Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

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PlugInBaby
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Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby PlugInBaby » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:49 pm

Ever since I graduated undergrad in May of 09, I have not been able to find ANY suitable work full time, part time, or seasonal. This cycle has been lackluster and I want to try again this year. This means two gap years with no promise of any work. However I have not been complacent. I have feverishly tried to get jobs and I have rededicated myself to health as I have lost a lot of weight.

Even if I present a stronger application this time around, would this gap year of being unemployed hurt me?

singingvontrapp
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby singingvontrapp » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:54 pm

I don't think being unemployed is technically a "gap year." And I don't know how anyone can hold it against you that you were unemployed during one of the worst recessions in recent memory. I hope you have something to put on the resume though, like volunteering or something.

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Unitas
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby Unitas » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:55 pm

Uh, this is what they will think: "what the hell has she been doing?"

First thing I thought also.. So what have you been doing? I mean looking for a job isn't taking up much time daily and neither does weight loss. Are you volunteering anywhere? I would suggest doing that once or twice a week... May even turn into a paying gig. Find something to do if you decide to wait.

Cause by then it will be about 18 months...

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vanwinkle
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:58 pm

I agree with the volunteering notion. Start volunteering somewhere so you can put on your resume that you were doing something, even if you're not working.

Z3RO
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby Z3RO » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:00 pm

It's certainly understandable that you are having trouble finding work, but I think that such a long stretch is a really bad mark. Personally, I have a 6 month stint where half is unemployment, and half is working part time. My other work experience is full-time, but not terribly impressive. I can only think that this explains my less-than-stellar cycle.

Best that you have some volunteering or something to show for that "lost year", because you're definitely going to need to write an addendum for that. You can't make it look like you were a drug mule/alcoholic that year.

Bear in mind, law school admission is not about meeting a certain minimum threshold of admittability. You are competing against other people for a limited amount of spots, and somebody who has held down a job for that period is going to have an advantage over you. Plain and simple.

I do have to ask though, why didn't you work anywhere for a whole year?

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Unitas
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby Unitas » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:04 pm

Z3RO wrote:It's certainly understandable that you are having trouble finding work, but I think that such a long stretch is a really bad mark. Personally, I have a 6 month stint where half is unemployment, and half is working part time. My other work experience is full-time, but not terribly impressive. I can only think that this explains my less-than-stellar cycle.

Best that you have some volunteering or something to show for that "lost year", because you're definitely going to need to write an addendum for that. You can't make it look like you were a drug mule/alcoholic that year.

Bear in mind, law school admission is not about meeting a certain minimum threshold of admittability. You are competing against other people for a limited amount of spots, and somebody who has held down a job for that period is going to have an advantage over you. Plain and simple.

I do have to ask though, why didn't you work anywhere for a whole year?


Cause she only wants suitable work... Not sure what that means. After about 2 months I would go work at McDonalds.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:06 pm

Unitas wrote:Cause she only wants suitable work... Not sure what that means. After about 2 months I would go work at McDonalds.

Even if you're too good for McDonald's, if you can afford to not work you can still "work" at Habitat for Humanity or a local shelter or your local PBS station as a volunteer. There's something you can be doing with your free time to put on your resume at pretty much any pay rate, all the way down to free.

Z3RO
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby Z3RO » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:09 pm

Unitas wrote:
Z3RO wrote:It's certainly understandable that you are having trouble finding work, but I think that such a long stretch is a really bad mark. Personally, I have a 6 month stint where half is unemployment, and half is working part time. My other work experience is full-time, but not terribly impressive. I can only think that this explains my less-than-stellar cycle.

Best that you have some volunteering or something to show for that "lost year", because you're definitely going to need to write an addendum for that. You can't make it look like you were a drug mule/alcoholic that year.

Bear in mind, law school admission is not about meeting a certain minimum threshold of admittability. You are competing against other people for a limited amount of spots, and somebody who has held down a job for that period is going to have an advantage over you. Plain and simple.

I do have to ask though, why didn't you work anywhere for a whole year?

After about 2 months I would go work at McDonalds.

That's what I'm saying, and that's what I did after my 2.5 month stint without work (not McDonalds, but a Chinese restaurant).

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j.wellington
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby j.wellington » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:22 pm

Z3RO wrote:
Unitas wrote:
Z3RO wrote:It's certainly understandable that you are having trouble finding work, but I think that such a long stretch is a really bad mark. Personally, I have a 6 month stint where half is unemployment, and half is working part time. My other work experience is full-time, but not terribly impressive. I can only think that this explains my less-than-stellar cycle.

