A couple of questions on taking a few years off

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richrogers
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A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby richrogers » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:00 pm

I am currently graduating from W&M with a 3.3 GPA. I am also thinking of enlisting for either a 2 year or a 4 year commitment in either the Navy or Air Force. I didn't do well on the LSAT either time I took it; so I am going to take it again either next year or when my term of service is ending. Do you think enlisting (not officer) for 4 years would detract from my application/resume? I am aiming for a Top 25 school, because I know if I work my butt off on the LSAT, I can make it to 170 (+/-2). After 4 years, I would be 26 and applying. Would that be too old for Law School? Additionally, if I took the LSAT year in and then applied to law school 3 years later, would that negatively impact my application?

Or would you recommend working in the private sector for 1-2 years, whilst studying for the LSAT and taking it then going to school? I'm really not a fan of debt and would rather have help paying it through the military (although that is not the main reason I want to serve).
Last edited by richrogers on Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Burne182
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby Burne182 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:04 pm

Out of curiosity, why not go officer? Have you looked into OCS?

richrogers
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby richrogers » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:06 pm

Burne182 wrote:Out of curiosity, why not go officer? Have you looked into OCS?

It's a 5-6 year commitment and I don't want to go into it that long. Also, I can't apply as I am a permanent resident. If I do once I become a citizen, it would become ~7 year gap (because OCS is a 5 year commitment to serve additionally) into law school and I'd rather not do that. Moreover, I really want to do the language program, which is only available to enlisted. I am thinking of doing their paralegal MoS(don't know if I will get it though) and then transferring to the language program.

Burne182
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby Burne182 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:22 pm

richrogers wrote:
Burne182 wrote:Out of curiosity, why not go officer? Have you looked into OCS?

It's a 5-6 year commitment and I don't want to go into it that long. Also, I can't apply as I am a permanent resident. If I do once I become a citizen, it would become ~7 year gap (because OCS is a 5 year commitment to serve additionally) into law school and I'd rather not do that. Moreover, I really want to do the language program, which is only available to enlisted. I am thinking of doing their paralegal MoS(don't know if I will get it though) and then transferring to the language program.


That makes sense; the timing does pose issues. I would make a pitch that the extra couple years might be worth it when you factor in salary, but it sounds like you have several strong reasons for wanting to go this route. The language program is fantastic, though I *think* you have to sign on for extra years if you do the full training.

Admittedly I know very little about the Legalmen rate/paralegal MOS, but I will say that every admissions committee I've spoken to or heard back from views military service as a very strong soft, for what that's worth. Good luck with your decision!

richrogers
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby richrogers » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:41 pm

Burne182 wrote:
richrogers wrote:
Burne182 wrote:Out of curiosity, why not go officer? Have you looked into OCS?

It's a 5-6 year commitment and I don't want to go into it that long. Also, I can't apply as I am a permanent resident. If I do once I become a citizen, it would become ~7 year gap (because OCS is a 5 year commitment to serve additionally) into law school and I'd rather not do that. Moreover, I really want to do the language program, which is only available to enlisted. I am thinking of doing their paralegal MoS(don't know if I will get it though) and then transferring to the language program.


That makes sense; the timing does pose issues. I would make a pitch that the extra couple years might be worth it when you factor in salary, but it sounds like you have several strong reasons for wanting to go this route. The language program is fantastic, though I *think* you have to sign on for extra years if you do the full training.

Admittedly I know very little about the Legalmen rate/paralegal MOS, but I will say that every admissions committee I've spoken to or heard back from views military service as a very strong soft, for what that's worth. Good luck with your decision!


Thanks so much about the knowledge on the "soft" (I'm taking that to mean a soft determinant of admittance). I was just worried they wouldn't because its "enlisted" rather than "officer." Hopefully someone can tell me whether it would be too late to apply or no!

Ti Malice
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby Ti Malice » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:33 pm

Four years is not an uncommonly long break between undergrad and law school, and 26 is definitely far from "old" for law school. Maturity and real-world experience are assets when it comes to legal hiring as well. Also, schools are not going to look down on you for going the enlisted route. Your service would be a strong soft.

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jrf12886
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby jrf12886 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:38 pm

I took four years off to serve in the military (I was an officer) and I don't feel like age has been a major problem. Employers really liked the military background and I haven't had problems socializing with people 4 years younger. PM me if you want to talk more about it. Is OCS really all 5-6 year commitments now?

gman1978
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby gman1978 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:44 pm

Now is the time to go to law school. In a few years hiring may have cooled down, and you could regret waiting.

jeffgarlin
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby jeffgarlin » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:04 pm

gman1978 wrote:Now is the time to go to law school. In a few years hiring may have cooled down, and you could regret waiting.


this is a joke right?

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epiphinous7
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby epiphinous7 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:15 am

jeffgarlin wrote:
gman1978 wrote:Now is the time to go to law school. In a few years hiring may have cooled down, and you could regret waiting.


this is a joke right?

Clearly.

