Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
kemosabe
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:12 pm

Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby kemosabe » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:40 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm still trying to wait patiently on financial aid, but in the meantime I'm wondering whether I can make sticker price work for me anywhere. Hence this thread about working part-time. If I'm not mistaken, there is a 20 hour work limit for anyone enrolled in more than 12 class hours during the week. My first question is: how common is it for students to actually engage in part-time work? If this is fairly common, what types of work are most typical for law students and what do they pay? I'm thinking that there may be jobs on campus such as working at the library or doing research, but I'm not sure how easy these are to obtain. I'm also not sure of what might be available off campus.

Thanks in advance for any information you guys can provide! It is much appreciated by this uninformed 0L.

User avatar
northwood
Posts: 4872
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 7:29 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby northwood » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:57 pm

it is common for 2Ls and 3Ls to work, ( usually in a firm setting, or as part of a work-study program) during the week. Still others do externships and whatnot for credits/ meet a pro bono requirement.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby ph14 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:02 pm

Some do part time work from their 2L summer employer.

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby tomwatts » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:27 pm

I teach a section in a large lecture class at the associated college. Different schools vary widely on how easy this is to do and how much it pays, but it works out nicely for me.

User avatar
brotherdarkness
Posts: 3254
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby brotherdarkness » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:29 pm

.
Last edited by brotherdarkness on Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jchance
Posts: 588
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:17 am

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby Jchance » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:45 pm

kemosabe wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm still trying to wait patiently on financial aid, but in the meantime I'm wondering whether I can make sticker price work for me anywhere. Hence this thread about working part-time. If I'm not mistaken, there is a 20 hour work limit for anyone enrolled in more than 12 class hours during the week. My first question is: how common is it for students to actually engage in part-time work? If this is fairly common, what types of work are most typical for law students and what do they pay? I'm thinking that there may be jobs on campus such as working at the library or doing research, but I'm not sure how easy these are to obtain. I'm also not sure of what might be available off campus.

Thanks in advance for any information you guys can provide! It is much appreciated by this uninformed 0L.


Judicial extern, or volunteer at USAO or patent agent gig

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby tomwatts » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:24 pm

brotherdarkness wrote:
tomwatts wrote:I teach a section in a large lecture class at the associated college. Different schools vary widely on how easy this is to do and how much it pays, but it works out nicely for me.


That sounds awesome. Mind sharing how you got into that?

I saw an ad on a dorm wall and applied. They wanted resume, transcript, etc., and there was an audition. I'm teaching intro econ, but I didn't have a ton of econ experience before; they were mostly looking for teaching ability, as well as some basic grounding in the subject. The class is kind of its own thing (sui generis, as they say in the law), so different universities probably handle this very differently.

You're at Berkeley, no? I assume there are lots of opportunities to become a GSI there, presumably in the Legal Studies department. I bet you could also get involved in some of the academic help that L&S provides, though I never found out anything about that.

I like teaching a lot, and working with undergrads is really nice for getting outside the law school bubble, so I highly recommend it if you can pull it off.

User avatar
kemosabe
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:12 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby kemosabe » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:16 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys. It seems that working part time is fairly standard, which I'm glad to hear. What do you guys think a reasonable person could expect to budget for earnings during the course of law school?

I know this will depend on what type of SA positions one lands, so lets assume a low paying first summer position, a biglaw SA during 2L, and "average" part time work for 16 hours a week during 2L and 3L. I'd rather budget conservatively and be pleasantly surprised, so err on the side of caution and let me know if any of these assumptions are overly optimistic.

User avatar
BlueLotus
Posts: 2428
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:07 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby BlueLotus » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:26 pm

Fairly standard. I'm a PI gunner, and working (usu. for free :| ) in your spare time is TCR if you want to show "demonstrated commitment", esp. when it comes to PD/DA/Legal Aid. I volunteer ~20 hours a week at legal aid orgs. I did pretty well 3rd semester of law school despite the heavy PT work on the side on top of a full load of classes. So it's def. doable so long as you don't like load up on gunner classes like Secured Transactions, Fed Cts., Admin, etc.

Not sure how important PT work is if you're headed to a big/mid firm. I suppose most of the kiddos on that track are too busy with law review/moot court (both of which I chose not to partake in so I could rack up more pro bono hours!)

User avatar
kemosabe
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:12 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby kemosabe » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:15 pm

So do you guys think it would be reasonable to assume that one could earn 45k during school? If not, what is a more realistic number? Thanks again for your input everyone!

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22835
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:30 pm

I think $45K during a normal year would be pushing it, as (I think) that would work out to about 20 hrs/wk at $46/hr, without any time off (you wouldn't want to work during finals, though I suppose you could make up for it by working more over breaks), and I don't know of any law clerk positions that pay that. But if you get a biglaw SA 2L, you could probably swing it during that year, since they often pay around $30K (I think? you need a biglaw person in here to confirm). And I don't know what biglaw firms pay their clerks during the year, if they let you do that (I just don't know of many people who do that in biglaw as opposed to at smaller firms). So $45K just seems a bit ambitious to me (but that's in part because there are plenty of people who make $45K coming out of law school).

