Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:00 am

northwood wrote:
Bildungsroman wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:Tbf a lot of people on these boards and in law school have great work experience

Yeah, but qualifying it as a unique experience is a little extreme, and there are a lot of situations where I'm not impressed by someone who tried and failed to make it in a different field so they're now going to law school. Not saying that all people or even most people who took time off after undergrad fit into this category, but there's definitely a healthy contingent of law school applicants who think that washing out of another career path somehow makes them more impressive.

Edit: And in fairness, there's also a healthy contingent of people coming straight through from undergrad who are still immature and are doing law school because they don't know how to do anything other than be a student.



There are also a lot of people going in who went from undergrad to their former career- and hated it, even if they were good at it. To be honest- you can talk about your former career, but there is no point in bragging about how good you were or how awesome of a career it was- because unless you were an elite athlete then why did you leave or get shown the door from that career? Unless of course that your reason for going to law school is to stay in the field but at a different position- then tcr is to acknowledge it but dont be a dbag about it
Exactly. I feel like there are a lot of valid reasons to be entering law school straight from undergrad, and a lot of valid reasons to be entering law school with x number of years between that and your graduation from undergrad. It's a personal choice without a blanket right answer, and I get sick of dbags on both sides who try and say "oh you're retarded for coming straight from undergrad, you must be so immature and you're basically a child" or who try and portray non-traditional students as somehow worse.

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northwood
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby northwood » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:07 am

Bildungsroman wrote:Exactly. I feel like there are a lot of valid reasons to be entering law school straight from undergrad, and a lot of valid reasons to be entering law school with x number of years between that and your graduation from undergrad. It's a personal choice without a blanket right answer, and I get sick of dbags on both sides who try and say "oh you're retarded for coming straight from undergrad, you must be so immature and you're basically a child" or who try and portray non-traditional students as somehow worse.



When and where to go to school is extremely personal. For me I had to go to work and try out my career before going. It didnt make me any more mature, it didnt do anything. I just needed to find out for myself what life would be like. I didnt like it- and thought I wouldnt like it before i started- but since i had all of the requirements and accrediations to do it- i didnt want to wonder what if. I knew there was a 80% chance i was going to go to law school my senior year of ug- but i wanted to give it a try and take time to realy assess my decision, my life plans, and all that. I am in no ways more mature or wordly than my fellow rising 1Ls. I know the field that interests me- and i know what specific aspect of that field i want to do- and what i need to do to gain employment there. My only regret is not going to school earlier- but thats not a bad regret at all. There is no right or wrong decision- some people know what they want earlier than others. Some peolpe will never know.

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ihp12
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby ihp12 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:13 am

As far as the necessity of time off, I agree that its different for each person. My wife went strait through, I am taking a year off, and we're both happy with our respective decisions.

As far as an ideal amount of time off - I think a year is a good amount of time because its enough to recharge your academic battery without totally loosing those study habits you worked so hard to develop in undergrad. Any more than a year and it might be a bit harder to get back in the swing of things, at least initially.

I agree that spending a year in a job that you hate would probably recharge you less than a job you like. I worked at a challenging though not overwhelming non-profit job and really enjoyed the experience. No regrets here.

Sandro
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Sandro » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:15 am

Bildungsroman wrote:
Sandro wrote:
Stanford4Me wrote:
Sandro wrote:Jesus christ. I've never seen so many people get butthurt and feel they are being personally attacked when I(we) say the majority of people would benefit greatly from time off. Yes, there are exceptions, and yes, you are a little special snowflake who fits into these exceptions - so you made the 100% best choice and you can feel free to exclaim how you don't regret doing something other than continuing on to another 3 years of school straight from undergrad. You of course know exactly how that year off would have went and how it would affect you because you lived it oh wait....

A lot of the arguments I've seen are tenuous at best, which is why you probably should study for the LSAT some more.

Just like you know how well things would have gone had you gone straight through . . . oh wait.

Also, I don't think anyone is getting butt hurt.



Ummm... its like saying, you wouldn't know how not drinking Diet Coke felt because you drank Diet Coke. Going straight through is pretty much foregoing other options, its not a unique experience.

lololol if you think whatever menial job you worked between undergrad and law school counts as a unique experience.
You complained about people getting butthurt but your participation in this thread has mainly consisted of you having a chip on your shoulder.