OP 26 is not too old for any graduate degree. You can take the LSAT and take off up to 5 years I believe (check LSAC) before you have to retake. I'd study now and take it before you leave though...Buy the prep books and practice tests and do lots of test setting style rehearsals and youll kill it. Good luck in the military 8)

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dingbat
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby dingbat » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:16 am

many schools love veterans and it's a great way to distance yourself from that GPA

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haus
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby haus » Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:08 am

Going into the military can be a fine option for many, but I suspect that the two to four year commitment you are referring to is actually considerably more than that. Last I checked, all contracts for enlisted personnel were eight years. Admittedly, several of these years can be written up as serviceable by inactive service, if things go smoothy. Nonetheless you would be on the hook for this time and need to be prepared to deal with extended services requirements should they come your way.

richrogers
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby richrogers » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:40 pm

haus wrote:Going into the military can be a fine option for many, but I suspect that the two to four year commitment you are referring to is actually considerably more than that. Last I checked, all contracts for enlisted personnel were eight years. Admittedly, several of these years can be written up as serviceable by inactive service, if things go smoothy. Nonetheless you would be on the hook for this time and need to be prepared to deal with extended services requirements should they come your way.



Thanks for all the help guys! And I believe its 4 years and then the other 4 you spend in Reserve, which isn't that much responsibility from what I know and you can pursue other options/jobs apart from a few weekends a year and 2 weeks per year. Its more of a "if shit hits the fan globally, we can order you back" thing but its never happened.

richrogers
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby richrogers » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:43 pm

epiphinous7 wrote:
jeffgarlin wrote:
gman1978 wrote:Now is the time to go to law school. In a few years hiring may have cooled down, and you could regret waiting.


this is a joke right?

Clearly.

OP 26 is not too old for any graduate degree. You can take the LSAT and take off up to 5 years I believe (check LSAC) before you have to retake. I'd study now and take it before you leave though...Buy the prep books and practice tests and do lots of test setting style rehearsals and youll kill it. Good luck in the military 8)


That's actually what I have been thinking as well. I was just thinking that admissions committees may think that the person took it a long time ago so it may not be an accurate barometer of his current intelligence. Thanks for the help!

richrogers
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby richrogers » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:46 pm

jrf12886 wrote:I took four years off to serve in the military (I was an officer) and I don't feel like age has been a major problem. Employers really liked the military background and I haven't had problems socializing with people 4 years younger. PM me if you want to talk more about it. Is OCS really all 5-6 year commitments now?

For me it would end up being that or longer. I would have to do enlisted for 2-3 years to get a "5" in my MoS. Then I'd have to go through quite a bit of hassle to get commissioned, and getting a commission obligates you to stay on for 4 more years (I've been told).

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haus
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby haus » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:34 am

richrogers wrote:
haus wrote:Going into the military can be a fine option for many, but I suspect that the two to four year commitment you are referring to is actually considerably more than that. Last I checked, all contracts for enlisted personnel were eight years. Admittedly, several of these years can be written up as serviceable by inactive service, if things go smoothy. Nonetheless you would be on the hook for this time and need to be prepared to deal with extended services requirements should they come your way.



Thanks for all the help guys! And I believe its 4 years and then the other 4 you spend in Reserve, which isn't that much responsibility from what I know and you can pursue other options/jobs apart from a few weekends a year and 2 weeks per year. Its more of a "if shit hits the fan globally, we can order you back" thing but its never happened.


I can provide you quite a list of people who felt the same way, yet ended up wearing uniforms when they did not expect to.

Having your active duty time extended can be rather disappointing, but it is not as bad as being released and getting your life, career, education underway and then getting pulled back.

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red52
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby red52 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:51 am

If it makes you feel any better, 26 is the median age at northwestern LS, and may schools value work experience highly depending on what it is. I say go for it if you want to.

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jkpolk
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby jkpolk » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:04 am

If you're taking 4 years check out the yellow ribbon program. I know a few vets at UVA took a similar path to the one you're taking and scooped cheap school because of it. I'm not sure it's sufficient incentive to motivate enlistment ex ante, but it seems like a pretty sweet deal if you can take advantage of it after service.

lsatepicfail
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby lsatepicfail » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:18 pm

Just my 2 cents as an Army Vet...I enlisted for 4 years active duty as a 27D-Paralegal for the sole purpose of having my education paid for. After 4 years my active duty term ended in March of 2007, but in July of 2008 I came home to orders sitting on my doorstep. Those 4 years of inactive duty might not be so inactive!

lsatepicfail
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby lsatepicfail » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:20 pm

And those orders sent me a Paralegal to Afghanistan for a year bc apparently they were in desperate need for Paralegals over there! I was joined in Afg by a friend who is also a 27D. Just wanted you to know that there is always a chance you could get called back after your first 4 year term.

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TripTrip
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Re: A couple of questions on taking a few years off

Postby TripTrip » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:25 pm

Did the poster above me say something? All I see is a blob of pink.




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