Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

How Much of an Effect Would Not Having a Job for my Gap Year(s) Have on My Application?

Large negative effect.
5
17%
Small negative effect.
15
50%
Negligible effect.
10
33%
 
Total votes: 30

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duck1
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Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby duck1 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:30 pm

I graduated from college in July 2010 and am planning on applying to law school in the fall of 2011 so that I have plenty of time to study for the LSAT. I have been trying to get a job for quite a while now, but haven't had much success. I still think I'll find a job pretty soon that I can stick with for a couple years, but I'm trying to consider what effect not getting a job would have on my application.

If I didn't bother trying to get a job, and I applied to law school in the fall of 2011 without having had even a part-time job or large amounts of volunteering to put on my resume in-between the time I graduated from college and applied to law school, how much would law schools hold that against me on my application? I know that the LSAT and GPA are the most important things in getting into a great law school, and everything else is small pickings after that.

So, hypothetically, not having a job and scoring 5 or 10 points higher on the LSAT would be better than having a job and scoring 5 or 10 points lower on the LSAT, right? Would this work in real life? Would I be an idiot to not have a job for at least the next year?

Thanks!

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bostlaw
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby bostlaw » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:32 pm

Im sure some better answers will come after mine, but from what I gather a 5-10 point improvement on the LSAT would be better than a job if you could support yourself without one for a yr?

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fatduck
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby fatduck » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:33 pm

Definitely thought this was an economy thread.

It's not going to be that serious but I would recommend doing *something* in the meantime. I don't think it's a big deal if it's not full-time work, especially ITE. If you're set for living expenses then volunteering (even part-time) is probably a good idea, especially if you can find something law-related. You're going to burn yourself out studying 40 hours a week for the LSAT :P

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Patriot1208
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby Patriot1208 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:36 pm

The bigger issue here is not what school will think, it's what employers will think at OCI. It will hurt you then, how much though, i'm uncertain.

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danidancer
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby danidancer » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:46 pm

If supporting yourself isn't an issue, try to at least find an internship or something. Big gaps on the resume look really bad come OCI time.

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duck1
Posts: 10
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby duck1 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:13 pm

I'm living with my parents right now, and I know I could do that for a couple more years without them minding, so money isn't much of an issue. I am considering volunteering for my Native American tribe (I'm 1/64th Native American by blood) if that might help my ability to self-identify as Native American in addition to white when I apply to law school. So, by doing that, I guess I could be killing two birds with one stone if I can't get a decent job soon enough. I hadn't thought of job experience having an effect on OCI, so thanks for bringing that up. I have had four summer jobs previously, but no continuous, full-time work experience.

I wasn't trying to open another can of worms with you guys here, just to explain my situation a little more. If you want to weigh in on the merits of my playing the race card, that thread is here
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=134159

Thanks!

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dextermorgan
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:47 pm

Normally it would be seen as a negative, but when not even all of their own graduates can find jobs I'm not sure that law schools will view it the same as in the past. Make sure you volunteer, or do something worthwhile, and it won't be a big deal.

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CGI Fridays
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:46 pm

Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby CGI Fridays » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:48 pm

Not necessary. WE is definitely a plus to get a freaking job though, as Patriot pointed out.
Last edited by CGI Fridays on Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Veyron
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby Veyron » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:50 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:The bigger issue here is not what school will think, it's what employers will think at OCI. It will hurt you then, how much though, i'm uncertain.


TITCR. It will hurt your apps, just not 5 pts worth. At least volunteer somewhere.

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IAFG
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby IAFG » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:51 pm

danidancer wrote:If supporting yourself isn't an issue, try to at least find an internship or something. Big gaps on the resume look really bad come OCI time.

this. just bc a school forgives it doesn't mean employers will. don't be short-sighted.

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2014
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby 2014 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:54 pm

I think you might run the risk of them thinking that you were unable to find a job and law school is your backup option.

Just get a couple of volunteer gigs that amount to 10-20 hours a week. That will be plenty to show you did something other than sit on your ass for the year and leaves you ample time for LSAT prep, drinking, etc

Wannabelawyer101
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:11 am

Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby Wannabelawyer101 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:04 pm

I know plenty of people who did fine in their cycle without having an established full time job. That said, they found some way to occupy their time - either volunteering or something like part-time private tutoring. I don't think not doing anything would destroy your chances of admissions anywhere, and if that would help you get a 5-10 point bump on the LSAT, maybe it's worth not doing anything.

But it would certainly not hurt to volunteer or tutor.

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duck1
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby duck1 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:26 pm

I graduated in July and haven't gotten a job or volunteered yet. When do you think I should start volunteering if I can't find a job? How big of a gap in my resume would there need to be before it might start bothering employers? Until November? January?

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bostlaw
Posts: 173
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby bostlaw » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:55 am

duck wrote:I graduated in July and haven't gotten a job or volunteered yet. When do you think I should start volunteering if I can't find a job? How big of a gap in my resume would there need to be before it might start bothering employers? Until November? January?


what are you doing? and why are you asking for life advice on TLS? you are a college grad, def should be doing something, even if you cant land a job, volunteer, weave baskets, something.

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sophia.olive
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Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby sophia.olive » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:10 am

Coincidently, there is an equation for this,

one year of not working = 4^53-67/54%

and thus,

It takes away:
1. one point from your lsat if it is your highest lsat out of three.

2. Or it can turn a study abroad “opened my mind up to new perspectives”, into a study abroad “I got drunk in another country.” In the view of admissions.

3. or, and this pertains to you, It subtracts 1/64 of your diversity.

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sophia.olive
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:38 pm

Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby sophia.olive » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:30 am

In short-just go get some life experince, regardless if helps with admissions.

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JazzOne
Posts: 2938
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:04 am

Re: Is Having a Job Really Necessary?

Postby JazzOne » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:41 am

duck wrote:I graduated from college in July 2010 and am planning on applying to law school in the fall of 2011 so that I have plenty of time to study for the LSAT. I have been trying to get a job for quite a while now, but haven't had much success. I still think I'll find a job pretty soon that I can stick with for a couple years, but I'm trying to consider what effect not getting a job would have on my application.

If I didn't bother trying to get a job, and I applied to law school in the fall of 2011 without having had even a part-time job or large amounts of volunteering to put on my resume in-between the time I graduated from college and applied to law school, how much would law schools hold that against me on my application? I know that the LSAT and GPA are the most important things in getting into a great law school, and everything else is small pickings after that.

So, hypothetically, not having a job and scoring 5 or 10 points higher on the LSAT would be better than having a job and scoring 5 or 10 points lower on the LSAT, right? Would this work in real life? Would I be an idiot to not have a job for at least the next year?

Thanks!

It might not hurt you in your law school applications, but you could have problems at OCI if you have no work experience. Don't worry too much about it though. A lot of law students have no work experience, and if you can't find anything ITE, you can't do anything about that. Nonetheless, I'd keep looking for a job. If nothing else, it will get you accustomed to approaching potential employers, interviewing, and networking.




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