Time off during law school?

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Will fellowship hurt my chances of biglaw?

Taking a leave will hurt your chances 4 biglaw-don't do it!
The leave+fellowship won't hurt your chances 4 biglaw--nbd.
I don't know!
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Time off during law school?

Postby Aqua » Thu May 10, 2012 10:53 am

A few days after putting down my seat deposit to law school, I was accepted as a Kiva fellow. As a fellow, I will initiate and manage microlending efforts to help reduce poverty and empower women. It is too late to defer law school, so I need to decide if I should defer the fellowship, which I have permission to do for a year. If I defer the fellowship, I will have to interrupt law school with a one year leave. Will this look bad to law firms? I think the fellowship will improve my leadership skills and make me a better lawyer, but I am afraid employers might just view it as an act of flakiness. Is it generally frowned upon to take time away from law school and law related work, even for a good opportunity like this one?

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Re: Time off during law school?

Postby kalvano » Thu May 10, 2012 11:33 am

I don't think you understand how law school works. I'm not even sure a school would let you leave for a year,and even if they did, you would miss OCI and your 2L year, thus torpedoing your chances at Biglaw.

And this doesn't sound like anything that would be especially beneficial to your legal career, although I could be wrong. I think employers would definitely not be thrilled with the idea.


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Re: Time off during law school?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 10, 2012 12:19 pm

Depends upon the law school as to whether or not leaves of absences are granted. While the ABA permits 5 years to complete law school not all ABA accredited law schools adhere to that standard. Many law schools only permit 3 years in which to complete a JD degree.

If a law school allows 5 years as does the ABA, then a second year leave of absence is likely to be allowed unless a particular law school limits the conditions (e.g., emergency or medical situations) that will satisfy a disruption in your progress toward the JD degree.

The best course of action, in my opinion, is to openly discuss your thoughts with both your law school & the other organization prior to matriculating at law school.

P.S. Interruption of one's first year of required law school courses is unlikely to be permitted.

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Re: Time off during law school?

Postby specialsnowflake » Thu May 10, 2012 12:29 pm

See if you can defer admission for a year

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Re: Time off during law school?

Postby Corsair » Thu May 10, 2012 1:32 pm



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Re: Time off during law school?

Postby Geneva » Thu May 10, 2012 2:22 pm

specialsnowflake wrote:See if you can defer admission for a year

+1 deferral policies vary by school, but this sounds like a legitimate reason for a deferral if i ever heard one. even if you are able to take a year to do this after matriculating, it would probably be be less of an employment risk (no risk!) if u do it now.

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Re: Time off during law school?

Postby 2014 » Fri May 11, 2012 11:10 pm

All signs point toward applications being even less competitive next year, what is stopping you from just reapplying next cycle if they won't let you defer? It might cost a bit and result in a lost deposit, but if it is the most logical path to your dream the extra 500 bucks won't matter in the long run.


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Re: Time off during law school?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat May 12, 2012 10:49 am

I agree that your school will probably let you defer admission for a year... especially if you tell them that you are either going to defer your admission or withdraw and reapply (and probably go elsewhere) next year. I wouldn't do 1L and then take a leave of absence. It could be fine but it seems like an unnecessary risk. Biglaw hiring is a real conveyor belt and if you get off the track, there's no telling how it will impact your job prospects.

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