: 460
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:13 am

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby iShotFirst » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:56 pm

j.wellington wrote:I must be part of that strange group for which "gap years" are known as "real life."


Haha +1

Kchuck wrote:I really needed to see this thread.

I'm contemplating taking a year off. Does anyone know how residency is affected during a gap year, say I move out of state for a year to work/live but still have family with a house in-state can I just claim that as my residence/ keep my driver's license in state, etc. Is that possible/ allowed?


As for this, it wont make a difference, you can still keep your residency (although you may to have your family's house in-state listed on your LSAC). You can keep your old drivers licence no problem. Some states have rules concerning this, for example, California states you must change your drivers licence within ten days or you get some fines, but I havent changed mine yet and Ive lived here for ten months. Just dont carry anything that would identify you as a resident in a place where a cop might see it when you get pulled over.

User avatar
ConMan345
Posts: 577
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:08 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby ConMan345 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:03 pm

I'm taking a year off and working. It's been a fantastic way to figure out what kind of work I want to do, even in a very general way. For instance, I've realized that the most important thing is that I'm intellectually challenged in my job. This is crucial information to have going into law school rather than finding out after the fact. I recommend everyone take at least a year off.

Also, 95% of the working attorneys I have asked (and I've asked many) say to take at least a year off.

User avatar
ApexChaser
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:10 am

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby ApexChaser » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:18 pm

Addendum to my previous post. OP, if you decide to take a gap year, I highly recommend finding a temp. job-at least for a period of the year. It shows you aren't idle, adds another swanky previous-job/volunteer exp. to the resume (basically negating any detriments of a gap year), and provides income for adventures.

If your goal is big law, you likely will not have time for month+ trips to foreign countries (excluding study-abroad) for quite a while to come. A gap year can let you travel to the places you've always wanted to go-if that's your kind of thing.

User avatar
eye
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:40 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby eye » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:33 pm

ApexChaser wrote:Addendum to my previous post. OP, if you decide to take a gap year, I highly recommend finding a temp. job-at least for a period of the year. It shows you aren't idle, adds another swanky previous-job/volunteer exp. to the resume (basically negating any detriments of a gap year), and provides income for adventures.

If your goal is big law, you likely will not have time for month+ trips to foreign countries (excluding study-abroad) for quite a while to come. A gap year can let you travel to the places you've always wanted to go-if that's your kind of thing.


Yes sir! I've got a few things lined up. Hoping to figure out exactly what I want out of law school during the gap year. I'm excited having almost made my decision. Scary at the same time..

User avatar
pearl_earrings
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:25 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby pearl_earrings » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:39 am

.
Last edited by pearl_earrings on Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Scarletlady
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:41 am

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby Scarletlady » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:44 am

j.wellington wrote:I must be part of that strange group for which "gap years" are known as "real life."


Ditto. Paying bills on your own is good for your character, come on people.

rg5020
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby rg5020 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:10 pm

Yeah, I don't call it a "gap year" - I call it "working."

I had a pretty intense senior year academically, so I was burned out, and I just wasn't positive law school was the best decision for me. So, with a little help from my parents, I moved out to DC and found a job on Capitol Hill. I want to work in politics, so it seemed like the logical thing to do as I sort out my future.

I don't regret it at all. As other posters have said, you mature a lot. Paying rent, bills, learning to be truly independent - these things weigh a lot more on you than you would expect. I enjoy my job, but the most rewarding aspect of it has been meeting people who have forged all sorts of careers in "politics," and I have a much clearer idea of what I want to do than I did a year ago. Plus, the network I've built will help in the future.

I've also realized how important it is for me to be intellectually engaged to be happy. I don't think that my friends who went to law school right out of undergrad don't appreciate that their job is, essentially, to learn, and how great that is. When you're working for low pay in a menial position, you have a lot more motivation to make the most of law school. You think a lot about what you want to do and what would make you happy. In UG I managed to avoid those thoughts until about a day before graduation. In the real world you can't, and it sharpens your focus.

User avatar
sandiecohen47
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:37 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby sandiecohen47 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:18 pm

I graduated in May 2007 thinking I'd get my Ph.D is sociology. I worked 18 months at a think tank in DC and hated almost every part of my job. After a year there, I realized academia was the last thing I wanted to do and that being a legal advocate is what I truly wanted. I switched jobs, took the LSAT (twice) and am now ready and excited to go to law school and become a PI lawyer. Taking "gap years" is a great idea for most people. Unless you're 100 percent sure you want a J.D. and have had internships/externships in law, I'd recommend taking time off and really exploring what you want.

User avatar
pearl_earrings
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:25 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby pearl_earrings » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:25 pm

.
Last edited by pearl_earrings on Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ze2151
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby ze2151 » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:33 pm

Very happy. I graduated Dec 06 and spent that time working (a lot), getting married (once), traveling (three times), and crushing the LSAT (2nd try). I'm much more interesting as a result. Take some time off. Figure out where you fit in the world, then let that shine through in your PS. Also, kill the LSAT.

