Advice for Part Time 1L Employment

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AW1
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:08 am

Advice for Part Time 1L Employment

Postby AW1 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:21 am

Hi,

For those of you who are enrolled in a part time program, I would like to know if you are employed. If employed, are you doing full time paid work, a legal internship or part time work? What percentage of your class doesn't work?

I will be enrolled part time this fall and am trying to figure out how best to approach the first year. I plan on switching to full time after 1L.

Also, if you chose to seek full time employment during 1L summer, did you find that you were limited in the opportunities available because you hadn't completed a full year's worth of courses?

Thank you so much for any feedback!

AW1
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:08 am

Re: Advice for Part Time 1L Employment

Postby AW1 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:34 am

bump

Giddy-Up
Posts: 103
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Re: Advice for Part Time 1L Employment

Postby Giddy-Up » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:34 pm

I don't know the answer to all your questions. I went to school part time and just graduated.

I was/am employed full time doing legal work. I have no idea what percent of the part time class did not work.

1L employment is somewhat of a crapshoot, my guess is that whether you were full time or part time will not matter.

In your situation, are you looking for a new job for your first year and then planning to abandon the job after the first year? (Assuming you switch divisions). My recommendation would be to put school before the job. By all means look for a job but look for one that is flexible with the hours. Because it sounds like you will not return to this job after 1L year, you will position yourself for success by performing well during your 1st year.

nouseforaname123
Posts: 336
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Advice for Part Time 1L Employment

Postby nouseforaname123 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:23 pm

AW1 wrote:Hi,

For those of you who are enrolled in a part time program, I would like to know if you are employed. If employed, are you doing full time paid work, a legal internship or part time work? What percentage of your class doesn't work?


Yes, I am employed in my Pre-LS career (FT). About half of the class didn't work first year, by second year I would estimate 2/3 of the class didn't work. This also depends on the school. Generally, it seems that the lower ranked the school is the greater the percentage of PT students who are working during the day.

I will be enrolled part time this fall and am trying to figure out how best to approach the first year. I plan on switching to full time after 1L.


I wouldn't plan on switching to FT after your 1E year. At my school at least, there are significant downsides to switching from PT to FT. At my school, making the switch from PT to FT means that you will miss OCI and are excluded from the grade-on portion of the Law Review competition. Additionally, you'll only have one year of Law Review eligibility. It is my understanding that other schools have the same issues. Oddly enough, the better your class rank at my school, the more you lose by switching from PT to FT. Keep the option to switch in the back of your mind, but you are better off going in with the mentality that you will remain PT through four years.

Also, if you chose to seek full time employment during 1L summer, did you find that you were limited in the opportunities available because you hadn't completed a full year's worth of courses?


I don't think it makes a difference for unpaid positions but my understanding is that most paying 1L jobs aren't interested in first year PT students. FYI: Even if you intend on graduating early your school probably won't change your anticipated graduation date until you are within thirty credit hours of graduation. Your OCS probably won't allow you to move your anticipated graduation date on your resume either. Finally, it will be fairly difficult for you to accelerate graduation and work during the summer. You'll almost certainly need to take a heavy summer school load at least one summer to make up for the missing credits.

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futurelawyer413
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Re: Advice for Part Time 1L Employment

Postby futurelawyer413 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:59 pm

some constructive criticism - although many switch from PT to FT, don't bank on this! as possible as it is (and it may very well be), have a plan B - not everyone will be able to transfer from PT to FT. what if you cant do it? what if you decide you dont want to b/c for reason X you'd rather remain in PT? just have these questions in the back of your mind when trying to make a decision. i know some of my friends who did PT for the sole purpose of transferring to FT, but after a few weeks were able find a job and negotiate work flexible work hours during the day

re: employment - i'm sure you know this, but it is entirely up to you whether you want to work during your PT 1L year - i.e. don't feel pressured that you have to find some job because you are opting for law school part time. obviously, the economy presents its challenges. don't let the word "Part time" fool you - you really are going to be putting in 75-80% work effort (at least) of what is required of a FT student if you want a high class rank.

hth. good luck!

AW1
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:08 am

Re: Advice for Part Time 1L Employment

Postby AW1 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:42 am

Thank you for the useful comments!

As far as I can see on my school website, I can transfer into full time as soon as second semester. I would have the following suggested schedule;

Semester 1; 3 evening classes
Semester 2: 5 classes
Summer: 1 evening class
Semester 3: 1 required and 4 electives

First semester I've decided im not going to work. I will try to use this time to get involved on campus, volunteer and get acclimated with the school. Meanwhile, I'm going to continue to look for employment/legal internships but I have a feeling most opportunities will become available second semester, once I have some classes under my belt. If I find something substantive financially/or experience wise, then I'll continue part time. Otherwise, I'll transfer into full time second semester and focus on finding full time summer employment.

If any one has any insights on going part time and the benefits or consequences, I'd love to hear them! Do you think it has put you at a disadvantage or an advantage? Has anyone found it to affect their summer job search (if unemployed part time during 1L)?

Thanks, again!

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Verity
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Re: Advice for Part Time 1L Employment

Postby Verity » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:56 am

Hooters.

Scarletlady
Posts: 71
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Re: Advice for Part Time 1L Employment

Postby Scarletlady » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:03 pm

AW1 wrote:If employed, are you doing full time paid work, a legal internship or part time work? What percentage of your class doesn't work?


I work full-time; 40 hours a week, but it can creep closer to 50 hours depending on project loads. If any one in my class didn't work, they hid it well.

In my experience, the kids that worked even part-time were frowned upon by other students initially because it appeared to create an unfair playing field. However, with ranks and grades finally out the top of the class all work full-time. This also varies by region, I live in an area where part-time programs are very common, so the majority of the class works full-time. The vast majority (easily 2/3) of the part-time students at my school continue to work full-time all 4 years.

AW1 wrote:I will be enrolled part time this fall and am trying to figure out how best to approach the first year. I plan on switching to full time after 1L.


I say just research your school policies re: Journal/Review, participating in OCI, and keeping your class rank. I know at my school you have to finish your doctrinal classes with the evening students while taking other classes during the day to fill your credits. This creates an issue that you will be taking classes with students who actually know more than you, so you would have to chose your 2L classes carefully if you want to remain competitive. My school also requires summer classes to make up the credit differential, which may change 1L summer work plans.




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