Gap Year vs. Go For It?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
beks
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:09 am

Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby beks » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:30 am

So, this is my first official post on tls. Prior to this, I was one of the guests that brought down the server in the Oct. 24th LSAT score freak out. :) Already been hooked to the forums in the past few days.

Anyway, here are the basics: I go to a top ten, 3.85 gpa, and just got a 170 on my first LSAT. I'm thinking about retaking it, seeing as my practice tests were higher and I had some stomach issues the day of the test. Also, my efc is just about zero--I'm hoping for some need-based aid, and with a higher score, maybe merit-based. My softs are alright, nothing special, mostly because I've had to work to pay for school and support myself since high school.

I'm thinking about a gap year. I'd love to do the whole language immersion thing, but with my limited finances, it doesn't seem like an option. Also, I'm thinking about applying for entry-level paralegal positions, preferably on the East Coast.

Thoughts? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to finance travel without teaching English? Should I just dive into this admissions cycle, despite a little UG burnout? Would getting a little cash from a paralegal position ruin much of my chances for some substantial need-based aid? Do top 14 usually give more merit or need based aid? (I'm not really considering going anywhere else at this point.)

Sorry if these questions seem all over the place. I just didn't want to make several posts. Thanks in advance!

User avatar
AntipodeanPhil
Posts: 1300
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:44 am

beks wrote:Thoughts? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to finance travel without teaching English? Should I just dive into this admissions cycle, despite a little UG burnout?

Why don't you want to teach English overseas? That's what I would do, in your position.

In general, my advice when these threads come up is always to take a year or two off. Reasoning:

A) You'll have 30+ years to work in big-law, why not take a year off to do something different? You'll get a richer life experience that way. Do you really want to die having only done one or two different things in your life? Even if things don't well, bad experiences will make the good even better, when you're rich and successful post law school.

B) The legal market might improve a little in the interim. Perhaps only a little, but every little bit helps.

C) You have UG burnout. You want to start law school with a passion to start studying again, since so much depends on grades.

All I know about need-based aid is that I don't qualify, so I can't comment on that.

User avatar
Kring345
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:30 pm

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby Kring345 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:52 am

I think EVERYONE should take a year to themselves after college. I really do. Or if not after college, then at some point in their young lives. Or if not a year, at least 1-11 months. Too many people, myself included, jump from one thing to the next without stopping to smell the roses.

If I were you:

I'd retake the LSAT in Dec or Feb if you wanted to. Then I'd graduate college and travel for about 3 months. If you are simply backpacking through the Asian rain forest and sleeping in trees/brothelshostels, you wont need a whole hell of a lot of money. Plus, it'd be worth it. Then I'd get a sweet ass job for 9 months while applying to law school. Not necessarily anything fancy dancy like paralegal or finance, because, honestly, if you want to be a lawyer, no one gives a fuck about some job that you worked at for a few months to a year. Being a paralegal or banker wont help you get into schools. So, when I say sweet ass job, Im referring to something enjoyable. Youre about to enter a profession defined by long and grueling hours of reading, writing, and orating in front of 12 angry men. So be a "conquistador, stripper, or shark fisherman." It's the last time in your entire life you'll be able to do whatever the fuck you want to do. Savor it. Travel the world, work your awesome job, go to the beach, go sky diving, play sports, write a good personal statement about your time as a highly-educated stripper, visit old friends, make new friends, and learn to play the cello.

Relevant:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=168704
Also relevant:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=168960

This is coming from someone who hasnt had time to smell the roses in a long time. I havent lived in the same place for more than 9 months since high school, consistently work 60-70 hour weeks, have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan for 24 months in 4.5 years, took no time off after UG and before Marines, and will not be out of the Marines until 2 or 3 days before my first day of classes at law school. Take some time off. You wont regret it when youre 50, but you may very well regret not waking up in a ditch on the side of the road in Thailand wearing a sombrero.

Dead serious.

Tl;dr version: yes. Graduate, then travel, then fight bulls, then apply.

User avatar
Kring345
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:30 pm

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby Kring345 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:57 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:Why don't you want to teach English overseas? That's what I would do, in your position.

