Should I graduate early/ will this be a detriment to my chances of getting into a law school?

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Maddiestorms

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Should I graduate early/ will this be a detriment to my chances of getting into a law school?

Postby Maddiestorms » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:35 pm

Hi so I just finished my first year of college at a slightly better than average state school. I currently have a 3.7 (do solely to the fact that I got a C in Arabic and As in every other class) and I am considering graduating a year early as a double major in English and political science. The reasoning for this is merely financial as my parents have agreed to pay for all my loans if I do so. I came in with about 30 credits in AP and I wouldn’t have to take any summer classes or anything additional. Also I would only have to take 15-17 credits each semester so I don’t think it would dramatically effect my grades. My only fear is that I won’t be able to get into a good law school because of my age. If I graduate a year early, I’ll only be 20 as I am already young for my grade (I have a November birthday). I will be able to do a internship in Washington due to a family friend next year and I already have some leadership extra circulars (I am a tutor of two different groups on campus and I am going to be the president of my model un team) but I am scared that I will be looked down upon because of my age and lack of experience. Would it be better to graduate in four years instead of 3 or to take a year off to work in the field?

mmac

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Re: Should I graduate early/ will this be a detriment to my chances of getting into a law school?

Postby mmac » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:54 am

I don't see why it would hurt you at all to graduate early, assuming it does not hurt your grades. If your parents will pay off your loans if you do so, then I think it's a no-brainer. Getting experience in the internship will probably help you appear more mature in your applications anyway. Congrats and good luck.

DerKatze

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Re: Should I graduate early/ will this be a detriment to my chances of getting into a law school?

Postby DerKatze » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:00 am

It won't hurt your chances to get into law school--they won't care--but it will make it harder to get a job. There was recently a thread about an 18 year old who just finished college and was asking about law school; people responded with stories about how 21 and 23 year olds they knew in law school were having troubles. See http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=296490&p=10332860&hilit=under+21#p10332860. You'll be 23 when you graduate if you graduate college early and go straight to law school, but you'll be 21 when interviewing for summer jobs after 1L year, when many people secure internships that lead to jobs after law school.

There are significant benefits to taking a year or two off between college and law school, even for people who graduate in four years. Don't waste a year of tuition if you don't want to, but working for a year or two is very likely a good idea.

QContinuum

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Re: Should I graduate early/ will this be a detriment to my chances of getting into a law school?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:51 am

OP, as the other posters ITT have noted, law schools won't care if you graduate at 20 vs. 21. But it's increasingly common, especially at top law schools, for folks to take a gap year or two between college and law school. Why not graduate at 20, then take a gap year?

SFSpartan

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Re: Should I graduate early/ will this be a detriment to my chances of getting into a law school?

Postby SFSpartan » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:24 pm

Law schools aren't going to care what age you are. So, if it's easier for you to get As by taking an extra year, I'd do that (provided that extra year won't significantly increase your debt burden).

I also HIGHLY recommend taking 1-3 years to work after undergrad, regardless of whether you graduate a year early or not. You'll mature a lot during that period of time, and having substantive work experience will help put the law school grind in perspective.



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