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Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 12:30 pm
by LadyProspero
I wasn't sure which forum to post this in, apologies to the mods if it's in the wrong one.

I applied this cycle, got in to a few decent places with a 3.82/155 but didn't get enough money to make it worth it. ($60k at Minnesota, $36k at W&M, no $ at WUSTL). Long story short, I did decide to sit out and retake/aim for the T14.

My current job is in BSA Compliance at a local bank. I graduated undergrad in 2013, and have been working in this position for just about two years. Basically, I ensure compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act. Nothing too special, just a BSA Compliance Specialist. I look for money launderers, terrorist financing, ACH fraud, etc. and also ensure certain provisions of the Patriot Act are followed (identification requirements and the like at account opening, etc.) My bank was sold to a bigger bank in September, and conversion goes through 6/19. I'll be unemployed some time between then and early July. This of course added urgency to me going this year, as it would have worked out well with the job ending. But I'm not, and I'm scared of the gap year on my resume. I was originally planning to get my severance/pay to stay package and just collect unemployment, study full time for the LSAT I'll take in October and then maybe try to find something to do, or just stay on unemployment. Try to travel a little. Now I'm having second thoughts, and scared to have a gap in my resume.

I applied for a position with Legal Aid in Cincinnati, and have been invited to interview. The position is a "Neighborhood Housing Intern." I'll throw a link to the job description in this post, if anyone cares to read it.

http://www.lascinti.org/employment/

My question is:

Will the word "internship" look like my professional career progressed backwards during this year off, or am I overthinking? It is a one year internship, so would work out well for me since I plan to go to school next fall. Also, will this be good experience to have (as opposed to some other job doing something non-legal related.) Even among legal things, is this experience likely to stand out vs something like a paralegal? Or should I look for something else? Having some experience in compliance, I thought it might help me out to go find a different legal angle to get into for the next year.

Kind of at a loss for which direction to go/what to do. Ideally, I would really like to try to add something to my resume that would make me stand out, I could do anything to avoid a resume gap but is this is any way even a decent soft?

Thanks for all the help in advance!

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 12:54 pm
by usn26
LadyProspero wrote:Will the word "internship" look like my professional career progressed backwards during this year off, or am I overthinking?


A) I think it looks like you're changing directions to a legal path, and an internship is a logical step in that direction.

B) Sometimes job titles are negotiable. If you get the job, see if they'll call it a "fellowship" or something.

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:09 pm
by LadyProspero
usn26 wrote:
LadyProspero wrote:Will the word "internship" look like my professional career progressed backwards during this year off, or am I overthinking?


A) I think it looks like you're changing directions to a legal path, and an internship is a logical step in that direction.

B) Sometimes job titles are negotiable. If you get the job, see if they'll call it a "fellowship" or something.


It didn't occur to me to try to negotiate the job title, I will definitely do that if I get an offer. Thanks! :)

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:29 pm
by usn26

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:32 pm
by TasmanianToucan

I love USNWR articles. They have so much fluff that they can usually be distilled down to one sentance. In this case: "Get a job.""

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:36 pm
by usn26
TasmanianToucan wrote:

I love USNWR articles. They have so much fluff that they can usually be distilled down to one sentance. In this case: "Get a job.""


Yeah, but this one has our Spivey friends in it, so at least it's not the esteemed Mr. O'Connor.

Also, that is TCR for OP: get a job.

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:38 pm
by Gray
What the job is matters way less than how much you can improve your LSAT score.

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:47 pm
by lacrossebrother
I think it would be cool to spend a year becoming an expert on labor relations

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 2:49 pm
by LadyProspero
Gray wrote:What the job is matters way less than how much you can improve your LSAT score.
Yeah, agreed. That's my main priority, just trying to get other things in order also, seeing as the bank conversion is a month away.

Also agree about USNWR articles. Was an interesting read though, so thanks!

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 4:02 pm
by LawsRUs
LProsp, I think you are overthinking this. The position at the legal aid office sounds like a good opportunity.

Rooting for you! GL

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Thu May 14, 2015 9:22 pm
by LadyProspero
LawsRUs wrote:LProsp, I think you are overthinking this. The position at the legal aid office sounds like a good opportunity.

Rooting for you! GL
Thanks Laws! :)

Did you decide where you're going?

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Sat May 16, 2015 9:07 am
by MikeSpivey

Re: Help - what to do in gap year

Posted: Sat May 16, 2015 9:30 am
by CanadianWolf
Legal aid should be a great experience. Improving one's LSAT score, however, is justification enough for a gap year.