Very valid question. The only reason I wouldnt personally teach English if I were in his situation is because my intentions would be far more reckless and spontaneous. I think if you end up moving to Shanghai to teach English, you'll be boring. Sure, you may see the Great Wall, etc, but you'll likely just end up living life as you normally would except without being able to read the street signs. From someone who's lived in 4 countries and traveled to dozens, "living" abroad and being responsible is far less enjoyable than "traveling" abroad and doing whatever the fuck you want.

User avatar
theadvancededit
Posts: 315
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:31 pm

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby theadvancededit » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:01 am

+1 to every one above.

Also, getting a paralegal job in the East Coast is not as easy as you think-- you could be very well spending the next 4 months looking for said job and still be broke.

If travel is what you want to do, then do it. Teaching English is not that bad-- you can do an awesome CELTA programme in the meantime. Besides, the best stories comes from backpacking around the world and other misadventures. That, or you die Hostel-style or worse, like Human Centipede.

... Kidding. You won't die. But you'll have tons of fun and awesome drinking stories.

User avatar
beks
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:09 am

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby beks » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:35 pm

I'm not particularly interested in teaching--as the eldest of a big family, I did a lot of babysitting and I just don't have any patience for it. I don't get along well with kids in general. It's just something that has zero appeal to me. But maybe I just don't have any idea what it'd be like. Does anyone have any experience teaching English overseas? Was it like babysitting, to a point?

I think I have an okay shot at getting a entry level paralegal job (fingers crossed for New York), at least according to friends who've gotten them and the fact that recruiters come to my school during spring semester, but like I said--I'd love to do the whole traveling thing, seeing as how I've never been outside the continental US. This thread is giving me great ideas--I'm definitely leaning toward gap year now...maybe I could work at a national park for the rest of the year after traveling a few months. I've always wanted to do that.

Again, thanks! This is really helping. I'm just trying to decide this weekend so I can actually concentrate on school and/or apps, instead of mindlessly fretting over the rest of my life, aka gap year or not.

User avatar
calexhg88
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby calexhg88 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:00 pm

beks,

I took a gap year last year and I am a much better man from it. The language skills you pick up and the experience you gain will separate you from the pack. Besides, how many times do you live?

I spent 10 months in Barcelona, travelled for the entire month of January, and spent about 20 grand. If I did it correctly, I could have spent like 16 grand. That´s a considerable amount of money, yes, but how much will you spend in law school? How much will you make as a lawyer?

Take a year and indulge in the worldly pleasures, you´re only young once.

User avatar
Kring345
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:30 pm

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby Kring345 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:21 pm

beks wrote:maybe I could work at a national park for the rest of the year after traveling a few months. I've always wanted to do that.

Precisely. You'll NEVER have that oppoortunity again. Do it.

User avatar
Kring345
Posts: 287
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:30 pm

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby Kring345 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:22 pm

calexhg88 wrote:beks,

I took a gap year last year and I am a much better man from it. The language skills you pick up and the experience you gain will separate you from the pack. Besides, how many times do you live?

I spent 10 months in Barcelona, travelled for the entire month of January, and spent about 20 grand. If I did it correctly, I could have spent like 16 grand. That´s a considerable amount of money, yes, but how much will you spend in law school? How much will you make as a lawyer?

Take a year and indulge in the worldly pleasures, you´re only young once.

Are you saying you spent 20k in 1 month? If so, you did it wrong.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:21 pm

I think he meant that he spent 20K over the course of 10 months in Spain.

Curious1
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby Curious1 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:35 pm

I think EVERYONE should take a year to themselves after college. I really do. Or if not after college, then at some point in their young lives. Or if not a year, at least 1-11 months. Too many people, myself included, jump from one thing to the next without stopping to smell the roses.


See I thought about this, but realized that if I stopped going to school I would never want to again...better to get it all out of the way. Plenty of time to relax when I'm dead.

To the OP, teaching English overseas sounds idyllic and very very lucrative if you know where to go. There are very wealthy South Koreans and Chinese parents willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to teach their children SATs and stuff. Not sure about other parts of the world. Either way, if you think you can get a better score, a 3.8/175 will guarantee a lot of schools and scholarships a 170 wouldn't.

Good luck

Curious1
Posts: 964
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: Gap Year vs. Go For It?

Postby Curious1 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:38 pm

Are you saying you spent 20k in 1 month? If so, you did it wrong.


This is so not true. When I have 20K to spend I would love to hop on a plane to Europe and revel in excess for a month.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: echonov, lnsjr1, Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests