Does taking a year off make sense?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273478
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:42 pm

Hi. Just brainstorming here. Could use some opinions.

Background:
Im a 24 year old 2L with median grades & no SA paying 15k/yr tuition at a Midwest T30 (WUSTL/UMN/ND). I don't like it here any more. I want to move back to the great state of texas, where I grew up. I regret not attending SMU/UHLC for 15k/yr instead.

Ive been looking into visiting students programs at Texas law schools. They would all req me to pay almost double tuition. However, if I wait a year, I can go to the new UTD law school for 15k yr. my school would honor the credits even tho it isn't accredited yet.

During the off year, I would find work as a personal trainer for a living while getting legal experience on the side.

If I take a yr off, I would be taking the bar in tx in 2016 and will have lived in the market I desire for 2 years prior.

The other, normal, option would be stick it out at my current school I don't want to be at for 2 years and then move to tx immediately to take the bar in 2015.

thoughts?

User avatar
BarbellDreams
Posts: 2256
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:56 pm

If you're asking whether its smart to transfer to an unaccredited school that doesn't exist yet the answer is no. You'd have a better chance just graduating from the school you're at and applying to TX assuming you have extensive TX ties like you said (and especially if the school is ND). Your chances aren't great, but they won't be better by going to an unaccredited no name school in Texas.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:33 pm

Why wait a year to throw good money after bad? Take the rest of your life off from law school.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273478
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:48 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:If you're asking whether its smart to transfer to an unaccredited school that doesn't exist yet the answer is no. You'd have a better chance just graduating from the school you're at and applying to TX assuming you have extensive TX ties like you said (and especially if the school is ND). Your chances aren't great, but they won't be better by going to an unaccredited no name school in Texas.

I wouldn't be a transfer. I'm a 2L. It would be a visiting students program. My degree would still be from the T30

Anonymous User
Posts: 273478
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:17 pm

You have a better shot landing a job w/ your current prospects than you would at UNT - Dallas College of Law (it's actually not UT-D, it's University of North Texas' Dallas campus - two totally different schools).

ETA - read through the thread. I don't really know the difference between being a transfer or visiting student. If someone who posts on a website devoted to law school is confused w/ the difference, you better believe Joe Texas Lawyer will have no idea what you did for 4 years.

My best advice would be to finish in three years and grind for a job like the rest of us. Don't have something confusing on your resume.

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Why wait a year to throw good money after bad? Take the rest of your life off from law school.

:roll:

I'm serious. You're a K-JD who wants to move all around the country for no apparent reason and also take a year off to be a personal trainer.

Just drop out. Cut your losses.

Not snark.

User avatar
Lwoods
Posts: 1484
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:27 am

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby Lwoods » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:You have a better shot landing a job w/ your current prospects than you would at UNT - Dallas College of Law (it's actually not UT-D, it's University of North Texas' Dallas campus - two totally different schools).

ETA - read through the thread. I don't really know the difference between being a transfer or visiting student. If someone who posts on a website devoted to law school is confused w/ the difference, you better believe Joe Texas Lawyer will have no idea what you did for 4 years.

My best advice would be to finish in three years and grind for a job like the rest of us. Don't have something confusing on your resume.



Currently a visiting student. Most lawyers I've met know what it is, and it's really easy to explain to those who don't.
"My degree will be from [X], and my credits from [Y] will transfer back there. It's sort of like I'm studying abroad here except I'm not abroad [insert joke about how two different regions can feel like different countries, if the setting calls for it]. I've completely relocated to [Y City/region], though, and will only go back briefly for hooding before returning here for bar prep."

And you have the opportunity to say that because you are on the ground and able to network constantly. Which is how you get the precious few interviews available to you as a 3L.

That said, the brand of the school you're visiting at still matters. It has to be in the precise city you're targeting and have a good reputation in that city. Because even though your degree is from X, you're still associating yourself with Y brand. So you want that brand to be a strong one when you're networking. It doesn't have to be as strong as your home brand in general, but it should be the strongest in your target market.

So, no, I don't think it would be worth it to do a visiting year at an unaccredited school, even if you weren't taking the year off. Being in town to network is important, but you should have all elements working for you if you're going to do a visiting year.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273478
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:04 pm

TY L Woods for your thoughtful reply. The school is in the exact market im targeting (dallas) but basically has no reputation. Im guessing SMU would open their doors to me but paying sticker just doesn't make financial sense. Your points are well taken but im still feeling like spending time in my most desired market > what school I visit. Ive been trying to network from 1000 miles away and its not working out too well.

Anonymous User wrote: don't really know the difference between being a transfer or visiting student. If someone who posts on a website devoted to law school is confused w/ the difference, you better believe Joe Texas Lawyer will have no idea what you did for 4 years.

Its not confusing.

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Why wait a year to throw good money after bad? Take the rest of your life off from law school.

:roll:

I'm serious. You're a K-JD who wants to move all around the country for no apparent reason and also take a year off to be a personal trainer.

Just drop out. Cut your losses.

Not snark.

You may be the biggest asshole on this forum. Im not K-JD, I graduated college 2 years early. im not trying to move around the country for no apparent reason. I have ties to 2 markets. the market im in and the market I grew up in. Now go the fuck away

dixiecupdrinking
Posts: 3142
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:TY L Woods for your thoughtful reply. The school is in the exact market im targeting (dallas) but basically has no reputation. Im guessing SMU would open their doors to me but paying sticker just doesn't make financial sense. Your points are well taken but im still feeling like spending time in my most desired market > what school I visit. Ive been trying to network from 1000 miles away and its not working out too well.

