Pre-Law School Work Experience

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ldo5014
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:40 pm

Pre-Law School Work Experience

Postby ldo5014 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:30 pm

I'm looking to get some experience in the legal field prior to spending 100K+ and 3 years of my life on a law degree. I'm an engineering undergraduate, so I can find work in that field, but I'd rather have something more closely related to law. Does anyone have any recommendations on what to try? I'll be taking the LSAT in June and applying to begin law school in 2013.

kahechsof
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:26 pm

Re: Pre-Law School Work Experience

Postby kahechsof » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:32 pm

Why don't you do something in engineering?
Firstly, it is much more of a real job than you will get in a law related field, since it actually requires real expertise.
But more importantly, if you find you like engineering, you can just stay there and have good career potential.

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Lincoln
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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: Pre-Law School Work Experience

Postby Lincoln » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:04 am

Doing something "law related" -- being a paralegal or what have you -- will likely be close to useless in terms of finding a job later. If you get work experience that sets you apart from other candidates, that will be a huge asset. I'm not sure what kind of engineering you do, but lots and lots of firms like having lawyers with tech backgrounds to work on IP, patent, etc.

If the reason for wanting experience in law is that you want to see what being a lawyer is like, you can't really get a feel for the work doing something tangential. All you'll learn as a paralegal is that (1) lawyers, at least at big firms, work a LOT, and (2) lots of lawyers are assholes.

desertlaw
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Re: Pre-Law School Work Experience

Postby desertlaw » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:05 am

I had a legislative-type job that got me thinking about law school, but my best interview topic was always my customer service job (resort industry). I played it into being willing to go above and beyond for the client, being able to problem solve and think on my feet, and allow the customer/client have the best experience possible.

Turns out, these are type of things that lawyers do because it's a service industry. So don't think that you necessarily need a law-type job to build a good skill-set or be prepared better for OCI.

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bk1
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Re: Pre-Law School Work Experience

Postby bk1 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:18 am

Why do you want something law related?

spaghetti day
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:27 pm

Re: Pre-Law School Work Experience

Postby spaghetti day » Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:52 am

I join everyone else - Do something engineering related. It will benefit you when trying to find a job during OCI. I know a lot of people with near-worthless "law" experience, but the few who did real work (CPA, Banking, Engineering, Construction, etc.) fared much better during interviews.

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monkey85
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Re: Pre-Law School Work Experience

Postby monkey85 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:02 pm

Work at the US PTO (patent and trademark office; http://www.uspto.gov/) in Alexandria, VA.

Most of the IP (Intellectual Property) attorneys have some sort of engineering background, unless they do "soft" IP. Working at US PTO will at least expose you to the field that will most likely benefit from your education - patent litigation.

Emu Flu
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:21 pm

Re: Pre-Law School Work Experience

Postby Emu Flu » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:55 pm

monkey85 wrote:Work at the US PTO (patent and trademark office; http://www.uspto.gov/) in Alexandria, VA.

Most of the IP (Intellectual Property) attorneys have some sort of engineering background, unless they do "soft" IP. Working at US PTO will at least expose you to the field that will most likely benefit from your education - patent litigation.


I think the field that PTO experience helps with is patent prosecution rather than litigation.

You can try to take the "patent bar" and work as a patent agent, but entry-level patent agent jobs (or any entry-level job right now!) are difficult to find. It also depends on what exactly your engineering degree is in.

I've found that my engineering experience has been very useful. It's always a huge plus, especially when it's in a patent-rich field. Knowing how an industry works is always useful and it seems to give some sort of credibility. I've also noticed that many patent boutique and in-house jobs want prior industry experience.




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