How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

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dkang
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How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby dkang » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:07 pm

So I am about to graduate from undergrad and am taking a year off before attending law school. Ideally, I would like to earn as much money as possible in that year so I would like a full-time position, however, how do I go about telling HR that I would only like to stay for a year? I mean wouldn't companies automatically reject you because they don't want turnover?

p.s. the jobs I would be applying for would be for paralegals, legal assistants, etc.

imchuckbass58
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:07 pm

Don't tell them.

Anonymous User
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:16 pm

Tons of paralegals only stay for a year or so, and although that is part of the law firm business model, I would not tell them you're planning on staying only one year. Its cool to say that you might eventually be interested in going to law school, but that you're really looking to get some solid work experience now. If anything, try to hint that you aren't thinking of going for at least 2 years.

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Grizz
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby Grizz » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:19 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:Don't tell them.

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traehekat
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby traehekat » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:53 pm

Bring it up right after you tell them about the time you pissed yourself in front of everyone in second grade.

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coldshoulder
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby coldshoulder » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:54 pm

Grizz wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:Don't tell them.

pkt63
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby pkt63 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:33 pm

I agree with the others that you shouldn't tell them if you want the job. That info is not going to help. Do be aware/prepared for them to ask for a commitment of X years (prob no more than 2-3) from you. It sounds like it might not be the norm to do it, but I have been asked to make that commitment twice in my career prior to LS. You should know how you would handle this.

But another consideration, and I think you probably know this which is why you are asking, is that if you don't tell them in order to get the job, It might not go over well 9 months from then when you give notice. And when they realize that you had planned it all along. The problem with this is the burning bridges issue. It's a rare rare situation in which it is ok to burn bridges. This doesn't seem like it would be one, because that is exactly the kind of place you'd like to get a reference from for summer internships and jobs. And I'm not sure how you would work it such that they weren't unhappy to some degree when they realize that you either lied by omission or were just thoughtless and inconsiderate and perhaps they won't think as highly of you.

So I wish I had the answer. I usually try not to bring the headache if I can't bring the aspirin, but this is an intractable issue that I have not found a successful way around in my own experience. Hopefully some genius enters this thread...

dkang
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby dkang » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:50 pm

pkt63 wrote:I agree with the others that you shouldn't tell them if you want the job. That info is not going to help. Do be aware/prepared for them to ask for a commitment of X years (prob no more than 2-3) from you. It sounds like it might not be the norm to do it, but I have been asked to make that commitment twice in my career prior to LS. You should know how you would handle this.

But another consideration, and I think you probably know this which is why you are asking, is that if you don't tell them in order to get the job, It might not go over well 9 months from then when you give notice. And when they realize that you had planned it all along. The problem with this is the burning bridges issue. It's a rare rare situation in which it is ok to burn bridges. This doesn't seem like it would be one, because that is exactly the kind of place you'd like to get a reference from for summer internships and jobs. And I'm not sure how you would work it such that they weren't unhappy to some degree when they realize that you either lied by omission or were just thoughtless and inconsiderate and perhaps they won't think as highly of you.

So I wish I had the answer. I usually try not to bring the headache if I can't bring the aspirin, but this is an intractable issue that I have not found a successful way around in my own experience. Hopefully some genius enters this thread...


thanks for the response quys and yes, this is pretty much what i have been trying to figure out in my head. I guess the best way to do it is just hint at it a little in the interview.

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dailygrind
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby dailygrind » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:40 am

Creating threads here is generally reserved for law students and graduates, so I'm giving you a push over to the FAQ.

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paratactical
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby paratactical » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:58 am

pkt63 wrote:I agree with the others that you shouldn't tell them if you want the job. That info is not going to help. Do be aware/prepared for them to ask for a commitment of X years (prob no more than 2-3) from you. It sounds like it might not be the norm to do it, but I have been asked to make that commitment twice in my career prior to LS. You should know how you would handle this.

But another consideration, and I think you probably know this which is why you are asking, is that if you don't tell them in order to get the job, It might not go over well 9 months from then when you give notice. And when they realize that you had planned it all along. The problem with this is the burning bridges issue. It's a rare rare situation in which it is ok to burn bridges. This doesn't seem like it would be one, because that is exactly the kind of place you'd like to get a reference from for summer internships and jobs. And I'm not sure how you would work it such that they weren't unhappy to some degree when they realize that you either lied by omission or were just thoughtless and inconsiderate and perhaps they won't think as highly of you.

So I wish I had the answer. I usually try not to bring the headache if I can't bring the aspirin, but this is an intractable issue that I have not found a successful way around in my own experience. Hopefully some genius enters this thread...


As someone who has worked in biglaw as a paralegal for quite sometime, you will absolutely burn bridges if you take the job and peace out early. Most biglaw firms hire junior, entry level paralegals with a non-contract, but verbal understanding that the job is 2+ years. Sometimes a paralegal gets away with leaving for law school early, but sometimes it means getting blacklisted from attorney work at that firm and potentially other firms. It's a terrible idea to seek out a paralegal job at a large, national firm with the intention of staying less than a year and not being 100% up front about that possibility.

It's different for smaller firms and non-paralegal jobs. Where you're talking about simply not getting a letter of recommendation, you're talking about the potential of limiting your future employment opportunities in a job where there's already an abundance of lawyers. Seriously bad idea.

seatown12
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby seatown12 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:05 am

I interviewed for a few of these jobs as well, and based on my experience and comments by others here it seems like 2 years is a pretty standard minimum expected commitment. My advice would be to plan to commit 2 years to one of these jobs. It's not like one extra year is going to set your career back in any meaningful way, and you end up with that good reference and a little extra cash.