Anonymous User wrote: don't really know the difference between being a transfer or visiting student. If someone who posts on a website devoted to law school is confused w/ the difference, you better believe Joe Texas Lawyer will have no idea what you did for 4 years.

Its not confusing.

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:Why wait a year to throw good money after bad? Take the rest of your life off from law school.

:roll:

I'm serious. You're a K-JD who wants to move all around the country for no apparent reason and also take a year off to be a personal trainer.

Just drop out. Cut your losses.

Not snark.

You may be the biggest asshole on this forum. Im not K-JD, I graduated college 2 years early. im not trying to move around the country for no apparent reason. I have ties to 2 markets. the market im in and the market I grew up in. Now go the fuck away

You're right, I apologize for the attitude. I am definitely not the biggest asshole on this forum, though; that is a lofty position.

I reacted so negatively because IMO under no circumstances should you leave a decent school to go to an unaccredited one, even temporarily, even to network, even only as a visiting student. It sounds like you are having buyer's remorse about leaving Texas but this option just seems like going from bad to worse.

Anyway best of luck.

SPerez
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:22 am

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby SPerez » Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:22 pm

I'm surprised that your current school will approve you to visit* at a non-ABA accredited school. If you hadn't said that, I would have been 99.9% positive no ABA accredited school would accept credits from a non-accredited or provisionally accredited school.

The middle ground would be to go to the law-school-formerly-known-as Texas Wesleyan (b/c it's cheaper) for a semester rather than a whole year. Yes, still more expensive than a full year at your school and it's a whole hour from Dallas-proper, but cheaper than a full year at SMU and now has the TAMU name. Go for your final semester and you're already in DFW for job search and the bar after you graduate.

Of course, Texas Tech is even cheaper still, although not in DFW. That's our biggest placement area, though...up to you if you think SMU>Your T30>TAMU>Texas Tech for employment prospects or not.

Dean Perez

*For others reading you have to get permission from your home school to visit, they have to agree to accept the credits for transfer back. Some schools make it a pain to get permission b/c they don't like losing out on the revenue. However, I think visiting is underutilized by students. It can be a great option for people in OP's position where they may be trying to get to another geographic area. Another way to use it is if your school doesn't have a lot of courses in a particular area, you can visit at one that does and take a ton of those courses in that semester or year.

User avatar
Perseus_I
Posts: 265
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:24 pm

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby Perseus_I » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:02 pm

Wow ... visiting. Why isn't it publicized? I should have done this at Georgetown from UT...

User avatar
Dr. Review
Posts: 1797
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:51 am

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby Dr. Review » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:05 pm

Perseus_I wrote:Wow ... visiting. Why isn't it publicized? I should have done this at Georgetown from UT...
Many schools discourage it for the above reasons. For example, Pitt requires a compelling reason, and wanting to work in the visiting market does not count as a compelling reason.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby sparty99 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 3:26 pm

No. This is a stupid idea. You should see if you can get an externship at a government agency in Dallas and do that full-time for a semester.

SPerez
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:22 am

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby SPerez » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:42 am

sparty99 wrote:No. This is a stupid idea. You should see if you can get an externship at a government agency in Dallas and do that full-time for a semester.


This could also be an option, but it requires more legwork on the student's part. I can only speak from my experience at the schools I worked at, but I believe our policies were based on ABA rules so I don't imagine they are that different at other places. There are rules that limit the amount of externship credit a student can receive, although generally 12 credits worth is usually okay. This means if you did a for-credit externship at another point, though, you would have to make up those credits by taking overloads other semesters.

There are also rules for how many "non-classroom" credits you can take, and this (I believe, not 100% on this) includes things like clinic and journals. Like above, if you did these other things you would have to make up those credits in other semesters to ensure you graduate on time.

If you want to do an externship in another city that's not already set up by your school, you'll have to find it yourself. I think there are also rules your supervisor has to follow (reports or something like that) to ensure that you're not just getting coffee the whole semester so you'll have to get a supervisor that agrees to do that extra work.

Not being a student at the local law school means you're sort of on your own for networking, etc. Visiting means you at least will know about speakers, can go to club meetings at the law school, meet other local law students which is good to get the "lay of the land". Your home school might also be able to work out an agreement with the local law school to get you access to their job database.

To the OP's original question, though, all three of these options (visit, extern, stick it out) are MUCH better than sitting out and visiting at an un- (or provisionally by then) accredited law school, IMO.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273478
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Does taking a year off make sense?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:21 pm

Dixie: TY for the apology. Im having a lot of buyers remorse but yea, I realize now my plan in the OP is not very good. Im gonna try other avenues that other posters have mentioned.

Dean Perez: thank you for your thoughtful posts. I never thought of only visiting somewhere for a semester instead of a full year. That sounds like a great idea to cut down on costs and still get into my desired market sooner. I had been considering TxT since it has the cheapest tuition and I am partial to Lubbock. Not sure if I can secure instate tution still though. Im not a citizen of the state im in now so im not sure if that means im a state citizen of no where or if I still have tx residency. I did have residency in tx before I moved last fall.

Perseus: yeah, like Bedsole said, UT req a really really good reason to visit. Its the only law school in tx that does, I believe.

Sparty: Great Idea. I will look into it and plan on taking all my req'd classes before my last semester

DP: TY for the elaboration on Sparty's idea. You've given me a lot to think about.

Thanks everyone :mrgreen:




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.