Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

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AlexandraHope
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Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby AlexandraHope » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:28 pm

It seems that the general consensus here is to take a couple of years off between undergrad and law school. Why is that? Did anybody here go straight from undergrad to law school?

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Nebby
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby Nebby » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:29 pm

90% of us are K-JD.

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banjo
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby banjo » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:37 pm

Probably 20-35% of the class at a given top school is K-JD. Taking time off is a good idea though. A few reasons:

-Taking a year off gives you a chance to retake the LSAT and apply early in the following cycle
-WE usually helps you during job interviews. Even unremarkable WE can make for a good 5-10 minutes of conversation in a 20-minute interview. It also lets the interviewer know that some human beings were able to tolerate you for a year or so
-WE gives you some perspective, and helps you decide if you want to be a lawyer

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pcph
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby pcph » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:51 pm

.
Last edited by pcph on Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RZ5646
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:03 pm

Many people are K-JD. For most law schools you can see the K-JD percentage (or average age, which is basically the same thing) on their "class profile" site.

Professional work experience gives a tiny admissions boost, so it's not bad advice. However, it seems like only Northwestern really cares much about WE, and I don't think that 2 years of barista experience will boost your application, so unless you have a major with very good job prospects it's probably not worth it.

As for why it's such common advice here:

1. Many of the most prolific posters are miserable law students or lawyers who wish they could go back to the gap years they never had.

2. TLS is a hivemind. "Work in the real world" is the new "retake," which was also decent advice but became obnoxious because people would just spam every thread with it without actually considering the OP's situation.

BigZuck
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby BigZuck » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:11 pm

RZ5646 wrote:Many people are K-JD. For most law schools you can see the K-JD percentage (or average age, which is basically the same thing) on their "class profile" site.

Professional work experience gives a tiny admissions boost, so it's not bad advice. However, it seems like only Northwestern really cares much about WE, and I don't think that 2 years of barista experience will boost your application, so unless you have a major with very good job prospects it's probably not worth it.

As for why it's such common advice here:

1. Many of the most prolific posters are miserable law students or lawyers who wish they could go back to the gap years they never had.

2. TLS is a hivemind. "Work in the real world" is the new "retake," which was also decent advice but became obnoxious because people would just spam every thread with it without actually considering the OP's situation.


People shouldn't go K-JD because all lives are worth living and life is too short and one's prime is too precious to waste it on something dumb like law school.

Personally I might think differently if law school were fundamentally different. But given what it is, yeah, why should a 22 year old waste good years of their life there?

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RZ5646
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:25 pm

BigZuck wrote:People shouldn't go K-JD because all lives are worth living and life is too short and one's prime is too precious to waste it on something dumb like law school.

Personally I might think differently if law school were fundamentally different. But given what it is, yeah, why should a 22 year old waste good years of their life there?


Because for most of us, the only other option is working for near minimum wage while our student loans accrue interest.

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banjo
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby banjo » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:31 pm

RZ5646 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:People shouldn't go K-JD because all lives are worth living and life is too short and one's prime is too precious to waste it on something dumb like law school.

Personally I might think differently if law school were fundamentally different. But given what it is, yeah, why should a 22 year old waste good years of their life there?


Because for most of us, the only other option is working for near minimum wage while our student loans accrue interest.


Be a paralegal at a small firm for a year.

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RZ5646
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:34 pm

I still don't see how that's preferable to just moving on with my life and achieving my longterm goals.

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banjo
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby banjo » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:46 pm

It gives you a better idea of whether you actually want to go to law school, and if you do, what practice area you might enjoy (small firms often take on a hodgepodge of matters). If you spin it right, it will also give you a nice boost during the job search. Employers love hearing that you were a dependable, detail-oriented team player, especially if you can back it up with specific examples from the job.

philepistemer
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby philepistemer » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:53 pm

don't be a paralegal if you might want to be a lawyer. You're leaving so much expected value on the table and you aren't even doing something interesting. Go teach English in a foreign country, make a lot of money in a bank or consulting firm, or skip to trying to make 160k as soon as possible.

Edit: which is to say that as a K-jd, I have never regretted not being a paralegal. I've wished that i had traveled more, and I've wished that I had explored other options, but I've never regretted not replacing a year of 160k with a year of 50k.
Last edited by philepistemer on Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

BigZuck
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby BigZuck » Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:57 pm

RZ5646 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:People shouldn't go K-JD because all lives are worth living and life is too short and one's prime is too precious to waste it on something dumb like law school.

Personally I might think differently if law school were fundamentally different. But given what it is, yeah, why should a 22 year old waste good years of their life there?


