Work experience after undergrad-->then business or law?

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Tarheel1234
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Work experience after undergrad-->then business or law?

Postby Tarheel1234 » Wed May 09, 2012 3:50 pm

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if there were any people out there who wished they had gotten work experience after undergrad and gone to business school instead of law school. This applies to K-JDs or those who went to law school with WE. The reason I ask is because I almost considered law school right after undergrad, but decided to take a job instead (I was also fortunate to get a job with my liberal arts degree).

Furthermore, how often is it that you meet someone who is in law school for lack of a (decent) job out of undergrad?

I am curious what insights you guys have on the matter and, knowing what you know now about employment prospects, life, etc., if there were any things you would do differently. Thanks.

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dingbat
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Re: Work experience after undergrad-->then business or law?

Postby dingbat » Thu May 10, 2012 12:30 am

I spent many years working before deciding to go to law school and I'm very happy that I did
(although, I kinda wish I maybe did a few years less)

LSATNightmares
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Re: Work experience after undergrad-->then business or law?

Postby LSATNightmares » Thu May 10, 2012 7:45 am

I think it doesn't hurt to have good work experience in law school. But honestly, many of my classmates who just came straight out of undergrad are getting as good of jobs as those who have solid work experience. I think those who have work experience, though, just have a better idea of why they're in law school, so they know how to better focus their job search. With business school, you definitely can't skimp out of work experience. My husband goes to HBS, and he's been having a hard time finding a job with only two years of non-business work experience and trying to transition to business.

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IAFG
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Re: Work experience after undergrad-->then business or law?

Postby IAFG » Thu May 10, 2012 7:52 am

LSATNightmares wrote:I think it doesn't hurt to have good work experience in law school. But honestly, many of my classmates who just came straight out of undergrad are getting as good of jobs as those who have solid work experience. I think those who have work experience, though, just have a better idea of why they're in law school, so they know how to better focus their job search. With business school, you definitely can't skimp out of work experience. My husband goes to HBS, and he's been having a hard time finding a job with only two years of non-business work experience and trying to transition to business.

That is really interesting. I had wondered about that. Good luck to him.

r6_philly
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Re: Work experience after undergrad-->then business or law?

Postby r6_philly » Sun May 13, 2012 1:32 am

Also, having good WE (and having learned from it) may mean something not just at getting a job, but advancing on the job. WE is not just about work skills, it's about other things like interpersonal communication and office politics.

I would suggest anyone who isn't sure about law school ( and most k-jds who are sure) to get some WE because they could mature a bit more and figure out if it is what they want.

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Chucky21
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Re: Work experience after undergrad-->then business or law?

Postby Chucky21 » Sun May 13, 2012 1:51 pm

I agree that some people need to get some outside exposure before going back to school, but if you want to be a lawyer then I see no reason for postponing law school. I'm not sure how a person could go about ascertaining whether or not they want to be lawyer by taking a couple of years to work. You can't work as an attorney without going to law school so there is no real way to gauge whether or not you like the work. Being a paralegal or legal assistant is the closest you come, but even then you do not have the actual experience of being an attorney.

Essentially every career choice you make is a bit of a blind decision because you do not know where you'll end up. There is a debt factor to law school and business school and obviously a half-hearted decision to go is not advised. If, however, you want to be a lawyer coming out of undergrad then you should do it.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Work experience after undergrad-->then business or law?

Postby philosoraptor » Sun May 13, 2012 2:38 pm

Chucky21 wrote:I agree that some people need to get some outside exposure before going back to school, but if you want to be a lawyer then I see no reason for postponing law school. I'm not sure how a person could go about ascertaining whether or not they want to be lawyer by taking a couple of years to work. You can't work as an attorney without going to law school so there is no real way to gauge whether or not you like the work. Being a paralegal or legal assistant is the closest you come, but even then you do not have the actual experience of being an attorney.

Essentially every career choice you make is a bit of a blind decision because you do not know where you'll end up. There is a debt factor to law school and business school and obviously a half-hearted decision to go is not advised. If, however, you want to be a lawyer coming out of undergrad then you should do it.
This way of thinking ("if you're sure you want to be a lawyer, just go straight through") is attractive but misses a huge part of the point of taking time off. In my two years of law school, my overwhelming experience has been that those who took time off seem far better prepared to practice and to adjust to a high-stress profession than those who went straight through. Generally, the former are the people whom I would prefer to work with, whom I would trust to be more responsible, and who are more independent and mature.

Whenever I hear of people causing petty drama on journals, pitching hissy fits about paper deadlines, getting way overstressed about exams, partying too hard, embarrassing themselves or the school, or failing to do research about the market and then blaming others for their lack of jobs, it tends to be overconfident kids who came straight out of undergrad and failed to take a breather and develop a little maturity.

That's not to say, of course, that every 22-year-old is too young for law school, or that every 25-year-old has his/her life together. Academically, I'm sure it doesn't matter. But when I look back at 22-year-old me, I'm so glad I didn't go straight through. I learned so much about real life in those two years, and it had nothing to do with whether I wanted to be a lawyer.

TLDR: Do yourself, your future classmates/colleagues, and your future bosses a favor: If you can get a job, take a year or two off before law school, even if you're sure you want to be a lawyer. Developing maturity is not a waste of time.

crossem
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Re: Work experience after undergrad-->then business or law?

Postby crossem » Wed May 16, 2012 10:41 am

These threads are the only type I really post on, I cannot tell you how much taking a year off has helped. Granted you will be doing something other than flipping burgers, literally, you will be better off for it.

You cannot fake the experience of graduating from college, having had good grades and with your whole family being happy for you, partying with your friends for a month, then waking up one morning and realizing you have nothing. You and thousands of other hard working 21 year olds are all scrapping. The cold realization that the world doesn't owe me shit has helped not only motivate my studies but also prepare in whatever ways I can to make money after I graduate. This is all x210000 relevant if you are not t14 bound.

In interviews, I lead off with something to the effect of "well, unlike college, working in the real world taught me a great deal..." and I always get nods. Despite my much more interesting and legal related UG-PT work, no one asks about it because they do not care.

My two cents, not edited because write-on is editing enough.




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