Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
FineGentleman
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:32 pm

Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby FineGentleman » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:29 pm

I plan to attend law school of Fall 2019. I'm currently working as an analyst in NYC for around 60 hours per week.
I'm thinking of quitting in favor of picking up a retail job because
1. I need a low stress to allow for adequate LSAT studying
2. I need to improve my social skills

Would doing this be strange to law school admissions, or do I have a good explanation? I really expected to be able to balance the workload and studying, so I'm a little distraught that I couldn't keep up. Any advice?

User avatar
runinthefront
Posts: 1932
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:18 am

Re: Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby runinthefront » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:42 pm

FineGentleman wrote:I plan to attend law school of Fall 2019. I'm currently working as an analyst in NYC for around 60 hours per week.
I'm thinking of quitting in favor of picking up a retail job because
1. I need a low stress to allow for adequate LSAT studying
2. I need to improve my social skills

Would doing this be strange to law school admissions, or do I have a good explanation? I really expected to be able to balance the workload and studying, so I'm a little distraught that I couldn't keep up. Any advice?

There are better jobs available for someone with your resume. I would look around for any teller positions at a local bank or credit union. You'd work 40 hours at most, and it's neither mentally draining nor physically exhausting. You might even be able to sneak in some practice problems during the day. You'd get to meet people constantly and your co-workers will probably be normal

Id try that first

User avatar
Platopus
Posts: 1293
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:20 pm

Re: Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby Platopus » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:40 pm

FineGentleman wrote:I plan to attend law school of Fall 2019. I'm currently working as an analyst in NYC for around 60 hours per week.
I'm thinking of quitting in favor of picking up a retail job because
1. I need a low stress to allow for adequate LSAT studying
2. I need to improve my social skills

Would doing this be strange to law school admissions, or do I have a good explanation? I really expected to be able to balance the workload and studying, so I'm a little distraught that I couldn't keep up. Any advice?


I don't think it is necessary to quit your job in order to properly prepare for the LSAT. Plenty of posters on here, myself included, worked full-time and were able to adequately prepare. I understand the desire to put all the effort you can into studying, but quitting a good job for retail would definitely raise the eyebrows of some admissions staff, not to mention probably sink whatever savings you already have. I think the solution is to rethink how you approach the limited time you have to study. Do you study on lunch breaks? Before work? After work? Can you put in more hours on weekdays and makeup some work on weekends? Study on the train? Personally, I worked 7-5, went home, ate real quick, and was at the library from 6-8:30, and had 9-10/11ish if I need to finish up anything and/or to relax. My key was to keep up the momentum, no breaks after work. No TV, no internet, just eat some food and hit the PUBLIC LIBRARY (getting out of the house makes a difference) to study. I studied 2-2.5 a day, 6 days a week (extra on weekends) and don't think more study time per day would've helped. LSAT studying is cumulative, so if you can stretch it out and keep your job, do so. Even so, I'm skeptical that a retail job would really reduce stress THAT much. I've worked retail. I've worked fast-food. I've worked shitty jobs outdoors in near freezing rain, and each of those jobs was more stressful and tiring than my current office job, which affords me the luxury of taking 20 minute shit breaks and periodically spacing out on my phone. Fewer hours doesn't always mean less stress.

In my opinion, goals 1 & 2 are pretty incompatible, especially if you are going to quit your job for the LSAT. If you are going to make the sacrifice on the job front, I think you almost need to put that into working extra hard on the LSAT and forgo repairing whatever damaged social life you have for another 4-5 months.

Also, if you aren't planning on taking anytime soon, you'll have more time to study at a slower pace. Next year the LSAT is going to be offered more times, and will far easier to plan around whatever your work schedule looks like. Don't forget the name of the game is getting hired AFTER law school, getting admitted is the easy part. You don't want to set off any red flags come OCI. Without a more concrete reason, I think you're going to struggle explaining this shift to employers. Not that it'll be a big deal, but still, better to avoid the flags if you can.

User avatar
runinthefront
Posts: 1932
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:18 am

Re: Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby runinthefront » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:48 pm

Platopus wrote:
FineGentleman wrote:I plan to attend law school of Fall 2019. I'm currently working as an analyst in NYC for around 60 hours per week.
I'm thinking of quitting in favor of picking up a retail job because
1. I need a low stress to allow for adequate LSAT studying
2. I need to improve my social skills

Would doing this be strange to law school admissions, or do I have a good explanation? I really expected to be able to balance the workload and studying, so I'm a little distraught that I couldn't keep up. Any advice?