Multiple adcomms included notes about my experience which was in my PS so I would say it was a little better than "whatever menial job" ??? Not to mention everything I gained from it. There was no way I would have known I would end up doing what I did if I just went straight through and probably would be one of the people saying "omg straight thru no regrets" lol

Its a fact 90+% of people dont have a 165+ LSAT score. I would say the vast majority of those people could benefit greatly from a year off and a retake. Like everyone has said, from people who have taken a year off to alumni - there are HUGE advantages to taking a year off, compared with very limited negatives that are unique to a small number of applicants.

Not butthurt, just dont want people to come on here and say "Oh look, these people said going straight through was awesome, thanks for justifying my decision!" while they jet off to their T3 at sticker where a retake and year off could overwhelmingly help them.

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Rooney
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Rooney » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:45 am

Patriot1208 wrote:
Rooney wrote:
Ssushi wrote:How often is it that schools will defer you for a year or two after acceptance? Quite honestly there is no way i can graduate with my bachelors in poly sci and just float around temp jobs without having some idea of what's in store for the future. I could never travel or even just work, and enjoy myself if i didn't have a good idea of what i was going to do after my little vacation ended.

Also i think there is an opportunity cost to taking a few years off and working as opposed to going straight though. For many of us with the scores, grades and expectations of big law, i feel like it would be a huge waste of time and money to do 2 years working with a law firm as a clerk for 45k, when you could go though law school and put those 2 extra years to work as an attorney making 160k and building a legitimate resume.

Maybe i'm just thinking to far down the line by by the time i get out of law school i will be 24, and much like many people here i have the expectation of doing biglaw at least for a few years out of law school. I would much prefer to be 28 with exit options at big law than being 28 and just starting to get into it. Not to mention i cannot count the number of people who "take a year off" with the intent to come back and they just never get around to it.


This is as unreal an expectation as $160k right after law school salary. These numbers were accurate pre-2006/8ish but not really anymore (very few exceptions).


Not from what i've seen. Every law clerk I know makes more than that because the work a lot of overtime. Base is less but total comp is around 45-50k it seems.


I guess I'm thinking the exceptions are working for biglaw firms in large cities (kind of redundant, I know) but from personal experience, that's a large salary for someone fresh out of UG, ITE. Of course, my experience is in GA, not NY or DC. Also, my experience is in litigation firms, not M&A corporate firms. If anyone can get a job (legal or not) fresh out of UG for $45+, take it asap! And if you say base is less than $45k but overtime gets them up to there, what are these ballers making in overtime earnings, $5k+ ? I want IN!

Also, after reading this thread, I think it boils down to: While being a very personal decision, taking a year or so off after UG doesn't have any cons, unless you ravaged the LSAT and are going for biglaw post T14 JD...which leads back to the personal decision of whether you should take a year off before the shackles of biglaw employment are placed upon you for the next ~5 years.

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Patriot1208
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:53 am

Rooney wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:
Rooney wrote:
Ssushi wrote:How often is it that schools will defer you for a year or two after acceptance? Quite honestly there is no way i can graduate with my bachelors in poly sci and just float around temp jobs without having some idea of what's in store for the future. I could never travel or even just work, and enjoy myself if i didn't have a good idea of what i was going to do after my little vacation ended.

Also i think there is an opportunity cost to taking a few years off and working as opposed to going straight though. For many of us with the scores, grades and expectations of big law, i feel like it would be a huge waste of time and money to do 2 years working with a law firm as a clerk for 45k, when you could go though law school and put those 2 extra years to work as an attorney making 160k and building a legitimate resume.

Maybe i'm just thinking to far down the line by by the time i get out of law school i will be 24, and much like many people here i have the expectation of doing biglaw at least for a few years out of law school. I would much prefer to be 28 with exit options at big law than being 28 and just starting to get into it. Not to mention i cannot count the number of people who "take a year off" with the intent to come back and they just never get around to it.


This is as unreal an expectation as $160k right after law school salary. These numbers were accurate pre-2006/8ish but not really anymore (very few exceptions).


Not from what i've seen. Every law clerk I know makes more than that because the work a lot of overtime. Base is less but total comp is around 45-50k it seems.