Best that you have some volunteering or something to show for that "lost year", because you're definitely going to need to write an addendum for that. You can't make it look like you were a drug mule/alcoholic that year.

Bear in mind, law school admission is not about meeting a certain minimum threshold of admittability. You are competing against other people for a limited amount of spots, and somebody who has held down a job for that period is going to have an advantage over you. Plain and simple.

I do have to ask though, why didn't you work anywhere for a whole year?

After about 2 months I would go work at McDonalds.

That's what I'm saying, and that's what I did after my 2.5 month stint without work (not McDonalds, but a Chinese restaurant).


Depending on where you live, you'd be surprised at how hard it is to find even menial work right now. I'm in New York, where even lower-end restaurants will not hire you without a year of table-waiting experience. I was lucky to find a paid internship after ending a long-term contract job in the fall that took me up to my application time, but now I'm doing temp jobs that have me at a different place every week, sometimes for only a day at a time, and sometimes with long stretches in-between. I have no idea how I'd explain that on a resume if I applied again.

One thing I would recommend to the OP if you've got a year to kill: AmeriCorps. These jobs don't pay much, but if you have a place to live and some financial padding, it can be a very good experience. They have jobs in any part of the country, and you'll be doing the kind of public service work that will look good on a resume. You also get a $5,000 education stipend that you can apply to your law school expenses. Visit their web site or look on Idealist for nonprofits that are hiring via AmeriCorps grants.

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby PlugInBaby » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:49 pm

It was a gradual lowering of expectations month after month until I hit the floor. Some jobs are still beneath that floor. I also have transporation limitations: I do not drive and I live in the suburbs. I need to find work that would be worth the time and money spent commuting long distances.

I am still waiting to hear from two schools (one that matters, one that doesn't) and two jobs as of now. But if everything falls through (and I have had reason to believe that it would) I currently plan on spending the next two months doing some hardcore studying for the June LSAT and after that starting a volunteer based referral service for veterans seeking legal representation for VA benefits as I prepare for "Law School Application Cycle 2: This Time the Statement is Even More Personal." Throughout this entire time I still plan on searching for work (paid or volunteer) and keeping the weight loss momentum going.

Good plan?

However I am worried about what to put in an addendum the whole time I haven't had work.

singingvontrapp
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby singingvontrapp » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:52 pm

PlugInBaby wrote:
However I am worried about what to put in an addendum the whole time I haven't had work.


Just tell them you felt like many jobs were not good enough for you and that you didn't feel like driving to a job every single freaking day, so you stayed home and did some logic games.

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby PlugInBaby » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:04 pm

singingvontrapp wrote:
PlugInBaby wrote:
However I am worried about what to put in an addendum the whole time I haven't had work.


Just tell them you felt like many jobs were not good enough for you and that you didn't feel like driving to a job every single freaking day, so you stayed home and did some logic games.


It's not a matter of not wanting to drive to work, I am unable to (I left high school to be home schooled before I got to take drivers ed; have been getting around well enough until now). I don't have a license and trying to get a drivers license at this juncture is prohibitively expensive. Not to mention the insurance afterwards. I find the "drive this car to go to work, go to work to pay for this car" situation a waste of time and energy.

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j.wellington
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Re: Unemployed for about a year Will adcomms hold it against me?

Postby j.wellington » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:30 pm

PlugInBaby wrote:It was a gradual lowering of expectations month after month until I hit the floor. Some jobs are still beneath that floor. I also have transporation limitations: I do not drive and I live in the suburbs. I need to find work that would be worth the time and money spent commuting long distances.

I am still waiting to hear from two schools (one that matters, one that doesn't) and two jobs as of now. But if everything falls through (and I have had reason to believe that it would) I currently plan on spending the next two months doing some hardcore studying for the June LSAT and after that starting a volunteer based referral service for veterans seeking legal representation for VA benefits as I prepare for "Law School Application Cycle 2: This Time the Statement is Even More Personal." Throughout this entire time I still plan on searching for work (paid or volunteer) and keeping the weight loss momentum going.

Good plan?

However I am worried about what to put in an addendum the whole time I haven't had work.


I think an addendum would only draw attention to it. Spotty work experience might be a weakness in an application, but it's hardly an offense. Volunteering for the veterans group will give you something to put on your resume, and in the meantime you might want to look for some tutoring gigs in your immediate area. It might not seem like a huge accomplishment, but it's going to stand above the trust fund babies who putz around Europe for a year and then try to impress the adcomms with their "broad world view." Combined with a good LSAT score, you should be fine.




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