I don't think it is necessary to quit your job in order to properly prepare for the LSAT. . . . Personally, I worked 7-5, went home, ate real quick, and was at the library from 6-8:30, and had 9-10/11ish if I need to finish up anything and/or to relax. My key was to keep up the momentum, no breaks after work. No TV, no internet, just eat some food and hit the PUBLIC LIBRARY (getting out of the house makes a difference) to study. I studied 2-2.5 a day, 6 days a week (extra on weekends) and don't think more study time per day would've helped.

:roll:.

User avatar
Platopus
Posts: 1293
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:20 pm

Re: Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby Platopus » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:07 am

runinthefront wrote: :roll:.


Good advice. Let's encourage OP to quit his job just to study for the LSAT, because nobody ever scores lower than they want or second guesses their decision to attend law school. Encouraging OP to quit his job for a retail banking gig is a bad career move if he/she decides against law school or fails to hit a reasonable score for his/her goals.

I'm all for lowering stress, but I think the actual first step is trying to fit studying into his/her current schedule and not simply quit his job for a minimum wage retail banking job.

AJordan
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby AJordan » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:51 am

I'm with Platopus on this one. Granted that every individual is a special flake but I would attempt to try and find 10 hours a week to study consistently for a few months and see what progress you've made before quitting. You may find that this is enough with the appropriate focus. Once you can look in the mirror and say, realistically, that the maximum effort you can give while maintaining sanity isn't working then maybe you can consider quitting for this reason.

I also studied while working full time and taking college courses and trying to keep a wife from killing me from lack of attention. It may be more attainable than you think. Also money. Money is a necessary condition to live eh?

User avatar
blueapple
Posts: 506
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:56 am

Re: Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby blueapple » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:13 am

I took 2 years off between college and law school and had a normal full-time job my first year and then quit to have a fun year. I did a 10 hour a week internship and worked 25-30 hours a week at a restaurant. It was really fun and I had an awesome year with loads of free time to take weekend trips and go to museums and read books. The caveat here is that you need to know that you can afford to quit your job and take what will be a huge paycut.

I have never had to explain why I quit that job and took a year to intern and work in a restaurant. Someone in this thread said there are better things you can do with your resume than retail and I think that's the wrong way to think about it. Working retail or any other type of service job is an indicator to employers that you're a hard worker and that you don't think you're above any type of work. It can be a humbling experience and I learned a lot from that job -- it really helped me become more patient.

Basically: it won't make a difference for how schools or employers look at your resume in my experience (and, if anything, it will be a positive), so if you want to and can afford to then I say go for it.

User avatar
Delano
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:27 pm

Re: Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby Delano » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:33 pm

Platopus wrote:
FineGentleman wrote:I plan to attend law school of Fall 2019. I'm currently working as an analyst in NYC for around 60 hours per week.
I'm thinking of quitting in favor of picking up a retail job because
1. I need a low stress to allow for adequate LSAT studying
2. I need to improve my social skills

Would doing this be strange to law school admissions, or do I have a good explanation? I really expected to be able to balance the workload and studying, so I'm a little distraught that I couldn't keep up. Any advice?


I don't think it is necessary to quit your job in order to properly prepare for the LSAT. Plenty of posters on here, myself included, worked full-time and were able to adequately prepare. I understand the desire to put all the effort you can into studying, but quitting a good job for retail would definitely raise the eyebrows of some admissions staff, not to mention probably sink whatever savings you already have. I think the solution is to rethink how you approach the limited time you have to study. Do you study on lunch breaks? Before work? After work? Can you put in more hours on weekdays and makeup some work on weekends? Study on the train? Personally, I worked 7-5, went home, ate real quick, and was at the library from 6-8:30, and had 9-10/11ish if I need to finish up anything and/or to relax. My key was to keep up the momentum, no breaks after work. No TV, no internet, just eat some food and hit the PUBLIC LIBRARY (getting out of the house makes a difference) to study. I studied 2-2.5 a day, 6 days a week (extra on weekends) and don't think more study time per day would've helped. LSAT studying is cumulative, so if you can stretch it out and keep your job, do so. Even so, I'm skeptical that a retail job would really reduce stress THAT much. I've worked retail. I've worked fast-food. I've worked shitty jobs outdoors in near freezing rain, and each of those jobs was more stressful and tiring than my current office job, which affords me the luxury of taking 20 minute shit breaks and periodically spacing out on my phone. Fewer hours doesn't always mean less stress.