User avatar
kemosabe
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:12 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby kemosabe » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:52 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think $45K during a normal year would be pushing it, as (I think) that would work out to about 20 hrs/wk at $46/hr, without any time off (you wouldn't want to work during finals, though I suppose you could make up for it by working more over breaks), and I don't know of any law clerk positions that pay that. But if you get a biglaw SA 2L, you could probably swing it during that year, since they often pay around $30K (I think? you need a biglaw person in here to confirm). And I don't know what biglaw firms pay their clerks during the year, if they let you do that (I just don't know of many people who do that in biglaw as opposed to at smaller firms). So $45K just seems a bit ambitious to me (but that's in part because there are plenty of people who make $45K coming out of law school).


Thanks for the response. I actually meant 45k total for both years of work. Does that sound like a safe assumption for a budget?

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby ph14 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:55 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think $45K during a normal year would be pushing it, as (I think) that would work out to about 20 hrs/wk at $46/hr, without any time off (you wouldn't want to work during finals, though I suppose you could make up for it by working more over breaks), and I don't know of any law clerk positions that pay that. But if you get a biglaw SA 2L, you could probably swing it during that year, since they often pay around $30K (I think? you need a biglaw person in here to confirm). And I don't know what biglaw firms pay their clerks during the year, if they let you do that (I just don't know of many people who do that in biglaw as opposed to at smaller firms). So $45K just seems a bit ambitious to me (but that's in part because there are plenty of people who make $45K coming out of law school).


I agree that $45k seems quite ambitious to me and very unlikely. I do know of at least one person who is working for their 2L SA firm during 3L, and I think the firm pays somewhere north of $40/hour. But I don't think that the 3L works anywhere close to 20 hours a week during the school year. Maybe in one individual week every now or then but not averaged out during the year.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22835
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:00 pm

kemosabe wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think $45K during a normal year would be pushing it, as (I think) that would work out to about 20 hrs/wk at $46/hr, without any time off (you wouldn't want to work during finals, though I suppose you could make up for it by working more over breaks), and I don't know of any law clerk positions that pay that. But if you get a biglaw SA 2L, you could probably swing it during that year, since they often pay around $30K (I think? you need a biglaw person in here to confirm). And I don't know what biglaw firms pay their clerks during the year, if they let you do that (I just don't know of many people who do that in biglaw as opposed to at smaller firms). So $45K just seems a bit ambitious to me (but that's in part because there are plenty of people who make $45K coming out of law school).


Thanks for the response. I actually meant 45k total for both years of work. Does that sound like a safe assumption for a budget?

Oh, sorry! $45K total would be more doable. The thing to keep in mind that working in a non-legal capacity, although it can get you money, will take away from the time you can spend getting the kind of legal experience that gets you connections and experience to help you get a permanent job. So you may want to consider whether the money from a non-legal gig outweighs what you'd miss out on. Paid legal positions would be different, of course.

User avatar
Optimist Prime
Posts: 198
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:28 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby Optimist Prime » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:22 pm

.
Last edited by Optimist Prime on Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
kemosabe
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:12 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby kemosabe » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:21 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
kemosabe wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I think $45K during a normal year would be pushing it, as (I think) that would work out to about 20 hrs/wk at $46/hr, without any time off (you wouldn't want to work during finals, though I suppose you could make up for it by working more over breaks), and I don't know of any law clerk positions that pay that. But if you get a biglaw SA 2L, you could probably swing it during that year, since they often pay around $30K (I think? you need a biglaw person in here to confirm). And I don't know what biglaw firms pay their clerks during the year, if they let you do that (I just don't know of many people who do that in biglaw as opposed to at smaller firms). So $45K just seems a bit ambitious to me (but that's in part because there are plenty of people who make $45K coming out of law school).


Thanks for the response. I actually meant 45k total for both years of work. Does that sound like a safe assumption for a budget?

Oh, sorry! $45K total would be more doable. The thing to keep in mind that working in a non-legal capacity, although it can get you money, will take away from the time you can spend getting the kind of legal experience that gets you connections and experience to help you get a permanent job. So you may want to consider whether the money from a non-legal gig outweighs what you'd miss out on. Paid legal positions would be different, of course.


Yeah good point, I'll keep that in mind.

Thanks for your thoughts guys. I'm feeling pretty comfortable with using that figure going forward. Of course, if anyone feels differently, please chime in with another estimate.

$$$$$$
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:08 pm

Re: Do 2L/3L Students Work Part-Time During School?

Postby $$$$$$ » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:41 pm

Worked for a regulator 25 hours a week 2L year and then worked 35-45 hours a week 3L year and made $30K an investment co. Definitely doable, and my grades actually went up since you need to prioritize. Going out during the week was pretty much off the table though.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BruiseWillis, NYYNYR and 6 guests