Rock of Love
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:56 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby Rock of Love » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:39 pm

I'm working abroad and have traveled in nine countries over the past eight months. I feel refreshed and motivated to return to academia. Best decision I could have made.

johndhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:25 am

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby johndhi » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:58 pm

I worked as a paralegal for 1 year and 4 months, up until yesterday (!!!). I loved it and it's the reason I'm going to law school.

02122015
Posts: 5317
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:57 pm

.

Postby 02122015 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:14 am

.
Last edited by 02122015 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Panther7
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:34 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby Panther7 » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:30 am

j.wellington wrote:I must be part of that strange group for which "gap years" are known as "real life."


well, yeah, my "gap year" consisted of working two full time jobs for basically minimum wage, but whatever.

User avatar
Veyron
Posts: 3598
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby Veyron » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:08 am

Do it if you've got an interesting job lined up. I did and got into a reach so I guess it must have helped some. Also ready to go back to school in a way I wasn't right after college.

User avatar
heyyitskatie
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby heyyitskatie » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:27 am

Unless you are a non-trad student (i.e. have lots of work experience, are already a real adult, etc.), definitely take time off.

If you think about it, the best case situation if you take no time off is that you go from four years of high school, four years of UG, and three years of LS to working 60+ hours with more money than you know how to manage having never done anything other than be a student. To me, that's really scary.

It's nice to arrive at a point beforehand where you keep your things adult clean instead of college clean, pay your bills, budget, etc. Most importantly, however, I think it's important to surround yourself with people who won't be going to law school or it's educational equivalent in other fields for awhile. Most of us bust our asses for this and become pretty blinded to other options, and it's important to realize that it's not the only option and that it's a choice you should make after exploring, not because "it's what you do next."

cali gal
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:11 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby cali gal » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:54 am

Dealing with the real world for a gap year definitely makes me appreciate and look forward to returning to the student life.

tianzi
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:30 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby tianzi » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:35 am

I entered my University with 48 credits from high school in 2002. I was poised to graduate in August 2004...I took the Dec. 2003 LSAT....did horrific! I applied anyways...I was shut out...So I decided to spend another year at University and add another major to my degree. I graduated in August 2005 as a result.

My mom said move back home so you don't have to pay rent and you can work and do whatever you want...So I got a job in customs and border protection as a Spanish interpreter in Oct 2005 and been there ever since...

Since then...
- I've become fluent in German, advanced in Mandarin, intermediate in French/Russian
- Bought everything I'll need for law school, from basic furniture in my room to hdtvs for the computers, iphone etc.
- Went from not having a passport and never being outside the country to having spent a combined total time of 7 months over 3 years in Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Netherlands, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Malaysia, China, HK, Macau, Canada, India, UAE.
- Gained lots of experience through my job on the government side of immigration law.
- Gained tremendous amounts of experience in dealing with non-US Citizens.
- Got to spend tons of time with my family

Finally I've regained my energy to focus and hopefully do well in law school. I thought I was ready in 2004...but I wasn't. If I had went in 2004, I would have never probably traveled until I was old...never got to work in the exciting environment I do...not have the things I have now for law school...not learn the languages I've had time to learn. While this go-round I don't think my LSAT is stelllar...(Went to have my eyes checked and was told a couple days before the test I might have brain cancer or something) and could be better...I'm happy with schools I've gained admission to so far. Waiting to hear back from several more still.

In any case I'm extremely happy I took the time off...I'm 25 now.

User avatar
Bikeflip
Posts: 1833
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:01 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby Bikeflip » Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:12 pm

ESL in SK. Lovin' it, but I do wish I had traveled more during my time here.

User avatar
yuzu
Posts: 144
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:08 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby yuzu » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:30 pm

Bikeflip wrote:ESL in SK. Lovin' it, but I do wish I had traveled more during my time here.


An elderly couple goes for a drive and gets lost.
They pull over, and the lady asks a bystander "Excuse me, could you tell us where we are?"
The bystander simply says, "Saskatoon, Saskatchewan."
The lady exclaims, "My goodness, George, we must really be lost. They don't even speak English here!"

(Or maybe you meant Slovakia or South Korea :lol: )


ApexChaser - your gap year sounds very much like mine was.

User avatar
eye
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:40 pm

Re: Were you Happy with your choice to take a gap year(s)?

Postby eye » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:58 pm

It's official, I'm taking a gap year.

Many thanks to this helpful thread. If anything, it surfaced my desire to really take some time off and get a perspective!




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], ctl95, Lawl_Schoolz, Yahoo [Bot], zot1 and 8 guests