In my opinion, goals 1 & 2 are pretty incompatible, especially if you are going to quit your job for the LSAT. If you are going to make the sacrifice on the job front, I think you almost need to put that into working extra hard on the LSAT and forgo repairing whatever damaged social life you have for another 4-5 months.

Also, if you aren't planning on taking anytime soon, you'll have more time to study at a slower pace. Next year the LSAT is going to be offered more times, and will far easier to plan around whatever your work schedule looks like. Don't forget the name of the game is getting hired AFTER law school, getting admitted is the easy part. You don't want to set off any red flags come OCI. Without a more concrete reason, I think you're going to struggle explaining this shift to employers. Not that it'll be a big deal, but still, better to avoid the flags if you can.


These are all valid points, but, in terms of maximizing your score, working less hours at a less stressful job will make studying easier and increase your chances of doing well on the test. You have a finite amount of time and mental energy - You want to devote as much of it as you can do studying (within reason). It's definitely possible to do as described above and do very well on the test, but it *will* make it more challenging and thus lower the likelihood of performing to your full potential. The move won't make the slightest difference in terms of admission. If you can afford to move to less stressful job that's less hours, you absolutely should (at least in terms of maximizing your score).

That said, I do agree that desk job will be better than retail in terms of stress levels. And there may be factors other than law school admissions to consider.

Platopus wrote:
runinthefront wrote: :roll:.


Good advice. Let's encourage OP to quit his job just to study for the LSAT, because nobody ever scores lower than they want or second guesses their decision to attend law school. Encouraging OP to quit his job for a retail banking gig is a bad career move if he/she decides against law school or fails to hit a reasonable score for his/her goals.

I'm all for lowering stress, but I think the actual first step is trying to fit studying into his/her current schedule and not simply quit his job for a minimum wage retail banking job.


Sure, but OP is asking whether this will look strange in terms of law school admissions, not how it will affect his/her career if he/she decides against LS (or savings, etc). Valid point, but I would assume OP already thought about that (and they know their own situation better than we possibly could). The move won't matter in terms of LS admissions and it maximizes the chances of performing to his/her full potential.

onlyhere4fun
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:33 pm

Re: Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby onlyhere4fun » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:08 pm

which affords me the luxury of taking 20 minute shit breaks


+1000000

I never knew jobs could be this luxurious till I started working in an office environment...

Pyrex
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:54 pm

Re: Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby Pyrex » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:15 pm

Many good points. Another thought: given the large amount of time in front of you, why not do both? Study part time for lsat at current job, see how it goes. If practices scores good, take LSAT. Ideally at this point, your score is "good enough" that quitting your job is lower risk,i.e., you can get in somewhere that is good enough to be a fallback. Now, you can quit, take a lower stress job, retake the LSAT if you want for a higher score, or maybe just take time off to and take up surfing in the Carribean for a few months (TLS heresy, I know).

Seriously, though, with the amount of time you have, you may be able to start studying now a few hours a week and gauge how close you are to your target score, and how much time and effort it will take to reach. Then, you can determine (for you) what choices you need to make to give yourself the time to achieve them. Perhaps this will give you more information to make a better decisions, before you have to make a presumably irrovacable career decision.

User avatar
elendinel
Posts: 968
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:29 pm

Re: Quitting Job Post-Undergrad

Postby elendinel » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:02 pm

FWIW I agree with those recommending trying the study-after-work thing before seeking a new career. Take a practice test or two after trying out the study routine with your job for a few weeks. If there's no way you can hit your target score on the study schedule you have, then consider reducing your hours (your current job may let you reduce your weekly hours for personal reasons; it's worth looking into whether or not they allow reduced schedules and what they require before you do so)/finding another job. If you're scoring an average of 170 after a few weeks of studying while working, you don't need to quit your day job and you may regret losing your analyst job to work as a bank teller for the next year or so. You have the time to change things up if working as an analyst + studying doesn't work out for you.

But it won't look strange to admissions to quit. If you want to improve your social skills there are a s**ton of better ways to do that than working in retail or even at a bank, especially if you're in NYC. Try Meetups or things like that; there may even be one for people studying for the LSAT. There are definitely toastmasters Meetups/Meetups for people who want to learn how to perform better in interviews/need to develop speaking skills/etc., in addition to regular social meetups that will help you improve general social skills.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest