best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

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heywatchitbuddy
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best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby heywatchitbuddy » Fri May 31, 2013 5:28 am

So people have recommended I take a gap year since I'm a k-jd who will be graduating a year early. What I really want to know is what are some of the lesser known programs that are similar to the more popular ones (like TFA, peace corps, and fulbright). An example of one I've found so far is Princeton in Asia, not a huge program, but still very intersting. I'm also not looking to do this to boost my app, just looking for interesting options.

Basically I'm thinking about taking a year or two off before law school, any suggestions?

20141023
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby 20141023 » Fri May 31, 2013 6:09 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

seagan823
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby seagan823 » Fri May 31, 2013 8:37 am

I did City Year through AmeriCorps. It is a one year commitment, with the option to apply to do a second year in a leadership role. You serve on a team of 18-24 year olds in an underperforming school at one of 24 sites across the US, where you will act as a tutor/mentor for a small caseload of students, as well as an afterschool coordinator and community outreach person.

It is similar to TFA in that you work in a school, but you have a very different role with the students. You focus on building relationships with students on the cusp of falling behind, and while I tutored and taught any of my students a great deal, you have a greater impact through leading lunches and afterschool programs with the students and helping them develop goals and aspirations.

seagan823
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby seagan823 » Fri May 31, 2013 8:42 am

Also check out all the AmeriCorps programs you can find. Idealist.org has some listed as does the national website. They have many different programs that focus on everything from public health to bringing technology to indigent populations. It is a great way to both help others and learn more about the problems facing some of America's most disenfranchised citizens. Also, they have these programs all over the country, so if you want to move somewhere new for a little while you can do that. Once you pass the bar you will be less mobile, so you can take the opportunity to live anywhere in the US for a year or two.

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guano
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby guano » Fri May 31, 2013 9:49 am

None of the above

Hike the Appalachian trail, backpack through Europe, or hitchhike cross country.
Or take on the kind of jobs you otherwise never would, just for the stories (lifeguard at a beach, rancher, icecream maker, something out of the ordinary)
For one thing, it's an opportunity to do something different and unusual, for another it'll give you a good conversation piece during interviews

Seriously, go do something crazy.

vinnnyvincenzo
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby vinnnyvincenzo » Fri May 31, 2013 9:56 am

Get a 9-5 job that pays decent money while living with parents. Either save that cash and take out smaller loans or burn through that shit on clothes, nice dinners & booze. In all seriousness though disposable income is a joy to have and a 35-40 hr/wk gig is not that terrible to have to deal with in order to have enough money to buy all the stuff that you would want/need at this point of your life.

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sinfiery
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby sinfiery » Fri May 31, 2013 9:58 am

guano wrote:None of the above

Hike the Appalachian trail, backpack through Europe, or hitchhike cross country.
Or take on the kind of jobs you otherwise never would, just for the stories (lifeguard at a beach, rancher, icecream maker, something out of the ordinary)
For one thing, it's an opportunity to do something different and unusual, for another it'll give you a good conversation piece during interviews

Seriously, go do something crazy.

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North
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby North » Fri May 31, 2013 10:40 am

sinfiery wrote:
guano wrote:None of the above

Hike the Appalachian trail, backpack through Europe, or hitchhike cross country.
Or take on the kind of jobs you otherwise never would, just for the stories (lifeguard at a beach, rancher, icecream maker, something out of the ordinary)
For one thing, it's an opportunity to do something different and unusual, for another it'll give you a good conversation piece during interviews

Seriously, go do something crazy.

TCR.

With every hour I burn on TLS at my safe, boring gov't desk job, I regret not doing exactly this more. It takes some effort to be an interesting person. (See: Ludo)

20141023
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby 20141023 » Fri May 31, 2013 10:52 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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North
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby North » Fri May 31, 2013 11:11 am

kappycaft1 wrote:Oh my fucking god. I've never seen that post by Ludo before, but it was fucking epic.

The whole thread is worth reading. There are more stories.

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Legal_Padawan
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby Legal_Padawan » Fri May 31, 2013 12:10 pm

heywatchitbuddy wrote:So people have recommended I take a gap year since I'm a k-jd who will be graduating a year early. What I really want to know is what are some of the lesser known programs that are similar to the more popular ones (like TFA, peace corps, and fulbright). An example of one I've found so far is Princeton in Asia, not a huge program, but still very intersting. I'm also not looking to do this to boost my app, just looking for interesting options.

Basically I'm thinking about taking a year or two off before law school, any suggestions?