Because for most of us, the only other option is working for near minimum wage while our student loans accrue interest.


IMO you can do better/more productive stuff with your life like have fun/form meaningful relationships, etc.

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RZ5646
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:01 pm

Well if I don't get any good offers when I apply to law school in the fall I guess that will be an option. And I don't deny that gaining WE is a good idea for some people; I just take issue with the way that TLS seems to advocate WE for everyone.

It's also somewhat different if the applicant has never had any sort of job or internship before... not working a day in your life would probably be a red flag. Like I said, there are many variables involved.

The English teacher idea actually sounds cool. I don't think I'm prestigious enough for consulting or ibanking (and if I were, why would I want to go to law school anyway?), but living in Asia and teaching would be both fun and reasonable.

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Rigo
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby Rigo » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:43 pm

Foresight isn't 20/20, even though k-jd's typically tout their snowflake wisdom.
The problem with being k-jd's is that they often make very rash decisions because they're working off of the mindset (granted, largely instilled by society and family) that if you don't go directly to law school, you're some kind of lemming. K-jd's often refuse to sit out the cycle and retake for the silliest reasons that truly showcase their collective immaturity. So they end up taking on a lot of debt and/or going to a law school that falls short of their potential that could have been realized had they tapped the brakes just a bit. Don't lose the forest for the trees.

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Kratos
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby Kratos » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:12 pm

RZ5646 wrote:Well if I don't get any good offers when I apply to law school in the fall I guess that will be an option. And I don't deny that gaining WE is a good idea for some people; I just take issue with the way that TLS seems to advocate WE for everyone.

It's also somewhat different if the applicant has never had any sort of job or internship before... not working a day in your life would probably be a red flag. Like I said, there are many variables involved.

jobs you have during the summer arent real work experience
Last edited by Kratos on Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RCSOB657
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby RCSOB657 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:37 pm

I'm technically going UG to law, but that includes a school gap between 2004 and 2011. I had one bad WE and some fairly awesome ones. I didn't think about ls till the third semester back.

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Kratos
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby Kratos » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:39 pm

RCSOB657 wrote:I'm technically going UG to law, but that includes a school gap between 2004 and 2011. I had one bad WE and some fairly awesome ones. I didn't think about ls till the third semester back.

thanks for sharing that, not K-JD so totally irrelevant

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RCSOB657
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby RCSOB657 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:47 pm

Kratos wrote:
RCSOB657 wrote:I'm technically going UG to law, but that includes a school gap between 2004 and 2011. I had one bad WE and some fairly awesome ones. I didn't think about ls till the third semester back.

thanks for sharing that, not K-JD so totally irrelevant


I was going to ignore this, how is this irrelevant? He was asking about WE between schools, and someone mentioned the time between allows for perspective. So how do you get off saying it's irrelevant unless that time off goes between UG to law directly through?

stellina
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby stellina » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:51 pm

RCSOB657 wrote:
Kratos wrote:
RCSOB657 wrote:I'm technically going UG to law, but that includes a school gap between 2004 and 2011. I had one bad WE and some fairly awesome ones. I didn't think about ls till the third semester back.

thanks for sharing that, not K-JD so totally irrelevant


I was going to ignore this, how is this irrelevant? He was asking about WE between schools, and someone mentioned the time between allows for perspective. So how do you get off saying it's irrelevant unless that time off goes between UG to law directly through?


Perspective of life outside the classroom. You already have that.

Kimikho
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby Kimikho » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:07 pm

Kratos wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Well if I don't get any good offers when I apply to law school in the fall I guess that will be an option. And I don't deny that gaining WE is a good idea for some people; I just take issue with the way that TLS seems to advocate WE for everyone.

It's also somewhat different if the applicant has never had any sort of job or internship before... not working a day in your life would probably be a red flag. Like I said, there are many variables involved.

you mean like the vast majority of K-JDs?


I find this hard to believe. What were you doing during your summers?

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Kratos
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby Kratos » Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:08 pm

Kimikho wrote:
Kratos wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Well if I don't get any good offers when I apply to law school in the fall I guess that will be an option. And I don't deny that gaining WE is a good idea for some people; I just take issue with the way that TLS seems to advocate WE for everyone.

It's also somewhat different if the applicant has never had any sort of job or internship before... not working a day in your life would probably be a red flag. Like I said, there are many variables involved.

you mean like the vast majority of K-JDs?


