A year off after UG?

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politics
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A year off after UG?

Postby politics » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:00 am

I am a senior in UG, dual major, and took the LSAT for my 2nd time this past weekend. If things do not go well I really do not want to force a retake in blow my 3rd and final chance (I took in Sept knowing it was a mistake and canceled). Anyway, how does everyone here view a year off? Is is that costly? I really did not want to do it but going to a LS that I will not be happy it seems like a mistake that I would have to live with for 3 years. Thoughts?

Pearalegal
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby Pearalegal » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:02 am

I would strongly advocate taking year off to anyone--even those with outstandingly high stats.

politics
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby politics » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:03 am

why is that?

Pearalegal
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby Pearalegal » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:06 am

Work experience is just infinitely helpful for so many reasons. The most obvious being that your resume pretty much trumps the majority of everyone who went right from undergrad.

I can't even tell you how happy I am I took time off before going to law school. I learned how to really manage my own finances, work in an office for more than a month or so internship, grew up a whole lot and feel much more prepared to enter law school. My work ethic, which was pretty damn good anyways, has developed so much...I've made connections in the legal world and I've been able to save up money.

itsfine
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby itsfine » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:09 am

yeah work experience is great...the big problem is....finding work ITE.

avacado111
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby avacado111 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:13 am

itsfine wrote:yeah work experience is great...the big problem is....finding work ITE.


you can't in this econ. espc paralegal jobs (your not going to find any)
friend in dc, graduated from gtown had around a 3.7 gpa in english, is working at a mall. She has been looking for paralegal work for the past 7 months. Graduated last year.

Pearalegal
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby Pearalegal » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:19 am

avacado111 wrote:
itsfine wrote:yeah work experience is great...the big problem is....finding work ITE.


you can't in this econ. espc paralegal jobs (your not going to find any)
friend in dc, graduated from gtown had around a 3.7 gpa in english, is working at a mall. She has been looking for paralegal work for the past 7 months. Graduated last year.


Yeah, it sucks. But there are 17 paralegals that were just hired last year at my firm...and all the big law firms have similar two year programs. The DOJ has a huge paralegal hiring program as well. Thats just paralegal work, obviously.

Its hard to get a job, but its not impossible. You need to know how to interview though...so many new grads have no idea what they're doing. We show around every prospective hire after their interview and 90% are just TERRIBLE.

freeflowfox
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby freeflowfox » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:25 am

As someone taking a year off right now from school, I can tell you at this moment that unless you are guaranteed to get into harvard and yale with substantial scholarship, and you have been dead set on being a lawyer since you were 5, then take a year off. Even if you get in, defer a year.

I'm doing this right now, taking a year off to travel and volunteer abroad, and I was deadset on law school since i was old enough to really think about what i wanted to do. I won't go into details but so far i've learned more than i could've imagined before taking this year off, and my choices 6 months ago vs. my choices today in terms of which school I would go to, how much debt I am willing to take on, what kind of law i want to practice, have DRASTICALLY changed.

Take the year off, believe me you won't regret it. I was forced into it by circumstances beyond my control, and now I am so thankful that I chose this over immediate law school after UG. You need the breather, and you to experience the world outside of school, something utterly different from what you must be used to.

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Moxie
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby Moxie » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:31 am

freeflowfox wrote:As someone taking a year off right now from school, I can tell you at this moment that unless you are guaranteed to get into harvard and yale with substantial scholarship, and you have been dead set on being a lawyer since you were 5, then take a year off. Even if you get in, defer a year.

I'm doing this right now, taking a year off to travel and volunteer abroad, and I was deadset on law school since i was old enough to really think about what i wanted to do. I won't go into details but so far i've learned more than i could've imagined before taking this year off, and my choices 6 months ago vs. my choices today in terms of which school I would go to, how much debt I am willing to take on, what kind of law i want to practice, have DRASTICALLY changed.

Take the year off, believe me you won't regret it. I was forced into it by circumstances beyond my control, and now I am so thankful that I chose this over immediate law school after UG. You need the breather, and you to experience the world outside of school, something utterly different from what you must be used to.


My only question about this is how to support yourself. . .
I'd love to take a year off, but if I can't find a job, I won't be able to afford to live on my own/pay health insurance/travel abroad

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dextermorgan
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby dextermorgan » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:35 am

If you can find work then taking a year off is highly advised. I'm not sure what you mean by costly, it is neither economically (save to reduce debt load) or in admissions/hiring (WE is always good).

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kittenmittons
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby kittenmittons » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:36 am

I'm glad I did.

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kurama20
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby kurama20 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:38 am

Moxie wrote:
freeflowfox wrote:As someone taking a year off right now from school, I can tell you at this moment that unless you are guaranteed to get into harvard and yale with substantial scholarship, and you have been dead set on being a lawyer since you were 5, then take a year off. Even if you get in, defer a year.

I'm doing this right now, taking a year off to travel and volunteer abroad, and I was deadset on law school since i was old enough to really think about what i wanted to do. I won't go into details but so far i've learned more than i could've imagined before taking this year off, and my choices 6 months ago vs. my choices today in terms of which school I would go to, how much debt I am willing to take on, what kind of law i want to practice, have DRASTICALLY changed.

Take the year off, believe me you won't regret it. I was forced into it by circumstances beyond my control, and now I am so thankful that I chose this over immediate law school after UG. You need the breather, and you to experience the world outside of school, something utterly different from what you must be used to.


