Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

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Praetor_
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Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby Praetor_ » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:59 pm

Hello everyone. Long time reader and first time commenter here.

Recently, I was offered a position to work in a Capitol Hill Leadership office as an assistant. My duties would include answering phones, meeting guests, and providing secretarial assistance to the staff. I'm currently an intern who only planned to live in Washington for one semester. I plan on taking the entire summer to study for the October LSAT and completing my applications in the fall. This new offer has caused me to reconsider my plans, and I could use your advice.

Do I accept the assistant position or do I study for the LSAT? I plan on applying to T-14 schools, and I am just wondering what would be a more beneficial use of my time. Currently, I don't think it would be possible for me to properly balance a full-time position and studying for the test.

What would you suggest that I do? Is work experience really necessary to get into a T-14? Do I need to take a year off?

My ultimate goal is to become an attorney, and I don't see myself working on the Hill; however, this would be a great experience.
I'm not sure if this will influence your advice, but I am an URM with a high GPA.

Thanks

eyfl
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby eyfl » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:16 pm

Best = do both. Lost of people have done this, LSAT is very doable with only 1-2 hours per day + 4-5 hours on Sat/Sun for 3-4 months.

2nd best = kill the LSAT. Being an URM w/ high GPA & LSAT will guarantee you a spot almost everywhere no matter W/E.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:19 pm

literally 1 extra LSAT point is better than almost every single possible job experience.

SFSpartan
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:22 pm

Go work on the Hill. You make great connections, and if you stay a while, your office may pay part of your tuition (for reference, I know a guy on a Senate committee currently taking advantage of this).

Hill offices also tend to promote very quickly, as there is a lot of turnover (and there will be come January, when campaign season starts) , and Hill experience could make your JD (when you do get it) an accelerator to a lucrative position with a lobby firm (even though this doesn't seem to be your interest, it's something to consider, given abysmal LS employment stats).

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:26 pm

I sometimes wonder if doing SA bitchwork (have fun answering all those crazy Tea Party calls!) is worth the effort. If you know you want to go to law school then just crush the LSAT and go straight through. The SA pay is awful, especially on the House side, so with the col in DC you're not saving near enough to even make a dent in the cost of LS.

Eta: my opinion might change a little if this were an LC or LA job, but still...

Praetor_
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby Praetor_ » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:39 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:I sometimes wonder if doing SA bitchwork (have fun answering all those crazy Tea Party calls!) is worth the effort. If you know you want to go to law school then just crush the LSAT and go straight through. The SA pay is awful, especially on the House side, so with the col in DC you're not saving near enough to even make a dent in the cost of LS.

Eta: my opinion might change a little if this were an LC or LA job, but still...


Exactly. Will answering the phones and sitting at a computer all day long really be beneficial for my law school hopes? As an intern, I feel that I have done everything that a staff assistant does. So, I feel like that my time would be better spent scoring above a 175.

If I was offered an LC position, there wouldn't be any debate over the issue.

My main concern is that for my top school, Yale, I see that around only 19% come directly from undergrad. For the vast majority of the entering class, they have 1+ years of work experience. How much of a boost will this experience be?

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:57 pm

Praetor_ wrote:
MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:I sometimes wonder if doing SA bitchwork (have fun answering all those crazy Tea Party calls!) is worth the effort. If you know you want to go to law school then just crush the LSAT and go straight through. The SA pay is awful, especially on the House side, so with the col in DC you're not saving near enough to even make a dent in the cost of LS.

Eta: my opinion might change a little if this were an LC or LA job, but still...


Exactly. Will answering the phones and sitting at a computer all day long really be beneficial for my law school hopes? As an intern, I feel that I have done everything that a staff assistant does. So, I feel like that my time would be better spent scoring above a 175.

If I was offered an LC position, there wouldn't be any debate over the issue.

My main concern is that for my top school, Yale, I see that around only 19% come directly from undergrad. For the vast majority of the entering class, they have 1+ years of work experience. How much of a boost will this experience be?


Not a measurable boost. If you already have a compelling story to tell in your application, then this won't matter. If you don't, then a year of bitchwork - answering phones, batching mail, giving tours, and running errands - probably isn't going to reshape your narrative. Depending on the Member and staff's level of chill, though, I don't think it's a bad thing to do while studying for the LSAT. Just realize you probably won't get much other than a few contacts out of the experience if you're only on board for a year.

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North
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby North » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:19 am

Eh, I'd just study for the LSAT. That job sounds pretty worthless and it's not like you haven't already spent time there doing intern work.

Make sure you kill it, though.

Throttle
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby Throttle » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:25 am

eyfl wrote:Best = do both. Lost of people have done this, LSAT is very doable with only 1-2 hours per day + 4-5 hours on Sat/Sun for 3-4 months.

2nd best = kill the LSAT. Being an URM w/ high GPA & LSAT will guarantee you a spot almost everywhere no matter W/E.



Do both. The fact that you are planning on sitting your first LSAT in Oct instead of June is problematic. You might as well take the job and study for Feb and apply next year. This will also give you a chance to put in meaningful work for your job and the LSAT.

itachiuchiha
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby itachiuchiha » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:01 am

JamMasterJ wrote:literally 1 extra LSAT point is better than almost every single possible job experience.


146-147?

lol jk

Throttle
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby Throttle » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:03 am

itachiuchiha wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:literally 1 extra LSAT point is better than almost every single possible job experience.


146-147?

lol jk

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Dr. Dre
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:10 am

no one is going to care about your internship.


study for the LSAT right now for October because you're running out of time. own the LSAT. get into T14 with $. profit.

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IAFG
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby IAFG » Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:25 am

Take the job, take more time to prepare for the LSAT, be better off as a person and professional for both.

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Cobretti
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby Cobretti » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:12 am

IAFG wrote:Take the job, take more time to prepare for the LSAT, be better off as a person and professional for both.

+1, don't get caught up in the hivemind's obsession with #s only to underperform them. Also, I studied while working full time for about 5 months and hit a 173 so you can have your cake and eat it too.

Big Dog
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby Big Dog » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:27 am

Will answering the phones and sitting at a computer all day long really be beneficial for my law school hopes? As an intern, I feel that I have done everything that a staff assistant does.


Absolutely not. (Working on The Hill sounds glamourous, but unless you are a political junkie, it's just another job.)

So, I feel like that my time would be better spent scoring above a 175.


Exactly.

chadbrochill
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby chadbrochill » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:37 pm

Take the job and study on the side.
Last edited by chadbrochill on Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dr123
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby dr123 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:39 pm

Yea, I really don't understand what's stopping you from doing both. Plenty of people work FT and study for the lsat and do just fine.

kathj06
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Re: Work on the Hill or Study for the LSAT?

Postby kathj06 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:39 am

I worked on the Hill full-time while studying for and taking the February LSAT. It definitely required a time commitment, but so does being a law student...

FWIW, I know of plenty of people who've gone from SA to LC or LA within a year on the House side. The fact that your office wants to hire you after your internship indicates that they think very highly of you, and that you will continue to advance in the office.

Good luck with your decision and congrats on the job offer!




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