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IAFG
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby IAFG » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:24 am

I think for most gigs, employers realize they will have a lot of attrition in the first year or two, and that's a risk they take when hiring new grads. I will defer to para w/r/t big firm hiring, but in general, if they're not promising you 2 years, why are you promising them 2 years?

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romothesavior
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:54 am

coldshoulder wrote:
Grizz wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:Don't tell them.

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blank403
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby blank403 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:34 pm

Eh, I had a bunch of interviews / offers, and currently work as a paralegal. There is definitely an awareness that most of the paralegals will leave after 1-2 years.

It actually helped in most of my interviews to mention that I thought being a paralegal would help me evaluate my decision to go to law school (before potentially throwing away 3 years and $200k). Obviously, most of your interviewers (attorneys/paralegals) will be able to relate.

I'm not saying that you should tell them explicitly that you plan on leaving in one year, but mentioning that you have the intention of going to law school at some point isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world.

w/r/t leaving early: I would read the job description and see what the time commitment is. From my experience, any firm that expects a time commitment will mention it in the job description/listing, wherever you found it. If the firm expects a 2 year commitment, bad idea to accept and bail early.

tl;dr: don't tell them that you plan to leave in one year, but phrased correctly, mentioning future law school plans could be useful in an interview. and don't bail on any time commitment you make.

Riles246
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby Riles246 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:39 am

It doesn't matter, at all. The only thing biglaw cares about is GPA and what school you go to. Law review might bump you up a few firms in the V25, but you'll get $160k without it as long as you have a high gpa. The rest doesn't matter at all.

03121202698008
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:42 am

imchuckbass58 wrote:Don't tell them.

MNbound
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby MNbound » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:14 am

dkang wrote:So I am about to graduate from undergrad and am taking a year off before attending law school. Ideally, I would like to earn as much money as possible in that year so I would like a full-time position, however, how do I go about telling HR that I would only like to stay for a year? I mean wouldn't companies automatically reject you because they don't want turnover?

p.s. the jobs I would be applying for would be for paralegals, legal assistants, etc.


You should just join Americorps, it's what I'm doing now in my gap year between undergrad and law school. There are a few positions in legal services but all national service is looked upon well by law schools/firms. It's mandated that your term of service is exactly one year long so you won't be burning bridges and will likely receive a recommendation. It doesn't pay a lot but it is a full time job with health benefits and an education award of $5500 after finishing the program to be used for school and school expenses.

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IAFG
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby IAFG » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:15 am

MNbound wrote:
dkang wrote:So I am about to graduate from undergrad and am taking a year off before attending law school. Ideally, I would like to earn as much money as possible in that year so I would like a full-time position, however, how do I go about telling HR that I would only like to stay for a year? I mean wouldn't companies automatically reject you because they don't want turnover?

p.s. the jobs I would be applying for would be for paralegals, legal assistants, etc.


You should just join Americorps, it's what I'm doing now in my gap year between undergrad and law school. There are a few positions in legal services but all national service is looked upon well by law schools/firms. It's mandated that your term of service is exactly one year long so you won't be burning bridges and will likely receive a recommendation. It doesn't pay a lot but it is a full time job with health benefits and an education award of $5500 after finishing the program to be used for school and school expenses.

Just to clarify, schools and firms don't particularly like or dislike this program.

MNbound
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby MNbound » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:53 pm

Yes, I guess firms are probably indifferent towards it, but law schools definitely view it favorably.

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IAFG
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby IAFG » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:35 pm

MNbound wrote:Yes, I guess firms are probably indifferent towards it, but law schools definitely view it favorably.

Relative to what? I don't think it turns out to be a good soft at all.

MNbound
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby MNbound » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:15 pm

Relative to a year of work experience. It's work/volunteer/national service experience rolled into one. I don't know if its true for everyone but the feedback I've gotten has been favorable, I've received a few extra (albeit small) scholarships at a few schools because of it.

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IAFG
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby IAFG » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:01 am

MNbound wrote:Relative to a year of work experience. It's work/volunteer/national service experience rolled into one. I don't know if its true for everyone but the feedback I've gotten has been favorable, I've received a few extra (albeit small) scholarships at a few schools because of it.

past cycles have not shown any admissions/scholly bumps for americorps members in general so it's definitely not the rule. as a former volunteer i've been tracking it the past few cycles.

HBK
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby HBK » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:42 am

It's none of their business. You work for them for a year, you owe them nothing.

09042014
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:29 am

MNbound wrote:Relative to a year of work experience. It's work/volunteer/national service experience rolled into one. I don't know if its true for everyone but the feedback I've gotten has been favorable, I've received a few extra (albeit small) scholarships at a few schools because of it.


Isn't this a work program so poor people don't starve? Don't they literally take everyone?

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tmon
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Re: How do I bring this up in my Job Interview?

Postby tmon » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:54 am

Desert Fox wrote:
MNbound wrote:Relative to a year of work experience. It's work/volunteer/national service experience rolled into one. I don't know if its true for everyone but the feedback I've gotten has been favorable, I've received a few extra (albeit small) scholarships at a few schools because of it.


Isn't this a work program so poor people don't starve? Don't they literally take everyone?

Nah, usually it's more difficult to get than that, but really depends on the specific site you want to work at. You can basically apply to various positions just like jobs, though the process can be more extensive. Some sites are very difficult to get (1 person hired and hundreds applying), while others' requirements are more long the lines of "living, breathing person."

eta: FWIW, so far I haven't seen any kind of noticeable bump or surprise in decisions, though I only applied at the beginning of the month due to December LSAT.




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