From bartender to law student...

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Anonymous User
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From bartender to law student...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:00 am

So I put myself through college working (full-time) as a bartender. After graduating I took a year off, got accepted to a T20 and decided to defer one more year so I could save enough money to buy myself a car, pay my rent and feed myself during 1L.

So here's the thing. I have all this work experience...but none of it is in the legal field (or really, any "field," if I'm going to be awfully cynical about it). Does this give me any kind of an edge in the job hunt for my 1L summer? How should I spin this, other than pointing out I worked 30-40 hrs a week and still gradated with Latin honors/Phi Beta Kappa?

Sigh. Just worried I'm not hireable.

Anonymous User
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Re: From bartender to law student...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:05 am

Well that would be the point of getting a legal education. Now wouldn't it?

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sophia.olive
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Re: From bartender to law student...

Postby sophia.olive » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:So I put myself through college working (full-time) as a bartender. After graduating I took a year off, got accepted to a T20 and decided to defer one more year so I could save enough money to buy myself a car, pay my rent and feed myself during 1L.

So here's the thing. I have all this work experience...but none of it is in the legal field (or really, any "field," if I'm going to be awfully cynical about it). Does this give me any kind of an edge in the job hunt for my 1L summer? How should I spin this, other than pointing out I worked 30-40 hrs a week and still gradated with Latin honors/Phi Beta Kappa?

Sigh. Just worried I'm not hireable.

I think its good work experince....
Of course its not as good as legal experience but it is social and being a lawyer is sales to some point.
I think whipping up a mean cocktail and telling good bar jokes will come in handy.

Aqualibrium
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Re: From bartender to law student...

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:17 am

At a t20, you'll be fine. And I'm sure you'll have some awesome stories to tell at interviews. Having something unique and interesting to talk about in screeners is huge.

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20160810
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Re: From bartender to law student...

Postby 20160810 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:20 am

What you do after 1L doesn't matter all that much. Just rock one of your classes and get an RA gig for the prof. You'll get good research experience, and make $15/hr or so (compared to most of your peers, who will make $0 doing judicial externships and shit like that). And profs could give a shit whether you were a bartender or a surgeon before LS.

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Kohinoor
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Re: From bartender to law student...

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:28 pm

SBL wrote:What you do after 1L doesn't matter all that much. Just rock one of your classes and get an RA gig for the prof. You'll get good research experience, and make $15/hr or so (compared to most of your peers, who will make $0 doing judicial externships and shit like that). And profs could give a shit whether you were a bartender or a surgeon before LS.

UVa pays like 11 bucks for RA'ing. That is the only problem with what is otherwise a very sweet gig.

Anonymous User
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Re: From bartender to law student...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:52 pm

As a law student (3L, T14)/bartender, a few points:

1. Keep bartending, if you can, even just a night or two a week. Money is good (especially since T20, I'm assuming you'll be somewhere with a decent bar scene). With this market, I'd be DOA if I didn't have 1. an extra source of income and 2. Some potential job to tide me over after graduation if I have an extended job search. To be honest, 1L isn't so horriffic that a night or two working will destroy you.

2. You'll be fine for 1L summer jobs, it's all just a race anyway. Might not get Biglaw, but honestly who really does, but you shouldn't be hampered at all looking for the run of the mill unpaid jobs that are 1L summer.

3. And this one sucks. Bartending will probably not help you very much during future interviewing. It's just the way it is. I figured it would be a good supplement to my resume and experience, but law doesn't work that way. I figured, I work 30-40 hours a week on top of law school, to make ends meet; I worked 90-100 hours this summer between bar and my law job, that has to show them something. Everyone I have spoken to from career services to practicing lawyers to firm lawyers has told me the exact opposite. It's obviously going to be a big part of your resume for the timebeing, but I wouldn't expect to rely on it in interviews unless someone other than you brings it up.

As a partner at Latham told me on this exact question: "We should give a shit about things like that, I know I do. Unfortunately, the people who interview are generally fucking morons who don't really see why things like that are important. I wish we were better at recognizing the value of those sorts of thing, but we just don't."

All that said, you'll be fine. 1L job hunt is almost more of a race sometimes than an actual merits-based process, especially for, like I said, run of the mill unpaid stuff. Which is really all you need. Sure, it's great to get some unbelieveable gig, but they're so few and far between that the merits you need for them you wouldn't have gotten even doing the Biglaw paralegal thing for a year. So, go get some.

And yeah, if it does come up in an interview, you'll be gold.

Anonymous User
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Re: From bartender to law student...

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:53 pm

I worked pretty close to full time while in undergrad at various retail jobs, including multiple stints holding down 2 or more jobs. I came straight through undergrad and I think the only real advantage it gave me was the ability to tell interesting stories in interview and finding creative ways to tie my experience as a salesman to my ability to convince people to do shit that may or may not be in their best financial interest.




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