I find this hard to believe. What were you doing during your summers?
I was dicking around doing menial jobs most of my summers. But I didnt mean to say that most people didnt get internships. But equating internships and summer jobs to real full time work experience is laughable. I think I bolded incorrectly or am just an idiot, lol I seriously have no idea what I was trying to say there cause it makes no sense

I dont even know what RCS is saying so i dont really feel like engaging him

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RZ5646
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby RZ5646 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 10:34 pm

Kimikho wrote:
Kratos wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:Well if I don't get any good offers when I apply to law school in the fall I guess that will be an option. And I don't deny that gaining WE is a good idea for some people; I just take issue with the way that TLS seems to advocate WE for everyone.

It's also somewhat different if the applicant has never had any sort of job or internship before... not working a day in your life would probably be a red flag. Like I said, there are many variables involved.

you mean like the vast majority of K-JDs?


I find this hard to believe. What were you doing during your summers?


I myself have had some sort of part-time job since I was 16. I'm just saying that there probably are K-JD applicants who have never worked at all before, and they might want to consider gaining some WE before applying.

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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby kartelite » Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:29 pm

philepistemer wrote:don't be a paralegal if you might want to be a lawyer. You're leaving so much expected value on the table and you aren't even doing something interesting. Go teach English in a foreign country, make a lot of money in a bank or consulting firm, or skip to trying to make 160k as soon as possible.

Edit: which is to say that as a K-jd, I have never regretted not being a paralegal. I've wished that i had traveled more, and I've wished that I had explored other options, but I've never regretted not replacing a year of 160k with a year of 50k.


+1

After grad school I taught English at a university overseas, traveled a lot, and then spent a few years working in the US and overseas in banking and consulting firms. Wouldn't be my advice for everyone to take so much time, but it can work out well financially (the assets I've accrued easily cover the cost of tuition at my JD/MBA program), and you'll have more interesting personal experiences as well as a complementary set of professional skills (which may or may not prove to be valuable, depending on what you end up doing).

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NYC2012
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby NYC2012 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:46 pm

philepistemer wrote:don't be a paralegal if you might want to be a lawyer. You're leaving so much expected value on the table and you aren't even doing something interesting. Go teach English in a foreign country, make a lot of money in a bank or consulting firm, or skip to trying to make 160k as soon as possible.

Edit: which is to say that as a K-jd, I have never regretted not being a paralegal. I've wished that i had traveled more, and I've wished that I had explored other options, but I've never regretted not replacing a year of 160k with a year of 50k.


Just FWIW, as the opposite point of view, I had a great experience as a paralegal at a V5 and would recommend it to anyone. I learned how a law firm operates (you really don't get it until you've worked at one), I have a substantial advantage over my classmates in civil procedure, I know what big law culture is like and how to interact with people in that environment. I've done work that first and second year associates typically do. I have lots of legal contacts now. I thought it was a fantastic experience and found it very interesting and fulfilling. I also think it will be great to talk about during OCI, employers love people who have legal experience. The best associates I worked for all had work experience before coming to law school, some of them as paralegals. Finally, I made 80k with overtime, not 50.

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Hopefully2012
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Re: Did anybody go straight from undergrad to law school?

Postby Hopefully2012 » Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:28 pm

NYC2012 wrote:
philepistemer wrote:don't be a paralegal if you might want to be a lawyer. You're leaving so much expected value on the table and you aren't even doing something interesting. Go teach English in a foreign country, make a lot of money in a bank or consulting firm, or skip to trying to make 160k as soon as possible.

Edit: which is to say that as a K-jd, I have never regretted not being a paralegal. I've wished that i had traveled more, and I've wished that I had explored other options, but I've never regretted not replacing a year of 160k with a year of 50k.


Just FWIW, as the opposite point of view, I had a great experience as a paralegal at a V5 and would recommend it to anyone. I learned how a law firm operates (you really don't get it until you've worked at one), I have a substantial advantage over my classmates in civil procedure, I know what big law culture is like and how to interact with people in that environment. I've done work that first and second year associates typically do. I have lots of legal contacts now. I thought it was a fantastic experience and found it very interesting and fulfilling. I also think it will be great to talk about during OCI, employers love people who have legal experience. The best associates I worked for all had work experience before coming to law school, some of them as paralegals. Finally, I made 80k with overtime, not 50.

I agree with NYC2012. I want to add the importance of networking. I built a ton of contacts from when I was working as a paralegal. I reached out to many of them during OCI and I'm fairly confident that having respected attorneys vouch for my work helped me secure multiple V5/V10 offers. Obviously law school grades are the most important thing during law firm recruiting, but the people at my T14 who had worked as paralegals at respected firms regularly outperformed their grades.




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