I guess I'm thinking the exceptions are working for biglaw firms in large cities (kind of redundant, I know) but from personal experience, that's a large salary for someone fresh out of UG, ITE. Of course, my experience is in GA, not NY or DC. Also, my experience is in litigation firms, not M&A corporate firms. If anyone can get a job (legal or not) fresh out of UG for $45+, take it asap! And if you say base is less than $45k but overtime gets them up to there, what are these ballers making in overtime earnings, $5k+ ? I want IN!

Also, after reading this thread, I think it boils down to: While being a very personal decision, taking a year or so off after UG doesn't have any cons, unless you ravaged the LSAT and are going for biglaw post T14 JD...which leads back to the personal decision of whether you should take a year off before the shackles of biglaw employment are placed upon you for the next ~5 years.

Ya, that is biglaw in big cities.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Stanford4Me » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:02 pm

Sandro wrote:
Not butthurt, just dont want people to come on here and say "Oh look, these people said going straight through was awesome, thanks for justifying my decision!" while they jet off to their T3 at sticker where a retake and year off could overwhelmingly help them.

Yeah . . . we haven't been endorsing that at all, but ok.

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fragged
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby fragged » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:21 pm

I took many years off. For me, it was all about maturity in college - I didn't have any. Think John Blutarsky.

If I had decided to get serious after graduating, I would have likely ended up at a T4 school because I would have made a minimal effort studying for the LSAT. I just wasn't ready for law school.

After having been in the corporate world for many years and working with attorneys, I have made a more informed decision that this is what I want to do. I am now more motivated and serious about the education, and I prepared adequately for the LSAT. Granted I will not be at a T14 in the fall, but I am going to a T1 school.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby gwuorbust » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:25 pm

as a 1L who didn't take a year off, I encourage anyone considering it to take a year off. See if there is something else you would rather do. because once you are in law, there is very little going back.

alumniguy
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby alumniguy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:07 am

gwuorbust wrote:as a 1L who didn't take a year off, I encourage anyone considering it to take a year off. See if there is something else you would rather do. because once you are in law, there is very little going back.


THIS is the issue. Once you've gotten on the train, there is no getting off (unless you don't have biglaw aspirations). I see very little downside to taking a year off (other than lost earnings as measured over the course of a lifetime or if your loans from UG would enter repayment and you couldn't defer them later) . It isn't like the 160k jobs are going away anytime soon. They'll be there. Add to that the fact that most associates are in biglaw for a finite period, and it just further reinforces the fact that for most 0Ls, taking a year off has little downside.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:31 am

I took about 5 yrs off between school and Undergrad and I wouldn't change it for the world. I might not be like most here because when I graduated I wasn't sure I wanted to be a lawyer. But the career I choose allowed me to live in 5 foreign countries. I have been to every major country in Western Europe sans Sweden, Finland and Iceland. I've seen the pyramids in Egypt, drove 146 MPH on the autobahn, lounged in the Persian gulf and lived in places I had only read about in books. Experienced new cultures while actually doing worthwhile work. The traveling was great but helping people in under served communities was even better esp. because I did it in a legal capacity that really made me have a love for law before I went to law school. I feel like I spent my early 20's doing fun things like running with the bulls, spending Christmas in Israel, trekking to the forbidden city or taking a train across Russia. I don't think doing these things will be that easy once I start working for a big law firm or have a family and kids. And as far as law school/B-school debt goes, because I worked, I won't have any and I'm going to a top 3 school. This path may not be for everyone and some people probably should just go straight through. But for me personally I figured the 70hr work weeks and big salaries will always be there but my youth wouldn't be. I am happy with my choice but I'd never tell anyone they should do it my way.
Last edited by unc0mm0n1 on Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

alumniguy
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby alumniguy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:43 am