My only question about this is how to support yourself. . .
I'd love to take a year off, but if I can't find a job, I won't be able to afford to live on my own/pay health insurance/travel abroad[
/quote]

Seriously, the biggest question for the taking a year off question is not should you do it, but can you do it? If you can't find a real job this question is essentially pointless. And in this economy it's basically as hard for a straight out of undergrad to get a good job as it is to get into a top law school (unless you went to a top U-grad or have connections). There are jobs at places like department stores etc. but you could have gotten that without a college degree to begin with--not to mention it's hard to support yourself on that type of job (especially in the TLS cities of choice: read NYC and San Francisco). Obviously if you land a good job out of ugrad you might as well take it then go to law school.

freeflowfox
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby freeflowfox » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:38 am

Be imaginative, if you can get into law school you can find yourself a small job somewhere, go abroad, teach English, that's how I got out.

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kurama20
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby kurama20 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:40 am

dextermorgan wrote:If you can find work then taking a year off is highly advised. I'm not sure what you mean by costly, it is neither economically (save to reduce debt load) or in admissions/hiring (WE is always good).


Depending on your economic situation before law school you may end up substantially hurting your need based aid package, even though you are working a job that really won't help you that much in lowering your debt load (ie a 30K a year job). You really can't save too much when you are making under 30K a year and trying to pay bills, u grad debt, car payment, rent, and food.

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fl0w
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby fl0w » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:40 am

I "took 5 years off". I like how "taking a year off" actually means "find a job, at least dont be a bum". Anyway, I've practically got a career going now, but I just didn't know if Law was really what I wanted to do when I got out of undergrad. I'm at a point in my life now that it clicked and now I know. And knowing is half the battle.

Seriously though you learn so much about yourself, about life, about the world with work experience that should make you a much better candidate.

Pearalegal
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby Pearalegal » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:43 am

Yeah, basically...if you can do it, its just a good life decision.

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kurama20
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby kurama20 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:44 am

Pearalegal wrote:Yeah, basically...if you can do it, its just a good life decision.


It's like a Catch 22. I think the thread should be renamed "if you can do it".

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fl0w
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby fl0w » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:46 am

kurama20 wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:Yeah, basically...if you can do it, its just a good life decision.


It's like a Catch 22. I think the thread should be renamed "if you can do it".



rename it "if you can take time off to gain work experience, you should /thread"

then nobody has to read it.

Pearalegal
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby Pearalegal » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:47 am

kurama20 wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:Yeah, basically...if you can do it, its just a good life decision.


It's like a Catch 22. I think the thread should be renamed "if you can do it".


I'm probably biased, because I had more than a few offers coming out of school and I was an effing Anthropology major. Not one of those offers came through the career services department at my school.

You need to work hard to get a job...I started researching and applying on my own in November of my senior year. I think far too often a new grad sits back and uses career services or other type postings. I dunno.

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fl0w
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby fl0w » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:52 am

Pearalegal wrote:
kurama20 wrote:
Pearalegal wrote:Yeah, basically...if you can do it, its just a good life decision.


It's like a Catch 22. I think the thread should be renamed "if you can do it".


I'm probably biased, because I had more than a few offers coming out of school and I was an effing Anthropology major. Not one of those offers came through the career services department at my school.

You need to work hard to get a job...I started researching and applying on my own in November of my senior year. I think far too often a new grad sits back and uses career services or other type postings. I dunno.



i agree with this. i didn't get my job through career services. i got it because a friend of mine was talking to a managing director at a consulting firm who said "do you know any tech savvy people that can actually carry on a conversation?" my friend knew me.
introduced us, had coffee with the managing director, led to interview, was hired.

In college you think it's a bunch of Bullsh** but networking is one of the most important tools you will ever learn how to use.

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dextermorgan
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby dextermorgan » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:23 am

kurama20 wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:If you can find work then taking a year off is highly advised. I'm not sure what you mean by costly, it is neither economically (save to reduce debt load) or in admissions/hiring (WE is always good).


Depending on your economic situation before law school you may end up substantially hurting your need based aid package, even though you are working a job that really won't help you that much in lowering your debt load (ie a 30K a year job). You really can't save too much when you are making under 30K a year and trying to pay bills, u grad debt, car payment, rent, and food.

Good point. It really depends on the job you can get and your situation economically. I do however think that the pros of taking a year off outweigh the cons most of the time.

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joshikousei
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby joshikousei » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:40 am

.
Last edited by joshikousei on Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sakura3210
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby Sakura3210 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:35 am

joshikousei wrote:best decision ever.

but do something (e.g., work or volunteer abroad, teach), even if you aren't getting paid (that much, if at all).


This. I took the year off to volunteer. You might not make the most money, but a lot of the Americorps stuff (based on what I've learned) will provide you with a living stipend and give you basic healthcare. The rest is just a careful balancing act - e.g. sharing an apartment rather than going solo, not paying for cable (hulu!) or books (public library!), etc. Oh, and you can usually get loans deffered b/c it's public service. It's tough but doable, and you definitely benefit from the new perspective.

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MC Southstar
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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby MC Southstar » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:38 am

Pearalegal wrote: You need to know how to interview though


QFT. Gotta know how to be a charmer - a professional, well-rounded, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic charmer that is.

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Re: A year off after UG?

Postby umichgrad » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:53 am

I'm taking a year off, and I'm really glad I am. Despite not having a "real" job (I had an internship that's over now, and I'm looking for stuff for the next six-nine months), I have a ton of time to do stuff I've always wanted to do (learn new languages, travel, write a book, etc). I'm also doing a bunch of unpaid stuff that beefs up a resume, like law-related volunteering. For money, I'm doing what every other broke kid does, (restaurant/coffeeshop/bookstore), and it's fine.

I highly recommend it. I've learned a lot, and I've been able to re-focus my career aspirations. Plus, I'm really excited to go back to school, which is really different from feeling burnt out.




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