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post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:47 pm
by Anonymous User
Hi TLS,

I will be graduating college this coming May and plan to take the LSAT in the months after that, entering law school in the Fall of 2013. Basically, I'm taking a year off. I know I may be a little late to the game, but I'd like to get a job for that year that's somehow involved with law. In particular, I'd like to find something in the northeast/NYC area. Am I going to be limited to the public sector because I waited too long to start looking, or will I be able to find a job with a medium/large sized firm? Where should I begin looking?

If it matters, I have a strong science/mathematics background from a top 5 undergrad school. I don't mind doing work in this area as long as it has some sort of connection to law (forensics, etc)

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:52 pm
by Anonymous User
In all seriousness, get an entry level sales job at a startup or decent size corporation. Then quit to go to law school. The "legal-type" job is such a waste of time, sucks a ton (you are just a secretary), and teaches you nothing about what life as a law firm associate is actually like (outside of just observing). An entry level sales job, on the other hand, will teach you how to cold-call, give you an understanding of business, and get you used to talking with people which is invaluable for interviews during OCI. If you can get a sales job at a decent startup like a deals website, that is the best possible because you will actually have a chance to contribute to revenue and be involved in relevant deals you can also tell the in-house counsel (assuming there is one at the startup) that you are interested in law and try to get in on the legal side of deals as well. I did this during my year off and far outperformed my GPA and school rank during OCI. People who bragged about being paralegals at big firms in NYC are.... still bragging about being paralegals. Forget the "law" job before law school. It won't give you a leg up, and it's a complete waste of time. Probably this advice won't be followed, even though it is 180. GL.

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:56 pm
by Anonymous User
How would one learn what life as an associate is like?

I'll definitely keep your advice in mind.

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:57 pm
by itbdvorm
Anonymous User wrote:In all seriousness, get an entry level sales job at a startup or decent size corporation. Then quit to go to law school. The "legal-type" job is such a waste of time, sucks a ton (you are just a secretary), and teaches you nothing about what life as a law firm associate is actually like (outside of just observing). An entry level sales job, on the other hand, will teach you how to cold-call, give you an understanding of business, and get you used to talking with people which is invaluable for interviews during OCI. If you can get a sales job at a decent startup like a deals website, that is the best possible because you will actually have a chance to contribute to revenue and be involved in relevant deals you can also tell the in-house counsel (assuming there is one at the startup) that you are interested in law and try to get in on the legal side of deals as well. I did this during my year off and far outperformed my GPA and school rank during OCI. People who bragged about being paralegals at big firms in NYC are.... still bragging about being paralegals. Forget the "law" job before law school. It won't give you a leg up, and it's a complete waste of time. Probably this advice won't be followed, even though it is 180. GL.


This is a good idea. Work the Silicon Alley startup world. Interesting stuff, leanly-staffed so you may have an opportunity to deal w/contracts / legal issues. Hustle

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:59 pm
by azntwice
get some corporate-related job, whether it be insurance, tech, finance, or consulting. law firms will appreciate knowing that you have been in that world and know what it's like to work long hours, and will value your insight into their clients' businesses.

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:00 pm
by micwrecka45
Anonymous User wrote:In all seriousness, get an entry level sales job at a startup or decent size corporation. Then quit to go to law school. The "legal-type" job is such a waste of time, sucks a ton (you are just a secretary), and teaches you nothing about what life as a law firm associate is actually like (outside of just observing). An entry level sales job, on the other hand, will teach you how to cold-call, give you an understanding of business, and get you used to talking with people which is invaluable for interviews during OCI. If you can get a sales job at a decent startup like a deals website, that is the best possible because you will actually have a chance to contribute to revenue and be involved in relevant deals you can also tell the in-house counsel (assuming there is one at the startup) that you are interested in law and try to get in on the legal side of deals as well. I did this during my year off and far outperformed my GPA and school rank during OCI. People who bragged about being paralegals at big firms in NYC are.... still bragging about being paralegals. Forget the "law" job before law school. It won't give you a leg up, and it's a complete waste of time. Probably this advice won't be followed, even though it is 180. GL.


True, pre-law law jobs are definitely not as important as some people make them out to be. Schools and employers like to see good work experience and that it is not necessarily limited to legal work experience. That said, while you shouldn't focus only on "legal" jobs, I also wouldn't avoid them as aggressively as this poster seems to say. In my personal experience and the experience of several others I know, depending on what you can land, being a paralegal at certain places (big firms, large government orgs) can give you a bit of an edge and make certain legal employers more interested in you than without the experience. Obviously your law school gpa, law review, etc. will matter the most, but past legal work experience is not completely useless.

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:19 pm
by Anonymous User
Are most of the "good" jobs in this sector already taken? Probably not so for start-ups I would think?

When should I start looking? What should I expect to find at this stage?

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:23 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:Are most of the "good" jobs in this sector already taken? Probably not so for start-ups I would think?

When should I start looking? What should I expect to find at this stage?


There isn't really a cycle outside of bigconsulting. Startups post positions as they have needs. Just look at job boards and apply. It's not at all like OCI where there is a specific window of time.

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:39 pm
by 174
Anonymous User wrote:I have a strong science/mathematics background from a top 5 undergrad school.


Why would you even consider going to law school?

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:15 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:I have a strong science/mathematics background from a top 5 undergrad school.


Can you sit for the patent bar? What type of science/math? I just went through OCI, my previous engineering work experience was invaluable.

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:13 pm
by Anonymous User
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a strong science/mathematics background from a top 5 undergrad school.


Can you sit for the patent bar? What type of science/math? I just went through OCI, my previous engineering work experience was invaluable.


B.Sci in Chemistry, with plenty of programming experience & bio knowledge. Patent/IP attorney is the plan, unless something else sways me during law school.

Re: post-bac, pre-Law school legal employment?

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:37 pm
by Eco
I agree with all said above. DO NOT GET A JOB AT A LAW FIRM. To prepare for law school, get a job somewhere cool. Like a healthcare job, or sales job, or anything like that.

That way, when you go to your interviews to look for a 2L summer job, you can say, "I'm interested in healthcare law because before I went to law school i worked in that industry etc..."