unc0mm0n1 wrote:I took about 5 yrs off between school and Undergrad and I wouldn't change it for the world. I might not be like most here because when I graduated I wasn't sure I wanted to be a lawyer. But the career I choose allowed me to live in 5 foreign countries. I have been two every major country in Western Europe sans Sweden, Finland and Iceland. I've seen the pyramids in Egypt, drove 146 MPH on the autobahn, lounged in the Persian gulf and lived in places I had only read about in books. Experienced new cultures while actually doing worthwhile work. The traveling was great but helping people in under served communities was even better esp. because I did it in a legal capacity that really made me have a love for law before I went to law school. I feel like I spent my early 20's doing fun things like running with the bulls, spending Christmas in Israel, trekking to the forbidden city or taking a train across Russia. I don't think doing these things will be that easy once I start working for a big law firm or have a family and kids. And as far as law school/B-school debt goes, because I worked, I won't have any and I'm going to a top 3 school. This path may not be for everyone and some people probably should just go straight through. But for me personally I figured the 70hr work weeks and big salaries will always be there but my youth wouldn't be. I am happy with my choice but I'd never tell anyone they should do it my way.


I only took two years off - jealous of your extra 3! One additional piece of information I just thought of. I agree that it is a personal decision - and taking time off isn't a one size fits all approach. However, I have not personally met anyone who has regretted taking time off.

My guess is that the majority people who go straight through wouldn't even realize they had any regrets until several years of work. School was relatively fun for me. The first few years of working may not have been "fun," but I've learned a lot and it is a new experience. It is when you've been working 6 or 7 or 8 years that I think the regret would potentially arise if you went straight through. I'm not saying that anyone would regret it, but I imagine regret is going to come once you've started working for a while.

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Non-Chalant1
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby Non-Chalant1 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:57 pm

unc0mm0n1 wrote:I took about 5 yrs off between school and Undergrad and I wouldn't change it for the world. I might not be like most here because when I graduated I wasn't sure I wanted to be a lawyer. But the career I choose allowed me to live in 5 foreign countries. I have been to every major country in Western Europe sans Sweden, Finland and Iceland. I've seen the pyramids in Egypt, drove 146 MPH on the autobahn, lounged in the Persian gulf and lived in places I had only read about in books. Experienced new cultures while actually doing worthwhile work. The traveling was great but helping people in under served communities was even better esp. because I did it in a legal capacity that really made me have a love for law before I went to law school. I feel like I spent my early 20's doing fun things like running with the bulls, spending Christmas in Israel, trekking to the forbidden city or taking a train across Russia. I don't think doing these things will be that easy once I start working for a big law firm or have a family and kids. And as far as law school/B-school debt goes, because I worked, I won't have any and I'm going to a top 3 school. This path may not be for everyone and some people probably should just go straight through. But for me personally I figured the 70hr work weeks and big salaries will always be there but my youth wouldn't be. I am happy with my choice but I'd never tell anyone they should do it my way.

Sounds incredible, but it's something that's just not feasible for me. Hopefully when I go traveling this summer I'll get a lot of it out of my system.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Did you/will you take a year off between undergrad and LS?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:42 pm

Non-Chalant1 wrote:
unc0mm0n1 wrote:I took about 5 yrs off between school and Undergrad and I wouldn't change it for the world. I might not be like most here because when I graduated I wasn't sure I wanted to be a lawyer. But the career I choose allowed me to live in 5 foreign countries. I have been to every major country in Western Europe sans Sweden, Finland and Iceland. I've seen the pyramids in Egypt, drove 146 MPH on the autobahn, lounged in the Persian gulf and lived in places I had only read about in books. Experienced new cultures while actually doing worthwhile work. The traveling was great but helping people in under served communities was even better esp. because I did it in a legal capacity that really made me have a love for law before I went to law school. I feel like I spent my early 20's doing fun things like running with the bulls, spending Christmas in Israel, trekking to the forbidden city or taking a train across Russia. I don't think doing these things will be that easy once I start working for a big law firm or have a family and kids. And as far as law school/B-school debt goes, because I worked, I won't have any and I'm going to a top 3 school. This path may not be for everyone and some people probably should just go straight through. But for me personally I figured the 70hr work weeks and big salaries will always be there but my youth wouldn't be. I am happy with my choice but I'd never tell anyone they should do it my way.

Sounds incredible, but it's something that's just not feasible for me. Hopefully when I go traveling this summer I'll get a lot of it out of my system.


Well our situations are a little different. You know you want to be a lawyer right now. I didn't know what I wanted to do so I was just trying to find myself. It turned out to be a great experience for me.




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