I would work as a legal assistant at a biglaw firm. The work won't necessarily prepare you for law school, but you can get a much better idea of what working in a big firm is actually like. If you find out you hate it (which is really quite common), then you'll have saved yourself 3 years and 200K+ in debt.

09042014
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby 09042014 » Fri May 31, 2013 12:29 pm

Make BANK in North Dakota as an oil worker.

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guano
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby guano » Fri May 31, 2013 12:39 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Make BANK in North Dakota as an oil worker.

llachans
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby llachans » Fri May 31, 2013 12:42 pm

I took a year off to work with a non-profit at a jail. I was interested in criminal law and it only confirmed that interest. You could always try and find something related to your legal interests and test drive it before law school.

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Young Marino
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby Young Marino » Fri May 31, 2013 12:46 pm

Blaze. Up.

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:02 pm

I'd like to bump this because I was going to make a similar thread.

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jselson
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby jselson » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:19 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Make BANK in North Dakota as an oil worker.


I actually did this, but in WY. It paid for a one-month vacation in NYC, followed by a one-month vacation in Europe, not to mention I skied every Sunday.

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IAFG
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby IAFG » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:20 pm

jselson wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Make BANK in North Dakota as an oil worker.


I actually did this, but in WY. It paid for a one-month vacation in NYC, followed by a one-month vacation in Europe, not to mention I skied every Sunday.

You, sir, are highly credited.

gertie
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby gertie » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:25 pm

I did an Americorps program called Public Allies, it's more intensive than a regular Americorps program and has more interesting components. It's in ~20 different cities in the US

062914123
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby 062914123 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:08 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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buddyt
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby buddyt » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:10 pm

Get a real job and save all your money. Don't party for a whole year before school. Quit a couple months before you start, that should be plenty of time to party, be adventurous, travel etc.

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jbagelboy
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:12 pm

Depends largely on what you can get. TFA is highly competitive. If you can get a fulbright, do it.

As other posters have mentioned, an interesting experience is valid. You can't plan for this though. I would suggest working in the professional world is not a bad thing to do prior to law school either. It's rigorous, but its certainly helped me frame my approach to law, but moreover, my conditioning in a work intensive environment, my emotional stability under stressful conditions that are entirely unlike school-driven stress, client interaction and really putting yourself out there, and of course a strong reference from a known firm.

Whatever you do, make sure you are taking risks (not to your life, to your comfort), exposing yourself to something new and becoming "post-college". Mature yourself, leave the orbit of your collegiate world and peers for a while. Also, you can find an "interesting experience" in many places. While my "desk job" is often dull, I've gotten to travel a lot to client sites internationally, which has produced some really cool experiences I'll keep with me both personally and professionally forever, even if its not quite backpacking over the Himalayas or farming in Guatemala.

It seems there are two approaches: be "wild" and do something crazy for a good story, or be responsible, save money and work. I couldn't do the first because I was completely broke when I graduated and couldn't travel or be irresponsible immediately. I did plenty of travel when I worked abroad as a college student. I think some of each is important, but don't just get high in your basement.

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Lincoln
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby Lincoln » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:15 pm

guano wrote:None of the above

Hike the Appalachian trail, backpack through Europe, or hitchhike cross country.
Or take on the kind of jobs you otherwise never would, just for the stories (lifeguard at a beach, rancher, icecream maker, something out of the ordinary)
For one thing, it's an opportunity to do something different and unusual, for another it'll give you a good conversation piece during interviews

Seriously, go do something crazy.


I say this as someone who worked for several years before law school and was happy to do it, but you'll never get this time back, and it's an opportunity to do something that career, finances, student loans, and family will prevent you from doing in the future. If you don't have money, live at home for six months, work, save every penny you have, and use it on travel. You won't regret it.

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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:42 pm

Lincoln wrote:if you don't have money, live at home for six months, work, save every penny you have, and use it on travel. You won't regret it.


Wish I could had done this. Aside from my parents being poorer than I am, out of college I got an apartment near where my girlfriend was going to be living. Little did I know that relationship was going to end pretty quickly after graduation.

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Lincoln
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Re: best gap year options (beyond TFA, PC etc)

Postby Lincoln » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:22 pm

CyanIdes Of March wrote:
Lincoln wrote:if you don't have money, live at home for six months, work, save every penny you have, and use it on travel. You won't regret it.


Wish I could had done this. Aside from my parents being poorer than I am, out of college I got an apartment near where my girlfriend was going to be living. Little did I know that relationship was going to end pretty quickly after graduation.


Story of my pre-law school life. SOs ruin everything.




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