Year off between undergrad and law school

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kdoyon812
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Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby kdoyon812 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:59 pm

I really want to apply this cycle, and may depending on my pending December LSAT score, but am wondering if anyone has any insight into taking a year off between undergrad and law school. I am graduating this spring with a B.A. in social work. If I do take a year off in between, what is the best type of job to look for, or does it matter? I currently have a gig at a local restaurant I've worked at since my sophomore year of high school (making $12 an hour) that I could probably work full time for a year at. Would that look bad, though? I will have my social work degree but I really don't want to work a full time entry level social work position for a year. Is there a certain type of job that I should look for if I take a year off, more specifically with a social work degree?

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emkay625
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby emkay625 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:16 pm

kdoyon812 wrote:I really want to apply this cycle, and may depending on my pending December LSAT score, but am wondering if anyone has any insight into taking a year off between undergrad and law school. I am graduating this spring with a B.A. in social work. If I do take a year off in between, what is the best type of job to look for, or does it matter? I currently have a gig at a local restaurant I've worked at since my sophomore year of high school (making $12 an hour) that I could probably work full time for a year at. Would that look bad, though? I will have my social work degree but I really don't want to work a full time entry level social work position for a year. Is there a certain type of job that I should look for if I take a year off, more specifically with a social work degree?


I think any kind of professional FT experience would look good. Some kinds are better than others (military service, big 4 accounting firms, peace corps, etc.) but aside from those special things, any kind of FT prof. experience is good. I vote cast a wide net, especially in this economy. Apply for lots of positions, continue working at the restaurant, and see what happens. If you do end up working at the restaurant, try to get some other substantial experiences as well - volunteer somewhere.

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kwais
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby kwais » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:19 pm

taking time off is always the right answer. In that time you could get a better LSAT, find a job you want to stay at, travel, save money. If you want to go to law school, it will still be there.
I have met many people who wished they had taken time off. Never met a single person who wished they had gone earlier.
If you are considering it, do it.

EliHBCU
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby EliHBCU » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:56 pm

kwais wrote:taking time off is always the right answer. In that time you could get a better LSAT, find a job you want to stay at, travel, save money. If you want to go to law school, it will still be there.
I have met many people who wished they had taken time off. Never met a single person who wished they had gone earlier.
If you are considering it, do it.



Absolutely.

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gaud
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby gaud » Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:57 pm

EliHBCU wrote:
kwais wrote:taking time off is always the right answer. In that time you could get a better LSAT, find a job you want to stay at, travel, save money. If you want to go to law school, it will still be there.
I have met many people who wished they had taken time off. Never met a single person who wished they had gone earlier.
If you are considering it, do it.



Absolutely.



+1

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kdoyon812
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby kdoyon812 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:08 pm

Any suggestion on what kind of work to look for specifically though? I live in a small town, should I just stay at home and live with my parents and save money? Would I just look for some grunt work office job for a year or would it even matter where I worked?

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Take Two
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby Take Two » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:13 pm

kwais wrote:taking time off is always the right answer. In that time you could get a better LSAT, find a job you want to stay at, travel, save money. If you want to go to law school, it will still be there.
I have met many people who wished they had taken time off. Never met a single person who wished they had gone earlier.
If you are considering it, do it.



this I totally agree with, I am a current Americorps member and I think that can be a good route. There are tons of different programs to choose from and while it isnt going to allow you to save a lot of money I think its a pretty decent soft and really rewarding!

I'd be happy to share more with you if you're interested, either way, good luck!

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straxen
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby straxen » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:25 pm

kdoyon812 wrote:Any suggestion on what kind of work to look for specifically though? I live in a small town, should I just stay at home and live with my parents and save money? Would I just look for some grunt work office job for a year or would it even matter where I worked?


Will it matter for getting into law school? Probably not. But the quality of work experience may matter for getting a job after law school, if nothing more than to have an interesting story to tell in an interview. If it were me, I'd put finding some substantive work other than waiting tables or being an office grunt over saving what will probably end up being a very little bit of money.

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ahduth
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby ahduth » Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:24 pm

Take a year off so you can reconsider going to law school.

