Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:05 am

Hello there,

I recently got this job offering at this legal aid office on my campus. It will 6 hours a week. I'm currently a full time student and was wondering whether I should take the job or not. My GPA is currently below 3.0, but I should be able to bring it up to 3.0 by end of this year if not higher. I was just wondering whether I should work while studying or just focus on school along with LSAT. I mean it's only 6 hours, but that means that there's going to 6+ hours (transportation & possibly the need to do additional work) taken away from school work and LSAT.

Anyways, let me know what you guys think.


Thanks in advance!


Brian

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Patriot1208
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Re: Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby Patriot1208 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:06 pm

BrianGriffintheDog wrote:Hello there,

I recently got this job offering at this legal aid office on my campus. It will 6 hours a week. I'm currently a full time student and was wondering whether I should take the job or not. My GPA is currently below 3.0, but I should be able to bring it up to 3.0 by end of this year if not higher. I was just wondering whether I should work while studying or just focus on school along with LSAT. I mean it's only 6 hours, but that means that there's going to 6+ hours (transportation & possibly the need to do additional work) taken away from school work and LSAT.

Anyways, let me know what you guys think.


Thanks in advance!


Brian


Why couldn't you do it? It's six hrs? Most people here do school, work, and clubs while mainting social lives 3.5+ gpa's and studying for the LSAT.

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:46 pm

It's just that I've been hearing how soft factors are never weighted as much as LSAT or GPA for that matter. And in my case, I need all the time and energy devoted to bringing GPA up to a acceptable (but certainly not great) level with a high LSAT. Are there any more inputs? I mean I'll probably accept the job and drop 1-2 courses just in case...

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:48 pm

Oh yeah, just out of curiosity, how would adcoms review your application if you have 3.0 GPA and 170+ LSAT with close to no soft factors compared to say, 2.9 and 160-169 LSAT with some soft factors?

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GeePee
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Re: Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby GeePee » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:53 pm

Well, think honestly about how you're actually going to use those extra 6 hours a week if you were not working at legal aid. If you're convinced that you would use most, if not all, of those extra hours to study for class and the LSAT, then probably spend 6 extra hours a week studying for class and the LSAT.

However, if you're likely to spend most of those 6 hours doing things other than studying, then some extra rigidity in your schedule might have a negligible or even positive affect on the amount of time you spend studying. In that case, definitely take the legal aid gig.

Either way, the fact that you're concerned at the margin about 6 hours a week dramatically affecting anything that you do, when you're currently only balancing undergrad classes, is sort of alarming. You're probably better served with some time off before law school anyway... in which case take the legal aid job, forget about the LSAT for a little while, and take it later.

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bk1
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Re: Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby bk1 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:57 pm

3.0>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>2.99

I cannot stress enough how big of a difference having that 3 in front of your GPA is. Also, "some soft factors" is irrelevant. Unless you have world-class softs, you have no softs. High 160's with 2.8-3.2 and you will be looking at splitter-friendly T30's (i.e. WUSTL, UIUC, etc). Low 170's with 2.8-3.2 may get you into UVa with ED.

Get a 3.0 and do the best you can on the LSAT. If you want the job, take it, but it won't change your chances. If you need to cut time out to cover studying for the LSAT, school, and a minimal job commitment (yes, 6-8 hours is very minimal) then cut it out of your free time which you will still have.

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2014
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Re: Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby 2014 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:52 pm

If you have a bad GPA and no softs think of how the adcoms are going to look at that. They are going to think that you have bad study habits and on top of that are incapable of involving yourself.

You should definitely take it in my opinion. The time commitment is pretty much nothing, I know several people who have 3.5+ GPAs working 20 hours a week and maintain an active social life. You can surely up your GPA to 3.0 while dedicating 4 hours a week to the job.

If you have no other notable involvement to speak of too it will help to have that as a soft. At least then instead of leaving a section about work experience or on campus involvement blank, you can put SOMETHING.

revolution724
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Re: Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby revolution724 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:01 pm

It'll give you something to talk about in job interviews.

firemed
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Re: Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby firemed » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:18 pm

My opinion: Take it... AND.... get a 4.0 this semester... and take the LSAT in June, which means you can load your courses to be a little easier next semester to accommodate this. You need to look hard at what is going on in your life that is causing you to have a sub-3 GPA. If you think you can get a 170 then you CAN get above a 3.0, even if your major is in something ridiculously hard like engineering. 6 hours a week of work, 30 hours a week of studying for school, 15 hours a week studying for LSAT, and 15 hours a week of showing up to class (66 hours/wk) is about what a biglaw lawyer can hope for in a good week. Just saying.

revolution724
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Re: Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby revolution724 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:35 pm

firemedicprelaw wrote: (66 hours/wk) is about what a biglaw lawyer can hope for in a good week. Just saying.


For what it's worth, if you're thinking of going public interest in the long term, that's a decent week at a nonprofit legal services organization, too. Gogo PI, the same number of hours for a quarter of the pay.

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: Work at probono legal aid office or focus on school and LSAT

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:17 pm

revolution724 wrote:
firemedicprelaw wrote: (66 hours/wk) is about what a biglaw lawyer can hope for in a good week. Just saying.


For what it's worth, if you're thinking of going public interest in the long term, that's a decent week at a nonprofit legal services organization, too. Gogo PI, the same number of hours for a quarter of the pay.


Well, I am in fact planning on going straight into PI. I live in Canada, so my tuition debts are going to be nowhere near than that of in the US. I'll probably have like 20-25k (max) of debt by the time I'm done undergrad--before paying anything back.


As for the school involvement, I'm an active member for like 3 social clubs (including student non-profit groups; possibly 4-5 if you count intramural sports) and hold executive positions for 2 social/academic clubs. It's just that I've only had 2 work experiences ever since I entered university.

And as for the legal aid position, I think I'll make my decision once I get the work schedule. They said that the hours are going to be very flexible, so I'm going to try to spread out the hours on Thursday (after class) and Friday (got nothing on Friday). That way, I'll have enough energy and motivation on Friday to live in the library.

Thanks so much guys! :D :D




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