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Mr. Pancakes
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby Mr. Pancakes » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:27 pm

kdoyon812 wrote:Any suggestion on what kind of work to look for specifically though? I live in a small town, should I just stay at home and live with my parents and save money? Would I just look for some grunt work office job for a year or would it even matter where I worked?

Find the best job you can, the most important thing you should be doing is getting your score up so you will be able to go to the best school you can and have as much of it as possible paid for.

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MG95
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby MG95 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:49 pm

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Last edited by MG95 on Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

uh1999
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby uh1999 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:24 am

Wouldn't a background/work experience in social work give one an interesting perspective when studying civil procedure, family law in particular?

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D'Angelo
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby D'Angelo » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:41 pm

with a december score at a lot of schools you will be penalized for applying late! you should definitely wait a year if you can find anything that looks remotely professional workwise...

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esq
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby esq » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:27 pm

It won't hurt you to take a year off, and it doesn't really matter what kind of work you do in the meantime - it is good to show that you were doing something though. As for switching to a social worker track, if you are planning on doing something more PI when you get into your law school, a job like that will certainly look good when you start vying against other 1Ls (who will have nothing to show except past experience) for the PI resources at whichever school you end up at (grants, positions in programs, etc.) Outside of that, I don't think you have to worry about taking a social work position. Working at a restaurant is fine and with a good spin it should serve you well in firm interviews too (consistency and satisfaction in a daily full-time gig, understanding how to build client relationships, yadda, yadda).

crossem
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby crossem » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:12 am

I took a year off, lived at home and worked a boring 9-5 in an unrelated field, ended up doing better on my LSAT than expected (whoa, studying the LSAT does not suck as much without college life interfering) and I am better off for it.

It helps to have actual things to say in your interviews. Talking about how you led your Marketing 101 small group to an A in your presentation does not carry the same ring as any tangible results in real life.

Saving money is fun, and so is going out. Two things law school does not like, at least thus far into it (1L here).

It can help establish ties or help bolster them. It can help you realize perhaps law school is not for you. Or, that it is for you. After a year off, you will be rested from the studying/partying/LSAT/application stress (took me 8 months to recover, no joke) and you will be able to intimidate other 1Ls in class with relevant analogies and business/medical/whatever lingo.

Regardless of how well I do or if I graduate unemployed, there is no - NO - downside to having taken a year off. The benefits I have already reaped are 1) a better looking resume, 2) much more relevant/interesting things to talk about in an interview, and 3) I am a year older. Don't underestimate #3, chances are significant none of you have looked back at the past year and said "I have learned nothing from it, I am no wiser and not more mature."

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kwais
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby kwais » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:24 am

Just want to add that while professional or service oriented work is superior to waiting tables, waiting tables is superior to rushing into law school. My law school has a lot of smart, nice people who have never earned a single paycheck of any kind in their life. It really shows. Paying rent and all that does make you grow up a little.

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aspire2more
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Re: Year off between undergrad and law school

Postby aspire2more » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:49 pm

Why do you want to go to law school? The answer to that question should give you some insight into what type of job you should be looking for. It helps to have a consistent narrative to present in your applications, internship interviews, etc. Figure out what your narrative is thus far and build on it.

For example, let's say you enjoyed taking classes in sociology, psychology, and social work. As as result of your studies, you have an interest in social justice, poverty, and criminal justice. You decide you want to go to law school to continue to pursue those interests through a career that will allow you to have a direct and meaningful impact on the system and in people's lives. In between college and law school, you worked as a social worker in a battered women's shelter (or volunteered at one, or became a guardian ad litem, or volunteered at a soup kitchen--whatever). This experience gave you the opportunity to work with people who are directly impacted by the issues that motivated you to apply to law school.

That's just an example and may not apply to you and your interests at all. But do you see where I'm going with that? If you use your time wisely by either finding other paid employment or by volunteering on the side in a position that makes sense with respect to your narrative, you'll be that much stronger as a candidate. One of the things that I've read in some career services materials is that you need to be able to articulate in an interview your reasons for wanting to work with a specific firm. It is probably easier to do that if you can point to your resume and show how your interests developed and/or changed over time.




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